Monday, January 28, 2013

Even with the Wellbutrin Side Effects, Is it Still a Viable Choice as an Antidepressant?

By Brian Sloan

The path of a depressive illness is not one well easily traveled. It's very hard to described depression and it's symptoms to those who have never experienced them. One gets in a state where it seems that happiness can never be found again. However, with the medical advancements through the years, there have been a number of antidepressants to bring hope to depression sufferers. One interesting medication, Wellbutrin, although not one of the newer ones, still remains interesting. Although being around quite a while it continues to have value for depression and other conditions. However, as all of the antidepressants, there are Wellbutrin side effects.

But, more on those in a moment. Today we have several primary classes of antidepressants from which to choose. There is the popular SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Reuptake inhibiitors) such as Celexa, Lexapro, and Paxil. These are probably the most popular antidepressant currently available with the side effects fairly mild. Then we have the SNRIs (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors). Getting excited yet? It actually is for depression sufferers.

Seratonin and norepinephrine are chemicals in the brain that need to be balanced. This is what the class of antidepressants known as SSRIs do for a person. These types of medications are found in the name brands of Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor, as well as others. I, personally have been affected by depression in my life and the SNRIs have been helpful to me. Panic Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, and Diabetic Neuropathy are some conditions for which the SSRIs have been approved. As for my thoughts, I hope that the sufferers of depression, as well as sufferers of other mental conditions will continue to have as many medical options as possible.

MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) are another class of antidepressants that have proven to be effective. However, they have also have had undesirable reactions when combined with certain other medications and even some food types. And because of these reactions, these medications are sometimes not given to patients until other treatment methods have been exhausted. These MAOIs have been known to do well for panic disorder, agoraphobia, mixed anxiety and depression, and bulimia.

The Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are the older forms of antidepressants that began to be developed in the early 1950s. My first major depressive episode was treated with one of these (but much, much later than the 50s....). Imipramine was the medication in which I was treated. Along with Norpramin, Elavil, and others it makes up the family of Tricyclics. These guys were really effective in their time, and still can be now. However, for the most part, people tend to go with the newer medications.

Although there are a few other miscellaneous types of antidepressants, NDRIs take a big place in the remainder of the equation. These include Wellbutrin, a fascinating drug. The generic is called Bupropion, and marketed as Wellbutrin, Voxra, Budeprion, and others. Its well known brand name as a stop smoking aid is Zyban. NDRIs affect specific chemicals within the brain, known as norepinephrine and dopamine. Wellbutrin and those meds like it help block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the chemicals a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell. Wellbutrin has proven effective in many cases in which people have not responded to SSRIs. Side effects for Wellbutrin include restlessness, dry mouth, abnormal dreams, dizziness, trouble sleeping, head aches, weight loss, diarrhea, stomach cramps, anxiety. Infrequent side effects include high blood pressure, abnormally low blood pressure, hives, infection, and confusion. Other infrequent side effects are migraine headaches, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, joint pain, drowsiness, fever, rash, indigestion, bronchitis, loss of appetite, increased hunger, frequent urination, difficulty swallowing, gas nervousness, feeling weak, altered interest in sexual intercourse, although some report heightened interest in sexual activity (I'm 54 so I'm not sure which of those are worse)! But seriously depression is to be dealt with ASAP. Talk with your doctor and agree on the proper choice to treat depression. Don't fight it alone. There are many options. Blessings to you. You can win!

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