When listening to a debate or conversation about mental health issues, one can’t ignore the treatment options using psychotropic medications available to those who seek help. There are so many psychotropic medications available for all the different mental health issues. A psychotropic medication (#psychotropic) is simply psychiatric medicines that alter chemical levels in the brain that impact mood and behavior. These psychotropic drugs fall into various classifications which include antipsychotics, antidepressants, ADHD drugs, anti anxiety medications and mood stabilizers.
Before I get to the list, I am going to give a small introduction into what these groups do. Let’s begin with the antipsychotics drugs which block dopamine receptors in the brain. The intent is to treat patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism by treating symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Next up are antidepressants that are used to treat the symptoms of depression. The various types of antidepressants work on serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain to change mood and behavior.
Next are the ADHD drugs which are mostly used to treat hyperactivity, impulsivity and difficulty paying attention and controlling behavior in children. They tend to stimulate dopamine levels in the brain to improve pleasure, movement, and attention. Then there are anti anxiety medications for the treatment of , you guessed it, anxiety by targeting certain receptors in the brain. There are five main types of anxiety disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety disorder, and PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The final groups are mood stabilizers mainly used for treating bipolar disorder or manic depression.
Lets begin with the list of psychotropic medications in a random order:
Valium which is also known as diazepam is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seizures, trouble sleeping, restless leg syndrome and muscle spasms. This drug produces a calming effect since it is in the benzodiapezine family of drugs. There is a high probability of addiction when using Valium (#Valium) especially over long-term use.
Xanax which is known as alprazolam is also in the benzodiapezine family of drugs. Xanax (#Xanax) is fast acting and used to treat panic disorders, anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder and nausea due to chemotherapy. This drug has similar addiction properties to Valium with harsher withdrawal symptoms.
Ketamine is making a comeback as both a prescription and in the illegal form. Ketamine (#Ketamine) is a synthetic drug originally used as an anesthesia where normal anesthesia is not available. It is mostly used in animal care since modern medicine has other anesthesias readily available. Ketamine became popular as a recreational drug, due to its out-of-body, near-death experiences and has addictive properties similar to opioids. This drug acts as a mood stabilizer and anti-depressant.
Adderall is a psychotropic combination drug of two types of amphetamines. This drug acts as a stimulant and is used to treat ADHD (#Adderall) as well as narcolepsy. Adderall is a drug of choice by athletes due to increased stamina, strength, endurance , increased cognitive function such as memory and on occasion as an aphrodisiac. It is a banned substance in all major and college sports.
Prozac (#Prozac) which is known as fluoxetine is a drug from a group called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Prozac is used for the treatment of major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorders. There is controversy surrounding this drug since there is a high occurrence of suicides when attempting to use it for treating depression.
Ritalin (#Ritalin) is also a psychotropic drug known as methylphenidate which is a central nervous stimulant. It is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Ritalin prevents the brain from quickly absorbing the neurotransmitter chemicals so it fools the brain into thinking that it needs more. By having more neural activity, it produces such effects as increasing or maintaining alertness, combating fatigue, and improving attention.
Zoloft (#Zoloft) which is known as Sertraline is SSRI anti-depressant that regulates your neurotransmitter function in your brain. It adds the chemicals necessary to give you the sense of happiness and exuberance. Patients have found that taking Zoloft has a weight loss side effect but also addictive properties when used long term..
Effexor (#Effexor) is an antidepressant of the serotonin-norepinehrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class. The drug works by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinehrine in the brain. Effexor has been approved to treat Generalized Anxiety disorder (excessive, uncontrollable and irrational worry), Social Anxiety Disorder (intense fear of social situation)and Panic Disorder (intense episodes of anxiety during panic attacks). Drawback to using this drug are the link to birth defects.
Lithium is unique in the sense that it is a chemical element belonging to the alkali metal group. It turns out tiny amounts of Lithium (#Lithium) are present in all forms of life. Lithium in combination with salts has been found to be useful as a mood stabilizing drug as well as a bipolar medication. It turns out that the ion form of this drug has positive neurological effects.
Celexa (#Celexa)which is known as citalopram is a SSRI class used for the treatment of depression, depressive episodes, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. It has been known to be a mild anti-histamine which gives that sedative feeling. Like other SSRI antidepressants, a higher risk of suicidal tendencies have been known to occur.
Have you used any of the medications recently?