10002115 J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive

Psychiatrist.com Home    Keyword Search

Close [X]

Search Our Sites

Enter search terms below (keywords, titles, authors, or subjects). Then select a category to search and press the Search button. All words are assumed to be required. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. To exclude a term, precede it with a minus sign (-).

Keyword search:

Choose a category:

Choosing the appropriate category will greatly improve your chances of finding the best match.

All files at our sites: J Clin Psychiatry, Primary Care Companion, CME Institute, and MedFair

Search materials from our journals:

Abstracts from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements

PDFs of the full text of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements (Net Society Platinum [paid subscribers])

PDFs of the full text of The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1999–present

Search CME offerings:

CME Institute, including CME from journals , supplements, and Web activities for instant CME credit (Net Society Gold [registered users]); also includes information about our CME program

CME activities from regular issues of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])

CME Supplements from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])


The article you requested is

How Fast Are Antidepressants?

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61:712-721
Copyright 2000 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

To view this item, select one of the options below.

    1. Purchase this PDF for $40
      If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
      (You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
    2. Subscribe
      Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP print + online for $166 individual.
      JCP's 75th AnniversaryCelebrate!
      Celebrate JCP's 75th Anniversary with a special online-only subscription price of $75.
    1. Activate
      If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
    2. Sign in
      As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
  1. Did you forget your password?

Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send an email


Background: For years, investigators have tried to determine the speed of onset of antidepressant drugs. Claims that particular drugs may produce a faster response in patients than other agents have been made, but such claims have never been confirmed.

Method: The authors reviewed reports from studies of the speed of onset of antidepressant therapies and other studies that revealed information on this topic. We compiled a list of factors that can affect the results of such studies and interpretations of study results. In addition, we reviewed literature concerned with methods of speeding up antidepressant responses.

Results: No antidepressant medication currently available has been shown conclusively to have a more rapid onset of action than any other. However, some methods of augmentation may have the potential to speed responses. Somatic therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy, phototherapy, and therapeutic sleep deprivation may be the fastest options available at this time.

Conclusion: All available antidepressant medications are usually taken for several weeks before future responders will display a significant therapeutic benefit. If a patient does not show at least a 20% improvement within the first 2 to 4 weeks of treatment, the treatment regimen should be altered. For patients who do show early benefits from a medication trial, one can expect additional benefits to accrue over an 8- to 12-week period and to improve overall outcome compared with those slower to respond. Future trials need to address methodological confounds, but a truly "faster antidepressant" will probably require new neuroscience technology.