Antidepressants can:

  • help you feel better
  • increase your ability to function in daily life
  • lower your risk of suicide

Antidepressant medication is one of the most widely used treatments for depression. Most people - 65% to 85% - who take antidepressant medications improve. Although antidepressant medications have proven to be very effective for depression, some people are resistant to taking them, often because of what they believe about antidepressants. See What do I need to know if I take antidepressants?

Talking With Your Doctor About Medications

Here are some questions to ask your doctor to ensure that you're getting the most from your medications:

  • What are the brand and generic names of the medicine?
  • How does it work?
  • How soon should I expect results?
  • How and when should I take the medicine? How much should I take and for how long?
  • How long do I need to keep taking the medication after I start feeling better?
  • Are there any foods, drinks, or activities that I should avoid while taking the medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • What side effects can I expect and how long will they last? What should I do if I have these side effects?

Your doctor will choose an antidepressant based on many factors, including your symptoms and your medical history, as well as which medications have worked for you in the past. He or she may also prescribe anti-anxiety medication or medications to help you sleep until your antidepressant has a chance to work on those symptoms.