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Antidepressants: Types, Uses, Withdrawal, Side Effects, Patient Teaching

When an individual suffers from depression, mental health professionals often suggest antidepressants to relieve the symptoms. But know that antidepressants do not treat the problem from the root cause. Additionally, they also cause side effects and health threats. For all such reasons having profound and qualitative knowledge about antidepressants is very important to weigh the benefits in contrast to the risks it can cause you. In this article, we will delve into the various types of antidepressants, their uses, potential withdrawal symptoms, side effects, and provide essential patient teaching information.

We aim to provide you with an in-depth understanding of antidepressants, empowering you to make informed decisions and manage your mental health effectively.


Antidepressants are a class of medications that are used to treat depression. They work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Antidepressants are also used to treat other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Patient teaching for antidepressants | What can you not do while on antidepressants

The success rate of antidepressants

Research has shown that in the acute state of depression, antidepressants work efficiently to reduce the symptoms. However, to date, we do not have antidepressants for all kinds of patients.

The known medications have worked only on a limited number of people which comes out to be less than 50 percent of the total count of depression patients. Also, it has been noticed that patients who do not respond to medication develop chances of getting back into depression in a short duration, regardless of continuing the drug treatment.

On the other hand, some research has shown that antidepressants work only to a limited extent. Their effect is minimal and works only slightly better than placebos when given to mild to moderate depression cases.

However, doctors still believe that if an individual suffering from depression causes disturbance within his or her daily routine functions, then medication should be prescribed. With medication, other forms of therapies will also show better results. Your doctor may help you identify the right drug for you. The combination of therapy and anti-depressants helps to treat the cause of the problem from the root.

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Side Effects of Antidepressants

A good number of drugs are used to treat the problem of depression. These drugs primarily include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), atypical antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). In all medications, side effects are more or less the same. However, in some cases, the side effects may turn truly severe and push the sufferer to impede the medication in between.

Some common side effects of depression medication:
  • Nausea, anxiety, and agitation
  • Restlessness and lack of sleep
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • Intense hyperactivity
  • Suicidal attempts and thoughts
  • Dizziness and loss of appetite
  • Fatigue, tremors, headaches, and perspiration
  • Abrupt changes in behavior
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation and diarrhea

Although side effects and health risks are common with all antidepressants, in some cases, the chances get higher.

Senior citizens: Studies revealed that SSRI medications have shown severe chances of falls, fractures, and bone loss in people above 65 years of age.

Pregnant women: During the late stages of pregnancy, SSRIs drug use may cause short-term withdrawal symptoms in newborns, post-delivery. Distinctive symptoms such as shivering, impatience, and mild respiratory problems may also occur.

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Antidepressants and Weight Loss

Certain antidepressants can help with weight loss. Bearing in mind that every person’s body is different, and responds to medications differently, some prescribed antidepressants are effective in achieving weight loss.

However, I must insist that a regular diet and at least moderate exercise are essential to controlling your weight. Also, be as open as you possibly can with your doctor. I would never recommend you take any type of medication without consulting a doctor with whom you’re being totally honest. Together you two can come to an informed decision as to how to best improve your health.

One of the medications that is significant in weight loss is Bupropion. However, if your main reason for taking it is depression, Bupropion may not be the best choice. Its effectiveness as an antidepressant is not the best available.

Again, only you and your doctor can decide what will work best for you.  Another choice might be reboxetine, because it helps to curtail cravings, especially for foods high in carbohydrates (like cookies, chips, and bread). If your body isn’t craving starchy foods, it’s easier to choose not to indulge, which of course results in at least some weight loss.

Do remember that medication alone is not a wise option for achieving weight loss. All doctors agree that a balanced diet and regular exercise are the best methods of controlling your weight. But of course, some of us need a little help.

And if you’re battling depression, it can be very difficult to find the motivation to make improvements to your lifestyle. Antidepressants can help in that area, especially if you and your doctor choose one that increases your norepinephrine levels. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for telling your body it’s full. If your brain doesn’t think you’re hungry, then you won’t be inclined to eat as much. Naturally, that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Also, increasing your levels of norepinephrine and serotonin will generally give you more energy. This will increase your body’s rate of burning calories, and help motivate you to exercise more.

There are of course some antidepressants that will fight against you in your battle for weight loss. Paroxetine is an antidepressant that works wonders against depression but will almost always cause weight gain. You also need to consider that increases could be a good sign that your antidepressant is working. A consequence of that is, of course, some weight gain.

Still, I believe (and most doctors will agree) that exercise can help combat the weight-related side effects of antidepressants.

