Drugs to Treat Mental Illness
There are several different types of drugs available to treat mental illnesses. Some of the most commonly used are antidepressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, mood stabilizing, and stimulant medications.
What Drugs Are Used To Treat Depression?
When treating depression, several drug options are available. Some of the most commonly used include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, and Viibryd
- Selective serotonin & norepinephrine inhibitors (SNRIs), such as Effexor, Cymbalta, Khedezla, Pristiq, and Fetzima
- Novel serotonergic drugs such as Brintellix
- Older tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, Pamelor, Sinequan, and Imipramine
- Dopaminergic drugs such as Wellbutrin
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Nardil, Parnate, and Emsam
- Tetracyclic antidepressants that are noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs), such as Remeron
Your health care provider can determine which medication is right for you. Remember that medications usually take 4 to 6 weeks to become fully effective. And if one drug does not work, there are many others to try.
In some cases, a combination of antidepressants may be necessary. Sometimes an antidepressant combined with a different type of drug, such as a mood stabilizer (like Lithium), a second antidepressant, or atypical anti-psychotic drug, is the most effective treatment.
Side effects vary, depending on what type of drug you are taking, and may improve once your body adjusts to the medication.
If you decide to stop taking your antidepressants, it is important that you gradually reduce the dose over a period of several weeks. With many antidepressants, quitting them abruptly can cause discontinuation symptoms or speed the risk for depression relapse. It is important to discuss quitting (or changing) medications with your health care provider first.