Antidepressant, SSRI: A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), one of the commonly prescribed drugs for treating depression.
SSRIs affect the chemicals that nerves in the brain use to send messages to one another. These chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, are released by one nerve and taken up by other nerves. Neurotransmitters that are not taken up by other nerves are taken up by the same nerves that released them. This process is termed “reuptake.” SSRIs work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, an action which allows more serotonin to be available to be taken up by other nerves.
The most commonly prescribed SSRIs as of 1999 were paroxetine (brandname Paxil), fluoxetine (brandname Prozac) and sertraline (brandname Zoloft).
All three of these SSRIs appear equally efficacious, according to a 1999 study. The rate of patients switching from one class of drugs to another did not differ among the drug classes studied and there was no significant difference in the proportion of patients who switched from an SSRI to another SSRI (or another type of antidepressant), regardless of whether paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft) was the initial therapy. These three SSRIs therefore are “equivalent in their effectiveness” but they “…are not interchangeable, because patients who discontinue one SSRI for lack of tolerability or response can generally be treated effectively with another.” (Reference: J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60:574-579.)
- Antidepressant, tricyclic
Antidepressant, tricyclic: One of a class of medications used to treat depression. The tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are also used for some forms of anxiety, fibromyalgia, and the control of chronic pain. “Tricyclic” refers to the presence of three rings in the chemical structure of these drugs.
- Antidiabetic agent
Antidiabetic agent: A substance that helps a person with diabetes control their level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Antidiabetic agents include insulin and the oral hypoglycemic agents.
Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression. The available antidepressant drugs include the SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, MAOIs or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, tetracyclic antidepressants, and others. Examples of SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors include: citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil) escitalopram oxalate (Cipralex, Lexapro) fluvoxamine maleate (Luvox) paroxetine […]
- Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH): A relatively small (peptide) molecule that is released by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain after being made nearby (in the hypothalamus). ADH has an antidiuretic action that prevents the production of dilute urine (and so is antidiuretic). A syndrome of inappropriate secretion of ADH results in the inability […]
Antielastase: An inhibitor of the action of the enzyme elastase. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is an antielastase. Also called an elastase inhibitor.