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Asker

To Sam

Antidepressants

Hi Sam,

I'm writing this letter to you because I'm concerned that my antidepressants aren't working.

I take fluoxetine (Prozac) and started on 20mg a day now I'm up to 60mg. I got told by the psychiatrist that they would show an effect after a month... now I seen a little change after one week so did staff at school.

I'm now overly concerned as I have been on these for 3 months and am on the highest dosage but things haven't improved. Reading online about anti-depressants it says it's a bad thing if you react to them straight away. I'm now worried this is what has happened and then they won't work.

I'm unsure what to do because there have been conflicting issues going about a trainee GP telling me I was silly to think my increase in dosage of anti-depressants increased my suicidal thoughts yet the psychiatrist who assessed me in the hospital said this could well have caused this. Upon reading some threads I see other users have found anti-depressant have increased this am I just being stupid here or what?

Advice please should I continue taking these or come off them straight away as its affecting my mind and suicidal thoughts I know it is.

Thanks for listening to me Sam and I hope you choose this as one of your letters to respond to.

S x

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there

There are times when taking medication might be helpful or necessary, whether it’s for a physical illness like an infection or injury or for a mental health issue like depression or anxiety.

It’s important to take the right dose and to follow the instructions you’ve been given. Medication can have serious effects if not taken correctly so don’t take more than the dose you’ve been prescribed and get advice from your doctor before making any changes to your usual dose or if you’re worried about side effects or other problems. Anything you tell your doctor or heath professional should be taken seriously and you can ask to see another doctor if you’re not happy with the response you get.

When you pick up your first prescription the pharmacist might ask you about any other medication you’re taking to make sure they’re safe to take together. You’ll also be given a patient information leaflet with details of when to take your medication and possible side effects. If you’re unsure about anything you can ask an adult you trust to read the leaflet with you. Your pharmacist can answer general questions, like whether to take the medication before or after food and how long you need to leave between doses.

All medications have some side effects but most are rare. You might get more side effects from one medication than another, even if they’re similar medicines. If you think your medication isn’t working, you’re feeling worse or you’re worried about side effects, it’s important to talk to a medical professional like the person who prescribed it for you. If your surgery is closed or it’s urgent you can speak to the duty or out of hours doctor. You’ll get the number from the voicemail at your surgery or by calling NHS 111. If you feel very unwell or that you're at risk of suicide you’ll need to go to A&E or call 999 for emergency help.

Depression is an illness and it can take time to recover. Some medications won’t start working straight away so it’s important to get support in the meantime. Ask your psychiatrist or doctor for information about mental health support services and remember that you can talk to a Childline counsellor about anything that’s worrying you. Sometimes people who know you well might see changes in your mood before you do. It can help to listen to their feedback and tell your doctor what they’ve noticed so they have a fuller idea of what’s happening.

It’s okay to look for information on the internet but it’s important to use safe sites like NHS Choices, which is written by people who're medically trained. Remember that anything you read online is general information and doesn’t replace the advice you’ve been given by health professionals who know your symptoms and your individual situation.

I hope this advice has helped and remember our Childline counsellors are always here for you.

Thanks for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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