Depression Medications

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to you if you suffer a moderate to severe case of depression that cannot be resolved through counseling alone. Medication is used to moderate the chemical imbalances in the brain that may be causing or contributing to your depression. For many, the combination of medication and counseling is highly successful.

Antidepressant Medications

Depression MedicationsAlthough there are many types of depression medications, antidepressants typically fall into two categories: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and atypical antidepressants. Each targets and regulates specific chemicals in the brain in order to improve your mood.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs help to regulate serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is important for multiple systems in your body, including mood regulation and proper digestion, and when your brain is not regulating this chemical properly, you are more likely to become depressed. Examples of common SSRIs are:

  • Prozac
  • Celexa
  • Paxil
  • Zoloft

Common side effects of SSRIs are insomnia, anxiety, headaches, constipation and lowered sex drive, but results vary for everyone.

Atypical Antidepressants

Atypical antidepressants are not simply serotonin regulators. This form of depression medication targets neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine and norepinephrine in order to regulate any imbalances and improve your mood. Cymbalta, Wellbutrin and Remeron are commonly prescribed atypical antidepressants.

Side effects of atypical antidepressants are similar to those of SSRIs. They can also include nausea, anxiety, blurred vision and possible weight gain.

When taking any antidepressant, if your symptoms of depression persist or get worse, you should notify your doctor immediately. Some medications can lead you to have increased thoughts of suicide. If this occurs, you may need a different dosage or a different medication altogether. Never stop taking your medication, unless directed to by your doctor, because you risk experiencing painful withdrawal and setbacks in your treatment. Your doctor will be able to assess your needs and help you through the worst of your medication’s side effects.

The Importance of Depression Medication

Appropriately managed medication can make all the difference in your recovery from depression. It’s important to make sure that you follow all instructions from your doctor and pay close attention to any side effects that make you uncomfortable. If you have a counseling regimen, you should mention any ill effects to your counselor. They may be able to work with you to help you adjust to your medication as well.

Our toll-free helpline is here to answer any questions you may have about depression medications and other depression therapies.