Thursday, April 11, 2024

How Do Ssris Treat Depression

How Ssris Are Used To Treat Social Anxiety Disorder

2-Minute Neuroscience: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually the first choice of medication for treating social anxiety disorder . SSRIs affect your brain chemistry by slowing re-absorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a chemical that we think helps to regulate mood and anxiety.

Treatments Based On Serotonin May Be Founded On Flawed Logic

If you decided to read this post, then you are probably disappointed with the ability of your SSRI to produce relief from the symptoms of your depression. Why dont we have better drugs for an illness that affects so many people? After all, depression has been called the common cold of mental illnesses: Almost everyone gets it at some time during their lives.

Today, psychiatrists overwhelmingly prescribe drugs that primarily manipulate one chemical in the brainserotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. It is released from one neuron so that it can interact with another nearby neuron. Serotonin is produced from the dietary amino acid tryptophan that can be found in many different foods.

Most Americans get an adequate supply of tryptophan from their diet. You would have to have a very poor, or very unusual, diet to deplete your brain of the tryptophan it needs to make serotonin. Most of the tryptophan that appears in the blood after a typical meal will never enter the brain rather, it will be utilized by one of the ten million or more serotonin neurons in your gut or by one of the trillions of platelets in your blood or by any one of your muscles.

In fact, far less than 1 percent of the tryptophan that you consume will ever reach your brain. Fortunately, the brain doesnt need that much, and it is usually able to obtain all that it needs every day. Why does the availability of tryptophan matter?

Which Antidepressant Has The Least Side Effects

SSRIs tend to have fewer side effects than SNRIs, but side effects of both medications vary greatly by the individual. Some may experience significant side effects from a medication, while others may experience none from the same one.

The best thing you can do is work with your healthcare provider to find the best balance between effectiveness and side effects.

Don’t Miss: Depression Coping Skills For Adults

Who Should Use Ssri Medications With Caution

  • Individuals with bipolar disorder since SSRIs may induce manic episodes
  • Children and adolescents with depression seem to experience the rare potential side effect of experiencing an acute worsening of depression compared to adults. That can potentially result in suicidal or homicidal thoughts, plans, or acts. Despite this rare occurrence, the benefits of using SSRIs to treat child and adolescent depression has been found to outweigh the risks.

Comparing Three Groups Of Worsening Suicidal Ideation

Clinical Depression: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, and ...

In the analysis of the three categories that the authors defined, in those aged 25 and above the risk was lower in the worsening suicidality and emergent suicidality: loose definition categories in those prescribed an SSRI over those prescribed a placebo. There was no significant difference in the emergent suicide: strict definition category. In the 18-24 age group there were no significant differences between SSRIs and placebo in any of these three categories of increasing suicidality.

Read Also: How Do I Get Medication For Depression

Antidepressants For Children And Young People

Children and young people with moderate to severe depression should be offered a course of psychotherapy before antidepressants. This treatment should last at least 3 months.

In some cases, an SSRI called fluoxetine may be offered to young people aged 12 to 18. This should be offered in combination with psychotherapy.

What Reuptake Inhibitors Do

Reuptake means reabsorption. It is a normal mechanism by which the body controls how long a nerve signal lasts. However, if you have significantly low levels of a neurotransmitter, reuptake can be a problem as it restricts the amount of neurotransmitters being actively circulated in the brain.

To this end, limiting reuptake increases the extracellular concentrations of these chemicals and, by doing so, increases their ability to exert positive effects on your mood. Because reuptake inhibitors limit the reabsorption of certain neurotransmitters, these medications are able to increase the availability of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

Also Check: What Is Depression Mental Illness

What Is The Rationale For Using Drugs That Affect Serotonin

The monoamine theory of depression has long been influential. It holds that depression results from a deficit of one or more neurotransmitters in the brain. It links the neurotransmitters to specific groups of symptoms. For example, serotonin-dependent signals affect sleep, digestion, mood, and behavior regulation norepinephrine drives the fight-flight-freeze response and dopamine has been linked to motivation, movement, and the capacity for pleasure. However, the notion that a chemical imbalance in the brain generates depression has given way to newer ideas that reflect a greater understanding of how the brain works.

Can You Drink Alcohol On Ssris

Treating depression with antidepressants

While some doctors advise against drinking alcohol while taking SSRIs, many people find it difficult to completely stop their alcohol consumption during treatment.

A key reason doctors advise against drinking is because both SSRIs and alcohol may influence your mood, and may also make you drowsy and less alert.

Its also possible that consuming too much alcohol regularly could disrupt the effectiveness of your SSRIs.

