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26 What are some techniques that can be used by people taking antidepressants to make side effects more tolerable?




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This article is from the Depression FAQ, by Cynthia Frazier with numerous contributions by others.

26 What are some techniques that can be used by people taking antidepressants to make side effects more tolerable?

Listed below are some frequent side effects of antidepressants, and some techniques to reduce their severity:

Dry mouth: Drink lots of water, chew sugarless gum, clean teeth daily, ask the dentist to suggest a fluoride rinse to prevent cavities, visit the dentist more often than usual for tooth and gum hygiene

Constipation: Drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water every day, eat bran cereals, eat salads twice a day, exercise daily (walk for at least 30 minutes a day), ask your doctor about taking a bulk producing agent such as Metamucil, also ask about taking a stool softener such as Colace, be sure to avoid laxatives such as Ex-Lax.

Bladder problems: The effects of some antidepressants, especially the tricyclic medications may make it difficult for you to start the stream of urine. There may be some hesitation between the time you try to urinate and the time your urine starts to flow. If it takes you over 5-minutes to start the stream, call your doctor.

Blurred vision: The tricyclic antidepressants may make it difficult for you to read. Distant vision is usually unaffected. If reading is important to you the effects of the antidepressant can be compensated for by a change in glasses. As you may compensate for the change in your vision, try to postpone getting new glasses as long as possible.

Dizziness: Dizziness when getting out of bed or when standing up from a chair, or when climbing stairs may be a problem when taking tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Changing posture slowly may help prevent this kind of dizziness. Drinking adequate amounts of liquid and eating enough salt each day is important. Be sure to speak to your doctor if this side-effect is severe.

Drowsiness: This side effect often passes as you get used to taking the antidepressant that has been prescribed for you. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to increase your intake of caffeine, and if so, by how much. If you are drowsy be sure not to drive or operate dangerous machinery.

 

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