Antidepressant Use For Depression Treatment
Depression is a particularly common problem, the most common mental health problem there is in fact. It's believed that twenty percent of people in the US are depressed, with most not getting any form...
Depression is a particularly common problem, the most common mental health problem there is in fact. It's believed that twenty percent of people in the US are depressed, with most not getting any form of treatment. When people who are depressed do get treatment it's typically in the form of some type of psychotherapy or counseling, medication therapy, or both in combination. When medication therapy is used to treat depression, it's typically provided in the form of a pharmaceutical that's referred to as an antidepressant.
Antidepressants have been in use since the 1950's. The method for antidepressants is to alter the brain chemistry in some specific way, often to maintain levels of a particular chemical. The SSRI antidepressants for example are designed to keep levels of the brain chemical serotonin at certain levels, the thought being that reduced levels of serotonin lead to depression among other dysfunctions. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor is what SSRI specifically refers to. The most well known of the SSRI's without question is Prozac.
Prozac became commercially available in Europe starting 1986 but work on the drug actually started in the 1970's. Contrary to what may be popular opinion, Prozac was not the first SSRI antidepressant but it was the most commercially successful of the initial SSRI's. This was certainly helped by the fact that the first SSRI antidepressant, zimelidine, was banned because it presented serious side effects. Before Prozac came along tricyclic antidepressants were most frequently prescribed for depression, and Prozac was marketed as a drug form dramatically different from the tricyclics.
The claims about Prozac in comparison to the tricyclic form of antidepressants were that Prozac was more specific in the way it functioned, and that it caused fewer side effects. The tricyclic antidepressants had a reputation for having troublesome side effects, including sexual functioning problems, rapid heart beat, and constipation. Though Prozac may have had fewer side effects than the tricyclics, Prozac was not an entirely clean drug when it came to carryover side effects: Prozac was also said to affect sexual functioning. Side effects from using Prozac however mostly were accepted to decrease as usage went on.
Whether Prozac was a miracle drug or not is certainly up for debate, but it did prove to be enormously profitable. Prozac was prescribed millions of times, literally, and prior to its patent expiring grossed billions of dollars. There are now a new generation of SSRI's on the market, and similar to Prozac they've proven to be widely prescribed and extremely popular. This may reinforce the belief among some that SSRI's are currently the most effective antidepressants in use.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zinn Jeremiah is a freelance author. For help with depression, visit help depression or depression treatment.