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How long does it take for antidepressants to work?

Posted by Be Well

How long does it take for antidepressants to work?
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Antidepressant medicines need to reach a certain level in your body before they begin to work. This level varies for different antidepressants. They may not work quickly.

While you're getting used to them, you may experience some side effects. These could include:

These side effects can seem even worse if the medicine hasn't yet started to lift your depression. As you get used to the medicine, any side effects should start to improve.

It can take two to three weeks for antidepressant medicines to start to work. It's important to continue with your medicine at the prescribed dose, to give it time to work properly. Stopping your medicine suddenly can cause other side effects, such as irritability, agitation, flu-like symptoms and insomnia.

Antidepressants usually work fully within 4-6 weeks.

If you are elderly, it may take longer for antidepressants to start working, and up to eight weeks to work fully.

If your antidepressants have had no effect within 4-6 weeks, or if you have major side effects, you should speak with doctor or the healthcare professional who prescribed the medicine for you.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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