Exercise Might Lift Libido in Women on Antidepressants

(HealthDay News) — Exercise might help treat sexual problems in women taking antidepressants, especially if their workouts occur right before sex, new research reveals.

The study included 52 women who had reduced desire and other sexual side effects while taking antidepressants.

For the first three weeks of the study, the women did not exercise. They were then divided into two groups for the next three weeks, with one group assigned to exercise immediately before sex and the other group assigned to exercise in a way that was not timed to having sex. The researchers then reversed the two groups for another three weeks.

via Exercise Might Lift Libido in Women on Antidepressants.

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Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Not Raise Autism Risk

(HealthDay News) — Children of mothers who take a widely used class of antidepressants during pregnancy are not at increased risk for autism, a large new study finds.

Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and social skills, is estimated to affect about one in 88 children in the United States.

Previous research has suggested that women who take antidepressants during pregnancy are up to five times more likely to have children with autism.

via Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Not Raise Autism Risk.

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FDA Approves New Antidepressant

The drug Brintellix has been approved to treat depression, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday.

“Major depressive disorder can be disabling and can keep a person from functioning normally,” Dr. Mitchell Mathis, acting director of the division of psychiatry products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release. “Since medications affect everyone differently, it is important to have a variety of treatment options available for patients who suffer from depression.”

via Health Highlights: Oct. 1, 2013.

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What to Do During the Last Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressant to Kick In

Image: Villa Falconieri by John Singer Sargent
Villa Falconieri by John Singer Sargent

If it can be said that there is anything good about depression, this is when you’ll see it. Assuming that you are feeling much better than you did a month ago (and if you’re not, please read A Note about Antidepressant Treatment), you may feel almost as if you’ve been reborn. After having been deprived of the ability to enjoy everything your life has to offer, you’ll notice that colors are brighter, sounds are sweeter, smells and tastes have more depth. Having had a lack of interest in things you normally enjoyed before being depressed, you may find, as I did, that you are all of a sudden interested in everything, even things you never thought about before.

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What to Do During the First Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressants to Kick In

Image: My Room at Beau Rivage by Henri Matisse
My Room at Beau Rivage by Henri Matisse

The key words here are indulge yourself. Listen, you’re having enough trouble getting out of bed every day and going to work or school. You don’t need to push yourself. Think of yourself as an invalid recuperating from a very debilitating illness. You have to pamper yourself, body and spirit. This page is therefore all about “cocooning”, that is, wrapping yourself up in layers of comfort to protect yourself.

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Antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro Tied to Irregular Heartbeat: Study

HealthDay News — People taking certain antidepressants, including Celexa and Lexapro, may have a slightly increased risk of developing an abnormal heart beat.Researchers say the drugs, which are in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs, may extend the length of electrical activity in the heart, called a QT interval. A long QT interval is an indicator of abnormal heart rhythms."For people who are taking higher doses of citalopram Celexa or escitalopram Lexapro, they should discuss these doses with their doctors," said lead researcher Dr. Roy Perlis, director of the Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics in the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston."They should absolutely not just stop their medicine," he added.

via Antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro Tied to Irregular Heartbeat: Study.

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Ketamine for Depression: The Most Important Advance in Field in 50 Years? – TIME.com

In any given year, 7% of adults suffer from major depression, and at least 1 in 10 youth will reckon with the disorder at some point during their teenage years. But about 20% of these cases will not respond to current treatments; for those that do, relief may take weeks to months to come.

There is one treatment, however, that works much faster: the anesthetic and “club drug” ketamine. It takes effect within hours. A single dose of ketamine produces relief of depression that has been shown in studies to last for up to 10 days; it also appears to reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts. Now, a new research review published in Science calls the discovery of these effects of ketamine, “”arguably the most important discovery in half a century” of depression research.

via Ketamine for Depression: The Most Important Advance in Field in 50 Years? | Healthland | TIME.com.

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Antidepressant Medications at a Glance

Generic Name
Brand Names
Drug Family
Use
amitriptylineElavil, Typtanol, Saroten, Tryptizoltricyclicantidepressant
bupropionWellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Odranalaminoketoneantidepressant
citalopramCelexaSSRIantidepressant
clomipramineAnafranilheterocyclicantidepressant
desipramineNorpramin, Pertofrantricyclicantidepressant
doxepinAdapin, Sinequan, Zonalontricyclicantidepressant
fluvoxamineLuvoxSSRIantidepressant
fluoxetineProzacSSRIantidepressant
mirtazepineRemeron, Remeron SolTabtetracyclicantidepressant, antipanic
nefazodoneSerzonephenylpiperazineantidepressant
nortriptylineAventyltricyclicantidepressant
paroxetinePaxil, AropaxSSRIantidepressant
reboxetineVestra, Edronax, NoreboxsNRIantidepressant
sertralineZoloftSSRIantidepressant
trazodoneDesyrel, Trialodinetriazolopyridineantidepressant
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Antidepressants May Raise Risk for Pregnancy Complication

(HealthDay News) — Pregnant women taking the antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) face a slightly increased risk of developing dangerously high blood pressure, Canadian researchers report.

This condition, known as preeclampsia, can harm both mothers and their unborn infants, the researchers noted. However, this association may not be cause-and-effect, so women should not just stop taking these medications but should consult with their doctor if they are concerned, they stressed. Two of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs are Paxil (paroxetine) and Prozac (fluoxetine).

“We know that antidepressants should be used during pregnancy, but they should be used with caution,” said lead researcher Anick Berard, director of the research unit of medications and pregnancy at CHU Ste-Justine’s Research Center and a professor with the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal.

The association between SSRIs and hypertension is a new finding, she added.

via Antidepressants May Raise Risk for Pregnancy Complication.

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Let’s All Trash Antidepressants (Not!)

I recently read an excerpt of the book A Brief History of Anxiety by Patricia Pearson, in which she more or less trashes every aspect of psychiatric drugs. She notes that people posting to websites comment on feeling emotionally flat or numb when they’re taking them, and says that they “yearn for their sorrow back.”

I am so sick and tired of hearing this over and over. For one thing, in the same way that companies generally only hear from dissatisfied customers and not the satisfied ones, you’re going to hear more from people who are unhappy with their antidepressant response than from people who are happy with it. Happy people are not still looking for a solution. They’ve moved on. People who are dissatisfied with their medication are either venting out of frustration or hoping someone has an answer.

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