Annette (Gbemudu) Ogbru, PharmD, MBA
Dr. Gbemudu received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Nova Southeastern University, her PharmD degree from University of Maryland, and MBA degree from University of Baltimore. She completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb.
In this Article
- What are antidepressants and how do they work?
- For what conditions are antidepressants used?
- Are there differences among antidepressants?
- What are side effects of antidepressants?
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Are there differences among antidepressants?
Antidepressants differ in their effects on neurotransmitters, established uses, adverse effects and drug interactions. All antidepressants that are used for depression are effective; there is no evidence that one antidepressant is more effective than another. However, patients may respond to or tolerate one antidepressant, and not respond to or tolerate another antidepressant.
What are side effects of antidepressants?
Antidepressants that belong to the same class of antidepressant produce similar side effects. Antidepressants may cause withdrawal symptoms if abruptly discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, irritability, sleep disturbance, nightmares, psychosis, and seizures. All antidepressants have a warning about use in children and adolescents. Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking, and suicidal behavior in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need for the drug. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in behavior.
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