Choosing an Antidepressant: The Top 10 List

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

When it comes to choosing a medication for depression, or any type of mental illness, there is usually a period of trial and error. Doctors may prescribe one medication, monitor the effects and if not successful in making the patient feel better, try a different medication. This process can cause a patient to ride a roller coaster of emotions during the first few months of treatment for depression until the right medication, and the right dosage, is found.

Some researchers decided to try to ease limit the amount of trial and error by ranking the top 12 antidepressants to help doctors determine the best medication to give their patients. According to an article on ABCNews, Zoloft and Lexapro were the two top ranked medications in terms of less side effects and more effectiveness in treating depression.

The lead researcher in the study found antidepressants to be different and hopes the list of medications can help doctors when trying to decide which medication to start with. Medication can often make a large difference in the life of someone living with depression.

According to the article, some psychiatrists are not sure the list is of much benefit to them. Many times, patients are first prescribed antidepressant medication by their family doctor and it is when they have not found relief that they turn to a psychiatrist for help. Therefore, patients have already tried a number of medications and the psychiatrist must determine why medications are not working. Other psychiatrists have indicated that the list of top ranked medications is similar to what they have already found through their practices.

However, the list may be of benefit to family doctors, especially those with less experience in treating patients with depression. The ranking provides the top ten antidepressants according to effectiveness and the top ten according to minimal side effects. This list can offer doctors a place to start when prescribing medication.

To see the ranking click here.


"First Top 10 List for Antidepressants", 2009, January 29, Lauren Cox, ABC News Medical Unit, ABCNews

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.