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Depression and Miscellaneous Antidepressants

Read more about Miscellaneous Antidepressants.

Overview

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Miscellaneous antidepressants are those which do not fall into the categories of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, tetracyclic antidepressants or phenylpiperazine antidepressants.

Effect of Miscellaneous Antidepressants on Depression

The most common miscellaneous antidepressant is bupropion (generic name). Brand name examples of bupropion are:

  • Wellbutrin
  • Aplenzin
  • Budeprion
  • Zyban (prescribed to help people quit smoking)

These work by acting as norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors which can help depressed individuals. The drugs act as a reuptake inhibitor for norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline) thereby increasing the amount of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Some depressed individuals are shown to have low levels of certain neurotransmitters and increasing these levels can lead to a decrease in felt depression symptoms.

(After the drug went on the market as an antidepressant, itw as found to also act as a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist which helps curb nicotine cravings.)

Side Effects and Warnings

Bupropion drugs (generic name for the drugs Wellbutrin, X, Y and Zycam) are widely known to lower the seizure threshold - the balance between excitatory and inhibitory forces in the brain which affects how susceptible one is to seizures. People already susceptible to seizure (especially those with epilepsy) should not take drugs that can lower the seizure threshold as they are already prone to seizures. The prevalence of individuals who had seizures when taking bupropion drugs was so high that the drugs were initially pulled off of the market 1985. They were put back on the market with only a change in the recommended doses (no higher than 450mg).

As with all antidepressants, these miscellaneous antidepressants come with the black box warning stating that "Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality)..."1 Therefore, suicidal thinking and behavior can increase with the use of these drugs.

References

  1. USDA Food and Drug Administration(2010). Antidepressant Use in Children, Adolescents, and Adults. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/informationbydrugclass/ucm096273.htm

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