Medications

Medication along with therapy and other lifestyle changes is, for now, the most effective treatment for depression.  There are many medications and what works best for each person will vary.  Working closely with your doctor is the best way to find the right combination for you.  As with anything else, this is determined along with a medical professional to establish the most effective approach.

Below is more information about common and widely available medications, as well as links to pages that keep up-to-date information on the ever-changing research about depression medication, including precautions and potential side effects.

Note that the manufacturers with logos and/or links to their web sites have contributed to iFred.

The information serves as an educational aid and does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of any of these medications. It is not intended as medical advice for individual problems, or for making an evaluation on the risks and benefits of taking particular drug. The information here should not be used as a substitute for a consultation, visit with your family physician or other health care provider. We strongly suggest and encourage you to consult with a licensed physician for answers to any questions you may have about these or other medications.

MEDLINEplus  This website from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine has a database with information about thousands of prescription and over-the-counter medications.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

PDRhealth  Created by the publishers of the Physicians’ Desk Reference, this site gives consumers explanations for the safe and effective use of prescription and non-prescription drugs.  http://www.pdrhealth.com/

SSRI’s

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a fairly new class of antidepressants.  In 1987, Prozac (fluoxetine), manufactured by Ely Lilly Company, was the first SSRI to enter the U.S. market as an approved treatment for depression.  Since then, numerous other SSRIs have emerged and their proven effectiveness have gone beyond the treatment of depression.  SSRIs have been useful in treating many anxiety-related illnesses including panic disorder (PD) and are usually the first choice of medication intervention prescribed for PD treatment.

Celexa (citalopram)
Celexa is used to treat major depression–a stubbornly low mood that persists nearly every day for at least two weeks and interferes with everyday living.  Like the antidepressant medications Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft, Celexa is thought to work by boosting serotonin levels in the brain.

Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
Lexapro is prescribed for treating major depression–a persistently low mood that interferes with daily functioning. Lexapro works by boosting levels of serotonin, one of the chief chemical messengers in the brain.

Luvox (fluvoxamine)
Fluvoxamine is prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder. An obsession is marked by continual, unwanted thoughts that prevent proper functioning in everyday living.

Paxil (paroxetine)
Paxil relieves a variety of emotional problems. It can be prescribed for serious, continuing depression that interferes with your ability to function.

Prozac (fluoxetine)
Prozac is prescribed for the treatment of depression–that is, a continuing depression that interferes with daily functioning.  The symptoms of major depression often include changes in appetite, sleep habits, and mind/body coordination; decreased sex drive; increased fatigue; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; difficulty concentrating; slowed thinking; and suicidal thoughts.

Zoloft (sertraline)
Zoloft is prescribed for major depressive disorder—a persistently low mood that interferes with everyday living.  Symptoms may include loss of interest in your usual activities, disturbed sleep, change in appetite, constant fidgeting or lethargic movement, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of suicide.

Read more about SSRIs…

MAOIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Chemicals that inhibit the activity of the monamine oxidase enzyme family.  They have a long history of use as medications prescribed for the treatment of depression.  They are particularly effective in treating atypical depression.

Because of potentially lethal dietary and drug interactions, monamine oxidase inhibitors have historically been reserved as a last line of treatment, used only when other classes of antidepressant drugs have failed.  New research into MAOIs indicate that much of the concern over their dangerous dietary side effects stems from misconceptions and misinformation, and that despite proven effectiveness of this class of drugs, it is underutilized and misunderstood in the medical profession.  New research also questions the validity of the perceived severity of dietary reactions and side effects, which has historically been based on outdated research.

Nardil (phenelzine)
Nardil is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor used to treat depression as well as anxiety or phobias mixed with depression.

Parnate (phenelzine)
Parnate is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor used to treat depression as well as anxiety or phobias mixed with depression.

Read more about MOAIs…

Tricyclics

Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants ease depression by affecting naturally occurring chemical messengers (neurotransmitters), which are used to communicate between brain cells.  Cyclic antidepressants block the absorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, making more of these chemicals available in the brain.  This seems to help brain cells send and receive messages, which in turn boosts mood.  Most antidepressants work by changing the levels of one or more neurotransmitters.  Cyclic antidepressants also affect other chemical messengers.

