What not to do – some common considerations regarding medication

Once you begin taking a medication, do not stop taking it without the consent of your healthcare provider. 

You may feel that your symptoms have improved, and think that medicine is no longer needed.  But depression is a chronic illness that requires ongoing treatment. Stopping your medication too soon puts you at risk of having a relapse of symptoms. In addition, there may be serious side effects associated with abruptly stopping an antidepressant.  Always check with your prescribing healthcare provider before changing your dosage or stopping your medication.

Do not take other prescribed medications, over-the-counter medications, remedies or supplements without first checking with the healthcare provider who prescribes your antidepressant medication

This includes any prescriptions you may receive from other providers for other conditions, as well as over-the-counter medications or remedies (such as cough medicine, pain relievers, etc), herbs, supplements (such as ginseng, St. John’s Wort, etc.) or vitamins.  Many substances can have an unintended or adverse reaction when combined with antidepressant medications. 

Do not ignore dosing instructions. 

Review the instructions for your medication with your prescribing healthcare provider, and make sure you understand how each is to be taken, including the time of day, the number of times per day, and whether or not to take it with food.  If you forget to take your medication: Depending on the medication, your healthcare provider may instruct you to either take that dose as soon as you can, or to wait until the next scheduled dose to begin again.  It is important that you clarify all dosing details in advance with your healthcare provider.