Anti Depressant Drugs

Most Antidepressant drugs work by increasing or enhancing the effect of the natural nervous system chemicals such as Norepinephrine and Serotonin in the brain.

Selective Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitor Drugs

  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Escitalopram
  • Citalopram

This class of drugs are most commonly used for

  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder


Sleep disturbances – Paroxetine and fluvoxamine are sedating.

Sexual Dysfunction- These drugs are known to cause decreased libido, delayed ejaculation and absent orgasm.

Suicidal thoughts – The use of these drugs should be carefully monitored in children and teenagers because under treatment children can become more suicidal.

Overdose- If one takes up to 1200 mg/day as compared to 20 mg/day, this can cause hyperthermia (intense warm feeling), muscle rigidity and twitching, changes in mental status.

Do not take with mao inhibitor drugs like phenelzine and tranylcypromine.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

  • Phenelzine
  • Tranylcypromine

Used for atypical depression and phobias

Side Effects

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness

Do not take with tyramine containing foods like cheese, chicken liver, beer, red wines, chocolate, avacado,sausages because this can lead to a serious reaction with headache, fast heart rates, nausea, high blood pressure, and stroke.


Lithium is used in the treatment of mania and bipolar. It is given orally and is excreted by the kidneys. Side effects are dry mouth, tremors, confusion, hypothyroidism, thirst and excessive urination.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

  • Amytriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Clomipramine
  • Desipramine
  • Doxepin
  • imipramine
  • Maprotiline
  • Nortriptyline
  • Protriptyline
  • Trimipramine

Used in severe major depression, Panic disorders, to control bed wetting in children, and chronic pain.

Side Effects are…

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Urinary retention
  • Glaucoma and epilepsy become worse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Sexual dysfunction


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