antidepressant

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Related to Antidepressant drugs: Zoloft, citalopram, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro

antidepressant,

any of a wide range of drugs used to treat psychic depressiondepression,
in psychiatry, a symptom of mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness, failure, and rejection. The two major types of mood disorder are unipolar disorder, also called major depression, and bipolar disorder, whose sufferers are
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. They are given to elevate mood, counter suicidal thoughts, and increase the effectiveness of psychotherapypsychotherapy,
treatment of mental and emotional disorders using psychological methods. Psychotherapy, thus, does not include physiological interventions, such as drug therapy or electroconvulsive therapy, although it may be used in combination with such methods.
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. Before the introduction of such drugs in the late 1950s, most patients with major depression had no recourse but hospitalization; only 45% improved after one year. In contrast, 80%–90% of such patients can expect significant relief from depression with one of the medications now prescribed.

Antidepressants act on the flow of the neurotransmitters epinephrineepinephrine
, hormone important to the body's metabolism, also known as adrenaline. Epinephrine, a catecholamine, together with norepinephrine, is secreted principally by the medulla of the adrenal gland.
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, serotoninserotonin
, organic compound that was first recognized as a powerful vasoconstrictor occurring in blood serum. It was partially purified, crystallized, and named in 1948, and its structure was deduced a year later.
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, and norepinephrinenorepinephrine
, a neurotransmitter in the catecholamine family that mediates chemical communication in the sympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system.
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 across neural synapsessynapse
, junction between various signal-transmitter cells, either between two neurons or between a neuron and a muscle or gland. A nerve impulse reaches the synapse through the axon, or transmitting end, of a nerve cell, or neuron.
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. Common antidepressants include monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tricyclics such as imipramine (Tofranil) and amitriptyline (Elavil), and the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline HCL (Zoloft). Venlafaxine (Effexor) inhibits both serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake.

The choice of antidepressant often has more to do with its side effects (variously sedation, constipation, hypotension, tachycardia, weight gain, sexual dysfunction) than efficacy, as they are generally regarded to be equally effective. The newer drugs, especially SSRIs, are tolerated better and are currently by far the most widely prescribed, but SSRIs also appear to be less effective in children and teenagers and may cause some of them to become suicidal.

antidepressant

[‚an·tē·di′pres·ənt]
(pharmacology)
A drug, such as imipramine and tranylcypromine, that relieves depression by increasing central sympathetic activity.

antidepressant

any of a class of drugs used to alleviate depression
References in periodicals archive ?
Luscher's team tested two kinds of antidepressant drugs in the mice and found that one of the drugs reduced symptoms of anxiety, but not of depression, whereas the other drug reduced both anxiety and depression symptoms.
It's worth considering how so many antidepressant drugs have been prescribed.
The scientists obtained reviews conducted at the Food and Drug Administration for 74 clinical trials, covering a total of 12,564 depressed patients who received any of 12 antidepressant drugs.
Antidepressant drugs can have adverse effects such as nausea, anxiety, insomnia, anorexia, weight loss, and tremors.
In contrast, little variation was found in suicide risk across antidepressant drugs in the adult subjects.
I'm a survivor who was motivated to peek behind the corporate curtain and study what the independent experts were saying about the connection between antidepressant drugs and suicide.
From their report of Paul Ekman's research, one can even predict that some pharmaceutical companies that earn millions from the sales of antidepressant drugs probably would be happier if other reviewers and I did not help you to find this book.
The actions represent the FDA's conclusions about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and the necessary actions for physicians prescribing these antidepressant drugs and for the children and adolescents taking them," explains FDA acting Commissioner Lester Crawford.
Mealey's Litigation Report: Antidepressant Drugs, Shane Dilworth, editor, $12x, $599/year
Over the past 30 years we have treated over 30,000 patients with chronic depression which has failed to respond to one or more antidepressant drugs.
Antidepressant drugs were not the focus of this program, and were only briefly mentioned as a tool that some people may need temporarily.