The most widely prescribed anti
depressant are the tricyclics and the
tetracyclics. By and large, they have
four main effects: they produce relatively rapid
relaxation, elevate mood, improve appetite and
improve the quality of sleep (so that hypnotics
can often be avoided).
In certain instances, tricyclics
can most usefully be combined with a
phenothiazine such as trifluoperazine especially
when concentration is impaired. These
drugs should not be taken when under treatment
for high blood pressure or heart complaints.
They should also be avoided in certain eye and
urinary conditions. Side-effects are relatively
few; sluggishness during the first few days and
a dry mouth are common.. There are quite a
number of these is most valuable in the type of
depression that includes an obsession with
something, and one or two affect the heart and
The related compounds, the tetracyclics, do
not cause dryness of mouth or involvement with
It should be
understood that both the tricyclics and
tetracyclics have beneficial qualities too
though in very small doses. Some are powerful
sleep inducers, others are more stimulating.
New preparations continually appear, and
among fairly recent medications are mianserin
hydrochloride, manprotiline, nomifensine,
dothiepin hydrocholode, doxepin and dibenzepin.
Another type of anti depressant is L-tryptophan
which is a natural amono acid. Its use needs to
be continued over a length period.
With all of these, self
medication should be avoided as some
combinations of anti depressants can be