I believe my daughter’s psychiatrist is going to be prescribing an antidepressant. What questions should I ask him? My daughter is 15.

First, it’s important to know the reason your daughter may be prescribed an antidepressant. Assuming she is depressed, ask the psychiatrist about the symptoms of depression so you have a good understanding of your daughter’s condition. Things like sleep difficulties, low energy, and suicidal thoughts can all be symptoms.

Here are some questions you might ask the psychiatrist to help you understand your daughter’s treatment:

  • Is antidepressant medication the best treatment for my daughter’s depression?
  • Are there other treatments, such as talk therapy, that can be used?
  • What antidepressant will be prescribed?
  • Is this antidepressant Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for depression in teenagers? (Medications with FDA approval for teenagers have been shown to be safe and effective in treatment studies.)
  • How long will it take for the antidepressant to improve my daughter’s depression?
  • What are the most common side effects of the antidepressant?
  • What should I do if my daughter develops any of these side effects?
  • Are there any medications my daughter cannot take with the antidepressant?
  • How long will my daughter need to stay on the antidepressant?
  • Will my daughter’s depression come back after antidepressant treatment has ended?

About the Doc

About the Doc

Dr. Wagner is the Marie B. Gale Centennial Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Wagner is an internationally recognized expert in the pharmacological treatment of childhood mood disorders.