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In patients receiving antidepressants for acute major depression, the initial therapeutic response is often delayed by several weeks. Clinicians should discuss the potential delay of symptomatic improvement with their patients when prescribing antidepressants so that patients will enter treatment with informed and realistic treatment expectations; otherwise, patients may become frustrated or discouraged if they do not see immediate improvement in symptoms and may prematurely discontinue the medication or not return for further care.

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