My medication is causing side effects, but I feel no beneficial effect. Is this normal?
While side effects are noticeable starting the first few days, beneficial effects of antidepressant medications may not be apparent immediately. Peak medication effectiveness may not be reached until 2-4 months. However, if there are no improvements within the expected time frames for your medication, please speak with your health professional.
If I feel good after 3 months, why should I take my medication for a longer period?
Taking your medication regularly helps maintain your body’s neurotransmitter balance and this helps with the effectiveness of your overall treatment. While the goal is not to stay on the medication forever, it is recommended that patients continue taking their medication for at least 1 year before considering any changes or stopping. At the end of the treatment phase, your medication can be gradually phased out, as directed by your physician.
Are antidepressant medications addictive?
No. Antidepressants are not addictive, as they do not cause a ‘high’, lead to compulsive use, nor do they cause you to crave larger doses to achieve the same effects. However, abruptly stopping your medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, electric shock-like sensations, mood changes, and insomnia. Do not stop your medication without informing your health professional.