Multiple Sclerosis: Medicines for Depression

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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 beta. 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.
  • Selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor). These medicines are mainly used as antidepressants. Duloxetine may also help with some types of pain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), or imipramine (Tofranil).

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

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

Current as ofFebruary 19, 2016