Antidepressants are commonly used, usually in combination with counseling and support.
You may start to feel better within 1 to 3 weeks of taking antidepressant medicine. But it can take as many as 6 to 8 weeks to see more improvement. If you have questions or concerns about your medicines, or if you don't notice any improvement by 3 weeks, talk to your doctor.
- Reference Reference Depression: Taking Antidepressants Safely
- Reference Reference Depression: Dealing With Medicine Side Effects
Antidepressants are typically used for at least 6 months, first to treat postpartum depression and then to prevent a relapse of symptoms. To prevent a relapse, your doctor may recommend that you take medicine for up to a year before you think about stopping it. Women who have had several bouts of depression may need to take medicine for a long time.
Can you take antidepressant medicine and breast-feed your baby?
Treating your depression is very important for your baby. Reference Breast-feeding is good for your baby's health. And it's good for your baby's bond with you. At best, you will be able to treat your depression and breast-feed your baby. But if you decide to choose between taking medicine and breast-feeding, take the medicine.
- Reference Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually the first-choice medicines. Most SSRIs are thought to be safe for use while a woman is breast-feeding. That's because SSRIs generally pass into the breast milk at low levels.
- Reference Tricyclics have not caused any known problems for breast-feeding babies and aren't passed on to the baby in measurable amounts (with the exception of doxepin).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 16, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry