Medication for Depression

If you suffer from depression, the amount of medication available can seem overwhelming. Since the boom of Prozac in the 1980’s, antidepressant medication has been on the rise. A recent USA Today article stated that about 27 million people, around 10% of all Americans, take antidepressant medication, and that number is expected to rise.

So how do you know which medication to trust? The best solution is to work with a trusted doctor. Never try to take any medication without the help of a doctor. Because everyone has a different metabolism, even medications that work well for a one person may cause a serious reaction in another.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that antidepressant drugs are not a cure-all. Antidepressants only do so much; it requires counseling to retrain the brain to perform differently and create a happier life.

Along with a good conversation with your doctor and pharmacist, this guide should help explain how some of the antidepressants available work in the body:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) were an early form of antidepressant medication. They seem to work well with people who do not like more modern antidepressants or who have more side effects with more modern antidepressants. People taking these medications usually must avoid certain foods in their diet. There are some new versions of MAOIs available that may have fewer side effects. Some examples of MAOIs include Nardil, Parnate, Moclobemide, Rolipram, and Marplan.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are also among the first created antidepressants. They affect the brain’s messenger hormones (neurotransmitters) serotonin and norepinephrine. These drugs are effective at treating depression but they also carry many side effects. Some examples of TCAs include Nortriptyline, Amitriptyline, Protriptyline, Desipramine, Amoxapine, Doxepin and Trimipramine.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are newer forms of antidepressants. These drugs alter the chemical serotonin in the brain. The biggest benefits of SSRIs is that they are not as lethal in an overdose and they also carry fewer overall side effects in normal use. One issue with SSRIs is the cost. Because many of these drugs are newly on the market, they may carry premium prices. Another common issue in SSRI drugs is that they may have negative effects when given to teenagers; these drugs may make depression worse in young people. Some examples of SSRIs include Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Luvox.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are also new to the antidepressant world. They work by altering both the chemical serotonin and the chemical norepinephrine in the brain. The biggest advantage of these drugs is that they sometimes work where SSRIs may not. The side effects of SNRIs are lower than those with SSRIs as well. Because these are very new drugs, most of them are more expensive than generic versions. Some examples of SNRIs include Effexor (Venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (Duloxetine).

Depression Medication Help

If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from depression and may be in need of treatment, you are not alone. We offer a toll-free 24 hour helpline staffed by trained counselors who would love to speak with you about depression medication and treatment options. Call us today.

1 (866) 612-7501