THE MOOD CURE

By Author

JULIA ROSS

of the The Nutritional Therapy Institute Clinic

(formerly The Recovery Systems Clinic)

Undisputed Adverse Effects of Antidepressant Drugs


  • sexual dysfunction
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • jitteriness
  • fatigue
  • disturbed sleep

  • weight gain
  • emotional flatness
  • anxiety
  • reduced interest in sex
  • increased depression
  • mania-bipolar symptoms

Regarding Reduced Sexual Function

By far the most common adverse effect of SSRI's is sexual dysfunction. Reduced libido, or the inability to orgasm, or both, afflict up to 75% of those who take antidepressants in the SSRI category (e.g., Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, etc.) In addition, recent studies confirm the impairment of several additional reproductive functions in both men and women. As you'll see studies adverse/studies in our section on adverse reactions in this portion of our website. The negative effects on fertility and fetal development can be very serious. And we are not the only victims. Bizarre sexual deformities even plague fish and frogs in waterways where "treated sewage" releases large residues of SSRI's.

Fortunately, sexual dysfunction along with other SSRI side effects, may be easily eliminated for most SSRI users, by adopting a simple alternative strategy. This strategy is one that the author's clinic has developed and found to be more effective than SSRIs use in over 90% of its depressed or anxious clients. That strategy directly and naturally supports the brain's efforts to produce it's own powerful natural antidepressant--serotonin. It works by providing the single nutrient that the brain needs to make serotonin. This critical nutrient, hard to find except in high protein diets, is available as a dietary supplement in every health food store in the U.S. It is an amino acid, one of the nine essential constituents of protein, called tryptophan. As a supplement it comes in two forms: 5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and l-tryptophan. For most people, these two forma are equally effective in eliminating the depression, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia associated with low-serotonin. They typically take effect within a few hours.

Studies sited in THE MOOD CURE comparing these two serotonin-generating amino acids with SSRIs, have found that they quickly provide equal or better antidepressant benefits, but no sexual (and very few other) side effects. In fact, 5HTP had fewer side effects than the placebo in one study!

This alternative antidepressant strategy also includes meals rich in concentrated protein, (eggs, fish, poultry, cottage cheese, meat etc) consumed no less than three times a day, along with fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole carbs (like beans and grains), as needed. Regular, moderate exercise and plenty of bright (preferably outdoor) light should be added and caffeine, a serotonin antagonist, should be subtracted. After a few months (it varies) the amino acid supplements are no longer needed on a regular basis. See the page on withdrawal protocols for details and read the The Mood Cure for the complete picture. Go to the author's clinic page for more help.



Adverse Effects of Antidepressant Drugs Revealed Since 2002

Each of the items listed below is a link to the research that supports that particular statement. Please click on the individual item to access the listing of studies, then click on a particular study to view it.

  1. Six times increased risk of suicidality and self harm in children and adults

  2. Increased risk of violence and aggression, especially linked to Prozac, in children and adults

  3. Breast Cancer: Higher risk (especially Paxil), reduced response to Tamoxifan

  4. Liver failure - Serzone (nefazadone) withdrawn in European Union and Canada due to deaths

  5. Sleep disturbances in older women

  6. Impaired male fertility-50% damaged sperm lowered testosterone

  7. Effexor - increased risk of death from overdose, mostly cardiovascular

  8. Diabetes - doubled incidence. Females and young children most vulnerable
  9. Impaired bone density - double fracture rate

  10. Increased risk of internal bleeding, especially in the elderly

  11. Evidence of seizures in smokers using Wellbutrin to quit

  12. Heart attack risk increased

  13. Toxic or fatal serotonin syndrome when combined with migraine or antimicrobial drugs

  14. Tripled risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in Women

  15. Tripled risk of Malignant Neuroleptic Syndrome (can be fatal) linked to SSRI's and SNRI's

  16. Doubled risk of suicidality in all SSRI users under 25. Ten times higher rate of suicidal thoughts amongst men

  17. Increase incidence of impaired driving

  18. Increased incidence of Restless Leg Syndrome
  1. In infants: Doubled risk of birth defects, a six-fold increase in pulmonary hypertension. Slowed growth, convulsions, and other withdrawal effects. Increased risk for heart defects. Increased risk of spontaneous abortion, premature birth. Doubled rates risk of stillbirths.

