Current mental health medications do not cure mental illness. However, they can often significantly improve symptoms and help promote recovery and are recognized as first-line treatment for most individuals. Research is constantly providing new information about the brain and the nature of mental illness and, consequently, more effective treatments, including medications. Not everyone responds to medications in the same way. Very often, multiple types of medications must be assessed in order to find the one, or ones, that are the most effective for an individual. Following is a list of specific medications frequently used to help with various mental-illness symptoms. Each name links to a more specific discussion of the medication at the National NAMI site.

About Generics. Many medications are available in a generic form. Talk to your doctor about using generics. As a general rule, generics are considered safe, effective and often cost less. They are proven to be by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But there are differences you should discuss with your doctor.

Generics have the same:

  • Active ingredients
  • Dosage
  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Performance
  • Intended use

Generics might have different:

  • Pricing – they usually cost less
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Inactive ingredients – fillers, binders, coloring agents and flavorings
  • Bioequivalency – amount of drug in the bloodstream at any one point in time

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