Many of the antidepressants used to treat dysthymia are the same as those used for major depressive disorder. These include tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SSRIs are the class of antidepressant most commonly prescribed. These medications increase serotonin levels but cause fewer overall side effects than many other antidepressant options. That said, if there’s any chance an individual’s dysthymia could be misdiagnosed bipolar disorder, they shouldn’t increase their serotonin levels. TCAs increase both serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. SNRIs block the brain from reabsorbing norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate mood, though they may have more side effects than other medications. Some patients don’t experience any side effects, while others struggle with a variety of side effects.
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