9-13. PRECAUTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF ANTIDEPRESSANT
Although the antidepressant agents are safe for patient use, there are some
precautions associated with their use:
a. Antidepressants should be used cautiously with patients who are hyperactive
b. Antidepressants should be used cautiously with the elderly, with patients
who have glaucoma, and with patients who have hypertension (high blood pressure).
c. Antidepressants may interact with other types of drugs. For example,
references should be consulted to determine if any interaction could occur between a
particular antidepressant and a drug a patient is taking to control high blood pressure,
since some antidepressants partially block the action of some antihypertensive drugs.
In addition, the action of some drugs (that is, the barbiturates) is increased in duration
when they are administered to patients who are taking certain antidepressant agents.
9-14. SPECIFIC ANTIDEPRESSANT AGENTS
Immediately following is a discussion of several antidepressant agents. By no
means is the listing below complete in terms of the number of agents available to the
physician. Further, no attempt has been made to provide an in-depth discussion of
each individual agent. If you desire additional information about any of the agents
discussed below, you should consult a pharmacology reference (for example, AMA
(1) Uses. Fluoxetine belongs to a class of antidepressants called Selective
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are usually regarded as the treatment of
choice for depression due to fewer side effects and a better safety profile than older
agents. Fluoxetine is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. The Serafem
product is approved for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Adverse effects. Fluoxetine may produce the following adverse effects:
Miscellaneous effects (that is, sexual dysfunction).
Central nervous system effects (for example, agitation and
Gastrointestinal effects (that is, nausea and diarrhea).