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A Complete Guide on the Best Antidepressant Medications

Feeling sad or hopeless happens to the best of us at times. It’s only when these feelings of depression persist for weeks, months, or years at a time that you may need medical intervention.

Did you know that in the United States more than 16 million adults report at least one major depressive episode every year?

Have you been feeling down for a while? You may want to talk to your doctor to figure out the best antidepressant for your symptoms. Check out this complete guide on the different classes of antidepressants to learn how they can fight depression below.

SSRI – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor

The most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It’s also known as an SSRI.

SSRIs correct an imbalance of serotonin in the brain. This imbalance plays a big role in depression.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between the brain’s never cells called neurons. The brain reabsorbs serotonin into the neurons as they pass messages.

An SSRI decreases how much serotonin the brain reuptakes. This leaves more serotonin available for transmitting messages.

Popular types of SSRIs include:

  • escitalopram
  • fluoxetine
  • fluvoxamine
  • sertraline
  • paroxetine
  • citalopram

SSRIs cause a variety of side effects including nervousness and trouble sleeping. They can also cause decreased libido, nausea, and tremors. It’s known as the best antidepressant to treat the majority of patients.

SNRI – Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor

SNRIs or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are similar to SSRIs. They affect serotonin and a second type of neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. This class of antidepressants includes:

  • venlafaxine
  • levomilnacipran
  • desvenlafaxine
  • duloxetine

Duloxetine doubles as a pain reliever as well. People who live with chronic pain often suffer from depression and this can make them more aware of their pain. An antidepressant with pain-relieving properties is ideal for these kinds of patients.

Side effects associated with SNRIs include dry mouth, fatigue, drowsiness, constipation, and nausea.

TCA – Tricyclic Antidepressant

Do neither SNRIs nor SSRIs seem to help alleviate depression symptoms? Then a physician might try prescribing a tricyclic antidepressant. Currently, no research exists explaining why this class of antidepressant works.

Commonly prescribed TCAs include:

  • amoxapine
  • amitriptyline
  • desipramine
  • imipramine
  • nortriptyline
  • trimipramine
  • clominpramine

The side effects of TCA range from mild to severe. The more common, mild effects include fatigue, constipation, and dry mouth. The less common, severe effects of TCAs include irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, and seizures.

Dopamine Reuptake Blocker

The dopamine reuptake blocker class of antidepressants affects another neurotransmitter called dopamine. They also affect norepinephrine. It works just like an SSRI or SNRI by blocking the brain’s ability to reuptake the two neurotransmitters.

Bupropion is the only type of dopamine reuptake blocker available. It comes as name brands Aplenzin, Forfivo, and Wellbutrin.

Physicians also prescribe dopamine antidepressants for seasonal affective disorder. They also work to help patients quit smoking.

Common side effects can range from blurry vision to dizziness. They also cause nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

Tetracyclic Antidepressant

Physicians also prescribe maprotiline, a tetracyclic antidepressant, to relieve anxiety and depression. These were one of the first types of antidepressants. They work like a tricyclic one by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, noradrenaline, or both.

Side effects of a tetracyclic antidepressant include dry mouth, blurry vision, and lightheadedness. They also include headache, weakness, and drowsiness.

MAOI – Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor

An older class of antidepressants doctors often avoid prescribing nowadays is MAOIs. MAOIs (or monoamine oxidase inhibitors) commonly interact with other drugs as well as certain foods.

An MAOI stops the breakdown of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine rather than preventing their reabsorption. This antidepressant class includes:

  • tranylcypromine
  • phenelzine
  • isocarboxazid
  • selegiline

MAOIs cause many side effects like restlessness and trouble sleeping as well as drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.

5-HT1A Receptor Antagonists

The only drug in this class is called vilazodone, also known as the name brand Viibryd. Physicians generally prescribe vilazodone only after finding other antidepressants do not work. They also prescribe vilazodone if other antidepressants cause negative side effects.

Vilazodone works by balancing neurotransmitter levels like serotonin. Its few side effects include trouble sleeping, vomiting, and nausea.

5-HT2 Receptor Antagonists

There are two antidepressants classified as 5-HT2 receptor antagonists. They’re called trazodone and nefazodone (name brand: Oleptro).

Physicians used these more in the past than they do now. Newer drugs seem to have more consistent effects.

Side effects of 5-HT2 receptor antagonists include dry mouth, drowsiness, and dizziness.

5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists

Again, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists are an older class of antidepressants. Doctors do not often prescribe them anymore. The drug vortioxetine influences brain chemicals to treat depression.

Vortioxetine can cause nausea and sexual problems in users.

Atypical Antidepressant Medications

Finally, not all antidepressants fit into a specific class of drugs. They are known as atypical antidepressant medications. Doctors will prescribe them if you have certain other conditions along with depression.

One example is the bipolar medication Symbyax. It combines olanzapine with fluoxetine to relieve major depression disorders.

Natural Treatments for Depression

One good alternative to antidepressant drugs is the natural herb St. John’s wort. Studies show that St. John’s wort works well to relieve depression in the short-term, but doctors know less about the herb’s long-term effects.

St. John’s wort doesn’t work for every patient and can affect how other prescription medications work. For example, women of childbearing age taking birth control should avoid St. John’s wort. It can render their birth control ineffective.

Other drugs that St. John’s wort affects include antiseizure drugs, blood thinners, and prescription antidepressants.

Order an Over the Counter Antidepressant Through an Online Canadian Pharmacy

You don’t need to suffer in silence if you feel depressed. You’re not alone. Talk to your doctor or someone in the medical field that you trust.

There are tons of treatment options that you can try. Be open with your physician about your needs. Especially if those needs include an inability to pay for the medication.

You can always order your antidepressants online through a reliable Canadian pharmacy like 90 Day Meds. All you need is a verified prescription from your physician to place an order.

90 Day Meds even offers free shipping! Check out their extensive list of medications on their website today!