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Atypical antidepressants differ from other classes of antidepressants. Learn what they are and how they work.
Atypical antidepressants are not typical — they don't fit into other classes of antidepressants. They are each unique medications that work in different ways from one another.
Atypical antidepressants ease depression by affecting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. Like most antidepressants, atypical antidepressants work by ultimately effecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain nerve cell circuitry known to regulate mood, to help relieve depression.
Atypical antidepressants change the levels of one or more neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved these atypical antidepressants to treat depression:
Side effects may occur with antidepressants, including atypical antidepressants, though some people may not experience any. Some side effects may go away after a time, while others may lead you and your doctor to try a different medication.
Because of the different ways atypical antidepressants work, each has unique characteristics and varying possible side effects. For example:
Which antidepressant is best for you depends on a number of issues, such as your symptoms and any other health conditions you may have. Ask your doctor and pharmacist about the most common possible side effects for your specific antidepressant and read the patient medication guide that comes with the prescription.
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