When is the best time to take an antidepressant?

Dealing with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness can be extremely overwhelming. It can feel like you are trapped in a dark hole that there is no way out of. If this sounds familiar to you, then maybe it’s time to seek help from an antidepressant (1).

Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression and other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But when is the best time to take them? Let’s go over some factors that could affect your choice (2).

Considerations for Taking Antidepressants

Whether you are taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), or any other class of antidepressants, here are some things that should guide your decision:

1. The severity of your symptoms

Firstly, how severe are your symptoms? Is it causing impairment in social functioning or painful enough for suicidal thoughts? Your doctor would evaluate this factor alongside other considerations before making a prescription.

2. Time of day: morning vs evening

The timing at which one takes medication can have diverse outcomes depending on body makeup and lifestyle (3).

  • Morning dosage: Some people find morning doses more beneficial since it correlates better with elevating mood during waking hours.
  • Evening dosage: While others might prefer night administration schedules if they experience side effects like drowsiness from daytime use. It also works well for persons experiencing insomnia symptomatic disturbances; however always consult with medical advise based on individual context.

3. Lifestyle habits:

Skipping doses inadvertently or noncompliance as regards prescriptions causes significant withdrawal symptoms weeks after discontinuing medications based on half-life mechanisms of action models(4)

Side Effects

Like most medication, antidepressants have some side effects. These might be uncomfortable but are usually not life-threatening or long-lasting (5).

Some of the common side effects people report include:
Nausea and vomiting
Sexual dysfunction.
Such emotions or detrimental outcomes can occur as short-term reactions to regulating body chemistry products. It’s temporary, so it is recommended you discuss any form of discomfort with your physician (6).


People who take other medications for other medical conditions should consult their doctors whether there could be potential interactions between the drug classes. Interactial changes in pharmaceuticals lead to compatibility levels that one needs to evaluate based on different contexts such as mechanism actions, protein binding capacity etc.
It may also make symptoms worse than before or reduce efficiency (7).

When Should You Stop Taking Antidepressants?

Withdrawal symptoms which manifest way after cessation includes anxiety, unexplained mood swings can linger around even several weeks post-treatment. Therefore a progressive-taper schedule by prescription observer management could help minimize these withdrawal pains (8)

Word of caution:

While taking an antidepressant prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner enhances recovery from overwhelming feelings; self-medication recommendations should never substitute for professional oversight regarding cognitive product evaluation processes

In conclusion what works over specific triggers and interventions meant to aid depression treatment varies significantly among individuals based on lifestyle choices and environmental factors differing dependence rates sometimes causes no uniform reaction across persons even within similar diagnosis backgrounds(9)