How Much Do Antidepressants Cost? With and Without Insurance

By Terez Malka, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
October 3, 2022

Antidepressants are a type of medication that many people rely on to manage symptoms of depression as well as other conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder

While some antidepressants may be covered by insurance, people without insurance or with high-deductible plans may worry about the cost of these medications.

In this article, we’ll break down common costs for antidepressants, including generics, brand names, and with and without health insurance coverage. We’ll also discuss whether antidepressants are available without a prescription, how they work, and other related costs.

How Much Do Antidepressants Cost?

The many types of antidepressants differ in how they work, active ingredients, brand name vs generic, and more. All of these factors together influence cost. Medication costs also depend on your location and insurance coverage, and each individual pharmacy’s relationship with the drug manufacturer.

The following charts break down the average prices of antidepressants. However, always check with pharmacies in your area for more precise costs. Local pharmacies and grocery store pharmacies are often more affordable than large chain pharmacies.

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Generic

Generic antidepressants contain the same active ingredients as brand names but are significantly less expensive. Many insurance companies and Medicare tend to cover generic versions of popular drugs.

Medication nameLowest or average price of a 30-day supply of common dosages without insurance
Escitalopram (Lexapro)$7.19
Duloxetine (Cymbalta)$11.87
Bupropion XL (Wellbutrin XL)$9.18
Sertraline (Zoloft)$8.95
Citalopram (Celexa)$4.00
Fluoxetine (Prozac)$5.97
Venlafaxine ER (Effexor ER)$135.00

Brand Name

Medication nameLowest or average price of a 30-day supply of common dosages without insurance
Lexapro$489.00
Cymbalta$296.00
Wellbutrin XL$75.99
Zoloft$416.00
Celexa$350.73
Prozac$620.37
Effexor ER$490.00

With insurance

Insurance coverage can vary widely, but most insurance plans that include prescription drug coverage will typically include antidepressants. However, insurance plans may only cover certain types of antidepressants, certain dosing regimens, or only the generic version and not the brand name.

With insurance, many people can still expect some out-of-pocket costs, depending on copays or deductibles. Many pharmacies and online prescription drug coupons exist to save money on medications, although sometimes these only work for people with no insurance coverage.

To learn the specific cost of antidepressant medications on your insurance plan, contact pharmacies and familiarize yourself with your policy’s prescription coverage and copays.

Are Antidepressants Available Over the Counter?

All antidepressants require a prescription from a medical provider, so you cannot purchase them over the counter. However, that does not mean that you have to go into a medical office to obtain a prescription. You can use telemedicine to see a mental health professional and even have medication shipped to you.

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Other Costs of Anxiety and Depression

While antidepressants are commonly prescribed to manage depression and anxiety, people often expend a significant amount of time and money to find relief from feelings of mood-related symptoms.

With or without insurance, the cost of antidepressants is just one factor. Other costs relating to anxiety and depression can include:

  • Psychiatry appointments or other therapy: without insurance averages $100-200 per session
  • Out-of-pocket and self-pay medical expenses and medical appointments: without insurance can vary widely but is typically thousands of dollars per year
  • Dietary supplements and herbs: typically not covered by insurance, average cost of an individual product ranges from $10-50
  • Exercise classes, fitness programs, personal training, and other lifestyle changes: typically not covered by insurance, can range from free to hundreds of dollars per month
  • Indirect costs and lost income can impact people who have symptoms of anxiety or depression, which can vary dramatically and have a significant impact on quality of life.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How expensive can antidepressants be?
Antidepressants can range in cost from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per month. The cost depends on insurance coverage, location, and the specific type of medication. For example, a generic version of Lexapro costs an average of $7.19 per month, while the brand name is $489.00 per month.
How much are antidepressants monthly?
Antidepressant dosages vary and can affect the cost, but an average monthly supply of commonly prescribed antidepressants can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Generic versions of medications are typically between $5-25 per month, depending on the medication, location, and dosage.
Is it worth getting antidepressants?
Every person is different, but the right antidepressant can improve quality of life and provide mental health support. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to discuss your specific symptoms and needs so they can prescribe the best medication for you. In some cases, it may take some time to determine whether a medication is right for you or effective.
Can you just buy antidepressants?
In the United States, all antidepressant medications require a prescription from a licensed medical provider. That means you cannot buy them over the counter.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Terez Malka, MD

Dr. Terez Malka is a board-certified pediatrician and emergency medicine physician.