An Overview Of Depression Medications

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Depression medications seek to alleviate the symptoms of depression by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain.  Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages to different parts of the brain.  These messengers play a role in mood management.

Medications known as antidepressants, which are used in treating depression, can affect the amount of these neurotransmitters in the brain and positively influence a person’s mood state.  The four major kinds of antidepressants are tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants were some of the original antidepressants that were used in the treatment of depression symptoms.  They operate mainly by affecting the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

They are effective when it comes to treating depression, but they have a high incidence of side effects so they are not as favoured anymore.  They are still used, however, when other medications are ineffective or produce side effects of their own.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

MAOIs are another type of antidepressant that were used as antidepressants first came into existence.  Their application is usually limited to patients who do not respond to other types of antidepressant medications.

MAOIs can have interactions with various food products so a strict diet must be adhered to by anyone on these medications.  This is another reason why they are not the preferred form of treatment in most cases.  MAOIs are also used to treat other psychological conditions.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

These antidepressants are newer to the arsenal of depression-fighting drugs.  They prevent the reuptake of serotonin after that serotonin has triggered a signal in the brain.  This way the same serotonin may continue to trigger signals in the brain as if the amount of serotonin were greater than it actually is.  Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors tend to have fewer side effects than the older antidepressants.

Serotonin And Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

These also make the list of newer antidepressant medications.  These antidepressants operate on the same principle as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, only they influence the amount of norepinephrine as well as serotonin in the brain.  More of both chemicals trigger the appropriate responses in the brain, and the patient’s mood is thusly affected.  They, too, tend to have fewer side effects than older antidepressants.

The medications used to treat depression seek to ameliorate depression symptoms by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain.  The process may not be entirely understood, but these antidepressants produce positive results in many depression patients.  With time, the science of depression drugs will only advance further.

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1 Comment

  1. Maria
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with you. Tryciclic antidepressant in my own experience prove to be more effective with very little side effects than the SSRI’s. Very good if you have sleeping problems.

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