Skip to main content

Table 2 Commonly used antidepressant medications

From: Genome-wide approaches to antidepressant treatment: working towards understanding and predicting response

Antidepressant class Examples Mode of action Adverse effects
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) Nortriptyline, amitriptyline, imipramine, dothiepin Block norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake transporters; also antagonize serotoninergic, histaminergic, adrenergic and cholinergic receptors Common side effects include dry mouth and constipation; cardiovascular issues can occur; fatal in overdose
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram, escitalopram Block serotonin reuptake transporters; more selective than TCAs Common side effects include nausea, sexual dysfunction; lower cardiotoxicity than TCAs (therefore safer in overdose)
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) Venlafaxine, duloxetine Block norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake transporters; more selective than TCAs Common side effects similar to SSRIs; also associated with increased blood pressure