• Elliott Richelson
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Antidepressants are drugs which are effective for treating depression, a serious psychiatric disorder that afflicts about 5% of the adult population in the United States. These drugs, which are also less commonly called psychoanaleptics, thymoleptics, or mood-elevating drugs, are represented by a diverse group of chemical structures (see Fig. 1) whose mechanism of therapeutic action is currently unknown. However, there are many hypotheses about how they work, and in general, these theories involve biogenic amine neurotransmitters, especially norepinephrine and serotonin.

Further reading

  1. Enna SJ, Malick JB, Richelson E, eds (1981): Antidepressants: Neurochemicals, Behavioral and Clinical Perspectives. New York: Raven PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Richelson E (1982): Pharmacology of antidepressants in use in the United States. J Clin Psychiatry 43(11) Sec 2: 4Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elliott Richelson

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