Antidepressants are medications indicated to treat depression and other psychological disorders and exert their action in the central nervous system, presenting different action mechanisms.
These remedies are indicated for moderate or severe depression, when there are symptoms such as sadness, distress, changes in sleep and appetite patterns, tiredness and guilt feelings that interfere with your well-being are present.
Antidepressants most used
All antidepressants act directly on the nervous system, increasing the amount of neurotransmitters that are responsible for improving your mood. However, these drugs are not all the same, and to understand how they work in the body and what effects they can cause, it is important to separate them into types, according to how they act on the nervous system:
|Type of antidepressant||Generic names||Side effects|
|Non-selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors (ADTs)||Imipramine, Desipramine, Nortriptyline, Amitriptyline.|
Drowsiness, tiredness, dry mouth, blurred vision, headache, tremor, palpitations, constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, flushing, sweating, blood pressure drop, weight gain.
|Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)|
Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, citalopram and Escitalopram.
Diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, headache and insomnia, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, ejaculation disorders.
|Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)|
Insomnia, headache, dizziness, sedation, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, increased sweating.
|Inhibitors of serotonin reuptake and ALFA-2 antagonists (SARI)||Nefazodone, Trazodone||Sedation, headache, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth and nausea.|
|Selective dopamine reuptake inhibitors (DRI)||Bupropion||Insomnia, headache, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting.|
|Antagonists ALFA-2||Mirtazapine||Increased weight and appetite, drowsiness, sedation, headache and dry mouth.|
|Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)|
|Dizziness, headache, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia.|
It is important to remember that these side effects do not always happen, and may vary depending to the dose and the body of each person. Antidepressants should only be used if recommended by a general practitioner, neurologist or psychiatrist.
How to take antidepressants without putting on weight
To avoid gaining weight during antidepressant treatment, you should be active, exercising daily, or at least 3 times a week. Practicing an exercise that you enjoy is a great way to promote the release of pleasure hormones.
In addition, it is also important to consume low-carb foods and avoid those that are high in sugar and fat, finding another source of enjoyment that does not involve food. Here's how to follow a healthy diet to lose weight.
How to choose the ideal antidepressant
In addition to the side effects and the way each medication acts on the body, the doctor needs to also consider your state of health and age and the use of other medications. In addition, the doctor should also be informed about any illness that you may have.
In addition to pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy is also very important to complement the treatment.
How to take antidepressants
The dosage varies greatly depending on the antidepressant used and in some cases it may be necessary to start the treatment with a lower dose and increase over time, while in other cases this is not necessary. Therefore, talk to your doctor about the doses and expected duration of treatment, so that you have no doubts.
In order to obtain the best results during treatment with antidepressants, you must be patient if you do not see an immediate effect. Generally, antidepressants take some time to take effect, and may take a few weeks for you to feel the desired effectiveness. In addition, some side effects may diminish or even disappearing throughout the treatment.
It is also very important to never stop the treatment without talking to your doctor or contacting him if you do not feel better over time because you may need to switch to another antidepressant. You should also avoid taking other drugs or alcoholic beverages during this phase, as they can impair treatment.
Natural antidepressant options
Natural antidepressants do not replace medication treatment, however, they may be a good option to supplement treatment and boost symptom improvement, or they can also be used in cases of mild depression in conjunction with psychotherapy.
Some options are:
- Eat foods rich in vitamin B12, omega 3 and tryptophan, present in some foods like cheese, peanuts, bananas, salmon, tomatoes and spinach as they are converted to serotonin and other substances important to the nervous system.
- Sunbathing, about 15 to 30 minutes a day, as it stimulates increased vitamin D and serotonin formation;
- Exercise regularly, at least 3 times a week, which helps regulate sleep and release hormones such as serotonin and endorphin and improve well-being. Group exercise, as a sport, may have even more benefits, due to the improvement of social coexistence.
You should choose positive attitudes on a daily basis, prefer outdoor activities and look for new ways to get busy and have contact with people, such as enrolling in a course or precising a new hobby, for example. These are important steps in getting a successful treatment result for depression.