Antidepressants Bruising And Abnormal Bleeding: What You Need to Know

Antidepressants are a type of medication prescribed to help people manage depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. However, some people who take antidepressants may experience unwanted side effects like bruising and abnormal bleeding.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these side effects and what you can do to manage them.

What Causes Bruising and Abnormal Bleeding?

Antidepressants can affect blood platelets, which are small cells that help blood clot. When platelets don’t work properly, it can lead to bleeding and bruising.

Some antidepressants are more likely to cause these side effects than others. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are two types of antidepressants that have been linked to an increased risk of bleeding and bruising.

Symptoms of Bruising and Abnormal Bleeding

If you’re taking an antidepressant and experience any of the following symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor:

– Unexplained bruising
– Nosebleeds
– Gum bleeding
– Easy bruising
– Heavy menstrual periods
– Blood in urine or stool

What You Can Do to Manage These Side Effects

If you’re experiencing bruising or abnormal bleeding while taking an antidepressant, there are some things you can do to manage these side effects.

Talk to Your Doctor

The first thing you should do is talk to your doctor. They may want to adjust your medication or switch you to a different antidepressant that’s less likely to cause bleeding and bruising.

Avoid Certain Medications

Some over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can also increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. If possible, avoid these medications while taking an antidepressant.

Be Careful When Shaving or Brushing Your Teeth

Be extra careful when shaving or brushing your teeth, as these activities can increase the risk of bleeding. Consider using an electric razor or a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoid vigorous brushing.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin K can help improve blood clotting. Good sources of vitamin K include leafy greens like spinach and kale, as well as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can also help improve blood clotting and reduce the risk of bleeding and bruising. Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have an underlying medical condition.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While bruising and abnormal bleeding are relatively common side effects of antidepressants, they can sometimes indicate a more serious problem.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away:

– Severe bleeding that doesn’t stop
– Blood in your vomit or stool
– Unexplained black or tarry stools
– Severe headache or vision changes
– Seizures or convulsions

In Conclusion

If you’re taking an antidepressant, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects, including bruising and abnormal bleeding. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms, and take steps to manage them, such as avoiding certain medications, being careful when shaving or brushing your teeth, and eating a healthy diet. And if you experience any severe symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

FAQs

FAQ 1: What are antidepressants and what are their side effects?

Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. They work by changing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. One of the possible side effects of some antidepressants is abnormal bleeding and bruising. This can be caused by the medication thinning the blood or affecting the blood clotting process.

FAQ 2: What should I do if I am experiencing abnormal bleeding or bruising while taking antidepressants?

If you notice any signs of abnormal bleeding and bruising while taking antidepressants, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. They may adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication. It is important to not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor first, as sudden changes can worsen your symptoms.

FAQ 3: Can abnormal bleeding and bruising be prevented while taking antidepressants?

While some side effects of antidepressants cannot be prevented, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of abnormal bleeding and bruising. Avoid taking other medications that thin the blood, such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, unless advised by your doctor. It is also important to avoid activities that may increase your risk of injury or bleeding, such as contact sports or intense physical activity. Always communicate any concerns or questions with your healthcare provider.


References

1. Cipriani, A., Furukawa, T. A., Salanti, G., Chaimani, A., Atkinson, L. Z., Ogawa, Y., … & Geddes, J. R. (2018). Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. The Lancet, 391(10128), 1357-1366.
2. Strand, J. E., Jatlow, P. I., Skare, S. S., & Friedenberg, W. R. (1993). Abnormal bleeding associated with fluoxetine treatment. Archives of internal medicine, 153(14), 1741-1743.
3. Lane, R. S., Kalali, A. H., & Nielsen, J. H. (2010). Antidepressants and abnormal bleeding: a review for clinicians and a reconsideration of mechanisms. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71(12), 1565-1572.