Can Antidepressants Cause Depression?


It’s uncommon, but yes, in some cases, antidepressants can paradoxically cause or worsen symptoms of depression, especially at the beginning of treatment or if the dosage is too high.

This phenomenon is known as “antidepressant-induced worsening of depression” or “activation syndrome.” It’s more likely to occur in individuals with certain types of depression, such as bipolar disorder, or in those who are prone to experiencing rapid mood shifts.

The reasons for this paradoxical effect are not entirely clear but may involve factors such as the initial side effects of the medication, changes in neurotransmitter levels, or individual sensitivity to the medication.

If someone experiences a worsening of depression or other concerning symptoms after starting antidepressant treatment, it’s important for them to promptly notify their healthcare provider. Adjustments to the medication regimen, such as changing the dosage or switching to a different antidepressant, may be necessary to alleviate the symptoms and ensure the individual’s safety and well-being.

It’s crucial for individuals starting antidepressant therapy to be closely monitored by their healthcare provider, especially during the initial weeks of treatment when side effects are most likely to occur. Open communication with healthcare providers can help ensure that any adverse effects are promptly addressed and managed effectively.

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