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July 11, 2020

A Study on Common Side effects of Antidepressants

What do you mean by antidepressants?

Based on the guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association, Antidepressant medications are the first preferable drugs that doctors prescribe to patients. These drugs also treat conditions like separation anxiety disorder and phobias.

Antidepressants work by increasing the number of feel-good chemicals in the brain. There are various types of antidepressants available in the health stores, and the effect of antidepressants differs from person to person. Some people may experience potential side effects while some people won’t. That’s why physicians prescribe you different types of medications before you fit into the right one.

Take a look at the common antidepressants that doctors generally prescribe you and also some of their side effects.

SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)

The neurotransmitters function as chemical agents within a body. SSRIs influence serotonin, a neurotransmitter that engages in many things which include your mood.

Sertraline, citalopram, fluvoxamine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, and paroxetine are the antidepressants that belong to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, hot flashes, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorders are common disorders that can be treated by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Nausea, erection problems, ejaculation problems, headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, stomach upset, diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, weakness, and fatigue are the possible side effects associated with SSRIs.

SNRIs (Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors)

Like SSRIs, SNRIs are the most common choice for treating major depressive disorders. Again in the same manner of SSRIs, SNRIs restrict cells in your brain from reabsorbing specific neurotransmitters.

Venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, milnacipran, and levomilnacipran are the antidepressant drugs that belong to serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Hot flashes, nerve damage caused by diabetes, generalized anxiety disorder, and fibromyalgia are the certain conditions treated by SNRIs.

Loss of appetite, erectile dysfunction, dry mouth, low sex drive, trouble sleeping, dizziness, constipation, sweating, nausea, drowsiness, weakness, and fatigue are the possible side effects associated with SNRIs.

TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants)

Tricyclic antidepressant drugs work by raising the levels of feel-good chemicals in your brain just like SNRIs. These drugs are may not be prescribed by doctors to patients due to their interactions with other medications. Physicians prescribe TCAs only in the case of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors don’t work well for you.

Nortriptyline, amitriptyline, imipramine, clomipramine, doxepin, and desipramine are the antidepressant drugs that belong to tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are also used to treat other conditions like fibromyalgia, bedwetting in children, nerve pain caused by shingles, migraine headache, social anxiety disorder, and nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Memory problems, weight gain, ejaculation problems, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, headaches, fast heart rate, blurred vision, trouble urinating, digestive problems, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, and sweating are the common side effects associated with TCAs.

High blood pressure, low blood pressure, and abnormal heart rate is also caused by TCAs but in rare cases.

MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are also not preferable drugs to patients like tricyclic antidepressants. Doctors prescribe MAOIs to patients only when other antidepressants are not working for you.

MAOIs work by increasing the amount of certain feel-good chemicals in your body such as

  • Serotonin
  • Norepinephrine
  • Dopamine

Selegiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, and phenelzine are the antidepressant drugs that belong to monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Hypotension, runny nose, stomach pain, nausea, drowsiness, ejaculation problems, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, stomach pain, dry mouth, and confusion are the common side effects associated with MAOIs.

SARIs (Serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors)

Serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors are also called as phenylpiperazine antidepressants or serotonin modulators. These drugs work differently like atypical antidepressants.

SARIs can treat other conditions such as panic disorder, depression, and anxiety. SARIs also work by raising the levels of serotonin levels in your brain. Oleptro, nefazodone is the antidepressant drugs belongs to serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors.

Low blood pressure, drowsiness, confusion, dry mouth, blurred vision, headaches, constipation, dizziness, fatigue, and diarrhea are the common side effects associated with SARIs.

Atypical Antidepressants

Due to the way some antidepressants work, they don’t come under the first choice of drugs. These drugs are called atypical antidepressants.

Bupropion, Mirtazapine, Vilazodone, and Vortioxetine are the drugs that belong to atypical antidepressants.

Anxiety, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, constipation, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, irritability or agitation, increased appetite, weakness and fatigue, high cholesterol, diarrhea, and ejaculation problems are the common side effects associated with atypical antidepressants.

Can Antidepressants cause suicidal thoughts?

Antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts and the risk is higher when it comes to young adults, children, and teenagers. It’s better to call your physician when you notice any abnormal changes in their behavior.

Conclusion

Every antidepressant has its own potential side effects. It’s better to talk to your doctor before choosing or trying an antidepressant. You should also let your doctor know any herbal supplements you are using such as St. John’s wort and try not to drink alcohol as there are high chances of alcohol may interact with your medication.

References

  1. https://www.drugsincontext.com/antidepressant-efficacy-and-side-effect-burden-a-quick-guide-for-clinicians/
  2. https://www.psychiatrist.com/PCC/article/Pages/2001/v03n01/v03n0105.aspx
  3. https://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4068/cmj.2018.54.2.101

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