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Depression Medications Side Effects
Antidepressants may cause mild and, usually, temporary side
effects (sometimes referred to as adverse effects) in some people.
Typically these are annoying, but not serious. However, any
unusual reactions or side effects or those that interfere with
functioning should be reported to the doctor immediately.
The most common side effects of tricyclic antidepressants, and ways to deal
with them, are:
Dry mouth, it is helpful to drink lots of water; chew sugarless gum; clean
teeth daily. Constipation, bran cereals, prunes, fruit, and vegetables should
be in the diet. Bladder problems emptying the bladder may be troublesome, and
the urine stream may not be as strong as usual; the doctor should be notified
if there is any pain. Sexual problems sexual functioning may change; if worrisome,
it should be discussed with the doctor. Blurred vision this will pass soon and
will not necessitate new glasses. Dizziness rising from the bed or chair slowly
is helpful. Drowsiness as a daytime problem this usually passes soon.
A person feeling drowsy or sedated should not drive or operate
heavy equipment. The more sedating antidepressants are generally
taken at bedtime to help sleep and minimize daytime drowsiness.
The newer antidepressants have different types of side effects:
Headache this will usually go away.
Nausea even when it occurs, it is transient after each dose.
Nervousness and insomnia (trouble falling asleep
or waking often during the night) these may occur during the first
few weeks; dosage reductions or time will usually resolve them.
Agitation (feeling jittery) if this happens for the first time
after the drug is taken and is more than transient, the doctor
should be notified. Sexual problems the doctor should be consulted
if the problem is persistent or worrisome.
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