What Do Antidepressants Feel Like
Psychotherapy helps treat clinical depression, but you also need to take antidepressants to keep your symptoms under control. 4 out of 10 patients notice positive results with the very first antidepressant they try. The good thing is that even when the first antidepressant medication does not prove effective, the second or third usually does.
While antidepressants really help control symptoms, many people do not try them because of many misconceptions they have about the use of these medications. They often wonder what it would be like to take antidepressants and if they would become addicted to antidepressants or not.
Other Uses For This Medicine
Fluoxetine is also sometimes used to treat alcoholism, attention-deficit disorder, borderline personality disorder, sleep disorders, headaches, mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, obesity, sexual problems, and phobias. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If You Feel Better Can You Stop Taking Antidepressants
Once you and your provider have determined it is safe for you to stop taking your medicine altogether, you should continue to be monitored during periodic follow-up appointments to detect any signs of depression returning.
Long-term treatment with antidepressant medicine may be recommended to prevent further episodes of depression in people who have already had two or more episodes of major depression. A history of depression in ones family is another factor that supports long-term treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/24/2019.
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Antidepressants And Other Medicines
Antidepressants can have an effect on many other medicines. If youre taking an antidepressant, tell your doctor about all other medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines and herbal health products . He or she can let you know if your regular medicines may cause problems when combined with an antidepressant.
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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.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having any laboratory test , tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking fluoxetine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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Combination Treatment Is Best
Results of several studies suggest that a combination of antidepressant medication with psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for depression. Mental illness is serious. It is important to take depression medication as directed and to see a therapist regularly. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of people suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. People should feel comfortable seeking help for mental health disorders just as they would for other organic medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps monitor and change unwanted thoughts and behaviors. Interpersonal therapy helps patients have better and more effective relationships with others.
They Are Not Addictive
Antidepressants, like most medications, can change the way you feel. This means that if you stop taking the medication you may start to feel the way you did before the treatment. Some people confuse this with being addicted. Antidepressants are not addictive and you will not become dependent on them. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before you stop taking them. It is always advisable to reduce the dose slowly, with close monitoring, to minimise possible discomfort as your body adjusts to the lower dose. It is also important that the medication is monitored carefully in the first couple of months, as some people may experience an increase in symptoms if the antidepressant is not effective.
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How Are Antidepressant Medications Selected
The type of drug prescribed will depend on your symptoms, the presence of other medical conditions, other medicines you are currently taking, the cost of the prescribed treatments, and potential side effects. If you have had depression before, your provider may prescribe the same medicine that worked for you in the past. If you have a family history of depression, medicines that have been effective in treating your family member may also be considered.
Usually you will start taking the medicine at a low dose. The dose will be gradually increased until it has reached the therapeutic dose, or until you start to see an improvement .
Tips For Stopping Your Antidepressant Safely
Reduce your dose gradually. In order to minimize antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, never stop your medication cold turkey. Instead, gradually step down your dose , allowing for at least two to six weeks or longer between each dosage reduction.
Dont rush the process. The antidepressant tapering process may take from several months to years, and should only be attempted under a doctors supervision. Be patient. If at any time you experience difficulties, consider spending more time at your current dose before attempting any further reductions.
Choose a time to stop that isnt too stressful. Withdrawing from antidepressants can be difficult, so its best to start when youre not under a lot of stress. If youre currently going through any major life changes or significantly stressful circumstances, you may want to wait until youre in a more stable place.
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Interactions With Other Medications
Antidepressants can react unpredictably with other medications, including over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication to see if there are any medications you should avoid.
If in doubt, your pharmacist or GP should be able to advise you.
Selective Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
Both SSNRI and SSRI medications affect serotonin levels, but SSNRI drugs also impact the level of norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter that may affect mood. This type of medication is helpful for those who have extreme fatigue associated with depression, or who have had side effects or poor response to SSRI drugs.
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What Causes Depression
The exacts causes of depression are not fully known. In general, depression does not have a single cause and the reason why a patient is depressed is often hard to pinpoint. Depression may be due to a mixture of:
- biological and genetic traits
- situational events such as job loss, divorce, stress, trauma, or violence
- severe grief after the death of a loved one
- side effects due to prescription medications
- alcohol use and substance abuse
What is known is that for most patients, medical treatment can be very effective and possibly life-saving. Good options for treatment for depression include drug therapy, psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy , or a combination of the two. The American Psychiatric Association states antidepressant medication is recommended as an initial treatment choice for most patients with major depressive disorder, from mild to severe.
Patients should be screened for bipolar disorder prior to initiation of treatment of major depression.
