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How many different medications does it usually take before you find one that actually works?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 09/25/2018 at 4:17pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Serene Sarah George, MA in Psychology (Counselling), Diploma in Counselling Skills


Counsellor following person centered therapeutic approach, also drawing from techniques of CBT.

Top Rated Answers
September 7th, 2015 3:07am
It took me - hmm - at least 10. Sadly a few of those caused allergic reactions! It can be the first for some, and a dozen for others. Our bodies also change and process meds differently as we age sometimes. It took me years to find a good combo, but it was well worth it.
September 15th, 2015 5:58pm
It depends on your situation, and it depends on your body. I'm speaking in terms of mental illness. No matter what, medications will always have their side effects that will inhibit you in one way or another. They are meant to stabilise you so that you can coherently think, as well as get your own help. You can be on an entire cocktail of different medications, and think that you need them, I know that I did. You could try a bunch of different ones until you find one that "works" for you, or maybe it'll work for you the first time. Just remember when you're going through this, (and again, I speak in terms of mental illness and from my own experience and am not trying to advise a patient to do something unhealthy) that these meds aren't meant to be taken long term, and the best medicine of all is healthy coping skills, and therapy when needed. :)
January 13th, 2015 12:11am
I guess it depeds on each individual. Best thing to do if consult a doctor about it. It make take a few shots but I'm sure they will be able to help you :)
March 28th, 2015 4:05pm
Everyone is different. Medication is a very individualized thing. Some people find the first one they try works, other people have trouble finding one. There's no set time that it takes. Also, alot of medication can take any where from 4 weeks and up before you notice a difference. I took almost 2 months of increasing the dose of what I'm on before I felt better. It's important to stay in contact with your doctor and keep any appts with them.
April 1st, 2015 4:50am
Its very hard to say, It could be the first one that works well but all medication will take time to start working. Several medications might need to be trialed before finding the right one.
April 29th, 2015 7:15am
For me, it was the fourth try of medication that worked.. but I was heavily misdiagnosed at first.. Once my diagnosis was correct they found the medication almost immediately. For everyone it is different, but the benefits far outweigh just suffering through life without it, if you need it.. Most medications require that you be on them for a month, steadily, following the physicians orders (without missing doses) before you can really test and see if it is working for you.. more than one dose may be tried.. taking more time.... and then between medications you may have to be weaned off one and given a rest period of two weeks or so and try the next one.. so it can take some time.. just try to be patient and hang in there! For me it is the difference between crying all day, every day, feeling alone when I have lots of people who love me around, and being satisfied with my life and happy.
June 13th, 2015 3:01pm
I have been on several and am on a new one right now, not sure if its working yet or not. this is my 5th medicine i have been on
July 13th, 2015 2:05am
This is all based on the individual, like so many other things. Some medications work for some people, others work for others. Sometimes there's even a combination or a matter of adjusting the dosage that can work. Unfortunately, like for myself, medications are not always what works. Sometimes there's not really any pill that can make the depression and anxiety go away or get better. It doesn't mean you won't learn how to cope, though.
August 31st, 2015 9:15am
It all depends on the person. My cousin got one that works right away but I still haven't found one after 5 different ones. There is no X amount of tries before you find the right one. You just have to keep trying.
December 1st, 2015 3:39pm
Usually as per indicated by the doctor, perhaps 1 week. But everyone has different body condition, so it really depends on your body
April 12th, 2016 5:19pm
There is no correct answer. You may be lucky enough to get the right one 1st time but may take several attempts to find the one that works for you. It's trial and error and we are all individuals .
April 17th, 2016 1:30am
I am still searching for the right combination after 3 months. Some seem to work a few days then stop. Others make things worse. Because I don't smoke or drink alcohol or caffeine my body is really sensitive. My only choice is to keep trying along with talk therapy. That seems to work even better.
April 3rd, 2017 5:08am
Everyone is different! Just how one medication won't work for everyone - theres no defined number before you find the right one. For some people it may take at least 5, other people may find the right one immediately, another person might find the right one on their second option! Keep in touch with your health professional, and remember that it is okay if it takes a few different goes to find the right one!
May 23rd, 2017 2:14pm
It really depends on what type of medication that you are taking and what type of ailment you are taking it for. Keep in mind that every person is different. Please always go with the advice of a physician.
January 29th, 2018 5:38am
It depends. It varies from person to person. Your psychiatrist needs to evaluate you and then gives you the medication they think will work. For me, it took about 3 different medications. but its a long process but its worth it.
February 13th, 2018 9:35pm
It depends on the person! Some people find a medication that works on the first try. Other people may have to try several medications, or combinations of medications before they find something that works. If you are concerned about your medication not working, don't be afraid to speak with your doctor. They can help you find something that works!
March 27th, 2018 2:26am
Sometimes medications will work initially and of course other times the medication will not. Everyone is unique in their own way so you have to continue until you have one that works for you.
September 25th, 2018 4:17pm
There's no set number of medications that you need to try before you find one that works. It's all personal to you and how the medication affects you. It's all about trial and error, some medications may not work for you but that's ok because there are hundreds and hundreds of different medications that will all have different reactions. You will find one that suits you eventually, but it may not come immediately. Just be patient and keep trying different medications until you eventually find the one that works the best for you.