Antidepressant Drugs

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All antidepressants should have a black box warning label

as was mandated by U.S food and drug administration (FDA). The label indicates that there is an increased rate of sociality among youths taking these medications. Medicine and healthcare medicine regulatory agency ( MHRA) in the U.K proposes that both the benefits and risks of using antidepressants, balance with the use fluoxetine (Bridge, (2005).) The concern by such bodies leading to such recommendations is an indicator that the use of these drugs is rampant. It could also mean that the use of these drugs has both merits and demerits that are a concern and need to be considered by any user. This document, therefore, reviews the benefits of using the antidepressant drugs, drawbacks of antidepressants and implications and management for using these drugs.


Antidepressant drugs are drugs that reduce the chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters which is a disorder of the brain by correcting them. Antidepressants generally work by increasing the level of neurotransmitters around the brain nerves through inhibiting their reuptake (Bridge et al., 2005). The correction help reduce the symptoms of this disorder that causes depression. With depression, the moods and behavior of the affected person changes. Neurotransmitters link nerve cells in the brain by facilitating their communication. This communication happens by one nerve cell releasing the neurotransmitter containing the information and is received by the other thereby passing the information. When this is distracted the information is inappropriately sent or not sent at all and this result in a disorder. This miscommunication causes a condition known as depression. Other results include child enuresis, generalized anxiety, agitation, obsessive, compulsive disorder among others. For this to be brought back to normal, patient use antidepressant to restore the balance. They include monoamine oxidase inhibitor, the tricyclic antidepressant, selective serotine reuptake inhibitor, serotine norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor among others.

Benefits of using antidepressants

When patients use antidepressants they are likely to realize a number of benefits as will be discussed below. In the right prescription, antidepressant patients will assume great relief which could be permanent (Martinez et al., 2005). The right treatment is however determined by the doctor and patient working together. A patient can decide to take the drugs together with therapy and this achieves even a greater and more permanent result. With the choice option of a patient in deciding the medication, which is of course done in consideration of the symptoms, it helps to ensure the most efficient result is attained. This could also mean that the chances of the doctor administering the wrong medication or inefficient medication is very low. Moreover once the medication starts the patient realize increased motivation and fear fades away. This ensures that the patient is able to take their daily activities effectively. Fear being a cause of distraction from doing many involving things once gone there is a great result from one own ability.

The third benefit is increased concentration. The patient under antidepressant medication also has an increased ability to concentrate. This is also another great strength for people especially those doing very involving jobs. Another related effect is insomnia which antidepressants also help to tackle. Depressed individuals suffer lack of sleep and consequently lack of rest required to refresh the mind. This could result in distracted mind and fatigue which leads to low results during work.

Finally is the short effect period and addiction from antidepressants. Even with anticipated side effects of using antidepressants, the patient is assured of a quick disappearance of these effects. The effects disappear within two weeks or so (Morin, 1993). This encourages the patients to use them without fear of very long time or even lifetime effects. This is a great encouragement compared to the side effects that occur with other medication for other disorders. The medication for depression is also known to be addiction free (Fournier et al., 2010). Where withdrawal symptoms may be experienced when dropping the medication, it is as a result of psychological effects of taking it. Addiction is a great cause of fear from any medication but patients using antidepressants are exempted from it.

Drawbacks of antidepressants

Initially, a patient under antidepressant medication may have increased anxiety and sign of depression. This could cause the patient more worry. This is a drawback since the patient may expect immediate positive response. This is, however, no reason for worrying since the results are with time realized.

Secondary antidepressants do not necessarily solve all the problems. Without holistic treatment especially with mental illness complications, the result may not be fully realized. This means that the patient requires going through multiple treatments that could include therapies for a full result.

The third drawback is withdrawal symptoms that come during the weaning period. These symptoms include brain zaps, drowsiness, and dizziness. Other long-time side effects that come with the medication include Suicidal thought is another drawback to the medication. This means that the drugs are only effective to patients who are severely depressed as opposed to those that are leniently depressed.

The medication also requires being taken consistently to a full dose. This process requires one to get used to it which is a bit hard. Since the medication is a bit expensive which is another drawback, it may be hard to purchase a full dose which can cause ineffectiveness.

The drawbacks seem to be more than the benefits but when rightly administered, the drugs give positive results.

The nursing implication for antidepressant

The antidepressant administrator must understand that the patient did not acquire depression by choice. This should direct them to give medication while observing sympathetic bedside manner (Moncrieff & Kirsch, 2005). Such habits as establishing a relationship with them determine how fast positive results are realized.

Secondary like all medication, the nurse should remember the process of treatment is most effective in client teaching. This should, therefore, guide them to check patient progress for the reaction, if positive or negative.

Third is the understanding of the effects habits that come with depression especially on eating. The nurse is, therefore, required to do a dietary review of their patient and have a proper nutrition plan.

Finally is the ability of the nurse to understand the desires of their patient. This ensures the patient is provided with the most comfortable environment and this enhances the result and rate of positive change.


Depression is a disease of the mainly occurs due to the surrounding environment and activities. This means that it can be avoided which is the most efficient way other than avoiding treatment. However, where the disorder has already occurred antidepressant can be administered but with the consideration of the information above. In addition to antidepressant, the patient can incorporate therapy and ensuring the right environment to avoid recurrence.


Morin, C. M. (1993). Insomnia: Psychological assessment and management. Guilford Press.

Bridge, J. A., Salary, C. B., Birmaher, B., Asare, A. G., & Brent, D. A. (2005). The risks and benefits of antidepressant treatment for youth depression. Annals of medicine, 37(6), 404-412.

Moncrieff, J., & Kirsch, I. (2005). Efficacy of antidepressants in adults. Bmj, 331(7509), 155-157.

Martinez, C., Rietbrock, S., Wise, L., Ashby, D., Chick, J., Moseley, J. & Gunnell, D. (2005). Antidepressant treatment and the risk of fatal and non-fatal self harm in first episode depression: nested case-control study. Bmj, 330(7488), 389.

Fournier, J. C., DeRubeis, R. J., Hollon, S. D., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J. D., Shelton, R. C., & Fawcett, J. (2010). Antidepressant drug effects and depression severity: a patient-level meta-analysis. Jama, 303(1), 47-53.

October 13, 2023



Illness Mental Health

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