Types Of Antidepressant Medications
There are several classes of antidepressants within each class there are many individual medications. While all antidepressants work well overall, no drug or type of drug works equally well for everyone who takes it. You may be advised to try more than one type of antidepressant or to use a combination of antidepressants to seek relief from your distress.
The different types of antidepressants are listed in the order in which they are most commonly prescribed. Medications are referred to in two ways: by their generic name and by their brand or trade names. Brand names available in Canada appear in brackets.
This group of drugs, including fluoxetine , paroxetine , fluvoxamine , citalopram , escitalopram and sertraline , is usually the first choice for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. These medications are known to have milder side-effects than some other antidepressants. Buspirone is similar to SSRIs and has been found to help with anxiety but not depression.
Common side-effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, dry mouth, headaches, anxiety, sedation and a decrease in sexual desire and response. This group of drugs may also cause a jittery or restless feeling and sleep difficulties, such as problems falling asleep, waking in the night, vivid dreams or nightmares.
Common side-effects are jitteriness and insomnia.
Common side-effects are drowsiness and weight gain.
What Does The Treatment Involve
Antidepressants are usually taken daily. The goal in the first few weeks and months is to relieve the symptoms and, where possible, make the go away. Once that has been achieved, the treatment is continued for at least four to nine months. This continuation therapy is necessary to stop the symptoms from coming back. The medication is sometimes taken for longer to prevent relapses. The duration of treatment also depends on how the symptoms continue to develop over time and whether the depression is likely to return. Some people take antidepressants over many years.
It’s important to have regular appointments with your doctor when taking antidepressants. There you can talk about whether the symptoms have improved and whether there are any side effects. The dose will be adjusted if necessary. By no means should you reduce the dose or stop taking the medication on your own. That can make the tablets less effective, or they may cause more side effects.
Towards the end of the treatment, the dose is gradually reduced over the course of several weeks. You may experience temporary sleep problems, nausea or restlessness when coming off antidepressants. These symptoms are especially likely if you suddenly stop taking antidepressants. Sometimes people stop taking their medication as soon as they start feeling better, but that increases the risk of the coming back. Unlike many sleeping pills and sedatives, antidepressants don’t cause physical dependence or addiction.
What Do Antidepressants Look Like
Antidepressants come in all different colors, shapes, sizes, and strengths, as well as in generic and name-brand offerings. Learn how to find out what antidepressant medications look like, and how to identify specific medications.
Author: Heidi BitsoliHeidi Bitsoli
What do antidepressants look like? Thats a seemingly simple question with loads of possible answers.
There are several types of antidepressants on the market. Theyre mostly formulated to help balance brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect mood.
Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are three neurotransmitters strongly linked to depression. Serotonin helps with sleep, appetite, and mood. Norepinephrine is linked to arousal, alertness and anxiety. Dopamine has an effect on how a person perceives reality.
Medications can address those imbalances, but the disease is far more complex than that. Genetics, trauma, the time of year , and other underlying health conditions can all factor into depression, too.
Out of multiple categories, each contains many options, frequently available in brand-name and generic versions as well as in varying strengths.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . These are more recent and usually what doctors prescribe first. They include Fluoxetine , Paroxetine , Sertraline , Escitalopram and Citalopram
They tend to have fewer side effects and work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin.
They affect serotonin and norepinephrine as well as acetylcholine
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Make Adjustments If Necessary
Increase the Dose or Switch?
In general, it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for antidepressants to work. If you are still experiencing symptoms after this amount of time, talk to your doctor. You may need to increase the dose of your current antidepressant drug or switch to another one altogether. Some people experience treatment failure with the first antidepressant they try. In these cases, switching to a medicine in a different class may do the trick. It may take a full 3-month period to experience maximum benefits from an antidepressant. Very rarely, some individuals who have been on an antidepressant for some time may notice that the drug stops working. Always discuss any difficulties you’re having with any drug with your health care professional. Untreated depression is a risk to your mental health.
Questions To Ask Yourself And Your Doctor
- Is my depression adversely affecting my life enough to require drug treatment?
