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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.
  • "Other" antidepressants developed more recently than SSRIs that affect multiple serotonin receptors, include Viibryd and Brintellix.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors include Cymbalta, Effexor, Pristiq and Fetzima.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants were some of the first medications used to treat depression. Examples are amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), nortriptyline (Pamelor), imipramine (Tofranil), and protriptyline (Vivactil).
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors were also among the earliest treatments for depression. Some examples are transdermal selegiline (EMSAM), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).
  • Other medications include Desyrel, Remeron, and Wellbutrin