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How Long Does It Take for Antidepressants to Work? When Will I Feel Better?

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One of the most commons questions I get asked by patients and their loved ones is… “How long does it take for antidepressants to work for depression?” If you can invest 5 minutes for the sake of your health and knowledge, this 5 minute fast fact video will give you a better understanding of what the realistic timelines are of when to expect positive results from traditional prescription antidepressants.

Hey everybody this is dr andrew kim i’m a board-certified psychiatrist and a clinical researcher in the field of depression and today we’re going to review one of the most common questions that patients ask me all the time how long does it take for antidepressants to work for depression stick with me for five minutes and you’re going to have a better understanding

Of when to expect results and you’re going to be a better advocate for yourself and your loved ones so stay tuned for this five minute fact to keep things simple today we’re going to focus mainly on fda approved antidepressants specifically for major depressive disorder or mdd for short now these antidepressants are commonly known as ssris like prozac zoloft

Lexapro or snris like cymbalta and effexor now let’s talk about some factors that can actually impact when we can expect results first of all is the diagnosis actually mdd now many people don’t realize there are actually many different types of depressive disorders such as persistent depressive disorder depression secondary to alcoholism or chronic opioid use now

I’m not saying that it’s inappropriate to use antidepressants in these situations but the most robust evidence and the fda approval for these antidepressants are for the use in mdd and the timelines we’ll be talking about today may not apply to those other situations and that’s just important to be aware of now if you aren’t aware of the common signs and symptoms

Of mdd please check out my thorough review linked above now a second important factor to consider is is the dose i am taking considered to be a therapeutic dose that’s right not every dose is an effective or therapeutic dose to treat mdd now look i know that some people may just need a small baby dose and others may need more than the fda approved maximum but in

General most adults between the ages of 18 through 65 should aim to have their dose fall within the therapeutic range in order to maximize their chances of positive results now i can’t emphasize this enough because if you aren’t on a therapeutic dose you run the risk of exposing yourself to side effects like sexual dysfunction diarrhea nausea while minimizing the

Chances of getting good results so the dosing itself is crucial before you even begin to ask yourself when can i expect results so if all of those things are in place and if this medication is going to work for you it is very realistic to expect a positive response or full remission by week 6 to week eight again six to eight weeks and this is based off decades of

Clinical research now i’m not saying that you’re not going to feel anything prior to that many patients report noticing improvement even by week three or week four but again realistically a robust response or full remission by week six to eight so don’t leave me hanging dr kim what are my chances of getting better at week six to eight time four bonus facts roughly

50 to 60 percent of patients will be considered positive responders after an adequate trial of an antidepressant responders are considered people who experience a 50 reduction in the severity of their symptoms this translates to hey i’m feeling much better i’m functioning much better but my depressive episode still hasn’t fully resolved one in three people will

Achieve full remission yay remission is defined as having your depressive episode fully resolve and basically you’re feeling like you’re back at your usual baseline now i made this video because there’s a lot of misinformation out there on the internet and on youtube so do you want to trust a few guys out there who are basically self-proclaimed experts who’ve read

A few articles and are sharing personal stories that they’re generalizing to the entire population or you want to trust someone who’s gone to a respected medical school is board certified in psychiatry has treated thousands of patients works in clinical research on depression and has dedicated their life to this field for the last 15 years ah what do i know these

Guys went to the university of google so if you’ve liked this video and this five minute fact please subscribe please share and support me until next time be well and be kind to yourself dr kim signing off

Transcribed from video
How Long Does It Take for Antidepressants to Work? When Will I Feel Better? By Andrew Kim M.D.