Antidepressants

Antidepressants are medicines that treat depression. Your doctor can prescribe them for you. They work to balance some of the natural chemicals in our brains. It may take several weeks for them to help. There are several types of antidepressants. You and your doctor may have to try a few before finding what works best for you.

Antidepressants may cause mild side effects that usually do not last long. These may include headache, nausea, sleep problems, restlessness, and sexual problems. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects. You should also let your doctor know if you take any other medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

It is important to keep taking your medicines, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking your medicines without talking to your doctor. You often need to stop antidepressants gradually.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Antioxidants are found in many foods, Photograph of a carton of cherry tomatoesincluding fruits and vegetables. They are also available as dietary supplements. Examples of antioxidants include

  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of antioxidants. There is good evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthy and lowers risks of certain diseases. But it isn’t clear whether this is because of the antioxidants, something else in the foods, or other factors.

High-dose supplements of antioxidants may be linked to health risks in some cases. For example, high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. High doses of vitamin E may increase risks of prostate cancer and one type of stroke. Antioxidant supplements may also interact with some medicines. To minimize risk, tell you of your health care providers about any antioxidants you use.