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Choose the Right Depression Medication
Once you have been diagnosed with depression, it’s important that you work with your doctor to choose depression medication and a treatment plan that works for you. Treatment options may include a prescription medication, a combination of more than one prescription medication, and/or talk therapy to help alleviate your symptoms of depression.
Antidepressant medications work on chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. In particular, they work on the specific neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, which have been shown through scientific research to help regulate a person’s mood. The reasons why they work on regulating mood is not yet fully understood.
Types of Depression Medications
There are several different classes of antidepressant medications your doctor may choose to prescribe.
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors: Called SSRIs for short, this class of depression medication includes Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paraxetine) and Celexa (citalopram). These are some of the most widely used anti-depression medications and are available as generics.
- Serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors: Referred to as SNRIs, these medications include Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine).
- Tricyclics: These are older antidepressants that are extremely powerful and are not typically prescribed much today. They include imipramine and nortriptyline.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors: Called MAOIs, these are the oldest type of medications for depression. They should not be taken with SSRIs.
You need to have an open dialogue with your doctor so that the two of you can work together to choose a depression medication that works best for you.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
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