Side Effects of Antidepressants
For many people taking antidepressants, side effects are minor and temporary in most cases. These side effects may vary, depending on which type of antidepressant you are taking. For example, newer medications may cause headaches or sexual problems, while tricyclic antidepressants may cause dry mouth or confusion. Any unusual problems or reactions should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately, such as panic attacks, chest pain, or hallucinations.
Antidepressants Side Effects: An Overview
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with antidepressants. However, not everyone who takes an antidepressant will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate them well. When negative reactions do occur, they are usually minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
They are also usually temporary, albeit annoying. However, any unusual reactions -- or those problems that interfere with functioning -- should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. Some side effects with these drugs can be quite serious.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible adverse reactions with antidepressants. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of antidepressant side effects with you. You can also search eMedTV for the specific side effects with each type of medicine by clicking Types of Antidepressants.)
Side Effects of SSRIs and Other Newer Antidepressants
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) generally have fewer problems than tricyclic antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). However, the newer antidepressants do have some potential side effects.
Some of these possible side effects with newer antidepressant include:
- Nervousness or jitteriness
- Drowsiness or insomnia
- Sexual problems, such as impotence (erectile dysfunction or ED), changes in libido, or ejaculation or orgasm difficulties
- Appetite or weight changes, including weight loss and weight gain (see Antidepressants and Weight Gain).