We may sometimes recommend medication to help you. We’ve listed some of the common groups of medication used for children and young people with mental health disorders. Every medicine has a balance of good and bad effects, and each person’s response to the medication is unique.

It’s important to remember that medication can have different effects for different people, so a medication that works well for someone else might not have the same effect on you. So it’s important for you to work with your healthcare professional to find the right medication for you.

Medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics shouldn’t be stopped suddenly as you may experience side effects if you do so. If you feel that you don’t want to carry on taking your medication, please speak to your doctor or CAMHS worker so that you can work on a safe plan to gradually reduce it.

Antidepressants such as Fluoxetine, Sertraline and Citalopram are used to treat conditions including depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders.

They can take 2 to 4 weeks to start to work and 4 to 6 weeks before you feel the full benefit.

Antipsychotics such as Risperidone, Aripiprazole and Olanzapine are used as treatment for psychotic symptoms often seen in early onset psychosis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The effect of antipsychotics can start to be seen within a week, but the full benefits of the medication might not be seen for 4 to 6 weeks and possibly longer depending on your symptoms.

Mood stabilisers such as Lithium, Sodium Valproate and Lamotrigine are used to treatment mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and mania.

It‘s not uncommon to be prescribed these to complement the effects of antipsychotics and antidepressants. Mood stabilisers can take several weeks to start to work. 

Medications such as Methylphenidate, Atomoxetine and Guanfacine are used to help manage the symptoms of ADHD. They can help with attention, concentration and impulsivity.

For some people, the medication can help immediately, but often it can take 8 to 12 weeks for the full effect of the medication to be seen.