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How long does it take for antidepressants to start working?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Anti-depressant drugs typically take three to six weeks to have substantial effects. This delay occurs because the brain accommodates to (or appears to) the accumulation of the drug in the brain. Thus the drugs are usually used for six to nine months for the first episode of depression (The recurrence rate after that is the same whether you continue the medication past nine months or not). Recurrent episodes require longer-term treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.