I’ve only mentioned a few antidepressants in this article, but a few conversations with your doctor will clear up any more questions you may have.

Antidepressant Withdrawal

Once an individual begins with depression medications, it becomes difficult to do without them. It takes a lot of determination and strength of mind to start dealing with life without medication.

Patients should always seek their therapist’s guidance while getting off the antidepressants. The doctor will tell you the exact way to gradually minimize your dosage. Sudden or rushed breaks in the medication may have to go through numerous unpleasant withdrawal symptoms or “antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.” The syndrome is often observed when people stop taking Paxil or Zoloft.

Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms

Some common symptoms observed on withdrawing antidepressant
  • Fretfulness and anxiety
  • Severe mood swings
  • Lack of sleep and nightmares
  • Dizziness
  • Lacking concentration
  • Developing symptoms of Flu
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramps and pain in the stomach
  • Tremors and muscle spasms
Very frequently, it has been noticed that when one decides to withdraw from the depression medications, his or her conditions become all the worse than it was when the original depression had started. But this state should not be confused with the relapsing of their depressive illness.

If during this stage, you plan to resume medication, the condition may become more acute and will never come to an end. Hence, always ensure your doctor’s consultation while going through the phase of depression medication withdrawal.

Some vital guidelines to follow while taking Antidepressants

If an individual suffering from depression is asked to take antidepressants, some guidelines should be ensured. It is very important to know about your prescription since it prepares you to comfortably deal with it and keeps you at a distance from developing side effects and causing risky drug interactions.
  • Go to a psychiatrist: Although your family physician may help you realize that you are suffering from depression he may not be able to suggest you right medications. Patients must have sessions with psychiatrists who specialize in identifying the exact depression cause and kind and prescribe medications accordingly. Also, they are more likely to know about the recent research on antidepressants and mental health concerns.
  • Try and test: Your body has to discover the right drug and this is normally done by the trial and error method. The patent is supposed to try various doctor-prescribed depression medications and finally get settled with the one that suits his or her body and mental condition best. Typically, depression medications take around 4 to 6 weeks to reach their therapeutic effect.
  • Side effects: Every medication will have its effect. Tell your doctor about these effects. Your therapist must know about all the physical and emotional changes you develop after taking any medication. Negligence to this step may worsen your condition.
  • Do not start/stop medication by yourself: Do not ever start taking antidepressants on your own. Even if you think you can reduce the dosage, speak with your doctor first and then take any decision. Halting the treatment or ending it without your doctor’s concern may increase the chances of high relapse rates. Also, it may cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Go to therapy: Medication is only one part of treating depression. It primarily helps the patient to overcome the symptoms of depression and does not treat the core problem. Psychotherapy may cure the cause from the root and help you avert your pessimism.
  Also go through this relevant article → 60 Frequently Asked Questions about Depression, Answered

What can you not do while on antidepressants?

People who suffer from depression fail to adapt to the changing environment. Most of them are aloft and prefer to be alone. They may perceive life as worthless and has no meaning at all. For them, living in this world has no purpose. That is why most depressed people tend to commit suicide.

Medical intervention associated with the use of drugs for depression is the common option given by the doctor to a patient who suffers from this mental illness. However, some restricted activities must be taken into consideration while the patient is in medical therapy.

