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What Are Common Side Effects of SSRIs?

It’s normal to feel anxious when starting a new medication after a diagnosis. Unfortunately, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) have a pretty bad reputation among the general population. Side effects from SSRIs are common, and they can last for the entire time that you take them. While these side effects are generally not dangerous or life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable and even annoying. Fortunately, most of these side effects usually subside after about a week or two as your body adjusts to the medication. Here’s what you should know about some of the more common side effects of SSRIs.

Depression and Weight Gain

SSRIs can cause depression. Fortunately, most people experience a mild form of depression that goes away without any treatment. Unfortunately, the same medication that can cause a mild form of depression can cause a major, persistent form of depression in a small number of people.

Studies show that SSRIs can also cause weight gain, especially if you don’t exercise. Some people find that they are so depressed that they don’t have the energy or motivation to exercise. Other people may find that the medication causes them to crave sugar and carbohydrates. In any case, gaining weight when taking an SSRI is very common.


A small number of people will experience constipation when taking an SSRI. If you are experiencing constipation, talk to your doctor about adding a small amount of fiber to your diet to help ease the symptoms. There are many different types of SSRIs, and not all of them cause constipation. If you are taking a newer type of SSRI, you can reduce the risk of constipation by taking a fiber supplement.

Dry Mouth and Loss of Appetite

A small number of people may experience dry mouth while taking an SSRI. If you experience dry mouth, drink water and chew gum. The dry mouth usually goes away after a few weeks. SSRIs can cause loss of appetite, but it usually goes away after a few weeks. If you feel really hungry while taking an SSRI, drink a glass of water before every meal.

Sexual Dysfunction

SSRIs can cause sexual dysfunction in some people. Sexual dysfunction can include reduced libido, inability to reach orgasm, and difficulty with erections. If you experience sexual dysfunction while taking an SSRI, there are steps you can take to ease the symptoms. Many people find that having sex in the morning is easier than having sex at night because of reduced anxiety and less stress. Alternatively, you can reduce the risk of sexual side effects by taking your SSRI in the morning.

Sleep Issues

Sleep issues are very common side effects of SSRIs. Some people experience insomnia, some experience excessive sleeping, and others experience waking up too early. Sleep issues usually improve after a few weeks. It’s easy to get frustrated and feel like you have to tough it out. However, there are things you can do to help the adjustment period. No matter what, the right treatment facility can help you adjust to your new experience.

SSRIs can effectively treat anxiety and depression. They are commonly prescribed to alleviate the distressing symptoms you can encounter while suffering from a mental disorder. However, you need to consider the potential side effects when exploring treatment. Finding a treatment facility you can trust to listen to you and explore every avenue of treatment available can be difficult. If you are struggling with depression and ready to seek help, call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800 for more information about treatment options.