By Ian Goodwin on November 22, 2011
Updated on September 5, 2012
Depression is an increasingly common problem for millions of Americans of all ages. Because it is so serious and can even be life threatening if not treated properly, an entire class of medications has been developed to treat the mental illness. There are five drugs that are the top five prescribed ones for people suffering from this debilitating condition of depression.
Zoloft and Lexapro are the most powerful of the newer generation of depression medications. Zoloft proves to be an SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, antidepressant. It has a proactive impact on the body through boosting your serotonin levels. This medicine is commonly given to adults who possess from minor to medium levels of symptoms related to depression. Lexapro and Zoloft were both tested in a study that found that patients had the fewest severe side effects versus the other depression drugs. This same study decided that they were both best choices for serious depression as well. Both have the most infrequent levels of side effects like weight gain, insomnia, and agitation.
Another commonly prescribed anti-depression drug is Prozac. Like with Zoloft, it is an SSRI. Prozac has another benefit that the other depression drugs can not boast. It is the one and only SSRI that the FDA has given approval for children as little as seven years old to take. Prozac is therefore deemed to be a very safe prescribed depression medication.
Wellbutrin battles depression in a different manner altogether. It fights it by impacting the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the body. Wellbutrin also finds use in occasionally treating those victims of either ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or SAD, similarly called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Wellbutrin is therefore perhaps the most useful of the major five prescribed depression drugs for treating related and different conditions to depression.
Cymbalta also works differently than the other top four prescribed depression drugs. It is an SSNRI, standing for a selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It works on the body's levels of norepinephrine and serotonin. Cymbalta is never used to treat children. It is most commonly utilized to help out adults who are the victims of major depression.