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How Safe are Antidepressants

Antidepressants are as safe as the persons either taking them or prescribing them. As each person is different, there is no right or wrong answer to this type of question. Sometimes, though, one may not consider how safe a drug if it provides you with something that your body is otherwise lacking. If you have found that it is difficult for you to fall asleep, which makes you cranky, you often have a headache, and your appetite is continually fluctuating, it may be a direct effect of your antidepressant medication. So, in addition to having to remember taking your daily dosage, you still feel not quite up to par. But your anxiety has decreased, and you are seeing the glass standing half full, instead of almost empty.

Immediately, you want to ignore the first few months of struggling that you and your physician trudged through with which medication to choose, and just how much you should take. By all means give up that antidepressant medicine, because it is full of danger, anyhow. Why would you want to feed into your body any harmful substances? What with all of the toxins in the air that we breathe, and the second hand smoke that we inhale, or even the polluted water that we drink and bathe with, why do you need medicine too?

The fact is that antidepressants are not 100% safe -nothing is. Antidepressants may be helpful, though, if taken properly and not abused.

Just the same as any kind of medication, whether it be a pain reliever, or simple Benadryl, antidepressants can be safe or toxic, or even deadly. There are very many to choose from, though, and since every person has a different physical make-up, they all will cause varied effects from person to person.

With the vast number of the worlds population discovering within themselves problems with depression or anxiety, we find that we are faced with the opportunity or struggle to take what some like to call a ‘quick fix’ or some form of an antidepressant. The fact is, not all of them are exactly ‘bad’ for you. Some can be addictive, yes, but much of that is dependent on the nature of the person that is taking the medicine. Some antidepressants actually do the job that they are supposed to do, and even make life easier for those that take them.


The most common of antidepressants are the SSRI’s, or the ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors’. These drugs level the serotonin that is absorbed in your brain. They are mood enhancers, and are often prescribed in low dosages and gradually increased until the right dosage is acquired. These consist of Zoloft (Sertraline), Lexapro (Escitalopram), and Prozac (Fluoxetine). Often these drugs are decided upon by both you as well as your physician, and are to be taken on a daily basis. These drugs are typically non-addictive and take about eight weeks to begin the maintainence that they are being used for.


Very similar to the SSRI’s, but are made specifically for depression. The SNRI’s are called ‘Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors’ and include the drugs Cymbalta (Duloxetine), and Effexor (Venlafaxine). The side effects for the SSRI’s are worse than the SSRI’s. These are the drugs that are the most harmful, being that they can induce suicidal thoughts or make worse your symptoms.


Some antidepressant drugs are completely harmful. Some are not harmful at all. They all, however have side effects, like all drugs. These differ from one person to the next, of course, but remain consistent. Some of the side effects or risks include;

~Dry mouth.
~Weight loss/gain.
~Suppression of appetite.
~Sleepiness/ deprivation.
~Upset stomach.
~Blurred vision.
~Restlessness or Anxiety.

Antidepressants are as safe or as unsafe as one experiences them to be. No one should take any medication without discussing it first with one, if not two physicians. Based upon your medical history, your family’s history, your personal health, and the symptoms that you are reporting, which antidepressant that is right for you would be determined by many factors. Doctors are even testing an individual’s blood in order to decide what medication may be the most effective, and the least harmful when taking it.

MAOI’s and NDRI’s are also antidepressants, but are far less prescribed because of their restrictions, and their risks. Some of these medications may be coupled with Benzodiazepines, which are sedatives, and are meant to calm one down, and sedate nervousness.