It is not entirely clear how Desyrel works, since no other medications work exactly like it. The drug acts on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. This is one of several chemicals used to send messages in between nerves; however, when serotonin levels become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Desyrel helps to block the reuptake of serotonin, so that more is available for the nerves in the brain, returning the serotonin back to its "normal" levels. However, unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Desyrel may also block certain serotonin receptors.
Desyrel is not approved for use in childhood depression. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug in children with depression.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Desyrel for treating something other than depression. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are several off-label Desyrel uses, including the treatment of: