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Advances in the pharmacotherapy of depression by new antidepressants

, : Advances in the pharmacotherapy of depression by new antidepressants. Fortschritte der Neurologie Psychiatrie 68(1): 17-24, Jan

During the last decade several new agents have been introduced in the treatment of depressive disorders. In comparison to classical tricyclic antidepressants, these agents have less side effects and a very low toxicity. Selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake do not produce sedation; however, in the initial phase of treatment this is not always an advantage. In contrast, receptor antagonists, such as mirtazapin and nefazodone have moderate sleep-inducing properties. Selective agents are also characterized by certain pharmacologic interactions which can lead to considerable inhibition of the metabolism of other drugs. Classical antidepressants still play an important role in the treatment of severe depressive episodes. Different synaptic effects of new antidepressants lead to an increased availability of monoaminergic neurotransmitters. The article summarizes the most important neurobiological consequences of these acute synaptic effects which might be more closely associated with neurobiological correlates of depression. The authors conclude about the advantages and disadvantages of the different classes of antidepressants from a clinical point of view.


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