There are a number of drugs available to treat depression. Each drug has possible side effects and contraindications that need to be reviewed before a treatment plan is developed. Consulting a list of popular generic antidepressants can help people avoid life-threatening drug interactions and undesirable side effects. Understanding the antidepressants available can also help patients take a more active role in their own mental health care.
Paroxetine is a drug used to treat depression and other mood and anxiety disorders. It is sold under the brand names Pexeva, Paxil and Paxil CR. This drug is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which helps to restore the balance of serotonin in the brain. Side effects of paroxetine include drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous, insomnia, nausea, weight changes, constipation, dry mouth and a decreased sex drive.
Fluoxetine is an SSRI that is sold under the brand names Selfemra, Sarafem, Rapiflux, Prozac and Prozac Weekly. This drug should be used cautiously with people who have kidney disease, cirrhosis, diabetes, seizures, manic depression or a history of suicidal thoughts or drug abuse. Possible side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous, upset stomach, nausea, constipation, increased appetite, insomnia, impotence, dry mouth and cold symptoms.
Sertraline is an SSRI marketed under the brand name Zoloft. It is used to treat depression as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD and social anxiety disorder. Sertraline should not be taken by anyone who is taking disulfiram, pimozide or MAO inhibitors. It should be used with caution in people who have liver, heart or kidney problems. Possible side effects include nausea, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, bloating, flatulence, drowsiness, dizziness, excessive tiredness, nervousness, headache, sore throat, change in sexual ability and excessive sweating.
Escitalopram is an SSRI sold under the brand name of Lexapro. It is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. This drug should not be taken by anyone who is taking MAO inhibitors or other SSRI drugs. Escitalopram should be used with caution in people with a history of heart, thyroid, kidney or liver problems. Possible side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, change in sexual ability, increased sweating, heartburn, dry mouth, stomach pain, increased appetite, runny nose, sneezing and excessive tiredness.
Duloxetine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) marketed under the brand name of Cymbalta. It is used to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Duloxetine should not be used by people who have liver or renal impairment and should be used with caution in people who have narrow-angle glaucoma. Diabetics with delayed gastric emptying should take duloxetine with caution. Possible side effects include nausea, dry mouth, headache, insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, diarrhea, constipation, excessive sweating, decreased appetite, blurred vision, heart palpitation, anxiety, weight changes and decreased libido.
Venlafaxine is an SSNRI that is sold under the brand names of Effexor and Effexor XR. It is used to treat depression, panic disorder and anxiety. This drug should be used with caution in people who have cirrhosis, bipolar disorder, liver disease, hypertension, kidney disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, high cholesterol or bleeding and clotting disorders. Possible side effects include weight changes, decreased sex drive, blurred vision, impotence, increased appetite, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, nervousness and drowsiness.
Amitriptyline is an tricyclic antidepressant that works to balance chemicals in the brain. It is sold under the brand names of Endep, Vanatrip and Elavil. This drug should be used with caution in people who have glaucoma, difficulty urinating, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, schizophrenia, heart disease, manic depression or a history of heart attack, seizures or stroke. Possible side effects include nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, reduced appetite, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, headache, blurred vision, impotence and decreased sex drive.