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How Do Doctors Decide What Depression Medication to Use?

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Updated October 17, 2012

Question: How Do Doctors Decide What Depression Medication to Use?
Answer:

While it might seem a bit random how doctors choose what antidepressant to prescribe for you, there really is some logic to it. In fact, there are even flow charts, called algorithms, which outline a logical progression that doctors might follow in determining what the best antidepressant is for you. These algorithms are based upon the current knowledge in the medical field about which type of antidepressant works best for which patient.

Choosing your antidepressant isn't quite that simple, however. Doctors will also use their knowledge and experience to tailor their antidepressant choices to your particular situation.

First of all, they will consider your individual response to a medication. Has it helped you feel better? And how well are you tolerating the side effects? Even if you are feeling less depressed if you can't cope with the side effects it may not be the best choice for you.

Another factor to consider is your medical history. Do you have a concurrent psychiatric condition which is best helped by a particular antidepressant? Or perhaps you have a health problem that would be made worse by a particular antidepressant's side effects? Your best antidepressant will ideally work in harmony with your overall treatment plan.

To learn more about how doctors choose your antidepressant, please read the following article.

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