Table 114 Antidepressant Medications

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Action: Increase serotonin levels in the brain. Drugs: Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine),

Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline). Notable Side Effects: Nausea and stomach upset, agitation, difficulty sleeping, headache, decreased libido, and other sexual dysfunction (problems with erections, etc.). Rarely there are associated suicidal thoughts.

Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) Action: Increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Drugs: Cymbalta (duloxetine), Effexor (venlafaxine). Notable Side Effects: Nausea and stomach upset, sedation, dry mouth, tremors, and headache.

Norepinephrine Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRIs) Action: Increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Drug: Wellbutrin (bupropion).

Notable Side Effects: Agitation, weight loss, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, and liver toxicity. Patients with a history of seizures or anorexia or bulimia should not take Wellbutrin. Also, Wellbutrin has the same active ingredient (bupropion) as is present in the antismoking medication Zyban, so they usually should not be taken together.

Noradrenergic Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants (NaSSAs) Action: Enhance norepinephrine and serotonin activity in the brain. Drug: Remeron (mirtazapine).

Notable Side Effects: dizziness, weight gain, lethargy, and liver toxicity.

Serotonin Antagonist Reuptake Inhibitors (SARIs) Action: Increase serotonin levels in the brain. Drugs: Desyrel (trazodone), Serzone (nefazodone). Notable Side Effects: Nausea and stomach upset, sedation, headache, dizziness. Desyrel is rarely associated with sustained and painful erection in men.

Tricyclic Antidepressants Action: Increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Drugs: Anafranil (clomipramine), Elavil (amitryptiline), Norpramin (desipramine), Pamelor (nortryptiline), Sinequan (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine).

Notable Side Effects: Sedation, dry mouth, weight gain, and dizziness. Rarely associated with cardiac conduction delays (arrhythmias).

some cancer survivors, but there are also other options to help stabilize or improve your mood.

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