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The Use of Antidepressant Medications

The Use of Antidepressant Medications

Sample Answer 

The Use of Antidepressant Medications

The Main Types of Antidepressants

Antidepressants are classified according to how they affect the functioning of the brain. Accordingly, there are five major classes of antidepressants, even though other types are less commonly used. First is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These prevent the reuptake of some of the neurotransmitters so that they can be a higher number of them available and active in the brain (Schimelpfening, 2019). SSRIs act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, and examples include citalopram, vilazodone, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline, among others. The second class is the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These work in the same fashion as SSRIs but inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Examples of SNRIs are duloxetine, desvenlafaxine, and milnacipran (Schimelpfening, 2019). The third category is tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). There prevent the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine neurotransmitters. Examples of TCAs are amoxapine, amitriptyline, clomipramine, and imipramine. The fourth types are monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). This class of drugs inhibits the action of the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which is responsible for breaking down monoamines. Examples of MAOIs are selegiline and phenelzine. Lastly is the atypical antidepressants whose classification does not fit in any of the preceding four (Schimelpfening, 2019). These affect dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels in unique ways. They include bupropion and mirtazapine.

The Main Mechanism of Action of Antidepressant Medications

An understanding of how antidepressants result in beneficial effects is critical in the development of more effective drugs. The different systems that take part in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression are the targets of antidepressants. Studies have shown that neurogenesis is involved in the functioning of antidepressants (Taylor, Fricker, Devi, & Gomes, 2015). Neurogenesis is the process of neuronal cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival. The mechanism in which antidepressants mediate their action on neurogenesis can be seen by the action of SNRIs and SSRIs to increase serotonin and NE levels in the brain to allow the stimulation of Ca2+ ions in the body (Taylor, Fricker, Devi, & Gomes, 2015).

Are Antidepressant Medications Oversubscribed In Modern-Day Society?

Studies have shown that only one-in-five patients taking antidepressant medications, especially SSRIs, which are the most common, have shown the real need for the medication. The alarming use of antidepressants for conditions that do not warrant the need for the medications results from self-diagnosis by the patients and the availability and affordability of the medications over-the-counter (Lane, 2018). Also, psychiatrists are relatively unconcerned about the potential overuse of antidepressants and are quick to point to patients the danger of leaving depression untreated for long, leaving out the higher possibility of side effects patients suffer from the use of the drugs. To a greater number of psychiatrists, untreated depression is far more dangerous than the side effects of the misuse of drugs (Lane, 2018). This has left patients that do not require medication to use drugs to avoid the perceived risks of depression when they have any symptoms indicating that they may have clinical depression.

Alternatives To Help Treat Depression           

There exist alternatives to antidepressants in the treatment of depression. Apart from pharmacological treatment, psychotherapeutic interventions have been found to work in cases where drugs have failed. This includes holistic therapies and integrative therapies. Integrative therapies include the use of herbal remedies and acupuncture, an ancient Chinese method of treatment involving the stimulation of the body to resist or overcome illness by correcting imbalance (MacPherson et al., 2014). Other integrative remedies include meditation, exercise, reflexology, yoga, massage, guided imagery, and relaxation (Cleveland Clinic, 2019).

References

Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Depression: Alternative Therapies. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/9303-depression-alternative-therapies

Lane, C. (2018). Overprescribing antidepressants: Surprising new data on the misuse of antidepressants. Retrieved from Psychology today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/side-effects/201805/overprescribing-antidepressants

MacPherson, H., Richmond, S., Bland, M., Brealey, S., Gabe, R., Hopton, A., Watt, I. (2014). Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial. PLOS Medicine, 10(9). doi:org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001518

Schimelpfening, N. (2019). The 5 major classes of antidepressants. Retrieved from Very Well Mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-the-major-classes-of-antidepressants-1065086

Taylor, C., Fricker, A. D., Devi, L. A., & Gomes, I. (2015). Mechanisms of action of antidepressants: From neurotransmitter systems to signaling pathways. Cellular Signalling, 17(5), 549-557. doi:10.1016/j.cellsig.2004.12.007

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Question 


The Use of Antidepressant Medications

It is estimated that more than 20% of the population of the United States suffers from some form of depression, which has its root cause in the nervous system (specifically neurotransmitters and their associated enzymes/activators/inhibitors). In this paper, answer the following questions:

The Use of Antidepressant Medications

The Use of Antidepressant Medications

  • What are the main types of antidepressant medications?
  • What is are the main mechanisms of action of antidepressant medications?
  • Are these medications over-prescribed in modern-day society?
  • Are there alternative strategies to help treat depression?

Short essay. (Minimum length of paper 500 words.) Papers need to be referenced and follow APA formatting guidelines

***THIS IS AN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY CLASS***

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