Many depression medication side effects can be very unpleasant. They can affect each individual differently as well as different medications can have different side effects. For some individuals, depression medication side effects subside after a couple of weeks as their bodies adjust to the medication. Because the effects can be so severe, some individuals stop taking the medications.
Medications for depression can usually take a couple of weeks or more to work, which is a major factor in individual not sticking with the medication they have been prescribed. If they are feeling side effects this can increase the problem of individuals stopping their medication before there is a chance of finding it may have worked. Aside from depression medication side effects causing individuals to stop taking their medication, trying to find a medication that works can be a lengthy trial and error period. When a medication prescribed for an individual does not work after a couple of weeks they will need to try another medication until one is found to work. Individuals can lose faith that a medication that works can be found and cause them to give up trying new medications.
There are Four different types of medication used for depression, each having slightly different effects on the brain.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
Discovered in the 1950s and started being used for depression later in that decade. This medication has been proven to help with depression but can have side effects that are more severe than the newer types of medications. This type of medication is used usually as a last resort or when newer types of medications do not work. This depression medication side effects include: dry nose, dry mouth, constipation, changes in appetite and weight, blurry vision, dizziness, memory impairment, restlessness, increased body temperature, drowsiness, weakness, anxiety, confusion, hypersensitivity, sweating, sexual dysfunction, muscle twitches, nausea, hypotension, tachycardia, Overdoses can cause: irregular heart rhythms, twitching, hallucinations, delirium and coma.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
This type of medication is also an older type that has some of the worse depression medication side effects that can prove to have lethal dietary and drug interactions. Mostly prescribed for the treatment of atypical depression it is usually used as a last resort when all other medications have failed. The FDA has approved a patch form of the medication that has reduced the dangers of dietary dangers because it does not enter the gastrointestinal system. This depression medication side effects include dry mouth, insomnia, increased heart rate, drowsiness, blurred vision, appetite changes, muscle twitching and feelings of restlessness and loss of sexual desire or ability. Also, it may interact with certain foods.
This type of medication is a newer type of medication that targets other neurotransmitters than serotonin. Some of the medications may target serotonin as well as other neurotransmitters or without the serotonin. The chemicals they affect are mainly norepinephrine and dopamine. This depression medication side effects include nausea, fatigue, weight gain, sleepiness, nervousness, dry mouth, and blurred vision. The side effects are less severe than the older type medications.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s)
This is also a newer type of medication that has gained a lot of popularity and has proven to work quite well. This medication works by affecting serotonin in the brain. These medication side effects include sexual problems, drowsiness, sleep difficulties, and nausea. In adults over 65, it can cause an increase in falls and bone fractures.
All medications can cause thoughts of suicide in young adults and should not be prescribed for use in children and caution in young adults. Withdrawals also can occur with all depression medications and medication should never be abruptly stopped doses need to be gradually reduced over time.