The fact that a significant number of adults take antidepressants may seem frightening. But that’s not always an indicator of poor mental health. These medications aren’t just for treating depression. They also help with anxiety, pain, sleep, and binge eating. And these off-label uses may be the reason for so many antidepressant users.
Never take antianxiety drugs on your own. Although they are helpful, they can have significant side effects and adverse reactions to other drugs. On this link, find out why taking antianxiety medication should be carried out under medical supervision.
Some people have an inadequate response to this treatment. Or the health improvements are only partial – symptom reduction by at least 25 percent. Moreover, despite some progress, patients still have mood swings and low energy. They also feel anxiety, irritability, guilt, and somatic complaints. Improper dosage and duration of antidepressant treatment are some of the most common factors contributing to inadequate response. You must recognize signs your antidepressant dose is too low and react. In that case, your doctor should adjust the dosage and do a follow-up.
How Doctors Determine Proper Dosage
Older adults usually take antidepressants to treat depression. Factors that affect dosing include patient response to psychotherapy, genetics, general health condition, and other medications. Moreover, inherited traits affect how a person responds to this treatment.
Some people respond better to certain antidepressants than others. Some may experience more side effects, while others encounter fewer adverse effects. With prolonged use or inadequate dosage, these drugs are more likely to trigger health issues and even premature death. That’s why patients require continual monitoring. The treatment’s effectiveness and side effects can be identified only in that way.
Older adults have a lower tolerance to antianxiety substances, making them more likely to develop adverse reactions. So doctors must consider all mentioned factors before deciding on the best antidepressant dosage. Special blood tests may also provide clues on the best treatment solutions for particular patients.
Improvements Don’t Last
Antidepressants are not magical cures for depression, but they eventually improve your health. Unfortunately, immediate improvements are impossible, as active substances need some time to act. However, proper dosage and regular drug intake will make you feel better in a few weeks.
If you still feel different right after starting the therapy, it’s most likely a placebo effect. You might experience energy bursts and mood improvement, but these changes usually don’t last. That’s when antidepressant effects kick in, or you never feel any of it. These ups and downs typically indicate inadequate medication dosage.
Check the source below for the explanation of a placebo:
Ideally, antidepressants should make you feel better and normalize your routine (eating, sleep, mood). But some may have activating effects that interfere with sleep in short-term treatment. Also, inadequate response to medicine dose triggers sleep issues.
Insomnia is common in people with depression and is often listed as a diagnostic criterion. Some form of this disorder occurs in almost three-quarters of patients diagnosed with depression.
You Experience Side Effects
While antianxiety drugs are generally safe to use, they can cause unpleasant side effects, including dizziness, nausea, and an increased risk of suicide. Also, they cause a sudden increase in energy levels, leading to frequent mood swings. These might last until your doctor revises your health condition and make the necessary dosage adjustment.
Taking antidepressants can improve your mental health, but you should consider how long you’ll need to take them. If you’re worried about side effects or addiction risks, talk to your doctor about tapering off your therapy. In any case, you’ll need medical supervision.
The brain and spinal cord produce serotonin, a vital hormone in many body functions. When balanced, it’s in charge of attention, behavior, temperature regulation, and digestion. Find out more about its importance here. But at some point, your body can secrete more serotonin than needed. When that happens, your body shows signs of intoxication. That can happen when taking antidepressants. As a result, you may exhibit symptoms of serotonin syndrome. Mild symptoms (sweats, mild dizziness, or aches) typically go away within a few hours after stopping the antidepressant or adjusting the dose.
On the other hand, severe symptoms like muscle restlessness, twitching, and difficulties with your vision may require emergency medical attention. If you suspect any of these, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Also, changing your therapy might be necessary. Serotonin toxicity can be a scary side effect of inadequate antidepressant dosing, but it’s rare and preventable.
After diagnosing you with depression or some other mental disease, most doctors will prescribe you antidepressants. If you feel they don’t work or experience some adverse effects, discuss your symptoms with your doctor. They will make necessary dosage adjustments to make drug intake safe and effective.