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8 side-effects of antidepressants you should know about

Before you start taking antidepressants, you should be aware of their side-effects such as sexual dysfunction, dry mouth, drowsiness, among others.

Written by Anuradha Varanasi | Updated : May 12, 2016 4:34 PM IST


Side-effects Of Antidepressants You Should Know About

Depression is one of the most common diseases in the world as the WHO estimates that nearly 350 million people are suffering from it globally. Despite that, there's a lot of stigma around depression and many of those who are brave enough to seek treatment for this mental disease remain completely ignorant of the side-effects they could suffer from after they start taking antidepressants. Dr Parul Tank, Psychiatrist and Therapist at Fortis Hospital and Nimai Healthcare says these are the 8 side-effects of antidepressants.


Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction: This is one of the most common complaints of patients on antidepressants. In fact, studies have found that depressed men and women on antidepressants experience low sex drive and face difficulties in achieving an orgasm. 'If the patient is suffering from sexual dysfunction, we usually change the medicines and doses to see what suits him,' explains Dr Tank. Also Read - India To Witness Extreme Heat Waves That May Break Human Survivability Limit: Report


Loss Of Appetite

Loss of appetite: You will experience this side-effect in the initial stages after being prescribed anti-depressants. However, Dr Tank says patients experience loss of appetite only for the first two to three weeks after they start taking antidepressants.



Nausea: Many patients also complain of nausea in the initial stages after their therapy begins. 'Most side-effects of antidepressants are actually similar to antibiotics. It happens because the body is getting acclimatized to the medicines. Feelings of nausea usually disappear on their own after a few days to maximum two weeks,' says Dr Tank.  Also Read - 9th World Ayurveda Congress And Arogya Expo Kicks Off In Panjim, Goa


Weight Gain

Weight gain: Studies have found that while antidepressants can cause weight loss in patients initially, long-term use of antidepressants can actually cause weight gain [1]. Patients have observed that they regain the weight they initially lost 6 months after they started taking antidepressants. That's actually followed by additional weight gain with long-term use.


Daytime Drowsiness

Daytime drowsiness: Another common side-effect of antidepressants are altered sleeping patterns. Most patients complain of increased daytime drowsiness and sleeping for longer durations. Dr Tank says again in such cases, your psychiatrist will switch to a different dose or antidepressant. Also Read - Joint Pain In Winter: Tips For Elderly People To Manage The Pain


Dry Mouth

Dry mouth: Antidepressants could also cause dry mouth or the feeling of a parched throat or dehydration. It is the feeling of not having enough saliva in the mouth.



Dizziness: This is yet another temporary side-effect of antidepressants and if it doesn't subside on its own within 10 days, consult your psychiatrist for changing your dosage or switching to a milder drug. Remember not to try and experiment with antidepressants on your own.