Anti-Depressant Drugs are medicines that relieve symptoms of mental
Anti-depressant Drugs are used to treat serious, continuing mental
depression that interferes with a person's ability to function. Everyone
feels sad, "blue," or discouraged occasionally, but usually those
feelings do not interfere with every day life and do not need treatment.
However, when the feelings become overwhelming and last for weeks or months,
professional treatment can help. Although depression is one of the most
common and serious mental disorders, it is also one of the most treatable.
If untreated, depression can lead to social withdrawal, physical complaints,
such as fatigue, sleep problems, and aches and pains, and even suicide.
The first step in treating depression is an accurate diagnosis by a
physician or mental health professional. The physician or mental health
professional will ask questions about the person's medical and psychiatric
history and will try to rule out other causes, such as thyroid problems or
side effects of medicines the person is taking. Lab tests may be ordered to
help rule out medical problems. Once a person has been diagnosed with
depression, treatment will be tailored to the person's specific problem. The
treatment may consist of drugs alone, counseling alone, or drugs in
combination with counseling methods such as psychotherapy or cognitive
Anti-depressant Drugs help reduce the extreme sadness, hopelessness, and
lack of interest in life that are typical in people with depression. These
drugs also may be used to treat other conditions, such as obsessive
compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome, chronic pain, and eating
Anti-depressant Drugs, also called Anti-depressants, are thought to work by
influencing communication between cells in the brain. The drugs affect
chemicals called neurotransmitters, which carry signals from one nerve cell
to another. These Neuro-transmitters are involved in the control of mood and
in other responses and functions, such as eating, sleep, pain, and thinking.
The main types of Anti-depressant Drugs in use today are:
- Tricyclic Anti-depressants, such as Amitriptyline (Elavil),
Imipramine (Tofranil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs or Serotonin
Boosters), such as fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), and
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO Inhibitors), such as Phenelzine
(Nardil), and Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- Lithium (used mainly to treat manic depression, but also sometimes
prescribed for recurring bouts of depression).
Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors act only on the
Neuro-transmitter Serotonin, while tricyclic Anti-depressants and MAO
Inhibitors act on both Serotonin and another Neuro-transmitter,
Norepinephrine, and may also interact with other chemicals throughout the
body. Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors have fewer side effects than
Tricyclic Anti-depressants and MAO Inhibitors, perhaps because Selective
Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors act only on one body chemical, Serotonin.
Because the Neuro-transmitters involved in the control of moods are also
involved in other processes, such as sleep, eating, and pain, drugs that
affect these Neuro-transmitters can be used for more than just treating
depression. Headache, eating disorders, bed-wetting, and other problems are
now being treated with Anti-depressants.
All Anti-depressant Drugs are effective, but certain types work best for
certain kinds of depression. For example, people who are depressed and
agitated do best when they take an anti-depressant drug that also calms them
down. People who are depressed and withdrawn may benefit more from an
anti-depressant drug that has a stimulating effect.
Drugs- Ways to Make them More Effective