What do you know about antidepressants? These drugs were discovered in the 1950s and are now known for their ability to relieve depression symptoms. It is a proven fact that these medications increase the activity of some chemicals present in the brain.
There are seven common uses of antidepressants today:
- depression (from mild to moderate and severe);
- eating disorders;
- panic attacks;
- post-traumatic stress disorder;
- obsessive compulsive disorders;
- chronic pain.
Comparing various medications on your own is definitely tough, especially when one lacks medical education and proper knowledge. To learn which type you need or whether you need it at all address your healthcare professional OR use the information that we provide.
Antidepressants: Classification and Common Uses
An expert can name many various types of antidepressants offered today. We’ve decided to arrange all of them into several groups. Or classification is based on the brain chemicals that are affected by these pills.
- Selective Reuptake Inhibitors: SSRIs, SNRIs, NARIs and NDRIs;
- Non-selective antidepressants: MAOIs and tricyclic antidepressants with great effects on the sodium conductance and multiple receptor system;
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Prozac and Zoloft, Lexapro and Celexa, Paxil, etc.);
- Receptor Blockers (NaSSA, Trazodone and Nefazodone).
While comparing Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors with other medications, it is important to point out that they all act on the neurotransmitter serotonin only, while MAO inhibitors together with tricyclic antidepressants affect other neurotransmitters, too. It is reported that they interact with all the other chemicals that are present in the human body. Though they all seem to be very different, they lead to serious side effects that require medical attention.
What Are the Common Side Effects?
There’s no need to say that whatever antidepressant you take, it surely makes you feel much better. Yet still they can’t cope with changing who you are, what your personality is or how happy you feel throughout the day. Along with the positive influence that they guarantee, they make users suffer from mild and serious side effects. The severity or mildness depends on the type of medication and its amount taken.
Here are some common adverse reactions that you will have to go through:
- nausea and vomiting;
- headaches and migraines;
- weight gain/loss;
- dry moth;
- ED problems in males.
Speaking of all the above-mentioned symptoms, they all are referred as short-lived ones. Nevertheless, whenever any of them is experienced, a sufferer should seek immediate medical help to prevent possible complications and hospitalization.
How to Find a Perfect Antidepressant?
Succeeding in this process is pretty hard, especially, when there’s no professional help. Today there are many different antidepressants that work in different ways and have various effects, adverse and beneficial ones. However, most kinds equally well relieve anxiety and depression in patients.
When any of antidepressants is prescribed, a doctor takes into account the following factors:
- main and secondary symptoms;
- interactions with other drugs that are administered;
- potential side effects;
- medical history of the entire family;
- health conditions;
- whether a patient is pregnant;
- whether a woman is breastfeeding.
And for how long should you take the prescribed antidepressants? There’s no one universal answer for each patient and every type of pills. The course duration depends on the condition severity as well as patient’s respond to the treatment. In most cases, antidepressants are taken during 6-12 months, and it’s called a short term. But there are cases, when the period is shorter, especially when one suffers from diabetes, heart disease, etc. When you need to cut down on taking drugs, the process should be a gradual one. It is done only according to professional recommendations and under doctor’s supervision.
What is your perfect antidepressant? It’s the one that suits your needs and brings results. When there are no significant changes and complications or side effects are more persistent than benefits, you are to seek a different treatment option. It is hard to say which antidepressant is perfect for everyone, because we all are different in terms of health issues, age, depression severity and lifestyle. Get ready that it will take much time, patience and strength to find a perfect treatment.
First improvements don’t come with the first pill you take. They don’t come with the 10th or 20th one. It takes up to two-three months to notice great improvements. But even after they are noticed, it is recommended to continue the course to make any improvements permanent.
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How Effective Antidepressant Can Be?
What depression really is? This is the condition when the body of a patient lacks serotonin. And antidepressants help in changing that. When depression becomes really severe and one can hardly cope with it, any antidepressant is regarded as a lifesaving medication. Nevertheless, not many people become stress and symptoms-free after taking pills. In some cases the condition becomes even worse. Even if the body responds to antidepressants in a positive way, in time the condition gets back to its worse stage.
There are scientists, who believe that the effects and benefits of antidepressants have been greatly exaggerated. Different trials and tests allow concluding that in cases of a mild or moderate depression antidepressants are as effective as placebos.
Are these proofs reasons to refuse from medical treatment? Definitely, not! Numerous cases showed that antidepressants bring positive effects when used according to prescription and on a regular basis. They have already saved lives of many people, so saying they are useless is going the wrong way.
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