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Do antidepressants have side effects?


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Last night is the first time I took anti-depressants which my pyschiatrist prescribed for 7 days (to take after dinner). She prescribed

Lonazep 0.25 (chemical name: Chlonazepam 0.25 mg) and

Paxidep CR 12.5 (paroxetine hydrochloride)

This morning when I woke up I was fine until I sat down for breakfast at around 9:00 am. I suddenly felt very dizzy and disoriented. I called the doc and she says the medication causes drowsiness and if I took it late at night 1 am, it is likely that I have that effect. Can this be true?

Its 12:35 in the afternoon now and Im still feeling very dizzy,disoriented and had 2 loose motions.

Do anti depressants give such side effects? Im wondering whether I should stop taking them altogether. I think I was better off without them maybe.

I was supposed to go to my aunt's place for lunch and now I cant go with these symptoms. I called up aunt and she was furious when I said I couldn't come, she didnt even want to know why. And now my mom's very sad coz her sister got mad coz she had cooked a lot of food and I ain't going. I think its best to NOT take anti depressants. They can cause too many problems right?

Edited by sensitive_woman
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Paxidep is the one most likely to be causing these side-effects. It doesn't last very long, 2-3 days, then that stops and you'll feel fine. I wouldn't give up so fast. You'll never know if it could have helped you.

Anti-depressants are generally worst for the first few days, you get the side-effects first and then the intended effect (anti-depressant and anti-anxiety) only later. The dizziness will go away. If it hasn't by the end of the week then you should phone the pdoc or go and see her. Move slowly so you don't fall down and lie down as much as you can for now.

Don't take it late because that way it will still be strong in the morning. Take it in the evening or even at supper-time. You'll soon feel how fast it works and then you can move the time a bit.

The clonazepam is to calm anxiety, also perhaps for sleep if you take it in the evening. Do you have to take it every day or is it just when you need it?

All anti-depressants have side-effects. It's different for each person. Some are worse than others and it all depends on what you can tolerate.

I would phone your aunt a bit later and explain. She may be more receptive to an explanation when her anger has calmed down.

Good luck.

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thanks Luna. At least now I have a clear picture that 2-3 days I would get the side effect. I have been advised by my doctor to take it everyday for 7 days between 8:30 pm and 9 pm. She said she would increase the dose after that depending on how well I adjust to it.

Why doesn't the Dr. tell all this really I don't understand. When I called her up, she said there are no side-effects other than drowsiness and I should not stop taking it. She said the medicine does not make anyone dizzy but because I took it so late its making me drowsy not dizzy.

Frankly I'm terrified. I have been feeling disoriented and dizzy all day today. What if this feeling continues for the next 7 days? I'm planning to stop taking it because I cant sit at home like this feeling dizzy and disoriented all day. What should I do?

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I usually research my antidepressants on Google when something bugs me about them. For example, I googled "Escitalopram" and "weight gain" after I gained 10 pounds on it. Although the drug sheet didn't even mention it as a side effect, several sites said that it is definitely one of the drugs that can cause weight gain. I stuck it out long enough to see that it wasn't doing anything for me, then I went off it after the 6 week supply ran out (not only did it cause weight gain, it made my depression worse) Then I suffered withdrawal for a couple of weeks (warning - this can be REALLY bad). I have now lost the 10 pounds I gained and am now feeling much better. I asked my GP for a refill on tranquilizers and suggested he prescribe me some sleeping pills for situations where those don't work. When I'm REALLY depressed and panicky, night-time is the worst time for me because I can't distract myself when I'm just lying there trying to get to sleep. This approach works much better for me, and I only take them as needed. So far, they've not been addictive for me, don't mess up my system and I can go on and off them as I please without withdrawal.

I don't find the doctors very helpful on this stuff. I do find people's replies here very helpful and you usually get lots of opinions so I'd wait a day or two to get some responses. After researching it, and hearing from a few more people here, ask yourself what you think you should do.

I hope that helps. Best of luck to you.

Edited by Athena
poor judgement
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Thanks Athena. I did the same... I googled the meds to see if the side effects were 'normal' after consuming those, and they were. But the feeling was scary. I couldn't move out of the house at all. But today I'm feeling much better. I'm glad Luna advised me that the side effects can last upto. 3 days max, and today's my 2nd day after consuming those meds.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that people's replies on this forum are more helpful than the doc's counseling. I'm planning to take the 7 days prescription and then visit the pdoc. But I shall try to talk the doc out of continuing with any meds. She did say she plans to increase the dose.

Now after reading about your 'withdrawals' and sinking into worse depression has left me concerned. :eek: I'm sorry to hear about your weight gain but glad you lost the 10 lbs back later. Its true that night time can be an awful time and its difficult to distract yourself. I have forced myself to do 'shavasana - dead corpse pose' in yoga. It is soooooooooooooooooo relaxing and I think even better than any medicine. :o It needs a lot of will power to do it though. Sometimes I just cant get myself to do it if I'm really stressed but it helps when I do it.

Shall try to find some visuals on 'dead corpse pose' (or shavasana) in yoga.

It is so helpful without any meds.

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Now after reading about your 'withdrawals' and sinking into worse depression has left me concerned. :eek:

Athena had a bad reaction. Escitalopram is obviously not for her. This doesn't mean this will happen to you, SW, don't worry. :D Each person is different and the only way to see if a particular AD will work for you, is to try it. Should you want to give meds a try again in the future, Athena, another med in the same class (or a different one) may work well, without the weight gain and making you more depressed. It's very lousy when you feel bad, to go onto something that doesn't help, you wait and wait and the depression just gets worse in the meantime - my sympathies, Athena. :D Escitalopram didn't work for me either but at least I didn't have any weight gain. I have a friend on it who loves it.

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Each person is different and the only way to see if a particular AD will work for you, is to try it.

And that's the reason the doctors don't mention all the possible side-effects: not everyone gets them, and in fact, some people don't get them at all.

It's the nature of the current batch of anti-depressants that there's an element of trial and error. There's no way to predict which one will work best (or worst) for a particular patient.

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Hi Sensitive,

I didn't mean to scare you. I just didn't want to be the one responsible for you suffering withdrawal - should that happen - especially without warning you. After I posted, I realized I should not have mentioned my thread, I hope you did not read it. I fear it could be a trigger, so I recommend NOT reading it if you have not already. I will go now and delete the date I referenced and hopefully the thread is long since buried.

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Don't worry, Athena. Name any anti-depressant and you can find an abundance of horror stories on the Net. Same with any drug, really. What you find is unbalanced because those for whom the drug worked well, are more likely to be out enjoying their lives and just taking it, than posting on the Net about negative things the drug did to them. So you'll find many more negative accounts than positive ones.

See if the Paxidep works for you SW. :) If it does, great. It's helped a lot of people. If it doesn't, another may do so.

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Thanks Athena, Thanks Luna.

Athena, I dont hold anyone responsible for any of my side-effects. Please don't worry. You guys are sooooooooooooooooooo helpful. The pdoc says you'll only feel drowsy so continue taking them. She refuses to listen to any of my reactions and that irritates me because I am feeling unwell. Today again I'm feeling terrible (dizzy, disoriented) but I shall go with Luna's feedback that this lasts for 3 days and today is my 3rd day. And if it lasts longer, I'd say every person reacts differently to different meds. Athena, please dont worry I would never hold you or anyone responsible for any reaction I get. If I'd put on weight I'd dance, coz I could do with putting on 2 kgs max :-) I'm just trying to make the situation lighter.

Right now I feel drugged almost and disoriented. I hope this goes away soon and I can be my normal chirpy self back again after the depression I went through.

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