Twelve of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants were tested recently.
Of these twelve, Zoloft and Lexapro have the greatest results, the least side effects, and are more likely to be used by patients.
Patients were asked to describe how improved they felt based on two scales.
Instead of the tests being sponsored by the makers of a particular antidepressant, these two tests were run by the Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health.
Those who currently aren’t on antidepressants do not necessarily need to take Zoloft or Lexapro. Antidepressants should never be taken to alleviate short-term depression.
Also, patients who are currently taking antidepressants shouldn’t switch to Zoloft or Lexapro. Patients should speak with their doctors over slowly weaning themselves off the medications.
Both Zoloft and Lexapro are taken orally. Both Zoloft and Lexapro inhibit serotonin reuptake. This inhibition results in an elevated mood, relieves anxiety and helps decrease the incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Lexapro has been found to be effective with manic-depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. The largest dosage of Zoloft ever taken was 13.5 grams. Only eight patients have ever died as a result of Zoloft.
Over 1000 mg of Lexapro has reportedly been taken with very few fatalities.
Despite the reported effectiveness of Zoloft and Lexapro, both of these antidepressants are known for increasing incidences of suicidal thinking, which is not uncommon among antidepressants.
Zoloft has been shown to cause sweating, tremors, anorexia, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea, insomnia and decrease in libido.
Lexapro causes increased sweating, nausea, fatigue, sleepiness and decreased appetite and libido.
Both antidepressants have shown instances in which patients’ psychiatric conditions worsened instead of improving as a result of the antidepressants.
Many patients have experienced anxiety, aggressiveness, agitation, panic attacks, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, psychomotor restlessness and mania.
Tips when taking antidepressants
The side effects associated with Zoloft and Lexapro might turn you off from taking them. But fortunately there are some ways to overcome these side effects.
- Take your medication with food in order to fight nausea
- Have a once-a-day dosage and try to engage in sexual activities before your dosage to fight lowered libido
- Fatigue can be handled by taking your antidepressants before bedtime or taking a nap during the day
- Insomnia can be fought by taking your medications early in the morning
- Digestive problems can be fought by drinking more water and eating more fiber
- Aggressiveness and anxiety is well-fought with exercise
Alternatives to antidepressants
Depression can be fought naturally with several non-medical methods such as:
- Quitting drinking
- Cutting out caffeine and sugar
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Exercising moderately
- Getting plenty of sunlight
- Eating more fish and omega-3 rich foods
- Engaging in positive thinking
- Talking to a psychotherapist
Another way to improve your mood is to simply improve your life. Maybe you need a change in a relationship or in your job. Maybe pursue a dream you forgot about.
Depression isn’t always chemical and antidepressants will not change your life, only the chemistry in your brain.