Daily living activities are always a part of our usual routine. It is a very important task that an individual should be carrying. In this case, people who are taking drugs for depression must limit some of their normal routines because it can imply situations that will only worsen the adverse effect of the drug. The following activities are restricted to a patient who undergoes antidepressant therapy:
  • Alcohol Consumption. Most depressed people are indulging themselves by consuming a large number of alcoholic beverages. It is considered a way for them to suppress the situation or crisis that affects them. Intense anxiety can only cause the person to be susceptible to this mental illness. If in case that a person is diagnosed to have depression and they are subjected to taking drugs for depression, as much as possible, they have to limit or avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. The drug has a sedative effect that can influence the neurologic function of the body. Alcohol can stimulate the brain by affecting the neurotransmitters which will interact with the effect of the drug.
  • Smoking or ingesting nicotine. Variably, smoking is one of the most common forms of vice that a depressed person engages in. Same as with alcohol, nicotine can also affect neurologic function thereby, interacting with the effects of the drugs for depression. Second-hand smoking is much worst compare to direct smoking because the chemicals that are being inhaled can directly affect the lungs. Take note, antidepressant drugs have an adverse reaction which may cause pulmonary problems and if nicotine is accumulated in the lungs, it may eventually double the chances of having pulmonary problems. Therefore, people who are taking this drug must avoid this activity.
  • Exposure to sunlight. Too much exposure to sunlight is not advisable for patients who are taking drugs for depression. It is simply because the drug has an effect that can alter the skin pigmentation of the patient. A certain chemical component of the drug stimulates the melanocyte which is responsible for maintaining the skin pigmentation. The drug is also noted for causing skin burning. A protective gear or cloth must be worn by the patient who is taking the drug if they are required to go outside. Ideally, the patient should also stay inside the house to avoid this unwanted symptom.
  • Unhealthy Diet. Most of the depressed patients who are taking drugs for depression are well-stimulated with the drug. It means that the client is prone to eat a large amount of food. It’s not prohibited to eat more foods but they must take into consideration that eating unhealthy foods in large amounts is not advisable. Healthy foods are suggested to the patient who is currently in medical therapy. Depressed people are fond of eating sweets while they are on drug therapy. They have to monitor their sugar intake because the drug influences the metabolic function of the body wherein an increase or decrease in blood sugar level can occur.
  • Strenuous Exercises. Some exercises are not ideal for patients who are taking drugs for depression. Strenuous types of activities can be tiresome. If a person is on drug therapy, they usually manifest dizziness and drowsiness due to the sedative effect of the drug. If the patient performs heavy lifting of objects, driving a car, and other mobile activities, they are prone to accidents. This must be restricted as much as possible to prevent situations that are caused by massive activities.

Patient teaching for antidepressants

The importance of health teaching to people who are taking drugs for depression must be reinforced by the health care givers such as doctors. This should be strictly instilled in the folks so that, they will be aware of the possible intervention to prevent complications.

Most importantly, clients who are taking the drug must be closely monitored and proper communication must take place between the folks and the patient. A therapeutic environment is advisable for people who suffer from mental illnesses like depression.

The following patient teachings for antidepressants have a very significant role for a patient who is taking drugs for depression and his or her family:
  • Take the antidepressant drug at bedtime. This is to minimize daytime sedation; clients must take the medication in the morning or upon rising if they suffer from insomnia or other sleeping pattern disturbances.
  • Use caution when performing tasks requiring mental alertness or physical coordination. The drugs for depression may cause drowsiness or incoordination. Rise slowly from a lying position. Do not remain standing in one place for any length of time. If feeling faint, lie down to minimize the blood pressure effects.
  • Gastrointestinal complaints of anorexia, nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, diarrhea, blackened tongue, or a peculiar taste require a dosage adjustment. Take with or immediately following meals to reduce gastric irritation.
  • Increase oral hygiene, take frequent sips of water, suck on hard candy, or chew sugarless gum to maintain a moist mouth. A high-fiber diet, increase fluid intake, exercises, and stool softeners may prevent constipation. The drugs for depression can also affect carbohydrate metabolism; an adjustment of diabetic agents and diet may be indicated.
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, and use sunscreen and protection if exposure is necessary. It may cause changes in skin pigmentation and skin burning.
  • The drugs for depression may alter libido or reproductive function. Practice reliable birth control methods. Report if pregnancy is suspected. May consider sperm/egg harvesting before starting therapy.
  • Report alterations in perceptions like hallucinations, blurred vision, and excessive stimulations. Watch those recovering from depression for suicidal tendencies. Remove firearms/weapons from the place.
  • It may take 4-6 weeks to realize a maximum clinical response. Stay on the treatment regimen. The client should see the provider more often during the first 2-3 weeks of treatment. Prescriptions will be given for a small amount to ensure compliance and prevent an overdose. Excess consumption of drugs for depression can be lethal. The family should have the number of the hospital or physician in case of an emergency can occur.
  • Do not stop the medication abruptly. The client may suffer from unwanted signs and symptoms of withdrawal. The client should avoid taking other drugs and alcohol during the first 2 weeks following the antidepressant treatment.
  • Review when and how to take the drugs for depression, reportable side effects, and the importance of regular participation in psychotherapy programs if indicated must be taken into consideration.
  • It is best for the family to carefully observe the condition of the patient if worsening signs and symptoms may appear visible.
  • The family should engage in a social or community group that provides information regarding how to deal with depression.
These are the important health teachings for the patient and his or her family to cope for them to deal with mental illness as well as with the special considerations in taking drugs for depression. Eventually, it may also provide them with an idea of how to intervene with the serious problems that can occur if these things will not work out well.

Finally, the client must have constant communication with his/her support system. This can help them treat the patient from depression. They must pay serious attention to situations that can alarm them if the client exhibits suicidal ideation, as this is very common for them.

