[FoRK] Suicide-by-Stilton: some bits on MAOI antidepressants

Ken Meltsner < meltsner at alum.mit.edu > on > Mon Mar 6 11:54:02 PST 2006

MAO inhibitors are still around; the side effects are a lot worse than
current antidepression meds, but apparently some patients still
respond to them better.  And they're relatively cheap (long, long out
of patent).

They're also used, rarely, for migraines and other chronic headaches.

No matter how "bad" MAO inhibitors are compared to Prozac and later
meds, they sure beat the previous treatments for depression -- I've
heard of people with chronic depression being prescribed barbituates
back in the old days.

Prozac, by the way, is obsolete as well; you can always tell when a
medication is about to lose patent protection because the manufacturer
comes out with clever new packaging, usually for sustained release --
the medication can be unprotected just as long as the "delivery
mechanism" is novel.

Here's an article describing generics and various strategies for
protecting them:

http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8038/8038biogenerics.html

Wikihealth mentions "Prozac Weekly" -- not a newsletter, but a
once-a-week version:

www.wikihealth.com/Fluoxetine

And another example: Concerta is just methylphenidate (generic version
of Ritalin) but uses a starch-based filler that squeezes out the
medication at a nearly constant rate for about 8 hours.  It's become a
real favorite with parents and schools since it means there's no need
for the school to hand out pills mid-day.

Ken Meltsner

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