The consensus seems to be: If you want to drink while taking SSRIs, its important to drink in moderation. That means approximately one drink a day for most people, which translates into:

  • 12 oz. of beer

You May Like: Residential Treatment Programs For Teenage Depression

What Is Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome usually occurs when a patient takes two or more serotonin-related drugs. Symptoms can include dilated pupils, loss of coordination, muscle weakness or rigidity, agitation, or rapid heart rate. Anyone who experiences any of such symptoms after starting a new SSRI antidepressant is advised to seek medical attention immediately.

Finding The Best Option

There are many types of antidepressants. They all work differently and have different benefits, risks, and side effects.

A person should speak with a doctor about their individual circumstances. The doctor will help them find the best treatment option for them.

Read Also: How To Deal With A Person With Depression And Anxiety

Taking Ssris To Treat Depression

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be effective in treating the symptoms of depression and other mental health problems. However, it is important to follow the prescribing physicians instructions carefully to minimize the risk of side effects and drug interactions.

The drug should not be discontinued or continued beyond the prescribed period unless approved by the physician. Although SSRIs are not considered addictive, stopping the treatment suddenly or missing several doses could lead to a withdrawal-like discontinuation syndrome in some cases. The dose should be reduced safely and gradually under professional guidance and supervision.

Again, different people may react in different ways to the same antidepressant. For instance, one drug may work better for one person than for another, or one person may experience more side effects than another after taking a particular antidepressant. The supervising physician will take all these factors into account when monitoring a patients prescription.

What Is Ssri Medication Treating Depression Side Effects


A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is a type of antidepressant. It is commonly prescribed for various conditions such as anxiety and depression as it is relatively safe and have fewer side effects than other antidepressants.

This article details more about SSRIS, how they work, conditions they treat, their types, and much more, to help you understand if it is the right choice for you.

  • Stopping Treatment
  • Don’t Miss: Percentage Of Students With Depression

    How Do These Drugs Work

    SNRIs work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine back into the nerve cells that released them, which increases the levels of active neurotransmitters in the brain.6

    Both of these neurotransmitters are associated with distinct brain structures and functions and impact various processes such as mood and energy in somewhat different ways. Increasing levels of them in the brain may help improve mood and emotion.

    • Norepinephrine plays a role in attention, mental focus, and memory.7
    • Serotonin is also important for learning and memory formation, but is also instrumental in the regulation of sleep, mood, and appetite.8

    What Are The Different Types Of Antidepressants

    There are many types of antidepressants. Each one works differently. Providers usually prescribe newer antidepressants first because they don’t cause as many side effects as older types. They also seem to help more kinds of depression and anxiety problems.

    Most of the newer antidepressants belong to one of these three groups:

    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
    • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
    • Atypical antidepressants, which are newer antidepressants that don’t fit into the other groups

    If these antidepressants don’t help, your provider might suggest one of the older antidepressants. The older types include tricyclic antidepressants , tetracyclics, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors . Even though these antidepressants may cause more serious side effects, the benefits may outweigh the risks for some people.

    Recommended Reading: The Best Way To Deal With Depression

    How Long Will My Child Need To Take Medication

    The goal of treatment is to fully eliminate all symptoms of depression and anxiety and help your child get back to feeling well every day. It will take at least a few weeks for this to happen, and some symptoms may get better faster than others.

    Once the medication is working well, your child or teen will need to stay on the medication for at least 6 to 12 months to help reduce the chance of a relapse. Never stop your childs medication suddenly.

    You should only start to reduce your childs medication with the help of your doctor. They will tell you how to decrease the dose slowly and over time. Its best to do this during a period of time that is as stress-free as possible for your child or teen.

    Missed Or Extra Doses

    How do antidepressants work? – Neil R. Jeyasingam

    It’s important not to miss any of your doses, as this could make your treatment less effective.

    If you do miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time to take your next dose. In this case, you should just skip the missed dose. Don’t take a double dose to “make up” for the one you missed.

    You should not take more than your prescribed dose unless advised by your doctor or prescriber. If you do take an extra dose by mistake, you should check with your pharmacist or medical professional for advice, or phone 111.

    Read Also: Where To Go For Help With Depression

    Is Medication Enough

    While there is much conflicting evidence about the efficacy of both SSRIs and SNRIs on their own, research done by Consumer Reports magazine indicate that patients receiving only medication for depression or anxiety reported changes in their emotional state at about 70 on a scale of 100.5

    Similar results were reported by patients who underwent only talk therapy. The results were somewhat higher for patients who received both talk therapy for 7 or more visits and an antidepressant medication.5

    The most common talk therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. This is an approach in which patients learn to recognize unhealthy thoughts or behaviors that contribute to depression and anxiety and develop methods of restructuring them.11

    Overall, medications are rarely recommended on their own. They are usually used as part of an overall treatment program that includes therapy and other lifestyle changes.11

    What Is An Ssri

    Essentially, SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain. Neural systems affected by increased serotonin regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion. Not surprisingly, the first drugs designed to affect serotonin levels often caused side effects of drowsiness, weight gain, and nausea. Over time, the medications have been refined to better target only specific serotonin receptors . As newer medications are put into the market – first Prozac, then Celexa, now Lexapro – each generation becomes more and more selective in terms of serotonin receptors targeted. Accordingly, the number of side effects has generally been reduced.

