Psychopharmacology: Antidepressants


Drugs used to elevate mood and alleviate other symptoms associated with moderate to severe depression.
l . Tricyclics :  e.g. Imipramine, Desipramine, Amitriptyline
2. Tetracyclics : Amoxapine
3. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors : e.g. Tranylcypramine, Phenelzine
4. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors(SSRIs) : e.g. Fluvoxamine.
5. Novel Antidepressants- e.g. Bupropion, Trazadone,Venlafaxine
·         Increase the catecholamine levels in the brain
·         TCAs blocking the reuptake of NE and 5-HT at the nerve terminals, thus increasing the NE and 5-HT levels at the receptor site
·         Mono amines are responsible for the degradation of catecholamines after reuptake; so MAOIs increase the NE and 5-HT levels at the receptor site  
·         SSRIs inhibits the reuptake of serotonin
·         Absorption -from GIT
·         Distribution -bound to plasma protein and    tissue protein
·         Metabolism -liver
·         Excretion -kidney
l) Depression:
2)Childhood Psychiatric Disorders: Enuresis, Separation anxiety disorder, Somnambulism, School phobia, Night terrors
3)Other Psychiatric Disorders: Panic attack, Generalized anxiety disorder, Agora phobia, Social phobia, OCD, Eating disorder, Borderline personality disorder, PTSD, Depersonalization syndrome
4) Medical disorders: Chronic pain, Migraine, Peptic ulcer disease
Contra indications
·         Hypersensitivity
·         Recovery phase from myocardial infarction
·         Elderly or debilitated with hepatic, renal, cardiac insufficiency
·         History of seizure disorder  
·         Pregnancy and lactation
Side effects
Autonomic side effects-
Dry mouth, blurred vision, dry eyes, constipation, urinary retention, cycloplegia, mydriasis, delirium, orthostatic hypotension
cardiac effects-
tachycardia, arrhythmias and hypotension. Amitriptyline is considered most cardiotoxic drug
 CNS effects
sedation, confusion, disorientation, anxiety, insomnia, ataxia, tremors, seizures
Hypertensive crisis with MAOIs-
palpitation, tightness in chest, stiff neck, throbbing and radiating head ache. High blood pressure with the elevation of heart rate is common.
Sexual side effects:
impotence, impaired ejaculation, anorgasmia 
Rare effects:
agranulocytosis,   jaunuice, Skin rashes, systemic vasculitis
Weight gain

Nurses responsibility
·         Clients on MAOI should be warned against danger of tyramine rich foods which  results in hypertensive crisis. They are beef liver, chicken liver, dried fish, over   ripped fruits, chocolates, wine, beer, coffee etc.
·         Report for unusual symptoms like occipital headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain.
·         Instruct not to take medication without prescription
·         Caution the patient to change his position slowly to minimize orthostatic hypotension
·         Strictly monitor of vital signs, especially blood pressure



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item Psychopharmacology: Antidepressants
Psychopharmacology: Antidepressants
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