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With An Estimated 9.3% Of Americans Currently Living With

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With an estimated 9.3% of Americans currently living with major depression or bipolar disorder, according to the NIMH, the safety of antidepressant drugs is at the forefront of many pharmaceutical discussions. At present, the most common drugs used to treat the debilitating lethargy, anxiety, and fatigue often associated with major depression fall into three key categories based upon mechanism of action: SSRIs, Tricyclics, and MAOIs. Since major depression and bipolar disorder are characterized by imbalances of certain chemicals within the brain, prescription medications are often the best way of relieving the symptoms of these disorders. As with any medication, antidepressants carry risks of side-effects, which usually relate to the drug…show more content…
Usually, due to the risk of these side-effects, tricyclics are prescribed only after SSRIs have proved ineffective. MAOIs MAO inhibitors (MAOIs) are a relatively volatile class of antidepressants, which must be taken with utmost care. MAOIs stop the breakdown of NE, serotonin, and the chemical dopamine in the brain, thereby increasing the availability of all three. Those taking MAOIs should not consume any foods containing the chemical compound tyramine-this includes foods such as red wine, sour cream, and bananas. The mix of MAOI and tyramine can cause an acute crisis of high blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. In addition, MAOIs should not be taken in conjunction with an SSRI, as Serotonin Syndrome can result. MAOIs are usually reserved for special cases, in which all other classes of antidepressants have been unsuccessful. Since chemical activity in the brain can fluctuate on a daily basis, keeping close tabs on your moods can signal the warning signs of severe adverse mood effects, such as suicidal thinking. Ask your Doctor for a mood chart-similar to the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale-which can help you interpret the severity of your depression on a daily basis. Understanding mood trends can help you identify warning signs of serious side-effects, as well as assist your
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