types of antidepressants

Types of Antidepressants

Getting started with antidepressants can feel like swimming through alphabet soup. Understanding what your healthcare professional is offering and why they are recommending it may be difficult if this is the first time, they are mentioning prescription medication for treating your major depressive disorder (MDD).

There is still a lot to learn about depression and how to cure it. MDD, for example, was once thought to be nothing more than a chemical imbalance in the brain; however, scientists now feel it is far more complicated.

Because so much about the disease and how to cure it is unknown, a wide range of depression treatments are available, including medication, brain stimulation therapy, psychotherapy (talk therapy), vagus nerve stimulation, acupuncture, among others. Antidepressant medications are one of the regularly used therapeutic methods.

This article will be discussing antidepressant medications as well as types of antidepressants to help you understand how to categorize this condition.

Types of Antidepressants

Here are some common options:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Serotonin serves a variety of tasks in the brain, one of which is to keep one peaceful and content. As a result, when there is insufficient serotonin outside of the brain cells, one gets nervous, depressed, or unable to sense pleasure.

Blocking the transporter that inactivates serotonin can thereby restore active serotonin levels in the brain, making people feel peaceful and pleased again. Fenfluramine, paroxetine, sertraline, fluvoxamine, citalopram, and escitalopram are examples of SSRIs.

Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

Just like SSRIs, SNRIs hinder the serotonin transporter, causing a rise in serotonin levels in the synapse. Additionally, they hinder the norepinephrine transporter, resulting in an increase in norepinephrine levels in the synapse. SNRIs are supposed to ease depressed symptoms by “impacting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) necessary to interact between brain cells. SNRIs include duloxetine, desvenlafaxine, and venlafaxine.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

If SSRIs fail to relieve depression symptoms, further antidepressants are usually recommended. TCAs function in a similar fashion to SNRIs. They function by “blocking the reabsorption of epinephrine and serotonin back into nerve cells after these chemicals have been released into a synapse. Amitriptyline, clomipramine, and desipramine are examples of TCAs.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

MAOIs, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, were the first antidepressants produced in the early 1950s. The neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are removed from the brain by an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. MAOIs block this interaction, allowing more of these brain chemicals to effect changes in cells and circuits affected by depression. You can get more information about this antidepressant here.

Finding a Suitable Antidepressant for Your Condition

Depression medicine does not cure depression; rather, it alleviates the symptoms of depression. As a result, depression may necessitate long-term therapy. You are not alone if you’re having problems finding a depression medication that works without creating unpleasant side effects. Very few people with major depressive disorder (MDD) discover a drug that helps the first time they try it.

Your healthcare professional considers your full clinical profile when prescribing medication. These may include your signs and symptoms, potential adverse effects from the medication, interactions between foods and drugs, as well as other health issues.

Pharmacogenomic testing can potentially be used by your healthcare professional as an extra tool. These tests can help doctors figure out how your genetic makeup influences how your body metabolizes and responds to antidepressants.

It’s critical to stay in touch with your doctor once you’ve decided on a pharmaceutical plan. If you experience any side effects or if the drug does not relieve your symptoms, you should contact your healthcare professional.

How to Avoid Depression

The following are some helpful tips

Avoid Stress

Stress is a major catalyst of depression. Usually, you will feel pressure from your workplace or even at home. When you get stretched beyond your limits both physically and emotionally, stress takes over and this can be depressing. To stay ahead of your mental health, you have to strike a balance in your daily activities. Additionally, know when to withdraw from an activity that causes stress to you.

Engage in Regular Exercise

Physical activities can act as an antidepressant. It is a given that depression can make it difficult for one to engage in physical activities or exercises. However, a lack of activity can worsen the symptoms of depression. If you are experiencing difficulty in exercising, you can start with taking occasional walks around your neighborhood. For recommended exercises, you can watch this video.


Diet can also determine how you walk through depression. You can ask your doctor to recommend a good diet. If you are given a recommendation, it is important that you follow it without fail. Some recommended foods include green tea, fresh fruits, soybean products, whole grains, and fish.


Treating depression requires a good understanding of the condition and the appropriate measure to take. Before going for antidepressants, it is important that you understand the type that will best suit your condition. This article outlined some of the common types. Feel free to check them out.

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