Antidepressants are used to treat clinical depression and other disorders. There are three types of antidepressants:

  1. SSRI’s
  2. TCA’s
  3. MAOI’s

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s)

SSRI’s are used to treat depression, OCD, and eating disorders. The block the re-uptake of Serotonin, thereby increasing the amount of available Serotonin. They are safer than TCA’s due to less severe side effects. Examples include Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Zoloft (Sertraline). Side effects include insomnia, anorexia, and sexual dysfunctions.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA’s)

TCA’s are used to treat “typical depression,” OCD, and panic disorder. They block the re-uptake of Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Dopamine. Examples include Tofranil (Imipramine), Anafranil (Clomipramine), and Sinequan (Doxepin). Side effects include Anticholinergic effects, memory problems, gastrointestinal issues, and cardiotoxicity (can be lethal in overdose).

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI’s)

MAOI’s are used to treat “atypical depression” and hypersomnia. They inhibit MAO, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitter like Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine. Examples include Nardil (Phenelzine) and Parnate (Tranylcypromine). Side effects include Anticholinergic effects, insomnia, headaches, hypertensive crisis (if taken with food high on Tyramine like tomatoes, nuts, avacado, and alcohol).

Anticholinergic effects: dry mouth, blurred vision, tachycardia, and constipation.