Antidepressants are a popular choice for patients suffering from depression. While not a cure, they do relieve the symptoms of depression. Doctors consider several factors when prescribing an antidepressant to a patient and may even do a DNA test for antidepressants to test effectiveness. In general, the process often involves trial and error.

Each type of antidepressant works slightly differently than the others, and patients suffer different types of side effects. Doctors may consider several factors before prescribing an antidepressant, including:

1. Symptoms

The symptoms of depression are different. Certain types of medication are better for certain types of depression.

2. Pregnancy

Antidepressants are given to pregnant or nursing mothers based on a risk-benefit ratio. While antidepressants pose a low risk of birth defects in most cases, there are some medications that should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

3. Side Effects

Side effects vary from person to person and may include things like weight gain, dry mouth, and sexual side effects. A doctor will consider possible side effects before prescribing medication.

4. Effectiveness of Medication On First-Degree Relatives

Doctors check to see if immediate family members have taken the same medication and how effective it has been for them. This gives a good indication of how well the drug will work for the patient.

5. Use of Other Medicines

Doctors will assess how the particular antidepressant will interact with the patient’s current medications. Certain antidepressants can cause dangerous reactions when taken with other medications.

6. Health complications

Doctors check to see if there are any mental or other health problems that do not work well with certain types of antidepressants.

A study found that 30 – 50% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) did not respond to their first treatment of antidepressants. Furthermore, only 30% of patients with MDD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder (BD) reach full and stable remission or remain compliant with medication. However, a DNA test for antidepressants seems to offer a solution. DNA test for antidepressants aims to identify the best suitable antidepressant for each patient. Resulting in faster and more targeted treatments.

Some of the risk factors for depression are determined by genes. While there is no conclusive evidence for DNA test for antidepressants, some health insurance companies cover these tests anyway, suggesting that many professionals believe in the efficacy of this type of genetic testing.