Depression Home > SSRI Side Effects

Although most people have no problems with SSRIs, side effects can occur. The most common side effects include nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Side effects are often minor and easily treated. However, some side effects of SSRIs are serious and need prompt medical attention, such as suicidal thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, and chest palpitations.

An Overview of SSRI Side Effects

As with any type of medicine, side effects are possible with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). However, not everyone who takes an SSRI will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate them quite well. If side effects do occur, in many cases, you or your healthcare provider can easily treat them. In addition, several factors seem to affect the chances of side effects occurring, including:
  • The dosage and type of SSRI
  • Age
  • Other medical conditions
  • Other medicines being taken at the same time.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with SSRIs. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of SSRI side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of SSRIs

Each SSRI has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which the side effects of a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to another group not taking the medicine. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common side effects of SSRIs include:
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • A decreased sex drive (libido)
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Ejaculation problems
  • Fatigue
  • Female orgasm problems
  • Headaches
  • Impotence
  • Increased sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Shakiness (tremor)
  • Weakness
  • Yawning.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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