Psychopharmacological drugs and medications

There have been extensive studies on psychopharmacological drugs and medications most especially aligned with its efficacy in treating GAD and also selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Although there are already many cases wherein each of the sub-types of psychopharmacological treatments shows some improvements in the state of a patient’s mind, there are also poor cases and results on the other hand. This is why there are still inconvenient situations especially for medical professionals and health care providers since the results of using psychopharmacologic drugs are based on a case-to-case basis.

Publications about how psychopharmacology performs in the medical arena are rampant. Most of these published reports either compare and contrast or support and discourage the use of these medications. And coincidentally, many of these studies indicate almost the same results, as well as recommendations as to what should be done in order to make a final stand about the efficacy of psychopharmacological treatments. Antidepressant drugs are the core for the treatment of GAD, usually given together with supportive psychotherapy.

However, there is growing evidence that the combination of antidepressant treatment and psychotherapy may generate far better results than either treatment alone, especially for more severe and recurrent GAD. Over the past decade, tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine or desipramine have been replaced by serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants as immediate medications, generally because of these are more tolerable and safer than the older drugs.

Several theories have been proposed to explain the mechanism behind the 6-week time lag for the onset of the therapeutic effect of antidepressants on a patient diagnosed with depression. It is thus interesting to note that the adverse side-effects of a medication appear first before the actual pharmacological effects of the drug are observed in a patient. The side-effects generally arise as the effects of antidepressants on early synapsis and the therapeutic effects eventually result from adaptive mechanisms such as desensitization and down-regulation of certain receptors.

Another psychological drug being administered is the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO). MAO has been effective as anti-depressant, yet its use has been restricted because of also results in hypertension, especially to those following dietary regimen containing tyramine. MAOs have been efficient in the treatment of avoidance and reexperiencing symptoms regardless of its ineffectivity in situations with hyperarousal. Anti-adrenergic agents are employed in pharmacotherapy because they are helpful in lessening nightmares, hypervigilance and startled responses to stimuli.

The administration of this drug also affects the blood pressure of a patient. Mood stabilizers and anti-convulsants are becoming widely used in treating GAD. Based on clinical studies, most patients responded well to the GAD scale after taking this course of treatment. It was observed that these mood stabilizers and anti-convulsants such as Lamotrigine, treats the numbing sensations of GAD patients and also their hyper-arousal and experiencing of nightmares.

After the use of medications and psychopharmacological drugs, psychotherapy should take place because during this time, the patient is already aware of himself, thus making psychotherapy more effective and serious. The aim of psychotherapy is to target and let the patient get over the feeling of self-defeat and helplessness. This may be done through reexamining the traumatic situation, educating the patient about the disorder he is having and improving the patient’s ability to cope with what is happening through several techniques which have been proven by extensive studies.

References Hyman SE and Rudorfer MV (2000): Anxiety disorders. In: Dale DC, Federman DD, eds. Sci. Amer. Med. Vol. 3. New York: Healtheon/WebMD Corp. , Section 13, Subsection VII. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O and Walters EE (2005): Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 62(6):617–627. Kushner MG, Sher KJ and Beitman BD (1990): The relation between alcohol problems and the anxiety disorders. Am. J. Psychiat. 147(6):685–695.

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