How can depression be treated?
Even in the most severe cases, depression can be treatable. The most common forms of treatment are antidepressants and psychotherapy.
Because depression affects people differently...their experience with treatments may differ
There is no single treatment that works for everyone with depression. A medicine that works well for a friend or family member may not work as well for you. You may also have specific concerns about any side effects that may occur when taking medicines prescribed for depression.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, some patients may experience side effects such as weight gain, sleepiness, or fatigue, while others may not. Once you have started treatment, it is important to keep track of any side effects you experience and how your treatment is working for you. You should talk with your healthcare provider about how you are doing throughout your treatment.
Because no single medication for depression works for everyone... ask about your treatment options
Your healthcare provider may need to try a number of different medications to find one that is right for you. If you do not respond to your first medication or have concerns about side effects, you are not alone. In fact, in one US study (known as STAR*D), of nearly 3,000 patients being treated for depression, about half either did not respond to their initial treatment or experienced side effects.
Here are several tips to help you get the most out of your treatment.
- Follow through. Attending therapy or taking your medication will not help if it is done sporadically. Always take your medication as prescribed, and never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor first.
- Follow up. Make appointments with your doctor to discuss how your treatment is going. Discuss any improvements, as well as any side effects that you may be experiencing. It is important to make this an open discussion.
- Learn more by taking advantage of the different resources at your disposal. Visit our Tools and Resources section for a list of helpful materials and contacts.
- Exercise as much as you can. Even if it's just a 30-minute walk, exercise can have a positive effect on a person's mood.
- Be around other people. Make a conscious effort to leave the house, even if you aren't feeling up to it. Trips to the mall, movies, or a friend's house can help. Don't let depression dictate your behavior.
Next: FAQs About Depression ►
VIIBRYD® (vilazodone HCI) is a prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.
VIIBRYD and other antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some people 24 years of age and younger, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. VIIBRYD is not for use in children.
Depression or other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions. Some people, including those with (or a family history of) depression, bipolar illness, or a history of suicidal thoughts or actions may have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay close attention to and call your healthcare provider right away to report any new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts or feelings.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
- Attempts to commit suicide; acting on dangerous impulses; acting aggressive or violent; thoughts about suicide or dying; new or worse depression, new or worse anxiety; panic attacks; feeling agitated or restless; new or worse irritability; trouble sleeping; an extreme increase in activity or talking (mania); or other unusual changes in behavior or mood
Do not take VIIBRYD if you take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), have taken or will take an MAOI within 14 days of taking VIIBRYD, or are being treated with the antibiotic linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
Serotonin Syndrome: A potentially life-threatening problem that can happen when VIIBRYD is taken with certain other medicines. Stop taking VIIBRYD and call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away if you have any of the following: agitation; hallucinations; confusion, coma; fast heart beat; blood pressure changes; dizziness; sweating; flushing; high body temperature; tremors, stiff muscles, or muscle twitching; loss of coordination; seizures; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Increased chance of bleeding: Taking VIIBRYD with aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), warfarin, or blood thinners may add to this risk. Tell your healthcare provider right away about unusual bleeding or bruising
Manic episodes: Symptoms may include greatly increased energy; severe trouble sleeping; racing thoughts; reckless behavior; unusually grand ideas; excessive happiness or irritability; talking more or faster than usual
Discontinuation symptoms: Do not suddenly stop VIIBRYD without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping VIIBRYD suddenly may cause serious side effects including: nausea; sweating; changes in mood; headache; irritability and agitation; tiredness; dizziness; problems sleeping; electric shock sensation; hypomania; anxiety; ringing in your ears; confusion; seizures
Seizures or convulsions
Glaucoma (angle-closure glaucoma): VIIBRYD may cause an eye problem called angle-closure glaucoma. Call your healthcare provider if you have changes in your vision or eye pain
Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood: May be serious and may cause death. Elderly people may be at greater risk for this. Symptoms may include headache; difficulty concentrating; memory changes; confusion; weakness and unsteadiness which can lead to falls
In severe or more sudden cases, symptoms include hallucinations; fainting; seizures; coma; respiratory arrest; death.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions or if you:
- Have or have a family history of suicide, depression, bipolar disorder, mania or hypomania
- Have or had bleeding problems
- Have or had seizures or convulsions
- Have high pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
- Have low salt (sodium) levels in your blood
- Drink alcohol
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Taking VIIBRYD late in pregnancy may lead to an increased risk of certain problems in your newborn. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks to your baby if you take VIIBRYD during pregnancy. If you become pregnant during treatment with VIIBRYD, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants at 1-844-405-6185
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if VIIBRYD passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during treatment with VIIBRYD
- Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take, especially:
- MAOIs; triptans (medicines used to treat migraines); tricyclic antidepressants; fentanyl; lithium; tramadol; tryptophan; buspirone; amphetamines; St. John’s Wort; medicines that can affect blood clotting such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and warfarin; diuretics; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic, or thought disorders, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) VIIBRYD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how VIIBRYD works. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking VIIBRYD without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how VIIBRYD affects you. VIIBRYD can cause sleepiness or may affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking VIIBRYD.
- The most common side effects of VIIBRYD include diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and trouble sleeping. These are not all the possible side effects of VIIBRYD.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.