Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Depression Health Center

Font Size

How Your Depression Medicine Can Affect Your Life

What Side Effects Do Antidepressant Medicines Cause?

Like all medications, antidepressants can have side effects. Some of the most common include:

Some antidepressants are more likely than others to cause certain side effects. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) generally have fewer side effects than older types of medications such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Because medications affect every person differently, however, it’s difficult to know what side effects you may experience until you take one. If you’re concerned about any particular side effect, such as weight gain or nausea, tell your doctor. She may be able to prescribe a medication that is less likely to cause that side effect.

How Long Do the Side Effects of Depression Medicine Last?

Many side effects last only for a few days or weeks and then get better. Others may continue until you stop taking the medicine. If the side effects are severe or are a problem for you, talk with your doctor. He may be able to find a way to help reduce them -- by having you take the medicine at a different time of day, for example -- or switch you a different medication.

It’s important not to stop taking a medication without talking with your doctor. If you stop it suddenly, you may feel sick or have headaches or dizziness. Your doctor can help you decrease your dose over time to stop your medication safely.

How Long Will I Need to Take Antidepressant Medication?

This depends on your depression. Most people need to take depression medication for at least six to nine months, but you may need to take it longer, even if you feel better. Some people take antidepressants for several years. Your doctor can help you decide when it’s the right time to stop and can work with you to stop gradually.

1 | 2
Reviewed on July 09, 2010

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
jk rowling
Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
depressed man sitting on hallway floor
Learn the truth about this serious illness.
Sad woman looking out of the window
Tips to stay the treatment course.
unhappy teen boy
Health Check
jk rowling
Pills with smiley faces
Teen girl huddled outside house
Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
antidepressants slideshow
pill bottle
Winding path