Adapin (doxepin)
Sinequan is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. It helps relieve tension, improve sleep, elevate mood, increase energy, and generally ease the feelings of fear, guilt, apprehension, and worry most people experience.

Anafranil (clomipramine)
Anafranil, a chemical cousin of tricyclic antidepressant medications such as Tofranil and Elavil, is used to treat people who suffer from obsessions and compulsions.

Elavil (amitriptyline)
Amitriptyline is prescribed for the relief of symptoms of mental depression. Some doctors also prescribe Amitriptyline to treat bulimia (an eating disorder), to control chronic pain, to prevent migraine headaches, and to treat a pathological weeping and laughing syndrome associated with multiple sclerosis.

Endep (amitriptyline)
Amitriptyline is prescribed for the relief of symptoms of mental depression. Some doctors also prescribe Amitriptyline to treat bulimia (an eating disorder), to control chronic pain, to prevent migraine headaches, and to treat a pathological weeping and laughing syndrome associated with multiple sclerosis.

Ludiomil (maprotiline)
Maprotiline is an antidepressant used to treat depression with or without anxiety.

Norpramin (desipramine)
Norpramin is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor. is used in the treatment of depression.  Norpramin has also been used to treat bulimia and attention deficit disorders, and to help with cocaine withdrawal.

Pamelor (nortryptyline)
Pamelor is prescribed for the relief of symptoms of depression. It is one of the drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants.  Some doctors also prescribe Pamelor to treat chronic hives, premenstrual depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, and bedwetting.

Pertofrane (desipramine)
Pertofrane is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor. is used in the treatment of depression.  Norpramin has also been used to treat bulimia and attention deficit disorders, and to help with cocaine withdrawal.

Sinequan (doxepin)
Sinequan is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. It helps relieve tension, improve sleep, elevate mood, increase energy, and generally ease the feelings of fear, guilt, apprehension, and worry most people experience. It is effective in treating people whose depression and/or anxiety is psychological, associated with alcoholism, or a result of another disease (cancer, for example) or psychotic depressive disorders (severe mental illness).

Surmontil (trimipramine)
This medication is used to treat depression. It may help improve your mood and sense of well-being and allow you to enjoy everyday life more. Trimipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Tofranil (imipramine)
Tofranil is used to treat depression. Tofranil is also used on a short term basis, along with behavioral therapies, to treat bed-wetting in children aged 6 and older. Its effectiveness may decrease with longer use.  Some doctors also prescribe Tofranil to treat bulimia, attention deficit disorder in children, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder.

Vivactil (protriptyline)
Vivactil is used to treat the symptoms of mental depression in people who are under close medical supervision. It is particularly suitable for those who are inactive and withdrawn.

Read more about Tricyclics…

Others

BuSpar (buspirone)
Buspar is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and for short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety.

Cymbalta (duloxetine)
Duloxetine is used to treat major depression and also used to relieve nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy) in diabetics.

This medication works by restoring the balance of two kinds of natural substances (neurotransmitters known as serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain, thereby improving mood and feelings of well-being.

Desyrel (trazodone)
Desyrel is prescribed for the treatment of depression.

Effexor (venlafaxine)
Effexor is prescribed for the treatment of depression–that is, a continuing depression that interferes with daily functioning. The symptoms usually include changes in appetite, sleep habits, and mind/body coordination, decreased sex drive, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, slowed thinking, and suicidal thoughts.

Edronax, Vestra (reboxetine)
Reboxetine is indicated for the treatment of depressive illness and for maintaining the clinical improvement in patients initially responding to treatment.  The remission of the acute phase of the depressive illness is associated with an improvement in the patient’s quality of life in terms of social adaptation.

Remeron (mirtazapine)
Mirtazapine is used to treat depression. It improves mood and feelings of well-being. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant that works by restoring the balance of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Serzone (nefazodone)
Serzone is prescribed for the treatment of depression severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. Possible symptoms include changes in appetite, weight, sleep habits, and mind/body coordination, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, slowed thinking, and suicidal thoughts.

Wellbutrin (bupropion)
Wellbutrin, a relatively new antidepressant medication, is given to help relieve certain kinds of major depression.  Unlike the more familiar tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, Tofranil, and others, Wellbutrin tends to have a somewhat stimulating effect.

How can I get help with the cost of my medications?

To find out more visit: 

www.mentalhealthamerica.net

www.new.lowestmed.com/