If you experience Antidepressant Side Effects

What to watch for – what you can do

Typically, antidepressants side effects will be temporary. For most people the initial side effects will not be serious. However should the symptoms persist or in anyway interfere with physical, mental or emotional functioning abilities, immediately contact the prescribing physician. These are powerful medications, which is why prescriptions are needed.

This article covers the antidepressants side effects of Anafranil, Prozac, Luvox,  PaxilZoloft, Marplan, Nardil, Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar, Parnate and what you can do to get through the initial symptoms

The antidepressant side effects of Anafranil

Click on the boxes below to view the steps you can take to combat the initial effects. Severe symptoms are listed underneath the box

DRY MOUTH —it is helpful to drink plenty of water, sipping it through out the day. Chew sugarless gum and additional brushing of teeth can be helpful
Constipation—adding or increasing the intake of bran cereals, prunes, fruit, and vegetables in diet can help
Bladder problems—emptying the bladder completely may be difficult, and the urine stream may not be as strong as usual. Older men with enlarged prostate conditions may be at particular risk for this problem. The doctor should be notified immediately if there is any pain or discomfort.
Sexual problems—sexual functioning may be impaired. If this is worrisome or the condition persists, it should be discussed with the doctor.
Blurred vision—this is usually temporary and will not necessitate new glasses. Glaucoma patients should report any change in vision to the doctor
Dizziness—Medications change your body chemistry, meaning you may have to change your approach in even the simplest of activities. Rising from the bed or chair more slowly is helpful
Drowsiness as a daytime problem—this usually passes soon. A person who feels drowsy or sedated should not drive or operate heavy equipment. The more powerful antidepressants are generally taken at bedtime to help sleep and minimize daytime drowsiness
Increased heart rate—pulse rate is often elevated. Older patients should have an electrocardiogram (EKG) before beginning tricyclic treatment

Some weight gain is be expected for long term use of Anafranil

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these SEVERE side effects occur using Anafranil:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision changes; changes in sex drive; chest pain; confusion; decreased sexual ability; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever; flushing; frequent or difficult urination; impulsive behavior or other unusual changes in behavior; mental or mood changes (eg, increased anxiety, mood swings, agitation, irritability, nervousness, restlessness); numbness or tingling of the skin; panic attacks; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe dizziness or drowsiness; sore throat; stomach pain; suicidal thinking or behavior; swelling of the testicles; tremor; trouble sleeping; trouble walking or keeping your balance; twitching of the face or tongue; uncontrolled movements or stiffness of arms and legs; unusual bleeding or bruising; worsening of depression; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

The antidepressant side effects of Prozac, Luvox,  PaxilZoloft

Click on the box below to view the steps you can take to combat the initial effects. Severe symptoms are listed underneath the box

Headache—this will usually go away after a short time.
Sexual side effects are common in both men and women, but reversible. Consult a doctor if condition persists
Nausea—may occur after a dose, but it will disappear quickly.
Nervousness, heightened anxiety and insomnia (trouble falling asleep or waking often during the night)—these may occur during the first few weeks; dosage reductions or time will usually resolve them.
Agitation (feeling jittery)—if this happens for the first time after the drug is taken and is more than temporary, the doctor should be notified.
Any of these side effects may be amplified when an SSRI is combined with other medications that affect serotonin. In the most extreme cases, such a combination of medications (e.g., an SSRI and an MAOI) may result in a potentially serious or even fatal “serotonin syndrome,” characterized by fever, confusion, muscle rigidity, and cardiac, liver, or kidney problems.
Long term side effects of SSRI’s are insomnia, weight gain and sexual dysfunctions

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Prozac, Luvox,  Paxil,   or Zoloft

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; black or bloody stools; chest pain; confusion; decreased concentration; decreased coordination; exaggerated reflexes; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; memory loss; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, agitation, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, or inability to sit still); persistent or severe ringing in the ears; persistent, painful erection; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent anxiety or trouble sleeping; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; significant weight loss; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual bone pain or unexplained swelling, tenderness, or bruising; unusual bruising or bleeding; ; unusual weakness; vision changes; worsening of depression.

Marplan, Nardil, Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar, Parnate side effects

The small number of people for whom MAOIs are the best treatment need to avoid taking decongestants and consuming certain foods that contain high levels of tyramine, such as many cheeses, wines, and pickles. The interaction of tyramine with MAOIs can bring on a sharp increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke. The doctor should furnish a complete list of prohibited foods that the individual should carry at all times. Other forms of antidepressants require no food restrictions. MAOIs also should not be combined with other antidepressants, especially SSRIs, due to the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Because of side effects and safety concerns, MAOIs are most often tried when other antidepressants don’t work. The side effects of MAOIs can include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced sexual desire or difficulty reaching orgasm
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Prickling or tingling sensation in the skin

DANGER – Antidepressant side effects increase when mixing Medications

Medications of any kind, prescribed, illegal, over-the-counter, or herbal supplements, should never be mixed without consulting your doctor; nor should medications ever be borrowed from another person. Other health professionals who may prescribe a drug, such as a dentist or other medical specialist, should be told if the person is taking a specific antidepressant and the dosage. Some drugs, although safe when taken alone, can cause severe and dangerous side effects if taken with other drugs, including alcohol (wine, beer, and hard liquor) or street drugs. These may reduce the effectiveness of antidepressants and their use should be minimized or preferably, avoided by anyone taking antidepressants. Some people who have not had a problem with alcohol use may be permitted by their doctor to use a modest amount of alcohol while taking one of the newer antidepressants. The potency of alcohol may be increased by medications since both are metabolized by the liver; one drink may feel like two.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if stopping an antidepressant too abruptly. Discontinue antidepressants under the guidance of a health professional. Gradual withdrawal is advisable.

