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

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 5 minute



to keep things simple today we're gonna

focus mainly on fda-approved

antidepressants specifically for a major

depressive disorder or MDD for short

now these antidepressants are commonly

known as SSRIs like prozac Zoloft

lexapro or SN R eyes 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 MD D 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 MD D 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 MD D please check out my

thorough review linked above now a

second important factor to consider is

is the dose I am taking consider to be a

therapeutic dose that's right

not every dose is an effective or

therapeutic dose to treat MD D 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 that 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 8

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 for bonus facts roughly

fifty to sixty 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 remission is

defined as having your depressive

episode fully resolved 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 like this video and

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time be well and be kind to yourself dr.

Kim signing off