Antidepressants have been popular for decades, and they are prescribed for many conditions outside of depression including chronic pain and gastrointestinal ailments. Unfortunately, these drugs can have devastating and deadly side effects.

Examples of Antidepressants

Examples of antidepressants that can be harmful or have fatal side effects include:

  • Anafranil
  • Aventyl
  • Celexa
  • Cymbalta
  • Desyrel
  • Effexor
  • Elavil
  • Lexapro
  • Ludiomil
  • Luvox
  • Marplan
  • Nardil
  • Norpramin
  • Pamelor
  • Parnate
  • Paxil
  • Pexeva
  • Pristiq
  • Prozac
  • Remeron
  • Sarafem
  • Serzone
  • Sinequan
  • Surmontil
  • Symbyax
  • Tofranil
  • Triavil
  • Vivactil
  • Wellbutrin
  • Zoloft
  • Zyban

Antidepressant Dangers

Some of the dangerous and unwanted side effects of antidepressants include:

  • Suicide
  • Worsening depression
  • Hostility and aggression
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Overdose
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms with discontinuation or even a missed or late dose

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome is a life-threatening condition which can be fatal if left untreated. It occurs when you have too much serotonin in your system. Serotonin is naturally produced in your body. Antidepressants and other drugs do not contain the chemical, but can increase your serotonin level.

Serotonin syndrome can be caused by taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) alone, but more often is caused by taking a combination of drugs which increase serotonin.

Suicide and Violence

Antidepressants can make depression worse and can lead to suicidal ideation and behavior even in people who were not depressed before they started taking the drug. Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide in children and adults.

Antidepressants have also been linked to violent behavior. A study conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, published in the journal PloS One, found that acts of violence were disproportionally linked to 31 medications, 11 of which were antidepressants.


SSRI’s have been linked to autism in the children of women who used antidepressants during the year prior to delivery. SSRI use during the first trimester of pregnancy carried the greatest risk, nearly four times greater than the risk when mothers did not take the drugs.

Birth Defects

SSRIs have also been linked to serious and fatal birth defects including:

  • Heart abnormalities
  • Omphalocele or gastrochesis (conditions in which abdominal organs are on the outside of the body)
  • Craniosynostosis (early closer of skull sutures)
  • Anencephaly (absence of part of the brain or skull)
  • Arm, leg, hand, and foot malformation
  • Anal atresia
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN)

If you believe that your injury, your child’s injury, or the death of a loved one was caused by an antidepressant, please talk to an antidepressant injury attorney in your area right away.