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Four Types of Depression Medication - What You Need to Know


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Depression medication is not always a recommended means of treatment. There are many types of effective treatments available and they do not include depression medicines.

Depression medicines are fast acting. They provide instant result to some people but the relief is not permanent and they have side effects. Some types of depression medication are also contraindicated with some types of food. This is the reason why people who are taking depression medication need to have a diet plan that they will have to follow. Between 20 to 40 percent of people do not respond positively to depression medications.

If the person really needs the help of these pills, it is good to know the types of depression medication and have an idea of how they work and what are the associated side effects that each type can bring.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are among the most popular types of these medications. SSRIs work on a neurotransmitter of the brain called serotonin. They are the most prescribed type of depression medication because they have fewer side effects than the older types.

The medicines classified as SSRI are the following: Paxil (paroxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate), Zoloft (sertraline), Luvox (fluvoxamine) and Prozac (fluoxetine). Yet another one is Celexa (citalopram). The side effects recorded for this type of depression medication include erectile dysfunction, anxiety and restlessness, hostility, agitation, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, tremors, sweating, drowsiness, fatigue, either diarrhea or constipation, headaches, dry mouth and either weight gain or loss.

SSRI can increase the suicidal tendency of a person. If a person has taken SSRI and wants to switch to MAOI, he should allow three weeks difference before taking MAOI; if not, it could lead to reactions that have grave consequences for the person's life.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

Tricyclics antidepressants are older than SSRIs. Taking this medication requires two weeks before relief could be felt and they have more side effects than SSRIs. Tricyclic antidepressants works on two of the three neurotransmitters of the brain called the serotonin and norepinephrine. But it was also observed that they are interacting unnecessarily with the other nerve impulses of the brain. It has a sedative effect on the user, making it suitable for patients that are severely depressed.

The list of TCA medicine include Adapin (doxepin), Sinequan (doxepin), Anafranil (clomipramine), Pamelor (nortryptyline), Surmontil (trimipramine), Tofranil (imipramine), Vivactil (protriptyline), Elavil (amitriptyline), Norpramin (desipramine). Also included are Pertofrane (desipramine), Endep (amitriptyline) and Ludiomil (maprotiline).

The side effects of SSRI can also be observed with TCAs. In addition, people taking it are very sensitive to the sun, and may have blurred vision and difficulty urinating.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MOAIs)

MAOIs are the oldest type of antidepressant. They are taken by people with mild cases of depression and those that are overly sensitive with the environment. MAOIs work on all three neurotransmitters: the serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. MOAIs are recommended only when the patient has not responded to the other types of medications.

A person taking MAOIs must be watchful of his diet. Many types of food are known to counter-react with MAOIs. The list includes chocolates, wines, and cheeses, among others. Effects of these food with MAOIs include hypertension, headaches, fluctuation in blood sugar among diabetics and at worst, brain hemorrhage could happen.

The medicines classified under MAOI are the following: Nardil (phenelzine), Parnate (tranylcypromine), Marplan (Isocarboxazid) and Emsam (Selegiline ). The side effects include lightheadedness upon standing, sleepiness, headache, insomnia, impotence, dizziness and weight gain.

Atypical or Other Types of Antidepressant

These are the latest modes of anti depression medication and they do not fall under any of the first three types, thus they are classified as atypical. Since these medications have different mechanism of actions, the side effects also vary according to the specific medicine.

The list of atypical types of depression medication includes the following: Trazodone (Desyrel), Venlafaxine (Effexor), Nefazodone (Serzone), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Mirtazapine (Remeron) and Bupropion (Wellbutrin).

Never forget to ask for medical assistance before starting on any of the types of depression medication. It is also useful to know that many of them can increase the tendency of suicide attempts in a person. Abrupt withdrawal must also be avoided. All types of depression medication need tapering down in order to lessen the side effects that could be very serious.

Flor Serquina is a successful Webmaster and publisher of She provides more information on topics such as types of depression medication , new treatments for depression and depression chat rooms that you can research on her website even while lounging in your living room.


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