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Mechanisms of action of antidepressants

Antidepressants are drugs that facilitate or prevent depression. Before the discovery of antidepressants to treat depression actively used chemicals that are stimulating effect, can cause a state of euphoria (opium and other opiates, caffeine, ginseng). To reduce anxiety and excitability used valerian, have also used salt bromine. But the real revolution was the discovery in psychopharmacology of antidepressants in the early 50's. Since then, for over half a century, these drugs are a key tool to fight depression. Despite the fact that the era of antidepressants began recently, she already has its "myths of creation."

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, researchers have experimented with different materials, trying to synthesize a drug that relieve the symptoms of depression, but all the experiments ended in failure. The first antidepressant was "discovered" in 1957, quite by accident, when doctors noticed the effect of the drug iproniazid, which was used in complex treatment of tuberculosis. Besides the main effect of the drug, was noted and collateral, which consisted of an unusual increase in mood in patients with tuberculosis. Soon the drug was used for the relief of symptoms of depression, the more so as a remedy for tuberculosis, the drug did not prove.

According to another version of the drug action revealed Nathan Kline, and its opening was also more than casual - he tried using the drug to prove the theory about the location of the "ego". During psychoanalytic sessions, Kline noted that some patients to whom he gave the drug suddenly stopped caring about the problems they had worked. Iproniazid was released on the market, but soon found that it increases the risk of jaundice, and sales of the drug was discontinued.

At the same time, Germany was opened by Ronald Kuhn imipromin. Kuhn gave his patients a variety of drugs to their reaction to construct a global classification of mental diseases, which the German psychiatrists of that time were literally obsessed. As in previous cases, the drug was "discovered" when the patients became improve mood. In contrast to iproniazid, imipromin still included in the list of official drugs, WHO and before Prozac was the best-selling antidepressant.

When opened the first antidepressants, no one could have imagined that just a few decades of antidepressants almost displace other species in the treatment of depression, but a survey conducted in the late 20 th century in the U.S., the biggest discovery of the last century will be recognized as not the theory of relativity, and the Internet, and a small capsule of Prozac.

How does antidepressants work? If you do not go into details, the antidepressants can correct some of the work mechanisms of the brain. Our brain consists of a large number of nerve cells - neurons. Although there are links between neurons, but also directly with each other, they do not touch - the gap between them is called the synaptic gap, or just a synapse.

The task of transmitting information from one neutron to another and transferring it across the synapse performs chemical mediator - the mediator (from Lat. Mediator - the mediator). According to the biological theory of depression - during the depression in the brain decreases the concentration of certain neurotransmitters in the synapse. Biochemical processes in our brain is very complex and take part in them are hundreds of different neurotransmitters. To date have been allocated only 30, but directly relevant to depression three picks. This - norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. They are called biogenic amines. antidepressants, adjusting the concentration of one or more biogenic amines, corrective mechanisms of the brain that have been violated as a result of depression. We proceed from the mechanisms of action of our drugs that are probably not all interesting to domestic issues.

In an environment of "normal" people there is a perception that "antidepressants are very harmful," from them can go crazy "," get used to them for life, "etc. Is this true? Of course, smoke without fire, but the fire - a cost of Soviet psychiatry, when potent means "just in case" prescribed in high doses with the corresponding results. Elsewhere in the world attitudes to drugs is quite different. To date, nearly 65 percent of the U.S. population takes psychotropic medication (primarily antidepressants and tranquilizers).

There is a stereotype that antidepressants - a manifestation of weakness of character. But at the same time, people who suffer from other diseases such as hypertension or arthritis take medications during periods of exacerbations and it is considered normal. For example, aspirin can not cure arthritis, but may relieve pain in joints and thereby relieve the physical suffering of the patient. Unfortunately, in our society there is still a stereotype that depression - a weakness, nesobrannost, and few realize that depression - it is the same disease that requires treatment. Yes, antidepressants are not always able to get rid of depression, but they can relieve pain. Not only physically, but mentally.

For many, an important question is addiction to antidepressants. Will not claim the body and after the release of another batch of depression pills joy? Can be answered by more than clear - drugs used to date in the treatment of depression are not addictive in the independence of the duration of treatment. They only help the body recover those mechanisms that have been violated by depression.

Those people whose work involves creativity, often concerned about the issue is intact antidepressants processes that are responsible for creativity? In most cases, depression is not the best effect on creativity, and often makes it impossible. antidepressants drugs can restore the broken inner peace and regain the ability of humans to do, because often promotes creativity still mental health.

The task of the psychiatrist - to choose the right products. Only half of patients experience improvement after the first course of therapy, so that the selection of drugs can be called by trial and error. A doctor can prescribe several medications before find the most effective. In many clinics practiced writing out free drugs to persons who are on psychiatric registered. Since the cost of drugs past generations may reach $ 50-100, but they can write down a few species, imagine how much it might cost. Though they say that over the past 30 years is nothing better and stronger than the good old amiltriptilena never been invented. New drugs are generally contra-distinguished (they are - much less) and price (it - is much higher).

Effect of the drug is not immediately - usually between the start time of admission and the emergence of the positive effect is at least 2-3 weeks, although in some cases, positive mood changes can occur within one week. For some people drugs are a panacea, and the man who for many months trying unsuccessfully to get out of depression, comes to life right before your eyes. Someone they are able to remove only some of the depressive symptoms. But there are people to whom drug therapy has no effect. Do not rush to identify themselves to the latter category - everything is very individual, and in some cases stable results can only come after several months.

Often drugs are prescribed together with other treatments. antidepressants are often not able to fill the inner world of light and completely get rid of depressive feelings, but they are able to give at least some sense of stability, ease symptoms of depression.

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