Showing love and care to these people must be shown since depressed people may have altered perspectives on life. They tend to think that life is worthless and nobody cares about him or her. So we need to adjust and cope with the dilemmas that influence the behavior of the client with depression.

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Special Precautions while taking antidepressants

Many people are often preoccupied with taking the pharmacological agents that are used to treat their condition. Mental illness referring to mood disorders such as depression is subject to pharmaceutical treatment. Most of these drugs have underlying side effects due to the chemical components that can affect the entire system of the body. There are serious cases that need medical attention if the patient is taking drugs for depression. Here are the special precautions that a person who is taking this kind of drug must be aware of.

Depression affects all walks of life. This means that the condition can occur to children and elders, both men and women. Pregnant clients who are subject to taking drugs for depression have special needs and considerations that must be taken as a priority by the doctor who is prescribing the medication. Research on the effects of this drug is being studied to identify the special precautions for people. The effects of the medication are unknown to the growing client, aging client, and childbearing client.

The drugs for depression increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of antidepressant drugs in a child or adolescent must balance the risk with the clinical need. Clients who started their therapy should be observed for clinical worsening, suicidal ideation, or unusual changes in behavior.

People who are taking drugs for depression must know the short-term placebo-controlled trials of nine antidepressant drugs in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other psychiatric disorders revealed a greater risk of adverse reactions during the first few months of treatment. The average risk of such reactions in clients receiving antidepressants was 4%, twice the placebo risk of 2%. No suicides occurred in these trials.

The use of drugs for depression in young adults, ages 18-24 years, may also be associated with suicidal ideation. This age group should be monitored carefully if they are taking antidepressant drugs to treat their mental illness.

Use with caution during lactation and with epilepsy (seizure threshold is lowered), cardiovascular disorders (possibility of conduction defects, arrhythmias, congested heart failure, sinus tachycardia, myocardial infarction (heart attack) strokes, tachycardia, glaucoma, benign prostatic hyperplasia, suicidal tendencies, a history of urinary retention, and the elderly. Use during pregnancy only when the benefits outweigh the risks.

Generally, it is not recommended for children who are less than 12 years old. Geriatric clients may be more sensitive to anticholinergic and sedative side effects of drugs for depression Electroconvulsive therapy may increase the hazards of the therapy.

This could only mean that people who are younger, older, and pregnant are susceptible to the side effects that can occur to patients who are taking the drugs. They should consult for another alternative treatment used for treating mental illness such as depression. The doctor will suggest several tests or examinations that can monitor the condition of the person who will take the drugs for depression. The purpose of this is to provide a clearer picture for the doctor to decide whether the patient is subject to this type of therapy or not.

Most of all, the doctor will ask for the previous health history of the patient before deciding to prescribe antidepressant drugs. The client should also undergo treatments and other alternative ways of treating depression before going with pharmaceutical agents. Otherwise, people who will take the risk of using this type of therapy should be informed of the possible side effects of the drug. The main objective for this is to prevent anxiety and at the same time will limit the possibility of discontinuing the drug treatment.

It is not good to stop taking the medication or have poor compliance because it can only lead to a possibly longer period of treatment. Much worst is, the condition of the patient will eventually lead to a more serious situation. Adverse effects will be monitored and referred to the doctor along with a series of laboratory tests that are useful for thorough assessment.

Antidepressants Types

Antidepressants are commonly divided into the following types:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)

Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are often used as an antidepressant to treat severe forms of depression, disorders related to anxiety, and at times in the case of a personality disorder. This compound inhibitor is said to increase the neurotransmitter activity and increase the amount of serotonin- relieving the body of excessive anxiety.

This specific drug was discovered by specifying a target that creates and initiates a molecule that aids the body in preventing depressive behavior. These are considered to be one of the most commonly used antidepressants, but SSRIs are said to cause a sort of sexual dysfunction when it comes to erectile ability and libido.

In the recent studies that have been placed among doctors, they have reported an increase in sexual problems in a little under half of the patients. The effect of SSRIs is said to slow down the stimulation that comes along with sexual desire.

SSRIs are said to affect the cardiovascular system by inhibiting sodium, calcium, and potassium channels. Some have suggested that the patients using the drug have their cardiovascular system monitored before the drug is taken so that the previous condition can be framed and acknowledged.

It’s common for there to be withdrawal symptoms if a patient is coming off of SSRIs, as they become very dependent on it and the benzodiazepines. There isn’t abuse that comes along with the drug but if the patient discontinues the medication then they may have to endure certain withdrawal symptoms that are quite irritating. When a doctor is notified of the patient discontinuing the prescription then they may switch them over to another drug to prevent ill feelings.

