About Antidepressants

Antidepressants are drugs designed to relieve the symptoms of depression. Different types of antidepressants are available. The main ones are:

Tricyclics

MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors)

SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)

SNRIs (Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors)

NASSAs (Noradrenaline and Specific Serotoninergic Antidepressants)

How antidepressants work is unknown but it is believed that they increase the activity of certain chemicals in our brains called neurotransmitters which pass signals from one brain cell to another. The chemicals most involved in depression are thought to be serotonin and noradrenaline.

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants belong to the SSRI group. They increase the brains level of serotonin by blocking the reuptake of serotonin, thereby making more available. This brief clip gives a simple explanation:

MAOIs, inhibit the monoamine oxidase enzyme, thus allowing a greater supply of these chemicals to remain available.

Up to one-third of people who stop antidepressants have withdrawal symptoms, which may include stomach upsets, flu-like symptoms, aches and pains, crying spells, agitation, anxiety, dizziness and electric shocks. Like benzodiazepines, these drugs should never be stopped abruptly. They should be tapered off under the supervision of  your doctor.

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Symptoms

Impact

Acceptance

Antidepressants, Commonly Used

Generic Name Brand Name Type
amitriptyline Elavil,Tryptizol Tricyclic
citalopram Cipramil SSRI
clomipramine Anafranil Tricyclic
dosulepin Prothiaden Tricyclic
doxepin Sinequan Tricyclic
duloxetine Cymbalta, Yentreve SNRI
fluoxetine Prozac SSRI
imipramine Tofranil Tricyclic
lofepramine Gamanil Tricyclic
mirtazapine Zispin NaSSA
moclobemide Manerix MAOI
nortriptyline Allegron Tricyclic
paroxetine Seroxat SSRI
penelzine Nardil MAOI
reboxetine Edronax NRI
sertraline Lustral SSRI
tranylcypromine Parnate MAOI
trazodone Molipaxin SARI
venlafaxine Effexor SNRI