Antidepressant Side Effects

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Antidepressants are used as medication to treat clinic and mild depression. They're prescribed by physicians in many parts of the world. Although they can significantly help people who suffer from depression they have many, sometimes severe, side effects. The specific side effects differ from one type of antidepressant to another. Side effects caused by these medications are the most common reason for discontinuing their use.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are one type of antidepressants. They are one of the most widely known types for side effects since some big companies who produce these drugs have been involved in large law suits concerning the unethical sale of medication. The law suits mainly concerned severe side effects that were being minimized and not publicized by the company producing the drug.

The most common and mild side effects of SSRIs are nausea, diarrhea and headaches. SSRIs are also known to decrease libido, induce failure to reach orgasm and cause erectile problems. The Serotonin syndrome is also a side effect of SSRIs that's a big concern. This syndrome is drug reaction that leads to self poisoning when certain types of foods or drugs are mixed in the body.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA) are also a popular type of antidepressant drugs. Their common side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision, drowsiness, dizziness, skin rashes, unstable weight and sexual problem.

Many people who are using SSRI experience mood anesthesia. This condition is characterized by apathy, lack of motivation, feeling detachment and emotional numbness and an indifference to the world. All SSRIs and TCAs cause this effect to some degree.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) are another type of antidepressants that have more severe side effects that are also rarer. These include liver inflammations, heart attacks, strokes and seizures. If MAOIs are taken with foods that are high in tyramine a potentially lethal heart reaction can occur. Foods rich in tyramine include mature cheeses, cured meats and yeast extracts. Such reactions can occur with other prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Drugs that have been developed more recently have fewer side effects but some side effects are still present. Moreover, newer drugs have been shown to have more severe side effects that continue after the use of the drug has been ceased. This has been reported with paroxetine and venlafaxine.

While most side effects are reversible, some last for months or years after treatment has been stopped. This is especially true with sexual side effects.

It's worth noting that some patients do not respond at all to antidepressant drugs. Moreover, many side effects are seen before the effects of the drug take place so finding the right drug can be a faster process if only the only concern is with side effects.

In the first few weeks of using antidepressants, people are more likely to think suicidal thoughts and the rate of suicide during this time is increased. In general, while using SSRIs suicidal tendencies are increased. This is especially true for young adults using these medications. Therefore it's important for parents and close friends and relatives to watch out for the behaviour of a young person in the early stages of using antidepressant drugs.

In general, when choosing antidepressants it's very crucial to pay attention to symptoms that are caused by the drug. Drugs could have symptoms that are bearable and one can live with. However, it's important to be under close watch with the physician prescribing the drugs to look out for food dangers such as those described above. Moreover, young adults and their families and close ones should be more careful when starting to use antidepressants. Antidepressants can help those who need them but they must be used with great care.

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