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FAQ

What medications are used to treat depression?

These days there are numerous medication options to chose from to treat depression. These medications have been engineered to maximize safety while providing substantial benefit at the same time. SSRI’s, such as Zoloft, Lexapro or Prozac, are typically used as the first line of treatment. Additionally, SNRI’s, such as Effexor, Pristiq, and Cymbalta, are also considered effective treatments. Other examples of common antidepressants include Wellbutrin, Trintellix and Viibryd.

What is an SSRI?

SSRI stands for “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor”, and designates a class of medications that work to increase levels of serotonin in the brain by preventing the body from breaking it down. Low levels of serotonin are thought to play a role in depression.

What is an SNRI?

SNRI stands for “serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor”, and designates a class of medications that work to increase levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain by preventing the body from breaking down these two molecules. In addition to serotonin, low levels of norepinephrine are also thought to contribute to symptoms of depression.

What medications are used to treat anxiety?

Depending on the type of anxiety you are experiencing, different medications are prescribed. For panic attacks, SSRI’s, SNRI’s and benzodiazepines are typically used. Benzodiazepines include commonly known medications such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium. Often, an SSRI or SNRI can take several weeks before benefits are noticed, so a benzodiazepine can be used simultaneously until the SSRI or SNRI starts to work. For generalized anxiety, SSRI’s, SNRI’s and benzodiazepines are also used.

What medications are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as “manic-depression”, is a complex illness that requires the use of different medications during different phases or cycles of the disorder. In general, mood stabilizers, such as Lithium, Depakote and Lamictal are used throughout treatment, but an antidepressant can be added during depressive phases while an atypical antipsychotic or benzodiazepine may be added during manic phases. Examples of atypical antipsychotics include Seroquel, Risperdal and Abilify.

What medications are commonly used to treat sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders can cause significant distress and functional impairment to those who suffer from them. Medications are not recommended as the first-line of treatment for sleep disorders, but can be used after other forms of treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and sleep hygiene have failed, or for short-term relief. Some medications used for insomnia include Melatonin, Ambien, Sonata, Trazodone, Doxepin, Temazepam, and Lorazepam.

What medications are typically used to treat ADHD?

ADHD can affect individuals at any age, both children and adults. The most commonly used medications are stimulants derived from Methylphenidate (Ritalin), or amphetamine (Adderall and Vyvanse). Alternative therapies include non-stimulant medications such as Strattera and Bupropion.