Fast Five Quiz: Pharmacologic Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder

Claudia L. Reardon, MD


August 26, 2022

Generally, the effectiveness of antidepressant medications is similar between and within classes, leaving the initial selection largely based on anticipated side effects and pharmacologic properties of the medication, such as half-life, actions on cytochrome P450 enzymes, and drug-drug interactions. Other relevant factors include prior medication response, cost, patient preference, and family history of medication response. For most patients, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, mirtazapine, and bupropion are practical options for initial treatment.

In general, the use of nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitors is only recommended for patients who have not responded to other treatments, considering their required dietary restrictions and potential for negative drug-drug interactions.

Learn more about pharmacologic therapy for depression.


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