Risks of Long-Term Antidepressant Usage

7 Potential Risks of Long-Term Antidepressant Usage

For many, antidepressants are necessary cravings. They literally cannot function without them. For all the good that they do, there are plenty of drawbacks. Short-term usage is generally safe to help combat a challenging emotional episode, but using antidepressants for years involves risks. Therefore, we’ll share some of the side effects of antidepressant use in depression patients.

Here are some of the most potential risks of long-term antidepressant usage  

1. Tardive Dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesias (TDs) is a condition that involves uncontrolled involuntary movements of the body. This can manifest itself as tongue movements, lip-smacking, blink your eyes, or other socially unpleasant behaviors. Since atypical antipsychotics are commonly prescribed for depression, these hold a risk of bringing on the condition with extended use.

2. Long-term antidepressant usage increased the risk for diabetes

Many antidepressants cause the taker to crave carbohydrate-rich foods. This is one possible explanation as to why studies show that long-term antidepressant use may increase the risk of diabetes. The actual mechanism that causes the increased risk is still not widely understood.

3. Stroke Potential

Stroke and decreased cognitive functioning are also a risk for long-term antidepressant users. Again, research on this link is still in the nascent stages, but initial data seems to show a link between antidepressants and increased stroke risk.

4. Long-term antidepressant usage make you more depressed

Your depression may get worse: While it might seem counter-intuitive to think that a medication designed to help alleviate symptoms of depression may actually solidify the brain’s condition, that seems to be the conclusion of many researchers. “Antidepressant-Induced 

Depression” is an actual condition with few treatment options. Scientific research describes it as a paradoxical effect that may worsen depression symptoms before improving the patient’s condition. As doctors have only theoretical evidence on the precise mechanism involved in antidepressants, it is not surprising that this condition is becoming more widespread.

5. Antidepressant long-term usage increases breast enlargement

A gynecologist’s potential, or increased size of the breasts, in men, is raised after long-term antidepressant use. Likewise, breast calcification is also known to increase. This can be potentially very troubling and/or frightening, as these calcifications can mimic the feel of lumps to the touch. Obviously, if there is any hardness or lumps in the breasts, it is imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible.

6. Antidepressant-induced sexual side effects

According to experts at The Woodlands Emergency Care Facilities, loss of libido and/or the ability to maintain an erection or reach orgasm are common side effects that tend not to go away until the antidepressant medication is discontinued. These effects can actually add to depression or anxiety. Reports suggest that venlafaxine, moclobemide, sertraline, and paroxetine induced sexual dysfunction in almost 30% to 70% of patients. 

7. Dry Mouth

One of the most common side effects of long-term antidepressant use is dry mouth. This makes it difficult to sleep, as the affected frequently wakes up due to severe oral dryness. Certain gels and mouthwashes may help this.