Antidepressant drugs

Drugs used in the treatment of depression.Most of the commonly used antidepressant drugs belong to one of the following groups: tricyclic drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These drugs are usually successful at relieving the symptoms of depression but often take 2–3 weeks before benefit is felt. Treatment usually lasts for at least 6 months, and the dosage is reduced gradually before being stopped altogether. Tricyclics may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, urinary difficulty, and irregular heartbeat. SSRIs may cause nausea, indigestion, and loss of appetite, or allergic reactions but are less dangerous in overdose than other antidepressants. MAOIs may interact with foods containing tyramine (for example, cheese) and other drugs to cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure, although one MAOI, moclobemide, is less likely to cause problems. Antidepressants are not addictive, but abrupt withdrawal of some types can result in physical symptoms and should be avoided.


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