A mood disorder is a depression or major depressive disorder. In the United States, it is among the most common mood disorders. Some symptoms, like feeling sad, guilty, or hopeless for a long time, can make it hard to function. When someone has depression, they may lose interest in doing normal things.
Experts do not know everything about how depression starts. Most likely, genes, chemicals in the brain, stress, and other things in the environment all play a role. There are two main parts to treating depression.
The first is talk therapy, which is also called psychotherapy. It helps people think, act, and deal with problems better. The second step is to treat symptoms with medicine. When treating depression, it’s often best to use talk therapy and medicine.
Different kinds of medicines for depression
Expert guidelines tell doctors how to diagnose and treat depression. There are mainly two types of drugs that doctors use to treat depression:
- Antidepressants. These drugs balance chemicals in the brain that are related to depression. There are various types of antidepressants that affect various chemicals in the brain. Because of this, the effects of antidepressants can be diverse.
- Added therapy. These drugs help antidepressants work better. Add-on therapy drugs come in a few different types. This includes a second antidepressant, thyroid function, and other mood and anxiety-related medicines.
Many people feel better right away when they start taking an antidepressant. But it can take several weeks to see how well these medicines work. It’s crucial to give antidepressants time to work. Talk to your doctor if you don’t feel better after four weeks.
It might be necessary to change the dose or try a different drug. Just like the symptoms, the side effects of antidepressants may get better or go away after a few weeks. But if you have serious side effects that last longer than 2 to 4 weeks, you should talk to your doctor.
Common Depression Drugs
Your doctor can choose from a wide range of antidepressants. There are things to think about, like your other health problems and the possible side effects of the drug. If you have taken an antidepressant before, your doctor will also look at how well it worked. Finding the correct treatment for you may take some trial and error.
Here are 12 drugs that are commonly used to treat depression:
- Bupropion is an atypical antidepressant. It is found in Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, and other drugs. This means it doesn’t fit into any of the main groups of antidepressants. Some side effects are dry mouth, feeling sick, and being restless. How often you take it will change depending on what kind of medicine you use.
- Citalopram, sold under the brand name Celexa, is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). The amount of serotonin in the brain goes up when you take an SSRI. Most of the time, this kind of antidepressant has fewer side effects than other kinds. But some people lose their desire or ability to have sex. Citalopram is available as a pill and a liquid that you take once daily.
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta) is an SNRI. Both serotonin and norepinephrine are made more in the brain by SNRIs. Like SSRIs, most of the side effects of this class are not as bad. SNRIs can also help with some kinds of pain. Duloxetine is a pill you can take once or twice a day.
- Escitalopram (Lexapro) is also an SSRI. Most of the time, you take it once a day. Like other SSRIs, this one has the same side effects.
- Fluoxetine (Prozac) is also an SSRI. It comes in a capsule, a tablet, a capsule with a slow release, and a liquid. The delayed-release pill is taken once a week. Most of the other kinds are taken once a day. Make sure you understand how to fill out your form. Some common side effects are restlessness and less hunger.
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR) is an SSRI. Most dosage forms are taken only once a day. If you take it with food, it may make your stomach feel better.
- Sertraline (Zoloft) is an SSRI in both tablet and liquid form. Most people take it once a day. Among the most common side effects are stomach upset and restlessness. Sexual difficulties are also possible.
- Trazodone (Desyrel, Oleptro) is an antidepressant, unlike most others. The regular tablet is usually taken twice a day with a meal. Most of the time, you take the extended-release pill at bedtime when you don’t have anything to eat. Trazodone can make you sleepy, which can assist you in falling asleep if you have trouble doing so.
- Venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR) is also another SNRI. The tablet and the capsule that stays in your body longer are taken with food. People often feel sick, get headaches, and lose their appetite.
- Vortioxetine (Trantellix) is a serotonin modulator. It is considered a mix-acting drug. It works like an SSRI, but it also affects serotonin receptors directly. This means that it might work when an SSRI doesn’t. It comes as a tablet that you take once a day. You can take it with a meal or on a clear stomach. Most people feel sick, throw up, or can’t go to the bathroom.
- Brexpiprazole (Rexulti) is an untypical antipsychotic. It is a therapy in addition to an antidepressant when depressive symptoms still happen. This drug can be caught with or without food. Common side effects are headaches, tiredness, and trouble going to the bathroom.
- Quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) is another atypical antipsychotic. It is a different treatment that did come as a tablet and a tablet that stays in your body longer. The most common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, constipation, and headaches.
There are several other medicines that doctors can use to treat depression. Talk to your doctor if you have side effects that don’t move outside or think your medicine isn’t helping your symptoms. It’s possible that if you try a different medicine, it will work better. Talk to your physician before you stop taking your antidepressant. You might need to stop taking the drug or taper your dose slowly.