Depression medications

There are several options when treating depression with medication. Many antidepressants are on the market and can be prescribed by physicians for the treatment of depression. All of the drugs are designed to relieve depression by increasing the amount of certain chemicals which are called neurotransmitters. Most of these drugs are designed to increase serotonin. When the neurotransmitter or serotonin is increased in the brain, the premise is that the mood will be changed or elevated.

Some of the different types of medications which can be used to treat depression can include tricyclic antidepressants. These medications have been on the market for a very long time. They work by increasing the amount of serotonin or norepinepherine in the brain. These types of drugs work very well but they have a lot of side effects that are associated with them so they are not usually the first medications that are prescribed for depression. Medications of this sort include Elavil, Pamelor, Sinequan, Tofranil, Norpramin, and Adapin.

Side effects that are associated with tricyclic antidepressants include dry mouth, blurred vision, increasing fatigue, wanting to sleep all the time, rapid weight gain, twitching of muscles or tremors, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness in the daytime hours, and sexual dysfunction.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAO’s are another early form of antidepressant which are very effective. These are used for people who do not respond to other medications or for people who have other types of mental illness. There are certain medications and foods that can severely interact with MAO’s such as beer, cheese and wine. This makes anyone who takes this type of medication have to stay on a very strict diet. For this reason these types of drugs are not used as the first type of antidepressant prescribed first for depression.

Examples of MAO’s are Nardil, Marplan, and Parnate. Side effects of MAO’s include severe headaches, tachycardia or fast heart rate, stiffness in the neck, nausea and vomiting, and chest pain.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are a newer form of antidepressant. They work by altering a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Examples of this type of medication include Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro. Side effects of these types of drugs can include a low sex drive, headaches, dizziness, feeling irritable or jittery, and nausea or vomiting. These types of medication are frequently prescribed today for depression.

Other new medications prescribed for depression today include Serotonin and Norepinepherine Reuptake Inhibitors. These work by increasing the amount of both serotonin and norephinepherine in the brain. Examples of these types of drugs include Effexor and Cymbaltra. The side effects of this type of drug are blurred vision, dizziness, constipation, headache, fever, chills, dry mouth, nausea, change in appetite and strange dreams. These types of medications are frequently prescribed for depression at this time.

There are other medications such as Wellbutrin which work by increasing the amount of norepinepherine and dopamine in the brain that are used for depression. Wellbutrin has successfully been used for smoking cessation programs as well. One of the positive things about Wellbutrin is that it does not cause the sexual side effects that many of the other antidepressants do. It also does not cause weight gain.

The side effects of Wellbutrin include weight loss, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, constipation or diarrhea, dizziness, and dry mouth. Wellbutrin may be prescribed for people who have tried other medications and had side effects noted with other medications such as the sexual dysfunction and weight gain that are associated with other SSRI’s.

Wellbutrin is a good alternative for these types of medications and works well in those cases.


Last updated on Oct 2nd, 2009 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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