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Pharmacological Effects of Anti-Depressant Medications Essay Example

Management of Depression and Nursing Implications

Depression is of common occurrence among people, but it predominantly affects women, especially after giving birth. However, in most cases, the depression is not treated due to ignorance on the part of patients and health providers. The increased cases of depression are attributed to overestimation of the antidepressants’ effectiveness and the nursing impacts the patients are exposed to. Management of depression usually involves administering antidepressants medication in moderate quantities to patients suffering from this illness. With the help of standardized instruments, depression can be screened to ascertain peculiarity of symptoms, family engagement, and monitor the response of a patient to antidepressants. It is important to determine the effectiveness of antidepressants and general nursing implications that will help health providers understand the symptoms of individual patients.

This paper seeks to discuss the pharmacological effects of antidepressant medications in the management of depression. After the accomplishment of this task, the paper will focus on the nursing implications related to antidepressants and symptoms shown by individual patients. Moreover, this paper will vividly analyze the effectiveness of an antidepressant in the treatment of a close relative, contraindications with medications, and other factors. The essay will also analyze the cost of antidepressant medications, benefits and health insurance coverage related to antidepressants. Finally, the pharmacological properties coupled with the actual effects or the potential effects a patient is exposed to will be carefully discussed.

Depression is a low mood disorder, which adversely impacts the normal functioning of the patient’s physiological and psychological condition. A patient’s physical health and quality of life are the most affected aspects since depression results in loss of mood and interest in normal human activities. Such mood change may persist for over two weeks, leading to alteration of previous mental well-being and physical functioning, as well as affecting family responsibilities, daily work attendance and usual duties among others. All these aspects of drastic changes in a patient’s psychological behavior due to depression must be diagnosed to prescribe proper pharmacological antidepressant medication (Davis & Wilde, 1996).

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Cases of depression are common in primary health care management. For instance, in the United States, 54.6% of depression disorders were administered in primary care units with significant support from nurse practitioners. Additionally, the management of antidepressant medication has been emphasized in the primary care units, reducing long-term complications in patients. This strategy has been implemented through early diagnosis and effective antidepressant treatment.

The use of universal depression screening is only allowed when support from the nurse practitioners is guaranteed. The main aim of this method is to achieve a positive outcome of antidepressant medication treatment with the support of clinical evaluations, patient education, and follow-up telephone calls. Therefore, routine support is only recommended for individual depressed patients with the disorder based on depression risk factors. Its implementation also depends on a patient’s self-report, clinical observation, medical comorbidities, as well as stroke, cardiovascular diseases and chronic pain. Similarly, depression history, drug abuse, recent loss, traumatizing and stressing life, major changes in life, and partner violence are also factors escalating depression in patients (Anderson, 1998).

Nursing Implications

Nursing implications refer to the consequences of administering antidepressants to patients in relation to the nursing care practice. Moreover, nursing implications incorporate the activities undertaken by a nurse together with the aspects that should be considered in treatment and care of a depressed patient. Nursing implication ideas are effective in teaching clients concerning all aspects of antidepressant administration.

Implications of antidepressant administration include alteration in mood of the patient, loss of appetite or complete change in eating habits. In most cases, the consumption of antidepressants may lead to uncomfortable digestion process and ultimate constipation in the physiological processes of the patient’s body. Therefore, monitoring the patient’s mood fluctuations, eating habits and cases of constipation belongs to the necessary actions a nurse should take to ensure that the implications of administering antidepressants are considered (Anderson, 1998).

When treating and taking care of a depressed patient, a nurse should examine him to ascertain the positive reactions to the anti-depressant. It is important to consider that depressed patients are prone to side effects just as patients suffering from other ailments. To begin with, a nurse should understand the importance of administering the antidepressant to the patient daily. Moreover, the patient should be aware that the dosage of antidepressants has to be decreased gradually and not ceased abruptly.

Another duty of a nurse is to look after the daily nutrition and analyze the daily weight of the patient to help ascertain the general impacts of clients’ eating habits and weight loss. The nurse should implement all the requirements of monitoring and evaluating a client’s physiological behavior (Davis & Wilde, 1996).

