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Combined Reuptake Inhibitors and Receptor Blockers

Combined reuptake inhibitors and receptor blockers do double-duty in battling depresion. They act on brain cells in two ways. They prevent the reabsorption of neurotransmitters into nerve cells while also blocking nerve cell receptors. As a result, more of the feel-good brain chemicals are left in the brain to elevate mood and alleviate the symptoms of depression.

The Food & Drug Administration has approved three combined reuptake inhibitors and receptor blockers for antidepressant usage. They are trazodone (Desyrel), nefazodoe (Serzone), and maprotiline (Deprilept). Common side effects are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Headache

Combined reuptake inhibitors and recetor blockers do have some potential pitfalls. That’s why it’s wise to check with your doctor and let him/her know all of your medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements (herbal and dietary) and your medical conditions both past and present.

Trazidone, for example, has been associated with priapism (persistent, usually painful erection not associated with sexual arousal) that has required surgical intervention. Nefazodone may cause life-threatening liver failure. As a result, people with liver problems are not encouraged to take this medication. Signs of liver dysfunction include: yellowing of skin or whites of eyes, unusually dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea or abdominal pain. Maprotiline has been associated with seizures. Those with epilepsy and/or seizure disorder shouldn’t be prescribed maprotiline (Deprilept).

As with many other antidepressant medications, suicidal thoughts and feelings can increase while under the influence of combined reuptake inhibitors. This is especially prevalent during the early stages of medication when the appropriate levels are being determined and adjusted. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional immediately should you feel suicidal at any point in the process.