Antidepressants for Symptoms of Depression

People can suffer from depression for a variety of reasons.  They can be depressed because of heredity which predisposes them to chemical changes in the brain leading to depression.  They can be depressed because of a previous trauma, such as a car accident, a mass tragedy or child abuse/neglect.  They can also be depressed because of a personal loss or prolonged bereavement.

Depression is defined as having symptom ssuch as low mood, low energy, sleeping problems, guilt, suicidality or feelings of self-harm, and related symptoms for at least two weeks.  

Generally it takes much longer than that for a person to recognize they need help and to get help from their primary doctor or a psychiatrist. The primary treatments for depression include psychotherapy and medications.  Most research indicates that both modalities are effective but are effective especially when used together.

Medications have been used for depression for around 60 years.  The older medications are still in use but they have been largely replaced by SSRI and SNRI medications.  These stand for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.  Both work to increase the levels of serotonin or norepinephrine in key areas of the brain.  This increases the mood and people feel much less depressed.
 
The older medications for depression include:
 
MAIO’s such as:
 
1.    Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
2.    Phenelzine (Nardil)
3.    Tranlylcypromine (Parmate)

Also Tricyclic Antidepressents such as:

1.    Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep, Levate)
2.    Amoxapine (Asendin)
3.    Clomipramine (Anafranil)
4.    Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)
5.    Doxepin (Adapin, Silenor, Sinequan)
6.    Imipramine (Tofranil, Tofranil-PM)
7.    Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
8.    Nortryptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor)
9.    Protriptyline (Vivactil)
10.    Trimipramine (Surmontil, Trimip, Tripramine)

New medications for depression have largely replaced the old medications because of fewer side effects and better efficacy.

Newer  Medications include:
 
SSRI’s
1.    Citalopram (Celexa)
2.    Escitalopram (Lexapro)
3.    Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Selfemra, Sarafem)
4.    Fluvoxamine (Faverin, Luvox, Luvox CR)
5.    Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
6.    Sertraline (Zoloft)
7.    Viibryd (Vilazodone)
SNRI’s
1.    Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
2.    Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
3.    Milnacipran (Savella)2
4.    Venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR )

Millions of people will develop depression at some point in their lives-about one in four individuals.  Some get better on their own without medication but many need to be on medication or be in psychotherapy to handle their low mood and other symptoms.
 
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