What is the best antidepressant for young adults? (3 common options) 

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “What is the best antidepressant for young adults?”. Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed medications nowadays, because of the widespread depression and other mental health conditions. 

However, the use of antidepressants in young adults and teenagers is not as similar as the use of these meds in adults. The younger population is more susceptible to side effects and proper use should be a prime concern. 

This blog will cover all there is to know about the best choice of antidepressant for young adults. 

What is the best antidepressant for young adults?

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The best antidepressants for young adults are:

  • Sertraline
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine. 

All of these antidepressants belong to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The use of antidepressants in young adults and teenagers is not something that should be promoted. 

Several research studies have suggested that antidepressants do not work in the younger population as well as they work in adults. There are a number of complications that can arise from the use of these meds in young adults. 

This is why the use of antidepressants should be limited in such a population and should only be considered an option when there is no other way around. Depression is not the only mental health condition for which these meds are used. 

Young adults and teenagers can suffer from other mental health conditions, like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), etc. 

These mental health conditions may make it absolutely necessary for a young adult to take antidepressants. However, if there is any chance to avoid the use of antidepressants or any other behavioural therapy that can be helpful, you should take that chance. 

The use of antidepressants is no joke. For the particular drugs that we talked about, let’s take a look at how they actually work. Sertraline, Escitalopram, and Fluoxetine are SSRIs that work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). 

This way, more serotonin is available to bind to its respective receptors. Serotonin is an excitatory monoamine neurotransmitter which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

This excess amount of serotonin helps control your symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and several other mental health conditions. However, the use of antidepressants comes with a number of complications. These meds can be used 

What are the side effects associated with the use of SSRIs in young adults? 

SSRIs, including Sertraline, Escitalopram, and Fluoxetine can cause a number of side effects in young adults. These include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Excessive sweating or night sweating (nocturnal/night hyperhidrosis) 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst
  • Tremors 
  • Muscle twitching and pain
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Excessive tiredness or fatigue 
  • Insomnia or inability to fall asleep 
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Dysmenorrhea or heavy periods
  • Flu-like symptoms, including irritation in eyes and runny nose
  • Loss of libido in both males and females. Males may suffer from inability to ejaculate, while females may suffer from inability to have an orgasm. 

SSRIs are also associated with some serious side effects, which may include:

  • Allergic reactions associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations 
  • Nose bleeds
  • Severe headache
  • Arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeats
  • Impaired memory and concentration 
  • Convulsions 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.

These side effects can vary from person to person. However, once your body becomes adjusted to them, they slowly begin to subside. The use of antidepressants becomes necessary in some cases, especially when the doctor sees no other way around. 

These meds can be used for the treatment and management of OCD. OCD is one of the most disturbing mental health conditions, especially if the disease is not treated properly. OCD at first may seem like the repetition of some actions, like continuously washing your hands, making your bed, cleaning your house, etc. 

However, it goes far beyond that. As OCD progresses, the most difficult thing people go through is intrusive thoughts, which can become quite problematic for young adults. These meds balance the chemical disturbances in your mind that are linked with OCD. 

If we mainly talk about Sertraline, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management and treatment of OCD. PTSD is another condition treated by SSRIs in young adults. This condition is also far more difficult than it may seem. 

People may call it just the grief of something bad that once happened to you, but PTSD is much more than that. As the disease progresses, people suffer from panic attacks and blackouts. Their blood pressure may rise incredibly high, which can increase the chances of having a stroke. 

This condition is actively managed by SSRIs and some people have called these drugs life-saving drugs. However, it is important to get your PTSD properly diagnosed. 

I always recommend people seek help because releasing that negative energy through therapy may seem uncomfortable at first, but it is better than your mind exploding like a bomb. The aftermath of that explosion can make your life a living hell.

As far as the antidepressant is concerned, the kind of symptoms you are having is the biggest key to determining the best possible antidepressant for you. As stated earlier, depression causes different symptoms in everyone. These symptoms decide the best possible antidepressant for you. 

This is exactly why you should monitor your symptoms properly and write them down in your journal so that you won’t forget to mention them to your doctor. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the medication based on your symptoms. 

This is why you should properly let them know what you’re actually suffering from and how frequently. Again remember, do not miss anything out, no matter how minor. 

What are the important warnings associated with the use of antidepressants in young adults? 

The use of antidepressants in young adults is associated with a number of warnings, especially SSRIs. These meds actually come with a black-box warning, issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that SSRIs tend to induce suicidal behaviour in users younger than 24 years of age. 

This complication has been observed in a huge number of cases. Young adults may start to act differently. You may begin to notice extreme sadness and behavioural changes in this population. You should definitely keep a close eye on such people. 

If they seem suitable or they say things that show hopelessness, make sure you consult your healthcare provider as soon as you can. Another problem with antidepressants and young adults is that you can’t make them take these meds forever. 

There comes a time when the course of their treatment should end. That’s when another problem begins. It is a known fact that antidepressants are associated with disturbing symptoms upon abrupt withdrawal. 

This is why the entire process of antidepressant discontinuation is a big challenge for young adults and teenagers, especially after long-term use. Make sure you do not stop these medications abruptly. The best way to stop antidepressants is to taper off your dose gradually. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the use of antidepressants in young adults. Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed medications nowadays, because of the widespread depression and other mental health conditions. 

However, the use of antidepressants in young adults and teenagers is not as similar as the use of these meds in adults. Younger population is more susceptible to side effects and proper use should be a prime concern. 

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants for this population are Sertraline, Escitalopram, and Fluoxetine. The use of antidepressants should be limited in such a population and should only be considered an option when there is no other way around it. Depression is not the only mental health condition for which these meds are used. 

FAQs: Best antidepressant for young adults

Should young adults take antidepressants?

Yes, young adults can take antidepressants, but they should only be prescribed if it is absolutely necessary to take these meds and there is literally no other way around it. Young adults and teenagers can suffer from other mental health conditions, like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), etc. These mental health conditions may make it absolutely necessary for a young adult to take antidepressants.

What is the number 1 prescribed antidepressant?

Zoloft is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant, almost in the entire world. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). Zoloft is generally well tolerated and it has changed many lives, but it may cause serious side effects in some individuals. Make sure you ask your healthcare provider before using Zoloft. 

What medication is used for teenage depression?

Sertraline, Escitalopram, and Fluoxetine are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants for the treatment of teenage depression. These meds are actually approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used in teenagers, but only if absolutely necessary. The use of antidepressants should be limited in such a population and should only be considered an option when there is no other way around it. Depression is not the only mental health condition for which these meds are used. 

What’s the safest antidepressant?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are one of the safest and most well-tolerated antidepressants in the entire world. Even in the case of major depressive disorder, some doctors prescribe two SSRIs in combination, mostly Sertraline and Escitalopram, to help relieve the disturbing symptoms associated with persistent depression. SSRIs inhibit serotonin reuptake by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT).

How do I know which antidepressant is best for me?

Determining the right antidepressant for you is not that easy and simple to do. There are seven to eight major classes of antidepressants and they all have a couple of antidepressants in them. 

Choosing the right one is crucial to managing your mental health condition as not every single antidepressant will do wonders for you. Make sure you should remain in touch with your healthcare provider to ensure the safe and effective treatment of your depression. 

References 

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