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24 What are the major categories of anti-depressants?




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This article is from the Depression FAQ, by Cynthia Frazier with numerous contributions by others.

24 What are the major categories of anti-depressants?

There are many classes of antidepressants. Two kinds of antidepressants have been around for over 30 years. These are the tricyclic antidepressants and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors. While there are newer antidepressants, many with fewer side-effects, none of the newer antidepressants has been shown to be more effective than these two classes of drugs. In fact, many people who have not responded to newer antidepressants have been successfully treated with one of these classes of drugs.

The tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) include such drugs as imipramine (Tofranil, amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), nortriptyline (Aventyl and Pamelor).

The monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) include tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), and isocarboxazid (Marplan) which has recently been taken off the market in the U.S.A. for marketing rather than safety or efficacy reasons.

One of the popular new classes of antidepressants are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The first of these drugs to be marketed in the USA was fluoxetine (Prozac). Sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil) soon followed, and fluvoxamine (Luvox) is scheduled to be marketed in late 1994, or early 1995.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is the only drug in its class, as is trazodone (Desyrel). The most recently marketed antidepressant (4/94) is venlafaxine (Effexor), the first drug in yet another class of drugs.

IVAN:  ANOTHER COMMENT THAT I LEAVE TO YOUR JUDGEMENT:
From: Ian Ford <ianford@dircon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 20:33:09 -0500
To: cf12@cornell.edu (Cynthia Frazier)
Subject: Re: alt.support.depression FAQ Part 2[5]
Newsgroups: alt.support.depression, alt.answers, news.answers

Ref your depression FAQ :

Periactin <is> available w/out prescription in UK. It is a category "P" medication , i.e. it may be bought from a pharmacy when the pharmacist is present, but no prescription is necessary. Of course, self-medication is not necessarily a good idea and you may do best to talk to your doc. first. END COMMENT

 

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