Frontiers in Drug Discovery

Frontiers in Drug Discovery

Volume: 2

The Search for Antidepressants - An Integrative View of Drug Discovery

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent, chronic, and recurring mental disorder. This disorder is a leading source of disability worldwide, and is associated with excess mortality rates. ...
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Repurposed Drugs: A Shortcut to the Discovery of Novel Antidepressants?

Pp. 135-176 (42)

Young Sup Woo, Yena Lee and Roger S. McIntyre


Drug repurposing aims to find new therapeutic indications for existing drugs in the market. Because the process of discovering a new pharmacological compound with desired clinical effectiveness is challenging, drug repurposing is being increasingly utilized in many areas. To address the unmet needs and limitations of treating depressive disorders with available treatments, many pharmacological agents are being investigated for antidepressant efficacy. For example, there have been some promising results with repurposing agents targeting acetylcholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, as well as modulating immune system. Furthermore, anti-glucocorticoid agents also suggested to have possible antidepressant activity. In this chapter, we summarize the results from studies on the repurposing for treating depression of various agents, and search for perspectives on treatment strategies for depression beyond approved antidepressants.


Acetylcholine, Antidepressant, Anti-inflammatory, Celecoxib, Depression, Glutamate, Ketamine, Mecamylamine, Metyrapone, Mifepristone, Repurposing, Scopolamine.


University of Toronto, University Health Network, Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.