Generally, the more recent antidepressants offer some advantages over older antidepressants. These newer medications, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, are often better tolerated and may also offer more convenient dosing. However, although these antidepressants may be newer, they are usually more expensive and may simply be "copycat" medications, meaning they are chemically similar to the older medications and may differ only slightly.
An Overview of New Antidepressants
The response to antidepressants varies greatly from person to person, more so than other types of medications. One antidepressant may be very effective and well-tolerated by one person but may be ineffective and poorly tolerated by another.
For some people, the first antidepressant they try will work great; for others, finding the right antidepressant can be very challenging. Fortunately, there are many different types of antidepressants, with new antidepressants becoming available all the time.
Does New Mean Better?
Generally, newer antidepressants (such as SSRIs, SNRIs, and various other types) offer some advantages over older antidepressants (such as tricyclic antidepressants or MAOIs). Often, the new medications are better tolerated. However, for some people, the older antidepressants work fine and are generally much less costly than the newer ones.
Sometimes, new antidepressants are simply "copycat" medications, often long-acting versions of currently available antidepressants (or versions that are chemically very similar though slightly different). While these versions usually offer some benefit (such as more convenient dosing), you and your healthcare provider must decide whether the benefit is worth the additional cost of the newer drugs.
Remember, even if you have insurance to cover your medications, you should still consider the cost, since you will pay indirectly (through the increased cost of insurance and healthcare in general).