Antidepressant withdrawal effects ‘severe’ for more than half of patients, study says

Antidepressant
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“More than half (56 percent) of people who attempt to come off antidepressants experience withdrawal effects,” assert the authors of a major new metastudy, and almost half of them (46 percent) describe the effects as “severe.”

The metastudy, “A systematic review into the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal effects,” points to a problem far-more widespread and persistent than regulators have acknowledged. Current guidelines “underestimate the severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal, with significant clinical implications.” At such, the guidelines themselves cannot accurately be seen as evidence-based. They are instead misleading, at odds with the findings, and “in urgent need of correction.”

Comments shared by patients included: “It took me two months of hell to come off the antidepressants—was massively harder than I expected.” Another wrote, “While there is no doubt I am better on this medication, the adverse effects have been devastating, when I have tried to withdraw, with ‘head zaps,’ agitation, insomnia and mood changes.”

Related article:  Viewpoint: Psychiatry still hindered by all the things we don't understand about the brain

Given the scale and gravity of these results, patients concerned about the drugs’ adverse effects are strongly advised NOT to terminate treatment abruptly, but instead to taper carefully and gradually by microdoses over a course of several months, always in consultation with their doctor, to ensure their own safety.

Read full, original post: Antidepressant Withdrawal Said to Affect “Millions”

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