Three classes of antidepressants are generally distinguished, on the basis of chemical structure or presumed pharmacological mechanism of action: the tricyclics (structure of three rings), the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). However, certain antidepressants cannot be fitted neatly into this somewhat arbitrary classification. Some features of these three classes are given in the table:






The most effective antidepressants in severe


depressive states Anxiolytic, analgesic, and hypnotic properties, which are predictable, dose-related, and helpful Wide dose range



Grossly underused due to fears of 'cheese


reaction' and consequent dietary restriction; effective in atypical and refractory depression



Widely prescribed by GPs for emotional


problems, often effectively as a placebo Frequently but unpredictably cause agitation, gastrointestinal upset, and sexual dysfunction Less effective for severe cases Limited dose range

Reports of suicidality and withdrawal symptoms

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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