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November 2018

Is Your Antidepressant Working for You?

If you’re depressed, taking an antidepressant can be a big step toward feeling better. But it’s important to keep in mind that antidepressants aren’t necessarily a magic pill that will improve your symptoms right away. In fact, they can take a while to work. You may need to be on an antidepressant for several weeks before you even notice a change. It can also take some trial and error to find the type of medicine and dose that works best for you.

Signs your antidepressant isn’t working

Finding the right antidepressant can be difficult. But if you’ve been taking an antidepressant for 4 weeks or longer and don’t think it’s helping, then you should talk with your doctor.

Here are some signs that your antidepressant isn’t working:

  • Your symptoms don’t improve. Keep in mind that you may have positive changes in your sleep, appetite, and concentration before your mood improves.

  • Your medicine helps for a while, but then your symptoms return.

  • Side effects make you not want to take it. These may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, weight gain, or sexual problems.

  • Your symptoms get worse.

Talk with your doctor

Even if you think your antidepressant isn’t working, don’t stop taking it on your own. This can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Let your doctor know that you have concerns about your medicine. He or she may change your dose or your medicine. Research shows that all antidepressants work equally well to improve symptoms of depression. But for reasons that aren’t understood, certain medicines work better for some people than others.

The reality is that it can take some time and effort to find the best treatment for you. Working with your doctor, you can find the antidepressant that helps you feel more like yourself again.


Get help now

If you need immediate support and intervention and are feeling suicidal, don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. You can also chat with a trained crisis worker online.

Online Medical Reviewer: Gonnella, Joseph, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 9/3/2018
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