The antidepressants comprise a wide variety of drugs (Table 11.1) pre scribed most frequently to alleviate anxiety associated with depression or to treat primary depression. They are also used to relieve depression accompa nying other disorders, such as cancer or severe debilitating conditions. Antidepressants are increasingly being used as a primary drug to treat a variety of painful states, often providing considerable relief. In general their effects are believed to be due to their ability to block uptake of neurotrans mitters in the brain, notably serotonin and norepinephrine; they also affect pre-and postsynaptic receptors. The newer antidepressants, which selec tively inhibit serotonin uptake (Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft), are currently used most frequently for depression, while the tricyclics are often used as analge sic agents-especially for neuropathic pain. The following discussion will briefly review the available antidepressants and their use as analgesics.