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The Risks of Depression Medications: Do You Really Need It?

Written by Berkowitz

depression medicationsAntidepressants, medically referred to as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. They are typically safe and effective, but just like any prescription medication, there are side-effects. Antidepressant side-effects will depend on the class of antidepressant that you are taking – and not everyone suffers from these side-effects. However, the side-effects can be serious for some people, and even life-threatening if physicians do not monitor their patients while they are taking the drugs.

Side-Effects to Be Aware of

If you are prescribed a new medication, do your due diligence and discuss it with your doctor. Ask about potential side-effects, and decide if the benefits of the medication outweigh the potential side-effects. Some common issues with antidepressants to be aware of include:

  • Physical Side-Effects – You may experience physical issues like headache, muscles aches, nausea, skin rashes, digestive issues, or even joint pain. You will eventually build a tolerance to these side-effects, and most patients continue to remain on the medications despite them.
  • Sleep Issues – You could encounter sleep issues when you first start on an antidepressant. That includes difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Also, some types of medication can lead to sleepwalking, and even nightmares.
  • Daytime Drowsiness – Daytime sleepiness is also a side-effect, due to the sleep disturbances at night. Also, some antidepressants naturally cause sedation, which leads to daytime sleepiness and nighttime issues.
  • Migraines – Migraines are more common with people who already suffer from depression. But, when they start taking SSRIs, they could be more susceptible to them. SSRIs increase brains’ chemical serotonin levels, which can lead to flushing, increased heart rate, headache, and migraines.
  • Weight Gain – This is a later side-effect of taking antidepressants, and is a common reason why patients will stop taking them. By exercising and changing diet, you may be able to remain on your medication without having to change.
  • Suicide – This is a risk of some antidepressants. They can actually increase the risk for suicidal tendencies. If you are experiencing any thoughts of suicide, let your physician know right away so that he or she can change your medication.
  • Sexual Issues – Sexual side-effects are more common with long-term use. This can include a decreased sex drive, delayed ejaculation, and the inability for women to orgasm.

Did You Suffer Dangerous Side-Effects? You May Have a Medical Malpractice Claim

Not all side-effects are considered malpractice. But if your physician failed to inform you of these side-effects before prescribing, or you suffered injury because your physician did not prescribe your medication properly, then you may have a claim for malpractice. It is important to have an attorney review your case and your health history to see if your particular side-effects or injury qualify you for compensation. To get started, meet with a Connecticut medical malpractice attorney. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation.  Contact us online to get started.