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What is the best antidepressant?

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Depression medication (antidepressants) come in many forms and make use of different chemicals to try to restore a healthy mental balance.

Different types of antidepressants according to WebMD:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
This medication alters the amount of serotonin (a chemical in the brain) produced.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Here, serotonin and norepinephrine levels are increased.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
These older antidepressants also affect the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. However, they do have more side effects and are not usually a doctor’s first choice.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Another older type of drug, most suited to those who are not responsive to other treatment. These are not typically a doctor’s first choice either because of the strict dietary regulations which must be adherred to when taking them.

A recent study has revealed the efficacy of a number of popular antidepressant drugs versus their acceptability, ABC News reported. Efficacy stands for how successful the medication is in producing the desired effect and acceptability shows how likely the patient was to continue using the drug throughout the survey, thus highlighting the extent of undesirable side effects.

Some of the drugs tested in the study included:

Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, Luvox, Lexapro
All these are SSRIs with potential side effects such as sexual problems, headaches, nausea, dizziness and insomnia.

Wellbutrin
This drug aims to increase the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. It is reportedly less likely to cause sexual problems or weight gain seen with other drugs but can give the patient insomnia, anxiety, a dry mouth and a decreased appetite.

Remeron, Effexor, Cymbalta
These SNRIs can lead to nausea, fever or chills, constipation, blurred vision as well as increased blood pressure and sweating in the case of Cymbalta.

The results showed that those rated highest for efficacy were:

1) Mirtazapine (Remeron)
2) Escitalopram (Lexapro)
3) Venlafaxine (Effexor)
4) Sertraline (Zoloft)
5) Citalopram (Celexa)
6) Buproprion (Wellbutrin)
7) Paroxetine (Paxil)
8) Milnacipran (Savella)
9) Fluoxetine (Prozac)
10) Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

And those rated highest for acceptability:

1) Sertraline (Zoloft)
2) Escitalopram (Lexapro)
3) Buproprion (Wellbutrin)
4) Citalopram (Celexa)
5) Fluoxetine (Prozac)
6) Milnacipran (Savella)
7) Mirtazapine (Remeron)
8) Venlafaxine (Effexor)
9) Paroxetine (Paxil)
10) Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

Depressed celebrities include Jim CarreyJ.K. RowlingHalle BerryHugh Laurie and Owen Wilson.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, please consult a physician for advice on the treatment of depression.This information is provided as guidance only. If you think you may have depression, it is important that you seek the advice of a medical professional before purchasing any medication. Your doctor will be able to prescribe an antidepressant most suited to you.

Image: Wikimedia File:Prozac pills.jpg

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