They Are Not Addictive
Antidepressants, like most medications, can change the way you feel. This means that if you stop taking the medication you may start to feel the way you did before the treatment. Some people confuse this with being addicted. Antidepressants are not addictive and you will not become dependent on them. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before you stop taking them. It is always advisable to reduce the dose slowly, with close monitoring, to minimise possible discomfort as your body adjusts to the lower dose. It is also important that the medication is monitored carefully in the first couple of months, as some people may experience an increase in symptoms if the antidepressant is not effective.
Recognizing Symptoms Of Depression
All changes in life result in some level of stress that can affect your mental health. Even positive changes can cause some discomfort for many people. However, depression is categorized by severe extended symptoms that do not subside in a reasonable time period. A person suffering from situational depression may experience feelings of extended guilt or helplessness, a lack of pleasure in life, and decreased energy. You may also experience more severe symptoms such as thoughts of suicide or a desire to harm yourself.
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How Does My Doctor Choose Which Antidepressant To Give Me
All the SSRIs and SNRIs, Tricyclic and MAOIs work the same way. The choice among them is made mostly on the basis of side effects and a persons ability to tolerate a specific medication.
Most of the antidepressants are started at a low dose and gradually increased until they reach a therapeutic level. Some antidepressants also need to be gradually decreased in dosage when discontinuing them, particularly the SNRIs, Effexor and Cymbalta.
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Do I Need This Treatment
If you are distressed for more than two weeks by feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness, or by excessive worry that is hard to control, see a doctor for an assessment of your symptoms and situation and to discuss treatment and support options. Early treatment can help to ensure treatment success.
Be sure your doctor knows if you have had times where you felt a reduced need for sleep in combination with an unusual amount of energy, or where your mood changed from feeling depressed to feeling unusually happy or irritable. Mood stabilizer medications may be more suited to your needs, either on their own or in combination with antidepressants. Antidepressants alone can cause some people to switch from depression into mania.
Medications are only one way of treating depression and anxiety. Talk therapies, such as interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy, can be just as effective. Peer support, school and job counselling, and housing and employment supports can also help to deal with problems that may trigger or worsen depression or anxiety.
What Are Ssris And Snris
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft and Prozac, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like Effexor and Pristiq are antidepressant medications, but they can help with anxiety symptoms as well. For this reason, many providers will prescribe an SSRI or SNRI if you have a combination of depression and anxiety.
SSRIs and SNRIs are not an instant fix for symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder, nor do they even provide immediate relief, Alonzo said. They work by interacting with the neurotransmitters and receptors in your brain, which can help regulate mood, sleep and energy levels. It is important for patients to understand that these medications may take four to six weeks for full effect.
Some patients may respond better to one of these medications than others. If after taking the medication for two weeks and symptoms have not improved, talk to your provider to have your medication regimen adjusted. Treatment trials with more than one medication are not uncommon.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How can I know if I have depression?
- Are there ways to treat depression that dont involve medicine?
- If I am depressed, should I also be talking to a mental health professional?
- Are there coupons I can use to help lower the cost of antidepressants?
- How long will it take to get the dosage right for my medication?
- Are there any special genetic tests I can take to see which antidepressant is right for me?
Ssri Antidepressants For Anxiety
Many medications originally approved for the treatment of depression are also prescribed for anxiety. In comparison to benzodiazepines, the risk for dependency and abuse is smaller. However, antidepressants take up to 4 to 6 weeks to begin relieving anxiety symptoms, so they cant be taken as needed. Their use is limited to chronic anxiety problems that require ongoing treatment.
The antidepressants most widely prescribed for anxiety are SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. SSRIs have been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Common side effects of SSRIs include:
- Increased sweating
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Other Antidepressants Used For Anxiety
Although the SSRI class is considered a first-line treatment option for anxiety disorders, other classes of drugs such as atypicals, tricyclics, and MAOIs can act as anxiolytics. Below are several drugs from other classes that are thought to be effective for various types of anxiety.
Atypical antidepressants: There are a couple atypical antidepressants that have anxiolytic properties. In the United States, the two most commonly used atypical antidepressants to treat anxiety include Trazodone and Remeron.
- Trazodone: It is approved to treat anxiety disorder, depression, and insomnia. Functions as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor. It is noted as having significant anxiolytic and sleep-inducing effects.
- Remeron: Although only approved to treat depression, it is commonly prescribed off-label for generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, OCD, panic attacks, and PTSD.
Tricyclic Antidepressants : This is an older class of medications that tends to affect various neurotransmitters. These compounds are noted for their tricyclic structure, containing three atomic rings. There are only a couple TCAs that are effective for anxiety.
- Clomipramine: An older TCA that is utilized to treat OCD, panic disorder, and agoraphobia.
- Doxepin: This is a TCA that is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and insomnia.
MAOI : These work by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. There are several MAOIs that are effective for managing anxiety.
Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, restlessness or tenseness, a sense of impending danger or doom, increased heart rate, breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, trouble concentrating or sleeping, stomach aches and headaches and the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
Anxiety disorders often develop from a complex set of risk factors. The risk factors may include exposure to trauma, certain medical problems like thyroid disease or heart disease, stress due to a severe illness and other mental health disorders like depression. The use or misuse of drugs and alcohol can worsen symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are best treated with a combination of therapy and medication, Alonzo said. It takes time to find the perfect combination for your symptoms. Your primary care provider is the best place to start that journey.
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Strategy No : When Using Ssris Start Low Go Slow Aim High And Be Patient
Because of their safety, tolerability, and efficacy in treating panic disorder and common comorbidities, SSRIs are the first choice of drug therapy for treating panic disorder.2,3 The initial activating effects of SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants can be especially troubling.4 As a result, many patients abandon SSRI therapy before they experience any benefits. Following are several strategies to help patients overcome resistance to therapy.
