Antidepressant medications are prescribed for a variety of reasons and conditions. Information as to how these medications work is important to their success.
What you need to know:
When starting a new antidepressant, it must be taken as directed for at least four to six weeks before you will see its full effect. Even if you are feeling better, you should continue to take your medication to prevent symptoms from returning.
You should stop taking your antidepressant only if your doctor instructs you to do so. If you stop taking your antidepressant abruptly, it can cause side effects, and your symptoms may return.
If you find that your antidepressant isn’t effective, you should ask your doctor if you should try a different medication. Research has shown that people who try a second medication, after seeing little or no results from their first one, have an increased chance of overcoming their symptoms.
What you need to do:
- Take your medication as prescribed.
- Contact your doctor and tell him or her how the medication is working. Make sure you discuss any concerns or side effects.
- Do not stop taking your antidepressant medication without your doctor’s approval.
Monitor your medications:
It's important to manage your own medications and make sure they are used in the correct dosage by the prescribing doctor. You may think, "This would never happen to me"; however, substance abuse is a real issue. Keep close track of your prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs using this sheet:
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