Antidepressants and Autism Ranking: Mildly Hazardous Unable to rate

Cost and Time


In the UK antidepressants are available free of charge to patients within the NHS. In other countries the costs may be covered by some insurance policies.

For the latest information on costs please see BNF (British National Formulary) and BNF for Children.


According to the NHS Choices (2015),

“Antidepressants usually need to be taken for around seven days (without missing a dose) before the benefit is felt. It's important not to stop taking them if you get some mild side effects early on, as these effects usually wear off quickly.

“If you take an antidepressant for four weeks without feeling any benefit, speak to your GP or mental health specialist. They may recommend increasing your dose or trying an alternative medication.

“A course of treatment usually lasts for six months, although a two-year course may be recommended for people with a previous history of depression. Some people with recurrent depression may be advised to take them indefinitely. “

NHS Choices (2015), also notes

“You shouldn't suddenly stop taking antidepressants, even if you feel better. Stopping suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • stomach upsets
  • flu-like symptoms
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • sensations in the body that feel like electric shocks
  • seizures (fits)

“Coming off antidepressants too soon can cause your condition to return, and stopping before you have been taking them for three to four weeks may mean the medication hasn't had a chance to take effect.

“If your GP or mental health specialist decides to stop your course of antidepressants, they'll reduce the dose gradually over a few weeks.”

17 Jun 2022
Last Review
01 Jan 2017
Next Review
01 Jul 2023