Depression Home > Wellbutrin Alternatives
Other Depression MedicationsFortunately, there are many medications available to treat depression. There are no other medications, however, that work exactly the way Wellbutrin does. Some of these antidepressant medications include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Miscellaneous other antidepressants.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are usually very effective at treating depression and do not usually have many serious side effects. They work by increasing the level of serotonin available for cells of the brain. These antidepressant medications can include:
- Citalopram (Celexa®)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, Selfemra™)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox® CR)
- Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®, Brisdelle™)
- Sertraline (Zoloft®).
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
These antidepressants are very similar to SSRIs, except that they also affect norepinephrine (another chemical in the brain). SNRIs used to treat depression can 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 serious food and drug interactions with MAOIs. Because of this, MAOIs are usually only used if other medications for depression have not been effective. Some examples of MAOIs include:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan®)
- Phenelzine (Nardil®)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl®, Emsam®, Zelapar®)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate®).
Tricyclic antidepressants are another older class of antidepressants. Due to certain side effects, they are generally not recommended for elderly people. Some tricyclic types of depression medicine include:
- Amitriptyline (Elavil®)
- Amoxapine (Asendin®)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil®)
- Doxepin (Sinequan®, Silenor®)
- Imipramine (Tofranil®)
- Desipramine (Norpramin®)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor®)
- Protriptyline (Vivactil®)
- Trimipramine (Surmontil®).
There are several other antidepressants available, including:
- Mirtazapine (Remeron®)
- Nefazodone (Serzone®)
- Other bupropion products, including Aplenzin™, Budeprion SR, Budeprion XL®, Buproban®, Forfivo™ XL, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, or Zyban®
Sometimes, stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin®) are used to treat depression when other medications have not helped -- though stimulants are not approved for this use.