Side Effects of Antidepressants
May 14, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Side Effects of Antidepressants

Depression is a well-known mental disorder. Its major and most common symptoms include feeling exhausted all the time, not feeling like doing anything, hopelessness, loneliness, excessive crying, suicidal thoughts, etc.

For its treatment, a psychiatrist or doctor prescribes the patient with antidepressants that ease the symptoms of depression. They prevent the patient from relapsing into the “void” of hopelessness and exhaustion. They keep them engaged in the world by stabilizing them emotionally and mentally. These pills help them prevent their daily routine and life from going off track by relieving the symptoms of depression as well as other possibly occurring problems like anxiety, insomnia or hypersomnia, and suicidal thoughts.

How Do Antidepressants Work?

Antidepressants release the “happy” chemicals in the brain called serotonin and dopamine that ease depressive symptoms. But like every other medicine, these pills have their own side effects, like chills, jitteriness, dry mouth, weird dreams, etc. in the first few weeks of intake.

Other possible, yet major, side effects of antidepressants that are anticipated and persist for a long time include:


      Increased appetite

      Loss of sexual desire



      Blurred vision




Weight gain

The side effect of antidepressants that is highly anticipated but less-talked-about is weight gain. As mentioned earlier, antidepressants increase appetite. Weight gain might occur because of that, or antidepressants might themselves be the reason for the weight gain.

Patients taking antidepressants usually complain of weight gain even when they go on a walk or jog. It might be because antidepressants are responsible for the accumulation of fat inside the body due to increased appetite. This leads to other side effects like diarrhoea and hypertension. Patients become fatigued easily due to this.

Sleep problems

One of the other major side effects of antidepressants is sleep problems. Depending on the patient’s personal traits, these pills can prove to be right for some, and not so much for others. For the anxious patients, these pills can be a right decision if they make them drowsy and less anxious. Similarly, for insomniac patients.

But if the same happens for the hypersomniac patients, antidepressants can be harmful instead of a correct source of treatment, as they will keep them asleep for most of the time instead of keeping them emotionally and mentally stable.

Suicidal thoughts

Suicidal thoughts are prevalent in severely depressed patients. Antidepressants lessen them to an extent that these thoughts do not disturb their routine or affect their mental health. If the therapy or the pills do not seem to get their mind off such thoughts, a necessary change of antidepressants is recommended.

Blood sugar/Diabetes

Use of antidepressants is anticipated as well as linked to blood sugar dysregulation, especially type 2 diabetes. Antidepressants are responsible for weight gain that leads to worsening of blood sugar regulation. Blood sugar getting out of control leads further to type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level), in which the blood contains too much insulin relative to the natural amount of sugar.

So, if the patient is found to have diabetes 2, they start medications of that as well to regulate blood sugar. This risk is small and depends on the age and routine of the person. Older people are more likely to get diabetes than youth.

A lot of patients have to use multiple antidepressants to see which ones work for them the best, i.e. the least amount of negative side effects. But when they get the correct ones for them, positive effects and relieving of depression is worth the effort and pain. For high-quality medication, get in touch with Shifa4U now!

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.