Uses of antidepressants

ON TRIAL: The cheapest antidepressant you can find? Semen.
EVIDENCE: According to a NewScientist.com article,
a study has shown that women who are directly exposed to semen are less
depressed. While doctors still advocate condom use, the study shows
that women whose partners did not wear condoms were generally happier
than women whose partners wore condoms. The article says that the
researchers took into account other factors that might affect the study
such as oral contraceptives, intimacy frequency, the strength of the
relationships and personality.

"In fact, the
results aren’t a complete surprise because semen does contain several
mood-altering hormones, including testosterone, oestrogen,
follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, prolactin and
several different prostaglandins."

The article quotes one
doctor who suggests that semen could possibly affect the mood of gay
males who have unprotected sex. The article seems to imply that the
semen-mood-altering study is directly tied to vaginal (possibly anal)
sex but hints that oral sex may provide similar benefits in the same
way that an oral contraceptive could alter hormones.
VERDICT:
If you’ve got a male partner, in a monogamous, committed relationship
and suffering from mild depression, go ahead and test this study out.
(Everybody wins!) Otherwise, stick to the anti-depressants and use
condoms.

ON TRIAL: Prozac + anorexia nervosa = recovery
EVIDENCE: Very little. According to a New York Times article,
research shows that antidepressants can help people suffering from
bulimia nervosa recover, but the benefits do not seems to transfer to
anorexia. About three million Americans (mainly women) will suffer from
anorexia and studies show that two-thirds of them are treated with
antidepressants.

"Dr. Walter Kaye, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh,
said the new findings should not rule out the use of antidepressant treatment altogether."

THE VERDICT:
Antidepressants have a long way to go in targeting those who suffer
from eating disorder psychoses. Further research needs to be done to
show any significant value in antidepressant use.

ON TRIAL: Pregnant women using antidepressants.
EVIDENCE: According to medindia.com,
Seroxat, an antidepressant linked to heart abnormalities, seems safe to
use in pregnant women. Researchers found no increased risk to women or
their babies. However, three abnormalities out of 119 women were
reported with use of the drug: clubfeet, a large port wine mark and
neck muscle spasms. In a group that did not use the drug, 25 out of 557
babies were affected.
THE VERDICT: Pregnant women
should cautiously approach using antidepressants and discuss the
ramifications of using the drugs with their doctor. The studies seems
to imply that babies can have an abnormality regardless of the mother
using an antidepressant but caution still should be used.

INFORMATION: According to a KLTV article, Mayo Clinic study has found that REM Sleep Behavior Disorder,
which typically affects people in their 50s, is now being discovered in
patients as young as 30. The link? Anti-depressants. The violent sleep
disorder causes people to act out their dreams, which can result in
serious injury to themselves or the person sleeping beside them. The
recommendation? Don’t stop taking your medication but see a sleep
specialist right away.

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