A major depressive disorder, often recognized as clinical depression, is a serious medical disease that can have a wide-ranging effect on a person’s life. It affects a person’s mood, attitude, and bodily processes. As a result, medicines and psychotherapy are frequently used to treat it.
As soon as a clinical depression diagnosis is made, antidepressant medicines are prescribed. These drugs are considered to alleviate depressive symptoms. The many types of these medications function by rebalancing particular chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters. However, just like any other prescription, these treatments might have several negative side effects. Read on to discover more about the adverse effects of antidepressants and how to deal with them.
Commonly Prescribed Antidepressants and Their Side Effects
Antidepressant medications can cause side effects. Such effects will vary from drug to drug and from person to person.
Moreover, a particular test is often done to analyze a person’s genes and how such genes will likely respond to a specific medication. This test is known as Psychotropic Test. If you want to know more about such a test, check out this video for its explanation.
Here are the commonly prescribed antidepressants and how they could affect a person.
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
The adverse effects of SSRIs appear to be less noticeable during the first week. However, after a few weeks, they could make patients feel sick or anxious. Some people are said to have dyspepsia or indigestion and a disturbance in sexual function, contributing to aggressiveness episodes.
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
SNRIs’ most typical effects include appetite loss, obesity, and insomnia. Feeling drowsy and dizzy, exhaustion, hypertension, nausea and vomiting, and erectile dysfunction are also possible side effects.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants
Tricyclic antidepressants are thought to induce sleepiness, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, diarrhea, and vertigo. People of age may also experience dementia, trouble in urination, and low blood pressure.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
MAOI side effects seem to include inflammation of the liver, heart problems, strokes, and convulsions. Patients should avoid ingesting smoked or pickled foods and consuming certain drinks since these might cause serious problems when taken along with the drug.
What To Do About the Side Effects
Some of the side effects may not be debilitating, but some could also be severe. If the doctor says the side effects are only mild, then the patient may have to stick to the prescribed medications.
For minor side effects, here are some tips in coping with minor clinical depression:
Nausea usually starts shortly after taking a medication. It may be gone once your body has adjusted to the drug. Consider the following strategies:
- Unless otherwise recommended, take your medication with meals.
- Consume smaller and regular meals
- Chew on some sugar-free hard candy.
- Fluids, such as chilled water should be consumed in large quantities.
Patients who experience an increase in appetite consider the following strategies:
- Ease up on sugary foods and beverages
- Choose low-calorie and high-nutritional-value foods
- Seek counsel from a dietitian
- Get frequent exercise
Drowsiness or sleepiness can be frequent, particularly in the first weeks of antidepressant medications. Hence, you may consider taking quick naps in the middle of the day or take medicines at bedtime when approved by the doctor.
Antidepressant medications that cause insomnia make it difficult for patients to sleep or remain asleep. Thus, making them feel exhausted during the day. The patient may consider the following:
- Avoid foods and beverages with caffeine
- Regulate physical exercises
- Ask the doctor if sedating medications might help
This is a common adverse effect of antidepressants. When experiencing this, the patient may do the following:
- Drink water regularly
- Chew on sugar-free gums or candies
- Restrain from drinking caffeine or alcohol and tobacco
- Maintain breathing through the nose
- Keep up with an oral hygiene
Constipation impairs the gastrointestinal tract’s primary mechanism. The following steps might be necessary:
- Consume lots of water
- Take foods high in fiber
- Maintain a regular workout regimen
- Consult a doctor about stool softeners
Sexual Side Effects
Sexual side effects may include diminished sexual desire or trouble achieving orgasm. If this happens, the patient may consider the following:
- Consider scheduling sexual activity before taking the dose
- Discuss with the doctor if switching medications is possible
- Discuss your sexual side effects with the partner and how they affect their needs. Changing sexual routines might be beneficial.
- Discuss pharmaceutical choices with a doctor
Heart-Related Side Effects
Electrocardiograms (ECGs) may be required before or during therapy, depending on the patient’s heart condition and the medication they’re taking. The ECG is used to assess the QT interval to ensure that it does not become longer. A prolonged QT interval is a type of abnormal heart rhythm that increases the chances of developing arrhythmia.
Each kind of antidepressant has a wide variety of side effects that are frequently linked with that drug class, and each medicine within that drug class has somewhat distinct adverse effects. In addition to the recommended strategies above, it’s essential to consult the patient’s physician for the best ways to cope with the side effects.