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The One Side Effect of Antidepressants I Wasn’t Expecting

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She thought she was prepared for all the side effects of antidepressants, but there was one big one no one told her about

I’m a 20-something female who lives in Somerville, MA, with a cute husband, two cute cats, and anxiety and depression (which is not so cute). I started taking medication a little over a year ago to treat my mental health issues, and I wanted to share my story about a side effect of my medication that I wasn't expecting.

I’m doing this because mental health still seems stigmatized in the U.S, and I believe there should be more dialogue around possible treatments. My hope is that this story will help others be a bit more prepared before they start treating their mental health issues with medication.

I Was Prepared For Some Side Effects, but Not Dry Mouth

After talking to my doctor about my anxiety and depression, and agreeing to try a low dose of a certain antidepressant, I did some research into the side effects that may come with it. After a few days of poking around the internet, I thought I was prepared for just about any and every random side effect out there, from trouble sleeping to weight gain. But the one side effect I didn’t expect was dry mouth.

Dealing With Dry Mouth

Within the first week or so of managing my medication, the dry mouth symptoms became apparent. Swallowing — something we all do about a million times a day — felt like work. It got so bad that I would sometimes have trouble speaking because it felt like my tongue was stuck to my throat. I would also wake up in the middle of the night insanely thirsty, and could almost taste how bad my breath was. It got to the point where I didn’t even want to talk to my husband first thing in the morning because I was afraid of how bad my breath smelled.

I tried treating this issue on my own by drinking tons of water, chewing gum to increase the saliva in my mouth, and sadly avoiding my favorite snack, pretzels with peanut butter.

Relieving Dry Mouth

Unlike some of the other side effects I ended up experiencing, I realized that there’s actually something out there designed to specifically relieve dry mouth symptoms. Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse is a gentle, alcohol-free rinse that soothes and moisturizes your mouth for up to four hours , and Biotene Moisturizing Spray helps relieve symptoms on-the-go. Finding relief for this side effect meant I had one less thing to worry about, which was extremely helpful during an otherwise stressful period of my life.

Whether you’re someone who has just started taking antidepressants, or who has been taking them for awhile, I highly recommend talking to your doctor about any side effect you might be experiencing. You never know: there might be a product out there that helps treat it, and chances are that there’s a whole group of people who are experiencing the same thing.

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