Discontinuing Antidepressant Medications 2021 Original pdf
One in six people in the US are currently taking psychotropic drugs. In 80% of cases, the medication is taken for long-term use and predominantly involves new-generation antidepressants, such as SSRIs (e.g. paroxetine) and SNRIs (e.g. venlafaxine). When patients want to stop taking these drugs and/or their physicians decide it is time for them to stop, substantial problems often can ensue. About 50% of patients experience withdrawal symptoms that do not necessarily
subside after a few days or weeks and may be severe and debilitating. Physicians often do not know what to do in these situations. As a result, patients experiencing the anguish and mental pain of withdrawal syndromes are unlikely to receive appropriate medical attention.
Discontinuing antidepressants is a highly technical challenge that requires specific strategies. This handbook guides clinicians through each clinical step (assessment; what the counter-indications would be for stopping or continuing; and how discontinuation can best be achieved). It provides a detailed account of the assessment and management strategies, with many case illustrations and clinical examples, drawing from the literature that is available and the extensive personal experience of