The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
The FDA advises that people taking antidepressants should be closely observed. For some, the medications have been linked to worsening symptoms and suicidal thoughts. These adverse effects are most common in young adults. The effects tend to occur at the beginning of treatment or when there is an increase or decrease in the dose.
Although the warning is for all antidepressants, of most concern are the SSRI class such as:
You may notice these things when you first begin taking a stimulant medication. Until you know how the medication will affect you, you should avoid driving, operating machinery, and participating in hazardous activities.
You may be given a tricyclic antidepressant if you have symptoms, such as cataplexy (attacks of weakness), hallucinations as sleep begins, or sleep paralysis.
To avoid stomach upset, take your tricyclic antidepressants with food, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
Sodium oxybate is used to treat cataplexy. It is a drug that can be abused, so it is a controlled substance. Abuse can cause serious medical problems, such as trouble breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, and death. Abuse can also lead to dependence, craving, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are prescribed sodium oxybate by your doctor, you will have to obtain the medication from one central pharmacy. It is not available anywhere else.
Sodium oxybate can reduce the number of cataplexy attacks, but it must be taken exactly as prescribed. The medication works very fast, so you need to take it only when you are ready to fall asleep. Sodium oxybate must be taken in two doses each night: the first dose is taken right at bedtime and the second dose is taken 2-1/2 to 4 hours later. So you will probably need to wake yourself up to take the second dose. The most common side effects are nausea, dizziness, headache, sleep problems, confusion, vomiting, and bed-wetting.
Do not engage in activities that require alertness, such as driving, for six hours after taking the medication. Do not use alcohol or other sedatives while taking this medication. Your doctor must instruct you in the safe and effective use of this medication.
You may be given an SSRI to treat narcolepsy cataplexy, hallucinations as sleep begins, or sleep paralysis.
If this medicine bothers your stomach, you can take it with food.
Do not take MAO inhibitors:
During SSRI therapy
For two weeks prior to starting SSRI therapy
For five weeks after stopping SSRI therapy
Serious side effects of SSRI antidepressants include:
Serious weight loss
Low blood sugar in people with diabetes
Dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision
You may notice these symptoms when you first begin taking a medication. Until you know how the medication will affect you, you should avoid driving, operating machinery, and participating in hazardous activities.
If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines:
Take your medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
Do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor.
Do not share them.
Know what the results and side effects. Report them to your doctor.
Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one drug. This includes over-the-counter medication and herb or dietary supplements.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a