Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass


    Antidepressant medications are prescribed by doctors to help relieve symptoms associated with major depression or anxiety. They are also used to help with bulimia, chronic pain or insomnia.¹ These medications work by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Increased reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are found to help reduce the depressive and anxiety symptoms in many patients. Many who suffer from these symptoms have a lower baseline level of these neurotransmitters active in their brains.¹

    There are six classes of antidepressants currently prescribed by doctors today.

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) include Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa and Zoloft.  This is typically the first choice of treatment for major depression or anxiety problems.¹ SSRIs have milder side effects relative to other classes of antidepressants. These work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain.

    Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) include Effexor, Cymbalta and Pristiq.¹ These work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the brain.

    Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) include Zyban and Wellbutrin. NDRIs are often prescribed because of their energizing effects, especially when combined with other antidepressants.¹ These work by inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.

    Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs) includes Remeron. It is the most sedative of all of classes of antidepressants and is often prescribes for insomnia or those who suffer from extreme anxiety symptoms.¹

    Cyclics include Elavil, Ludiomil and Norpramin. Cyclics tend to have more side-effects than newer drugs and is usually used if alternative classes are ineffective in treatment.¹

    Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) is the very first class of antidepressants. They are effective in treatment but require a special diet and may not be suitable for every lifestyle.¹


    The structure of Sertaline, an SSRI and the active medicinal ingredient in Zoloft, the most prescribed anti depressant in the United States.




    1. Camh.ca, (2014). CAMH: Antidepressant Medication. [online] Available at: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/antidepressant_medication/Pages/antidepressant_medication.aspx [Accessed 11 Aug. 2014].

    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com May 23, 2024, 6:25 pm ad1c9bdddf

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

    Stimulant Use Disorder Treatment

    Please help with providing an explanation for the reason(s) researchers have not found any efficacious treatment for stimulant-used disorders. Include an analysis of why previously tested treatments have failed, and in what direction research could go in the future. In this address the physical and psychological withdrawal of st

    Depression & Best Treatment Option

    Mary a 26 year of age Caucasian female is referred to you for depression. Given the severity of her symptoms, you and the patient agree that she should be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Mary has never been treated for depression before, but her aunt Debbie was successfully treated with Imipramin

    A depression question is posed.

    The diagnoses of depression has been made for a 57 year of age white male with symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, hoplessness, suicidal ideation and anhedonia for the last 4 weeks. His medical history indicates a myocardial infarcation )"heart attack") 2 yesrs ago and he now takes nitroglycerin (Nitrostat) prn for angina and chest p

    Reversible and irreversible enzymes: Example problem

    Explain the concept of reversible and irreversable enzymes. How do Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors work as an antidepressant based on this action on the enzyme? Include the intracellular and extracellular enzymes in your answer.