Antidepressant Medications for Depression

We have all had a bad day.  No matter how happy everyone around you is, you simply don’t have the energy or enthusiasm to match.  Certainly this is a normal part of life that we have all felt.  It can become an issue, however, when this feeling does not subside.  Depression can certainly be a debilitating condition that can affect almost every aspect of daily living.

Your physician may diagnose you with depression and seek treatment through medication.  Many of these medications have been shown to be effective against depression.   I have had numerous patients at the pharmacy take these medications and find some level of relief.  Many patients are only on the medications for short period of time while others take them over a longer duration.  Educating oneself over these medications can help you get a leg up on dealing with

First, let’s discuss how many of these antidepressant medications work in your body:

 Two substances in your body (more specifically in your brain) that are very important to your mood and/or motivation are serotonin and norepinephrine.  In some people, these 2 chemicals may have reduced activity at nerve sites in the brain.  Some medications, called SSRI’s and SSNRI’s can help to increase the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine available for the brain to absorb.  These medications have become a very popular treatment for depression.



Celexa® (citalopram)


Lexapro® (escitalopram)


Paxil® (paroxetine)


These medications are usually taken once daily and can produce an anti-depressant effect in 2-4 weeks in most patients.  Unfortunately, most of the side effects seen with these medications become apparent after the first few weeks of taking the medication.  The side effects can decrease after some time.  Some of these side effects include:

·                     Nausea

·                    Dry Mouth

·       Reduced Libido

·                     Headache

·              Drowsiness

·       Weight Gain/Loss

·                   Insomnia

·       Suicidal Thoughts


The bottom line on depression medications is that they can indeed help some individuals.  The chemistry in the brain can be changed with these medications resulting in increased mood.  Ask your local pharmacist and they will be happy to answer your additional questions!