Alternative Medicine to Antidepressants
There are many prescription options available to treat common mental health disorders including depression. However, for those who prefer to not take any antidepressants, or may need additional assistance on top of their dose of antidepressants, there are other natural options available. If you’ve been incorrectly prescribed a drug that caused you injury, speak with a personal injury lawyer, like from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your legal options.
The options below are categorized as drugs, because a drug is anything that has a chemical effect over one’s body, however they are natural options. Many of these drugs have a common downside which includes being taken more than once a day.
When a medication is recommended for more than twice a day, usually it’s not as effective, or effective at all, if only taken once a day. So, if anything is required to be taken multiple times a day, those instructions do need to be followed to get the desired effect.
This can be a problem for those that may not want the hassle of having to remember to take medication every day more than once a day.
Natural Drugs Known to Help with Depression:
5-HTTP: this drug is a precursor to serotonin.
There have been around 30 clinical trials showing promising results while using this drug.
The downside includes a short half-life which would require a person to take this drug three to four times a day.
The common side effects include: extreme nausea, and vomiting
Inositol: this is chemically a sugar alcohol abundant in the brain. It’s a building block for other chemicals in the body.
There are not many studies that show exactly how it helps depression and not many studies showing its effectiveness. This is usually used as an add on treatment. It would therefore be taken in addition to an antidepressant.
The common side effects include: gas, and mania.
L-Methyl folate: folate is vitamin b9, which is an essential vitamin of the body. This means that one’s body does not make it, meaning that the only way to get it is through diet or supplements. Folate Is the naturally occurring nutrient that one would get from green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, etc. Once a body metabolizes the folate, the active form, l-methyl folate, is then formed.
This is a building block for serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These are all chemicals involved in mood. Studies have shown that people with low folate levels in their body tend to have a more severe depression, and they don’t response as well to antidepressants. In practice, l-methyl folate is best used also as an add on treatment to antidepressants.
This chemical is considered a biological food but still requires a prescription. Many insurances cover this drug.
Folic acid can be substituted for this as well, however it’s a lengthier processing time for one’s body.
Saffron Stigna: This common household spice is often used to season rice.
There’s been a limited number of studies, but enough to show some positive results. The recommended dose is 15mg twice a day.
The downside is that Saffron is expensive, and it would require you to consult your doctor if on blood thinning medications.
Sam-E: This stands for S-Adenosylmethionine. It enhances serotonin and norepinephrine. Studies show effectiveness in treating mild to moderate depression, however, many of the studies do small sample sizes and different forms of the drug, including an injectable form, which is less common to be used. The recommended dose is 200mg to 800mg twice a day.
Common side effects include: nausea and mania.
This should be avoided completely if one has a bipolar disorder, as it can really worsen one’s mania.
St. John’s Wort: this herb comes closest to an antidepressant as far as effectiveness goes.
It’s been shown to help mild depression as a single agent.
For moderate to severe depression, it’s not been shown to be as effective.
The recommended dose is 300mg three times a day.
It can interfere with the metabolism of other medications.
Omega-3 and Vitamin D: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation in the body, and depression is thought to have an inflammatory component to it.
For depression, the recommended dose is 1 to 2 grams of EPA plus DHA, with EPA being preferred.
It won’t work alone, for it is meant to be taken as a supplement.
Most of one’s vitamin D is made on the skin from sun exposure.
Vitamin T supplementation has been shown to improve depression in people on medication and who are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is also considered an add on.
The recommended dose is 1000 to 5000 IU.