    This increased flexibility, or neuroplasticity, does not necessarily mean that anxiety will decrease. What it means is that your brain is more capable of making changes that will lead to a decrease in anxiety. You still need to know what to do to promote anxiety-reducing changes in your brain. Monitoring and changing anxiety-producing thoughts is one way to make changes that will reduce anxiety. Another way is to learn ways to respond effectively in anxiety-provoking situations, rather than to avoid them. The SSRIs can often help a person accomplish these kinds of changes.

    You May Like: Teenage Depression And Anxiety Statistics

    How Are Ssris Used To Treat Depression

    SSRIs are popular, because they tend to have fewer risks and side effects than earlier medications. Most doctors prescribe low doses of SSRIs and then increase the dosage slowly as the brain adjusts to the new levels of serotonin available. Especially when used in conjunction with talk therapy and exercise, SSRIs can be an effective way to treat depression.

    What Are The Safety Concerns With Ssris

    Which Antidepressant Works Best for Me?

    In most cases, its safe for you to take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to treat your depression or anxiety symptoms. However, as is the case with any medication, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind, and there are some people who should not take SSRIs.

    For example, you might need to take precautions if:

    Don’t Miss: Community Resources For Postpartum Depression

    What Are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, were the first antidepressants developed. They are now the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications. They are prescribed to treat depression but are also used to treat a broader range of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder .

    Having depression is common. Depression affects around 6.7% of the population of the United States each year, and that’s just the people with clinical diagnoses. Medications such as SSRIs, along with other depression treatment options like talk therapy, can make depression a very treatable condition.

    This article explains how SSRIs work, what conditions they are used for, and the different types you may encounter on your own mental health journey. You will also learn about the most common side effects and important safety precautions.

    SDI Productions / Getty Images

    D Assessment Of Methodological Quality Of Individual Studies

    We interpret methodological quality to include primarily elements of risk of bias, related to the design and conduct of the study. In addition, we will evaluate the presence of additional biases, such as the funding bias, and a specific form of selection bias related to treatment failure being determined prospectively.

    We have selected the Risk of Bias Tool by the Cochrane Collaboration11 to assess randomized controlled trials. The tool contains 12 items that include evaluation of the domains of randomization, blinding, co-intervention, and selective outcome reporting biases. Criteria for evaluation are standardized for these domains. However, there is some evidence that certain items where greater judgment is required may be prone to inconsistencies amongst raters.12 We will minimize inconsistency amongst raters by providing adequate training for raters and specifying clear decision rules in the standardized instructions.

    We have selected the Newcastle Ottawa Quality Assessment Tool13 to assess risk of bias for observational studies. The study design elements evaluated with this tool include: selection of the study population, appropriate means for measuring exposures and outcomes , and comparability of groups . We will also evaluate potential biases related to funding sources or conflict of interest, as well as the determination of treatment failure prospectively.

    Also Check: Natural For Anxiety And Depression

    Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications

    All medications can have side-effects. Some people experience no side-effects. Others may find the side-effects distressing. In most cases, side-effects lessen as treatment continues.

    Treatment is usually started at a low dose, to minimize side-effects, and then slowly increased until the ideal dose is found. The ideal dose is one that provides the greatest benefit with minimum side-effects.

    If you are experiencing side effects, check the information given to you by your doctor or pharmacist on the specific effects of any drug you have been prescribed. If side-effects are not mild and tolerable, it is best to continue taking your medication as prescribed but let your doctor know as soon as possible. Your doctor may:

    • encourage you to wait a little longer for the side-effects to fade
    • adjust your dose
    • suggest you take the medication at a different time of day
    • prescribe other medications to help control side-effects
    • change your medication
    • stop medication treatment and suggest a different type of treatment approach.

    Side-effects vary depending on the type of medication. More information on side-effects is included for each type of types of antidepressant.

    You can help to control possible side-effects on your own by:

    Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicide?

    Before starting treatment, prepare for the possibility of feeling worse before you feel better. Know what supports are available to you and who you can call.

    What Role Does Serotonin Actually Play In Depression

    Treating depression with antidepressants | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

    SSRIs have long been controversial because they reflect a theory of depression causation that is a longstanding source of debate. While the chemical imbalance theory has been largely superseded, serotonin levels may still play a role in increasing a persons risk for depression. Low serotonin levels have been linked to increased inflammation. High levels of inflammatory biomarkers are commonly found in depressed patients, suggestion a relationship between serotonin, inflammation, and depressive symptoms, even if the exact details remain unclear.

    Also Check: What Percentage Of Americans Are Depressed

    Popular Articles
    Related news