- Is medication the best option for treating my depression?
- Am I willing to tolerate unwanted side effects?
- What non-drug treatments might help my depression?
- Do I have the time and motivation to pursue other treatments such as therapy and self-help?
- What self-help strategies might reduce my depression?
- If I decide to take medication, should I pursue therapy and alternative treatments as well?
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Antidepressants For Children And Teens
In some cases, the use of antidepressants has been linked to an increase in suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, teens, and young adults. The Food and Drug Administration now requires antidepressants to carry a warning about the risk of suicide in children, teens, and young adults 24 years of age or younger. However, this doesnt mean that people in this age group shouldnt take antidepressants. It means they should be carefully monitored by their doctor and loved ones while taking the antidepressant.
Many doctors will want to see a child or teen sometime in the first few weeks after starting an antidepressant to assess any risk for suicide. If youre worried your child may be suicidal, call your doctor right away or take your child to the nearest emergency room.
How Well Can Antidepressants Prevent Relapses
Antidepressants are usually taken for one to two years, and sometimes longer, to prevent relapses. Relapse prevention may be a good idea for people who
- have already had several relapses,
- absolutely want to avoid a relapse, or
- have chronic .
Studies involving adults have shown that taking commonly used antidepressants such as TCAs, SSRIs or SNRIs can lower the risk of relapses, but can’t completely prevent them:
- Without preventive treatment: About 50 out of 100 people who took a placebo had a relapse within one to two years.
- With preventive treatment: About 23 out of 100 people who took an antidepressant had a relapse within one to two years.
In other words, taking an antidepressant over a long period of time successfully prevented a relapse in an average of 27 out of 100 people.
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How Effectively Do Antidepressants Relieve The Symptoms
There are a lot of different medications for treating . But it’s difficult to predict how well a particular medication will help an individual. So doctors often first suggest taking a drug that they consider to be effective and relatively well tolerated. If it doesn’t help as much as expected, it’s possible to switch to a different medication. Sometimes a number of different drugs have to be tried before you find one that works.
Studies show that the benefit generally depends on the severity of the : The more severe the depression, the greater the benefits will be. In other words, antidepressants are effective against chronic, moderate and severe depression. They don’t help in mild depression.
The various antidepressants have been compared in many studies. Overall, the commonly used tricyclic antidepressants were found to be equally effective. Studies involving adults with moderate or severe have shown the following:
- Without antidepressants: About 20 to 40 out of 100 people who took a placebo noticed an improvement in their symptoms within six to eight weeks.
- With antidepressants: About 40 to 60 out of 100 people who took an antidepressant noticed an improvement in their symptoms within six to eight weeks.
In other words, antidepressants improved symptoms in about an extra 20 out of 100 people.
Antidepressants can also relieve long-term symptoms of chronic depressive disorder and chronic , and help make them go away completely.
Antidepressants Take Four To Six Weeks To Reach Full Effectiveness
When you start taking an antidepressant, you probably wont feel better right away. It takes about a month and a half for the medication to build up in your body, and your doctor will increase your dose gradually, Dr. Cox says.
People sometimes get discouraged when their medication doesnt work quickly, but patience is key, she adds.
For fast-acting anxiety relief, doctors may prescribe as-needed medications that work more quickly to be used temporarily until the SSRI, SNRI or atypical antidepressant reaches full effect. These medications include benzodiazepines, such as Ativan and Klonopin.
These can be helpful when appropriate, but caution should be exercised as they can be addictive and cause sedation and falls, Dr. Cox says. Safer, nonaddictive alternatives include Vistaril or Inderal.
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Most antidepressants, from the earliest Trycyclics and Monamine Oxidase inhibitors, to the ubiquitous modern day selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , work by increasing the levels of.
Like psychotherapy, antidepressants are a key part of treating depression. They aim to relieve symptoms and prevent depression from coming back. Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of depression. Some people doubt that they work well, while others consider them to be essential.
Antidepressants are a popular treatment choice for depression. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can reduce symptoms. The first antidepressant you try may work fine. But if it doesn’t relieve your symptoms or it causes side effects that bother you, you may need to try another.
