Side Effects of Antidepressants used for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The two main groups that are normally used for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Tricyclics (TCAs). TCAs have been in use far longer than SSRIs, coming onto the market in the mid 1950s - see Types of Antidepressants used for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Side Effects of Tricyclics

Some of the possible side effects of TCAs include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea


Side Effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Some of the possible side effects of SSRIs include:

  • Nervousness
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Indigestion
  • Forgetfulness

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), a newer development in antidepressants that are sometimes being prescribed for Irritable Bowel Syndrome of late, have similar side effects to SSRIs.

These are only some of the possible side effects of the various antidepressants. Read the leaflet that comes with the drug for full information.

They are dangerous in overdose. Suicidal thoughts, especially in the young, may be caused or intensified by the use of antidepressants.



Withdrawal Symptoms of Antidepressants

Antidepressant drugs are said not to be addictive* in the sense that you may get addicted to nicotine or alcohol, but there are withdrawal symptoms when treatment is stopped, as the body has to readjust. These withdrawal symptoms may last anywhere from 14 days to 2 months.

Withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nightmares
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Bodily sensations similar to electric shock

Antidepressant treatment should not be stopped suddenly. The dosage should be reduced gradually, depending on the half life of the specific drug. The half life of a drug is the time it takes for half the concentration of the drug to be eliminated from the body.

*From the Committee of Safety of Medicines (UK): 'There is no clear evidence that the SSRIs and related antidepressants have a significant dependence liability or show development of a dependence syndrome according to internationally accepted criteria' 

Sukondee is a very effective IBS natural treatment. Sukondee will treat symptoms, such as abdominal pain, spasms, trapped gas and nausea. It releases intestinal gas and strengthens bowel function with use.


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