How is it that antidepressants work?

Neurotransmitters. Most antidepressants work by increasing the amount of various neurotransmitters in the synapses between neurons in the brain. This includes serotonin (e.g. Ssri, prozac, celexa, zoloft), serotonin and norepinephrine (snri, Effexor (venlafaxine) and cymbalta), and Dopamine (e.g. Wellbutrin).
Agree w Dr. Tripp. Antidepressants work through correcting chemical imbalances in the brain. However the different classes work differently. If you have a question about a specific antidepressant -we would be able to provide you with more specific information.

Related Questions

How exactly do antidepressants work?

Antidepressant. Antidepressant medications work by balancing chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. They affect certain brain circuits and neurotransmitters that pass along signals from one nerve cell to another in the brain. These chemicals include Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. These medications can help improve mood, sleep, appetite, interest and energy. Read more...

How do antidepressants work? What are the side effects?

Complex question. There are many different antidepressants in different categories thus their mode of action varies as do the side effects. It is best that you ask your doctor which specific medications he or she recommends and then look up the mode of action and side effects profile in a reliable internet source such as webmd, nimh, the manufacturer, etc. Read more...
Your question is. way too broad. Since there are multiple classes of antidepressants & multiple different medications - you would need to ask about a specific medication. The question you asked could take volumes to respond to. Read more...

How do antidepressant medications work on the brain?

Nobody knows. Nobody knows for sure. Most antidepressants influence brain neurotransmitters like serotonin, nor Epinephrine and dopamine. These brain messengers have a role in maintaining a normal mood but how they really work remains a mystery. About a third of our patients respond poorly to antidepressants so we need to look for medications that influence other neurobiological systems. Read more...
Addendum. A current working hypothesis is that due to the effects colleagues have discussed, signalling within nerve cella is enhanced. Therefore when signals from many nerve cells are combined by a receiving cell, its subsequent output response is amplified. (sort of like a digital sound amplifier.) in depression, these output signals are muffled. Read more...
Neurotransmission. Antidepressant medications act on enzymes, receptors, and neurotransmitters in various parts of the brain to modulate the functioning of circuitry that affects mood, thinking, sleeping, anxiety and the ability to think and concentrate. Each medication is a bit different, and they are separated into classes depending on their affects on the brain circuits. The results are to normalize functioning. Read more...