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Augmentors Can Make Depression Medications Work Better

When treating depression with antidepressants all health care providers will usually follow similar steps. They begin by trying the most successful medications first and if they do not work then they continue on down the line. The patient will try one medication for a few weeks seeing how they adjust to it and if it helps them. Sometimes they discover a medication that seems to work but not enough to control the depression. The drugs help lift the depression somewhat but not enough for the patient to feel healthy and ready to get back to their lives. If this is the case then what is commonly done by health care providers is to use an augmentor medication that will help to make the first medicine work better. It is the combination of medications that give the patient what they need to cope with the episode of depression that they are dealing with.


The most common augmentor medications are tryptophan and buspirone. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and buspirone is a serotonin receptor, so they each have their place in helping to augment the other medications.


But there are many others that can be used as well. Sometimes the answer to what will help augment the antidepressant has more to do with what the side effects of a drug are than what the drug itself can do. This is the case with tranquillizers and sedatives. These are used to help a patient sleep or to relieve anxiety when the antidepressant is unable to. One of the side effects of these kinds of medications is sleepiness and so they help to relax the patient; hopefully enough to get a good night's sleep. These particular medications are very addictive in their nature and so are never prescribed for long periods of time.


Other types of medications used as augmentors to help depression are antipsychotic. They are actually mood stabilizers. There is come controversy regarding the use of these medications as they have some potential side effects. But they are known to be successful in augmenting the antidepressants. This creates a problem for both patient and physician. They can shift the concentration of an antidepressant and make it higher in the blood and so up the amount of medication that can help the patient without having to up the dosage. Or they are also known to alleviate feelings of paranoia or psychotic symptoms. Both of which can go a long way to help the depressive. But it comes back once again to side effects. These can include dizziness, vision problems, and weight gain or muscle spasms. Therefore the need must be weighed against these side effects.


Anticonvulsants also have some positive effects as augmentors. They are often successful mood stabilizers and work best with those whose depression is rooted in bipolar disorder. Lithium also is a successful augmentor, but again has better results with bipolar sufferers. Only time will tell which combination is the best for an individual but at least there are options.
 

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