A group of drugs that can be used for the management of this disorder, antidepressants.

We include the depression in affective disorders, pharmacological treatment is in charge of the central nervous system pharmacology. Therefore, depressed patients have at their disposal several groups of drugs for treatment, within which we have the anxiolytics , mood stabilizers and antidepressants.


Overview of antidepressants

They are a group of drugs that improve symptoms caused by depression but not euphoric, in other words, do not exalt the mind in patients in a healthy condition. This is the fundamental reason that antidepressants do not cause addiction . Knowing them is crucial to help cure depression and not cause more damage suffered by the patient. Route of administration is oral, generally a single daily dose in the morning. Some have a sedative effect ( hypnotics ) and are operated at night to also help the patient sleep. The antidepressant action does not appear immediately after administration, it takes about 3 weeks to see improvement, about 5 to 6 weeks to reach its maximum effect, the therapeutic plateau. Side effects may occur much earlier.

For prevention of relapse should continue taking antidepressants about 6 months from the point at which symptoms are controlled. As mentioned above do not cause addiction, but to avoid anxiety, restlessness, nausea, or insomnia, you should stop slowly. The taking of alcohol, when given antidepressants enhances its toxicity and its adverse effects.


The main indication is depression in all its various forms: dysthymia and major depression (unipolar or bipolar affective disorder). You can also specify in bulimia nervosa, obsessive compulsive disorders, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, tension headaches, manic-depressive disorders, acute attacks of terror, phobic disorders and enuresis.

Main groups of antidepressants

Here are five groups in which antidepressants are divided, the division is based on its mechanism of action. Appointing the prime examples of drugs in each group:

Tricyclic antidepressants: amitriptyline, imipramine, and lofepramine dosulepin.
Reuptake inhibitor of serotonin : fluoxetine, citalopram, fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline.
Reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine: venlafaxine.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors: phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid and moclobemide.
Atypical antidepressants: mirtazapine and reboxetine.

General recommendations on the use of antidepressants

Side effects that appear following the administration of antidepressants usually are usually mild and do not require a suspension of these drugs. The various gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation sometimes tend to disappear in the first days of treatment, since these are the effects of almost any drug administered.

Tricyclic antidepressants can cause considerable weight gain , but can be managed with a good physical exercise and proper diet. May also occur urinary retention, dry mouth or blurred vision, if they must be very annoying to substitute another drug with similar efficacy. Some antidepressants can bring as a side effect sexual dysfunction . For this, you can wait a while to produce tolerance to the drug, if there is no improvement and response to therapy is not correct, it indicates a change of antidepressant, on the contrary, if the answer is correct but the symptoms sexual dysfunction show no improvement can be attempted dose reduction, or add other drugs to help us.

The main contraindications have them in elderly patients at risk of falling or a history of cardiac arrhythmias as they are hypotension and cardiac rhythm disturbances. It is also important to know which foods can eat while you are taking antidepressants, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors and various interactions that may occur and cause other problems. For these cases the physician makes relevant comments. Of the various therapeutic options (drugs, electroconvulsive therapy, psychotherapy ) we have, drug treatment is one of them. Its main objective is to raise as much as possible the quality of life for patients, not just give welfare, but also away from the many consequences that can bring a picture of depression.