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What are side effects of antidepressants?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Side effects may include fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, nervousness, fever, dry mouth, changes in sense of taste, visual problems, sweating, itching, and rashes. Some people have rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, joint or muscle pain, urinary problems, or sexual problems. Some people may have suicidal thoughts or behavior.

SRIs can also cause life-threatening conditions. One is serotonin syndrome, which occurs when high levels of serotonin build up in the body. This can happen when a person takes both an SRI and another medication that can increase serotonin. Symptoms include drowsiness, weakness, shivering, and uncontrolled jerking movements. Another is neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a drug-related movement disorder. It can cause fevers, rigid muscles, tremors, and blood pressure changes. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.