Why Am I Still Waiting for my Antidepressants to Work?

Image result for depression

I recall questioning my psychiatrist many times when he prescribed a new antidepressant and feeling nil results. His quick answer, “be patient“, and with that, I’d roll my eyes thinking, ‘yeah, you’re not the one with depression’.

Depression is a mental illness that affects how a person feels, thinks and handles daily activities. Antidepressants are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of depression and help the brain process and use certain chemicals that regulate mood or stress. Unfortunately, existing medications usually require two to four weeks of use before patients respond.

In a recent Paper of the Week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Mark M. Rasenick and his team at the University of Illinois at Chicago describe why antidepressants have a delayed impact.

One consistent finding in the brain and some peripheral cells of patients who suffer depression is depletion of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cAMP. cAMP is a second messenger. Regular antidepressant treatment activates signaling pathways to cause an increase in accumulation of cAMP and transcription of cAMP-regulated genes, which include genes for neurotransmitters and growth factors, to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Antidepressants work to increase the brain’s concentrations of various neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline and serotonin. Researchers suggest that the antidepressants’ effects may be mediated through induction of the system that generates cAMP. But they need to understand why there is a delay in the clinical efficacy of antidepressant action.

25 Worthy Depression Quotes:

Rasenick and his team used glioma cells that lacked the monoamine transport proteins, including serotonin reuptake transport proteins, which are one of the binding sites for many antidepressants. They demonstrated that in the absence of SERT, antidepressants accumulate gradually in the plasma membrane microdomains of glioma cells. Next, Rasenick and colleagues showed that a sustained treatment with an antidepressant drug called escitalopram, better known by brand names of Lexapro and Cipralex, translocated the G-protein Gαs from lipid rafts.

Lipid rafts are specialized regions of the plasma membrane that have been shown to inhibit the cAMP-generating cascade. Gαs went from lipid rafts to nonraft regions of the plasma membrane in the glioma cells, which enhanced its signaling ability.

Article source: ScienceDaily.com

See other interesting articles from Science Daily:

Pupil response to negative facial expressions predicts risk for depression relapse

Fatigue in patients with heart failure may reduce hospital stays, mortality

Originally on my blog niume.com (Deb-Living in Stigma)

6 thoughts on “Why Am I Still Waiting for my Antidepressants to Work?

  1. blackbirdandsunflower says:

    YES. This is so important. So many people do not understand what antidepressants actually do–I just wrote a post centered on debunking some of the misconceptions about SSRIs. So crucial to educate sufferers of depression about this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lipstick On The Pig says:

    My psychiatrist had a new test performed on me where they test through the saliva, and how you metabolize each type of medication. Through this we were able to see why I failed 9 other antidepressants and found the one I’m on now that’s working beautifully. I can find the information if you’re interested. It’s not cheap, insurance doesn’t cover just yet, but somehow I only paid $99. I noticed a change within 1 week and it was fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

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