Our expert says:
DOn't be upset by my comments, and do feel free to see your pdoc again. I comment that doing blood tests for serotonin levels is NOT reconized as standard practice, but Cipralex is a widely used antidepressant drug. Aterax is an obsoltete drug at best, but unaccountably popular with some SA doctors, especially if they trained some while ago. You won't find it recommended in mopst good psychiatric textbooks. Its purely sedative.
Generally, when we diagnose a depression, we would see the person weekly or at least 2-weekly for several visits until it is clear that they ARE improving on the drug, or until it is clear ( and this takes a month or so ) that they are NOt responding well to it and may need a different drug. Generally, one would not write a prescription for 6 months of the dryg before it was quite clear that the person was improving significantly on the drug.
"Low serotonin" is a widely held THEORY about a cause of depression and why some drugs help it, but one treats a PERSON, with Depression, not a low serotonin level.
Maybe a second opinion wouldn't be a bad idea.
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