Those who suffer from depression can experience an adverse impact on their quality of life. While the causes of depression are varied, there are some common factors that may contribute to depression's effects.
For instance, people who suffer from depression may experience a higher risk of heart attack. Medications used to treat depression may also have several debilitating side effects.
Side effects of depression medications
Most antidepressants target neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are chemicals that communicate between brain cells. The drugs affect these chemicals in different ways. The effects of antidepressants vary from patient to patient, depending on the patient's health condition and other medical conditions.
The most common antidepressants drugs are part of a class of drugs known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which are used to treat depression. Some SNRIs, can also be used to treat anxiety and pain disorders.
Some of these medications may interact with other medications and supplements. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are also used to treat depression, have more serious side effects, including nausea and weight gain.
Antidepressants are usually prescribed by a psychiatrists, i.e. a specialist in mental health, but your doctor, i.e. a general practitioner may also prescribe them. Typically, you will begin at a low dose and then be gradually increased to achieve your therapeutic dose.
Generally, antidepressants are prescribed for six to 12 months after the initial episode of depression. If symptoms return, your doctor may recommend a longer course of treatment. Antidepressants can help improve your quality of life and prevent future episodes of depression. However, your body may get more accustomed to the drug and because of which it may become less effective over time.
It has also been noted that patients tend to get more dependent on the drug and so how they are finally taken off the drug has to be carefully planned and managed.
Working with a good mental health professional who understands your situation and develops a strategic treatment plan that utilizes medication along with integrative healing methods like various behavioral therapies is a great way to address the many debilitating symptoms of depression.