In vivo brain microdialysis was used to determine the effects of the standard tricyclic antidepressant imipramine and the two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressants, fluoxetine and fluvoxamine, on extracellular levels of norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), and serotonin (5-HT) in rat medial prefrontal cortex. When given intraperitoneally (IP), imipramine increased NE in the microdialysis perfusate, and elevated DA and 5-HT to a lesser extent. Similar dose-dependent increases in DA and 5-HT were detected after IP fluoxetine, although NE was less affected. In contrast, IP fluvoxamine produced no change in basal NE nor DA, although a large increase in 5-HT occurred at an intermediate dose. When administered directly into cortex, all three antidepressants increased 5-HT by the same amount in a dose-dependent fashion. Intracortical imipramine and fluoxetine increased NE, and fluoxetine and fluvoxamine both increased DA, with fluoxetine doing so at a lower concentration. These data suggest that the SSRIs are not entirely selective for serotonin in vivo.