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Medication for depression
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)are medications that
increase the amount of the neurochemical serotonin in the brain. People with
depression often have low serotonin levels in the brain, and as their name
implies, the SSRIs work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin so it stays
around. They are called selective because they mostly impact serotonin and
not other neurochemicals. SSRIs have fewer side effects than many of the
older generation antidepressants, such as the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Therefore, SSRIs are often the
first-line treatment for depression. Examples of SSRIs include Fluoxetine
(Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa),
Fluvoxamine (Luvox), and Escitalopram (Lexapro).
Dual-action antidepressants (SNRI’s).Some of the newer antidepressant
drugs appear to have particularly robust effects on both the norepinephrine
and serotonin systems and are called “dual-action.” These drugs seem to be
very helpful, especially for the more severe and chronic cases of depression.
Venlafaxine (Effexor), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), and Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) are
three of these dual-action compounds.
Mirtazapine(Remeron, NaSSA). Although Mirtzazpine is primarily an
antidepressant for major depression, it also has been found beneficial for
anxiety and insomnia. It may stimulate the appetite and thus cause weight
gain for some at higher doses.
Atypical antidepressantsare so named because they work in a variety of
ways. Examples of atypical antidepressants include Bupropion (Wellbutrin),
Nefazodone (Serzone), and Trazodone (Desyrel). (often used as a sleep aid)
Mood stabilizers and anticonvulsantsinclude lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid),
Valproate (Depakene, Depakote), Carbamazepine (Epitol, Tegretol),
Gabapentine (Neurontin), and Lamotrigine (Lamictal). They have been used
to treat bipolar depression and they are sometimes used “off-label” for some
forms of anxiety and depression.
Tricyclic antidepressants(TCAs) were developed in the 1950s and 1960s to
treat depression. They work mainly by increasing the level of norepinephrine
in the brain. TCAs are safe and generally well-tolerated when properly
prescribed. However takeN in excess, TCAs can cause life-threatening heart-
rhythm disturbances. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants are amitriptyline
and desipramine.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)are the earliest developed
antidepressants. MAOIs can interact with over-the-counter cold and cough
medications to cause dangerously high blood pressure. Because of these
potentially serious drug and food interactions, MAOIs are usually only
prescribed after other treatment options have failed.
Some of thenewer psychopharmacology optionsthat may work with the
brain for the neurotransmitters nutrient replenishment include: Vilazodone
HCL (Viibryd), an approved SSRI and 5-HT
receptor partial agonist
and L-
Methylfolate (Deplin), a folate (B vitamin) supplement.
Medicaon for Anxiety
Medicines used to treat anxiety disorder may be especially helpful for people
whose anxiety is interfering with daily functioning. The medications most often
used to treat anxiety are:
Benzodiazepines. These medications are sometimes referred to as
"tranquilizers," because they may leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
Common benzodiazepines include Alprazolam (Xanax), Chlordiazepoxide
(Librium), Diazepam (Valium), and Lorazepam (Ativan).
Antidepressants, such as Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline
(Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro) (SSRI’s) and Effexor,
Cymbalta, Pristiq (SNRI’s).
Serotonin Enhancer, such as Buspirone (Buspar).
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