Leah has been a health content creator for over 4 years. Her work helps make health information and healthcare more accessible. She is passionate about healthcare equality and hopes to help patients make informed health choices.
Leann Poston, M.D.
Leann Poston, M.D. earned her medical degree from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She completed an MBA from Raj Soin College of Business, focusing on healthcare. She is a full-time medical communication writer and educator.
February 3, 2021
The short answer is no, you cannot get antidepressants over the counter. Antidepressants are the first line of treatment for depression and are not available over the counter as they are prescription only.
You will need to speak to a doctor before taking antidepressants. You can, however, get antidepressants prescribed online by speaking with a top virtual doctor at our sister site PlushCare here.
In short, antidepressants do exactly what the name says – they counter the symptoms of depression. They’re a class of psychological medications that are designed to alleviate depression.
Of course, there’s a lot more science involved in that. Their purpose is to alter and correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. Abnormalities in the brain’s chemical makeup is the reason we are susceptible to mental illnesses such as depression in the first place. There could be a number of reasons why someone’s chemistry is off, and truth be told, it’s different for everyone.
An antidepressant’s job is to find the right chemical balance for the brain, offsetting depression and returning the brain to its normal state.
Not all treatments for depression are equally effective. What works for one person may not work for others, and vice versa.
That’s why there are several types of antidepressants to help with each unique situation. There are:
Each of these medications works by increasing the amount of serotonin and/or norepinephrine available in the brain which improves mood.
Like most medications, there are side-effects that come with taking antidepressants. Most individuals experience side-effects during the first few weeks of taking the medication; but after continual dosage, they may become less severe.
Side effects include:
It’s important to remember that each medication will affect each person differently. What side-effects you experience may be unique to you and an antidepressant that works well for someone may be wrong for someone else.
Because antidepressants have the potential to cause serious side effects and have dangerous contraindications they must be prescribed by a doctor and are not available over the counter.
An amazing advantage to living in the modern world is access to options. If you have mild depression and aren’t sure if antidepressants are right for you, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
The supplement industry has boomed over the last few decades. While no over the counter depression supplement is FDA approved to treat depression, there is limited scientific research to support the use of over-the-counter remedies to help with the symptoms of depression.
Of course, the FDA-approved prescription medications listed above are clinically proven to work – but there is some evidence to support the use of over-the-counter remedies as well.
Some common supplements that may help treat depression are:
Always talk to a medical professional before starting over-the-counter remedies of any kind. Some of them can interact with current medications or cause nasty side effects.
The first step to treating mental illnesses is getting diagnosed with one. Professionals are trained to assess their patients and determine the best plan of care for each diagnosis. Talking with a doctor is the first step in solving any medically-related problem.
There is a huge medical benefit to living in today’s world of modern technology. Having to take the time to physically go to the doctor’s office is no longer necessary. Many doctor’s offices are preferring to work through virtual appointments, and scheduling a visit is easier than ever. Having to wait days to receive care is on its way out.
With virtual appointments, doctors have more available slots and lower wait times, so they can see more patients in a day – all while the patients themselves don’t actually have to go anywhere. Most doctor’s appointments, at the end of the day, involve consultations. That’s something that can easily be accomplished online.
Doctors can prescribe antidepressants through secure virtual chats with their patients. Even better, they are able to send the prescription directly to the pharmacy to be filled immediately.
If you’re intimidated about taking antidepressants, rest assured that there’s nothing to fear. You and your doctor will have an in-depth discussion to determine whether antidepressants are the right choice for you. These options are meant to improve your life and pull you out of a potentially dangerous place.
Prescription antidepressants are FDA-approved and with the right professional help, you’ll find the best depression remedy for you.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself while taking antidepressants. Daily exercise and a well-rounded diet are very strong contributors to living a physically and mentally healthy life. For those with depression, taking medication can facilitate that kind of lifestyle.
Talk to a doctor online about getting antidepressants today. EverydayDr is proud to be affiliated with award-winning telehealth company Plushcare. PlushCare’s top doctors commonly prescribe antidepressants and can work with you to improve your mental health. Getting antidepressants online is just as convenient as getting antidepressants over the counter. Book an appointment and talk with a doctor about antidepressants today.
PlushCare also offers therapy for those who’d wish to talk to a licensed therapist, click here.
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