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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.


A drug, such as imipramine and tranylcypromine, that relieves depression by increasing central sympathetic activity.


any of a class of drugs used to alleviate depression
References in periodicals archive ?
The post Anti-depressants do work according to major study appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
Inadequate anti-depressant response means failure to previous treatment which is then difficult to treat.
The extended-release tablets will be used as an anti-depressant that targets the depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder and chronic depression.
In 2009, there were 13,816 people under the age of 21 given anti-depressants.
ALMOST 300,000 medical card holders were prescribed anti-depressants last year, costing nearly [euro]50million.
They found 590 extra suicides, 279,000 extra cases of mental illhealth and 725,000 more prescriptions for anti-depressants across England that were associated with the work capability assessment (WCA) policy between 2010 and 2013.
Zigman said after identifying the mechanism of ghrelin's anti-depressant actions, we investigated whether increasing this ghrelin effect by directly enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis with the recently reported P7C3 class of neuroprotective compounds would result in even greater anti-depressant behavioral effects.
8-10 Approximately one-third of MDD are refractory to any kind of anti-depressant treatment, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic anti-depressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
ALAN Meudell, 54, chairman of trustees at Caerphilly Mind, has been taking anti-depressants for 12 years.
Anderson's death occurred because he consumed excessive amounts of a medicine used as an anti-depressant and for the treatment of schizophrenia," Khalfan told state news agency WAM.
Pharmacy department director Dr Sumaya al-Sitawy said due to the rise in the incidents of psychological, emotional illnesses and the consequent increase in the use of anti-depressant drugs, there was a need to raise awareness and educate the public on the proper usage of the drugs and how to avert complications from their use.
Bi rming ham Coroner's Court heard the drug was a common anti-depressant but came with a Citalopram.