Moody Blues – Depression 102: Treatment with SSRIs

June 7, 2018

I’m talking about the treatment of depression with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Today I’m talking about the treatment of depression with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors , also known as SSRIs.

When depression is persistent and the gloomy cloud associated with it just won’t go away, physicians employ a variety of diagnostics and treatments to improve mood and sense of well-being.

Instruments used to gauge the extent and depth of depression are commonly utilized in patient care. The PHQ-9 and GAD-7 help healthcare professionals better understand the dynamics, and the possible association of anxiety as a component of the mood disorder.

When it comes to treatment, exercise, healthy food, adequate rest, avoidance of drugs, alcohol and stress comprise critical adjuncts to therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling is often employed, and is an important modality as well.

Sometimes, medications are recommended. Medications work to restore the balance of neurotransmitters or feel-good hormones in the nervous system that I discussed in Depression 101.

One such class of medications are the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or SSRIs. You may know them as Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro. Each has specific indications and FDA approved uses. They all have differing side effects too, which may make them intolerable for certain individuals.

Prozac works well for lethargic depression due to its activating properties. It is also FDA approved for use in children. Zoloft acts a lot like Prozac, but may have less side effects. Celexa is indicated in individuals with anxious depression as is Lexapro.

One of the problems with all the SSRIs is weight gain, which is unacceptable for just about everybody.

Also, beware, for reasons not at all understood, utilization of SSRIs in young adults is associated with an increase incidence of suicide, so they must be used with caution in that age group.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Power your path to happiness and stay tuned for Depression 103 when I discuss the serotonin-norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors or SNRIs.

References: U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors. Online [available at]: Accessed June 7, 2018.