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It is also important for the nurse to understand that it was not the wish of the patient to be subjected to depression. Therefore, the nurse should be sympathetic to make the patient feel secure and protected. The nurse is obliged to establish a good relationship with the patient in order for him or her to comply with nursing orders during the administration of antidepressants. Additionally, positive outcomes of the patient’s well-being will only be achieved through proper education concerning medical conditions. This can also be improved by giving priority to the patient’s desires and preferences. Finally, the patient needs to be made aware of the interaction between drugs and antidepressant supplements (Hirschfeld, 1999).

Patients Individual Symptoms

Routine diagnosis and depression disorder monitoring of an individual will reveal several symptoms of depression disorder. These symptoms signify the prevalence and potential risk associated with depression disorder, especially in adults. The symptoms are rare in children compared to the adults, who show a variety of physical symptoms in their body.

At the beginning of the treatment, a patient with depression disorder will be subjected to recurring memories and thoughts, continued revelation of dreams, images, and flashback of traumatizing incidences and distressful situations. An individual patient is faced with the difficulty of staying away from discussions, thoughts, memories and activities that are likely to trigger traumatic memories. Moreover, an emotional nub, seclusion, rejection and detachment from others are other common symptoms among the depressed patients.

Patients with depression disorder are always pessimistic about the future and have no interest in any attractive activities or future plans. In addition, individual patients with depression disorders always find it difficult to fall asleep, become easily irritated, vigilant and startled. Disquietude, substance abuse, phobia, panic, and anxiety are also symptoms of individual patients who are depressed (Hirschfeld, 1999).

The Effectiveness of an Antidepressant in the Treatment of Close Relative Contraindications with Medications and Other Factors

Antidepressants have been proven to work effectively in conjunction with psychotherapy. In addition, cognitive therapy focused on human behavior can make the antidepressants more effective in providing a solution to depressive disorders in patients. More impact can be achieved through administering antidepressants in order to cope with poorly treated depressive disorders.

Research has proven that antidepressants are effective in treating major depression disorders and other related ailments. Some depressants such as SSRIs and TCAs have more safe and tolerable impacts when not overdosed. However, little attention has been given to the efficiency of antidepressants at the post-traumatic stage. Nonetheless, there is an enough evidence to ascertain a significant improvement in depressive disorders treatment after administering such antidepressants as fluvoxamine, sertraline and venlafaxine (Hotopf, Hardy & Lewis, 1997).
Close relative contraindication with medication and other factors have made it difficult to prove that antidepressants are the main cause of depressive disorders reduction in patients. It can be explained by the fact that depression will always improve even if no treatment is undertaken. In addition, another independent research has proven that antidepressants are more effective than other methods, which involve counseling treatment of depressive disorders. Other methods that cause a reduction in depressive disorders were not effective when combined with antidepressants as compared to a distinctive antidepressant administration. Experimental evidence has also shown that antidepressant therapy is more effective than close relative contraindications with medication and other factors. The overall efficiency of TCA and SSRI is the same, and no clinical research has proven one of them less effective since each anti-depressant was equally 60% efficient in providing treatment of depressive disorders. However, in case of severe depressive disorders, the TCA is most recommended (Hotopf, Hardy & Lewis, 1997).

Cost and Health Insurance Coverage

Most antidepressants are available in generic mode, which reduces their cost. However, the side effects as a result of the antidepressants have made the insurers raise the rate of premiums for depressive disorder medical cover. Different medical researches have proved that the medication through administration of antidepressants is far much cheaper than other means of depression treatment, such as counseling and general advice. However, noncompliance has led to an increase in the cost of insurance, especially because of the risks associated with side effects of antidepressants.

In case the patient’s mental state is not improved due to the antidepressant and the disorder prolongs, the overall cost of medication and treatment of the disorder will increase. It is apparent that if the health condition deteriorates, the patient will need more attention and advanced medical care. Likewise, the insurance cost of depression disorder will increase due to the prolonged effect of the disorder. All insurers will view the disorder as a risky problem, thus attracting high premiums (Hay & Linkowski, 2004).

