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Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all

Antidepressants: 10 things you should know

Antidepressants are medications that can be prescribed for various reasons, such as treating certain types of anxiety or depression. It may be necessary to try multiple medications to find the one that works best for you. If one medication does not work, it does not mean that none will work. It is recommended to discuss your options with your doctor..   

Everyone reacts differently to medications, including antidepressants. It may take some trial and error to find the right one for you. Don't give up if the first one doesn't work, as there are many options to explore. Your doctor can help guide you in finding the best fit.

Consistency is key when taking antidepressants. It's important to take them every day for optimal effectiveness. To help stay on track, consider taking them at the same time each day, setting a reminder on your phone, using the NPS MedicineWise app, or asking your pharmacist about helpful aids like pill boxes.


Be patient when starting a new antidepressant as it can take time to feel the effects. Most people start feeling better after 2 to 4 weeks, but it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks for the full benefits to kick in. Talk to your doctor about how to monitor progress and if there are any additional steps you can take to support your mental health.


Different medicines suit different people

There is a wide range of antidepressants available on the market, each with its own unique effects and potential side effects. It may be necessary to try several different antidepressants before finding the one that is most effective for your individual needs. If one antidepressant does not work as intended, it is important to remember that this does not necessarily mean that all antidepressants will be ineffective. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider for guidance on which antidepressant to try next. They can provide valuable insight and help you develop a treatment plan that works best for you.


You need to take them every day

In order to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your antidepressant medication, it is crucial to take it on a daily basis. This can be challenging for some individuals due to busy schedules or forgetfulness. However, there are various strategies that can be implemented to help you remember to take your medication.

One effective strategy is to take your medication at the same time every day. This can help to establish a routine and make it easier to remember. Another helpful option is to set a reminder on your phone. This is a convenient way to receive an alert when it's time to take your medication.

Additionally, you can utilize the NPS MedicineWise app, which offers a range of features to help you manage your medication schedule.

Lastly, consulting with your pharmacist about using pill boxes or other assistance aids can also be beneficial. By implementing these strategies, you can help ensure that you stay on track with your medication regimen and experience the best possible outcomes.


They take a while to work

  • After beginning treatment with an antidepressant, it's important to understand that you may not feel immediate relief. Typically, it takes 2 to 4 weeks before people start to feel better. However, it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks for the medication to fully take effect. If you're uncertain about the effectiveness of your medication, it's important to speak with your doctor. Ask them about ways to gauge if the medication is working and if there are additional actions you can take to improve your mental health.


Know what side effects to look out for

It's important to note that all medicines have the potential to cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. If you're concerned about potential side effects, it's a good idea to ask your doctor which ones to watch out for, how long they may last, what you can do to manage them, and when to seek help if necessary. Some side effects, like trouble sleeping or feeling dizzy, may go away on their own after a few weeks. Others, such as sexual problems, may persist. If you're having trouble with side effects, talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose or trying a different medication. It's worth noting that different antidepressants work better for different people, so you may need to try a few before finding the right one for you. To ensure the medication is effective, it's important to take it every day at the same time. There are a few strategies you can use to remember, such as setting a reminder on your phone or using a pill box. It's also important to keep in mind that antidepressants may take some time to start working.  When you first start taking an antidepressant medicine, you won’t feel better straight away. Most people start to feel better after taking them for 2 to 4 weeks. But it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks for them to really work. 

It is important to continue seeing your doctor regularly when starting these medications. Your doctor will want to monitor your progress and check for any side effects. Before leaving, make sure to ask your doctor when your next appointment should be scheduled.


It is crucial to take the medication as directed by your doctor, even if you begin to feel better. Most people will need to take the medication for at least 6 to 12 months. Abruptly stopping the medication can cause negative side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. It is important to speak with your doctor about when it is appropriate to stop taking the medication. They will work with you to gradually decrease your dosage over several weeks to minimize any potential issues.


There are various types of antidepressants available, and it may take some trial and error to find one that works best for you. It is important to take these medications every day at the same time for optimal effectiveness. Some side effects may occur, and it is essential to discuss these with your doctor. Some side effects may go away over time, while others may persist. Your doctor may suggest adjusting your dosage or trying a different medication to alleviate any side effects.


It is important to be patient when starting antidepressant medication. It may take several weeks for the medication to take effect, and it is crucial to continue taking it as prescribed. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor.


When you start taking antidepressants, it's important to see your doctor regularly to check on how you're doing and whether you're experiencing any issues. Ask your doctor when your next appointment should be before you leave. It's crucial to take the medication for the entire length of time your doctor prescribes, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment period. Stopping the medication too soon can cause the symptoms of depression or anxiety to return.


It's also important not to stop taking the medication suddenly, as doing so can lead to side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, or difficulty sleeping. Talk to your doctor to determine the right time to stop taking the medication, and then work with them to develop a plan to gradually reduce your dosage over several weeks.


Antidepressants can interact with other medications and drugs, so it's important to talk to your doctor and be honest about all the medications and drugs you are taking. There are many types of antidepressants, and it may take some time to find the one that works best for you. Taking the medication at the same time every day and setting reminders can help you remember to take it.


It's normal for it to take a few weeks or even a few months for the medication to start working, and it's important to tell your doctor if you experience any side effects. Some side effects may go away over time, but others may require a change in dosage or medication. It's also important to remember that medication is not the only solution to depression and anxiety, and there are other things you can do to help yourself feel better.

If you're feeling anxious or depressed, there are different ways you can seek help. One option is to undergo psychological treatment, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can help you change how you perceive and react to situations that trigger negative emotions. CBT has been shown to be just as effective as medication for mild depression or moderate anxiety, and its benefits can last longer. You can receive CBT either from a psychologist or by taking an online course. Another option is to practice self-care by incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, staying active, engaging in activities you enjoy, and talking to supportive friends, family, or mental health professionals. It's also important to limit the use of alcohol and other drugs and practice relaxation techniques.


If you're unsure about what to try, your doctor can offer advice and guidance. Here are a few questions you can ask them:

1. What options do I have?

2. Why are these options recommended for me?

3. How long until I start feeling better?

4. What if I don't see improvement?

5. How much will it cost?

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