Antidepressant Side Effects--Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor

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Yes, biochemistry is biology and chemistry combined. It is the study of biological processes at the molecular and cellular level. The causes of many diseases, even the side effects of prescription drugs, can be explained through biochemistry.

Now, back to Paula’s question: Why do prescription drugs have such horrific side effects?
All medications work by changing your body’s natural chemistry, or metabolic pathways. This is where the side effects come from.

Have you ever been to a hospital? One of the first questions they ask you is, “Are you on any medication?” Why do they do that? Well, because:

1. A drug can enhance the effectiveness of another drug or nutrient.
2. A drug can negate another drug or nutrient.
3. Two or more drugs can act synergistically to form new compounds in the body.
4. A drug can interfere with another drug or nutrient.

Now, let’s look at some of the underlying behind this phenomenon. First, our body often uses the same chemical to regulate more than one process. When you take medication that suddenly stops the production of this chemical to help combat one problem, it helps to solve this problem, but another area of your body that also needs this chemical to work properly, does not get it. Imagine you have a leak in the bathroom. What do you do? You shut the water off in your house. The leak in the bathroom stops. But now there is also no water in the kitchen, although there was no leak there before. Not having water in the kitchen is a side effect of taking drugs and not addressing the underlying causes.

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Secondly, medications are not always as selective as they are designed to be. An example is antidepressants.
Antidepressants work by affecting serotonin, which is one of the neurotransmitters that are responsible for your mood. Well, that’s great, but serotonin also affects other neurotransmitters in the brain. For example, the same chemical that helps with serotonin, blocks another neurotransmitter – acetylcholine, and you may get blurred vision and dry mouth. It also binds histamine receptors, and you may get sleepy or gain weight.

Thirdly, some medications cause your body to produce an excess of chemicals. And while that helps to solve one problem, your body now has a chemical surplus. This in turn affects other parts of your body, leading to side effects.
Finally, some side effects occur because the body doesn’t like sudden changes. Introducing new chemicals to your body can send it into a frenzy, essentially forcing it to rewire the way it works, such has altering some of your body’s metabolic pathways. And the same thing happens when you suddenly stop taking medications.

Each person’s biochemistry is different. That’s why some people experience no side effects, while others suffer practically every side effect listed on the packaging. This is because each person’s body is a unique machine, with unique biochemistry, that processes chemicals differently.

It must be nice out there. What’s the weather like?
“For the last time…(c to f formula)
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