No Depress Main Page Banner

Depression medications - Antidepressants overview

The humanity has experienced the strongest influence of stress factors from a long time. Our age is considered to be depressive because of frequency of this disease. But for the sake of justice, it must be said that even a large number of depressive statistics is far from the truth, since most people do not turn to doctors, but struggle with depression on their own.

The ways to combat depression are complicated with the development of medicine. In the past centuries, ginseng, caffeine, valerian, bromine salts have been used. Modern antidepressants appeared about a hundred years ago and have been actively improving over the years.

How antidepressants work?

Antidepressants correct the activity of certain parts of the brain. The brain consists of neurons, where there is a connection in the space between them - a synaptic cleft. Information is transmitted through a synaptic mediator, called a mediator. If the mediator level in the synapse decreases, the information can be transmitted very slowly or not completely. In this case, a person has the signs of depression.

Mediators that influence the appearance of depression include: serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine. The action of antidepressants is directed on regulation of presence and concentration of a particular mediator. Thus, the brain activity is corrected. Antidepressants are effective if they are properly administered and used. They have a strong curative effect and in some cases are necessary for recovery. Nevertheless, many questions and doubts are associated with their application.

Antidepressants: Pros and Cons

Most people who experience symptoms of depression are not sure of the need for antidepressants. The following popular incorrect theories are used against the use of antidepressants:

The first anti-theory: antidepressants are addictive.

This idea may have confirmation if the antidepressant is not properly taken. This occurs in the case of an independent choice of antidepressants and dosage of their use without consulting a doctor. In this case, the human condition is not taken into account, the types of mediators are not determined, and as a result an incorrect reaction of the organism to antidepressants occurs.

The second anti-theory: antidepressants are used only by weak people, strong people cope with depression independently.

This idea is fundamentally wrong. Depression has no connection to the nature of a person, it is caused by disorders in the nervous system associated with a change in the concentration of individual mediators. Therefore, depression is a disease that needs to be treated. And only the antidepressants can give a person the ability to act actively against depression.

In favor of antidepressants there is the fact that in European countries these drugs have entered the culture of life. According to statistics, they are used by more than 65% of the population. Modern drugs restore brain activity, increase activity and ability to solve problems. At the same time, they are not addictive, but are prescribed by the doctor periodically if necessary.

Antidepressants are used in a number of cases:

  • Psychosomatic diseases;
  • Panic attacks;
  • Pain syndromes;
  • Anxiety states;
  • Narcolepsy;
  • Alcoholism;
  • Anorexia;
  • Bulimia;
  • Phobias;
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome;
  • Panic attacks;
  • Crises of different etiology.

Each of the indications requires the use of a certain type of drugs and its unique dosage.

How to choose antidepressants?

It is widely believed that all modern drugs are either not effective, or are a modification of amitriptyline. This is far from the case. And it is necessary to understand the modern abundance of drugs in this area.

It should be said that free antidepressants are prescribed only to patients who are on psychiatric record. All other patients have to buy these drugs on their own. Prices for them range from 1.5 to 6 thousand rubles. Naturally, this is not a cheap "pleasure". Given that the medicine may simply not fit this patient, and the drug store can't return it back, treatment for depression can drive into another depression.

However, it is necessary to understand that there is a greater efficiency at a high price and a low level of side effects. Cheap drugs have a whole series of side effects, some of which are serious enough. Today, the largest producer of antidepressants is the United States. In this country there are serious and profound studies in this field.

Widely used drugs are: Remeron, Luvox, Effexor, Zoloft. Also quite popular and effective are: Doxelin, Tianeptine, Amitriptyline, Imipramine, Lipofezin. These drugs are able to oppress the re-acquisition of neurotransmitters, which affects the autonomic nervous system. More carefully influence: fluvoxamine, sertraline, paroxetine.

Side Effects of Antidepressants

To identify side effects, you need to identify a group of drugs:

  • Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors;
  • Atypical antidepressants;
  • Tricyclic antidepressants;
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

Consider in detail the side effects of different groups of antidepressants. Selective inhibitors have the following side effects: insomnia, nausea, anxiety, dizziness, decreased sexual desire, fatigue, drowsiness, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, tremor, headache.

A typical antidepressants: sexual problems, drowsiness, nausea.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors may also have these symptoms. Some depressants cause weight gain, blurred vision, symptoms of chronic fatigue.

Purpose of antidepressants

The difficulty in choosing antidepressants in prescribing is to determine the type of mediator whose lack of concentration affects the work of the nervous system. It is important to determine the dosage of drugs to increase the concentration, but not its excess. For this reason, the dosage of the drug increases gradually.

In rare cases, with the first application there is an improvement in the human condition. Very often in difficult situations, several drugs are prescribed at once to cover all types of mediators. However, the concentration accumulates gradually, and the first stable effect appears not earlier than in 2-3 weeks.

Even if it seems that it does not get better, this is actually not the true. The mechanism for correcting the state is already running, and improvement is bound to come at a time when the concentration of mediators reaches the desired value.

It is very difficult to guess the type of the mediator, so the doctor has to change the prescribed medications until the patient's condition improves.

Antidepressants are sold only on prescription of a doctor. In the free sale there are light preparations of natural herbs origin, which are relatively safe, but also poorly effective.

It is very difficult to assign ideal medicine. Usually this is achieved by trials and errors. The choice of the drug is caused by the following factors: sex, age, depth of illness, patient's mood. Remember that there are no better and worse drugs, there are medicines that are suitable for you or not. Antidepressants can't be chosen on the advice of friends. Only a doctor can prescribe the drug and its dosage.