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The generic term antidepressants is used to summarize different active ingredients that have a mood-enhancing effect and that can be used to treat depression. In addition to the primary effect on the mood of the patient, various secondary effects can be achieved with the different drugs, ranging from an increase in activity or drive to a drive-damping or sedative effect. Antidepressants are not only used to treat depression, but also for numerous other mental disorders. However, many of the active substances are associated with considerable side effects, which in any case requires a thorough risk-benefit assessment before prescribing. (fp)
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