So, Antidepressant Drugs have Serious Adverse Effects, but what are the Alternatives?

Amira Mohammed Ali
2018 Novel Approaches in Drug Designing & Development  
Pharmacological treatments of depression underwent several refinements; relatively more effective ones exist nowadays. Nonetheless, dissatisfaction with depression treatments is widespread because of the poor response and resistance that is encountered by about 33% of patients. Further, concerns are raised regarding the disabling negative adverse effects of these medications (carcinogenic, cardiotoxic, diabetogenic, etc.). A search for safer and more effective treatments is highly encouraged.
more » ... ighly encouraged. Methods: This article reviews the most relevant studies that describe adverse effects of antidepressant drugs; it also briefly explores the literature for recent reports on alternative avenues for the treatment of depression. When possible, the mechanisms underlying the addressed adverse effects and alternative treatments were detailed. Results: All antidepressants can cause adverse effects, but SSRIs are reported to have less adverse effects in relation to TCAs and MAOIs. Furthermore, antidepressants' contribution to oxidative stress, inflammation, and cytotoxicity increase the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases in some patients. Available natural alternatives are limited and understudied to some extent. However, Omega-3 fatty acids, herbal plants, flavonoids, bee honey, probiotics, and dietary modifications seem promising approaches that can be used alone, combined with each other, or even combined with SSRIs to enhance their therapeutic effect and overcome the drug-related adverse effects. Highlight i. The use of antidepressant drugs has increased recently. ii. Drug resistance prevails in around one third of the depressed patients. iii. Neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction are common among depressed patients despite of receiving treatment. iv. The adverse effects of antidepressant drugs range from minor symptoms that cause discomfort e.g., dryness of mouth to serious physical problems such as increased blood pressure and severe bleeding. v. Antidepressant drugs contribute to colontoxicity, which reduces the production of neurotransmitters and increases microbiota related neurotoxicity. vi. Tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation and in turn worsen the prognosis of depression and contribute to physical health problems. Promising alternatives to antidepressants include omega-3 fatty acids, herbal plants, flavonoids, bee honey, probiotics, and dietary modifications. fatigue, poor concentration; feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt, and frequent suicidal ideation [1] . It results from the interaction of several pathological pathways that include genetic tendencies, intrauterine environmental factors, neurotransmitter disturbances, chronic inflammation, oxidative and nitrosative stress, gut-brain axis interactions, and environmental factors such as stress and diet [2, 3] .
doi:10.19080/napdd.2018.04.555636 fatcat:w2n63gcnandwdppvzgj7lbz4yy