New Juggernaut Emerging in Depression Treatment

People with severe depression have it rough. Depression prevents you from being proactive about your condition, doing things you know you should be to overcome the disease: exercising and eating right. And when you try medical help, drugs often do not work, do not work well, cause bad side effects (like weight gain), make the depression worse, and/or build tolerance quickly.

For this reason, nearly half of people with depression feel like they cannot find a successful medical solution.

Whenever a new drug comes out, there is always excitement – and concerns. This time, however, a well-known drug with a world-class reputation is creating a lot of buzz.

How good is this news? Find out below.

Many Depressive Conditions Do Not Respond to Treatment


Short for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, SSRIs control the amount of serotonin in your body. They have side effects like:

– Weight gain – Fatigue – Dizziness – Headache – Nausea/Vomiting – Apathy – Drowsiness – Tremors – Suicidal thoughts – Sleep disruption – Inability to experience pleasure – Sexual dysfunction

Well-known SSRIs used for treatment of depression include:

– Zoloft (sertraline) – Paxil (paroxetine) – Prozac (fluoxetine) – Seroplex (escitalopram) – Celexa (citalopram)

Tricyclic Antidepressants

These are one of the oldest classes of drug still used to treat depression. Newer drugs have largely replaced them because of fairly severe side effects, but are still used in special situations.

Common side effects include:

– Dry mouth – Dry nose – Blurry vision – Constipation – Cognitive/Memory impairment – Fever – Confusion – Dizziness – Drowsiness – Anxiety – Emotional blunting – Sexual dysfunction – Asendin Weight gain – Restlessness – And many more!

Examples sometimes still used today are:

– Elavil – Sinequan – Tofranil – Pamelor – Surmontil

MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors)

When SSRIs and Tricyclic antidepressants fail, MAOIs are often called in. They are better at treating atypical depression, but are dangerous. They have bad withdrawal symptoms and very grave side effects. They are potentially lethal. Many psychiatrists will not prescribe these because of the risks. Instead, they turn to off-label treatments.

Many naturally occurring substances in the body (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) and reuptake inhibitors and releasers may cause MAOIs to spike dangerously.

Why an alternative is needed

These drugs do not respond to many cases of depression. Furthermore, people often experience horrible side effects, are made worse, or develop addictions. Even when the drugs work, patients can only stay on them for so long because of the tolerance that is built, long-term harm done, and the awful withdrawal symptoms.

Sometimes doctors turn to off-label drugs. Some examples are narcotics, Ritalin, benzodiazepines, and Tramadol.

The Promise of Tramadol

This is a popular off-label treatment already because of a wealth of evidence that it really works for many cases of depression, even the severe kind that do not respond to other treatments. There are several properties that make it an ideal drug for depression treatment, and ongoing studies are turning up positive results.


– Serotonin releasing agent – Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor – NMDA receptor antagonist – TRPV1 receptor agonist – And many more


So far, trials have shown that Tramadol provides immediate relief in 100{abffe3e1318a9624791ae4064333f2f75374704dc13d09152fd440b16c9e1c0c} of severe refractory depression cases. It is less addictive than other alternatives, and while you can build tolerance, you can quit for a few days and then start again anew.