Other Depression MedicationsFortunately, there are many medications available to treat depression. These medications include:
- Other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Miscellaneous other antidepressants.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)Lexapro is an SSRI. 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 Lexapro, these medications include:
- Citalopram (Celexa®)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, Selfemra™)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox® CR)
- Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®, Brisdelle™)
- Sertraline (Zoloft®).
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
These antidepressants are very similar to SSRIs, except that they also affect norepinephrine (another chemical in the brain). SNRIs used to treat depression include:
- Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq™)
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta®)
- Levomilnacipran (Fetzima™)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor®, Effexor XR®).
Milnacipran (Savella™) is an SNRI that is not approved for the treatment of depression (although it may be used off-label for this purpose).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of older medications used for treating depression. There are many potentially serious food and drug interactions with MAOIs. Because of this, MAOIs are usually used only if other medications for depression have not been effective. A few examples of MAOIs include:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan®)
- Phenelzine (Nardil®)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl®, Emsam®, Zelapar®)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate®).