Different types of antidepressants

For the choice of the right antidepressant, your doctor will consider several factors: e.g. predominant and main symptoms, your previous experience and opinions, possible side effects.

There are three main classes of antidepressants:

  • selective serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors (SSRIs): these usually cause fewer side effects
  • classical tri- and tetracyclic antidepressant (TCA): these are more likely to cause side effects but can be effective for more severe cases
  • new and atypical antidepressants, which are generally well-tolerated

In some cases, patients may prefer natural substances, such as St. John’s wort (hypericum perforatum). This is in fact a natural SSRI and can be effective. Another type of medication is mood-stabilizing drugs, which are used mainly for bipolar depression.