(2) Adverse effects. The most common adverse effects include dizziness,
nausea, and headache.
(3) Cautions and warnings. Although buspirone does not produce
significant drowsiness, patients should be cautioned about driving or operating
machinery until they are certain that this drug does not affect them adversely.
NOTE: Antidepressants, which are discussed in the next section, are becoming the
agents of choice for anxiety disorders.
Section III. ANTIDEPRESSANT AGENTS
9-10. INTRODUCTION TO ANTIDEPRESSANT AGENTS
Depression is a frequently occurring psychiatric disorder. Patients with medical
and surgical conditions frequently have signs and symptoms associated with
depression. People who are depressed usually have low moods, decreased physical
activity and mental alertness, decreased appetite, abnormal sleep patterns, and morbid
preoccupations. Depression can be of rapid or slow onset. For example, a soldier who
has been denied leave might display several signs of depression. This type of
depression could be of rapid onset.
9-11. INDICATIONS FOR ANTIDEPRESSANT AGENTS
a. Most people undergo changes in mood. You can probably remember when
you have been "up" (that is, right before a three-day weekend) and when you have been
"down" (that is, right after a three-day weekend). Physicians have found antidepressant
agents to be useful in the treatment of depression, which is not time limited and causes
the patient social and economic difficulties.
b. Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the body, by stress,
and by situations in the environment. It has been found that psychotherapy, reduction
of stress, and improvement in the environment can be successful in treating some types
of depression. However, in depression that results from chemical imbalances in the
body, these types of treatment have not proven to be very effective.
9-12. EFFECTS OF ANTIDEPRESSANT AGENTS
Antidepressant agents elevate mood, increase physical activity and mental
alertness, improve appetite and sleep patterns, and reduce morbid preoccupations.
These effects are not seen immediately upon beginning antidepressant therapy.
Instead, one to four weeks may pass before the patient shows any signs of
improvement in the depression. This period is called the therapeutic lag period.