How does my doctor choose an antidepressant?
The medications used to treat Major Depression are called antidepressants. There are many different types available and you may wonder why your doctor chooses a specific one for you.
Finding the right antidepressant
There are a number of antidepressants available that work in slightly different ways and have different side effects. Most work equally well to relieve depression, so choosing the right one generally involves subtle differences. When prescribing an antidepressant that's likely to work well for you, your doctor may consider:
Types of antidepressants
Certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression — particularly serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine. Most antidepressants relieve depression by affecting these neurotransmitters. Each type (class) of antidepressant affects these neurotransmitters in slightly different ways.
Many types of antidepressant medications are available to treat depression, including those below. Discuss possible major side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Other medications. Other medications may be added to an antidepressant to enhance antidepressant effects. Your doctor may recommend combining two antidepressants or medications such as mood stabilizers or antipsychotics. Anti-anxiety and stimulant medications might also be added for short-term use.
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.
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