Know Your Drug

Is my psychiatric drug safe? What are the side effects of my psychiatric drug?

There is no substitute for self-education.

When a doctor prescribes a drug, you should do a web search for “FDA label for [name of drug]” to find the warning by the drug manufacturer regarding side effects of your drug. You may be surprised.

What class is my psychiatric drug?

If you are looking for information about a specific drug, much of the information you can find in books or on the internet will refer to the class of drug, or the symptoms being treated, rather to a specific brand or generic drug name. You need to learn what class of drug your medication is, anti-depressant, stimulant, benzodiazepine, mood stabilizer, antipsychotic (neuroleptic), etc.

To know what class of drug your medication belongs to (anti-depressant, benzodiazepine, antipsychotic/neuroleptic, mood stabilizer, or stimulant/ADHD drug) you can search “What class of drug is [name of drug]?”

You can also find common psych drugs by drug class here.

Commonly Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs

Brand name is in parentheses, generic precedes it. There are hundreds of psychiatric drugs and new drugs come out all the time so your drug may not be on this list.

Antidepressant Medications

Prescribed for depression, treatment resistant depression, anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorders, etc.

  • SSRIs: fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), escitalopram (Lexapro), vortioxetine (Trintellix)
  • SNRIs: venlafaxine (Effexor XR), duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Tricyclics: amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil)
  • MAOIs: rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar, Emsam, Wellbutrin XL)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)
  • Brexpiprazole (Rexulti) antipsychotic used as an adjunctive therapy for major depressive disorder

Anti-Anxiety Medications (Anxiolytics)

Prescribed for anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social phobias, panic, sleep issues etc.

  • Benzodiazepines: chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), alprazolam (Xanax, Alprazolam Intensol, Xanax XR), lorazepam (Ativan, Lorazepam Intensol), prazepam (Centrax), oxazepam (Serax), clorazepic acid (Tranxene), Diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Diazepam Intensol)
  • Buspirone (Buspar)

ADHD Medications

For attention deficit disorder (ADHD)

  • Stimulants: methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse), pemoline (Cylert)
  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)

Antipsychotic Medications

Prescribed for bipolar disorder; treatment resistant depression; psychosis: hallucinations, delusions, manic symptoms, may be prescribed to people with anger issues and other behavioral problems including autism.

  • Neuroleptics (“typical” antipsychotics): chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), perphenazine (Trilafon), fluphenazine (Prolixin), loxapine (Loxitane), thioridazine (Mellaril), molindone (Moban), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), brexpiprazole (Rexulti)
  • “Atypical” Antipsychotics (second generation): risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), ziprasidone (Geodon, Zeldox), aripiprazole (Abilify, Aristada), lurasidone (Latuda), clozapine (Clozaril), paliperidone (Invega)

Sleep Medications

Prescribed for anxiety before sleep or for sleep disorders in children, adults and the elderly.

  • Sedative-Hypnotic/Z-drugs: zolpidem (Ambien), suvorexant (Belsomra), eszopiclone (Lunesta), temazepam (Restoril), zaleplon (Sonata)