Here is a list of commonly prescribed antidepressants, their usual daily dosages, and how they appear to work.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

The following medications block the reabsorption and inactivation of the neurotransmitter serotonin. This increases the availability of serotonin to carry messages between nerve cells.

  • Celexa (citalopram): 20–40 mg
  • Lexapro (escitalopram): 10–20 mg
  • Luvox (fluvoxamine): 50–300 mg
  • Luvox CR (fluvoxamine, controlled-release): 100–300 mg
  • Paxil (paroxetine): 20–50 mg
  • Paxil CR (paroxetine, controlled-release): 25–62.5 mg
  • Prozac (fluoxetine): 20–80 mg
  • Prozac Weekly (fluoxetine): 90 mg (weekly)
  • Zoloft (sertraline): 50–200 mg

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

These drugs block the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine, increasing the availability of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

  • Cymbalta (duloxetine): 40–60 mg
  • Effexor (venlafaxine): 75–375 mg
  • Effexor XR (venlafaxine, extended-release): 37.5–225 mg
  • Oleptro (trazodone): 150–375 mg
  • Pristiq (desvenlafaxine): 50 mg

Dopamine reuptake inhibitors

The following drugs block the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter dopamine, increasing its availability in the brain.

  • Wellbutrin (bupropion): 200–450 mg
  • Wellbutrin SR (bupropion, sustained-release): 150–400 mg
  • Wellbutrin XL (bupropion, extended-release): 150–450 mg

Tricyclics

Trycyclic antidepressants block the reabsorption of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and, to a lesser extent, dopamine, increasing their availability in the brain.

  • (amitriptyline): 50–100 mg
  • Aventyl (nortriptyline): 75–150 mg
  • Norpramin (desipramine): 100–300 mg
  • Pamelor (nortriptyline): 75–150 mg
  • Silenor (doxepin): 3–6 mg
  • Surmontil (trimipramine): 50–200 mg
  • Tofranil (imipramine): 75–200 mg
  • Vivactil (protriptyline): 15–60 mg

Tetracyclics

These 3 medications block the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine, increasing the availability of the neurotransmitters.

  • Ludiomil (maprotiline): 75–150 mg
  • Remeron (mirtazapine): 15–45 mg
  • Remeron SolTab (mirtazapine): 15–45 mg

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors

MAO inhibitors block the action of MAO, an enzyme that inactivates the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. MAO inhibitors thereby increase levels of these neurotransmitters, increasing their availability for carrying messages between neurons.

  • Emsam skin patch (selegiline): 6–12 mg
  • Marplan (isocarboxazid): 40–60 mg
  • Nardil (phenelzine): 45–90 mg
  • Parnate (tranylcypromine): 30–60 mg

Atypical neuroleptic/selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

This medication increases the availability of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine to treat depression.

  • Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine): 3/25–12/50 mg

SSRI/5-HT 1A receptor partial agonist

This drug blocks the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin, increasing the availability of serotonin to carry messages between nerve cells. The mechanism of its effect on 5-HT 1A receptors is not fully understood.

  • Viibryd (vilazodone): 40 mg

Publication Review By: Karen L. Swartz, M.D.

Published: 19 Jun 2013

Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013