There are several antidepressant drugs available and it can take a while for a doctor to find the right one for a specific patient. It may also take time for the benefits to be felt. For example, most antidepressants take at least two weeks to start working and up to six weeks to be fully effective, although some people may feel less anxious and able to sleep better after only a few days.

It is very important that people continue a prescribed dose and don’t stop because they feel better. This is a sign that the drug is working and stopping it could cause a relapse. There are four main types of antidepressant that doctors may prescribe. Each is used for different forms of depression and how severe it is.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Generally the first choice if antidepressants are thought necessary.
Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) Are among the newest classes of antidepressants and may be prescribed if SSRIs don’t have the desired effect within a reasonable time.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) Were the most commonly prescribed antidepressants 10 years ago, but are used less often now due to the risk of side effects.
MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) Are used only when other medications have not worked because they can have severe adverse reactions with some types of food and other drugs.


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