This is Healthcare 411. An AHRQ review compares the effectiveness of common
antidepressants and their side effects. The results - next.
Hmm, was that three pills four times a day or four pills three times a day?
Do I need to wake at 2 a.m. to take one? If I missed taking the last dose
should I take two doses now? Is it okay to take my vitamins with the pills?
You know, Im feeling better. Maybe I dont need these pills anymore at all.
Play it safe, dont play around with medicine. If you have questions talk
with your doctor or pharmacist.
This is Healthcare 411, todays most commonly prescribed antidepressants are
equally effective at treating depression, according to a recent AHRQ review,
but some may have more severe side effects. Lia Hotchkiss oversaw the
development of the review and explains the findings.
Most common antidepressants work the same in treating depression. About six
in 10 adult patients get some relief from the first antidepressant they
try. Others need to try different drugs before they find one thats right.
What about the side effects?
Most people taking antidepressants experience at least one side effect. The
most common side effects are constipation, daytime sleepiness, diarrhea,
dizziness, dry mouth, headache, nausea, sexual problems, shakiness, trouble
sleeping, and weight gain. However, its hard to predict which drug will
cause which side effect for any one person.
So how can patients assess which medication will be best for them with the
least side effects?
The good news is AHRQ offers a free depression guide that explains the
potential benefits and risks of common antidepressants. Finding the right
drug for a patient is often a matter of trial and error.
AHRQs antidepressant guides are available online at
effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/reports. To learn more about other health
topics, go to www.healthcare411.org.
Im Rand Gardner. Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human