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Goals:To help with physical symptoms of depression by regulating sleep, energy, motivation, appetite and concentration while turning down the volume of negative emotion like anxiety, fear, etc
  SSRI: Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  SNRI: Venlafaxine (Effexor), Des-venlafaxine (Pristiq), Duloxetine
 Other: Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Mirtazapine, Vilazodone (Viibryd) 

improvement by:4 to 6 weeks
duration of action:
after medication builds up in your system over 1-2 months the medication works behind the scenes and you should not notice any fluctuations in effect throughout the day and night
common side effects:GI symptoms (stomach upset, acid reflux, nausea, diarrhea, constipation), headache, increased anxiety during first 1-2 weeks, sexual (diminished libido, difficulty obtaining/maintaining erection, inorgasmia)
Uses:depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, PTSD




Goals:To lower the intensity of anxiety or panic in the moment to allow the use of coping skills to help further regulate. Can also be used prior to anxiety provoking events to help prevent anxiety levels from becoming disruptive
Non-benzodiazepines: Hydroxyzine, Buspirone, Gabapentin, Propranolol
  Benzodiazepines: Alprazolam (Xanax), Lorazepam (Ativan), Clonazepam 
(Klonopin), Diazepam (Valium) *Benzodiazepines are not recommended to be used for longer than a 2-4 week period of time due to risk of addiction and subsequent reliance that will increase fall risk, respiratory  depression, memory loss and perpetuation of underlying anxiety
improvement by:within 30 minutes to an hour
Duration of action:you will feel the effects of the medication for 2 to 8 hours depending on chosen medication
common side effects:sedation, lightheadedness, loopiness
uses:panic attacks, performance anxiety, sleep initiation



Mood stabilizers

Goals:To stabilize moods by helping treat and prevent depressive episodes and (hypo)manic episodes. To a lesser extent they can help with mood swings keeping you on an even keel.
 Anti-epileptics: Valproic Acid (Depakote), Lamotrigine (Lamictal), Carbamazepine, Topiramate

improvement by:1 to 3 weeks
Duration of Action:after medication builds up in your system over 1-3 weeks the medication works behind the scenes with little fluctuation on the effects throughout the day
common side effects:sedation, shakiness, weight gain
Uses:Bipolar Disorder, augmentation of Major Depression treatment




Goals:To treat psychosis by decreasing auditory hallucinations and delusions while regulating sleep. Can also be used by itself as a mood stabilizer to treatment Bipolar Disorder or used to help augment treatment of depression.
  Typical: Haloperidal (Haldol), 
  Atypical: Aripiprazole (Abilify), Lurasidone (Latuda), Risperidone (Risperdal), Ziprasidone (Geodon)

improvement by:1 to 3 weeks

Duration of Action:after medication builds up in your system over 1-3 weeks the medication works behind the scenes with some immediate effects like sedation depending on chosen medication. 
Side effects:weight gain, sedation, shakiness
Uses:Psychosis (Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, MDD with psychosis, Bipolar with psychosis), Bipolar Disorder, Depression, PTSD




Goals:To help with motivation and sustainment of focus, concentration attention
  Amphetamines: Adderall, Vyvanse
  Methylphenidates: Ritalin, Focalin, Concerta
       - both come in immediate release and extended release options

improvement by:same day
Duration of Action:3 to 6 hours with IR (immediate release) and 8 to 12 hours with ER (extended release)
Side effects:impaired appetite, disrupted sleep, irritability, anxiety
Uses:ADHD (inattentive and hyperactive), augmentation for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

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