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Depression Medication: Types of Antidepressants

There is an endless variety of the depression drugs available on the market, which are commonly known referred to as anti-depressants or anti depression drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription for treating depression symptoms. However, many of the antidepressants that are available by prescription are extremely powerful, sometimes addictive, and many carry the risk of serious side effects.

Depression pills imageBasically, depression treatment begins with the person's acknowledgement of his depreccion causes. No matter what somebody says, it's not your fault that you're depressed. And there is no shame in taking prescription depression medicines or natural treatment alternatives to help your brain increase production of the neurotransmitters. Don't let depression spoil the joy of your life. Instead, learn and take action.

Types of Antidepressants:

1. Novel antidepressants (Dopamine reuptake inhibitors).
The most widely prescribed anti depression drug in this category Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is believed to be effective and efficient in decreasing the reuptake of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It tends to produce fewer side effects than the Tetricyclics but in rare instances can cause seizures.

2. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors - MAOI's.
Marplan (Isocarboxazid) and Nardil (Phenelzine)
The drugs in this category work by inhibiting the reuptake of MAO, which is essentially an enzyme system responsible for metabolizing serotonin and epinephrine. Like tricyclics, MAO inhibitors increase brain levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Positive results have been seen in treating bi polar depression occurring together with anxiety, panic attacks, out of control eating, or sleep disorders. However, because of the severe side effects, these drugs cannot be used to treat depression in anyone who has a cardiac condition. Likewise, they cannot be prescribed to people with a history of liver disease. Many people also tend to be hypersensitive to the ingredients of these antidepressants and as such, this depression drugs should be avoided whenever possible. If you are considering these anti-depression drugs be sure to ask your doctor about the risks involved.

3. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - SSRI's.
Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Zoloft, Cipramil and Celexa.
The antidepressant drugs in this category work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and are considered to be the safest antidepressant prescription drugs. This is of course, why this depression drugs are the most commonly prescribed. Taking these mood-brightening drugs can come at a cost: they can affect appetite, libido, sexual performance, sleep quality, memory and pain perception. If that's not enough, these drugs can also cause weight gain. Although they do elevate mood for a certain people, some users might seem too happy, while others seem too flat. For rare category of people these depression drugs may worsen the symptoms of depression.

4. Serotonin- norepinephine reuptake inhibitors - SNRI's.
Trazodone (Desyrel), Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
These antidepressants work by attempting to correct imbalances of serotonin and norepinephine in the brain. Like tricyclics these anti depressant drugs work by raising concentrations of the neurotransmitters. They seem to be especially effective when older people are involved. However, the depression drugs in this category are known to disrupt sleep patterns, as well as cause other side effects, such as nausea, constipation, difficulty urinating, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Furthermore, users are also at risk of experiencing withdrawal effects when they come off this medication.

5. Tricyclic anti-depressants - TCA's.
Elavil and VivactilDepression drugs image
Anti-depression drugs in this category also work mainly by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephine. One of the most noticeable differences between TCA's and SNRI's, that while the possible side effects of both drugs are very similar, side effects of TCA depression drugs are usually a little less severe. Although it is common to think that all drugs in the same class would have the same side effects, but this is not the case. For instance Elavil can make person feel sleepy, while Vivactil can create a sense of anxiety and restlessness (which is not helpful for someone who has insomnia). Tricyclics common side effects can include loss of sexual desire, dizziness, muscle twitches, weight gain, heart problems, fatigue, dry mouth, excessive sweating and weakness. Tricyclic drugs for depression may interact negatively with blood coagulants, sleeping medication, thyroid hormones, antipsychotic drugs, antihistamines and alcohol.

6. Tetracyclic anti-depressants.
Mirtazapine and Maprotiline
Tetracyclic ani-depressants work by increasing concentrations of the amount of serotonin and noradrenaline, by blocking their re-absorption by the nerve cells (neurons) that release them. At present, these depression drugs are commonly prescribed for treating people with both depression and anxiety. While the success rate is about 60% the side effects are worth noting; drowsiness, blood pressure reduction, dizziness, hand tremors, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, dry mouth, problems with urination, rapid heart rate, and constipation.

The treatment properties and potential of depression drugs are very attractive. But the side effects must always be considered. If the side effects of the depression drugs seem like they are not worth the risks, then you should probably also know that a study done by the Public Library of Science showed that anti-depressants were barely more effective than placebos for some people.

Good news - there are natural treatment alternatives that are safe and effective. In fact, many of herbal remedies have been time-tested by countless generations who have used them to relieve anxiety and recapture a sense of joy and well-being.



  1. Margaret Says:
  2. Very well written article. The video was also very informative. People must be aware of all these anti-depressants and their effects to the health. Well quoted.
    Thanks for sharing. For more information visit, depression treatment

  3. Harry Says:
  4. You're right about everything in that video. Personally, I don't consider asking a doctor for prescriptions to cure depression, 'cause I believe it's biological. Our bodies just need equal amounts of certain nutrients to function well. I agree when you said that one way of treating depression naturally is going through therapy. Dietary supplements are natural remedy for depression and safer for people having minor depressive disorders.


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