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What are the different types of antidepressants?

Answer by:
WebMD Expert


Here are the main types of antidepressants, along with brand names:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were launched in the mid- to late-1980s. This generation of antidepressants is now the most common class used for depression. Examples include Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors include Cymbalta, Effexor, and Pristiq.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants were some of the first medications used to treat depression. Examples are Elavil (amitriptyline), Norpramin (desipramine), Pamelor (nortriptyline), Tofranil (imipramine), and Vivactil (protriptyline).
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors were also among the earliest treatments for depression. Some examples are EMSAM (selegiline), Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), and Parnate (tranylcypromine).
  • Other medications include Desyrel, Remeron, and Wellbutrin.