Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. A person suffering from depression feels depressed for a long time, becomes depressed, loses willpower, becomes restless all over the world..One of the most popular ways to treat depression is to use antidepressants..Today i will discuss about the working methods and types of antidepressants.
What is an antidepressant?
When you hear the name antidepressant, it seems that it fights depression with a shield sword and destroys depression completely. But in fact, antidepressants are a type of drug that helps relieve the symptoms of depression. Before understand the mechanism of action of antidepressants,i am telling briefly about neurotransmission..
Neurons (brain cells) transmit messages through dendrites. Those messages are then sent through axon in the form of electrical signals. The axons meet the dendrites with the surrounding neurons. But the dendrites of the axon and the surrounding neurons do not touch each other. Again the electrical signal cannot go from action to dendrites with a jump.
So how is the message transferred from one cell to another? When the message reaches the end of the action, the electrical signal becomes the chemical signal. These chemicals are triggered by signals and emit chemical-filled vesicle neurotransmitters. And these neurotransmitters travel out of the cell membrane to the synapse. In this way, when some neurotransmitters are attached to another cell, an electrical signal is transmitted to that cell.
The structure of neurons
The antidepressant i am telling today works at this synapse level.. Depression itself works at the level of these synapses. Studies have shown that low levels of monoamine neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine) cause depression.
Today i will talk about 3 levels of antidepressants---
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI),
Tricylclic antidepressant (TCA), and
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI).
Antidepressants help to regulate the levels of these neurotransmitters.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
It is known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. MAOI inhibits the action of an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase breaks down neurotransmitters. MAOI increases the amount of neurotransmitters secreted in the synapse by inhibiting the action of this enzyme. The presence of more neurotransmitters in the synapse increases the likelihood of electrical signals being transmitted to subsequent neurons.
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
If the name of the tricyclic antidepressant does not give an idea of its mechanism of action, it gives an idea of its size. These antidepressants are made up of three rings. It works on neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and serotonin. Once the vesicle neurotransmitter is released, it does not leave the synapse. Some amount of neurotransmitters from the presynaptic layer are absorbed inside again. This process is called Reuptake in the language of medical science. TCA inhibits the reuptake process and ensures the presence of the maximum amount of neurotransmitters in the synapse.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) inhibit the reuptake process similar to TCA. SSRI, however, binds to the receptor of serotonin only, instead of serotonin and neuropeptide. Thus increasing the presence of serotonin at the synaptic level increases the likelihood of electrical signals being transmitted to subsequent neurons. Thus, details of its functioning are also available from the name of SSRI like MAOI. SSRI is better known to us than the other two types of antidepressants.
After knowing the types and methods of antidepressants, the question may arise, on what basis will a doctor prescribe medicine to a patient?? The answer is very simple
the one that works best. But all antidepressants have the same effect. Antidepressants are therefore differentiated on the basis of side effects, not efficacy.
MAOI and TCA are much older antidepressants. These are called first generation antidepressants. As they get older, they have more side effects. People cannot take many other types of medications while taking MAOI. Many times, fruits, dairy products can not take normal food. It is not generally recommended to use MAOI for these side effects.
The side effects of TCA are relatively low. It always makes the patient tired. It is also quite toxic. Patients taking TCA are more likely to have cardiac arrest. The rest is SSRI. Like any antidepressant, it is not without side effects. Notable side effects of SSRI include sleep problems, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. But since it has fewer side effects than the other two types of antidepressants, it is generally recommended to use it.
Thanks for reading🤗🤗