Paxil and Effexor—can cause serious
withdrawal symptoms, especially if
you quit taking them too quickly.
Those side effects can include serious
headaches, anxiety, gastrointestinal
problems, insomnia, sweating, muscle
spasms, nightmares, and dry mouth.
Cheaper, safer ways
to tackle depression
>> Omega-3 fatty acids. Two
important omega-3 fatty acids—
DHA and EPA—play an especially
vital role in brain-cell communication.
I even recommend them to patients
who are already taking antidepressants.
Try taking between 1 and 5 g of
EPA daily, along with 500 mg to 3 g
>> Folate. Research has shown
that about 1/3 of depressed patients
have low folate levels. This doesn’t
surprise me. Folate plays a big role in
the processing and balancing of your
In one placebo-controlled study
researchers added 400 to 500 mcg
of folate to participants’ usual doses
of fluoxetine (Prozac). The folate
boosted the women from a 50-percent
success rate with the drug to
90 percent. Although it did not
work in men, the dose may have
been too low. I make sure that all of
my patients on antidepressants also
take at least 800 mg of folate.
>> SAMe. This is an essential
molecule in the body that has been
used to successfully treat both mild
and severe depression, alone and in
combination with drugs. Mild cases
usually require about 200 to 800 mg
per day, but more severe cases may
need up to 2,800 mg per day.
Side effects are occasional and
mild—nausea, loose bowels, agitation
and anxiety, headaches, and palpitations.
This stuff can be expensive, but
COSTCO has a product that’s reliable
and cheap—$39.99, which is
less than a dollar per dose. Go to