Medications for Depression
Depression is a mood condition characterized by persistent and overwhelming feelings of sadness that can affect your day-to-day activities and how you think, feel, and behave. Sometimes it can affect your outlook on life and make you feel that life isn’t worth living. Depression may also be called major depressive disorder or clinical depression.
What Causes Depression?
Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes depression but believe it is due to a combination of different factors, such as genetic vulnerability, faulty mood regulation by the brain, stress, chemicals in the brain, medications, or medical problems, that all interact together to bring on depression.
The risk of developing depression is higher in women and people:
- Aged 45 to 64 years of age or the elderly
- With chronic or acute health conditions
- Who are undergoing a major life event, such as a job loss, divorce, workplace stress, or physical or mental abuse
- With severe grief due to the death of a loved one
- Taking prescription drugs that may cause a low mood
- Abusing alcohol or drugs.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
Depression is not just feeling blue occasionally. It affects daily feelings, thoughts, and actions over a longer period. (MDD), can result in difficulties with family life, work, and social activities.
Symptoms may vary depending on how severe a person’s depression is but may include:
- A prolonged and persistent low mood, tearfulness, or a sense of hopelessness that has lasted for at least 2 weeks
- Agitation or restlessness
- Avoidance or refusal to participate in activities that were previously enjoyed
- Withdrawal socially, from family, friends, and relationships
- Changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
- Alcohol, drug, or substance abuse
- Engaging in risky or destructive behaviors
- Self-harm or attempts at suicide.
In children and teens, symptoms may include clinginess, worry, aches and pain, and refusal to go to school.
In older adults, symptoms may be less obvious and include memory difficulties or personality changes, physical aches and pains, and fatigue.
How is Depression Diagnosed?
If your mood has been low for a while and you are having difficulty coping with day to day activities, talk to your doctor or a trusted professional. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your medical history and may ask you to complete a questionnaire that may help to diagnose depression or refer you to a psychiatrist.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or have an online chat (http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/). All information is confidential and free.
How is Depression Treated?
Depression is treatable with high rates of success. Treatments may include:
- Antidepressants, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Responses to antidepressants vary, and most antidepressants take 4 to 6 weeks for full effect. About 50% of patients respond to the first treatment, whereas others may have to try a few different types of antidepressants before they find the best one for them.
There are several things you can do to help with your symptoms as well, such as:
- Setting realistic and daily goals
- Developing strategies to work through crises situations
- Developing coping and problem-solving skills
- Learning how to develop positive relationships
- Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
Drugs used to treat Depression
The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.
Frequently asked questions
- How to sleep while taking Cymbalta?
- What is Exxua?
- Can depression cause headaches?
- SSRI’s vs SNRI’s - What's the difference between them?
- How long does Xanax last for / stay in your system?
- Klonopin vs Xanax - How are they different?
- How long do venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms last?
- Why does Lexapro cause weight gain?
- Lorazepam vs Xanax: What is the difference?
Topics under Depression
Alternative treatments for Depression
The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Depression. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Depression.
Learn more about Depression
Symptoms and treatments
Medicine.com guides (external)
|Rating||For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).|
|Activity||Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.|
|Rx/OTC||Prescription or Over-the-counter.|
|Off-label||This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.|
|EUA||An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.|
|Expanded Access||Expanded Access is a potential pathway for a patient with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product (drug, biologic, or medical device) for treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available.|
|A||Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).|
|B||Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.|
|C||Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.|
|D||There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.|
|X||Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.|
|N||FDA has not classified the drug.|
|Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule|
|M||The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.|
|U||CSA Schedule is unknown.|
|N||Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.|
|1||Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.|
|2||Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.|
|3||Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.|
|4||Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.|
|5||Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.|
|X||Interacts with Alcohol.|
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.