SSRI side effects may range from mild to severe, depending on the individual.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) are one class of drugs that are used to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
They are believed to work by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to symptoms of depression.
Common side effects may include anxiety, constipation, diminished libido, diarrhea, lightheadedness, dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and tremors.
More Serious Side Effects
More serious side effects can include suicidal thoughts or behavior, agitation, panic attacks, aggression, hostility, restlessness, hallucinations, rapid pulse, heart palpitations, and insomnia.
Possible signs of an allergic reaction may include rash, hives, itching, other skin disturbances, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, or unexplained swelling in body parts such as the tongue, hands, or feet.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been linked to both weight loss and weight gain, depending on an individual's reaction. For more info, see antidepressants and weight changes.
One of the most serious SSRI side effects is an increased risk of suicide in some patients who take them, particularly children, teens, and young adults. Read this important warning about antidepressants and suicide.
According to some studies, SSRI antidepressants may cause harm to developing fetuses that can result in birth defects, miscarriages, and other health risks. See this important warning about antidepressants and pregnancy.
Mixing antidepressants and alcohol can result in numerous health risks. It is not advised because alcohol is a depressant that should not be consumed by those already suffering from clinical depression. In addition, both antidepressants and alcohol impair users' ability to drive and operation heavy machinery.
Abruptly stopping an SSRI medication or missing a few doses can result in potentially dangerous SSRI withdrawal. Do not quit cold turkey. If you wish to discontinue your medication, work in conjunction with your prescribing doctor who can safely, and gradually, reduce your dosage over time in order to avoid withdrawal.
If you experience serious selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor side effects, seek medical attention then consult with your prescribing doctor as soon as possible.
Remember that not everyone who takes an SSRI antidepressant medication will experience side effects. In addition, if side effects occur report them to your doctor who can often make adjustments in order to treat them.
Also, keep in mind that medications affect every individual differently. As a result, there is sometimes a bit of trial and error involved in finding the right balance for each patient with respect to medications.