The best and safest antidepressants available

Written by travis ames
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The best and safest antidepressants available
Pills won't make you happy unless they are suitable to your condition. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed by doctors to combat depression or mood disorders. As with all medication, there is a risk for side effects depending upon the dosage and the reaction from your body. There are antidepressants that are safe as long as they are used within the boundaries described by your doctor. Before taking antidepressants, be sure to confirm with your doctor the recommended dosage. If you feel any type of side effects, either physical or mental, consult your physician.

Prozac (Fluoxetine)

Prozac is prescribed primarily for sufferers of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic attacks. It is called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSI) due to its ability to increase the serotonin, allowing the user to function without depressive mood swings.

There are different forms of Prozac. It may come in a capsule, tablet, delayed release capsule and liquid form. Users may take it with or without food, but it is recommended that food be taken with Prozac. Doctors may prescribe a lower dose initially to see how the patient reacts to the medication. Allow for 4 to 5 weeks before results will begin to become apparent.

Prozac is one of four antidepressants that pilots may take without being banned from flying. Its minimal side effects have let it to be named by Consumer Reports as one of the best antidepressants with a success rate of 55 to 70 per cent and a side effect rate of 7 to 14 per cent. It is also the only antidepressant recommended for teenagers.

Paxil (Paroxetine)

Used primarily to treat depression, Paxil is also used for panic disorders, social anxiety disorder (SAD) and OCD. Available in liquid and tablet form, Paxil is to be taken one a day with food. It is recommended that the user take Paxil at the same time daily for best results.

Your doctor should begin your medication at a lower dose. Doctors will increase their patients' dosage of Paxil as the treatment continues. It may take several weeks for you to feel the positive effects of Paxil. Consult your doctor on how you are feeling during each visit and do not rush to increase the size of your regular dosage.

Paxil has a success rate of 55 to 70 per cent with a 7 to 16 per cent rate of discontinuation due to side effects. As of 2007 it was in the top five most prescribed antidepressants in the country.

Zoloft (Sertraline)

Like Prozac, Zoloft is an SSI designed to increase serotonin in the brain. It is used as a treatment for depression, OCD, panic attacks, SAD and post traumatic stress syndrome. On occasion it can be used to treat headaches and sexual problems.

Zoloft is available in tablet and liquid form. It should be taken daily and is recommended by doctors to be taken during the morning hours. Results will vary from person to person and may not be seen for several weeks of treatment. For best results, be up front with your physician about how your body is reacting to the medication.

Like Prozac, Zoloft is one of four antidepressants allowed for pilots to take without losing their right to fly. It has a 55 to 70 per cent success rate with a discontinuation rate of 7 to 14 per cent.

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