We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Some Common Anti-Depressant Side Effects?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The list of anti-depressant side effects is lengthy, and it should be stated that even within each single anti-depressant, not all people will experience the same side effects, if they have any at all. It is required that pharmacies give people printouts on side-effects they may encounter when taking any medication, and even when medications are advertised, advertisers must list potential side effects. Just remember when you read these side effects, it’s not a sure indication that you will have them. Everyone is different.

There are four major classes of anti-depressant medications. The first of these, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are the most used on the market. They include medications like Prozac®, Zoloft®, Paxil®, Luvox® and Celexa®. Another variant of this group is called a SNRI and also helps inhibit reuptake of the brain chemical norepinephrine. These medications include Effexor®, Cymbalta®, and Serzone®. These two groups of medications have similar side effects, which may include: dry mouth, reduction in sexual drive and/or inability to achieve orgasm or erection, changes in weight (gain or loss), intestinal problems like diarrhea, and lack of alertness.

Some people note anti-depressant side effects in SSRIs like difficulty sleeping or stomachache. Others find that taking any of the SSRIS or SSNIs results in feelings of greater anxiety, restlessness, or even recurring suicidal thoughts. More and more, physicians are finding that potentially the greatest risk of prescribing SSRIs and SSNIs is the potential for some patients to become very restless and suicidal.

This inner restlessness, called akathisia, may actually be the result of patients being given the wrong diagnosis. People with bipolar disorder who are given SSRIs and SSNIs may cycle into manic or hypomanic episodes when serotonin and norepinephrine levels are too high. You should definitely discuss worsening condition with your psychiatrist if you start on an antidepressant and you actually feel worse or at risk to yourself.

Anti-depressant side effects in the tricyclic class of medications, like Elavil®, Trazadone (generic) and Pamelor®, may be more pronounced, which is why these medications are not considered first line treatments. People may feel significantly drowsy on these medications, and some people cope with this by taking their meds at bedtime. Other anti-depressant side effects in this class include those very similar to SSRIs and SSNIs, and may also include headaches, photosensitivity, weight gain, sedation, dizziness and low blood pressure. Some of these side effects are transient, and others are not.

The last class of anti-depressant medications is the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Brand names in this group include Parnate®, Nardil®, and Marplan®. Due to more significant side effects, these again are usually not considered first line treatment for depression, though they may work when SSRIs and tricyclics do not. Common anti-depressant side effects in this group include all encountered with tricyclics, but there are also some things to be aware of if you are prescribed an MAOI.

First, there is significant risk if you take an MAOI with an SSRI of a condition called serotonin syndrome, which can elevate serotonin levels in the body to fatal levels. Also you need to avoid foods that contain tyramine, which is present in wine, cheese, red meats, most pickled foods, and chocolate. You should also check with your doctor before taking any other prescription medications or over the counter medications like decongestants when you are taking MAOIs.

Using your doctor’s guidance, it may take a few tries to find the right anti-depressant, and you may have to endure some anti-depressant side effects along the way. For most people, these side effects do not occur, are mild, or are only noticed during the first few weeks or months of treatment. When side effects persist and are either worrying or bothersome, do check with your psychiatrist about other medications that may be more suited to your individual needs.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon85852 — On May 22, 2010

my name is gourav and i have been taking estopame 10 tablets for the last two months.I have experienced some improvement in me but sometimes i feel as I did before, like my heart is racing.

Please tell me some natural way to help this problem. regards, gourav.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.