Also known as side effects, adverse events are the secondary, usually negative, effects caused by medicine. They are recorded as the percentage of patients who experience the adverse event. For example, if 10 people out of 100 in a clinical trial take a medicine and develop a headache, then 10% of the study participants experienced this adverse event. A well-tolerated medicine is associated with low rates of adverse events.
This is the inability of a person to ever achieve an orgasm while having sexual intercourse.
A class of medicines that relieve symptoms of depression by affecting brain chemistry. These medicines may take several weeks or longer to be effective.
An overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often accompanied by physical symptoms such as tension, sweating, or increased pulse rate. Anxiety symptoms are commonly associated with depression.
This is the generic name for HAVIDOL
A controlled study designed to test the safety and efficacy of medicine in a set population of patients who have a specific illness.
A study in which a test treatment is compared with a treatment that has known effects. The control group may receive no treatment, standard treatment (which may be another medicine or another approach to care), or placebo (sugar pill.)
This is the acronym for Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder.
A disease that affects millions of Americans each year, believed to be caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters.
This is when two or more different drugs interact and alter their intended effects, often causing adverse events. Drug interactions are a concern for those patients who may be taking many different medicines at once, such as elderly patients. Medicines with favorable drug-drug interaction profiles do not interfere with the metabolism of many drugs and require few changes in dose on the part of physicians.
The term used to indicate that a drug works. When new drugs are created in the United States, before they can be used by patients, clinical efficacy trials must be conducted to prove the drug produces a significant improvement compared with placebo (sugar pill).
The disease a drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat; for example, Lexapro is indicated for the treatment of depression and GAD.
Molecules with the same chemical formula but with a different spatial arrangement of the atoms, which may cause different effects in the human body. Isomers occur in nature; their unique properties hold promise for many future medicines.
Lexapro® (escitalopram oxalate)
LEXAPRO is a member of the SSRI class of antidepressant medicines. Lexapro was approved by the FDA in August 2002, and is a well-tolerated and powerful medicine that effectively treats depression and anxiety symptoms associated with depression. Lexapro is the isomer of CELEXA.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
This is a physician's term for a specific type of depression. A person who suffers from a major depressive disorder must have either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities. The person must have these symptoms consistently for at least a two-week period. Furthermore, this mood must represent a change from the person's normal mood. It should also be having a negative impact on his or her daily function, such as family, work, socializing, etc. A depressed mood caused by drugs or alcohol, or one caused by a medical condition, is not considered a major depressive disorder. Remember, only a doctor can properly diagnose this or any other disorder.
MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
An older class of antidepressants, which are now rarely prescribed as a first treatment option. Nardil® (phenelzine sulfate tablets, USP)* and Parnate® (tranylcypromine sulfate)† are examples of MAOIs.
A "chemical messenger" responsible for communication between nerve cells in the brain. The activity of the many different neurotransmitters is believed to affect brain function and mood. Many antidepressant medicines work by helping to restore the normal level of neurotransmitters in the brain.
A pill with no active ingredients, such as a sugar pill. Placebo is often used in a clinical trial as a standard against which to test and compare the efficacy and safety of another drug.
An erection that lasts longer than 4 hours.
Prozac® (fluoxetine hydrochloride)
PROZAC was the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and bulimia nervosa. PROZAC treats the symptoms of depression by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain.
Also known as "talk" therapy, or counseling. In the treatment of depression, it is aimed at helping the patient develop new ways to cope with challenges in life, and to identify and understand more about depression and how to avoid it in the future. Psychotherapy may take place in individual, group, or family sessions, and the process itself may take some time before it is effective.
QD is an abbreviation of the Latin words quaque diem, which mean once every day. This is how doctors and pharmacists indicate that medicines should be taken once a day, every day.
When a substance that has been circulating in the body is taken up by the organs or cells.
When the symptoms of a person's medical condition (such as depression or anxiety) reappear following a period of improvement. Relapse of depression or GAD can be caused when a person stops taking his or her medicine because he or she feel better.
Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of a medical condition.
The term used to indicate that a drug poses no serious risks to the patients who take it. When new drugs are created in the United States, before they are even tested in clinical efficacy trials, they must first be tested for safety.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
SSRIs are a class of antidepressant medicine. They work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, which is believed to help to relieve the symptoms of depression.
A neurotransmitter that is believed to influence mood. SSRIs help relieve the symptoms of depression by increasing the available supply of serotonin in the brain.
Prolonged drowsiness or sleepiness.
Physical or emotional indications that an illness is present. Symptoms are a very important indicator of depression and anxiety, and patients who are being treated for either condition should learn to recognize all of its symptoms.
TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants)
An older class of antidepressant drugs. Imipramine, amitriptyline, desipramine, and nortriptyline are examples of TCAs.
A stepwise increase or decrease in the prescribed dose of a given medicine.
The term used to indicate that the adverse events caused by a drug won't cause a patient to stop taking it. Clinical trials often measure the incidence of adverse events and the percentage of patients who stop therapy because of them. Drugs with low incidences of patients who stop therapy due to adverse events in clinical trials are often referred to as being "well-tolerated".