How antidepressants work

According to Healthline, 1 in 10 in the U.S. are suffering or had suffered from depression at one point in their lives. Unfortunately, 80% of people with symptoms of depression are not receiving any treatment to alleviate their condition. Furthermore, depressed individuals are more likely to become obese and suffer from sleep disorders, making them more prone to life-threatening conditions, such as heart attack and stroke.

Because many people are suffering from depression in the U.S., it is not surprising that antidepressants have become among the most-prescribed medicine in the country. To date, a type of antidepressant, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), has widely been prescribed among patients with depression. Unlike older, traditional antidepressants that could affect almost every chemicals (or neurotransmitters) in the brain, SSRIs affect only a certain type of brain chemical named serotonin.

Serotonin is a type of neurotransmitter that affects major body functions such as gastrointestinal activities, growth and reproduction. This brain chemical was also found to primarily affect one’s mood. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other behavioral disorders such as obsessive compulsiveness and suicidal ideation, are found to have lower than normal serotonin levels, and SSRI works by increasing its level.

But how exactly does SSRI work? SSRI works by inhibiting serotonin’s reuptake, thus the name serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Neurotransmitters deliver signals across different neuron (nerve cells) in the brain. As these chemicals deliver signals, they are being reabsorbed by the transmitting neuron in a process called reuptake. SSRI works by inhibiting (obstructing) the process of reuptaking serotonin. Once SSRI inhibits serotonin reabsorption, it would increase the effects of serotonin in the brain, which helps fight against depression.

SSRI are known to be more efficient as compared with older, traditional anti-depressants, with lesser adverse reactions. However, medications as complicated such as an SSRI have their own drawbacks. For instance, www.williamskherkher.com/houston-personal-injury/ stated that certain SSRIs, such as Zoloft, may increase the risk of birth defects among babies exposed to it in utero. So, before you deal with your depression using medications such as an SSRI, it is imperative to discuss first with your doctor if the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks.

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