Treatment at maximum therapeutic dose for 4 to 5 weeks.
The most common clinical mistakes that lead to an unsuccessful antidepressant trial are inadequate medication dosage (ie, too low) and/or inadequate trial duration (ie, too short). A patient must be treated with the maximum recommended dose for at least 4 weeks before an antidepressant is considered ineffective. A trial of 9 to 10 weeks, 3 months, or one half of the maximum therapeutic dose would be incorrect. Psychotherapy may be an effective adjunctive treatment but is not considered a factor in the determination of medication response.