According to Scientific America, anti-depressants are the third most frequently consumed medication in the U.S. Experts estimate that up to 10 percent of the population is taking anti-depressants at any given time. Continue reading to learn more about anti-depressants and their documented side effects.

What are Anti-Depressants?

Clinical depression causes certain chemical imbalances in the brain that results in mood and emotional changes. Anti-depressants contain unique chemicals that help rebalance the brain’s chemistry. The positive effects of anti-depressants generally appear after a few weeks. Anti-depressants may:

  • Increase energy
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve appetite
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Reduce negative thoughts

There are different type of common anti-depressant medicines available. For example, there is fluoxetine, citalopram, bupropion and sertraline. While each of these medications work well, they each may produce different side effects. Some of these may be very disruptive to a person’s life.

What are the Side Effects of Anti-Depressants?

While anti-depressants helps to stabilize moods, they can produce the following side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Increased weight gain
  • Fatigue and sleepiness

For example, nausea symptoms typically begin when the person starts to take anti-depressants, but gradually fades in a few weeks. However, certain people do report increase heartburn or GERD symptoms. If this is a problem, doctors generally recommend that anti-depressants be consumed with a small meal with plenty of liquids. Conversely, tricyclic antidepressants can cause constipation because they interfere with digestive system functions.

Since anti-depressants cause appetite increases, certain people may experience weight gain. This is compounded by the fact that people who suffer from depression are statistically likely more to already be overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, medical experts say that chronic anti-depression consumption can actually raise the risks of experiencing obesity related diseases, such as hypertension and type two diabetes. Additionally, certain anti-depressants can increase fluid retention or cause the opposite, dry mouth.

Certain anti-depressants can cause chronic drowsiness and fatigue. They also cause other people to experience insomnia because anti-depressants can increase energy levels. Therefore, people with consult with their doctor in order to find the right-medication that complements their existing behaviors and moods. However, certain anti-depressants that contain tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors can result in low blood pressure, which causes in dizziness.

Finally, anti-depressants can actually result in increased anxiety during the first few weeks. However, restlessness and agitation are more common side effects. This is because lethargic people may suddenly experience increased energy and alertness. Certain people may experience racing thoughts and feel increased irritation with others. Therefore, people may need to experiment with different anti-depressants, under the supervision of their doctor, in order to find the best medication that meets their needs with minimal side effects.

In the end, anti-depressants are essential medications that stabilize people’s moods and emotions. This can reduce negative thoughts and behaviors. As a result, the person can experience increased energy and quality of life. However, there are documented side effects of anti-depressants that can cause disruptive health and wellness problems.