Common Medications for Treating Depression

There are several mood-altering medications on the market to treat depression. Talk to your physician about the benefits, risks and side effects of each.


Treatment type

How it Works

SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Blocks reuptake of brain neurotransmitter serotonin
SNRIs (Serotonin And Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) Blocks reuptake of brain neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine)
NDRIs (Norepinephrine And Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors Blocks reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain
Tricyclic Antidepressants Block the absorption of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine (making it more available in the brain)
Atypical Antidepressants Alters the level of brain neurotransmitters
MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) Blocks the breakdown of Monoamine oxidase to increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain
Dietary Supplement & Herbal Therapy St. John’s wort and Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to Help the brain manufacture neurotransmitters.


Alternate Depression Treatments

In addition to the medications listed above, there are other therapies that can help elevate a patient’s mood.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) - Formerly known as shock therapy, ECT encourages a patient to have small seizures. This therapy is usually used on patients with severe depression who have not responded well to other treatments. Results are often immediate and positive.

Vagal Nerve Stimulation - Requires surgical implantation of a stimulation device that delivers electrical impulses that affect mood centers.

 Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - Uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerves and alter brain activity and mood.