Depression: Top 5 Drugs That Work

Wednesday, 26 Jan 2011 04:52 PM

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Depression can be treated with diet changes, depression drugs, psychological counseling and treatment, or a combination of these. The chemicals norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine are the monoamines that are known to regulate mood. They are used in most chemical formulations of depression drugs.
 
Based on the type of depression and the extent of the depression, treatment is planned and medication is prescribed. Well-researched and accepted depression drugs are benzodiazepines, which are tricyclic antidepressants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or monoamine oxidase inhibitor and azapirones.
 
Benzodiazepines as depression drugs are found to be effective in reducing phobic behavior and in many cases help in reducing panic attacks. Klonopin, Ativan, and Xanax fall into this category. These drugs come with their own set of side-effects and withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, and memory loss.
 
Other drugs for depression treatment are antidepressants, which are available in several varieties. Tricyclic antidepressants are mostly used for anxiety and depression. They are taken as a single daily dose and are found to be effective in the treatment of panic disorder and chronic depression. These tricyclic depression drugs have side-effects on the heart, and can result in weight gain and heart palpitations.
 
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are used in depression treatment to affect the levels of a chemical neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. They are used as a first step treatment for depression. Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and Paxil belong to this category.
 
The other widely used antidepressant is the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). They are used in the treatment of atypical forms of depression, and when the other forms of medication for depression are unresponsive. This form of depression drug helps by transmitting signals between nerve cells. They are very rarely prescribed as the side-effects are several and severe. The most common side-effects are metabolic interference, hypertension, and brain hemorrhage.
 
Azapirones are another form of depression drugs that are used in the treatment of a specific type of anxiety. They are slow acting and have fewer side-effects. There are not many drugs in this category and research is continuing in this area.
 
While many depression medications are effective, they come with side-effects. As a first step, one must attempt to fight depression by making dietary changes, exercising, getting involved in social activities, enrolling in rehabilitation programs, seeking psychological counseling, and psychotherapy before moving on to drugs. Depression can be prevented, controlled, and cured only if the patient also makes an attempt to get himself or herself out of the depression. Drugs can assist in this process.

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