10 emerging antidepressants to keep an eye on

[Zuranolone image courtesy of Wikipedia]

Antidepressants remain some of the most widely prescribed drugs, but most popular antidepressants are now available as generics. While selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) remain the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, various new types of drugs may be available in the future. For example, drug companies are working on getting everything from an opioid kappa receptor antagonist to an oral neuroactive steroid on the market for depressive disorders.  

Here, we survey 10 antidepressants that may change the mental health landscape in the coming years.  

1. Esmethadone

The (S)-enantiomer of methadone, esmethadone (dextromethadone; REL-1017) from Relmada Therapeutics (Nasdaq:RLMD) is headed to a Phase 3 study for major depressive disorder (MDD). The drug candidate was efficacious on days 4, 7 a…

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The pandemic is fueling the demand for natural alternatives to antidepressants

[Image courtesy of Pixabay]

The pandemic, climate change, rapid inflation and a surge in violence are contributing to a mental health crisis.

Against that backdrop, demand for antidepressants, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia drugs is booming. In 2021, there were 337,054,544 antidepressant prescriptions, according to data from IQVIA. In the first four months of 2022, more than one in five Americans over the age of 18 had a prescription for a mental health condition, according to CDC data. In addition, roughly 40% of adults had experienced symptoms of either depression or anxiety in the past four weeks.

Illicit drug use has also surged during the pandemic. In 2020, almost 300 people used drugs ranging from amphetamines to heroin, according to a UN report summarized by Reuters. In addition, some 209 million used cannabis.

As a consequence of this surge in prescription and illicit drug use, there is gro…

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4 questions fueling anti-antidepressant sentiment 

[Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay]

Antidepressants have made headlines recently, with far-right-leaning figures such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggesting that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have played a role in fueling mass shootings. “Among many other side effects, they can cause suicidal and homicidal thoughts,” Greene wrote on Twitter in May.

In early July, Fox News television host Tucker Carlson noted that “a lot of young men in America are going nuts,” adding that “a shockingly large number of them have been prescribed psychotropic drugs by their doctors, SSRI or antidepressants, and that would include quite a few mass shooters.” Carlson concluded that while SSRIs are “meant to prevent crazy behavior,” there “seems to be a connection” between the drugs and mass shootings. In addition, Carlson claimed that many mass …

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