What to Do If Your Antidepressant Isn't Working

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What to Do If Your Antidepressant Isn't Working

Depression doesn’t discriminate; it affects people of all ages and genders alike. It isn’t just feeling down from time to time; it’s a pervasive sense of hopelessness that can have a profound impact on your quality of life, depending on its severity.

Medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are first-line treatments for depression, but these don’t provide adequate relief for everyone. In the past, there were few options to turn to when an antidepressant failed. Today, there’s an option proving highly effective for many people with treatment-resistant depression.

Here at Horizon’s Wellness Family Health, board-certified nurse practitioner Albalira Gibson-Borrelli, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, is dedicated to helping patients like yourself find the right solution to restore a sense of well-being and high quality of life. Our team is pleased to offer individualized care that includes ketamine infusions, and Spravato® (Esketamine) nasal spray, alternatives to traditional antidepressants.

Recognizing the signs your antidepressant is not working

It's crucial to recognize the signs that your current treatment may not be effective. These can include:

  • Not much or no improvement in mood after several weeks of treatment
  • Experiencing only partial relief from depression symptoms
  • Side effects are intolerable

If you're experiencing any of these issues, the first step is to consult our team to discuss your options. It’s important not to stop or adjust your medication without professional guidance.

Steps to take if your antidepressant is not working

Finding the right treatment for depression is often a process of trial and error. If your antidepressant isn’t providing adequate symptom relief, consider exploring other options and strategies. 

Here are some steps you can take that can help you find a more effective path to managing your depression symptoms:

Review your current medication

Sometimes, the dose may need adjusting, or a different antidepressant might work better for you. It’s common to try several medications before finding the one that’s best for you. If you’ve only tried one medication, we may recommend another antidepressant in the same or different class.

Consider combination therapy

Combining different types of medications can sometimes improve results. Our team can make individualized recommendations after a thorough consultation.

Add talk therapy

Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is often highly beneficial when used alongside medication. It helps address some of the underlying causes of depression and provides coping tools and strategies.

Innovative treatments: Spravato® and ketamine infusions

If traditional antidepressants are ineffective, it might be time to consider other options. Our practice offers two cutting-edge treatments that may be effective for those who haven’t responded well to traditional antidepressants:

Spravato® (Esketamine) nasal spray

This treatment was specifically designed for treatment-resistant depression. Esketamine is a derivative of ketamine and works by targeting different pathways in the brain than most traditional antidepressants. It’s administered under clinical supervision at Horizon Wellness Family Health, typically twice a week for the first month.

Ketamine infusions

Unlike traditional antidepressants that often take weeks to start working, ketamine can provide rapid relief from depressive symptoms, especially in treatment-resistant cases. Many of our patients report improvements within hours to days after their treatment.

Lifestyle adjustments and holistic approaches

In addition to medical treatments, making lifestyle adjustments can also impact the effectiveness of your depression treatment. Physical activity boosts mood and can be as effective as medication for some people.

Additionally, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep can improve mood and energy levels.

With traditional and innovative treatments tailored to your needs, Horizon Wellness Family Health is your partner in finding a solution that works for you. Contact our Middletown, New York office to request an appointment today.

Together, we can explore the various options available and work toward finding an effective treatment so that you can feel good again.