Better Represents Antidepressant Use Today
Most previous trials of antidepressants have taken place in specialized mental health settings and have not included people with undiagnosed or mild symptoms of depression.
Many of these previous trials were completed decades ago when antidepressants use was more limited, and the purpose of the trials was to gain regulatory approval.
The team suggests that the participants of the new study better represent the people who are receiving antidepressant prescriptions today.
Our findings, write the authors, support the prescription of SSRI antidepressants in a wider group of participants than previously thought, including those with mild to moderate symptoms who do not meet diagnostic criteria for depression or generalized anxiety disorder.
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Why Antidepressants Dont Always Work Lets Talk About The Research
In a study published in the journal, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers found important clues about how SSRIs work, and more importantly, what can be done to increase their effectiveness.
There is no doubt that antidepressants work for many people, but for between 30 and 50% of depressed people, antidepressants dont work. No-one knows why. This work may explain part of the reason. Silvia Poggini, researcher, Intituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome.
From the research, it seems that the effectiveness of SSRIs doesnt happen directly by increasing serotonin. What seems more likely, it that SSRIs facilitate recovery by increasing the plasticity of the brain so it can be changed, healed and strengthened by environmental and lifestyle factors.
In a certain way it seems that the SSRIs open the brain to being moved from a fixed state of unhappiness, to a condition where other circumstances can determine whether or not you recover Silvia Poggini.
The research was conducted in mice. After the mice had been stressed for two weeks, they were all given SSRIs. They were then split into two groups. Half the mice continued to be exposed to stress while the other half were put in a calmer, less stressful environment.
How Antidepressants Work
It’s not known exactly how antidepressants work.
It’s thought they work by increasing levels of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and noradrenaline, are linked to mood and emotion.
Neurotransmitters may also affect pain signals sent by nerves, which may explain why some antidepressants can help relieve long-term pain.
While antidepressants can treat the symptoms of depression, they do not always address its causes. This is why they’re usually used in combination with therapy to treat more severe depression or other mental health conditions.
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Time To Start Working
Studies have shown that antidepressants are effective in reducing or eliminating panic attacks and improving anticipatory anxiety and symptoms of agoraphobia. Unfortunately, antidepressants generally dont result in immediate relief of symptoms. Many people will not see a significant improvement for several weeks.
Studies have generally shown that the full benefits of antidepressant therapy may take as long as 8 to 12 weeks. However, this timeline is variable among individuals.
What Are Some Of The Side Effects Of Antidepressants
Side effects differ from person to person, and from medication to medication. The graduated dosages when you start taking antidepressants gives your body a chance to get used to them. Most side effects dissipate within days or weeks. Some of the side effects common to most antidepressants are nausea, nervousness, insomnia, weight gain and sexual dysfunction.
An adjustment in dosage or a switch to another antidepressant will usually correct bothersome problems. It is important to discuss side effects with your doctor so that he or she will know when there is a need for a change in medication.
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Is Brand Name Better
Generic Is the Same, Usually
The US Food and Drug Administration says that the safety, strength, and quality of generic drugs are equal to those of brand-name drugs. However, in practical experience, some people notice that they do not experience the same benefits from a generic drug compared to the brand-name version. Results of some studies suggest generic medications may be absorbed and used by the body slightly differently than brand-name drugs. If you notice a generic medicine is not working as well as a brand-name medicine did for you, tell your physician.
How Do Antidepressants Work
The nerve cells in our brain use various chemicals to pass on signals. Even though not all details are known, experts believe that is caused by an imbalance of certain chemical messengers like serotonin, which means that signals can’t be passed along the nerves properly. Antidepressants aim to increase the availability of these chemicals. The various drugs do that in different ways.
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Selective Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
Both SSNRI and SSRI medications affect serotonin levels, but SSNRI drugs also impact the level of norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter that may affect mood. This type of medication is helpful for those who have extreme fatigue associated with depression, or who have had side effects or poor response to SSRI drugs.
Best Ssris For Anxiety Include: Paxil Lexapro Zoloft
Below is a list of various SSRIs that have been used specifically for the purpose of treating anxiety. Although Paxil, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Luvox are the only ones FDA approved for various types of anxiety, others have been found effective as well. Additionally it should be mentioned that the SNRI drug Effexor is also approved to treat anxiety.
SNRI: This class of drugs works by inhibiting the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. The serotonin reuptake inhibition can create a sense of anxiety, but the norepinephrine reuptake inhibition can actually increase anxiety. For this reason, SNRIs are not as commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Of all SNRIs, the drug Effexor is the only one that is approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder.
- Effexor : This is the only SNRI approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder. It is likely effective due to the fact that it acts on serotonin significantly more than other SNRIs. The ratio of serotonin to norepinephrine reuptake inhibition is approximately 30:1. Most other SNRIs have ratios 10:1 or less in favor of serotonin.
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Path To Improved Health
Your doctor will consider many factors when choosing the antidepressant medicine to give you. He or she will think about the following:
Keep in mind that antidepressant medicines arent tranquilizers or uppers. You wont get a high when you take them. Also, theyre not addictive.
Youll know if your antidepressant is working based on how you feel. Youll be able to sleep better. Youll have more energy to meet your day-to-day obligations. You can take care of yourself. Your appetite will be closer to normal. Youll have an increased desire to engage in life. You and your family and friends will notice these changes. Be patient, though. It may take some time to get back to the way you felt before the depression.
It is important to remember that antidepressants can help with symptoms of depression. These medicines work best when you try to have an active lifestyle with exercise, get eight hours of sleep a night, and eat healthy foods. Your doctor may also recommend working with a counselor to help you improve the thoughts of depression.