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Multiple Sclerosis: Medicines for Depression - Topic Overview

Depression is the most common mental health problem in people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). It may result from having a chronic disease or may be a side effect of certain MS medicines, such as interferon beta. Depression may be treated with:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft). These medicines may also make the person more alert and help reduce fatigue.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), or imipramine (Tofranil).

There are other antidepressant medicines in addition to those listed above. Your doctor can help identify ones that are best for your situation, based on your symptoms, other medicines you are taking, and other health problems you may have.

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FDA advisory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are changed.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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