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Elevation of Mood due to Antidepressants

Patricia L. Pearce, MD
JAMA. 1985;253(21):3091-3092. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350450063011.
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To the Editor.—  This letter is in response to Dr Cordoba's1 opinion as to the nature of antidepressants expressed in the Sept 7, 1984, issue of JAMA. He makes several statements that most phychiatrists would take issue with, including defining antidepressants as stimulants and attributing to them mood-elevating effects in nondepressed persons.A quick glance in the Physicians' Desk Reference will reveal that most antidepressants—tricyclics, as well as monoamine oxidase inhibitors—have a sedative effect rather than a stimulant effect on the central nervous system something that practitioners are quick to find out in actual practice since this is the prime side effect for most persons receiving these medications. As to the effect on mood in the nondepressed person, it is generally agreed that the antidepressants are specific in their relief of depression, without actual euphoric effects beyond that.2 The only exception to this would be in some bipolar


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