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.

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.

Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study

(HealthDay News) — Treating major depression safely and affordably is a challenge. Now, Brazilian researchers have found that two techniques often used individually produce better results when used together.

The researchers paired the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) and a type of noninvasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to treat people with moderate to severe symptoms of major depression.

Transcranial direct current stimulation appears to be just as effective a treatment as Zoloft, but the two together are even more effective, said lead researcher Dr. Andre Russowsky Brunoni, from the Clinical Research Center at University Hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.

via Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study.

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. Continue reading

Antidepressant Medications at a Glance

Generic Name
Brand Names
Drug Family
Use
amitriptyline Elavil, Typtanol, Saroten, Tryptizol tricyclic antidepressant
bupropion Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Odranal aminoketone antidepressant
citalopram Celexa SSRI antidepressant
clomipramine Anafranil heterocyclic antidepressant
desipramine Norpramin, Pertofran tricyclic antidepressant
doxepin Adapin, Sinequan, Zonalon tricyclic antidepressant
fluvoxamine Luvox SSRI antidepressant
fluoxetine Prozac SSRI antidepressant
mirtazepine Remeron, Remeron SolTab tetracyclic antidepressant, antipanic
nefazodone Serzone phenylpiperazine antidepressant
nortriptyline Aventyl tricyclic antidepressant
paroxetine Paxil, Aropax SSRI antidepressant
reboxetine Vestra, Edronax, Norebox sNRI antidepressant
sertraline Zoloft SSRI antidepressant
trazodone Desyrel, Trialodine triazolopyridine antidepressant