The role of the pharmacist in supporting patients prescribed an antidepressant

Depression is common and is estimated to affect 1 in 20 Australians each year.

In 2013–14, there were 14,933,534 PBS prescriptions dispensed for antidepressants, for people aged 18 to 64 years, and 6,592,577 PBS prescriptions for people aged 65 years and over.

This makes it an important therapeutic area where pharmacists can maximise recovery by providing valuable support to patients prescribed an antidepressant.

With a range of supportive, psychological and pharmacological management options available, treatment choices should take patient needs and preferences into account, as well as social and cultural factors.

Selection of an antidepressant will depend on adverse effect profile, potential interactions with concomitant medicines, comorbidities and patient response to previously trialled antidepressants. For the treatment of mild depression, antidepressants are not recommended.

The use of antidepressants should always be part of broader management plans that include follow up and support. Pharmacists are in a pivotal position to collaborate with GPs and other health professionals to reinforce management plans with patients by assessing patient understanding, exploring expectations and/or addressing misconceptions.

A good approach is to ask the patient what they understand about their treatment and address any gaps in knowledge.

When a patient is switching or discontinuing from an antidepressant, highlight the importance of compliance with their recommended switching regime and encourage patients to discuss any discontinuation symptoms. Monitoring for adherence and adverse effects is important at all stages of antidepressant use – initiation, continuation and discontinuation.

Pharmacists can enhance their level of support to people on antidepressants by taking part in the latest NPS MedicineWise Pharmacy Practice Review Depression: Supporting quality use of antidepressants.


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  1. Eleonore Mooneyham

    There are very different reasons for depression. If it’s chemically based then there is nothing for it except medicine. If it’s situational there’s several activities to do.

    I utilized the advice from Jake Brown depression treatment guides to help with depression. it can be found by you on google effortlessly

    Awesome post.

  2. Stephan Cerminaro

    All studies indicate that the best therapy is a combination of medication and psychotherapy-neither tends to be nearly as effective alone. When it comes to psychotherapy, best practice protocols clearly suggest CBT (cognitive behavioral treatment) is the absolute most effective.

    You might find this link offer the necessary info: depressiontreatmentnow.­site

    I am happy that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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