Thursday, August 13, 2009

anti depression drugs

For someone in a state of depression gaining an understanding of all the drugs for depression can be a challenging if not impossible task. With all of the talk of potential side effects such as headaches, dry, mouth, dizziness, stomach upsets, and oh yes depression medications that can cause depression it is easy to see how someone could just throw their hands up in overwhelming disgust.
Depression occurs when the biology of in the brain becomes abnormal; when chemical conversations between neurons break down. Put simply the brain runs out of resources to manage events such as stress. Once again the experts are split on exactly what is happening, with some believing that there aren't enough brain communication chemicals to get the message out while others believe that depression is more of a situation where neurotransmitters (chemical messagers) just don't function properly. Different drugs for depression act on different neurotransmitters in different ways.
In this informational article titled "Anti Depression Drugs" we will briefly explore four commonly prescribed drug categories for depression and how they work.
*Tetricyclics: These drugs raise brain concentrations of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine by blocking their reabsorption by the nerve cells (neurons) that release them. About a 60% success rate is seen though multiple weeks are needed before results are noticed. While the success rate is acceptable the side effects are worth noting; drowsiness, blood pressure reduction leading to dizziness, hand tremors, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, dry mouth, problems with urination, rapid heart rate, and constipation.
*Dopamine reuptake inhibitors: The most widely prescribed anti depression drug in this category is Wellbutrin (Bupropion) which seems to be effective 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.
*Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors: Like tricyclics, MAO inhibitors increase brain levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, in this case by blocking the action of the enzyme MAO, which generally interacts with three neurotransmitters. Good results have been seen especially in depression cases accompanied by anxiety, panic attacks, out of control eating, or excessive sleeping. MAO inhibitors can cause many of the same side effects as the tricyclics along with a few others. If you are considering this option be sure and ask your doctor about the risks involved. Examples: Marplan (Isocarboxazid) and Nardil (Phenelzine)
*Serotonin and nor epinephrine re uptake inhibitors: Like tricyclics these anti depressant drugs work by raising brain concentrations of the neurotransmitters serotonin and nor epinephrine. They seem to be very effective especially when older patients are involved. Possible side effects include nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. Examples: Trazodone (Desyrel) and Venlafaxine (Effexor)
In summary, we have just scratched the surface on anti depressant drug treatments. But there are a couple of conclusions that are fairly obvious, first, not all anti anxiety drugs work for everyone and secondly each comes with some risk for side effects.
Additionally, many natural health minded individuals are choosing to add herbal remedies for depression to their tool box of depression fighting solutions. If you have been searching for a natural and affordable way to treat mild to moderate depression this is an option worth investigating further.