4 Things to Remember When Considering Taking Antidepressants
Monday, November 26, 2012
Many people with depression find that taking medication is a useful tool in improving their mood and coping. Medications for depression are called antidepressants. Antidepressants cannot solve all your problems like magic, but they can help you to even out your mood and be more able to handle events in your life that are making your mood worse.
Here are some things to remember about using antidepressants:
You need a prescription for antidepressants
Antidepressants are prescription medications, so talk to your doctor if you want to take them. If your doctor writes you a prescription for an antidepressant, ask exactly how you should take the medication. There are many medications, so you and your doctor have options to choose from. Sometimes it takes trying a couple different medications to find the best one for you, so be patient. If you are worried about cost, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication comes in a generic form. Generic medications can cost less than brand names.
When taking these medications, it is important to stick with them for awhile. Many people start feeling better a few days after starting the medication, but it often takes 1–2 weeks of taking it to feel a big difference, and 4 weeks to feel the most benefit. It’s also common to have to change the dose, so you will want to work closely with your doctor.
Take the medication long enough
How long a person takes antidepressants is very different from person to person. Many people are on them for 6–12 months, and some people take them for longer. Again, you and your doctor will want to talk about what is best for you.
Ask about side effects
Antidepressants are safe and work well for most people, but it is still important to talk with your doctor about side effects you may get. Side effects usually do not get in the way of daily life, and they may go away as your body gets used to the medication.
If you notice that your mood is getting worse, especially if you have thoughts about hurting yourself, it is important to call your doctor right away.