Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Has Your Antidepressant Pooped-Out?

When people are looking for how to treat depression, they usually discover that antidepressant medications will be at the top of their doctor's treatment recommendations. Because of all the advances in drug therapies, doctors readily prescribe antidepressants to ease symptoms of depression.

But depression isn't like a headache where just one dose of medication is all you need for relief. Even if your sadness and others discomforts improve with a particular medication, you can't stop taking it just because you feel better. Taking an antidepressant is a long-term proposition. An adequate level of the drug must be maintained in your system in order to prevent the return of symptoms.

However, many people who've been on a depression medication for a long period of time often discover that its effectiveness will "poop out." This phenomenon is known as "drug tolerance."

You see, continuous use of a medication for an extended length of time can cause your brain's nerve cell receptors to become saturated with a particular type of neurotransmitter (brain messenger).

In order to compensate for this excess, the total number of brain receptors decreases. And researchers have discovered that the receptors that are left behind don't work as well as they did before. This means that vital communication between receptors is lost, along with the ability to absorb sufficient amounts of medication.

But drug tolerance isn't the only reason an antidepressant can stop working. Experts who examine the best ways for how to treat depression have found other reasons why a depression medication ceases to be effective. Some of these reasons include:

"Breakthrough" Depression

Many people who are being treated for depression often find that their symptoms will come back, sometimes, even worse. Medical professionals have noted that this "breakthrough depression" can be caused by increased stress.

However, there are some cases where doctors are not able to find any apparent cause for this worsening of symptoms.

In either situation, the dosage of prescribed antidepressant is often increased to treat the reappearance of symptoms.


Just getting older can sometimes cause depression to become worse. Your body may not process medicine as efficiently as it did when you were younger.

And if you're older, it's likely you're not taking just one medication. Having a variety of medications working and interacting within your body can certainly impact the severity of depression symptoms. The chemicals contained in some medications can alter the way your body metabolizes antidepressants, making them less effective.

Other Physical Conditions

There are some health problems which can make depression worse. Some of these medical conditions include heart disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, thyroid disorders, Vitamin B12 deficiency, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

Adjusting dosage, augmenting with an additional antidepressant, or switching medicines completely, can often improve the return of symptoms. You might also want to ask your doctor about counseling psychotherapy to give your pharmaceutical treatment a boost.

No matter your situation, the best ways for how to treat depression that's come back will always include a thorough discussion with your doctor.

No comments:

Post a Comment