Signs Your Antidepressant Is Working: Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro and More
Are you experiencing sadness, emptiness, frustration, anger over small matters, sleep disturbance, sleeping too much, or even losing interest in everything? If your answer is yes, it might be depression. Around 5% of adults suffer from depression, globally. Depression is a pervasive mental disorder. Well, there are antidepressants like Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, and many more, which are great options for treating anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. But taking antidepressants is overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to identify whether it works for you.
Usually, antidepressants work gradually, taking weeks to months to see the effect. But in a few cases, antidepressants don’t work as effectively as they should or even stop working if you’ve been taking them for a long time.
Do you want to discover if your antidepressant is working or not? Check out this blog to explore the signs and other lesser-known aspects of antidepressants working. Also, save money on prescribed antidepressants using the best pharmacy discount card.
Signs to Know If Your Antidepressant Is Working
If you’re on antidepressants, you must know the following signs of recovery:
- After taking antidepressants for a week or month, you will feel less anxious or depressed. The feeling of anxiety in your mind and heart will start disappearing.
- You will start feeling energetic and interested in things happening around you, whether cooking, playing, or anything else.
- You start enjoying life once again; everything around you seems meaningful.
- There is no more sleep disturbance. You start feeling better and getting quality sleep after taking antidepressants.
- Regular appetite gets back on track once again.
- Your mind is less preoccupied with negative thoughts.
- You don’t feel challenged doing your day-to-day activities.
Please remember you will start feeling these changes slowly. It means it can take time to show some relieving signs. So don’t be in a rush when you’re on antidepressants.
Do you want to explore how antidepressants do their job? Let dive in
Antidepressants mechanism in the body
When depressed people take antidepressants, it changes the neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that send that chemical signal from one neuron (nerve cell) to the next target cell, and without this body cannot function. These changes enhance the person’s mood and relieve depression and anxiety symptoms.
Here are the following antidepressants that help to cope with depression and anxiety, but you shouldn’t take them without a healthcare professional.
- Wellbutrin (bupropion): Wellbutrin comes under the atypical antidepressant category. It works on changing the level of certain chemical messengers like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. There are other types of atypical antidepressants available, like trazodone (Desyrel) and mirtazapine (Remeron).
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors): There are different examples of SSRIs, like sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and escitalopram (Lexapro). These SSRls usually target the neurotransmitter serotonin and increase its level by preventing the reabsorption of serotonin into nerve cells. This is how it allows an increased level of serotonin to be available in the brain.
- Tricyclics: This class of antidepressant medications includes (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), amitriptyline, and clomipramine (Anafranil). These antidepressants usually block the reabsorption of chemical messengers, serotonin and norepinephrine, into nerve cells.
- SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors): SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor). They prevent the reabsorption of two chemical messengers, serotonin and norepinephrine, which boost levels of these chemicals in the brain.
- MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors): Phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate) are examples of MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) antidepressant category. They boost the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. There is an enzyme called monoamine oxidase, which breaks down these chemicals. MAOIs class of antidepressant stops the working of this enzyme and increases the chemical messenger levels.
When will I start seeing antidepressant results?
The time antidepressants take to start showing noticeable results can vary widely among individuals and also depends on several factors. Generally, it’s essential to understand that antidepressants don’t produce immediate effects like pain relievers; they work by gradually altering brain neurotransmitter levels to alleviate symptoms of depression and related mood disorders. Here are some critical points to consider regarding the timeline for antidepressant effectiveness:
- Delayed Onset: Antidepressants often have a delayed onset of action. It’s common for individuals to not experience significant improvement in their symptoms for several weeks after starting the medication. This delay can be frustrating for those seeking rapid relief, but it’s essential to be patient and allow the medication time to take effect.
- Individual Variation: The time it takes for antidepressants to work can vary based on an individual’s biology, the specific medication used, the severity of the condition, and other factors. Some people might start feeling better within a few weeks, while others might take longer.
- Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects: While some people might start experiencing changes in mood, sleep, or energy levels within a few weeks, the full therapeutic effects of antidepressants may take several weeks to a couple of months to fully manifest. It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience gradual improvements over time.
- Dose Adjustment: The effectiveness of antidepressants depends on the dosage. Sometimes, a healthcare provider might need to adjust the dosage to attain the desired therapeutic effect.
- Monitoring and Communication: It’s important for individuals taking antidepressants to maintain open communication with their healthcare provider. Regular check-ins can help assess progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
- Combined Therapies: In some cases, therapy and lifestyle changes might be combined with antidepressant medication to enhance the overall effectiveness of treatment. These complementary approaches can contribute to improved well-being.
How do you find out if your antidepressant is not working?
Here are the following signs that you might witness if your antidepressant is not working:
- You still feel sadness, irritation, or anxiety even after taking antidepressants for many weeks or months.
- You still need help to sleep or sleep too much.
- You don’t feel like doing anything.
- You always feel tired, restless, and low on energy.
- You find it challenging to concentrate.
Please remember that initially, you can experience antidepressant side effects like changes in sleep, fatigue, appetite, and concentration problems. It can make you feel like your mental health is getting worse.
Signs your antidepressant dose is too low
If you’ve been on antidepressants for the past month and still have most of the symptoms, your medication dose might be low and need adjustment. Some people need a higher dose of antidepressants to treat their depression symptoms.
Signs your antidepressant dose may be too high
If you’re experiencing severe side effects from antidepressants, you might be on a higher dose. In this case, talk with your doctor about your concerns.
If you’re on any antidepressant, it’s frustrating when it feels like it’s not working. Many people must take antidepressants long before witnessing any positive outcomes. Still, even after taking antidepressants for a long time, confer with your healthcare provider if you don’t see any benefit or suffer from side effects. You might need a different medication or other treatment. Last, don’t take any antidepressants without a healthcare provider consultation. Otherwise, it can have adverse effects.
If you’re worrying about medication costs, use the best pharmacy discount card to purchase and enjoy the discount.