How to choose appropriate medication?

Following an appointment with a health professional, he or she will determine the most adequate medication for your child. If a member of your family has suffered from depression and was successfully treated with an antidepressant, this medication could also work well for your child.

If a type of medication is not the right one, you will have to try other medications in order to find the best working drug. In this case, your child will have to be patient since antidepressants can take effect after 2 to 4 weeks to take effect. Their body needs a certain amount of time to adjust to a new medication and its side effects.

What should be done if they forget to take their medication?

They have to take the pill the moment they realize they’ve forgotten to take it. However, if the time to take the next pill is near, they should skip the pill they forgot to take in order to prevent doubling the dose.

How should they take their medication?

Generally speaking, your child’s medication should be taken every day at the same time and should not be stopped without consulting your the doctor.

What happens if they consume drugs and alcohol while taking antidepressants?

Drinking alcohol and taking antidepressants is to be avoided because it both increases the severity of side effects caused by antidepressants and increases the effects of alcohol and drugs.

Can my daughter keep taking antidepressants while she is pregnant?

If your daughter is pregnant or breastfeeding and is still taking antidepressants, she should immediately inform her doctor or therapist. They will determine whether she should keep taking her medication. If necessary, they will prescribe a type of antidepressant that will reduce the risks to the baby while making sure the pregnancy and post-partum go well.

Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal ideation and behaviours?

​Most of the time, antidepressants do not increase suicide risk. However, there can be some exceptions where your child might have more frequent suicidal ideation or behaviours while taking their medication. In any case, if they are taking medication, their doctor will keep track of the progression of their symptoms, especially during the first few weeks of treatment or whenever the dose is changed.

Can they stop taking their medication once they start feeling better?

They should never suddenly stop taking their antidepressants. Remind him or her that if they wish to stop taking them, it is very important to first talk to their doctor in order to proceed accordingly. If they stop taking them abruptly, they might experience unpleasant symptoms such as (nausea, headaches, etc.) and the depression might also get worse. Antidepressants are not addictive, but can create a physical dependence as the body grows accustomed to them.

What are the possible side effects?

  • Headaches, weakness
  • Insomnia, dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety, sleep problems
  • Nausea, stomach aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Dry mouth or increased amount of saliva
  • Changes in taste and diet
  • Runny nose