Adverse effects

Generally, phototherapy is well tolerated although mild side-effects occur in up to 45 per cent of patients early in treatment. These include headache, eye strain, blurred vision, eye irritation, and increased tension. (7) Insomnia can also occur, particularly with late-evening treatment. Rare adverse events that have been reported include manic mood swings and suicide attempts, the latter putatively through light-induced alerting and energizing effects prior to mood improvement. Whether these rare events are actually adverse reactions to the light is uncertain. There is no evidence that phototherapy employed in recommended treatment schedules causes ocular or retinal damage.

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