Imbalanced brain chemistry is the main reason for developing the condition of depression. Antidepressants are used in the treatment of severe depression. Even though it is typically considered safe, it may induce suicidal thoughts in children as well as young adults. Few side effect of antidepressants is dizziness, dryness, headache, and weight gain.
Limitations in the Treatment of Depression with Antidepressants
One-third of patients may not make any response to antidepressants. Antidepressants are used for a few types of chronic pains, anxiety disorders, and to help recover from addiction. Immediate stop of antidepressants leads to withdrawal syndromes such as reoccurring depression.
In clinical studies, it has observed that 30-55% of clients didn’t respond to antidepressants. The effects of antidepressants will not continue once the course of medication is stopped. Unfortunately, this will result in a high rate of relapse. A gradual depreciation of benefits occurs in a minority of clients during the course of treatment.
During a meta-analysis conducted, in which 31 placebo-controlled antidepressant trials, mostly limited to studies covering a period of one and a half years, showed that 19% of clients who had responded to an antidepressant relapsed when still taking it, compared to 43% whose antidepressant was switched with placebo.
Adverse Effects of Antidepressants
Most of the antidepressants work in serotonin balancing, and sometimes it causes serotonin toxicity. It is the state of serotonin present in body excess that can lead to insomnia, restlessness or agitation. This condition may be severe, generally only for overdosage or taking with other medications.
The risk of diabetic is also an adverse effect of antidepressants. If the patient is taking the medicines with foods that contain a high level of tyramine, it may cause a potentially lethal hypertensive crisis. The chance of “mania” is also a possible side effect of antidepressants. Few studies have shown that antidepressant usage increases the risk of suicidal thoughts in patients.
Sexual problems are also common as the side effects of antidepressant treatment. These side effects even last after stopping the medication. Change in metabolic functions or weight gain is other common side effects of antidepressants.
Several Categories of Antidepressants
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These medicines act on serotonin, a brain chemical. They are usually used medications prescribed for depression.
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): These medications increase serotonin and norepinephrine. Desvenlafaxine is examples of Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors.
Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRIs): Norepinephrine-Dopamine reuptake inhibitors increase the secretion of dopamine and norepinephrine.
Mirtazapine: Mirtazapine aims at specific serotonin and norepinephrine receptors in the brain; this causes increasing the activity of some brain circuits. Mirtazapine is used less often than newer antidepressants because it has more side-effects.
Second-Generation Antipsychotics (SGAs): SGA is used to treat schizophrenia, acute mania, bipolar disorder and mental illness.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs): TCAs are significantly older medications. These medicines are rarely used today. SNRIs have more side effects. They are sometimes used when other antidepressants will not work.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): MAOIs are rarely used medicines today because now there are more effective medications with fewer side effects. MAOIs can sometimes be effective for patients who do not respond to other antidepressants.