Other Depression MedicationsFortunately, there are many medications available to treat depression. Some of these medications include:
- Other serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Miscellaneous other antidepressants.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) increase the level of serotonin and norepinephrine available for the cells of the brain. Effexor is an SNRI. In addition to Effexor, there are three other SNRIs used to treat depression: duloxetine (Cymbalta®), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq®), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima™). A long-acting version of Effexor (sold under the name Effexor® XR) is also available.
Milnacipran (Savella™) is an SNRI that is not approved for the treatment of depression (although it may be used off-label for this purpose).
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are usually very effective at treating depression and usually do not have many serious side effects. They work by increasing the level of serotonin available for cells of the brain. In addition to Effexor, these medications can include:
- Citalopram (Celexa®)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, Selfemra™)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox® CR)
- Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®, Brisdelle™)
- Sertraline (Zoloft®).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of older medications used for treating depression. There are many serious food and drug interactions with MAOIs. Because of this, MAOIs are usually used only if other medications for depression have not been effective. Some examples of MAOIs include:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan®)
- Phenelzine (Nardil®)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl®, Emsam®, Zelapar®)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate®).