General, Research, Technology

What are the most effective antidepressants?

Today, antidepressants for manyare the only way to deal with anxiety and stress. Despite the fact that the development of these drugs began in the 50s of the last century, scientists still do not know exactly how some antidepressants work. But the fact that they are effective for many people is beyond doubt, otherwise no one would have taken these drugs. However, antidepressants alone are considered “cleaner” due to fewer side effects.

Scientists identify both weak and strong antidepressants


  • 1 Who Invented Antidepressants
  • 2 How do antidepressants help manage stress?
  • 3 Most Effective Antidepressants
    • 3.1 Is amitriptyline the best antidepressant?
    • 3.2 Agomelatine is an antidepressant with the least side effects
  • 4 Side effects of antidepressants

Who Invented Antidepressants

Researchers from New York back in 1951have identified a link between a person's depression and brain activity. The discovery was made by chance when, after taking a drug called iproniazid, people with tuberculosis suddenly had a good mood. It was logical to assume that if you learn to control the brain processes that are responsible for stress (more precisely, to suppress them), you can alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Since then, millions of Americans and overseas have become addicted to antidepressants. For example, one of the most popular, released for sale in 1998, is Prozac.

How do antidepressants help manage stress?

In fact, the unambiguous answer to this questionnot yet. Scientists are still doing a lot of research to find out how these drugs help people feel happier. In one recent study, researchers at Yale and Manchester Universities examined MRI scans of depressed patients a week after starting antidepressant medication using machine learning. The neural network analyzed the connections of the entire brain, as well as the connections of specific areas of the cortex and subcortical structures with each other.

After patients have taken antidepressantswith serotonin, the drug strengthened the connections between the attention networks in the brain while weakening areas of passive brain activity. Moreover, the processes on MRI were noticeable even before the therapeutic effect of antidepressants appeared.

Blue color shows weakening of connections in the brain, red - strengthening

They then examined the effectiveness of antidepressants versus placebo. Those who have taken an antidepressant twice as often talked aboutthat feel better than those who tookplacebo. At the same time, scientists noticed that the drug first of all removes anxiety, and only then depression. Nevertheless, as a result, taking it leads to an improvement in a person's mood.

The most effective antidepressants

In 2018, another group of scientists conductedlarge scale work: she collated the results of 522 studies involving more than 116,000 people to find out which antidepressants are most effective and have the least side effects. As a result, they noted at least two drugs.

Is amitriptyline the best antidepressant?

According to the research amitriptyline from the group of tricyclic antidepressantsproved to be the most effective among the drugs that scientists studied. It reduces anxiety and general irritability, and also minimizes or completely removes the symptoms of depression - it all depends on the individual.

Amitriptyline is popular in many countries due to its strong effect

In addition, among the best antidepressants, drugs based on serotonin... It is this group of drugs that is considered one of thethe most promising. At the same time, scientists do not exclude the effective action of other drugs, since, depending on the physiological characteristics of a person and the degree of depression, different antidepressants are prescribed.

Do not take antidepressants without prior agreement with the doctor... In medical institutions, drugs are selected for each patient individually.

Agomelatine is an antidepressant with the least side effects

This drug, as noted by the researchers,stimulates melatonin receptors, which can also relieve anxiety attacks and reduce symptoms of depression. At the same time, agomelatine is not so "strong" antidepressant, therefore it belongs to the category of "mild" drugs with the least side effects. However, even before taking "light" antidepressants, you still need to consult a doctor.

Scientists have long been testing antidepressants based onserotonin as a possible cure for autism. They are believed to block the spread of the substance in the neurons of the brain. However, in several studies, antidepressants like fluoxetine (Prozac) have been shown to be ineffective in reducing the manifestations of autism.

Prozac is widely used in the USA

Side effects of antidepressants

According to scientists from the American state of Illinois,the main side effects are observed not when taking antidepressants (only if we are not talking about an overdose), but when they are canceled. When people stop taking antidepressants, people can experience headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms.

The problem with antidepressants is that they highly addictive, which many doctors do not even warn patients about.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1999, about 7.7% of Americans over the age of 13 were taking daily medications for depression. Antidepressants today receives 12.7% of the population every day country.

Therefore, among doctors there are many supportersnon-drug treatments for depression, from therapy with psychologists to natural treatments. For example, sometimes it is enough for patients to change their diet: add more fish, chocolate and dairy products to the menu, giving up fast food and fatty foods.