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New Medications For Depression: Old Methods Give Way To The New

Nov 3, 2007
There is a wide array of antidepressants sold in pharmacies today. Every year, new forms of antidepressants are introduced that their makers claim to be more effective and safer than others. However, these new medications for depression do not yet have the track record to back up their makers' claim. Are they truly safe and effective?

Old Treatment Methods, at a Glance

Over the past century, the methods and approaches in treating all types of mental disorders and illnesses have advanced and changed dramatically. Previously, the standard approach of treating major depression and mental disorders that include hallucination as one of the symptoms - such as in the case of paranoia, delusions and schizophrenia - was through electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. Now, non-invasive medication therapy is introduced to depressed and mentally ill patients.

ECT has been and is still very controversial. Many regard the procedure of emitting short bursts of electrical shocks into a human brain as primitive, if not downright brutal. However, this mode of treatment has been proven effective in treating major depression and more severe cases of mental disorders.

With the controversy surrounding ECT, researchers have resorted to pills to treat depression and other mood disorders. Although it takes more than a month before new medications for depression take effect, they do their job satisfactorily. Moreover, the method is non-invasive, as compared to ECT.

Do You Need Medications?

It is not easy to have depression. Even if you have the will and the courage to fight it, sometimes, your body can not resist the urge to stay in a gloomy state and get depressed for long. This is when medications are needed. The body's internal rhythm needs to be normalized before non-medication approach of treatment is introduced.

New Lines of Antidepressants

Below are the best-known new medications for depression:

1. SSRI. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor or SSRI is the most prescribed new medication for depression. The reason is that a large percentage of patients who use this medicine have responded well. Aside from that, side effects are less as compared to older forms of antidepressants (such as tricyclic antidepressants).

2. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) this is newer than SSRI. It works like SSRI in many ways except for the fact that it targets production of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Also, you can expect the side effects of SSRI to appear with use of SNRIs.

3. Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs). This new form of anti anxiety and antidepressant works like SNRI, yet in a different way. Although it aims for the production of more serotonin and norepinephrine, it blocks some serotonin receptors that are said to be the root cause of side effects in SSRIs.

Are They Safe To Use?

These new medications for depression aim to target production of chemicals or hormones in the body that are found to be lacking in depressed persons. Just like any other medicines, they have been tested for effectiveness and safety for use before they get a stamp of approval from FDA for sale to public. However, does this mean that new medications for depression are safe for use?

Your psychiatrist or physician would know if these new medications for depression are safe for use. Of course, your doctor should only recommend and prescribe medication that he knows have enough testing under its belt and has proven itself to be effective and safe. Which is why most doctors will probably recommend SSRIs to you since this antidepressant, although new, have cured many patients with less side effects.

These new medications for depression come in tablet forms and are taken orally. How to administer them? It basically depends on your doctor's advice. Never attempt to self medicate even if these medicines were found to have less side effects.

If you are concerned with the possible side effects that any of these new medications for depression can cause you, discuss the matter with your doctor. Tell him also of your current medical conditions, other medications that you are taking, and allergies to medicine. The reason is that these antidepressants may work adversely with other medicines.
About the Author
Visit Facts-About-Depression.com to learn more about new treatment for depression and signs of teenage depression.
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