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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the side effects of Antidepressants?

    Are there any side effects of antidepressants like causing cancer or anything like that?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Amy Bachrach

    HealthShare Member

    I don't know of any such connection.  Anti-depressants are known to have many side effects, both minor and severe.  Without meaning any offense to doctors, I highly recommend going beyond your GP and even your psychiatrist for information about this.  Please refer to some of the very reliable websites out there including BeyondBlue, Dr Ivan Goldberg's Depression Central http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html, the Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/  and even academic ones like PubMed  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

    In the end, in my opinion, it's down to what effects a specific drug has on your specific body and I don't think anyone can predict that.  But there's a lot of information out there so you can go in with your eyes open.

  • Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients … View Profile

    Your local pharmacist is probably your best bet in regards to understanding your medication regime - including “herbal” medications whcih can also interact with what you are taking. I am also unaware of any link to cancer with these drugs. Your pharmacist will know of these interactions including food interactions that can reduce or increase the effectiveness of some medications. They can also print out the CPI (Consumer Product Information) guide for each medication for you.

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Anti-depressants, like all medications, can have side-effects but to my knowledge increased risk of cancer is not one of them.

    You might find this site helpful: http://www.drugs.com/pro/ . It is searchable for reported side-effects (based on clinical trials) of anti-depressants.

    If you have been prescribed an anti-depressant and are experiencing side-effects then discussing them with your prescribing doctor (GP or, ideally, psychiatrist) is a good idea. 

    S/he should be able to listen to you and (if indicated) raise the option of a different anti-depressant with you.

    All the best.

  • giorgio canavares

    HealthShare Member

    Some guy respobded with this link
    http://www.bollyn.com/how-do-ssri-antidepressants-work
    why was it removed?
    I liked the comment, it was very informative.
    I suffer from depression and feel like I have lost some of my personality after years of antidepressants

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Hi giorgio, I am sorry to read about your experience of anti-depressant medication.

    I suggest that you get your GP to refer you to a clinical psychologist or similar mental health professional who has experience of using non-pharmaceutical approaches (for example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)) with his/her clients.

    For people who have been assessed in the mild-moderate range of clinical depression such approaches are often highly effective. 

    On the other hand, for people who have been assessed in the severe range of clinical depression, a combination of anti-depressant medication and approaches like CBT or ACT is often more effective than either is in isolation.

    If you think that may apply to you then a referral from your GP to a psychiatrist may be helpful.

    All the best.

  • giorgio canavares

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for your advice. I wonder, apart from medication and talk therapy, that I have done for years with little or no success, is there anything else that can be doen to recover? is there nothing available but GP's, Psychiatrists and Psychologists? Are we limited when it comes to mental health, to these three professions?

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Professionally-trained clinical hypnotherapists and counsellors are options which may be worth exploring.

    Also, joining a mood disorders therapy group is worth considering (your GP or a clinical psychologist should be able to help you find one).

    I went to a mood disorders therapy group (run by a clinical psychologist) one day a week for about 18 months - it was an important factor in my recovery from Major Depressive Disorder.

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