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2nd Generation Antidepressants Equally Effective

By December 16, 2008

According to a new practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP), second-generation antidepressants are equally effective for treatment of depression in adults.

Second-generation antidepressants include:

  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Desyrel (trazodone)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Serzone (nefazodone)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

In a news release from the ACP, the lead author of the guidelines said that "The studies we analyzed show that second generation drugs have different adverse effects but are equally effective for treating depression.”

The guidelines recommend that, “When drugs are used to treat depression, doctors and patients should select a second-generation antidepressant on the basis of side effect profiles, cost, and patient preferences.”

Members of the American College of Physicians are internists, who are specialists in the care of adults.

The guidelines, published in November, can be viewed at: Using Second-Generation Antidepressants to Treat Depressive Disorders: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians.

More Information About Depression

What do you think? Leave a comment below or in the Medication Forum.

To ask me a question about medication, email me at drugs.guide@about.com.

December 24, 2008 at 8:45 am
(1) Suzy says:

The talk about second generation Antidepressants must be a comparison
to something called first generation
Antidepressants? Are the 1st gen. AD’s.. Are some of them: Elavil, Triliptal, Doxepin, Immiprimine, etc…???? Thanks……….

December 28, 2008 at 3:48 pm
(2) drugs says:

Hi Suzy:
The first generation antidepressants (for the most part) are the tricyclics and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Take a look at my article: Depression, What You Need to Know. It categorizes the medications.

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