There are various medications that are prescribed by doctors for treating depressions and some of them will be discussed in this article.


The Psychostimulants, in particular the SSRI or the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and the tricyclic antidepressants are the most permanent part of treatment for the depressed patients who are also terminally. These drugs are particularly useful for those with terminal illnesses since these drugs could take the place of the psychotherapies that they are usually unable to participate in due to the gravity of their illnesses. Although, the advances in medical science has brought with it newly invented antidepressants, they have not been evaluated and assessed as drugs for the terminally ill patients concurrently suffering from depression. .


The Psychostimulants, specifically the dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, and pemoline, these types of medications deserve special consideration when treating depression near the end of one’s life because they are the types that would take effect quickly and immediately.  Among patients that are of limited life span, these agents, as compared to others, may provide them the best deal. Since it can reduce the distress of the patient immediately, it could also help in the reduction of distress among family members, it can further create opportunities for them to adjust more effectively with the challenges of the dying process. Usage of this kind of drug has been said to cause notable improvements in moods and energy levels within twenty four hours from starting the treatment, even for those patients who are extremely debilitated and fatigued. However, it should be remembered that psychostimulants are not to be preferred for the terminally ill patients who have long projected life spans; they are only advisable to be best among patients who have only weeks or several months to live.

For patients with severe depression and are therefore requiring prompt and immediate treatment, but are expected to survive for several months or even longer, it is recommended that the treatment should begin with pyschostimulants, then an SSRI should be added when patient begins to show therapeutic response. Gradual reduction of the dosage of the pyschostimulant and a corollary increase in the SSRI to a therapeutic level over the first and second week is needed.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline are known to be the usual first line of defenses for treating depression of those who are also terminally ill when immediate action is not that essential. Generally, and from medical observations sertraline or paroxetine are better tolerated by the depressed terminally ill patients since they have fewer active metabolites and would therefore not result in excessive accumulation and will decrease potential for toxity.


As for the tricyclic antidepressants, even though they are still used, they are said to be least tolerated by patients because of its sedating effects