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What kind of medications are used for depression?

There are many different types of medications used for depression. They are categorized by how they work on your neurotransmitters in your brain. Common categories include the following:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, making more available in the body.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These drugs block the reabsorption of both serotonin and norepinephrine to make more available in the body.
  • Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). Same idea as above—blocks the reabsorption of norepinephrine and dopamine.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are older forms of antidepressants that cause more side effects than the newer types of antidepressants. Usually, doctors don’t prescribe them until after the newer types of antidepressants have been tried with no success.

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