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Coping with the common effects of antidepressants

Coping with the common effects of antidepressants

Medications play a large role in the treatment of depression.  It is important, however, to  keep in mind that  these medications do have some unpleasant side-effects. Keep in mind that specific problems vary with the prescribed medication and from person to person. Knowing what these side-effects are will help you cope/deal with these symptoms.

It is important to remember NOT to reduce dosage or discontinue any medications prescribed by your doctor.

Simple steps like starting or increasing your exercise routine, taking control of your diet, or napping for small periods during the day will help you cope with these side-effects. Listed below are few of the most common side-effects experienced along with some coping strategies you employ to overcome the effects. Remember, that in severe cases, other side effects such as suicidal thoughts, and high blood pressure are rare but possible.



Coping strategies

Nausea. This generally begins within a week of starting an antidepressant. It might go away after a few weeks, once your body adjusts to the medication

Take your medication with food, unless otherwise directed Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Drink plenty of non-carbonated fluids.

Disturbed sleep or insomnia. Many people have trouble sleeping when they first start taking an antidepressant.

Speak to your physician about changing the timing of medication. Avoid the use of caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol, especially late in the day. Start regular physical activity or exercise

Daytime sleepiness or lethargy. This is often experienced in the first few weeks of treatment.

Take a brief nap during the day. Get some physical activity, such as walking.

*Changing the timing of medication might help.

Weight gain and increased appetite. This could be caused by fluid retention or lack of exercise, or just because one’s appetite increases when depression symptoms ease up.

Avoid sugary drinks and food. Select lower calorie nutritious foods while avoiding saturated fats and trans fats. Eat small meals frequently. Get regular exercise.


These will often decrease or go away as your body adjusts to the antidepressant. Speak with your physician for any over-the-counter medication that you can take.

Sexual Side Effects. This can include decreased sex drive and difficulty reaching orgasm.

Talk to your doctor about switching to a medication  that may neutralize these effects.

Dry Mouth. This is a common side-effect of anti-depressants.

Sip water regularly or suck on ice chips, chew sugarless gum, or suck on sugarless hard candy and avoid caffeine. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day.

Blurred vision is a common side effect, but it usually reduces on its own within a couple of weeks.

Speak with your doctor about using eye drops to relieve dryness. Get an eye check up to figure whether blurred vision caused by an antidepressant may be worsened by an underlying eye problem

Remember not to ignore side effects nor  just accept them. Work with your doctor towards resolving them, thus enabling you  to have a  better chance of recovery from side effects.

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5 Months ago


5 Months ago

Great Article.

5 Months ago