“Can I just stop my medication?” This question, frequently asked of primary care doctors, has a complicated answer. For starters, if you are taking a medication that is controlling an ongoing medical problem like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, you should never stop it on your own—or your problem will return. Many patients do come clean though and report that they just plain stopped their meds. See More
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Starting a new antidepressant can be scary. Depression often shows up differently in different people, so it may take some time to find the right medication for you. And once you start taking it, it might cause unwanted side effects.
But, a new antidepressant doesn’t have to be scary. Here are five things to remember to help you start feeling better faster.
1) Antidepressants can take a while to kick in. See More
If you’ve noticed you are sweating more than usual—not just on your palms and soles, but all over—take a look at your medication list. The new occurrence of excess sweating everywhere on your body can be a result of many causes including diabetes, thyroid disease and infection, so it requires a careful evaluation by your doctor—but medications are a common offender.
With so many depression medications to choose from, finding one that works for you can be difficult. The decision process usually boils down to minimizing unwanted side effects and maximizing the potential to feel less depressed. We looked at 4,000 reviews of five popular antidepressants to see what people said about them based on their pros and cons.
The following “worth it” scores reflect how well each antidepressant worked for the people reviewing it. See More
Patients often turn to generic medications for cheaper alternatives to brand-name drugs, but over the past couple years, prices for generics have increased substantially, and some of the most expensive generic medications run above $100 for a month’s supply. Every year, people are paying more for them despite insurance coverage due to high deductibles and formulary changes.
Turns out, taking a certain kind of drug today is associated with an increased chance of dementia as many as 20 years from now, according to a new study.
The study looked at people who had taken anticholinergic drugs that are frequently prescribed for depression, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and allergies. People who had taken drugs from specific classes of anticholinergics had as much as a 30% greater likelihood of being diagnosed with dementia later in life. See More
More than one in ten visits to a primary care doctor is for fatigue. Fatigue is composed of three major components: generalized weakness (difficulty in initiating activities), easy fatigability (difficulty in completing activities), and mental fatigue (difficulty with concentration and memory). While certainly not the only answer, medications may cause fatigue. Here are some of the common culprits.
Beta-blockers wear many hats. See More
Impaired sleep (insomnia) is a major complaint from patients in my practice, with huge personal and economic costs. When it comes to treatments for either difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep, looking for an easily reversible cause is the first step.
One of the first places to look: many drugs may affect the quality and duration of sleep. These 18 meds have been shown in studies to do just that. See More
You and your healthcare provider have decided it’s time to wean off your antidepressant and now you wonder: what is the best way to stop? Does taking it slow make more sense than cold turkey? What symptoms might I feel?
First: the “discontinuation syndrome” is worse when you stop your antidepressant abruptly. This may include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, chills, anxiety, and irritability. See More
Almost 10% of Americans will battle depression over their lifetime. Some people will find themselves depressed after a traumatic life event; for others, it’s a constant battle.
While depression can happen to anyone, here are some surprising statistics:
- People living in the southeast US tend to have a higher incidence of depression.
- People with lower levels of education tend to report more depression. See More