Thursday, November 6, 2008

Methods of Treatment for Depression

In selecting the best antidepressant to address your symptoms, your doctor/psychiatrist takes into consideration several factors. Included therein are your family history and other health conditions you may possibly have. It may take several attempts before you would determine the one that works best for you, addressing your symptoms head on without inflicting very serious side effects.

On the whole, majority of antidepressants available in pharmacies are efficacious. However, some of them could increase your chances of suffering from intolerable side effects. Generally speaking, no antidepressant drug is without any side effects. Yet, the manner in which each one of them affects patients differs on a case to case basis. In most people's cases, however, the best treatment comes through a combination of taking the best medication and psychotherapy.

Certain cases of depression can be treated by your regular doctor. Nevertheless, in most cases, a certified psychiatrist is consulted for such illnesses related to emotional and psychological well-being. The variegated forms of treatment conventionally used for addressing depression are the following: prescribed drugs, psychotherapy, and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). As previously mentioned, the prescribed drugs used to alleviate this kind of condition are usually effective. Prior to prescribing them to patients, psychiatrists/doctors have a systematic way of assessing them. Here is how they do it:

* Initial Options

At the beginning of the treatment, most doctors/psychiatrists would prescribe an SSRI. An acronym and common term for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, SSRI is the typical first choice for two important reasons: It is effective and has bearable side effects as compared to other antidepressants. Fluoxetine, paroxetine, setraline, citalopram, and escitalopram are all classifed as SSRIs. Aside from SSRIs, the other typical first options would include any of the following other antidepressants: serotonin and noropinephrine reuptake inhibitors(SNRIs), noropinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors(NDRIs), tetracyclic antidepressants, and a combination of reuptake inhibitors and receptor blockers.

* Second Options

Although tricyclic antidepressants(TCAs) have been in existence prior to the introduction of SSRIs, the latter is considered as the most popular first choice. The main reason explaining this is the fact that the aforementioned possess a greater number of more intense side effects over that of SSRIs. Despite this, it does not discount the effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressants. For most cases, they are only prescribed if SSRIs fail to address the patient's symptoms.

* Last Options

When neither SSRIs nor TCAs would not work, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MNRIs) are prescribed by doctors/psychiatrists. Although MAOIs are efficacious on the whole, they possess more severe side effects in comparison to SSRIs and TCAs. At times, these side effects can even be injurious to the patient. Moreover, in using MAOIs, doctors/psychiatrists may advise skipping certain foods, for they may pose dangerous negative effects that can even be life-threatening.

* Other Methods

Certain instances may prompt your doctor/psychiatrist to use augmentation, a process of using two or more antidepressants and other medicines to obtain the maximum benefits. Included among these other choices are the following: mood stabilizing drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, and anti-psychotic drugs.

Resource Box: Maricel Modesto is a writer and editor who writes for various health and lifestyle magazines.

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