Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month: Take Time to Evaluate Your Antidepressant

(ARA) – Of the 15 million American adults who suffer from major depression each year, less than 25 percent currently receive treatment despite the fact that depression can be effectively managed with therapy and medication.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you are diagnosed with depression and currently taking an antidepressant, this is a good time to talk with your doctor about how you are doing. Antidepressants affect individuals differently, so it is important to let your doctor know how your antidepressant is working for you.

Medication can help reduce symptoms of depression. The first antidepressant you try may work fine. However, if it doesn’t relieve your symptoms the way you think it should, or causes side effects that bother you, there may be other options to consider. Research has shown that not all medications work for all patients; that is why additional treatment options are needed.

This May, or at your next appointment, make it a point to speak candidly to your doctor about your treatment experience and whether your current antidepressant is the right option for you.

Tips for talking to your doctor

How do you know if your antidepressant is really working for you? Antidepressants work differently for different people. It is important to speak to your doctor about:

  • Your specific symptoms. Symptoms of depression can vary. It is important to share your symptoms with your doctor so he or she can take them into account when selecting a treatment for you. If you still have unresolved symptoms of depression, talk with your doctor.
  • Your current treatment experience. Some side effects, such as weight gain, reduced sex drive, trouble sleeping, nausea and diarrhea, can make it difficult to stick with treatment. Though some of these topics may be hard to discuss openly with your doctor, it is important that you do, as there could be another option out there for you. The more your doctor knows, the better he/she can help tailor treatment to meet your specific needs.

There are a number of different antidepressant options available. VIIBRYD&reg (vilazodone HCl), which became available in 2011, is the most recently approved antidepressant by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VIIBRYD is the first drug of its kind approved by the FDA to treat depression in adults. While the exact way VIIBRYD – or any other medication for depression – works is unknown, it is thought to affect the activity of serotonin in the brain.

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, teens, and young adults. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.

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