With any antidepressant medication exists an increased risk of suicidal thoughts


  1. I like the ease of medication, but don’t want to have deal with the side effects. Is there anyway around this?

    • Talk to your physician and see if the medication can be modified or changed. Keep in mind antidepressant medication covers symptoms. For short term anxieties or depressions, when life dumps more on your plate than you can handle, they can be viable solutions. But they are not going to help you cope any better with life or help you learn to make different decisions. Sooner or later the magic pill will fall short. Easy is convenient but not necessarily the best course of action

  2. This is so serious. I went through emotional abuse at the age of 23 in 2004 at the workplace. Gradually, I went through the healing process and readjusted myself for 5 months. Then my mother suggested I go see a psychiatrist and I went with her. I told the psychiatrist I did not want to take any psychiatric drugs, I was there to see how he could help me and what he could tell me. Instead, he let me take psychiatric drugs through my mother without my consent.

    I started developing very serious OCD-like symptoms and my mind was going through hell. I THOUGHT THAT THAT WAS THE CONTINUATION AND RESULT OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE. It is crazy. I couldn’t do many things, my mind was going crazy thinking about all sorts of things and I was very sensitive to anything I thought about plus the extremely serious OCD-like symptoms that I was having. I went back to him and told him I was in a very serious condition and he eventually put me on Olanzapine, IM Fluanxol and Clormipramine. I took these for 5 1/2 years from May of 2005 to the end of 2010. I decided to stop everything in Jan 2011. I realized all that massive suffering was from the drugs the psychiatrist prescribed me. I was in fact doing very well after the emotional abuse, doing research on it and readjusting myself.

    The bloody psychiatrist keeps minimizing what I went through and still stubbornly sticks to his diagnosis that I have schizophrenia which is complete bullshit! He thinks he has great style or something. I don’t need this after having went through something so serious like emotional abuse.

    Even after almost 2 years (2011-2012), my condition is still bad although much better than when I was taking those psychiatric junk (I had previous experience with psychiatric drugs/that’s another story. I am not psychiatrically ill.)

    **What I want to know is, will I eventually heal/recover from the psychiatric drugs I took and take things from where I left off just before starting the psychiatric drugs the bastard prescribed me?

    I would like to hereby WARN anyone who has been through emotional abuse. DO NOT TAKE ANY PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS. Your psychology has changed and if you take them, especially anti-psychotics, it will affect you in very bad and serious ways. It will be completely different from someone who has not been through emotional abuse who is taking these drugs. I think it’s important for you guys at Designed Thinking to know about this too. This is very serious and important information.

    I am in fact not writing well and expressing myself well because of the psychiatric drugs. Please do not misunderstand me. It would be very different if it were me writing after about 5 months after the emotional abuse where I had told the people I needed to tell the abuse about, done my research and had adjusted as stated in your articles. The psychiatric drugs screwed me up bad.

  3. I’m not sure if I suffered from emotional abuse but there is always abuse present as I’ve come to realize we are all an ego and the ego’s only goal is control for thinking inspiration to be without order.

    I CAN relate to the psychiatrist story of HanQin. I got addicted to pot smoking, the smoking of which I found to increase (amplify) whatever thoughts I had. Experiences indicate that it does increase psychic ability (the joining of one mind with another) which is what drove the addiction. Unfortunately it caused me not to function “normally” in social terms. A cop dropped me off at a psych ward and had a doctor commit me on the grounds that I was of potential harm to myself or others despite my not having a harmful thought in my head. This was my introduction to the system of western medicine.

    Prior to hospitalization I had no idea how drug-driving the psychiatrists are. The first doctor, in that “joking” way that abusers love to play, caused the hearing committee to think that I believed I could fly by flapping my arms. I may have been delusional but I’ve also been a pilot! I’ve come to realize there is no hope going against the word of a doctor once they’ve assessed you. Instead of talking to me to snap me out of my unrealistic thoughts they began their medication assault. When I refused on the grounds that time alone would see me come down from the pot high, they stripped me of my rights and convinced my mother that I needed injecting. I was given Resperidone, and the dosage kept increasing.

    Looking back, all I see is the dollar figures involved. The hospital charged the government $1100 per night for my stay, each needle cost $500, the concoxion of pills easily a few hundred more. People as money revenue? Well, someone has to pay the psychiatrist’s salary right? I wonder why there wasn’t a psychologist on staff at the hospital.

    Our western-world medical model has left me a bit depressed. Recently I’ve developed panic attacks (I find a cup of coffee helps bring that one down) and have entered such a state of no-motivation that I’ve lost all interest in life. And I used to be so happy, cheerful, and brightening everyone’s day!

    I still interact ok with others on the outside but most of the time I can’t get out of my head.

    My advice to anyone involved or thinking about becoming involved with a psychiatrist is think three times! Go see a psychologist, at least they can’t prescribe any meds in vain attempt to find a cure of thoughts of higher mind by a pill for the body. Thought is of the greater order and not generated by the body, psychiatrists are qualifiedly all delusional for thinking it to be the other way around.

    There’s nothing like coming back from a hospital and finding oneself to me worse off than having gone in.

  4. I don’t agree with you, John. Abuse is not always present. Emotional Abuse is something very serious and is little known. It completely devastates the person and the person is severely changed for the worse. Please don’t insult me and say crap like abuse is always present.


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