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How much do antidepressants cost?

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Cost dataDiscounted costsMedicaid and Medicare coverageSaving on antidepressantsSelf-careSummary
For people with health insurance, out-of-pocket antidepressant costs have fallen since 2013. But those without insurance can also save money by using various discount schemes and government programs.
Medically reviewed by Jennie Olopaade, PharmD, RPH
Updated on November 17, 2023

Antidepressants are often affordable, but the cost will typically depend on whether you have insurance with prescription coverage or whether you use any other discount programs.

These medications lower symptoms of depression by altering brain chemistry, and for many people with depression, they provide a lot of relief. Ensuring the best price means you can more easily afford effective treatment.

Antidepressant costs in detail

Differently colored and shaped pills covering part of bank note in response to the question how much do antidepressants cost
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According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there have been significant increases in general drug prices between 2016–2022. However, out-of-pocket expenses for antidepressants may have decreased since 2013.

According to a 2021 U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, for people under the age of 18 years, out-of-pocket antidepressant costs fell from $10 in 2013 to $4 in 2018. And for people ages 19–64, costs fell from $15 to $9 during the same period.

Between 2013–2018, people from low income households saw their average total costs per antidepressant prescription decrease from $73 to $49. During the same period, the overall average out-of-pocket expenses for each antidepressant prescription filled decreased for both males and females.

Discounted antidepressant costs

The table below shows the approximate costs of some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications.

The costs listed are for a quantity of 60 tablets with an Optum Perks prescription discount card.

Generic nameBrand nameCost
citalopramCelexaaround $8
trazodoneMolipaxinaround $8
sertralineZoloftaround $18
escitalopramLexaproaround $30
fluoxetineProzacaround $33
venlafaxineEffexoraround $9
bupropionWellbutrinaround $9
Pill bottle with text 'Starts at $4'

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Do Medicaid and Medicare cover antidepressants?

The federal government does not require Medicaid to provide coverage for prescription medications. But, currently, all states do offer this option. This includes prescription antidepressants.

Medicare Part D, also called prescription drug plans (PDPs), covers many antidepressants. Private insurance companies offer Part D plans. These plans often come as part of Medicare Advantage (also called Medicare Part C), although they can also be stand-alone plans.

Medicare Part B, which is the outpatient part of original Medicare, covers only one mental health screening per year and does not include prescriptions.

If you need help covering the cost of medications, the free Optum Perks Discount Card could help you save up to 80% on prescription drugs. Follow the links on drug names for savings on that medication, or search for a specific drug here.

How can I save money on antidepressants?

There are several ways to save money on antidepressant medications, including:

  • becoming familiar with your insurance plan’s drugs list, also known as a formulary
  • looking for prescription assistance programs
  • using generic drug versions, when possible
  • using manufacturer’s discounts
  • using pharmaceutical company’s patient assistance programs (PAPs)
  • ordering your medications in bulk
  • using cost-saving subscriptions
  • using mail-order pharmacies
  • using the Optum Perks discount card

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America also provides some helpful resources about affordable treatment for depression.

Self-care for mental health

There are many cost-effective and free self-care options for mental wellness. You can take care of your physical, emotional, and mental needs every day by:

  • ensuring enough sleep
  • getting regular exercise
  • eating balanced meals
  • avoiding alcohol, nicotine, and other substances (if applicable)
  • socializing and pursuing favorite hobbies and pastimes
  • getting some fresh air and being in the outdoors
  • meditation

Summary

Antidepressant costs can vary depending on whether you have health insurance, which drugs a health plan covers, and whether you use any discount programs.

Many generic antidepressants are more affordable than their brand-name versions. Low-cost therapy options are also available to further help with your mental well-being.

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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