A leading independent health body has launched a new resource to help Australians learn more about the treatment of depression.
The National Prescribing Service (NPS) is now providing an online knowledge hub about antidepressant medication, including tips on how to deal with side effects and an overview of alternative treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
According to NPS clinical adviser Philippa Binns, responses to treatment may differ from individual to individual.
"Depression affects a lot of people in our community, but there are effective treatments for the condition, including both medicine and non-medicine options," Dr Binns said.
"Under guidance from their health professional, some people will need to try more than one antidepressant in order to find the one that suits them best."
Some private health insurance policies may help to cover the cost prescription medicines not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Data from the NPS indicates two-thirds of Australians seeing their doctor for depression are given a prescription for antidepressants – making it second only to high blood pressure as the most common chronic problem seen by GPs.