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Depression: A Side Effect of Antidepressant Medications?

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Is this a shocker? Depression may actually be caused by medications — in which case taking an antidepressant is not likely to help it. Many with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or fibromyalgia have trouble distinguishing between the symptoms of these conditions and depression. And with physicians quick to draw the prescription pad, many will never know for sure. In fact, a common side effect of antidepressants is severe depression! Other common culprits include Ambien as well as the three FDA approved fibromyalgia medications: Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella.

How to tell if you’re depressed in addition to having CFS or fibromyalgia? Easy. If I ask you if you’re depressed and you say yes, you probably are. If you say no, you’re probably not!

Depression is not a Prozac deficiency and treating its underlying cause (e.g., nutritional deficiencies or low thyroid) will often make the depression go away. A shocker? Your depression may actually be coming from your medication — in which case taking an antidepressant is not likely to help it. In fact, a common side effect of antidepressants is severe depression! Common culprits include:

1. Most antidepressants
2. Ambien (rare but severe. The depression oddly starts about 1 year after the Ambien is begun)
3. The 3 FDA approved drugs for fibromyalgia — Savella, Cymbalta and Lyrica

So if you have persistent depression, ask your doctor about a 1-2 week trial off of any medications that may have depression as a side effect. They may need to wean you off antidepressants, as stopping these suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms.

People are often (happily) shocked as their depression goes away when the medication clears out of their system!


Dr. Teitelbaum, also known as “Dr. T,” is an integrative physician and one of the country’s foremost experts on fatigue, sleep and pain management. The treatment program he developed for combating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia and related conditions has helped hundreds of thousands of sufferers reclaim their health and vitality.

Dr. Teitelbaum is the Medical Director of the National Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and author of the best-selling books, From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! and Pain Free 1-2-3. He has also authored several landmark scientific studies. Dr. Teitelbaum has firsthand experience with CFS and Fibromyalgia — he battled the condition when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. Since then, he has dedicated his career to developing effective strategies to treat these conditions and educating the millions of people who need help.

Visit his web site to learn more.


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2 responses to “Depression: A Side Effect of Antidepressant Medications?”

  1. […] many are quick to resort to prescriptions, pharmaceutical intervention doesn’t have to be your only defense against depression, says a […]

  2. […] Thats right. It is currently illegal and punishable by law for any food, herb, supplement or tincture manufacturer to inform the public that a side effect-free substance has been clinically proven to prevent a disease for which Big Pharma has a pill. Yet pharmaceuticals advertised on TV have free reign to emotionally persuade viewers before providing a laundry list of side effects such as depression, bleeding, dizziness and even death. Often times the very symptom you’re trying to avoid is a potential side effect! […]