September 5


New Antidepressants Alert: Discover the Latest Medications to Boost Your Mood

By Joshua Turner

September 5, 2023

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause various symptoms, including persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, and hopelessness. While many different treatment options are available, antidepressants are often prescribed as a first-line treatment for moderate to severe.

There are several different types of antidepressants available, each with its unique mechanism of action and potential side effects. In recent years, several new ones have been developed, offering patients additional options for managing their symptoms.

These latest medications are often better tolerated and have fewer side effects than older drugs, making them a popular choice for many patients.

Key Takeaways

  • There are several different types of medicines available to treat depression.
  • Newer medications have been developed recently, offering patients additional treatment options.
  • These newer medications are often better tolerated and have fewer side effects than older drugs.

Understanding Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a condition that can make it challenging to get through daily life, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. The most common is major depressive disorder, which can cause persistent sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

Various factors, including stress, genetics, hormones, and brain chemistry, can cause the mental health condition. It is vital to recognize its symptoms, which can include sadness, fatigue, changes in appetite, and difficulty sleeping. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seeking help from a mental health professional is critical.

Several subtypes of the condition include seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and postpartum depression. SAD occurs during the winter months when there is less sunlight, while postpartum depression can occur after giving birth.

It is a treatable condition, and various treatment options are available. These include therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet. Working with a mental health professional is crucial to determine the best treatment plan for your needs.

Types of Antidepressants

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed. They selectively increase serotonin levels in the brain by blocking its reuptake. Fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft) are some of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs. They are generally well-tolerated and have fewer side effects compared to other meds for mental health.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs increase the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. They are often prescribed when SSRIs are ineffective or cause unwanted side effects. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor) are commonly prescribed SNRIs.

Atypical Antidepressants

Atypical antidepressants do not fit into the other antidepressant categories and are often prescribed when others have not worked. Mirtazapine (Remeron) increases the levels of both norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. It is often prescribed for people with trouble sleeping or eating due to the mental health condition.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

TCAs were one of the first types to be developed. They are effective but have more side effects than SSRIs or SNRIs. Nortriptyline (Pamelor), amitriptyline (Elavil), and imipramine (Tofranil) are some of the most commonly prescribed TCAs.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

MAOIs are effective but are rarely prescribed due to their potential for dangerous interactions with certain foods and medications. They block the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which breaks down neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. Selegiline (Emsam) is a commonly prescribed MAOI.

Newest Antidepressants

Here are some of the newest antidepressants that are currently available:

  • Esketamine: This is a nasal spray that is used in conjunction with an oral antidepressant. It works by targeting the NMDA receptor, which is involved in the regulation of mood.
  • Vortioxetine: This drug works by targeting multiple serotonin receptors in the brain.
  • Agomelatine: This drug is unique in that it works by targeting both melatonin and serotonin receptors.
  • Brexanolone: This is a new type that is administered intravenously. It works by targeting the GABA-A receptor, which is involved in regulating mood.

Side Effects and Safety

Some common side effects of newer meds for this mental health condition include nausea, dizziness, and headache. However, they are typically mild and go away on their own within a few days.

In rare cases, antidepressants can lead to more severe side effects, such as suicidal thoughts or behavior. Monitor any changes in mood or demeanor when starting a new medication, and contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any concerning symptoms.

Another common side effect is dry mouth. This can be managed with frequent water sips or a moisturizing mouth spray. Some can cause liver damage, so it’s vital to have regular liver function tests while taking these medications.

Treatment-Resistant Depression

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is when standard antidepressives may not be effective, which can be frustrating and disheartening, but options are available.

One approach is to try a combination of medications targeting neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which may be more effective than a single medication. Some may work better in combination with therapy.

Another option is to target specific neurochemicals in the brain. For example, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that plays a role in the growth and survival of neurons. Low levels of BDNF have been linked to depression. Meds that increase BDNF levels, such as ketamine, may effectively treat TRD.

NMDA receptors are involved in learning and memory and may contribute to this mental state. Ketamine and other drugs that target NMDA receptors have shown promise in treating TRD.

Finally, some medications modulate serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in mood regulation. Drugs that modulate serotonin, such as vilazodone, may be effective in treating TRD.

