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We usually write DA for the dopamine neurotransmitter and 5-HT for the serotonin neurotransmitter. These two neurotransmitters are usually slow and a lot less common than the major ones. They originate in brainstem, but they are released throughout the entire brain and spine.[1]

Amazingly enough, even though they are called antidepressants, they can be used for a lot of non-depression related illnesses. For instance, SSNRI's are used in conjunction with pain medication for pain in cancer patients.

In this section we will attempt to answer what depression is; what anxiety is; how we treat them; and what antidepressants are.

Antidepressants[edit | edit source]

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
This inhibits the 5-HT reuptake.
  • Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
This inhibits 5-HT and NE reuptake, and antagonizes ACh receptors.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
This inhibits MAO breakdown of 5-HT, NE, and DA.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
This inhibits 5-HT and NE reuptake.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Mirtazapine: Antagonizes presynaptic NE receptors and thus boosts the release of NE and 5-HT receptors, and antognises specific postsynaptic 5-HT receptors to relieve anxiety. [2]
  • Bupropion: Inhibits NE and DA reuptake. Making it very good for stimulant addicts.
  • Atomoxetine: Inhibits NE reuptake. Making it very good for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

References[edit | edit source]


  1. MIT OCW 2013 Drugs and The Brain
  2. MIT OCW 2013 Drugs and The Brain