SSRI can be requested in a liquid form if it is preferred or it can be arranged in smaller doses if someone is trying to wean off of the drug deliberately. The lowest dosage that can be prescribed say, Cymbalta, is approximately 20 mg. The sexual dysfunction that may come with SSRI may come in symptoms throughout the process of taking the drug or after the patient is discontinued the dosage.

Some common symptoms may come as a decreased amount of libido, a decrease in the amount of vaginal lubrication, problems with maintaining an erection, a difference in the type of orgasm (it may be delayed or absent altogether), no pleasure during the orgasm, ejaculating prematurely and sensitivity in the vaginal area or a sense of penile weakness.

There is also a suicide risk that comes with the use of SSRI and it is most common in children or adolescents. In 2004 the UK declared the drug Prozac to be the only prescription that allowed for a generous risk-to-benefit ratio in the area of children who were diagnosed with depression; but, it was diagnosed with a higher increase in the area of self-harm and the idea of suicide. There are only a couple of SSRI depressants that are licensed for children as a prescription within the UK: Zoloft and Luvox. Those two antidepressants are only used as an obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment.

Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI)

Many possible side effects come with the use of Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). Only a certain audience will be affected by the use of the drug and at times the risk and side effects may be extremely minor. The dosage of SNRI that you are taking will affect how affected you are by the drug, as well as previous medical conditions or if you are taking a separate medication at the same time as SNRI.

After many clinical trials studies have found that abnormal dreams, anxious and nervous feelings, weakness throughout the body, chills, cough, dizzy feelings, excessive fatigue, dry mouth, excessive headaches, a lot of hypertension, an increase in the amount of sweat, inability to sleep, a dramatic increase or decrease in weight size, nauseous feelings or constipation problems, sexual problems, shakiness, and a vision change.

SNRI is a medication that helps patients with their depressive behavior and may also be prescribed to someone who is experiencing a certain amount of anxiety. These inhibitors work in a way that manipulates the chemical messengers in the body and how they are communicating with the brain cells. It will affect the chemical activity and alter the communicative synapses within the brain. SNRIs block the reuptake of serotonin in the brain and contour the messages that are being sent and received.

When it’s easier for the brain to receive informational messages then it will in turn boost an individual’s mood, which is why it’s categorized as an antidepressant. These are also referred to as dual reuptake inhibitors because of the purpose of the SNRIs, which is to clear up the sending and receiving of bodily messages. These have been approved to treat depression and the FDA has allowed for the following antidepressants: Cymbalta, Effexor, and Pristiq.

There are other forms of reuptakes, such as venlafaxine, which are available to many patients in a release form that requires multiple doses a day.

Although there have been plenty of success stories related to SNRIs there has also been a recent controversy about the separate effects that the chemical changes may have on the body and the emotional functioning. At one time the use of antidepressants was linked to a high rate of teen suicide. This should not be taken by patients who are taking oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs because this can lead to a life-threatening and viral condition affecting a neurological disorder.

Those who are very sensitive to SNRIs should avoid taking them and look to other medications that don’t work in the body with such an emphasis on the releasing of bodily chemicals.

Those who are already experiencing a major depressive disorder may experience an increase in their level of depression and their thoughts of suicide while taking the medication. All patients who have been prescribed the antidepressant should be monitored closely for abnormal behavior during the first treatment stage. If there is a change in dosage then the patient's mood may be affected as well.

The use of SNRI may affect certain patients more so than others. Be upfront with your doctor about the symptoms that you are enduring and the emotions that are affecting you after having inhibited the drug.

Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor (NDRI)

NDRI or norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors are categorized as transporter blockers that mediate the reuptake of specific neurotransmitter activity, leading to an increase in the amount of neurotransmitter concentration and cellular activity. Various drugs emphasize the reuptake activity within the body; antidepressants, stimulants, and anorectics all allow for the concentration reuptake allowing for consistency in one’s mood. These specific inhibitors act as different substrates: Active, Allosteric, and Vesicular.

NDRI Active Site Transporter Substrates are used to treat epilepsy by binding transporters together in the body and occupying the transporter by blocking it from bodily transportation to the nerves and synapses. When the doses are prescribed in high amounts then the transporter will not be as efficient when it comes to removing the neurotransmitter from the bodily synapses. This will cause an increase in cellular activity and an increase in bodily neurotransmission.

Hyperforin is complacent within NRDI and holds the therapeutic position that comes along with antidepressant medication. Some reuptakes bind the sites indirectly, not affecting the body dramatically and allowing for a decrease in the number of negative symptoms.

