PEP Topic 

A class of medications to treat depression; includes subgroups of

  • Tricyclic antidepressants (i.e., older drugs, those with a high incidence of anticholinergic effects, and drugs that are highly cardiotoxic in overdose), such as desipramine, nortriptyline, amitriptyline, imipramine, doxepin, and clomipramine
  • SSRIs
  • Newer drugs—including fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram, and escitalopram—with fewer severe side effects,
  • SNRIs such as venlafaxine (duloxetine is probably the most common)
  • Psychostimulants (methylphenidate is probably the most common)
  • Others (e.g., bupropion, trazodone, mirtazapine, mianserin*).

The use of antidepressants for patients with cancer has been evaluated in the treatment of depression and anxiety and as an adjunctive treatment for pain. Specific antidepressants have been evaluated as treatments for peripheral neuropathy.

*Not available in the United States

Recommended for Practice

Research Evidence Summaries

Guideline/Expert Opinion

Systematic Review/Meta-Analysis