SSRIs

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Question

What are the side effects of SSRIs?

Answer

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications and are generally well-tolerated with few side effects. They include citalopram (Celexa®), paroxetine (Paxil®), fluoxetine (Prozac® and Sarafem®), escitalopram (Lexapro®), duloxetine (Cymbalta®) and sertraline (Zoloft®). Doctors also prescribe SSRIs to treat people with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, certain types of nerve pain, and severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Potential SSRI side effects

Their most common side effects of SSRIs include trouble sleeping, nausea, and dizziness. Less common side effects include headache, drowsiness, less sex drive, and delayed ejaculation. If you have trouble sleeping, take your SSRI in the morning. Take it at bedtime if it makes you drowsy. To relieve nausea or stomach discomfort, take the SSRI with food. If you experience side effects with sexual function, your doctor may try lowering the dose, adding another medicine, or switching to a different antidepressant. If any side effects you experience become bothersome or begin to worsen, be sure to notify your doctor.

Read more about depression in our Health Encyclopedia.

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