Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants are used for chronic pain because the pain puts stress on the body that “uses up” some beneficial brain neurotransmitters. This can both make us depressed and increase pain sensation, so these medications are used along with others to treat the overall pain experience.

Antidepressant Drugs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRIs)

Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs) inhibit reuptake of serotonin, and noradrenaline

Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) inhibit reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine.

Serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) include:

Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors inhibit the neuronal reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine

Tricyclic antidepressants inhibit reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin, although there are exceptions.

Tertiary amine tricyclic antidepressants:

Secondary amine tricyclic antidepressants




The most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the US retail market in 2010 were:

Sertraline Zoloft SSRI 33,409,838
Citalopram Celexa SSRI 27,993,635
Fluoxetine Prozac SSRI 24,473,994
Escitalopram Lexapro SSRI 23,000,456
Trazodone Desyrel SARI 18,786,495
Duloxetine Cymbalta SNRI 14,591,949
Paroxetine Paxil SSRI 12,979,366
Amitriptyline Elavil TCA 12,611,254
Venlafaxine XR Effexor XR SNRI 7,603,949
Bupropion XL Wellbutrin NDRI 7,317,814
Mirtazapine Remeron TeCA 6,308,288
Venlafaxine ER Effexor SNRI 5,526,132
Bupropion SR NDRI 4,588,996
Desvenlafaxine Pristiq SNRI 3,412,354
Nortriptyline Sensoval TCA 3,210,476
Bupropion ER NDRI 3,132,327
Venlafaxine Effexor SNRI 2,980,525
Bupropion Wellbutrin XL NDRI 753,516

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