Depression: Taking Anti-Depressants Safely

Posted by Trupti Shirole on Wed, Oct 27, 2010  
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There are several important things that you should know if your doctor has prescribed antidepressant medicines. Following these guidelines can help you benefit from your medicines.


Key points

  • Antidepressants work best when you take them exactly as your doctor has prescribed them. This also helps to reduce the side effects of anti-depressant medicines.


  • Within 1-3 weeks after you start taking an antidepressant medicine you may begin to feel better. If you show do not show any signs of improvement in 3 weeks, report to your doctor immediately. You might need a different medicine.


  • Antidepressants can cause some side effects. But most of them are mild and go away within few weeks.


  • Do not drink alcohol. It can worsen the side effects.


  • Continue taking the antidepressant for at least 6 months after you begin to feel better. This helps you from getting depressed again.


  • Make sure your doctor is aware about any other health conditions and any medicines you take regularly. This information is useful to decide which antidepressant will suit you better.


  • Ask your doctor in detail about how to take the antidepressant medicine. For example, whether you should take it with a meal or just with a glass of water? What to do if you miss a dose. Should you take it when you remember, or should you wait for the next dose?


  • Do not take any new medicines without consulting your doctor. Even common medicines like aspirin and some vitamins and herbs can cause problems if you take them while you are taking antidepressants.


  • Quitting antidepressants suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms or cause re-occurrence of depression. So instead of suddenly quitting, taper the dose of antidepressant pills gradually.


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