Learn More: Depression: Symptoms, Subtypes and Diagnosis
Is Depression Common
Feeling sad or blue is not unusual it happens to most of us. But ongoing feelings of despair, frequent tearfulness, trouble with eating and sleeping, and withdrawal from family and friends may mean there is a more serious concern of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health , major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Depression does not play favorites: it can impact anyone regardless of age, race or socioeconomic status.
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health – their most recent data – roughly 17.3 million adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in 2017.
- It’s higher among females than males , highest in the age groups 18 to 25 years , and highest among adults reporting two or more races or ethnic groups .
- The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 .
- Of adults with major depressive episode diagnosed in 2017, 63.8% had severe impairment.
- Data also shows that of adults with major depressive episode, 35% did not receive any treatment — either psychotherapy or medication.
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When To See A Doctor
If your depression symptoms return for more than a few days, it’s time to see your doctor. But even if you feel like your antidepressant isn’t working, it’s important to keep taking it until your doctor advises otherwise. You may need a dosage increase or a slow tapering off process. With many antidepressant medications, stopping their use too quickly can cause withdrawal effects such as:
- Greater anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts
Early warning signs of breakthrough depression are the symptoms you typically experience when an episode of depression is coming on, says Nestadt. Depression symptoms vary from person to person, but signs include:
- Low mood
- Changes in sleep or appetite
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
If your symptoms return, don’t worry adjusting the dose or switching to another antidepressant often solves the problem.
How To Take Antidepressants
Antidepressants are usually taken every day. It can take 1 or even 2 months to see the full results. You may need to try different kinds or amounts to find the antidepressant that works best for you.
Your doctor will let you know how long to take your antidepressant. If this is the first time you have been treated for depression, you will probably continue to take this medicine for at least 6 months after you begin to feel better. If this is the second time youve been depressed, you might keep taking the medicine for at least a year. Depression that comes back a third time may require you to continue taking an antidepressant for a longer time.
You can get unwanted side effects if you stop taking your antidepressant suddenly. If you want to stop taking your medicine, talk to your doctor first. He or she can try to help you avoid these side effects.
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Missed Or Extra Doses
It’s important not to miss any of your doses, as this could make your treatment less effective.
If you do miss one of your doses, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time to take your next dose. In this case, you should just skip the missed dose. Don’t take a double dose to “make up” for the one you missed.
If you take more tablets than prescribed, contact your GP as soon as possible for advice. If this isn’t possible, contact your local out of hours service, or call NHS 24 111 service. Taking a double dose is unlikely to be harmful, but you should only do so if advised by a medical professional.
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Tricyclic Antidepressants Side Effects
Tricyclic antidepressants are a class of antidepressant associated with sedation, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention, and increased pressure in the eye. They are also associated with hypertension, abnormalheart rhythms, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, headache, rash, nausea, and vomiting, abdominal cramps, weight loss, and sexual dysfunction. Tricyclic antidepressants rarely cause liver failure.
Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor
Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are a class of drugs that have been marketed as antidepressants and are used for various mental disorders, mainly depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder . The norepinephrine transporter serves as the fundamental mechanism for the inactivation of noradrenergic signaling because of the NET termination in the reuptake of norepinephrine . The selectivity and mechanism of action for the NRI drugs remain mostly unresolved and, to date, only a limited number of NRI-selective inhibitors are available. The first commercially available selective NRI was the drug reboxetine , developed as a first-line therapy for major depressive disorder. Atomoxetine is another potent and selective NRI which is also effective and well tolerated for the treatment of ADHD in adults it may also be a new treatment option for adults with ADHD, particularly for those patients at risk of substance abuse.
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What Antidepressants Are Available
There are various medications for the treatment of . They can be split up into different groups. This article is mainly about the most commonly used antidepressants:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors
- Selective serotonin noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitors
Tricyclic antidepressants have been on the market the longest. They are considered to be first-generation antidepressants. SSRIs and SNRIs are second-generation antidepressants.
The following are prescribed less often:
- Adrenergic alpha-2 receptor antagonists
- Selective noradrenaline/dopamine re-uptake inhibitors
- Melatonin receptor agonists and serotonin 5-HT2C receptor antagonists
There are also medications that don’t belong to any group, as well as herbal products such as St. John’s wort.
Role Of Norepinephrine Transporter
Approximately 90% of released NE from the sympatheticnerve fibers is taken up again by postganglionicadrenergic neurons through the protein NET. The reuptake of NE is either repackaged into vesicles or degraded by the enzyme monoamine oxidase . The NET is located in the plasma membrane of noradrenergic neurons and serves as the fundamental mechanism by terminating the biological effects of NE in the synapse. The NE inactivation process, when taken up by the NET, is crucial in preventing too much increase in the NE concentration in the synaptic cleft. The reuptake of NE is competitive with various naturally occurring amines and drugs.
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