What are the neuromechanisms of antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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All available antidepressants appear to work via one or more of the following mechanisms [133] :

  • Presynaptic inhibition of uptake of 5-HT or NE

  • Antagonist activity at presynaptic inhibitory 5-HT or NE receptor sites, thereby enhancing neurotransmitter release

  • Antagonism of NE beta or serotonin 5-HT2 receptors

  • N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonism

  • Induction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)

  • Inhibition of monoamine oxidase, thereby reducing neurotransmitter breakdown

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