Depression - Medicines
How long will you need medicines?
If you take
antidepressants, you should take them for at least 6 months after you begin to
feel better. This can help prevent you from feeling depressed again (relapse). If this isn't the first time you have been
depressed, your doctor may want you to take these medicines even longer.
You may start to feel better within 1 to 3 weeks after starting your
antidepressant medicine. But it can take as many as 6 to 8 weeks to see a great
deal of improvement. If you have questions or concerns about your medicines, or
if you don't notice that you feel better by 3 weeks, talk to your
Some people need to remain on medicine for several months
to years. Others will need medicine long-term. This is more likely if you have
had several bouts of depression that seriously affected your home life, work life, or both.
Don't quit taking your medicines
without talking to your doctor. If you quit suddenly, it can cause your depression to return and it can cause dizziness,
anxiety, fatigue, and headache. If you and your doctor decide you can quit
using medicine, gradually reduce the dose over several weeks.
- Depression: Should I Stop Taking My Antidepressant?