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Common Side Effects of Psychiatric


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Medication Examples Prescribed for: Side effects
Antidepressants Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
• Celexa, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil and Zoloft
Tricyclic antidepressants (older antidepressants)
• Anafranil, Pamelor, and Tofranil.
Clinical depression • Decreased sex drive or no sex drive at all
• Dry mouth
• Nausea
• Insomnia — inability to get to sleep, or difficulty staying asleep
• Increased anxiousness or restlessness
• Drowsiness
• Weight gain
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Headaches
• Increased sweating
• Dizziness
Antipsychotics Antipsychotic medications are generally divided into two categories:
1. Typical (first generation) antipsychotics
2. Atypical (second generation) antipsychotics
1. Older/first-generation antipsychotic medications are also called conventional “typical” antipsychotics or “neuroleptics”.
• Chlorpromazine (Largactil)
• Flupenthixol (Fluanxol),
• Fluphenazine (Modecate)
• Haloperidol (Haldol)
• loxapine (Loxapac)
• Perphenazine (Trilafon
• Thiothixene (Navane)
• Zuclopenthixol (Clopixol).2. Newer/second-generation medications are also called “atypical” antipsychotics.
• Risperidone (Risperdal),
• Quetiapine (Seroquel)
• Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
• Ziprasidone (Zeldox)
• Paliperidone (Invega)
• Aripiprazole (Abilify)
•Clozapine (Clozaril)
– Psychosis which can be a symptom of a physical condition such as drug abuse or a mental disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or very severe depression (also known as “psychotic depression”).

– Antipsychotic medications are often used in combination with other medications to treat delirium, dementia, and mental health conditions including:
• Severe Depression
• Eating Disorders
• Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder

• Drowsiness
• Restlessness
• Muscle Spasms
• Tremor
• Dry Mouth
• Blurred Vision
• Photosensitivity
• Orthostatic hypotension 
The long-term side effects include:
• Tardive dyskinesia (TD), a disorder characterized by involuntary movements most often affecting the mouth, lips and tongue, and sometimes the trunk or other parts of the body such as arms and legs.
** Taking these drugs over a long period of time, usually many years  increases the risk of long-term side effects.
Benzodiazepines – Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Ativan. Anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and phobias. • Drowsiness
• Impaired coordination
• Memory impairment
• Dry mouth
Mood Stabilizers – Lithium

– Anticonvulsant medications are also used as mood stabilizers.
• Valproic acid
• Carbamazepine

Bipolar disorder, mood swings associated with other mental disorders, and in some cases, to augment the effect of other medications used to treat depression. • Itching, rash
• Excessive thirst
• Frequent urination
• Tremor (shakiness) of the hands
• Nausea and vomiting
• Slurred speech
• Fast, slow, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
• Blackouts
• Changes in vision
• Seizures
• Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
• Loss of coordination
• Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Stimulants • Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
• Atomoxetine (Strattera)
• Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
• Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin)
ADHD or ADD • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
• Loss of appetite
• Stomach pain
• Headache