If you’re like most people, you’ve at least used antidepressants. In the process, you might have accidentally missed a day or two on your prescription, or you might have taken it late. As a result, you might experience aches and pains, dizziness, and even stomach aches. If that’s the case, then you’ve just experienced what is called a discontinuation syndrome. For some people, the effects are pretty severe. However, others might barely feel it, if any. This is because different types of antidepressants affect the body differently. Also, how one stops using the drug can affect how severe the syndrome gets.
That being said, if you feel sick when you miss a dose of your antidepressant, don’t worry too much. It is generally expected. However, to help you avoid such uncomfortable experiences, here are some tips on how you can avoid feeling sick:
1. Take It as Soon as Possible
If you’ve just realized that you missed your medication, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you’re nearing your next dose, don’t double the intake. Just skip the previous dose and take on just the dose for the upcoming dosage. This way, you don’t overload your system with too many antidepressants.
2. Set Alarms for Your Medicine
Are you the forgetful type? If so, you can try out setting alarms for your doses. Set the alarm to ring on your phone, on your smartwatch, or on any other device that’s generally with you for the whole day. Also, bring along a pillbox for each day of the week. Whenever the alarm goes off, that’s a reminder that it is time for you to take your medicine.
3. Switch to New Medication
While it is common for people who are on antidepressants to skip their dosages once or twice every once in a while, there’s always the risk of developing the syndrome. This is especially true with medications that have a relatively short half-life. These kinds of drugs are quickly processed and eliminated by the body, quickly increasing the risk of the syndrome. As such, if you think that your medicine has a short half-life, consult with the doctor to switch to a new medication that has a longer half-life or comes in the form of extended-release.
4. Reach Out to the Doctor before Stopping
If you want to stop relying on antidepressants completely, you must consult with the doctor. Doing so without their knowledge can leave you with a lot of complications, many of which could have been avoided if you had reached out to the doctor. For that reason, contact your doctor about your plans. They will consider the dosages you’ve been taking, how long you’ve been taking it, what kind of antidepressants you were using, and the like. That way, they can formulate a plan that you can follow to slowly allow you to ease into not using the drugs anymore with minimal risk of discontinuation syndrome.
Again, if you have any concerns or plans about your current intake of antidepressants, we recommend that you reach out to the doctor. With their assistance, you will be able to find a solution to whatever problem you’re facing, whether it be trying to remember to take your drugs or even quitting entirely. With that in mind, do follow the tips we’ve shared above. They will greatly help you continue using your antidepressants with minimal risk of discontinuation syndrome, allowing you to live a more comfortable life without any worry or discomfort.
My Medication Log offers MedManage, a cloud-based medication management system that both caregivers and patients can use to stay on top of their daily medication needs. If you are looking for an app to keep track of taking pills, check out our mobile application!