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a teen sits on a couch talking to a therapist about medication management for teens

Medication Management for Teens

If your teen is struggling with depression, you might be wondering about the pros and cons of using antidepressants. These medications, while generally safe, can have unpleasant side effects for some teens. That said, they can also dramatically improve your teen’s mood and help them regain a high quality of life. At Beyond Healthcare, we understand a parent’s concerns about using medications as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for teens with mental health issues. Our programs provide medication management for all teens and families to ensure their safety and efficacy.

Beyond Healthcare provides exceptional outpatient mental health care for adolescents, teens, and families in Toledo, Ohio. Through our holistic approach to treatment, we address individual needs to heal the mind, body, and spirit. Learn more about medication management by calling 833.698.0453.

What to Know About Medication Management in Teens for Depression

According to a 2022 analysis by Mental Health America, over 2.5 million youth live with severe major depression. The number of youth experiencing a major depressive episode increased by 197,000 from the prior year. Teen depression causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It impacts their thinking and behavior and can disrupt school functioning, home life, and socialization.

Too often, medication is viewed as the first line of defense for treating depression in teens. At Beyond Healthcare, we know that not everyone needs or can benefit from antidepressants. Recommendations for medication are not taken lightly, and we provide parents with all the information they need to decide what is best for their teen.

Our treatment team has a thorough knowledge of each medication’s benefits and potential risks for teen depression, and we guide and support families through every step of the decision-making process.

Medication management includes:

  • Initial evaluation of the teen’s needs
  • Review of the teen’s medical history
  • Evaluation of other medications and potential interactions
  • Ongoing monitoring of effectiveness
  • Adjusting dosages as needed
  • Education about all prescribed medications
  • Support in ensuring that medications are taken as prescribed

The Beyond Healthcare team recognizes parents’ concerns about the safety of antidepressants for teens. Our nurse practitioners work with your family to closely monitor how your teen responds to medications and make modifications when necessary.

The Pros and Cons of Antidepressants for Teens

While there are common symptoms of teen depression, it impacts everyone differently. For many teens, a depression treatment program that includes individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, trauma therapy, and support in developing healthy coping strategies, communication skills, and social skills is sufficient in learning to manage the symptoms of depression.

Still, medication is sometimes necessary for comprehensive depression treatment for teens. If medication is recommended for your teen, it is critical to know the pros and cons.

Pros of Antidepressants for Teens:

  • Improved mood
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Increased attention span and focus
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Reduction of anxiety symptoms that can co-occur with depression
  • Improved school performance and socialization skills
  • Decrease in depressive symptoms that can trigger self-harm or suicidal thoughts

Cons of Antidepressants for Teens:

  • Insomnia or sedation
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth

All medications have potential side effects. For most teens, the side effects of antidepressants are minimal. While annoying, they are manageable, and the benefits typically outweigh the adverse effects.

Contact Beyond Healthcare to Learn More About Medication Management

Beyond Healthcare provides a full range of mental health services at our outpatient mental health center for adolescents and teens aged 11 to 17. We understand that your child’s mental health and behavioral issues do not exist in a vacuum, so we provide support services for families, including community connections.

Our center in Toledo, Ohio, offers holistic mental health treatment through evidence-based approaches to help your child and family heal and grow. If you have questions about medication management for your teen with depression, we can help. Contact us at 833.698.0453.