The depression medications called antidepressants have the following types:
SSRIsSSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. In simple terms, this means that these drugs work to allow more of a particular brain chemical called serotonin to be available for the nerves in the brain to use. This has been shown to help depression.
- Celexa (generic name citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
SNRIsSNRI stands for serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. These drugs work to allow two different brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, to be more available. As with serotonin, having more norepinephrine available has been shown to help depression.
TricyclicsTricyclics are not named for how they work, but rather for their chemical structure. They are the oldest class of depression medications. Some of the tricyclics make more serotonin available in the brain, some more norepinephrine, and some both. Because these are older drugs, they are usually sold in generic form rather than under brand names.
- Tricyclic antidepressants as a group
MAOIsMAOI stands for monoamine oxidase inhibitor. These are the second oldest class of depression medications. These work to make three different brain chemicals more available - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Because of the way MAOIs work, there are many dietary restrictions and cautions about using them.
- MAOIs as a group
- MAOI diet restrictions
- MAOI side effects
- Manerix (moclobemide) (not sold in the US, but sold in Canada and elsewhere)
- Marplan (isocarboxazid)
- Nardil (phenelzine)
- Parnate (tranylcypromine)
Atypical AntidepressantsThese depression medications are called "atypical" because they don't have any chemical relationship to any of the other types.
Read about:Depression Medication - Questions and Answers