Why do we use antagonists to treat depression?

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If depression is caused by an undersupply of a neurotransmitter like serotonin and we want to increase that, why do we use antagonist drugs to treat depression instead of agonists?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The whole neurotransmitter theory of depression has essentially no evidence backing it up. There’s also no real agreed upon method for why antidepressants work, or whether they’re all that effective in the first place.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The first line treatment is SSRIs, which are not antagonists. Did you have a specific medicine in mind?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Are you asking why we use a drug that is an antagonist to serotonin reuptake vs using something that binds to the serotonin receptor?

One of the reasons is that the gut uses serotonin as a signaling molecule. So a pill containing something that acts like serotonin could trigger diarrhea or vomiting (this is also a common side effect of SSRIs).