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Atypical antidepressants: Pharmacology, administration, and side effects

Michael Hirsch, MD
Robert J Birnbaum, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Peter P Roy-Byrne, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Advances in understanding brain neurophysiology have led to the development of atypical antidepressants, including [1]:

Agomelatine (not available in the United States)



The atypical antidepressants are distinct from other classes of antidepressants that include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), serotonin modulators, tricyclics, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Atypical antidepressants are frequently used in patients with major depression who have inadequate responses or intolerable side effects during first-line treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) [2]. However, atypical antidepressants are often first-line treatment if the drug has a desirable characteristic (eg, sexual side effects and weight gain occur less often with bupropion than SSRIs).

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 14, 2016.
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