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Handling Side Effects of Antidepressant Medications

You can avoid some of the most common side effects of antidepressant medications with these tips. Many side effects go away after a few weeks of treatment as your body adjusts.

Handling the side effects of antidepressant medicines
Side effect What you can do
Constipation Eat cereals and other high-fiber foods (apples, salads, and celery), and drink plenty of fluids.
Dizziness Get up slowly from a lying or sitting position.
Drug interaction Do not use any medications for common illnesses such as the flu or allergies without first speaking with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other drugs.
Dry mouth Use sugarless gum or candy. Take frequent sips of water throughout the day.
Nausea Eat more frequent, smaller meals rather than large meals.
Sleep problems Avoid caffeine or other stimulants.

FDA Advisory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are changed.

Recommended Related to Depression

Craving Carbs in Winter: Is It Depression?

If winter weather triggers carbohydrate cravings, you're not alone.  Many people snack more on carbohydrate-containing foods in winter, sometimes in an unconscious effort to boost their mood, says Judith Wurtman, PhD, a former scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of The Serotonin PowerDiet.  How can you tell if your seasonal carbohydrate cravings are in the normal range or a possible symptom of winter depression?  

Read the Craving Carbs in Winter: Is It Depression? article > >

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised January 12, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 12, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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