Antidepressant Drugs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article covers the drugs used to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Clinical information about MDD and one of its consequences, suicide, is presented initially. An extensive assessment of the various classes of antidepressant drugs, traditional ones such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and their successors such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are presented. Comparative information is provided also for other types of antidepressants as well as for two newly approved drugs, brexanolone for postpartum depression and esketamine for treatment resistant depression. Information is covered about their efficacy and adverse effects. The last portion of the article describes the mechanisms of action by which conventional and novel antidepressants promote changes that ultimately account for improvement of depressive symptomatology. Within this section, the reader will learn about acute as well as long-term changes caused by antidepressants in different neurons, receptors, intracellular signaling proteins, and genes. This section also briefly describes some current research on potential novel antidepressants. The entire article has tables and figures to assist the reader.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Pharmacology
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128204726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • BDNF
  • Brexanolone
  • Glutamate
  • Ketamine
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Norepinephrine
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Serotonin
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Medicine


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