PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGICAL DRUGS

Psychopharmacological Drugs: A Review

Psychopharmacological drugs are a class of medications used to treat mental health disorders. They are usually prescribed by psychiatrists, psychologists, or other mental health professionals. These drugs are used to treat a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. In this review, we will discuss the types of psychopharmacological drugs, their uses, and their potential side effects.

Psychopharmacological drugs are divided into several classes. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. They work by increasing the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Common types of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac and Zoloft, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta and Effexor.

Stimulants are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They increase levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Common types of stimulants include methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall).

Mood stabilizers are used to treat bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. They work by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Common types of mood stabilizers include lithium, valproic acid, and lamotrigine.

Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. They work by blocking the action of dopamine in the brain. Common types of antipsychotics include risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and aripiprazole (Abilify).

Antianxiety medications are used to treat anxiety disorders. They work by reducing the levels of stress hormones in the brain. Common types of antianxiety medications include benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin).

All psychopharmacological drugs have the potential to cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, dry mouth, constipation, and increased heart rate. Some medications can also cause serious side effects, such as suicidal thoughts, liver damage, and blood pressure changes. It is important to discuss potential side effects with your doctor before starting any psychopharmacological drug.

In conclusion, psychopharmacological drugs are a class of medications used to treat mental health disorders. They are divided into several classes, including antidepressants, stimulants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antianxiety medications. All psychopharmacological drugs have the potential to cause side effects, and it is important to discuss potential side effects with your doctor before starting any medication.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Geller, B., & DelBello, M. P. (2001). Treatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 24(3), 545-563.

Hazell, P. (2009). Psychopharmacology for child and adolescent disorders (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Mayo Clinic. (2020). Psychopharmacology. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psychopharmacology/symptoms-causes/syc-20354763

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