Depression is common and the symptoms can affect daily life and can be very distressing.
Treatments include talking (psychological) treatments and antidepressant medications .
The human body has several important physical and behavioral processes that are controlled by the cycles of day and night.
These are called circadian rhythms, and if interrupted, they can lead to depression . Agomelatine relieves depression by helping to restore balance to these biological rhythms.
Some drugs are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a drug can only be used if special precautions are taken.
For these reasons, before you start taking agomelatine, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are under 18 or over 75 years of age.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have a problem with the way your liver works, or if you have a problem with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have ever had abnormally ‘high’ moods or dementia.
- If you take other medications, whether or not they were prescribed. You also have to let him know about taking herbal and / or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- Check the package manufacturer’s printed information leaflet before starting treatment. This will give you information about the medicine and the unwanted effects you may experience from taking it.
- Take agomelatine exactly as your doctor tells you. The usual dose is one tablet a day. This can increase in some people to two tablets a day (together) after a couple of weeks. You should take the tablets at bedtime.
- The tablets can be consumed with or without food.
- If you forget to take a dose, don’t worry, just take the next dose when it is time.
It may take a week or two after starting the tablets before the effect begins to show, and perhaps a few more weeks before you feel the full benefit of the treatment. Do not stop taking agomelatine after a few days, thinking that it is not helping.
Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is because your doctor will want you to have a blood test every few weeks to check that your liver is staying healthy.
Your doctor will also give you a booklet to read that explains symptoms to watch for, such as signs that the medicine could damage your liver.
There is a list of these symptoms in the section below on problems that agomelatine can cause:
- While you are feeling depressed or taking agomelatine, you may have thoughts about hurting yourself or ending your life. It is very important that you tell your doctor about this immediately.
- Taking agomelatine and alcohol is not recommended, therefore do not drink alcohol during treatment with this medicine.
- Smoking can affect the amount of agomelatine in your body. Tell your doctor if you start or stop smoking while taking agomelatine.
Your doctor will ask you to continue taking agomelatine for a while after you feel better. This is to prevent your symptoms from coming back.
There are several types of antidepressants and they differ in their possible side effects. If you find that agomelatine does not suit you, tell your doctor, as another one that works for you may be found.
Can agomelatine cause problems?
Along with the main effects of agomelatine, like most medications, it could cause users to experience unwanted side effects. However, not everyone suffers from these effects.
You will find a complete list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
Side effects gradually fade over time as the body adjusts to the medicine. If the symptoms persist or get worse, you need to see your doctor.
Side Effects and What You Can Do If You Experience Them
- Feeling sick (having nausea), diarrhea: Limit yourself to simple foods (not spicy or high in fat) and drink plenty of water.
- Feeling dizzy, tired, or sleepy – Do n’t drink alcohol or handle dangerous tools.
- Have headaches: consult your doctor about an appropriate pain reliever that is compatible with the medication to relieve discomfort.
- Having constipation or tummy (abdominal) pain: Try to eat a well-balanced diet that contains fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water.
- Difficulty sleeping, feeling anxious, increased sweating, back pain: These effects are usually mild and soon pass, but if they become troublesome, talk to your doctor.
Important: If you experience any of the rare but possibly serious symptoms, stop taking agomelatine and contact your doctor for advice immediately.
This may be a sign that your liver is not working as it should:
Dark urine, light-colored stools, yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes ( jaundice ), unexpected bruising, belly pain, itchy skin, and unusual tired feeling.
If you develop other symptoms while taking agomelatine tablets, see your doctor.