Topic Overview

Depression is the most common mental health problem in people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). It may result from having a chronic disease or may be a side effect of certain MS medicines, such as interferon beta. Depression may be treated with:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft). These medicines may also make the person more alert and help reduce fatigue.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine, or imipramine.

There are other antidepressant medicines in addition to those listed above. Your doctor can help identify ones that are best for your situation, based on your symptoms, other medicines you are taking, and other health problems you may have.

Advisories. Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued advisories on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. It is not recommended that people stop using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are changed.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015