The history of medicine is littered with examples of products that were manufactured and designed for one purpose only to be used for another. Recent studies have shown that anti-depressants may have more than one use. Most anti-depressants are used to change the chemical balance in the brain so that depression and other conditions aren’t given the chance to occur. Now, new research has shown that even if you are on a completely even keel, antidepressant medication that is already approved by the FDA can be used for a wide range of new uses.
From TB Medication to Anti-Depressant
It became quite apparent that some of the first drugs to treat tuberculosis ever formulated could be used as anti-depressants as well. The first set of anti-depressants was known as MAOI’s, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. These products were good at helping with depression, but they came with a lot of side effects if the patient deviated from a prescribed diet.
Anti-Depressants From Schizophrenia Medications
The next generation of anti-depressant drugs weren’t formulated to treat depression at all. They were manufactured to treat other mental conditions such as schizophrenia. As it turned out, these drugs were a lot more effective at treating depression. As doctors continued to use them, other uses became apparent quite quickly. Some were used as a sleep aid, especially for people who were in a great deal of pain. Some were used to help treat mental conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder and others were used to treat anxiety.
Anti-Depressant Abilities of Prozac
The late 1980s saw the approval of SSRIs or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor drugs. Prozac is the best known of these drugs and it didn’t take doctors long to realize that this new style of treatment had other uses as well. Some doctors prescribed them to women who have especially bad menstrual cramps and pre-menstrual syndrome. Some drugs were even christened with two names by the same company so they could be prescribed for different things. For instance, one drug was prescribed as an anti-depressant and the same drug was marketed and sold by the same company as a smoking cessation aide.
Without a doubt, the best known substitute for anti-depressant drugs is to treat anxiety. Even more people suffer from anxiety than suffer from depression, so this double treatment has proven to be quite lucrative for many drug companies. Be sure to check with a doctor or pharmacist before using any drug for any reason other than the one stated on the label.