Depression - AntidepressantsAntidepressants are drugs whose main purpose is to alleviate depression, both clinical and milder depression. These drugs are prescribed by physicians and are used in many countries around the world. They''re actually one of the most common medications prescribed to patients. In fact, sometimes antidepressants are prescribed to those who are non-depressive to alleviate some other conditions, including anxiety, and for their anti-inflammatory properties.
St John''s Wart and Opium were the first drugs whose antidepressant properties were used to treat the illness. Both of these are herbal medications. Iproniazid was the first drug to be recognized as an antidepressant, because it was the first to be synthetically produced. St John''s Wart and Opium are also used for other alleviating effects - specifically they''ve been used as recreational stimulants. However, it''s important to note the difference between stimulants and anti-depressants. Anti-depressants are drugs meant to alleviate the mood in order to escape from depression, while stimulants are considered recreational drugs not used to treat any illness.
The effects of antidepressants are widely studied. Many antidepressants have side effects that can be quite serious. Others, especially those who are newly created, do not have a great enough antidepressant effect. The drugs must be tested for all these things. The drugs are tested using two different groups of people. The first group receives the drug in the recommended dose while the second group receives a placebo pill. Both groups are told they receive the drug. They report the effects of their medication (or placebo pill) to the testers when required. When the research is complete, the effect of the drug itself is compared with the effect of the placebo. Sometimes, the placebo can have an effect on people as well. Generally, a drug needs to have a greater effect than the placebo to be considered for medical use in the future.
Antidepressant drugs are often taken for prolonged periods of time - weeks, months, or years. They have a delayed effect and must be used for at least some time to understand their effect on a particular patient.
When patients decide to go off the drug, they may experience a setback in negative emotions. This may cause them to relapse to the drug. In order to be independent of the drug in the future, several methods have been devised to help patients avoid relapse. These include using a different more moderate drug or using a placebo for some time after the initial treatment.
The chance of relapse is not affected by the type of drug used in treatment of the length of the treatment. Relapse can occur with anyone using antidepressant drugs.
In the past few years the percentage of people taking antidepressant drugs has increased in many countries around the world. For example, in Western European countries and North American counties, the percentage of people using these drugs increased several percents in a period of 5 or so years. Generally, it''s considered that this effect is taking place because people are more informed about depression and are more likely to seek treatment.
The choice of antidepressant is generally governed by the side-effects of the particular drug. When a physician and a patient choose an antidepressant drug they try to minimize harsher side effects and maximize benefits. Many patients may go through a trial-and-error process to find the drug that''s right for them.
Antidepressant drugs have been in used for quite some time. They''ve been synthetically produced for over half a century and they help many people around the world alleviate their depression. The drugs can be used in other illnesses as well to alleviate symptoms of depression. Moreover, people are generally able to use the drugs and then discontinue use without relapse. This is hard to do but can be done under the right circumstances.
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