Three weeks. Most antidepressants take about three weeks. Some can be apparent more quickly. It is hard to say in that, perhaps, the earlier feelings of well being can be placebo effect: one just starts to feel better because they know that they are taking measures - in the form of a pill - to improve their daily lives.
Each antidepressant has different half-lives, more-or-less. However, the steady state that is needed in your blood is routinely reached after three-weeks of taking the prescribed dose, daily.
Also, one should always try to stick with this newly introduced medication for a minimum of eight-weeks. Too many people abort their trials way too early. Sometimes there are side effects that make one uncomfortable. If these can be at all tolerated they should be. Over several days, these side effects can lessen and, even, stop. Also, perhaps, a slower titration to a therapeutic dosing is needed. Your physician will guide you in this matter.
If you are not having problems with side effects and there is no improvement after three weeks then the same medication should be increased to the next appropriate dosing. One should try any antidepressant medication that is tolerated to the maximum dosing if necessary to obtain the required relief from depression symptoms.
- Citalopram Information for Consumers
- Citalopram Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Citalopram (detailed)
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