We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Choose the Safest Antidepressant?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are several medication prescription options for treating depression, and it is important to note that only a doctor can prescribe a suitable medicine. These kinds of drugs are not available over-the-counter and can only be obtained from a licensed pharmacy with a legitimate prescription. The prescribing physician takes several details into account when choosing the safest antidepressant for his or her patients including medical history, any other drugs the patient may be taking, and family history. He or she will also consider the type of antidepressant to use, potential withdrawal symptoms, and possible side effects to watch for. Patients are advised to not stop taking or changing the dosage amounts of these medications without first consulting with their physician.

The safest antidepressant for any given patient is the one chosen in regards to the type of disorder to be treated and the patient's current health evaluation. Most types of antidepressants, including selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), are considered to be viable treatments for both anxiety disorders and depression. Before choosing a specific antidepressant, the doctor will also review a patient's health history and look for details such as previously taken antidepressants, overall health, and if depression is a factor for the patient's family. In some cases, the doctor may choose to start the patient on a medication that has been effective for a family member.

Another factor often considered when selecting the safest antidepressant medication is the known side effects. Some people are able to take these kinds of medications with no adverse side effects, and only notice the intended benefit of the substance. In most cases, the patient experiences common side effects of antidepressants including problems sleeping or trouble staying awake, headaches, and possible agitation. If the side effects outweigh the benefits of the prescribed antidepressant, the doctor is likely to change the prescription or the dosage amount.

Most patients are advised to expect the safest antidepressant medications to take anywhere from four to eight weeks to reach their full effectiveness. It is important that the treatment has time to build in the system before its usefulness can be adequately evaluated. For people newly diagnosed with depression, the length of treatment is typically six months to a year, with an assessment performed at the end of the time period. At that point, the physician and patient will decide if further treatment is necessary.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.