Some certain NDRIs and SSRIs are allosteric reuptake inhibitors and instead of contributing to the binding of the serotonin transporter they are binding the allosteric site. The allosteric site makes for a change in the amount of transporter protein. When the body’s protein is affected then the substrates are affected in turn on the active site. There are a couple of herb medicines that also act as constituents within the body; there are called Hyperforin and Adhyperforin.

There are both NDRIs and they reuptake the amount of serotonin within the body. These activate certain receptors within the body and activate the absorption of calcium and sodium into the cell body.

NDRI is used to treat depression but also acts as a sexual counteraction and has various side effects. With NDRI a patient may experience a loss of appetite and a fluctuation in weight, headaches, dry mouth, rashes on the skin, sweating, constant shaking, pains within the stomach, uncontrolled agitation, digestive and constipation problems, feelings of anxiety, dizziness, insomnia, irrelevant pains in the muscles, feeling nausea, an increase in your heart rate, throat problems and an increase in urination.

Wellbutrin is considered an NDRI and is used to treat seizures within the body. If the dosage is higher than 600 mg then the seizure activity may not be prevented and could be increased depending on the person and the way that they react to the dosages.

While taking an NDRI be wary of blood pressure if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Monitor it carefully and note that the use of NDRI and high blood pressure together can lead to liver failure.

Bupropion is a drug that is considered an NDRI and is used to treat depression. The symptoms of Bupropion are social phobia, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, obesity, and ADHD. If you are a chronic alcohol user then it’s recommended that you do not take any sort of NDRI drug as it may lead to excessive symptoms and an increase in depression.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA)

Tricyclic antidepressants or TCAs affect the chemicals within the brain to relieve an individual if they are experiencing severe depression. These are categorized as one of the earliest antidepressants and are effective in their ways because of the few side effects that come along with the dosage. There are often other medications that are prescribed more often than TCAs and are similar to tricyclic antidepressants in the area of relieving depression.

These are effective when it comes to treating depression because they will alter the way that neurotransmitters send messages and they will alter the communication between each brain cell. Most of the popular antidepressants that are prescribed will change the activity of the neurotransmitters- some more so than others.

Cyclic antidepressants will defy the reuptake of the transmitter serotonin and it will produce more chemicals for the brain to feed off of. When the brain cells are increasing then it is in turn stabilizing and increasing the mood within a patient.

Tricyclic antidepressants are considered satisfactory but come with side effects that may be prone to an individual who is sensitive to the chemical compound. Other cyclic drugs are similar: Amitriptyline, Doxepin, Pamelor, Vivactil, and Surmontil. Some of these medications may have to be injected instead of coming as an oral inhibitor.

The side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, stomach problems, constipation, excessive urination, feeling dizzy, sexual dysfunction (more so in men), an increase in heart rate, a sense of confusion, low blood pressure, an increase in appetite and an increase in weight, feelings of fatigue, constant headaches, feeling sensitive in sunlight and nausea. Depending on previous medical conditions and other medication that is being taken a patient may suffer from seizures.

Tricyclic antidepressants are more prone to causing side effects because of the dramatic change in brain activity and chemical production or blockage. With tricyclic antidepressants, you may sleep more often, but you are less likely to gain weight. You will always have the option of altering and choosing between antidepressants if you are clear to your doctor about the types of side effects you are experiencing.

The creation and distribution of tricyclic antidepressants were apparent within the mid-1900s because of the sudden birth that took place in the psychopharmacology department. The first widely used drug in the 1950s was an antipsychotic, which is why scientists began to explore other chemical compounds that would aid in the treatment of depression or mood disorders.

The problems that came along with the introduction of the tricyclic drug were the increase in depression at times after certain patients began taking it. It was then that the reuptake inhibitors were manipulated into the “serotonin” theory. They were used commonly and in association with ADHD, but have been successful in the area of depression and mood disorders.

Physicians may use tricycle antidepressants to treat those who suffer from a panic disorder and depression that attaches itself to excessive anxiety. It can dramatically decrease panic attacks and increase a stable mood.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a type of antidepressant drug that allows for the treatment of depression. They are very effective when they are directed towards an atypical depression. This type of prescription has been classified as a “last resort” because of the lethal dietary and drug contemplation that comes with the chemical compound.

Although a small patch was confirmed safe for many who are suffering from atypical depression, the dosage as a whole is only prevalent when all other forms of antidepressants have been unsuccessful in the area of treating mood disorders. This specific drug does not enter into the gastrointestinal system so there is more of a risk when it comes to dietary condition and interaction.

