Antidepressant Side Effects

The dramatic increase in SSRI prescriptions over the past decades has helped to uncover the dramatic antidepressant side effects associated with drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Lexapro.

Antidepressant use has been linked to an increased risk of suicide, as well as serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by too much serotonin. Many patients also experience painful withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using antidepressants, making it nearly impossible for them to stop taking the drugs.

SSRIs and suicide
Mirtazapine (marketed as Remeron and Remeron Soltab) is being linked to suicidal thoughts and actions in children and adults with mental illness and depression.

The FDA issued a “black-box” alert in July 2005, warning family members and practitioners to closely watch patients taking antidepressants, especially in the early stages of treatment.

Nefazadone hydrochloride (marketed as Serzone and Nefazodone HCL) is another SSRI that the FDA issued a black-box warning for, claiming it increased the thoughts and attempts of suicide in children and adults taking the drug. Bupropion hydrochloride (marketed as Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR/XL and Zyban) has also drawn the FDA’s attention lately.

Serotonin syndrome

Patients taking SSRIs should not take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) because this combination has led to serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition with no current antidote or treatment.

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