  2. Effexor and children: Twice the incidents of suicidality and violence

  3. Increased incidence of obesity and diabetes among children under 12

  4. In children and teens: SSRI's increase risk of cardiovascular problems, seizure, insomnia, and headache.

  5. Greater Risk of Stroke and Death in Postmenopausal Women

  6. Affect Fetal Brain Development

  7. SSRIs Boost Risk for Cataracts

  8. Some Antidepressants Increase Heart Arrhythmia Risk



Below is a compilation of links to research supporting the above statements.

Six times increased risk of suicidality and self harm in children and adults

Report Raises New Concerns About Antidepressants-Suicide Link (six fold risk)

Increased risk of violence and aggression, especially linked to Prozac, in children and adults

Suicidality, violence and mania caused by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A review and analysis

Breast Cancer: Higher risk (especially Paxil), reduced response to Tamoxifan

Antidepressant Medication Use and Breast Cancer Risk

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnant women and neonatal withdrawal syndrome: a database analysis

Antidepressant medications and their association with invasive breast cancer and carcinoma in situ of the breast

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer mortality in women receiving tamoxifen: a population based cohort study.

Liver failure - Serzone (nefazadone) withdrawn in European Union and Canada due to deaths

Antidepressant-induced hepatotoxicity

Sleep disturbances in older women

Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Sleep Disturbances in Community-Dwelling Older Women

Impaired male fertility-50% damaged sperm lowered testosterone

New Study Shows the SSRI Paroxetine May Affect Sperm DNA and Male Fertility

Depression Medications May Reduce Male Fertility

Effexor - increased risk of death from overdose, mostly cardiovascular

Venlafaxine (Effexor): concerns about increased risk of fatal outcomes in overdose

Diabetes - doubled incidence. Females and young children most vulnerable

Long-term use of antidepressants for depressive disorders and the risk of diabetes mellitus.

Depression symptoms, antidepressant medication use and risk of developing diabetes in diabetes prevention program participants
**requires MedScape log on to access**

Impaired bone density - double fracture rate

Antidepressants Increase fracture risk for older patients

Antidepressants Increase Fracture Risk

SSRI Use in Older Women Linked to Accelerated Hip Bone Loss **requires MedScape log on to access**

Increased risk of internal bleeding, especially in the elderly

Antidepressants tied to gastrointestinal bleeding

Evidence of seizures in smokers using Wellbutrin to quit

Serious adverse reactions of bupropion for smoking cessation: analysis of the French Pharmacovigilance Database from 2001 to 2004

Heart attack risk increased

Cardiovascular toxicity due to venlafaxine poisoning in adults: a review of 235 consecutive cases

Toxic or fatal serotonin syndrome when combined with migraine or antimicrobial drugs

FDA warns on migraine drugs, antidepressants taken together

General population based study of the impact of tricyclic and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants on the risk of acute myocardial infarction.

A secondary analysis of a duration response association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use and the risk of acute myocardial infarction in the aging population.

Sibutramine HCL monohydrate linked to risk for serotonin syndrome

Serotonin toxicity associated with the use of linezolid:

Tripled risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in Women

Depression and antidepressant use linked to sudden cardiac death

Tripled risk of Malignant Neuroleptic Syndrome (can be fatal) linked to SSRI's and SNRI's

Antidepressant labels to carry new warning of life-threatening side effect

Doubled risk of suicidality in all SSRI users under 25. Ten times higher rate of suicidal thoughts amongst men

Antidepressant Use, Suicide Risk in Adults Strongly Linked to Younger Age

Popular Antidepressant Associated With A Dramatic Increase In Suicidal Thoughts Amongst Men, Study Finds

Increase incidence of impaired driving

Driving on Antidepressants

Increased incidence of Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome as side effect of second generation antidepressants

In infants:

Antidepressants linked to premature birth risk

Paroxetine, fluoxetine in early pregnancy linked to heart defects in offspring

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnant women and neonatal withdrawal syndrome: a database analysis

Small but Significant Risk for Heart Defects Linked to SSRI Use During Pregnancy

Two Antidepressants Taken During Pregnancy Linked To Heart Anomalies In Babies

Gestational Exposure to Antidepressants and the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion: A Review.

Effexor and children: Twice the incidence of suicidality and violence.

Neuroendocrine-Related Adverse Events Associated with Antidepressant Treatment in Children and Adolescents.

Postmenopausal Woman and Antidepressants: Deadly Combination?

Fetal Brain Development Affected (requires Medscape account)

SSRIs Boost Risk for Cataracts (requires Medscape account)

Some antidepressants increase heart arrhythmia risk