Antidepressants are psychotropic medications that normalize the functioning of the mental and nervous systems. They act on neurotransmitters, reduce the severity of depressive symptoms, and improve cognitive skills. Some of them have pronounced analgesic effects.
Most often they are indicated for:
- Clinical depression
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic conditions
- Bipolar disorders
- Chronic pain, migraine
A century ago, the main cause of depression was believed to be low serotonin levels. To stimulate its production, doctors prescribed natural antidepressants, such as cocaine and opiates, and later – amphetamines. Treatment of antidepressant addiction became relevant when they were found to be addictive, both physically and psychologically. Today, many mental disorders have been proven to develop not only due to low levels of the serotonin mediator but also as a result of hormonal disorders, somatic diseases, drug and alcohol addiction.
The main effect of modern antidepressants is a qualitative increase of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc. Their use provides a visible effect:
- Improves and stabilizes emotional background
- Eliminates feeling of anxiety
- Removes emotional tension
- Normalizes sleep
- Improves appetite
- Improves mental activity
The main types of antidepressants by their mechanism of action:
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNERIs)
- selective norepinephrine reuptake blockers (SNERBs)
- monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
- reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase type A (RIMAO-A)
- selective serotonin reuptake stimulant (SSRS)
- atypical antidepressants
Are antidepressants addictive?
Modern psychotropic drugs prescribed by doctors after differential diagnosis do not cause physical or mental addiction. As soon as the medications begin to work and the patient’s condition improves, the latter often decides to stop taking pills. However, a sharp and unreasonable withdrawal of antidepressants or their overdose due to self-medication cause withdrawal symptoms.
It is important to realize that treatment should be prescribed based on the examination and test results and the diagnosis of concomitant diseases, the therapy of which may be incompatible with the intake of antidepressants.
If, after withdrawal, a relapse of the underlying disease occurs, it may take a long time to stabilize the physical and psycho-emotional state again.
Consequences of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome
Psychotropic medications that act on neurotransmitters are prescribed for a long time. Their abrupt withdrawal or dose reduction can cause the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stool disorders
- Intestinal spasms and pain
- Sleep disorders
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Sexual disorders
Withdrawal symptoms of neurotransmitter affecting drugs may sometimes resemble those of the mental disorders and neuroses for which the drugs have been prescribed. If the symptoms appeared immediately (in a few days), and include somatic ones that were not present when the disease was diagnosed and at the beginning of treatment, this indicates a withdrawal syndrome.
Psychotropic drugs with a short half-life after withdrawal cause more severe symptoms in a short period of time than drugs with a long half-life.
A sudden withdrawal of an antidepressant does not give the brain time to adapt to the changed concentrations of transmitters. It causes side somatic, sensory, cognitive, and physical symptoms.
Methods of treatment
Antidepressants cannot be withdrawn immediately, without consulting a doctor. The specialists of MedicoMente have extensive practical experience in prescribing antidepressants as maintenance therapy during the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions. Therefore, only a gradual dose reduction is used based on the clinical signs. Depending on the specific drug, the entire antidepressant withdrawal process can take from several weeks to several months.
Treatment methods during antidepressant withdrawal:
- Resuming the drug intake with a slow and gradual decrease in the drug dose.
- Switching from antidepressants with a short half-life to longer ones, reducing the dose and withdrawing the drug.
This method of treatment of antidepressant addiction gives the body’s biological systems time to adapt.
Treatment at MedicoMente
Doctors of MedicoMente modern addiction treatment center assist patients taking antidepressants and those who want to stop therapy for any reason or receive more effective treatment. For this purpose, patients undergo laboratory and imaging studies, and together with psychologists and psychotherapists determine further goals.
Only after all tests and diagnosis, considering the individual characteristics of the patient’s health and history, a treatment regimen is prescribed with the selection of a dosage. To relieve symptoms after antidepressant withdrawal, your doctor will prescribe additional medications to help eliminate side effects.
The use of original licensed methods of treatment of addiction and withdrawal of psychotropic drugs will help to go through the stage of withdrawal symptoms as painlessly as possible and receive high-quality medical and psychological assistance.
Making an appointment is quite simple:
- by phone +38-095 -550-85-25
- by E-mail: email@example.com
- fill in the form at https://medicomente.com/kontakty/
If necessary, we provide transfer from Kyiv airports and train stations.
Let’s solve this problem together,
because you and your health are unique!
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