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Seasonal Affective Disorder: Top Drugs That Work

Tuesday, 05 Oct 2010 03:33 PM

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) stems from a neurological imbalance of essential brain chemicals including serotonin and dopamine. Symptoms of SAD include frequent changes in mood, excessive sleep, lack of energy, and, in some cases, severe anxiety. Depending on the patient’s biological system and pharmacological tolerance, doctors and medical practitioners need to develop a personalized approach that involves using either a single drug or a combination of seasonal affective disorder drugs. The bottom line is to use drugs that have minimal side effects and ensure maximum efficacy.

Several medical researchers have come up with new and improved drug formulations that have minimal side effects as a part of SAD therapy.  Seasonal affective disorder or seasonal affect disorder drugs fall mostly into the category of antidepressants or serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Let’s look at some of the top drugs that work in the treatment of  SAD:

Bupropion is a new-age drug that is an extension of the previous formulation, earlier known as Wellbutrin XL. It is extremely effective in SAD therapy and  helps alleviate the occurrence of depressive episodes in many patients. Some people are known to have a family history of SAD, and this antidepressant reduces the intensity of symptoms associated with it.  

Other antidepressants that are beneficial include Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetine (Prozac), and Venlafaxine (Effexor).

These are a few examples of the top SAD drugs. Some doctors prescribe antidepressants, even before the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder set in, to deal with the problem in a proactive way. A few others may even recommend extending the duration of the dosage after the symptoms disappear, to ensure that SAD is truly taken care of. The drugs mentioned above take time to work, which is the case with most antidepressants.

Any medication that induces tiresomeness, listlessness, and sleep must be strictly avoided. Seasonal affective disorder can be dealt with by starting a course of antidepressants around autumn and ending it in spring.

In addition to medication, a diet for seasonal affective disorder should include lean meat, poultry (without skin), fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, tofu, nuts, pulses, beans, bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. The diet for seasonal affective disorder should be light and nutritious. People must ensure they eat healthy foods because there is generally minimal physical activity during the winter months. Junk food is unhealthy and is a big no-no, particularly if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder.  

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