Taking Other Antidepressants Instead of Effexor XR
Other Depression MedicationsFortunately, there are many medications available to treat depression. These medications can include:
- Other serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Miscellaneous other antidepressants.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) increase the level of serotonin and norepinephrine available for the cells of the brain. Effexor XR is an SNRI. In addition to Effexor XR (and Effexor, the short-acting version), there are three other SNRIs used to treat depression: duloxetine (Cymbalta®), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq®), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima™).
Milnacipran (Savella™) is an SNRI that is not approved for the treatment of depression (although it may be used off-label for this purpose).
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are usually very effective at treating depression and usually do not have many serious side effects. They work by increasing the level of serotonin available for cells of the brain. In addition to Effexor XR, these medications can include:
- Citalopram (Celexa®)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, Selfemra™)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox® CR)
- Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®, Brisdelle™)
- Sertraline (Zoloft®).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a class of older medications used for treating depression. There are many serious food and drug interactions with MAOIs. Because of this, MAOIs are usually used only if other medications for depression have not been effective. A few examples of MAOIs include:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan®)
- Phenelzine (Nardil®)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl®, Emsam®, Zelapar®)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate®).
Tricyclic antidepressants are another older class of antidepressants. Due to certain side effects, they are generally not recommended for elderly people. Tricyclic types of depression medicine can include:
- Amitriptyline (Elavil®)
- Amoxapine (Asendin®)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil®)
- Desipramine (Norpramin®)
- Doxepin (Sinequan®)
- Imipramine (Tofranil®)
- Maprotiline (Ludiomil®)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor®)
- Protriptyline (Vivactil®)
- Trimipramine (Surmontil®).
There are several other antidepressants available, including:
- Bupropion (Aplenzin™, Budeprion SR®, Budeprion XL®, Buproban®, Forfivo™ XL, Wellbutrin®, Wellbutrin SR®, Wellbutrin XL®, Zyban®), a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor
- Mirtazapine (Remeron®)
- Nefazodone (Serzone®)
- Trazodone (Desyrel®) or trazodone ER (Oleptro™)
Sometimes, stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin®) are used to treat depression when other medications have not helped, though stimulants are not approved for this use.