Multiple Sclerosis: Medicines for Depression

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Multiple Sclerosis: Medicines for Depression

Topic Overview

Depression is the most common mental health problem in people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). It may result from having a chronic disease or may be a side effect of certain MS medicines, such as interferon betas. Depression may be treated with:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft). These medicines may also make the person more alert and help reduce fatigue.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, desipramine, or imipramine (Tofranil).

There are a variety of antidepressant medicines in addition to those listed above. Your doctor can help identify ones appropriate for your situation, based on your symptoms, other medicines you are taking, and other health problems you may have.

Advisories. Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued advisories on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. It is not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are changed.

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
Last Revised April 15, 2010

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