Depression Home > Antidepressants

How Do They Work?

Generally, most antidepressants work by increasing certain brain chemicals.

When and How to Use Antidepressants

Some general considerations for when and how to use these medications include the following:
  • Follow the instructions your healthcare provider gives you for your particular antidepressant.
  • Be aware that it may take awhile (sometimes as long as a month or two) for your medication to start working. You may develop side effects long before you feel any benefit. Try not to become discouraged by this.
  • Be sure to take your dosage at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level of medication in your blood.
  • For antidepressants to work properly, they must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking your antidepressant without your healthcare provider's approval (see Antidepressant Withdrawal).

Dosage of Antidepressants

Each individual antidepressant has specific dosing recommendations. The dosage of different antidepressants cannot be directly compared (for instance, 10 mg of one antidepressant may just be as "strong" as 500 mg of another antidepressant). Please refer to your specific antidepressant within eMedTV for more information about the dosage of your medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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