Antidepressants for Headaches May Cause Headaches

Antidepressants are often prescribed for headaches, but one of the common side effects for antidepressants are headaches.

One of the reasons that Paxil, Prozac. Celexa, Zoloft and Luvox antidepressants are commonly prescribed is because of their supposedly low risk of overdose. Yet suicide is a side effect of these drugs and patients often commit suicide by taking the very medication that should prevent this from occurring.

Doctors most commonly prescribe Tricyclics (a type of antidepressant) for headaches, but one study shows that it increases your blood pressure and heart rate. This could result in a headache.

Study performed by Sally K. Guthrie, Leon Grunhaus and Erica Danosy from the College of Pharmacy, Michigan, and Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York; Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry Michigan, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York; The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

General side effects of antidepressants:

Some of the various side effects from the different antidepressants are:

  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Dry Mouth
  • Urinary retention
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Sedation (can interfere with driving or operating machinery)
  • Sleep disruption
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance/diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Inability to achieve an erection
  • Inability to achieve an orgasm (men and women)
  • Loss of libido
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety

Other side effects of SSRIs

Nausea, diarrhea, headaches. sexual side effects are also common with SSRIs, such as loss of libido, failure to reach orgasm and erectile problems. Seratonergic syndrome is also a worrying condition associated with the use of SSRIs.

Side effects of TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants)

Amitriptyline is an antidepressant drug that goes by the brand name Limbitrol. Nortriptyline is also a part of the tricyclic antidepressant family and is prescribed as Aventyl and Pamelor. Doxepin is used to treat both depression and anxiety and can be found under the names Adapin and Sinequan. Desipramine is sometimes also prescribed to treat eating disorders and withdrawal symptoms from cocaine addiction. It is sold under the name brands Norpramin and Pertofrane.

Fairly common side effects include:

  • dry mouth
  • increased blood pressure and heart rate (which can result in headache)
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • tremors
  • sexual problems
  • blurred vision
  • skin rash
  • drowsiness
  • weight gain or loss.

Side effects of MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) like phenelzine (brand name: Nardil) and tranylcypromine (brand name: Parnate) include:


  • blurred vision
  • Dark urine
  • decreased amount of urine
  • decreased sexual ability
  • dry mouth
  • enlarged pupils
  • fast or slow heartbeat
  • fever
  • headache
  • heart attack
  • high blood pressure: Early symptoms of rising blood pressure may include stiff neck, headache, palpitations, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, flushing or chills, apprehension, pallor or sweating. This can lead to hypertensive crisis (extremely high blood pressure) and when severe and can be life-threatening.
  • increased appetite (especially for weets) or weight gain
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • increased sweating (possibly with fever or cold, clammy skin)
  • light-headedness, dizziness
  • liver inflammation
  • low blood pressure
  • muscle twitching during sleep
  • nausea and vomiting
  • reduced tolerance for alcohol
  • seizures
  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Severe headaches
  • shakiness, trembling, restlessness
  • sleepiness, tiredness, weakness
  • skin rash
  • slurred speech
  • sore throat
  • staggering walk
  • stiff or sore neck
  • stroke
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Gee, which would you choose to stop your headache, suicide, sexual problems or organ failure?

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