Depression can affect people of any age and any sex. Antidepressants are used to treat depression and there are several categories in antidepressants that are used to treat different disorders associated with depression. Each category works in a particular way and function to treat the depression. The various categories of antidepressants are MAOIs, SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, NDRIs and the combination of inhibitors and blockers. Each of these categories of antidepressants is explained below.
MAOIs – Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors –
The neurotransmitters that transfer the information from one nerve end to others are also known as monoamines. Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme which metabolizes these monoamines and thus destroys the neurotransmitters. This is when the monoamine oxidase inhibitors can become helpful, as they slow down the action of monoamine oxidase and prevents neurotransmitters form getting destroyed. They also help in increasing the levels of neurotransmitters and thus reduce the symptoms of depression. Cimetidine, henelzine, selegiline, etc. are some of the MAOIs medications.
When MAOIs is given to the person suffering from depression along with destroying monamine oxidase it also destroys tyramine, which is responsible for keeping blood pressure levels normal. Thus after taking the MAOIs medications the affected person may get high blood pressure, which can prove dangerous. Hence when anyone takes these medications should avoid food items that are rich source of tyramine like chicken liver, seasoned cheese, etc.
SSRIs – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors -
SSRIs medications selectively block the re-absorbance of serotonin neurotransmitters and thus increase the levels of serotonin and helps in reducing the symptoms of depression. Paroxetine, Citalopram, sertraline, etc are some of the SSRIs medications. Those who have uncontrolled epilepsy should not be given SSRIs medications and also people below the age of 18 are also kept away from SSRIs medications.
SNRIs – Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors -
SNRIs medications help in increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine by slowing down the re-absorption of these two. Duloxetine, Venlafaxine are some of the SNRIs medications. Those who are taking the MAOIs medications should avoid taking the SNRIs medications as the combination of these two medications can cause serotonin syndrome due to increased levels of serotonin.
TCAs – Tricyclic Antidepressants -
All the major symptoms of depression like irritability, pessimism, gloominess and the panic disorders can be treated effective with TCAs medications. TCAs medications help to cure the depression symptoms by slowing down the re-absorption of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Dothiepin, Doxepin, Clomipramine, Protriptyline are some of the TCAs medications. TCAs mediations are not suitable for those who have heart ailments, glaucoma and prostate problems. Under the strict monitoring of the doctors diabetic patients, people with seizures, thyroid problems and urinary retention can also have these medications.
NDRIs – Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors -
By slowing down the re-absorption of the norepinephrine and dopamine the NDRIs medications helps in increasing the levels of these two chemicals in the brain and thus give relief from several symptoms of depression. These medications can increase the blood pressure levels and can prove life-threatening also.
Combination of reuptake inhibitors and receptor blockers -
These are two way effective as they prevent the re-absorption of the neurotransmitters and also block the nerve cell receptors. This in turn will give relief from the depression. These medications can affect the functioning of the liver.