Are there any scientists making substantial progress in the development of far more effective antidepressants? Are there any groups of people interested in developing antidepressants based on genetic tests?

Depression: How effective are antidepressants?

"It can take a long time for a medication to start helping some people. Other people still have symptoms even after trying several different medications. They can then discuss the alternative treatment options with their doctor." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK361016/

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. What have you read which suggests that current antidepressants are not effective enough? We have a strict policy that all questions should show evidence of prior research. Please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on this subject, what made you ask this question, and any problems you are having understanding your research. If you found nothing, what did you Google? This helps to provide a more helpful answer. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2019 at 6:44
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    $\begingroup$ Although this prior question is about diagnosis of bipolar disorder rather than treatment of depression, I think most of the answers still apply to this one: psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/19602/… Tl;dr: Yes of course, people are working on ways to better treat things that are hard to treat, from many angles, but brains are complicated. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 22, 2019 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ What antidepressants might become available in the near future? The 2020s? $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2019 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielMera - The question of what antidepressants will become available in the near future is open to opinion. Nobody can know for certain. Although there are some under investigation, there is no way of knowing which will pass scrutiny. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2019 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia maintains a list of potential antidepressants currently under investigation.

Of some note, the US FDA recently approved esketamine for clinical use. After being banned in the 1970s, psychedelics have become available for research purposes again in the past 20 years or so. Esketamine, a derivative of the psychedelic drug ketamine, which was already approved as an anesthetic, is an early result of this resurgence. Other psychedelics (eg, psylocibin, LSD, mescaline, DMT, MDMA) are being investigated as potential treatment for a variety of mental disorders, including depression.

Also of note, transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a relatively new treatment for some types of depression. The notion that depression comes in several forms or sub-types, responsive to different treatment options, has lead to the investigation of a variety of genetic tests that may help personalize treatment in the future. Additionally, several labs (example) are investigating the possibility of using fMRI to distinguish such sub-types using brain scans.


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