ANTIDEPRESSANTS: HOW TO MANAGE THE SIDE EFFECTS?

Depression is a difficult time to go through and medications can be a great help in getting your life back. However, since all medications can have side effects, antidepressants are no exception. This unpleasant aspect of this type of medication should not, however, prevent you from taking them if they are necessary, because often the benefits of the antidepressant outweigh its negative aspects.

Fortunately, tolerance to the medication often develops, which significantly reduces side effects. In addition, certain tips can help you live better with them. For example, it is common to start antidepressants gradually to gradually accustom the body to the effect of the medication. This way, each stage is easier to go through, with side effects usually being dose-related. In other words, the more you increase the dose of the antidepressant, the higher the risk of experiencing them.

ADVERSE REACTIONS BY DRUG CLASS

Not all antidepressants have the same side effects. In addition, they do not all have the same intensity. Thus, certain medications are more recognized for a particular side effect, although other agents can also cause it. Furthermore, the first antidepressants to be put on the market cause more side effects in people who take them compared to more recent drugs. So, it’s usually the latter that are prescribed first.

Also, since the response to antidepressant treatment really varies from one individual to another, a combination of medications may be deemed preferable by the doctor. This may therefore cause more side effects. One positive aspect of this variability in treatment responses is the wide range of antidepressants that exist on the market. This makes it possible to change medication if it is not sufficiently effective or if it is poorly tolerated. Thus, it is very likely that the doctor and the patient will find together the optimal treatment to properly treat the symptoms of depression and promote better tolerance.

MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS AND THEIR MANAGEMENT

Although the list of possible side effects can be quite long, some occur more often. There are tips to help you live with them while your body gets used to them.

Side effects Management of side effects
Dry mouth ·         Drink a little water often

·         Suck ice cream

·         Take gum or sugar-free candy

·         Avoid alcohol and caffeine

·         Stop smoking

·         Use a saliva substitute

Constipation ·         Do physical activity regularly

·         Eat more fiber (25 to 30 grams per day)

·         Take a fiber supplement

·         Drink more water (6 to 8 glasses per day)

·         Do not delay going to the toilet.

·         Always schedule the same time of day to go to the bathroom

·         Use medication against constipation under the advice of the pharmacist

Nausea and vomiting ·         Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day

·         Avoid fatty, sweet and spicy foods

·         Drink more water (6 to 8 glasses per day)

·         Avoid strong odors (e.g. perfume, food, tobacco)

·         Avoid alcohol

·         If necessary, take a few doses of medication against nausea and vomiting under the advice of the pharmacist.

Drowsiness ·         Take the antidepressant at bedtime

·         Avoid driving or doing an activity that requires alertness if you feel drowsy

·         Avoid alcohol or any other substance that may cause this.

Insomnia ·         Take the medication in the morning (as far from bedtime as possible)

·         Choose a calm environment at bedtime

·         Do not nap during the day

·         Avoid stimulants a few hours before bedtime (eg chocolate, coffee, tea)

·         Apply relaxation techniques

·         Do physical activity regularly during the day

·         Establish a bedtime and wake-up routine

·         Use the room only for sleeping or sexual activities

Pressure drop ·         Slowly rise from lying to sitting, then from sitting to standing

·         Drink more water (6 to 8 glasses per day)

Weight gain ·         Do physical activity

·         Adopt healthy eating habits

·         Eat raw vegetables before the meal to reduce the size of it

·         Avoid fatty and sugary foods

·         Consult a nutritionist

Sexual dysfunction ·         Always talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you experience a sexual side effect

·         Never change treatment without discussing it with your doctor or pharmacist

·         Consider changing the medication to another under the advice of your doctor or pharmacist

·         Consider using a medication or product to help with the problem you are experiencing, such as medication for erectile dysfunction or a lubricant during sexual intercourse (for a woman) under the advice of your doctor or pharmacist

In short, the treatment of depression can vary greatly from one person to another, as can the perceived side effects. Fortunately, it is possible to manage them well to minimize their impact on quality of life. These medications can play an important role in the mental well-being of people suffering from depression, so the side effects must not take precedence over the beneficial effects. The pharmacist is also essential in the treatment of depression. In particular, he can:

determine if the effect felt is related to the antidepressant;

provide tips for controlling side effects;

discuss with the person and the doctor adjustments to therapy, such as reducing the dosage, changing to another medication, or adding a measure to correct the situation (such as another medication).

It is possible to manage the side effects of antidepressants, so don’t get discouraged when they occur. Remember how important your mental health and happiness are; this will help you stick to your treatment and motivate you to get into “solution-finding” mode with the help of your pharmacist!

 

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *