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The use of anti-depressants by teens with cancer is not uncommon. Depression or feelings of sadness, disruption in your eating or sleeping patterns, or having trouble coping with all that is going on can occur anytime during or after your treatment. Depression is caused by a lack of a chemical in your brain called serotonin. Anti-depressant medication helps increase your serotonin levels. You need to take these drugs for a few weeks before you feel any change.

Commonly used anti-depressants:

Sertraline

(Zoloft)

Paroxetine

(Paxil)

Fluoxetine

(Prozac)

Citalopram

(Celexa)

Most common side effects:

  • Drowsiness or agitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Headache