Can antidepressants stop working?

Can antidepressants stop working?

Infographic: Can antidepressants stop working?

Yes. Some people develop tolerance to antidepressants, seeing fewer results than a previously-aided drug. This process is often called ADT tachyphylaxis.

Estimates vary, but research shows that 25% of those taking antidepressants for depression will eventually develop tolerance. This number increases to 42% for people diagnosed with dysthymia, a type of long-term depression.

People who have antidepressant tolerance have many choices. They can look for a clinical evaluation to make sure they are depressed and not bipolar. They can ask their psychiatrist to help them turn to a new drug. They can also look for additional treatments such as psychotherapy.

Bibliographical references:

  1. Antidepressant dependence and withdrawal [PDF]. (2018). Integrated Parliamentary Group on Pre-selected Drug Addiction. Retrieved from
  2. Hall-Flavin, D. K. (2018, Jan. 31). Antidepressants: Can they stop working? Retrieved from

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