Moodletter provides help for being happier, more capable and confident, even if you are living with depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety.

Medication Side Effects

Many psychiatric drugs have side effects. As the drugs address the chemical imbalance of the illness, they disturb the chemical equilibrium in other areas of the brain and body, ranging from the hormonal to the digestive system.

Many of these effects are temprary. If they continue to be a problem, you may need to ask your doctor about adjusting the dosage of the medication, changing the time of day you take it, or addding or switching to another medication.

Keep a record of your medications: The dosage, the date you started taking it or stopped taking it, side effects you experienced and how effective the medication was. This can assist your doctor in prescribing the right meds for you.

Some side effects can be reduced or eliminated with diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some remedies for the most common.

Agitation, restlessness, anxiety

  • Get vigorous exercise, such as jogging, biking or aerobics.
  • Practice deep-breathing exercises and muscle relaxation.
  • Ask your doctor about temporarily taking a relaxing medication.

Constipation

  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Eat high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, brans and whole grains.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Take fiber supplements*

Diarrhea

  • Eat bananas, rice, apples, toast; cooked, not raw, vegetables, smooth peanut butter
  • Avoid fatty and spicy foods, dairy products and caffeine
  • Drink plenty of clear liquids.
  • Take fiber supplements*

Dizziness, Lightheadedness, Faintness, Loss of balance (disequilibrium)

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take medication at bedtime.
  • Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy.
  • Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery if you experience frequent dizziness.
  • Rise slowly from sitting or standing positions.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
  • Squeezing the skin between the eyebrows, which is an acupressure point.
  • Place your head between your knees.

Dry mouth
Improve your saliva flow by sucking on sugar-free hard candy or chewing sugar-free gum. Avoid lemon-flavored hard candy – it makes saliva acidic, increasing the possibility of tooth decay. You can also:

  • Sip water regularly.
  • Suck on ice chips.
  • Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes.
  • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
  • Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.
  • Take vitamin C supplements.

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