n Journal of Depression and Anxiety - Antidepressants an overview : update

Volume 4, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1560-0181



Antidepressants have been in use since the 1950's, when an antituberculous drug was accidentally found to have mood elevating properties. Since then, many antidepressants have become available. This has paralleled the increasing knowledge and insights into the aetiology of depression. Neurotransmitters implicated in the aetiology of depression include serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and acetylcholine. Antidepressants may be classified into the first generation antidepressants, which include the tricyclic antidepressants (TCA's) and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's); the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's); noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors (NRI's) and other drugs which are basically modifications of the SSRI's. These drugs are all discussed in terms of their mode of action, and side effect profile. Other drugs which may be used as antidepressants, as well as future therapeutic targets in depression are discussed.

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