Mental health disorders

Depression

(Major depression)

  • Also known as
  • Clinicial depression
  • Major depressive disorder
  • MDD

About Depression

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It's more than just a feeling of being "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life.

Symptoms of Depression
  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Top Medications for Depression according to our users

Filter group. All currently selected

All Medications for Depression

  • Antipsychotic > Atypical

    • Abilify
      (Aripiprazole)
      Prescription only

      Abilify (Aripiprazole) is good for treating psychosis and mania, and can help with depression. Less likely to cause side effects than any other antipsychotic, but has a risk of suicidal thoughts for people age 24 and younger.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Dissolving tablet
      • Liquid
      • Injection
    • Seroquel
      (Quetiapine)
      Prescription only

      Seroquel (Quetiapine) is good for treating psychosis and mania. Fewer side effects than most antipsychotics, but might be less effective for people over age 40 with schizophrenia.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
    • Zyprexa
      (Olanzapine)
      Prescription only

      Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is good for treating psychosis, mania, and agitation. More likely to cause weight gain and sleepiness than other antipsychotics.

      Was it worth it?
      Men

      Not enough review data. Review it!

      Women

      Not enough review data. Review it!

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Dissolving tablet
      • Injection
  • Antidepressant > Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

    • Celexa
      (Citalopram)
      Prescription only

      Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Oral solution
    • Lexapro
      (Escitalopram)
      Prescription only

      Lexapro (Escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid
    • Paxil
      (Paroxetine)
      Prescription only

      Paxil (Paroxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety but it causes more weight gain, sleepiness, and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release tablet
      • Liquid
    • Prozac
      (Fluoxetine)
      Prescription only

      Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Delayed release capsule
      • Liquid
    • Trintellix (Vortioxetine) is a new type of serotonin modulating antidepressant that can be tried when the other antidepressants don't work, but some people may find the side effects intolerable and the cost expensive.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
    • Zoloft
      (Sertraline)
      Prescription only

      Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid
  • Antidepressant > Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

    • Cymbalta
      (Duloxetine)
      Prescription only

      Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Extended release
    • Effexor
      (Venlafaxine)
      Prescription only

      Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
    • Pristiq
      (Desvenlafaxine)
      Prescription only

      Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Extended release
  • Antidepressant > Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)

    • Elavil
      (Amitriptyline)
      Prescription only

      Elavil (Amitriptyline) is an older antidepressant that's sometimes used to treat pain and sleep problems, but it can have more side effects than similar medications.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
    • Pamelor
      (Nortriptyline)
      Prescription only

      Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid
    • Anafranil
      (Clomipramine)
      Prescription only

      Anafranil (Clomipramine) is helpful in treating OCD, but it can have a lot of side effects.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
  • Antidepressant > Serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor

  • Antidepressant > Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant

  • Antidepressant > Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor

  • Antidepressant > Partial serotonin receptor agonist

Stimulant

  • Dexedrine
    (Dextroamphetamine)
    Prescription only

    Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is an effective and cheap medication used to treat ADHD, but it can be habit-forming and is not used for long-term treatment.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Liquid
  • Provigil
    (Modafinil)
    Prescription only

    Provigil (Modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it can interact with other medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Anti-parkinson > Dopamine agonist

    • Mirapex
      (Pramipexole)
      Prescription only

      Mirapex (Pramipexole) is an effective medicine for Parkinson's disease or restless leg syndrome, but there are potentially serious side effects.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release

Anticonvulsant

  • Tegretol
    (Carbamazepine)
    Prescription only

    Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.

    Was it worth it?
    Men

    Not enough review data. Review it!

    Women

    Not enough review data. Review it!

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Chewable tablet
    • Oral suspension
  • Lamictal
    (Lamotrigine)
    Prescription only

    Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Chewable tablet
    • Dissolving tablet

Medication side effects for Depression

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for abdominal pain.

  • Lexapro: 2%
  • Celexa: 8%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have abdominal pain

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have abdominal pain

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Depression

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Read the short story "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin.
  • You may not believe this, but I can guarantee you that people in your life are suffering, have suffered or are on medication for depression right now - and you have no idea.
  • Think about how lucky we are to live with depression today and not a century ago, when it didn't even have a formal name let alone treatment. Today there is so much more hope than ever before. You are NOT alone.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Talking to therapist and in supportive groups
  • Mindfulness
  • strategy strategy strategy
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • If you haven't read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, do. It may change your life.
  • Podcasts - particularly Andrew solomon's TED talk: Depression the secret we share. Moved me to tears.
  • Playing with and caring for my dog