Side Effects of Antidepressants
April 24, 2013
By Sano Mag Staff
Side Effects of Antidepressants
More people than ever before use antidepressants in Australia, making them one of the most prescribed drugs not just in this country but in the world.

More than 13.6 million scripts for antidepressants were written in 2010-11 in Australia under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In fact, from 2000 to 2011, a 95.3% increase in the use of antidepressants was recorded across the nation.

Antidepressants are prescribed not just for major depression and manic-depressive disorders but for everything from mild depression to anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bedwetting, neuropathic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, hives, hot flashes, fibromyalgia, itchy skin, premenstrual symptoms, excessive sweating, bulimia, binge eating disorder, ADHD and Tourette's syndrome.

More than often, antidepressants are prescribed by medical doctors who have not made a proper assessment of the patient's mental history, as required by a psychiatrist, or warned people of the side effects of taking antidepressants.

How Effective are Antidepressants for People with Mild to Moderate Depression?

A well-known 2008 study of a number of published and unpublished antidepressant trials actually found that only those people with severe levels of depression benefited from antidepressants.

Those with mild to moderate depression actually benefited more from a placebo than from antidepressants. The study suggested that a placebo may even produce better results than antidepressants because of the side effects associated with antidepressants.

Despite this, antidepressants continue to be handed out to people who do not suffer from severe depression. Meanwhile, some of the side effects of taking antidepressants are so severe that it is the leading reason why most people decide to stop taking antidepressants.

So Just What are the Side Effects of Antidepressants?

The side effects of antidepressants range from the common side effects such as weight gain, sleep problems, and digestive problems, to the severe. These include diabetes, birth defects in the children of women taking antidepressants, stroke, and even death.

Another documented side effect of antidepressants in people who do not suffer from severe depression includes suicidal tendencies and violent (even homicidal) behaviour, particularly in children and adolescents.

A Sydney study conducted in July 2011 found a scientific theory explaining this behaviour. It involves a genetic mutation that can result in uncontrollable violent impulses and behaviors, including suicide, in some people taking certain types of antidepressants, such as SSRIs (eg. Zoloft, Prozac, Cipramil, Luvox, and Aropax).

SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant in Australia. Numerous cases are reported in Australia of people attempting suicide by overdosing on the very same antidepressants that they were using to treat their depression.

Some of the Severe Side Effects of Antidepressants are:
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Stillbirths
  • Birth defects, including cleft palate
  • Problems with immune system
  • Brittle bones
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Violent behaviour
  • Stroke
  • Death

Common Side Effects of Antidepressants include:
  • Weight gain
  • Sedation (may not be able to drive or operate machinery)
  • Sleep disruption
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance/Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Inability to achieve an orgasm (in men and women)
  • Loss of libido

How to Treat Depression Without the Use of Antidepressants

As always, Sano Magazine prefers to give effective alternatives for dangerous chemicals and risky medicines. Therefore we have prepared this article called Natural Treatments for Depression.

The article outlines a number of natural strategies that have proven to be far more effective than antidepressants in many people when they are used over the long term, particularly in people with mild to moderate depression.
"Those with mild to moderate depression actually benefited more from a placebo than from antidepressants"
Antidepressants – What are the Side Effects?