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Asendin (Amoxapine)

Many medicines now bring people out of depression. Could you sort them out for us?
This is the most exciting and hope-filled part of the depression story. Among the new drugs now available, we can find at least one or two that bring a depressed patient back to normal. We could not do that a few years ago.
Three groups of medicines are available: tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and lithium. All three alter the brain’s chemicals. They restore to normal the depressed patient’s mood, appetite, energy level, outlook, sleep patterns, and concentration. The tricyclics are the basic weapons against major depression, with the monoamine oxidase inhibitors as backups. Lithium works most effectively against bipolar disease.
What are the side effects of anti-depressive drugs? Can they be avoided?
The most common side effects include dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, and drowsiness—usually all mild. While taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors, patients should avoid certain foods (cheese, among others) to avert serious side effects.
Can psychotherapy, often called “the talking treatment,” help depressed people as much as medication can?
In patients who are not too severely depressed, psychotherapy seems to work as well as medication. But in major depression, symptoms generally are relieved more rapidly by drugs than by psychotherapy. Most people do best when doctors treat them by combining drugs with psychotherapy.
Does shock therapy really work? Many people claim it destroys brain cells and memory.
If a severely depressed patient threatens suicide or doesn’t respond to drugs, we rely on electroconvulsive therapy (ЕСТ), commonly called shock therapy. It is effective and quick acting. Because better medicines are available now, ЕСТ is used less and less. But new techniques also make ЕСТ safer than it used to be. It now produces less of the temporary confusion and less memory loss than it once did.
How can a depressed person’s family help?
The very nature of depression keeps the victim from seeking help. Family and friends can help most by encouraging patients to get the right treatment or even by taking them to the doctor. Overall, support, love, patience, and encouragement help far more than do blame, lecturing, and argument.
Where can a family get help?
The first line of defense is the family doctor, clinic, or health maintenance organization. Next, psychiatrists, psychologists, family therapists, and social workers can work with the patient to give the “talking treatment.” But of these, only psychiatrists, who are medical doctors as well, can prescribe drugs. Many mental health centers, hospitals, and universities have depression programs.
The National Institute for Mental Health has begun a new program on depression. What’s involved?
Everyone should know the symptoms of depression and the effective treatments for it. The goal of the project (called Depression/Awareness, Recognition and Treatment) is to help depressed persons get treatment and return more rapidly to normal activities, and perhaps even to save their lives. We are using every means of communication to put the message across.

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