12.7  What you should know about medication

There are effective medications available to treat depression. You will not be prescribing any medication but people from your community who take medication may want to discuss this topic with you. We will therefore be telling you a little bit about this here. In Ethiopia, the four main drugs currently available for treating depression are called:

  • amitriptyline
  • imipramine
  • fluoxetine
  • sertraline.

Although all these medications are safe, amitriptyline and imipramine can be dangerous if a patient takes too many of these tablets. The person will not improve from their illness by taking too many tablets but their heart could be seriously affected and they could die as a result.

Please note that some individuals may wish to take part in traditional healing practices, for example wearing amulets, attending for prayers and holy water, etc. Some individuals may even benefit from these traditional interventions. The important thing to remember here is that, if someone has benefited from these practices, there is no need to discourage them. However, it is important to encourage patients to continue taking their medication while taking part in these traditional practices.

12.6.2  What you do next

12.8  What you should know about the course of depression