What are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants are medicines that treat the symptoms of clinical depression. Furthermore, they also treat generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the antidepressants in the list of antidepressants are also used to treat people suffering from long-term (chronic) pain. 

How do Antidepressants Work?

The exact way in which antidepressants work is not known, but they are thought to affect the levels of chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters. Some of these neurotransmitters, for example, noradrenaline, and serotonin are associated with emotion and mood. Some in the list of antidepressants may relieve long-term pain by affecting the pain signals sent by nerves. 

Types of Antidepressants

There is a list of antidepressants, classified according to the types based on how they work. We list here the common types of antidepressants, along with the antidepressants that are included in each type.

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

As SSRIs cause fewer side effects, therefore, they are the most widely prescribed type of antidepressant. An overdose of SSRIs isn’t as serious as that of other antidepressants. They work by affecting the levels of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. 

Examples of SSRIs

  • Fluoxetine
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram
  • Sertraline
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Paroxetine

Common Side Effects of SSRIs

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Sexual problems
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

Next in the list of antidepressants are SNRIs, or serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors. SNRIs were originally designed to work more effectively than SSRIs, but they are similar to SSRIs. SNRIs work by affecting the levels of two chemicals in the brain, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The effectiveness of SNRIs varies from person to person, some people show better responses to SNRIs, while others may respond better to SSRIs. Doctors usually prescribe SNRIs as they have lesser drug interactions. 

Examples of SNRIs

  • Duloxetine
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Venlafaxine

Side Effects of SNRIs

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea (particularly during the initial 2 weeks of the treatment)
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Sexual problems
  • Headaches
  • Lack of energy
  • Constipation
  • Noradrenaline and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants (NASSAs)

For people who are not able to take SSRIs usually find NASSAs effective for them. NASSAs cause similar side effects as SSRIs, but the patient experiences fewer sexual issues. But, the medicine usage is accompanied by drowsiness in the first few days. 

Examples of NASSAs

  • mirtazapine (Zispin)
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

TCAs are not usually recommended as the first treatment of depression, as they are an older type of antidepressant. They are more likely to cause more unpleasant side effects as compared to SNRIs and SSRIs and overdosage of TCAs is more dangerous. TCAs are recommended for people who don’t get better with their severe depression by other treatment options. These are also used to treat other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder and OCD. 

TCAs work by affecting three brain chemicals, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This type of antidepressant is also less commonly used as they take a long time to become effective. 

Examples of Tricyclic Antidepressants

  • Protriptyline
  • Amitriptyline
  • Nortriptyline
  • Doxepin
  • Trimipramine
  • Clomipramine
  • Desipramine
  • Imipramine

Side Effects of Tricyclic Antidepressants

  • Worsening of glaucoma
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Impaired thinking
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble urinating

TCAs can affect your heart rate and blood pressure, so they should be used carefully. 

  • Serotonin Antagonists and Reuptake Inhibitors (SARIs)

These antidepressants should be prescribed in case other antidepressants don’t work or cause side effects, and they are not the first choice of antidepressants to be prescribed. 

Examples of SARIs

  • trazodone (Molipaxin)
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

These antidepressants can cause serious side effects and are an older type of antidepressant, so they aren’t commonly used these days. MAOIs work by affecting the level of an enzyme called monoamine in the brain. 

Examples of MAOIs

  • Selegiline
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Phenelzine

Side effects of MAOIs

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Trembling
  • Headaches

There is a possible reaction called “serotonin syndrome”, which results from a harmful interaction of MAOI with certain medicines and foods. The symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Changes in blood pressure

Things to Consider When Taking Antidepressants

You cannot pick any antidepressant from the list of antidepressants and start using it. But you should let your doctor decide for you to see the other medicines, supplements, and vitamins you use and the health conditions you suffer from. Never start using or stop using any antidepressant without consent from a doctor. Seek medical help without any delay in case of any of these symptoms:

  • Have panic attacks
  • Commit a suicide attempt
  • Have sudden onset of mania
  • Have thoughts about killing one’s own self and death
  • Have trouble sleeping, or ongoing insomnia
  • Acting aggressively, angrily, or violently
  • Thinking of trying to hurt other people
  • The depression getting worse or noticing new symptoms
  • Having changes in behaviour or mood that seem unusual
Wrapping Up

There is a list of antidepressants that you can get from the online pharmacy of Super Meds. Not just antidepressants, but you can also get other medicines online, without the need to go out of the house. Just visit the website of Super Meds and conveniently order medicines.