What side effects might be expected after starting an antidepressant medication for the first time?

Depending on what category of antidepressant is prescribed, most often medications categorized as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are chosen as the first type of antidepressant​ to be used because they are best tolerated. The most common side effects of SSRI antidepressants may include: drowsiness, weight gain, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, nausea, and rash. Many of these effects are temporary and will go away after a few weeks of taking the medication consistently. (These side effects vary if a different type of antidepressant is prescribed.)

Patients should monitor for and report any increased suicidal thinking to their providers after starting/changing antidepressant medications. If this occurs, patients should seek out help immediately, call their provider (if available for emergency psychiatric services), go to a hospital emergency room for safety, and/or call a suicide hotline to maintain safety.

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 988 or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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