Depression is a mental health problem that can happen to anyone at any age. Depression affects the brain, so antidepressant medicines can prove beneficial in its treatment. Instead of reducing depression, common antidepressant medications reduce its symptoms.Antidepressants used to treat depression work by controlling certain chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain. They may have some side effects like dizziness, excessive sleepiness and weight loss. Antidepressants help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. That includes serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as duloxetine (Cymbalta). Antidepressants work by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain. Experts believe that these are responsible for changes in mood and behavior. Today in this article we will know what antidepressant is and what are its types, uses and disadvantages-

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  1. Types Of Antidepressants
  2. Uses Of Antidepressants
  3. Disadvantages Of Antidepressant Medication
  4. Alternative Options
  5. How Do Antidepressants Work?
  6. How Long Does It Take For Antidepressants To Start Working?
  7. Summary
Doctors for Choosing the Right Antidepressant: A Guide for Patients

There are many types of antidepressants available for the treatment of depression, which are described in detail below-

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
It is a class of drugs commonly used in the treatment of depression, stress disorders and other psychological conditions. These drugs include fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram and escitalopram.

Atypical Antidepressant
These include trazodone, mirtazapine, vortioxetine, vilazodone hydrochloride and bupropion medicines.

Tricyclic Antidepressants
This includes the drugs imipramine tofranil, nortriptyline, amitriptyline and desipramine.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors include tranylcypromine, phenelzine, and isocarboxazid. Along with taking these medicines, special care has to be taken about diet.

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Antidepressants are used to treat many types of mental disorders and depressive conditions. Some other such situations are mentioned below-

  • Major Depression Disorder
  • Persistent Depression Or Recurring Depression (Dysthymia)
  • Migraine Prevention
  • Discomfort Before Periods
  • Social Anxiety Disorder Or Fear Of Being In Large Crowds
  • Anxiety Problem
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Effective In Chronic Pain
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Antidepressants are undoubtedly effective in treating depression, but the side effects of some drugs are long term, while some are temporary. The side effects of some antidepressant medicines appear immediately, while the side effects of many antidepressants appear after a long time. Let us know in detail about the disadvantages of antidepressants-

Although these side effects are temporary and improve with time, some sexual problems may persist for a long time.

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Some alternative options are also included such as:

1. Medicine
People suffering from depression can also seek medical help. Types of therapy that can help treat depression include:

2. Hypericum
Hypericum may help relieve depression in some people. It is available over the counter as a supplement. However, there are some potential risks associated with taking Hypericum:

  • If It Is Combined With Certain Antidepressant Medications, It Can Cause A Potentially Life-threatening Increase In Serotonin.
  • It Can Worsen The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia.
  • It May Reduce The Effectiveness Of Some Prescription Drugs, Including Antidepressants, Birth Control Pills, Some Heart Medications, Warfarin, And Some Treatments For Hiv And Cancer.
  • If A Person Plans To Take Hypericum, They Should Talk To A Doctor Or Pharmacist First.

3. Light Box
People who experience seasonal affective disorder may benefit from light therapy. This involves sitting in front of a light box for 30 to 45 minutes first thing in the morning.

4. Diet and exercise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity can reduce a person's risk of depression. Additionally, people may also benefit from eating a balanced, nutritious diet rich in fresh and whole foods. Limit refined and processed foods.

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Different antidepressants work in different ways and affect all neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other. Antidepressants work in the following ways:


  • SSRIs: These prevent serotonin from returning to where it came from, also known as inhibiting serotonin reuptake. These help serotonin to attach to its receptor to transmit a signal to the brain.
  • SNRIs: These work similarly to SSRIs, except that they act on both serotonin and norepinephrine.
  • TCAs: These work similarly to SNRIs, except that they are less effective at inhibiting norepinephrine reuptake than serotonin reuptake.
  • MAOIs: These target the brain enzyme monoamine oxidase, which helps break down neurotransmitters like serotonin. This can stabilize mood and reduce anxiety.

According to the NHS, people may start to benefit from the antidepressant after 1-2 weeks if they have taken more than one dose. Some people stop taking antidepressant medications because they believe the medication is not working. However, it is important to keep taking the medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. If a person does not see any benefits after 4 weeks, they should talk to a doctor.

Are Antidepressants Safe During Pregnancy?
The CDC Trusted Source says there may be some risks from taking SSRIs during pregnancy, although the chances are very small. For some people, stopping medications is more dangerous than continuing to take them. If a woman is pregnant and wants to continue or start taking antidepressant medications, she should talk to her doctor. Small amounts of some antidepressant medications may pass into breast milk.

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How Long Should Antidepressants Be Taken?
According to the NHS, doctors usually suggest a person take antidepressants for at least 6 months. People should take their antidepressant medications exactly as prescribed by their doctor.

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Depression can happen to anyone, but depression can be controlled with antidepressant drugs. Antidepressants can help reduce the symptoms of depression. If the side effects of antidepressant drugs become more bothersome, one should immediately consult a doctor for advice on changing the drugs. Antidepressants can help relieve symptoms of conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders. They work by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain. Examples of antidepressant medications include SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, and NSAIDs. MAOIs may also be an option, although doctors prescribe them less frequently due to the risk of adverse side effects. It may take several weeks for antidepressant medications to start working. People may experience side effects. Anyone who experiences symptoms of depression should talk to a doctor.

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