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       Nearly 20% of all Americans suffer from depression. Depression can affect anyone: young, old, rich, poor, male or female. It is a very complex disease. This illness may affect the way you sleep, eat, get along with others and the way you feel about yourself. Many things can factor into the cause of depression, although studies have shown there is not one single cause. Often times the result is a combination of genetics, chemical, environmental, or psychological.

       Depression may run in your family. If someone in your family has depression, there is a greater chance you might develop it as well. Although there has been evidence of depression being hereditary, there is no “depression gene.” In terms of depression being biological, this consists of a chemical imbalance in the brain. The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons. The neurons send and receive messages using neurotransmitters, chemicals in your brain. Neurotransmitters are responsible for our emotions. If not enough of them are available, the messages won’t be communicated correctly.

There are other factors that may increase the chance of developing depression, including:

  1. Abuse: Physical, sexual or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.
  2. Major events: Moving to a new place, losing a job, getting divorced or retiring may all lead to depression. But even good events such as graduating, starting a new job or getting married could also cause depression.
  3. Death: Sadness from the death or loss of a loved one can increase the risk of depression.
  4. Major illness: Being diagnosed with a serious illness or sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness. Depression can also be a side effect for medication to treat the other illness.

Depression’s symptoms come in many forms and will differ from each person. These symptoms will help your doctor diagnose depression:

  1. Overwhelming sense of sadness and irritability
  2. Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  3. Change in appetite resulting in weight loss or gain
  4. Constantly fatigued
  5. Change in sleeping patterns
  6. Loss of sexual interest
  7. Feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness
  8. Suicidal thoughts

Getting treatment

        There are many antidepressants on the market today; Lexapro, Zoloft and Cymbalta are among the most popular medications. Lexapro relieves the symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin with minimal effect on many of the other chemicals in the brain. Antidepressants work toward balancing the chemicals in your brain, but not every drug will work the same on every person.

        EquivaMeds is a prescription drug cost-reduction resource developed by physicians to help your doctor understand your costs and options. We know you are well informed about generics, but often have never heard about same-class equivalents. EquivaMeds helps your doctor understand the one thing he or she doesn’t know about your healthcare: the out-of-pocket cost of your prescription drugs. Like generic drugs, equivalent-class medications can save money for millions of people without reducing the quality of your care.

       Click the following link to visit EquivaMeds to find out how you can save when it comes to your prescription medication.
        The annual sales for antidepressants are around $50 billion and most drug companies use TV or print media to advertise. Patients are heavily influenced by what they see and read when it comes to drugs.

There are 3 types of antidepressants that are widely used today:

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants used to increase the level of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs block the reuptake of serotonin by nerve cells leaving excess serotonin in the brain.
  2. Tricyclic antidepressants, TCAs, increase the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin levels. This balances out the chemicals in the brain, relieving the symptoms of depression.
  3. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) work by keeping the brain’s three neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. After they send messages, a protein in the brain destroys them. The MAOIs keep these neurotransmitters and when they start building up, they boost the mood.

        One of the biggest problems these antidepressants cause is their cost. Zoloft, Lexapro and Cymbalta are much more expensive than the generic versions. Our goal at EquivaMeds is to provide you and your physician with information regarding potential medication alternatives. We understand your physician is the only person with the clinical training and familiarity with your medical history to best determine the next step for your medication. Your doctor will always provide you with the best care at the lowest cost with the right information. EquivaMeds provides the information.

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