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Antidepressants are medications that can help relieve symptoms of depression, social anxiety disorder, anxiety disorders, seasonal affective disorder, and dysthymia, or mild chronic depression, as.
Doctors Can Help With Antidepressant Side Effects
Most antidepressants are well tolerated, but side effects are a possibility. When first starting antidepressants, some people have mild stomach upset, headache or fatigue, but these side effects often diminish in the first few weeks as the body adjusts. Some people gain weight, though many stay weight neutral, and some even lose weight, Dr. Cox says.
Problems with sexual desire or function are fairly common, but this isnt inevitable or irreparable, she says.
A lot of patients feel nervous talking about that with their provider, but I want people to feel free to talk to me about that, she says. There are things we can do to help, such as adding a low dose of another medication.
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How Long Do They Take To Work
It can take up to six weeks after the first dose of medication before it has an antidepressant effect. For some people it can take up to eight weeks or a little longer before they start to feel better, and the maximum benefit is felt after six months. Antidepressant medication is generally very effective. Around 70% of people with major depression start to feel better with the first type of antidepressant they are prescribed.
What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision
Check the facts
- Sorry, that’s wrong. Taking medicine for your depression can help you get your life back to normal. But if your symptoms are mild, lifestyle changes and counselling may be all you need.
- You’re right. Taking medicine for your depression can help you get your life back to normal. But if your symptoms are mild, lifestyle changes and counselling may be all you need.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Taking medicine for your depression can help you get your life back to normal. But if your symptoms are mild, lifestyle changes and counselling may be all you need.
- That’s right. There are many ways to manage the side effects of antidepressants. If you’re worried, talk to your doctor.
- Sorry, that’s wrong. There are many ways to manage the side effects of antidepressants. If you’re worried, talk to your doctor.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” There are many ways to manage the side effects of antidepressants. If you’re worried, talk to your doctor.
- No, that’s wrong. Antidepressants don’t work right away. And you may need to try several before you find one that works.
- That’s right. Antidepressants don’t work right away. And you may need to try several before you find one that works.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Antidepressants don’t work right away. And you may need to try several before you find one that works.
1.How sure do you feel right now about your decision?
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Things You Might Not Know About Antidepressants
Taking an antidepressant is incredibly commonmore than 1 in 10 Americans do.
But despite their prevalence, these drugs are often misunderstood, in part because of stereotypes and stigma around mental health. That may keep some people who could benefit from an antidepressant from learning more, says UNC Health psychiatrist Elizabeth Cox, MD.
Medication is an important part of treatment. Therapy is also extremely important, and I recommend therapy to pretty much 100 percent of my patients, she says. But sometimes it can be difficult to participate in the therapy , or the therapy itself might not be enough.
Here are eight important things to know about antidepressants:
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Are there any medical conditions that could be causing my depression?
- What are the side effects and risks of the antidepressant you are recommending?
- Are there any foods or other substances I will need to avoid?
- How will this drug interact with other prescriptions Im taking?
- How long will I have to take this medication?
- Will withdrawing from the drug be difficult?
- Will my depression return when I stop taking medication?
Medication isnt your only option for depression relief
Remember, antidepressants arent a cure. Medication may treat some symptoms of depression, but cant change the underlying issues and situations in your life that are making you depressed. Thats where exercise, therapy, mindfulness meditation, social support and other lifestyle changes come in. These non-drug treatments can produce lasting changes and long-term relief.
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While antidepressants can treat the symptoms of depression, they do not always address its causes. This is why they’re usually used in combination with Different antidepressants can have a range of different side effects. Always check the information leaflet that comes with your medicine to see what.
What non-drug treatments might help my depression? Do I have the time and motivation to pursue other treatments such as therapy and self-help? Don’t skip or alter your dose, and don’t stop taking your pills as soon as you begin to feel better. Stopping treatment prematurely is associated with high.
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Antidepressant medications are primarily.
in comparison, tricyclic antidepressants and noradrenergic and specific.
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