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Psychology Today: Antidepressant Withdrawal Said to Affect “Millions”


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https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/side-effects/201810/antidepressant-withdrawal-said-affect-millions

 

Antidepressant Withdrawal Said to Affect “Millions”

Christopher Lane Ph.D.

Posted Oct 06, 2018 

Quote

 

“It is not uncommon for the withdrawal effects to last for several weeks or months,” determine James Davies and John Read, both at London-based universities, in the latest issue of Journal of Addictive Behaviors. In that respect, their findings—extrapolated from 23 peer-reviewed studies—contradict guidelines on antidepressants issued by the American Psychiatric Association and the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, with both claiming that discontinuation issues are usually “mild” and “self-limiting” (resolved in 1-2 weeks).

 

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.”

....

The metastudy found that “withdrawal incidence rates from 14 studies ranged from 27 percent” to as high as “86 percent, with a weighted average of 56 percent.”

 

Strikingly, that range more or less exactly replicates the findings of Jerrold Rosenbaum and Maurizio Fava, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, who in 1997 determined that among patients discontinuing antidepressants, 22 to 78 percent suffered withdrawal symptoms, depending on the drug in question.

....

Overall, Davies and Read’s metastudy points to far-greater prevalence rates and far-more serious and longer-lasting discontinuation symptoms than current guidelines advise, with the withdrawal syndrome often lasting for weeks, even entire months. In the process, the authors upend long-standing assumptions that the drugs are largely well-tolerated, with antidepressant withdrawal generally rare, mild, and “self-limiting” (resolved in 1-2 weeks). On the contrary, tolerance for the drugs is shown to be much lower than assumed, with discontinuation problems more frequent and more chronic than two sets of national guidelines suggest.

 

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. Peer-reviewed, specialist information on discontinuation issues is available on the website Surviving Antidepressants, with a forum devoted to “Tapering.” Much of the bibliography on withdrawal is also detailed here, in this 2011 post on “Side Effects.

 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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  • 4 weeks later...

Did you get in touch with him to tell him that several months is woefully inadequate? Other than that, it's good to get that info out there.

 

2005 St John's Wort / 2006-2012 Lexapro 20mg, 2 failed attempts to stop, tapered over 4.5 months in early 2012

January 2013 started Sertraline, over time worked up to 100mg

July 2014 Sertraline dropped from 100mg to 75mg, held for six months, slower tapering until 2019 22 Dec 3.2mg

2020 Sertraline 19 Jan 3.1mg, 26 Jan 3.0mg; 1 Mar 2.9, 7 Mar 2.8, May (some drops here) 24 May 2.5, May 29 2.4, June 21 2.3, June 28 2.2mg,  July 4 2.1mg, July 24 (or maybe a bit before) 2mg, early Nov switched to home made suspension; 29 Nov 1.8mg; approx 25 Dec 1.6mg)

2021 Some time in about Jan/Feb realised my dosing was off and as probably on more like 1.8mg and possible mixing error in making suspension; doses after 10 Feb accurate; 10 Feb 1.6mg; 7 Mar 1.4

 

My thread here at SA: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1775-bubbles/page/17/

CurrentSertraline: 7 Mar 1.4mg / Armour Thyroid / endless allergy meds, erg

 

 

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