Do Antidepressants Really Work? Pros & Cons Of Taking Antidepressants

Common Antidepressants 

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors are the two main categories of antidepressants (SNRIs).

SSRIs are used to treat serotonin imbalances in the brain and to slow down the serotonin reuptake process in the brain. How great is it that extra serotonin may then float around and be available in your brain as a result?

Similar effects are achieved with SNRIs, except they also decrease serotonin AND norepinephrine reuptake. You will feel a ton better as a result and your brain’s chemistry will be restored! Anxiety and discomfort can both be treated with SNRIs.

These are the most common SSRIs and SNRIs: 


  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva, Brisdelle)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)


  • Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

In most cases, experts are unsure of which will be more effective. Additionally, it can be worthwhile to attempt a non-drug treatment like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or another type of psychotherapy first.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

One of the most challenging medical conditions is depression. Additionally, it’s critical to communicate well with your doctor in order to receive the finest care.

To achieve a target dosage, you must recognize your desired symptoms. These particulars are frequently overlooked. It then turns into an expectation mismatch. That would be considered a therapeutic failure rather than a drug failure.

Here are some inquiries you might wish to make regarding antidepressants:

  • When should I see results?
  • Will I feel worse before I feel better?
  • How often should I follow up?
  • What are common side effects? How long do they last?
  • How do I know if side effects are serious?
  • What happens if the drug stops working?
  • How long should I stay on an antidepressant?
  • How do I know if I need to change the dose?
  • What are nondrug treatments for depression?
  • What is the plan for stopping the drug?
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Don’t Give Up Too Early

To wish to feel well quickly is common. However, antidepressants take time to start working. Experts are unsure about the actual cause. According to one idea, it may take these medications days or even weeks to alter the molecular pathways that cause sadness. To be certain, additional investigation is required.

While every person is unique, it might often take 4-6 weeks to notice significant changes. However, you need to give a drug roughly 8 weeks before you can honestly declare that it doesn’t work.

And if your first antidepressant doesn’t work for you, keep trying. According to studies, if you attempt several different strategies, your chances of success increase.

The key takeaway is that depression may be effectively treated with medicine. But you must continue to participate in the treatment.

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