Your depression is unique, and your doctor will choose a unique course of treatment to suit your needs. When deciding which antidepressant to recommend, your doctor will take into consideration your depression symptoms, your overall health, and any other medications you may take:

  • Your symptoms: Your doctor will tailor your treatment to fit your specific emotional, behavioural/cognitive, and physical symptoms. This is why it is so important to let your doctor know about ALL of your symptoms in order to choose the medication that is best for you.
     
  • Your other medical conditions: A person with depression may have other conditions as well, such as an anxiety disorder, high blood pressure, or chronic pain. Your doctor may choose a course of treatment to address your other medical conditions or one that does not interfere with or affect the treatment of other medical conditions you may have.
     
  • Your history of antidepressant use: Your doctor will need to know whether or not you've taken antidepressants before. Share this information and explain how effective or ineffective it was, as well as any side effects or concerns you had about past medications.
     
  • Your tolerance of medications: You may be able to tolerate certain medications better than others. You may be advised to try a medication but be switched to another if you and your doctor find that you cannot tolerate it (e.g., if you experience unmanageable side effects).
     
  • Your other medications: Some antidepressants will interact with other medications. Your doctor will tailor your treatment to avoid potential interactions.
     
  • Your preference: You're ultimately the one who will take the medication. If you have strong feelings for or against a certain medication, let your doctor know.

What is really important to remember is that there are many antidepressants to choose from. If you continue to experience depression symptoms, let your doctor know. A change in your medication might be all that it takes to improve your symptoms.

When you take your medication exactly as recommended by your doctor, you may be able to effectively control your symptoms. And when you are ready to go off your antidepressant, talk to your doctor to decide the best and safest way for you to stop your treatment.