Antidepressants can improve the symptoms of depression. But they can also cause serious side effects, so you don't want to take one if you don't have to. The information in this report can help you decide—with your doctor or mental health professional—whether an antidepressant might be right for you, and if so, which one.
Retail prices for commonly prescribed antidepressants range from about $21 a month, and sometimes even less, to more than $1,000 a month. This report shows how you can save more than $100 a month or $1,200 a year, if you have to take an antidepressant regularly.
Here's a thumbnail guide to help you decide if you should consider medication:
Your doctor may not be aware of price differences between medicines, so be cautious if he or she offers you a free sample of an antidepressant that they happen to have in their office. While getting a medication for free may be tempting, the drug may not be the right one for you. Individual needs vary and people respond to antidepressants quite differently. Some have to try two or three antidepressants before finding one that works.
Taking effectiveness, safety, side effects, and cost into account, we have chosen fiveConsumer Reports Best Buy Drugs as initial options to consider for depression:
These medicines are substantially less expensive than brand-name antidepressants and are equally as effective. Both bupropion and escitalopram are more expensive than the others, so if cost is a concern, that may be something to consider when choosing an antidepressant for the first time. If you have drug coverage, talk with your doctor about finding the antidepressant that has the lowest out-of-pocket cost under your insurance plan.
Other important considerations:
Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs™ is a public information project of Consumer Reports, and is made possible by grants from the State Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program which is funded by the multi-state settlement of consumer fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin.