Prescription medication (drug) treatments for depression are thought to work by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Communication between nerve cells in the central nervous system is an electrochemical process, and neurotranmitters are the chemicals which enable one nerve cell to ‘talk’ to the next one and to send messages on through the whole nervous system, and specifically the brain. The neurotransmitters that seem to be of greatest relevance in depression are norepinephrine and serotonin.
Prescription medications always have a common name and a trade name. For example the drug Doxepin is sold under the name Deptran or Sinequan.
Antidepressant medications usually need to be taken as prescribed for 4 to 6 weeks before you can expect to notice significant improvements in mood. The World Health Organisation recommends that treatment (medication) continues for at least six months after the ceasation od symptoms, this is to reduce the chance of the depression returning.
Finding the right antidepressant and the right dosage is likely to involve a period of trial and adjustment, and you will need to work with your doctor on this. It is very important that you are open and honest with your doctor about your medication and any concerns you have so that they can help you find the right one and the right dosage for you.
We are all different, and unfortunately there is no simple set of rules!