Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and heterogeneous disorder. Although there are many treatment options for MDD, patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) remain prevalent, wherein delayed time to response results in inferior chances of achieving remission. Recently, therapeutics have been developed that depart from the traditional monoamine hypothesis of depression and focus instead on the glutamatergic, GABAergic, opioidergic, and inflammatory systems. The literature suggests that the foregoing systems are implicated in the pathophysiology of MDD and preclinical trials have informed the development of pharmaceuticals using these systems as therapeutic targets. Pharmaceuticals that target the glutamatergic system include ketamine, esketamine, and rapastinel; brexanolone and SAGE-217 target the GABAergic system; minocycline targets the inflammatory system; and the combinatory agent buprenorphine + samidorphan targets the opioidergic system. The aforementioned agents have shown efficacy in treating MDD in clinical trials. Of particular clinical relevance are those agents targeting the glutamatergic and GABAergic systems as they exhibit rapid response relative to conventional antidepressants. Rapid response pharmaceuticals have the potential to transform the treatment of MDD, demonstrating reduction in depressive symptoms within 24 hours, as opposed to weeks noted with conventional antidepressants. Novel therapeutics have the potential to improve both patient mood symptomatology and economical productivity, reducing the debased human capital costs associated with MDD. Furthermore, a selection of therapeutic targets provides diverse treatment options which may be beneficial to the patient considering the heterogeneity of MDD.