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Depression
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Depression

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MENTAL HEALTH

Emotional & Mental Health

For Those Currently Taking Prescription Antidepressants:

If one is successfully being treated with prescription antidepressants, there are no adverse side effects, and the cost is not a prohibitive factor, the first question to ask is, "Why change?" 

We have no good reasons. As we've already discussed, the treatment of depression is as much an art as a science, and where the art and science of medicine have combined to successfully treat an illness, one should interfere only for good reason. 

Those, however, who are currently taking prescription antidepressants and want to switch to hypericum must observe certain safeguards. 
Alas, the medical research on switching from prescription antidepressants to hypericum is virtually nonexistent. From what is known about hypericum and prescription antidepressants, certain guidelines can be established. 

  • Do not stop taking prescription antidepressants without proper medical care. The "rebound effect" of stopping prescription antidepressants too abruptly can be severe. 

  • Do not take hypericum for severe depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) illness. Not enough research has been done on hypericum and these types of depression. As we've said, the vast majority of depressions fall in the mild to moderate range. A depression must be clearly debilitating to be termed severe. Severe depression can include hallucinations and, in some cases, suicide attempts. It may require hospitalization. The physician who prescribed the antidepressants or who is currently monitoring the course of treatment is the best person to determine whether one is severely depressed. 

  • Do not take hypericum while taking mono-amino-oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as Nardil or Parnate. It appears that hypericum works at least in part as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI). Combining an SRI with an MAO inhibitor can produce a dangerous rise in blood pressure. After stopping MAO inhibitors, one should wait four weeks before taking any SRIs -- prescription or hypericum. This caution, however, is not based on specific medical research on hypericum and MAO inhibitors, but on what is known about prescription SRIs and MAO inhibitors. Until further research is done on how and why hypericum works to alleviate the symptoms of depression, hypericum should be considered an SRI and treated accordingly.

 

Depression > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 12:12 AM