Depression Medications

5 Types of Depression Medications

Depression medications are usually named according to how they work but there are also a few exceptions.  Some of these are not considered as antidepressants but somewhat reduce depression.  A great percentage of these drugs are used to treat bipolar depression.


Depression Medications
Depression Medications


Meanwhile antidepressant medications have the following types:


  • The SSRIs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) work as a drug that allows serotonin, a brain chemical, to be present for the brain nerves to use and help it fight depression.

  • Celexa (with the generic name of citalopram)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Symbrax (combination of Prozac and Zyprexa) – recommended by doctors to treat bipolar depression and other disorders


  • SNRIs

Serotonin nonrepinephrine reuptake inhibitor work to let two different brain chemicals known as serotonin and norepinephrine to be more obtainable.


  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine


  • MAOIs

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors belong to the second oldest class of antidepressants and work to make three different brain chemicals, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, more available for the brain nerves to use and fight depression.  Taking MAOIs may mean certain dietary restriction and additional cautions.


  • Manerix (moclobemide) – this medication is not available in the US but can be acquired in Canada and other countries
  • Marplan(isocarboxazid)
  • Nardil(phenelzine)
  • Parnate(tranylcypromine)



  • Tricyclics

Are named after their chemical structure and belong to the oldest class of antidepressants.  Some kinds of tricyclics make more serotonin; some make more norepinephrine; and others make more of both serotonin and norepinephrine.  They are usually known by their generic names rather than their brand names.


  • Amoxapine
  • Doxepine
  • Desipramine
  • Trimipramine
  • Clomipramine
  • Imipramine
  • Nortriptyline
  • Amitriptyline
  • Protriptyline


  • Atypical Antidepressants

Called as such because they don’t have any chemical relationship to the other types of antidepressants.

  • Nefazodone
  • Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion or Zyban)
  • Trazodone