Major tranquillisers used as antidepressants. A review

J Affect Disord. 1982 Sep;4(3):173-93. doi: 10.1016/0165-0327(82)90002-7.


The use of major tranquillisers as antidepressants is reviewed and 34 double-blind trials evaluating this were found. Results suggest that some neuroleptics have antidepressant properties, although most studies have been conducted on mixed anxiety-depressive states. Advantages over the tricyclic antidepressants are the early onset of action and relative lack of side-effects. Post psychotic depression following major tranquilliser therapy is considered, and it is concluded that it is likely to be part of the underlying illness and not a drug-induced effect. It is suggested that further work with major tranquillisers in depression may be of value in exploring the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzamides / therapeutic use
  • Butyrophenones
  • Depressive Disorder / chemically induced
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Phenothiazines


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzamides
  • Butyrophenones
  • Phenothiazines