Depression is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people every year in the United States alone. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, insomnia, and changes in appetite or weight. While there is no universal treatment for depression, there are many effective antidepressant medications available, some of which are more commonly prescribed than others.
The top 10 antidepressants, based on prescription rates and sales, are:
- Fluoxetine (Prozac) – This antidepressant is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) that is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and bulimia nervosa.
- Citalopram (Celexa) – belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder..
- Escitalopram (Lexapro) – Escitalopram is a type of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant that was developed specifically for treating depression and anxiety disorders.
- Sertraline (Zoloft) – Like Fluoxetine, Sertraline is an SSRI that is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) – is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. Venlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and panic attacks.
- Amitriptyline – is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) medication that is used to treat various mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Amitriptyline works by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
- Bupropion – belongs to the class of antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). This drug used to treat major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is also occasionally prescribed off-label for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, and nicotine dependence
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta) – a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant. It is used to treat major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. Duloxetine may improve quality of life in people with these conditions
- Paroxetine – belongs to a class of medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Paroxetine can be effective in treating symptoms of mental health conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric syndrome.
- Trazodone – is a prescription medication that is used to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It is a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI), which means it blocks the action of serotonin in the brain
These medications work by altering the levels of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain that can become unbalanced and cause depression symptoms.