Antidepressants List

Based on "Essential Psychopharmacology"
written by Stephen M. Stahl, MD, PhD

Up-to-date comprehensive listing includes most of the antidepressant medications in the current use. Categorized by type (or biochemical family), generic names are listed first followed by the trade names examples.

Common features of all antidepressants:

  • 1. All antidepressants work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain.
  • 2. Antidepressants are NOT controlled substances.
  • 3. Antidepressant drugs improve depressive symptoms at about the same rate.

New Antidepressants

Generic Name Brand Name
Brexanolone (GABA A receptor modulator) Zulresso, March 2019
Vortioxetine (serotonin modulator and stimulator) Brintellix, approved September 2013
Levomilnacipran (SNRI) Fetzima, approved July 2013
Vilazodone (SSRI) Viibryd, approved January 2011

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Generic Brand Name
Citalopram Celexa
Escitalopram Lexapro, Cipralex
Fluoxetine Prozac, Sarafem; Pexeva
Fluvoxamine Luvox
Paroxetine Paxil, Paxil CR
Sertraline Zoloft

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most widely prescribed antidepressants. SSRIs selectively inhibit the reuptake of serotonin resulting in increased serotonin concentration in the brain.
Main beneficial features of SSRIs over older antidepressants (MAOIs and TCAs):

  • Low overdose toxicity potential.
  • Low risk of severe systemic adverse effects, especially anticholinergic and cardiovascular side effects.

The major drawbacks of SSRIs:

  • Sexual dysfunction, which is the most common SSRI-induced side effect that leads to drug discontinuation.


Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA)

Generic Brand Name
Amitriptyline Elavil, Endep, Levate
Amoxapine Asendin
Clomipramine Anafranil
Desipramine Norpramin, Pertofrane
Dosulepin Prothiaden, Thaden
Doxepin Adapin, Sinequan
Imipramine Tofranil
Lofepramine Gamanil, Lomont
Maprotiline Deprilept, Ludiomil, Psymion
Mianserin Bolvidon, Norval, Tolvan
Nortriptyline Pamelor
Protriptyline Vivactil
Trimipramine Surmontil

Tricyclic antidepressants represent the oldest class of drugs for depression. Currently TCAs are considered second-line antidepressants in cases when SSRIs are ineffective or as adjunct therapy with newer drugs. TCAs act as non-selective inhibitors of the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine.

Advantages of TCAs:

  • Proven efficacy.
  • Low cost.

Drawbacks of TCAs:

  • Adverse effects such as orthostatic hypotension, anticholinergic effects, cardiovascular effects (arrhythmias and tachycardia).
  • Overdose toxicity.

Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

Generic Brand Name
Desvenlafaxine Pristiq
Duloxetine Cymbalta
Levomilnacipran Fetzima
Milnacipran Savella
Venlafaxine Effexor, Effexor XR

Unlike SSRI antidepressants SNRIs block the reuptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline. Generally, SNRIs have side effect profile as SSRIs, but are more likely to produce anticholinergic side effects.

Noradrenergic and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressant (NaSSA)

Generic Brand Name
Mirtazapine Remeron, Remeron SolTab

Mirtazapine enhances the presynaptic release of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. It works via antagonist activity in the presynaptic alpha 2-adrenergic receptors.

Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRIs)

Generic Brand Name
Bupropion Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban; Aplenzin

Miscellaneous Antidepressants

Generic Brand Name
Atomoxetine (Norepinephrine reuptake Inhibitor) Strattera
Agomelatine (5-HT2C receptor antagonist) Valdoxan
(5HT1A receptor agonist)
(5HT2-receptor antagonist)
Nefadar, Serzone
Tandospirone (azapirone, 5HT1A receptor agonist) Sediel
(Serotonin reuptake enhancer)
(5HT2-receptor antagonist, triazolopyridine-derivative)
Desyrel, Apo-Trazodone, Oleptro
(Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor)
Edronax, Vestra
Viloxazine (Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor) Vivalan
(Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Serotonin 5HT 1A receptor agonist)
Serotonin Modulator and Stimulator
Vortioxetine Brintellix
Etrafon, Triavil


Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Generic Brand Name
Isocarboxazid Marplan
Moclobemide Manerix
Phenelzine Nardil
Tranylcypromine Parnate
Selegiline Emsam (transdermal patch)

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) are irreversible inhibitors of the enzyme monoamine oxidase. MAOIs inactivate neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Currently MAOIs have a place in treating Parkinson's disease, atypical depression, as well as depression that does not respond to other antidepressant drugs.

The main dangers of MAOIs:

  • Dietary restrictions. MAOIs have potentially lethal interactions with foods and drugs containing tyramine. Foods containing tyramine include cheese, smoked meats, and red wine.
  • Potential to cause a hypertensive crisis and serotonin syndrome.
  • Risk of orthostatic hypotension

Advantages of MAOIs:

  • Effective for atypical depression.
  • Highly effective for mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Minimal anticholinergic and antihistamine effects.
  • Inexpensive.

Mood Stabilizers

Examples of mood stabilizers used to treat depressive symptoms are:

Generic Brand Name
Lithium Eskalith, Lithane, Lithobid
Quetiapine Seroquel, Xeroquel, Ketipinor

Atypical antipsychotics

Certain atypical antipsychotics licensed to treat depression are:

Generic Brand Name
Brexpiprazole2 Rexulti


  • 1. New FDA Approved Drugs for Psychiatry/Psychology CenterWatch
  • 2. Rexulti® (brexpiprazole) Prescribing Information PDF

Last updated: April 08, 2019


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