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


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.

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A drug, such as imipramine and tranylcypromine, that relieves depression by increasing central sympathetic activity.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


any of a class of drugs used to alleviate depression
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Within this context, there is evidence that heterotrimeric G proteins (G proteins) regulate the intracellular signaling ways activated by receptors to neurotrophic factors, making G proteins a possible molecular target of antidepressant drugs. Thence, an additional objective of this work is reporting the effect of antidepressant drug imipramine on the expression of subunits [alpha] (G[alpha]) of G proteins.
For men, the risk of hospital admission was 2.98 and for antidepressant drugs, 2.23.
Presently, about one in four Americans will succumb to major depression during some period of their lives, and antidepressant drug use has skyrocketed in recent years.
Editor's note: This article is particularly disturbing because Congress already funded mandatory psychological testing for children and pregnant women, and may require anti-psychotic drugs for those deemed "at risk." SSRI antidepressant drugs, such as Lexapro and Prozac, were banned in the UK for use on children under 18 some years ago due to the sharply increased risk of suicidal behavior in children, among other dangerous side-effects.
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.
In that setting, a woman may be prescribed a mood stabilizer drug such as lithium (women with postpartum psychosis tend to be bipolar); antidepressant drugs; or ECT.
Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft are just a few antidepressant drugs called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
Daily use of the antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by adults over 50 is associated with a doubled risk of "fragility fractures" (fractures caused by falls from bed, chair, or a standing position), according to a new study from Canada.
ANNA Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son died from the accidental effect of methadone and two antidepressant drugs interacting in his system, according to a well-known American pathologist who conducted a private autopsy.
"Tricyclic antidepressant drugs, but not SSRIs (other than sertraline), were also significantly associated with suicide attempts in young people," the investigators said.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publicly associated antidepressant drugs with worsened depression and suicidal ideation.