Antidepressants are medications that are used to treat symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions. They work by altering the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that affect mood and emotions. There are different types of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Indications for antidepressants are primarily depression, but they can also be used to treat conditions such as anxiety, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They can be prescribed alone or in combination with other treatments, such as therapy.
Common side effects of antidepressants can include nausea, headache, insomnia, drowsiness, and sexual dysfunction. Some antidepressants can also lead to weight gain or loss, and others may increase the risk of suicide, especially in children and young adults.
Precautions when taking antidepressants include informing your doctor of any other medications you are taking, as antidepressants can interact with other medications. It's also important to inform your doctor if you have a history of seizures or bleeding disorders, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is also important to note that antidepressants can take several weeks to start working, and that it may be necessary to try a few different types or dosages before finding the right one. If you experience severe side effects or suicidal thoughts, contact your doctor immediately.