Medications for Treatment of Depression
Detailed information on antidepressants, medications for treatment of depression. How to find the right antidepressant, side-effects, more.
Gold Standard for Treating Depression (part 7)
You've been just diagnosed with clinical depression. What's the best initial approach to take?
Although some depressive symptoms are often the same for depressed people: lack of pleasure, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lethargy, irritation, anxiety, changes in appetite and a general reduction in the quality of life, the treatment for each person can differ significantly due to medications tolerance and symptom relief.
How Do I Find an Antidepressant That Works for Me?
Choosing the best antidepressant is usually a trial and error process. The most important part of this choice is working with a healthcare professional who understands the type of depression you have as well as how your body may react to the medication. As mentioned before, this is done through the healthcare professional asking you the right questions as well as helping you monitor your progress and adjusting your treatment as necessary.
Once your healthcare professional decides on an initial medication, the dosage will depend on your ability to tolerate any accompanying side-effects as well as the effectiveness of the medications. As seen in the Star*D research, this dose may be much higher than usually prescribed. Once you have started the antidepressant, it can take, on average, about six weeks for the medication to work. This can be a difficult time. You may feel that the medications are not giving you enough relief or that the side-effects are too strong. That's why it's so important that you and your healthcare professional work closely together.
Common Antidepressant Side Effects
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
- Sexual side effects
- Fatigue, drowsiness
- Waking up too early and unable to go back to sleep
- Blurred vision
- Agitation, restlessness, anxiety
- Irritation and anger
- Suicidal thoughts
Antidepressant side effects can feel overwhelming at first. While some people experience few drug side effects and are able to find relief from their first antidepressant, others may have to work on dosage and/or try other medications before finding one that can be tolerated. It's often true that side effects can end or lessen over time. This is why it's so important for you to give your drug a chance before deciding it will not work.
It's also true that different antidepressants have different side effects. Because of this, it is often possible that one antidepressant may work better for you than another. There are certainly situations where side-effects such as suicidal thoughts and severe stomach problems are too overwhelming- and a new drug must be tried. However, for many, giving the medication time to work may be the answer.
Fast, J. (2009, January 1). Medications for Treatment of Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/depression-treatment/medications-for-treatment-of-depression-gsd