Antidepressant medications are normally used in treating depression. This type of drug usually will include: the SSRIs, SNRIs, along with the monamine oxidase inhibitors. There are many types of antidepressants, so only your doctor can make the right choice for you. There can be side effects, some of the most common include: changes in appetite, sleep changes, and sexual problems.
Generally, the side effects of antidepressants
are mild and temporary. The side effects often vary from person to person and also depend on the type of antidepressant that is being taken. Some of the newer medications are also know to cause headaches and, in some cases, sexual problems. The tricyclic antidepressants may also have the side effects of dry mouth and, occasionally, mental confusion. You should report any unusual problems and any reactions that you experience to your doctor. This should include panic attacks or any type of chest pain.
At this point in time, the link between weight gain and the use of antidepressants is not clear. Many people report some weight gain while taking these drugs, but there is no evidence the two actions are related. It is often thought that weight loss is common during depressive states, so weight gain may be a sign the depression is improving. If you notice weight gain while on your antidepressant, consult with your healthcare provider.
There are currently several different antidepressant available for prescription. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
along with the Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
comprise some of the more recent and more often prescribed depression medications. The tricyclic antidepressants
as well as the monoamine oxidase inhibitors have been around longer and may have a higher risk to side effects as well as other negative reactions.
Normally, the newer antidepressants offer advantages not seen in older antidepressants. The newer drugs, like the SSRIs and SNRIs, often are more tolerated by patients, and they also offer easier dosing. While the newer antidepressants may have fewer side effects, they can be more expensive. Also they may copycat medications, which means that they are chemically similar as to what you find in the older medications but do not provide much improvement over them.
Antidepressant medicines are usually only prescribed for treating depression. They can, however, be used for other medical conditions, too. Some of the newer antidepressants, for instance the SSRIs and the SNRIs and the NDRIs, are now approved for use in treating various conditions like bulimia, panic disorder
, and social anxiety disorder
. Some common off-label antidepressant may also be used to treat conditions like autism, Tourette syndrome, migraines, as well as premature ejaculation.
Antidepressants and alcohol should never be taken together. Both of these products act on chemicals in the human brain. Some experts believe antidepressants increase the overall effects of alcohol. Your doctor can tell you more about your medicine and its reaction with alcohol, if any.
There have been studies comparing suicide and antidepressant use. Some studies suggest that the medications can lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts within certain age groups. The risks do not seem to increase in those who 24 or over. The FDA, for this reason, has not mandated antidepressants be labeled with a black box warning. This is the highest level of warning that can be placed on prescription drug labeling.
Do not suddenly stop taking your antidepressant, as this may lead to withdrawal symptoms. For those who have been on the medication for six weeks or longer, this is especially important. Common withdrawal symptoms are: changes in vision, insomnia, difficulty walking, loss of balance and muscle pain
There are several antidepressants available on the market today. These drugs can be divided by generic name or they can be categorized by class, like tricyclic antidepressants, SNRIs or SSRIs.
List of Antidepressant medications