Review of the Safest Antidepressants for Teens from Canadian Health&Care Pharmacy
Have you ever though that bad temper and impatience can be a reason for the adolescent depression? Most teenagers definitely feel sad or unhappy from time to time. However experts consider that one teenager in eight suffers from depression. Thus, if he or she is in bad mood for more than 15 days and depression symptoms are obvious it’s time to visit a doctor.
Adolescent Depression: reasons and symptoms
There are several reasons for adolescent depression. Teens may have problems at school as they may be bad at some subjects or may have unfavourable relations with some of their classmates. Another important reason why a boy or a girl may feel depressed is stressful situation a home due to bad relations with parents. Among the other reasons of depression one can mention bad ecology, tight schedule or emotional sufferings. Therefore depression is likely to appear if a teenager doesn’t feel better or supported and if there is nothing that will help him or her reduce sadness or feeling of isolation.
Teenagers being depressed have evident deviations in thoughts and behaviour. They may have low motivation and stay alone for quite a long period of time doing nothing. Sometimes teenagers can sleep all day long; drastically change preferences in their eating or refuse to eat and even start overeating. A boy or a girl may start behaving irresponsibly or even lose interest for studying and refuse to attend classes. They can commit crimes, drink alcohol or take drugs and lead a hectic life. Teenagers may have certain problems with their memory and think about suicide. Among the emotions which go along with depression one should mention sadness, anxiety, aggression or frustration.
Treatment of adolescent depression
Most people undervalue the seriousness of depression. A person in depression feel alone and thrown away by the society. A teenager suffering from depression should definitely undergo a course of treatment. Therapeutic counselling and medication treatment with antidepressants are the most widely used methods of the depression treatment.
Antidepressants are pharmaceutical drugs aimed at improving mental state of a person by influencing the level of neurotransmitters in the human body. They improve a patient’s mood and reduce anxiety, irritation, aggression, emotional fatigue and apathy. Antidepressants regulate appetite as well as sleep structure and duration.
However, some physicians are against antidepressants being used to treat adolescent depression from the very beginning. They warn that even the safest antidepressants may lead to unwanted side effects, e.g. suicidal thoughts and even actions, increased anxiety etc. Side effects appear as every person has his own chemical body state that is why one drug can have different impact on different people.
At the first stage doctors ask patients to undergo the course of psychotherapy. The therapist can help determine the nature of depression, its persistence and strength. In most cases psychotherapy methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy will be enough for depression curing. While working with the therapist teenagers will be given new behaviour patterns as well as will be taught how to master problems in the relationships. If the therapy is not enough in a particular case the therapist can recommend that the teenager applies medical treatment.
One should underline that before prescribing antidepressant the doctor must evaluate a great pile of factors in order to recommend the best one. Moreover, teens taking antidepressants must be under constant monitoring of parents and physician in order to avoid unfavourable side effects such as increased nervousness, agitation, mood instability, irritation or sleeplessness and change the medical drug, if needed. In case of the mental state deterioration or acute condition child’s or teen’s parents must immediately contact the doctor.
What are the safest antidepressants for teens?
Teenagers are often prescribed to use SSRIs (the abbreviation is used for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). These drugs are considered the next stage of antidepressant medical drugs with improved characteristics. Unlike monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants which are not approved for teens SSRIs are characterized by rare side effects as well as less risk of overdose. It is rather important for patients who has depression at the acute stage and are under high risk of suicide.
SSRIs block the serotonin re-absorption thus increasing its content in synaptic gap. Besides, SSRIs are famous for their secondary pharmacological properties such as inhibiting of noradrenalin and dopamine re-uptake. However, one should remember that different types of SSRIs can influence the teenager in different ways so the successful treatment of adolescent depression depends upon the personal drug sensitivity and a quantity of attempt needed to find the appropriate medication with the best treatment results.
Below we will study medications of SSPI group approved and widely used for the treatment of adolescent depression.
Fluoxetine or Prozac was represented to FDA in 1977; active sales of the medication started in 1987. Now Prozac holds the third position among popular antidepressants with more than 24 mln. recipes prescribed in 2010. The FDA has officially approved Prozac for the treatment of children’s and adolescent depression (children of 8 years old and more). Fluoxetine helps increase the serotonin concentration in brain structures thus enhancing the duration of serotonin stimulatory action on the nervous system. Its major proposed clinical use is treatment of depression and different mental disorders. Prozac must be carefully prescribed for patients with compensated chronic renal disease, hepatic insufficiency, cardiovascular disease and cachexia. The given medical drug is not recommended for patients with chronic renal disease, hyper sensitivity for the drug content, decompensated epilepsy, diabetes, and suicidal state. As far as side effects is concerned Prozac can cause headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness or somnolence, irritation, increased anxiety and nervousness as well as allergic reactions and low appetite.
Prozac treatment course should last within 3-4 or 5 and more weeks depending upon the patient’s state. Special attention must be paid in case if the teenager uses other medical drugs in order to avoid unfavourable reactions of two medications. Like treatment with any other antidepressants Prozac treatment of adolescent depression must be conducted under constant guidance of the doctor and patient’s family.
Paxil and Zofolt
Paxil (Paroxetine) and Zofolt (Sertraline) are aimed at eliminating the imbalance of chemical elements in brain which leads to mental disorder. These medical drugs are used for curing depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and other types of disorders.
Both Paxil and Zofolt are not approved to treat children’s of teenage depression. If the patient is under 18 both medical drugs must be carefully prescribed with constant monitoring of the patient’s state.
Celexa (Citalopram) is a medical drug aimed at treating depression. The drug can be used by teenagers, but it is prohibited for treating children. Moreover, if a teenager suffers from the combination of the anxiety and depression the physician should reject prescribing Celexa due to the danger of strong side effects. Celexa may cause different allergic reactions, panic attacks, irritation, agitation and others. If the patient has CVD (cardiovascular disease) or kidney or liver diseases, drug abuse or bipolar disorder Celexa must not be applied or applied carefully under the doctor’s control.
Escitalopram or Lexapro is prescribed for patients who are not younger than 12 years. It is mainly used for curing anxiety. Lexapro has similar side effects and usage limitations like other SSRIs do.
Fluvoxamine or Luvox is aimed at treating social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders. It is not given for patients under 18 years old without doctor’s recommendation. While taking Luvox one should pay special attention to the use of other medications in order not to have drug interaction. One should avoid taking Luvox if he is allergic to its content or suffers from kidney or liver diseases as well as CVD, epilepsy or bipolar disorder.
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