Prescription and Cost

Antidepressants are prescription medications and should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

In terms of cost, they can be expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance coverage. However, many insurance companies cover their costs, so check with your provider to see what your coverage entails.

The cost can also vary widely depending on the prescribed medication and dosage. Some newer meds, such as esketamine, can be expensive, while older, generic medicines may be more affordable.

Depression and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful and exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also bring about feelings of anxiety and depression. The condition affects up to 15% of pregnant women. Seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms during pregnancy, as it can negatively affect you and your baby.

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to pregnant women, but weighing the risks and benefits is critical. Some meds, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been associated with an increased risk of congenital disabilities. However, when left untreated, it can also negatively affect the baby, such as premature birth and low birth weight.

It is also necessary to discuss your options with your healthcare provider. They can help you determine the best action for you and your baby. This may include therapy, lifestyle changes, or medication.

Postpartum depression is also a common condition that affects many new mothers. Treatment options may include therapy, support groups, or medication.

With the proper support and treatment, you can overcome these challenges and enjoy this particular time in your life.

Natural and Herbal Antidepressants

Many people prefer natural and herbal remedies for treating this mental health condition. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • St. John’s Wort: It is believed to work by increasing serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. However, it can interact with certain medications, so talking to your doctor before taking it is critical.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats, found in fish and some plants, have been shown to affect mood positively. They may help reduce inflammation in the brain, which is thought to be a factor.
  • Saffron: This spice has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Recent studies have shown that it may effectively treat mild to moderate cases of the condition.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce its symptoms. It can help you focus on the present moment and reduce negative thoughts and emotions.

While natural and herbal remedies may be effective for some people, it’s important to remember that they are not a substitute for professional medical treatment. Talk to your doctor before trying any new supplements or therapies.

Depression and Chronic Pain

Depression and chronic pain often go hand in hand, and it can be challenging to find a prescribed medication that effectively treats both conditions. However, there are some options available that may help.

One option is duloxetine, which the FDA approves to treat depression and chronic pain. This works by increasing levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which can help improve mood and reduce pain.


Another option is venlafaxine, which also works by increasing levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. This has been shown to treat both conditions effectively.

Antidepressants and Addiction

While they can be effective for many people, there is a risk of addiction and abuse associated with some medicines.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a low risk of addiction. However, benzodiazepines can be highly addictive and should only be used under close medical supervision.

Talk to your doctor about any addiction or substance abuse history before starting medication treatment. They can help you choose the proper medication and monitor your use to minimize the risk of addiction.


In conclusion, several new ones are available to help treat depression and major depressive disorder. While traditional antidepressants have been effective for many people, some may prefer natural or herbal alternatives. Discussing all options with a doctor or mental health professional is necessary to determine the best treatment plan for each individual.

Some of the newest meds on the market include Vilazodone, Vortioxetine, and Levomilnacipran—these work by targeting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

While these can be helpful, there are other forms of treatment available. Therapy, exercise, and lifestyle changes can all contribute to better mental health.

Prioritize mental health and seek help when needed. With the variety of options available, there is hope for those struggling with depression.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the latest antidepressants available?

Vilazodone, Vortioxetine, and Levomilnacipran. They work by targeting different neurotransmitters in the brain to improve mood and alleviate symptoms.

Can you recommend any new antidepressants for anxiety?

While they are not typically explicitly prescribed for anxiety, some of the latest medications for this mental health condition have been shown to be effective in treating both depression and anxiety. These include Vilazodone, Vortioxetine, and Escitalopram.

What are the benefits of trying a newer antidepressant?

They offer several benefits over older medications, including fewer side effects, faster onset of action, and improved efficacy. Some newer meds have also been shown to treat depression and anxiety effectively.

Are there any promising add-on antidepressants on the market?

Aripiprazole, Brexpiprazole, and Quetiapine. These medications are often used in combination with traditional drugs to enhance their effectiveness.

What are some potential side effects of newer antidepressants?

Common side effects may include nausea, headache, dizziness, and insomnia. More severe side effects are rare but can have suicidal thoughts and behavior.

How do the newest antidepressants compare to older ones in terms of efficacy?

They have been shown to be more effective than older medications in treating depression. However, the specific efficacy of each drug can vary depending on the individual patient and their unique symptoms.

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