Many MAOIs were only prescribed to those who did not do with the tricyclic medication therapy, but there are new forms of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors that are called Selegiline and Moclobemide. These are commonly used to treat those who suffer from social anxiety or to treat those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.

The medication works because it affects the dopamine level and neurons within the body and provides a different alternative, treating depression and anxiety well. This will prevent the deterioration of transmitters and then increase their availability.

When availability is increased then the communication between brain cells will increase, boosting a patient’s mood. These were one of the first antidepressants developed but have been replaced with safe ingredients. These will often require a patient to watch their diet intricately to avoid high blood pressure. It is often used to treat conditions other than depression but there are side effects that come along with the monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

MAOI side effects include feeling sleepy during the day, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, diarrhea or stomach problems, dry mouth, alteration in the taste of food, feeling nervous often, aches in muscles, insomnia, gaining weight, sexual dysfunction or a lack of interest in sexual activity, problems with urination and a tingling sensation within the skin.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are successful when treating patients who suffer from panic disorders or bipolar disorder because they will significantly resist the fluctuation in mood and mania. MAOI specializes in treating atypical depression and anergic bipolar depression, as well as depression that was not cared for with a tricyclic or SSRI prescription. 

The inhibitors will work by cleaning up the activity that is blocking the brain from receiving the correct messages and mood information. Depression is linked to the low levels of monoamines within the brain, which is why the increase will ease depression symptoms.

With the consumption of this medication, it’s very important to avoid foods that are high in tyramine; such as cheese and pickles. With an increase in tyramine and an increase in MAOIs, there’s a possibility that there will be an inflation in blood pressure that will increase the patient’s chances of having a stroke or cardiovascular disease.

While speaking with your doctor ask for a complete list of foods and drinks that you should avoid while taking the medication. MAOIs may conflict with other medications as well that includes SSRIs.


Mirtazapine is a medication that is categorized as an antidepressant and functions by increasing brain activity and harmonizing the activity for a sense of focus and mental balance. It comes as a tablet and is often taken once a day depending on the directions on the label and from your doctor.

Before you begin to inhibit the medication than you should notify your doctor on whether or not you have suffered from a heart attack, blood pressure dysfunction, disease in the cardiovascular region or liver, cholesterol dysfunction, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you’re planning on having any type of surgery.

Mirtazapine may make you drowsy which is why it’s recommended that you take the medication at night when you are not going to be operating a vehicle. You may have to follow a specific diet as you are taking the medication if you have had problems with your diet. You do not have to take Mirtazapine with a meal.

Other than drowsiness it may cause dizziness, feelings of anxiety, spontaneous confusion, an increase in your weight and an increase in appetite, dry mouth, and constipation or stomach problems.

If you are experiencing any serious problems such as flu-like symptoms, soaring in the mouth, signs of any type of infection, chest pain, an increase in your heart rate, or seizures then you should contact your doctor immediately.

Mirtazapine is an antidepressant and if you have discontinued it along with any other sort of antidepressant then you may be experiencing a sort of discontinuation syndrome. This type of syndrome may appear very abruptly and cause an individual to experience fatigue, insomnia, anxious feelings, sweating, and symptoms that are often diagnosed with the flu.

This drug is considered to be one of the most effective medications in ratio to the amount of side effects that come along with it. It’s said to be superior to any other SSRI or SNRI medication that is also prescribed to treat those who are suffering from severe depression.

Studies have shown it to be superior to TCAs and just as effective as MAOI. It was created by chemical synthesis which is the collecting of a chemical reaction to create an effective product. This manipulation of chemicals has made the medication very reliable and reproducible. It will begin by selecting compounds that are referred to as reactants, and these reactions will then be synthesized.

Mirtazapine is considered a new class of antidepressants and it is related to the neurotransmission receptors that allow for tolerability. It may result in the appearance of hallucinations and severe cognitive changes after having first taken the drug.

There is a relationship between norepinephrine, Mirtazapine, and mental phenomena that will account for someone who is suffering from depression. It shouldn’t be used with a monoamine oxidase drug, Nardil, Matulane, or Parnate. It may result in a very high fever and even death because of the chemical combination.

Before taking Mirtazapine it’s recommended that you have stopped taking the previous medications for 14 days and the same goes for getting off of Mirtazapine and taking another drug.


Bupropion is an antidepressant and a cessation aid for smoking. This drug is different in relevance to other antidepressants being that it is a pharmacological action and a dopamine reuptake inhibition. This binds only to the dopamine transporter, though it is similar in the way that it acts upon the nor-epinephrine reuptake.

