Millions of Americans Find Drug Savings in Canada
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. It affects more than 350 million people from all age groups. Every year, about 150 million people in the world are deprived of their ability to work because of depressions causing annual damage of more than 50 billion dollars to the US economy alone. This amount includes the cost of 290 million lost working days, psychotherapy, and disability.
In the United States, according to the American Psychiatric Association, 9% of the population suffers from depression. Other studies show that depressive disorders happen in 26% of women and 12% of men.
Today, in the US, depression is the second most popular reason for giving people a sick leave. Treatment costs can be pretty high in the US. Thus, millions of Americans who suffer from depression often find drug savings in Canada.
What Drugs Are Used to Treat Depression?
The main group of medications applied in the treatment of depressive disorders is antidepressants. Under the influence of the substances included in their composition, the mood is corrected to the inherent individual norm, the emotional background is stabilized, anxiety is reduced, inhibition is eliminated, and motor and mental activity are increased. Today, there are several groups of antidepressants. They are all different in their mechanism of action (soothing and stimulating) and composition.
Antidepressants are drugs that can eliminate, alleviate, and prevent the disease. Before their discovery, doctors actively used medications that caused euphoria to treat depressive disorders. They included opium, caffeine, and ginseng. Bromine salt, lemon balm, valerian, and motherwort were also used to reduce excitability and relieve anxiety.
The discovery of antidepressants in the 1950s has become a veritable revolution in psychopharmacology. The first medicine for the treatment of depression was discovered by accident when an unusual side effect was found in iproniazid, a medication used in the complex treatment of tuberculosis. Patients who took iproniazid had an unusually upbeat mood. Soon this medicine was applied to treat depressive disorders. At about the same time, the German physician discovered imipramine, which also increased mood. Unlike iproniazid, imipramine is still on the list of the WHO official drugs and recently has been recognized the most popular antidepressant.
How Do Antidepressants Work?
Antidepressants correct irregularities in the work of the individual mechanisms of the brain. Today, there are 30 chemical mediators that transfer information from one neuron to another. Three mediators, biogenic amines (noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin) are directly related to the treatment of depressions. Drugs against depressive disorders regulate the required level of concentration of one or more mediators, correcting the mechanisms of brain functioning disturbed as a result of the disease.
Are Antidepressants Dangerous?
Antidepressants used today in psychopharmacology do not cause addiction, regardless of the duration of their intake. Their task is to help restore body functions damaged by depression. Drugs from depression are able to make a person active and cheerful again.
Various Groups of Antidepressants
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are the very first drugs developed by pharmacists. Drugs of this group increase the content of noradrenaline and serotonin in the brain due to a decrease in the absorption of neurotransmitters. The action of the drugs from this group can be both soothing and stimulating. An antidepressant effect happens on average 3 weeks after the start of the admission of the drugs. Permanent results in the treatment can be noticed only after several months. Since these antidepressants block other mediators, they might cause many negative side effects. It should be borne in mind that an overdose with medications of this group can lead to serious consequences, including death.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) Usually, MAOIs are prescribed to those patients who have not had an improvement after a course of treatment with tricyclic antidepressants. These medications are applied in atypical depression. Since MAOIs cause a stimulating effect, it is recommended to take them to treat a mild depression, dysthymia. The medications block the action of the enzyme monoamine oxidase, a substance that destroys serotonin and norepinephrine, which affect the mood.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have become popular due to the minimal number of side effects. SSRIs supply brain with serotonin that influences mood. Inhibitors block the reuptake of serotonin in the synapse, thereby enhancing the mediator concentration. The drugs of this group are easy to use and do not lead to overdose. SSRIs are applied not only to combat depressive disorders. They are also designed to treat overeating. However, these drugs should not be prescribed to patients who suffer from bipolar depression since they can cause manic conditions. They are also not recommended to patients with liver disease because biochemical transformations of inhibitors occur in this organ. Also, you need to remember that the medications of this group can negatively affect the erectile function.
There are also antidepressants that do not belong to any of the groups mentioned above since they differ in both the mechanism of action and the chemical composition.
- Melatonergic antidepressants are the last achievement of psychopharmacological science. Today, the only drug of this class is Agomelatine. The agent is able to influence simultaneously 3 types of receptors, which are responsible for the regulation of biological rhythms in the body. After 7 days of therapy, the drug normalizes sleep and daytime activity, reduces anxiety, and restores working capacity.
Popular Antidepressants at Canadian Pharmacy
Elavil belongs to the group of tricyclic antidepressants. Its action is based on blocking the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine by CNS neurons. In addition, it has an analgesic, antiulcer, and anti-rabies effect. With regular and long-term treatment, the drug restores the balance of serotonin and noradrenaline transmission disturbed during a depression.
An antidepressant effect, as a rule, appears after 2–4 weeks of treatment. With depressions complicated by anxiety, Elavil reduces both depressive symptoms and anxiety.
Studies have shown that patients feel a significant decrease in anxiety and agitation, as well as motor anxiety already in the first days of taking Elavil. After 2–3 weeks of treatment, patients had better mood, increased self-esteem, a sudden decrease in the feelings of anguish, depression, and hopelessness.
In addition, a significant improvement in sleep was seen among the patients taking Elavil. Night sleep completely normalized and became strong and continuous.
Tofranil is a tricyclic antidepressant used mainly to treat depression and urinary incontinence. In addition, it is effective against the symptoms of panic disorder. The drug has antidepressant, thymoleptic, psychostimulating, and antidiuretic pharmacological action.
Tofranil, in its chemical nature, is a tertiary amine that affects many neurotransmitter systems known for their involvement in the etiology of depression, anxiety, enuresis, and many other psychiatric disorders. Tofranil is similar in structure to some muscle relaxants and it also has a significant analgesic effect and thus is very effective in treatment of some similar diseases.
Wellbutrin SR can cause many side effects. Its action is based on the mechanism of reuptake of the dopamine mediator. It does not have a sedative effect, as TCAs. Wellbutrin is well-tolerated by people suffering from recurring depressions with hypomania (mild mania depression).
Desyrel acts according to the mechanism of reuptake of serotonin. It has a good sedative effect. Its main disadvantage is that it causes priapism, or a painful prolonged erection, which in about every third case requires surgical intervention.
Effexor blocks the reuptake of such mediators as serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine but does not affect the action of other mediators. Patients who take Effexor complain about having such side effects as headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness.
Remeron stimulates the release of serotonin and norepinephrine and blocks simultaneously two receptors for serotonin. Remeron’s side effects include drowsiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and dizziness.
Intake of antidepressants should be carried out daily, preferably at a certain time. The frequency of intakes depends on the seriousness of depression. It is recommended to take antidepressants with a hypnotic effect before sleep. Drugs aimed at increasing activity should be taken in the morning. Remember to always consult a doctor before taking any antidepressants.
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