The side effects of antidepressants often depend upon on the type or class of antidepressant.
These include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRIs (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), atypical antidepressants, Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and MAOI's (monoamine oxidase inhibitors ).
Common side effects of SSRI antidepressants may include nausea, anxiety, decreased libido, light-headedness, tremors or shakes, fatigue, sleep disturbances, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, and headaches. In addition, there is a link between antidepressants and weight changes.
Antidepressant side effects may include nausea, fatigue, weight gain, sleepiness, nervousness, dry mouth, and blurred vision.
Antidepressants such as Tricyclics (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are older and their side effects tend to be more severe compared to the newer generations of antidepressants. In general, they are only prescribed as a last resort after other treatments and medications have failed.
The more serious side effects of any type of antidepressant can include agitation, panic attacks, aggression, hostility, restlessness, hallucinations, rapid pulse, heart palpitations, and insomnia.
Serious side effects may also be a symptom of serotonin syndrome, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
In addition, symptoms of a possible allergic reaction may include skin irritation, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, fever, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or actions, coma, or unexplained swelling in body parts such as the tongue, hands, or feet.
Antidepressants And Suicide
An increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors is one of the most serious risks of taking antidepressant medications.
Clinical trials indicate an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some patients who take antidepressants, particularly children, teenagers, and young adults. See this warning about antidepressants and suicide.
When taken during pregnancy, antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects, miscarriages, and other health problems. For more info, see this warning about antidepressants and pregnancy.
Suddenly stopping this medication or missing a few doses can result in withdrawal. For information about the potential health risks and dangers of withdrawal, see SSRI withdrawal.
If you experience serious side effects, you may need to seek immediate emergency medical attention. Afterward, consult with your treating psychiatrist in order to discuss your treatment options.