Antidepressant treatment is one of the most commonly used first-line treatments for depression, but many people are full of doubts and misunderstandings about antidepressant drugs, resulting in a low rate of depression treatment and medication adherence. Let’s talk about those about antidepressants in detail. thing.
Existing antidepressants can be roughly divided into two types, one is called antidepressants, which are the current first-line treatment drugs, and the other is other drugs with antidepressant effects, such as antipsychotics, which are usually combined with antidepressants. Depressants can be used in combination to improve efficacy.
At present, the most clinically used new antidepressants, which improve depressive symptoms by regulating the function of monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, such as selective serotonin reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), etc., the dozen of antidepressants most commonly used in my country basically belong to this type. Compared with traditional monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic drugs, their most prominent feature is that they maintain the efficacy while significantly reducing adverse reactions, and the patient's medication experience is significantly improved. Common adverse reactions include gastrointestinal reactions (nausea). , vomiting, diarrhea, constipation), headache, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision, insomnia, etc. Generally, the symptoms are mild and the duration is short. Therefore, domestic and international depression treatment guidelines recommend them as first-line antidepressants.
If you think you may be suffering from depression, be sure to seek professional help, only with the right help will you get better soon. Generally speaking, you need to explain to your doctor in detail the time of onset, the cause, the specific symptoms, the previous treatment, the condition of the physical disease, all the medicines (including traditional Chinese medicine) you are currently using, your alcohol consumption, the results of recent laboratory tests and The convenience of visiting a doctor. Your doctor will comprehensively evaluate your condition to decide whether you need medication and which medication may be better for you.
Due to the influence of social factors, environmental factors and biological factors, some special groups may be more susceptible than the general population, such as the elderly, adolescents, and pregnant women. For the depression of these special groups, their medication strategies may be related to Medication strategies for adult depression vary.
Due to the coexistence of physical diseases in the elderly, more attention should be paid to the interaction between drugs. In the process of treating such depressed people, doctors will not only appropriately reduce the dose of drugs, but also comprehensively consider the possible adverse reactions of drugs. , and the effect of different drugs after concomitant medication.
For pregnant and lying-in women, drug treatment may have a certain impact on the fetus, so once pregnant women experience depression, drug treatment is generally not the first-line first-line clinical treatment.
For adolescents, the depression we call them does not actually show many symptoms of typical depression, so we have certain limitations when choosing drugs.
The symptoms of depressive episodes in these three groups may not be consistent with the type of depression in adults. Therefore, the choice of drug treatment, including the choice of dose, may require special treatment. For different groups of people and different patients, the treatment strategies we give are different. The most important point is that these special groups need to be identified at an early stage, and they can be taken to a doctor as soon as possible, so that they can get timely treatment. Better rescue and assistance, and doing so is one of the best ways to improve outcomes.
Most antidepressants take 10 to 14 days to work and usually take 4 to 6 weeks to be fully effective. In addition to the drug's mechanism of action and dose, the patient's gender and ethnicity also affect the time to onset of action. If there is no improvement after 2 to 4 weeks of treatment, the doctor will consider increasing the dose or adjusting the type of drug.
Antidepressants are not addictive, and many patients experience repeated illness or obvious discomfort after stopping drug treatment, not because of the withdrawal reaction caused by "addiction", but because of the relapse of the disease caused by the uncured disease itself. Or a withdrawal reaction caused by abrupt discontinuation of the drug. Common symptoms include flu-like symptoms (nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea); sleep disturbances (insomnia, nightmares, somnolence); sensory and motor dysfunction (dizziness, lightheadedness, tremors, loss of balance); mood disturbances (restlessness, anxiety) , excitement), etc. Most of the withdrawal reactions lasted 1 to 4 weeks, and most of them were mild and recovered on their own.
Depression requires standardized treatment throughout the course of the disease, including acute treatment, maintenance treatment and consolidation treatment. Due to the characteristics of depression prone to relapse, continuous treatment after the acute phase is to better prevent disease relapse, and does not mean that the drug cannot be stopped after taking the drug. However, clinically, for patients with recurrent depression, we also recommend extending the drug treatment cycle as much as possible.
Some drugs may cause weight gain after increased appetite and sleep due to their effects on receptors such as histamine, and may appear slow in response due to sedative effects. However, not every antidepressant drug will have the above-mentioned adverse reactions. In clinical practice, doctors will choose drugs according to the clinical symptoms of patients.
The efficacy of antidepressants depends not only on the pharmacological profile of the drug, but also on individual differences. Different disease, disease stage, disease course and physical condition of patients will lead to differences in the efficacy of drugs. In clinical practice, doctors usually adopt the principle of individualized treatment, ask detailed medical history, perform careful physical examination, and comprehensively evaluate the patient's symptoms, and then formulate an individualized treatment plan.
While taking antidepressants, you can also make positive adjustments, such as talking about how you feel with people you trust; continuing to engage in activities that you normally enjoy; staying in touch with family and friends; exercising regularly, even if only for a short time walking distances; sticking to regular eating and sleeping habits; accepting that you have depression and adjusting your expectations, accepting that you may not be able to accomplish as many things as you usually do; avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption; etc.
To sum up, systematic antidepressant drug treatment under the guidance of professional medical staff is one of the safe and effective options. Overcoming misunderstandings and accepting formal intervention is the first step to overcome depression.