Frequency and characteristics of side effects associated with antidepressant drugs.
Depression is among the most common of chronic health problems. WHO report predicts that depression will be the leading cause of disability in the industrial world by the year 2020. To be successful, treatment for the patients suffering from depression must be continued until complete recovery, but most patients do not stay on their antidepressant medication long enough. One of the most frequent reasons for break down is appearance of unpleasant side effects. In this study we followed up dynamics of the characteristic side effects of antidepressant therapy, with the major goal to assess their frequency and characteristics. The sample was all female patients taking antidepressant drugs in the Department of Psychiatry of Clinical Centre of University in Sarajevo. The treatment with antidepressants was efficient in most of the patients. A major advantage of SSRI over TCA was less pronounced side effects. The most intensive side effects of TCA (amitriptyline) were dry mouth, tremor and tachycardia while the most frequent side effects included blurred vision, tachycardia, dry mouth, tremor and sedation. Side effects of SSRI (fluoxetine/fluvoxamine) were mild, and the most frequent were nausea, tachycardia, swelling, dry mouth.