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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Evolution of Antidepressants

Antidepressants are special medicines which are able to reduce or to stop depression at all. Before the appearance of antidepressants for the treatment of depressions, there were widely used substances, operating excitingly on a person and caused a state of euphoria (opium and other opiates, caffeine, ginseng). Valerian and bromine salts were used for reduction of anxiety and irritability. But the true revolution in psychopharmacology was the invention of antidepressants in the 50s. Since then, these medications have been the main agents for depression. In spite of the fact that antidepressants have gained popularity recently, they have the “myths of creation” already.

Antidepressants were invented in 1957 absolutely by accident when physicians noticed the action of a drug, called Iproniazid that was used in the multimodality therapy of tuberculosis. Except for the basic application of the medication, there was also oticed a side effect which was revealed in an unusual improvement of mood in people, suffering from tuberculosis. After a while, this medication started to be applied for the reduction of depression symptoms as it was not approved for the treatment of tuberculosis.

One more opinion concludes that this medication was discovered by Nathan Klein when he wished to prove the theory on the location of "ego" by means of this drug. Then, in Germany Imipramine was discovered by Ronald Kun. Ronald Kun prescribed different medications to patients with the purpose of defining a global classification of mental diseases according to their reaction, which German psychiatrists of that time were fixed on. The drug was used as a medication for depression when patients' mood started to improve.

When the first antidepressants were discovered, nobody could even think that later they can replace other ways to treat depression.

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