The Cost of Antidepressants Without Insurance

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The Cost of Antidepressants Without Insurance

Anxiety.Clinical Depression.Uninsured.Health Insurance
Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD
By Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD
Apr 21, 2020 - Updated Jan 11, 2021
A pharmacist fills a prescription for antidepressant medications inside a pharmacy, perhaps for a patient without insurance.

If your doctor prescribes an antidepressant, you will likely be taking the medication regularly for an extended period of time. The cost of chronic medications can add up and put a dent in your budget, especially if you are unemployed or uninsured. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated millions of layoffs in the United States.

If you find yourself without work or insurance, or if your plan does not cover your antidepressant or has a high deductible, you may want to know how much antidepressants cost without insurance.

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How much do antidepressants cost without insurance?

The cost of antidepressant medications without insurance starts at $7.19* for a prescription of escitalopram for 10mg and 30 tablets using an RxSaver coupon.

Medication prices vary depending on the antidepressant medication but RxSaver can help you save on the cost of your prescription with or without insurance.

The following are five commonly prescribed antidepressants and their prices with RxSaver™. Pharmacy coupon prices vary by location and pharmacy, be sure to use RxSaver to determine pricing at your local pharmacies.

Medication Lowest Price for Common Dosages*
Duloxetine (generic for Cymbalta) $11.87
Sertraline (generic for Zoloft) $8.95
Citalopram (generic for Celexa) $4.00
Escitalopram (generic for Lexapro) $7.19
Bupropion XL (generic for Wellbutrin XL) $9.18

Can you buy antidepressants over the counter?

You cannot buy antidepressants over the counter. Antidepressants require a prescription from a health care provider. Although many offices are closed due to COVID-19, there are several telehealth services to choose from for mental health care and to obtain prescriptions for your antidepressants.

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When do you need an antidepressant?

The decision to begin taking an antidepressant may be based on your symptoms and discussions with your counselor or therapist. You may need an antidepressant to treat depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or other conditions. Your psychiatrist or other health care professional will prescribe an antidepressant if it is necessary. If your doctor’s office is closed during the pandemic or if you need to talk to a doctor for the first time, use a telehealth service to stay home and practice social distancing.

How do antidepressants work?

Antidepressants work by increasing the amount of substances called neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, help regulate your mood and emotions. Scientists believe that people with depression may have lower levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine circulating in their brains.

Antidepressants classified as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain. Medications in this category include Zoloft (sertraline), Celexa (citalopram), and Lexapro (escitalopram).

Antidepressants called SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) increase the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Drugs in this category include Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Effexor (venlafaxine). Wellbutrin (bupropion) increases the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain, and it may be used in combination with other antidepressants.

Most antidepressants work by decreasing the action of (downregulating) receptors in your brain that take up neurotransmitters. Because it takes a few weeks for the receptors to downregulate, you may not feel the effects of your antidepressant until you have been taking it for two to four weeks or longer.

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Common Conditions Treated with Antidepressants

Antidepressants are primarily used to treat depression, but they have also been used to treat other conditions. Additional uses for antidepressants include the following:

  • anxiety
  • panic disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • social phobias
  • eating disorders
  • insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • pain
  • smoking cessation (quitting smoking)

Getting the Best Prices for Your Antidepressants When You Are Uninsured

Losing your job or your health insurance can be devastating, but there are affordable options for buying your antidepressants without insurance. If you need a new prescription, you can access telehealth services from home. A telehealth provider can also approve refills, and some states are allowing emergency refills of an up to 30-day supply without a prescription. Remember that you do not have to go without your medicine. Regardless of your financial position, RxSaver can help you with affordable prices for your medication.

duloxetine: 60 mg/30 capsule drs

sertraline: 100 mg/30 tablets

citalopram: 20 mg/ 30 tablets

escitalopram: 10 mg/ 30 tablets

bupropion XL: 150 mg/ 30 tablets er 24hs

*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 1/11/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.

Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD

Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD

Dr. Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD, is a freelance medical writer who has been a practicing pharmacist in her community for close to 20 years and is a regular contributor to the RxSaver blog. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.