The Pharmacodynamic Properties and Actual/Potential Effects on the Patient

The pharmacodynamic properties of antidepressant reveal fast action when administered, being efficient in providing the needed medication to the patient. Antidepressants have the property of working in collaboration with other factors and drugs within the body system. It means that antidepressants do not function independently, but rely on other factors within the body system to provide good pharmacodynamic functions in the body. The efficiency of antidepressants depends on the kind of antidepressant administered (Preskorn, & Alarcon, 2004).
Antidepressants often cause nausea, sexual demoralization due to reduced libido, reduction in weight of the patient coupled with an increased appetite. Sometimes, the antidepressant causes malnutrition and constipation due to the ensuing gastrointestinal system disorder. Those aftereffects may not always occur, being only potential outcomes of treatment. These effects are very detrimental to the patient’s health since they may contribute to worsening of the depression disorder (Hay & Linkowski, 2004).

The Side Effects of the Antidepressant Medications

Similar to medications administered for other ailments, antidepressants have side effects. Antidepressants will always cause retention of the urinary system of the individual due to its clogging with the medication. Its consumption is also likely to result in dry mouth and lips due to bad diet and dehydration in the body. Moreover, antidepressants may lead to blurred vision caused by poor coordination of optic muscles. Loss of appetite can result in constipation and weight loss because the patient will be subjected to malnutrition, lacking essential nutrients in the body. Antidepressants will also result in a sleep disorder, causing headache and sedation. Dizziness can be another side effect, impairing the ability of the patient to drive and operate machinery (Montgomery & Kasper, 1995).

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Other side effects include diarrhea and disturbance of the gastrointestinal system due to constipation. These side effects usually occur in combination with abdominal pain. Sometimes, malnutrition results in agitation and lack of energy. It will subsequently result in loss of libido, inability to erect and achieve orgasm in both women and men. The anxiety attributed to these side effects will result into nausea and other physiological implications. TCA will cause arrhythmias, blood pressure abnormality and heart failure, commonly known as a congestive attack. Moreover, anticholinergic attacks, referred to as dry mouth in most cases, are frequent among patients taking antidepressant medications. The central nervous system will be also affected by utilization of antidepressants (Schatzberg & Nemeroff, 2009)


Administering antidepressants is beneficial to patients with depressive disorders since it has been proven to be effective in treatment of such conditions. The continued administration of antidepressants has resulted in reduced cases of depression in patients. Moreover, several initiatives have been implemented to help create a good mood for those patients who have suffered from depressive disorders. Thus, it helped to restore their normal activity. The overall benefit of antidepressants is a good treatment of all patients with depressive disorders at a cheap and affordable price. This method of depressive disorder treatment has been very effective in administering medication to all patients, resulting in their positive responses (Shives, 2008).
Other benefits include reduced cost of treatment provision, timely prevention of the prolonged depression effects and reliability of the antidepressant. The process of treatment has been facilitated by the availability of drugs’ generic versions that make the supply of antidepressants in the market sufficient to meet the ever increasing demand. Moreover, the antidepressants can be administered with the help of a nurse care without being involved into more complicated medical manipulations (Montgomery & Kasper, 1995).


Antidepressants have effectively treated depressive disorders in patients, especially adults. However, evaluating pharmacodynamic properties and actual or potential effects on the patient, it is obvious that antidepressants cause many adverse side effects. This factor has called for immediate actions to determine the nursing implications through implementation of nurse care strategies. Moreover, improvement of depressive disorders treatment is achieved through administering antidepressant therapy, individual therapy and group therapy. No adverse effects have been reported in patients, but several side effects have hindered smooth administration of the antidepressants through proper nurse care.

Several mental and physiological symptoms are related to depression; however, the majority of the depressive disorders are experienced during the early stages, resulting in detrimental and distressful changes in the patient’s normal activities. Most depressive disorders are managed with the help of primary nurse care. This is achieved through cognizant identification of depressive disorders and continued involvement of the patients and their families in their subjection to antidepressants. What is more important, proper care should be taken to ensure that the response of the patients to antidepressants is keenly and carefully monitored.


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