Dennis B. Kottler, MD

Westlake Village, CA

Appointments:   818-991-8376 


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See Also:  Medication:  When Is It Needed?

See also:  Single Isomer Medication

The number and variety of psychiatric medications has increased enormously over the last few decades.   The medications listed below are categorized by the type of disorders for which they are commonly prescribed.   However, it is important to keep in mind that many medications have multiple uses.  All medications listed are by prescription only and should be thoroughly discussed with the physician. 


In the current treatment of DEPRESSION, the following medications are used (generic names given first - brands in parentheses):

  1. tricyclic antidepressants (largely supplanted by #2 and #3 below) - These include such medications as desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepine (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trazadone (Desyrel).

  2. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) - These include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), and fluvoxamine (Luvox).

  3. other -  buproprion (Wellbutrin), venlafaxine (Effexor), and nefazodone (Serzone).

  4. NEW:   Lexapro, the single-isomer form of Celexa.


In the treatment of various BIPOLAR DISORDERS (manic-depressive disorders), the following medications are commonly used:

  1. lithium carbonate (Eskalith, Lithonate, etc.)
  2. divalproex Sodium (Depakote)
  3. carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  4. olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  5. Note:  various antiepileptic medications are increasing in usage, including, e.g.,  lamotrigine (Lamictal) and gabapentin (neurontin)


In the treatment of GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER, the following are useful medications:

  1. buspirone (Buspar)
  2. alprazolam (Xanax)
  3. lorazepam (Ativan)
  4. clonzepam (Klonopin)
  5. diazepam (Valium) - older and less often used
  6. chlordiazepoxide (Librium) - older and less often used
  7. venlafaxine (Effexor)
  8. paroxetine (Paxil)


In  the treatment of PANIC DISORDER, the following medications have been quite helpful:

  1. alprazolam (Xanax)
  2. clonazepam (Klonopin)
  3. sertraline (Zoloft)
  4. paroxetine (Paxil)


In the treatment of OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER, these medications are often recommended:

  1. clomipramine (Anafranil)
  2. fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  3. fluoxetine (Prozac)
  4. sertraline (Zoloft)
  5. paroxetine (Paxil)


For SLEEP DISORDERS, especially difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, these medications are used:

  1. zolpidem  (Ambien)
  2. temazepam (Restoril)
  3. zaleplon (Sonata)
  4. triazolam (Halcion)
  5. trazadone (Desyrel)
  6. nefazadone (Serzone)
  7. amitriptyline (Elavil)



  1. methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  2. dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  3. mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall)
  4. buproprion (Wellbutrin)
  5. clonidine (catapress) - especially for hyperactivity
  6. various newer (better?) forms of #1 and #2 above


The above list of medications is by no means complete, but it is representative of the wide diversity of medications available to patients.

Several important points need emphasis regarding medication:

It cannot be overemphasized that while medication represents an extremely useful tool in managing a host of different psychiatric disorders, it is invariably best prescribed in the context of a comprehensive treatment program.

Suggested Readings

The following link will take you to a list of recommended titles which you may purchase online.   The medication guides cover a wide range of medications in addition to psychiatric medications.

Suggested Readings

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Appointments:   818-991-8376