ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
Who Should Take Depression Medication? | Mood Disorders


The question about who takes depression medication
is complicated because the terminology can be so confusing. Medications that are called anti-depressants,
while they are used to treat depression, they’re also used appropriately to treat a lot of
other illnesses, and in some cases, they’re used inappropriately to treat other illnesses
because relatively speaking the side effect profiles are so relatively minor compared
to other medications that are there. Anti-depressants were named as a class because
it was initially found that they helped with depression, but overtime it was found that
they were also just as effective for certain anxiety symptoms. So you can have situations where somebody
who’s never had any kind of symptoms of depression is on a medication that is called an anti-depressant,
but again, that is a problem of terminology, and actually it is perfectly appropriate that
that person be given that medication because these medications are helpful for anxiety
symptoms. Another situation that can get confusing is
individuals with bipolar disorder. On the one hand, individuals with bipolar
disorder do have depressive episodes; however, most anti-depressant medications have the
risk of triggering manic episodes. But the situation is even more confusing because
there are certain anti-depressant medications that are safe to use in people who have bipolar
disorder. Given the level of complication, what all
of this boils down to, is it’s very important to have depression medication by a psychiatrist
because psychiatrists are the ones that specialize both in making appropriate diagnoses and being
up to date in knowing the latest information about these medications.

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