When Bupropion was first researched and marketed as an antidepressant it was found very effective when one was looking to reside smoking. It will significantly lower seizure activity but can also increase the number of seizures if another medication is being taken at the time of Bupropion.

This is a very effective antidepressant that does not cause weight gain or sexual dysfunction, unlike the other common antidepressants. Studies have shown that it can increase sexual stimuli and can cause a decrease in weight.

Several studies have recommended the use of Bupropion if the casual SSRI medications are not affecting the patient in a positive light. The combination of both Bupropion and Celexa has proven to be more effective than a single antidepressant and treats the reuptake activity differently.

It’s said that as an antidepressant it has significantly increased the amount of energy in a patient and a satisfactory improvement in mood, level of focus, and drive. Sleep and anxiety behaviors were left unchanged and gave better results in the area of patient toleration.

Bupropion is very favorable in the eyes of patients and doctors who prescribe the medication. It’s said that it hasn’t resulted in a social phobia or an anxiety depression which is very prevalent to many who result to an antidepressant.  Studies have shown that some patients have experienced anonymous and bodily agitation after having inhibited the drug, but that is only one of the few symptoms.

Bupropion will decrease the craving that comes with nicotine withdrawal. After studies have been undergone, it’s been proven that the antidepressant will double the chances of a smoker quitting after as little as three months.

It will halt the excessive weight gain that often comes after smoking; though, it’s a warning that this effect may only be applicable for a certain amount of time. Studies have also shown that the effect of Bupropion is negligible after a certain amount of time and it will allow for weight gain. Fortunately, this medication will not cause any dysfunction when it comes to sexual activity.

Many psychiatrists have switched their patients to a different medication that includes Bupropion. It has steadily improved sexual desire, pleasure, and sexual performance. Studies have shown that it will even help with sexual dysfunction even if the patient has not undergone any sort of depression problem. Women who were diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder and began to take the medication demonstrated improvement when it comes to libido and pleasure. An increase in a Bupropion dosage may be necessary and recommended at times for those who suffer from an induced sexual disorder.

This should not be prescribed to anyone who has suffered from epilepsy, eating disorders, alcohol withdrawal, a seizure threshold, or tumors that are currently active in the brain.


Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic and an antidepressant drug that is used to treat patients who are suffering from bipolar disorder, severe depression, and schizophrenia. It was approved by the Food and drug administration for manic episodes and has been used as a therapy because of the mood-stabilizing chemical compounds within the medication (such as lithium and valproate.)

It has successfully reduced those who suffer from manic symptoms and is tolerated by patients when it comes to medication side effects. It has been treated for unipolar depression when it has also been used with a separate antidepressant medication.

Though it has yet to be approved by the FDA as a mono-therapy or a uni-polar depression it is approved to treat psychotic and depressive behavior.

Aripiprazole has also been used to treat those who suffer from excessive irritability and those diagnosed with autism. It has reduced the amount of aggression that is often taken out on others and it has improved the rapid altering of moods that comes along with bipolar disorder.

Aripiprazole has been linked to the blocking of cocaine-seeking stimulants and it has demonstrated very rewarding procedures in those who have been addicted to cocaine.

The side effects that attach themselves to the medication are headaches, akathisia, agitation, anxious feelings, strange feelings of weakness, vomiting, stomach discomfort, stomach problems, saliva increase, sleeping problems, bodily shaking, a blur in vision, and dysfunction about sexual activity.

If the medication is going to be discontinued after taking it then it should only be done so gradually and after having notified a doctor. There may be severe relapse symptoms that are more difficult than after having taken the medication.

There is more caution when there is a psychotic medication that is being discontinued because of the shift in dopamine level, serotonin, and adrenergic. It will affect the overall function of the nervous symptoms and it may increase some of the symptoms that are common with the medication after inhibition. If there is an over-dosage that has taken place then there will be an effect on the central nervous system resulting in sedation or a coma.

Aripiprazole may change the effects of alcohol and increase the sense of euphoria that comes along with the consumption of alcohol.

This is otherwise referred to as Abilify which is popular in the market. It is offered in tablets, liquid, injection, or a common dosage. It will effectively improve hallucinations, delusions, and a sort of disorganized way of thinking that will affect an individual when it comes to their relationships with others and their work life.

When one suffers from bipolar disorder or depression then it may result in social isolation; it will significantly help those who suffer from social isolation and speech productivity. It is most often prescribed to those who suffer from schizophrenia.

The relapse part of Aripiprazole is common in those who suffer from schizophrenia. It’s important to take your medication as it is prescribed by your doctor to decrease the chances of a dramatic relapse with Abilify.


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