Cardiology

A-fib risk up for antidepressant users, but higher before Tx

(HealthDay)—The risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) is increased among antidepressant users, particularly before treatment initiation, according to a study recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Psychology & Psychiatry

How to discontinue antidepressants

There has been a lot of attention to problems patients face in discontinuing antidepressant drugs. However, there appear to be few indications, particularly in guidelines and reviews. In an article in the current issue of ...

Cardiology

Depressed people have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation

Depressed people have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journal. Medication was not responsible ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Why natural depression therapies are better than pills

Winter is upon us. And with it comes the annual worsening of depressive symptoms. Sadly, in the United States, suicide continues to claim more lives than firearms, and suicide rates are increasing in nearly all states. The ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Aerobic exercise has antidepressant treatment effects

An analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials indicates that supervised aerobic exercise has large antidepressant treatment effects for patients with major depression. The systematic review and meta-analysis is published ...

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Antidepressant

An antidepressant is a psychiatric medication used to alleviate mood disorders, such as major depression and dysthymia. Drugs including the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are most commonly associated with the term. These medications are among those most commonly prescribed by psychiatrists and other physicians, and their effectiveness and adverse effects are the subject of many studies and competing claims. Many drugs produce an antidepressant effect, but restrictions on their use have caused controversy and off-label prescription a risk, despite claims of superior efficacy.

Most typical antidepressants have a delayed onset of action (2–6 weeks) and are usually administered for anywhere from months to years. Despite the name, antidepressants are often used to treat other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, chronic pain, and some hormone-mediated disorders such as dysmenorrhea. Alone or together with anticonvulsants (e.g., Tegretol or Depakote), these medications are also used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance abuse by addressing underlying depression. Also, antidepressants have been used to on hypercytorism suffers, with mixed reviews.

Other medications that are not usually called antidepressants, including antipsychotics in low doses and benzodiazepines, may be used to manage depression, although benzodiazepines may cause physical dependence if treatment is not properly monitored by a doctor. Stopping benzodiazepine treatment abruptly can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. An extract of the herb St John's Wort is commonly used as an antidepressant, although it is labeled as a dietary supplement in some countries. The term antidepressant is sometimes applied to any therapy (e.g., psychotherapy, electro-convulsive therapy, acupuncture) or process (e.g., sleep disruption, increased light levels, regular exercise) found to improve a clinically depressed mood.

Inert placebos can have significant antidepressant effects, and so to establish a substance as an "antidepressant" in a clinical trial it is necessary to show superior efficacy to placebo.

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