Medications are one of the options that can help depression or anxiety. However, it is important to know that they are not “magic pills” that will “make everything better.”

Medications can help, but it is equally important to get counselling and ensure you are doing your best to live a healthy lifestyle.

Medications require a prescription. If you are interested in medications to help your mood, see your doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss your options.



If you have been prescribed a medication to help with depression or anxiety, here is some important advice to know:

Please know that these types of medications often take 4 to 6 weeks to take full effect, although some people may start noticing some early improvements within a couple of weeks. Most people can take these types of medications without any major side effects. However, if you do notice side effects when you start the medication, please know that most of the side effects are mild, tolerable, and usually go away within 2 weeks.

All of this is important to know because often people will stop taking these medications too early, thinking that the medication was only giving side effects but not helping. However, if people can stick with the medication for 4 to 6 weeks, the side effects usually go away and often people can really notice the medication is helping.

If you do not notice any improvement in your mood after 4 to 6 weeks, it is possible that particular medication is not helping you – or maybe it is not helping as much as you would like. If so, consider returning to see your doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss other option.





Sometimes, people wonder about fast-acting, sedative medications like “Ativan” or “Lorazepam” (benzodiazepines). Dr. Stewart generally does not recommend these. They can be addictive or habit-forming. They have many bad side effects. They are merely a short term “band-aid” and do not help get at the root cause of anxiety or depression. Here is Dr. Stewart’s webpage on why he does not recommend these types of medications.