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The Antidepressant Solution by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen (Coming Off Antidepressants in UK)

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ADMIN NOTE Also see Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist 

 

Rate symptoms daily to track patterns and progress

 

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's testimony about antidepressants

 

The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

 


 

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's 2006 book The Antidepressant Solution (published as Coming off Antidepressants in the UK), is in my opinion the most helpful of all the tapering books (although the tapering schedule he recommends may be too fast for many people).

 

From the publishers (2006):

 

The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and “Addiction”

 

With the FDA's warning that antidepressants may cause agitation, anxiety, hostility, and even violent or suicidal tendencies, these medications are at the forefront of national legal news. Harvard physician Joseph Glenmullen has led the charge to warn the public that antidepressants are overprescribed, underregulated, and, especially, misunderstood in their side and withdrawal effects. Now he offers a solution!

More than twenty million Americans -- including over one million teens and children -- take one of today's popular antidepressants, such as Paxil, Zoloft, or Effexor. Dr. Glenmullen recognizes the many benefits of antidepressants and prescribes them to his patients, but he is also committed to warning the public of the dangers associated with overprescription. Dr. Glenmullen's last book, Prozac Backlash, sounded the alarm about possible dangers. The Antidepressant Solution provides the remedy. It is the first book to call attention to the drugs' catch-22: Although many people are ready to go off these drugs, they continue to take them because either the patient or the doctor mistakes antidepressant withdrawal for depressive relapse. The Antidepressant Solution offers an easy, step-by-step guide for patients and their doctors.

Written by the premier authority in the field, The Antidepressant Solution is an invaluable book for all those concerned with going through the process -- from friends and family members to doctors and patients themselves.

 

Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is on the staff of the Harvard University Health Services, and is in private practice in Harvard Square. A nationally recognized authority on antidepressant side effects, Dr. Glenmullen testified at the FDA hearing that resulted in the FDA's spring 2004 warning about the dangers of antidepressant use, especially suicidal tendencies. Dr. Glenmullen won the 2001 Annual Achievement Award from the American Academy for the Advancement of Medicine for his efforts in warning physicians about the potential dangers of antidepressants in his widely acclaimed book Prozac Backlash. Dr. Glenmullen lives with his wife and three children in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and can be found on the web at www.drglenmullen.com.

 

Coming Off Antidepressants: Successful Use and Safe Withdrawal

 

How to stop medication safely

Stopping antidepressants can cause suicidal tendencies, while less severe reactions include aggression, dizziness, vomiting and headaches and even a mimicking of the symptoms of depression, confusing both doctor and patient and leading the patient to stay on medication longer than necessary. Here Joseph Glenmullen, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, offers clear, effective and expert advice to help avoid the misuse of antidepressants, and to overcome withdrawal, dependence and addiction successfully and safely.

 

Explains possible withdrawal symptoms Identifies signs that a patient is ready to drop medication Five-step programme for tapering off, which avoids unpleasant, dangerous after-effects Checklists and charts to monitor symptoms and reactions Case studies throughout

 

Biographical Notes
Joseph Glenmullen is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a psychiatrist at the Harvard University Health Services and has a private practice in Harvard Square. He recently testified at the US Federal Drug Administration's hearing into the dangers of antidepressant use. This book is based on extensive experience helping patients safely taper off antidepressants.

 

On 5/1/2011 at 11:47 AM, Punarbhava said:

The Antidepressant Solution

A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and Addiction.

 

Joseph Glenmullen, M.D.

(Author of Prozac Backlash)

 

Contents:

 

1. Antidepressant Withdrawal and Dependence: Defining the Problem

 

2. Resolving the Controversy over "Addiction" to Antidepressants: The BBC Expose.

 

3. The Withdrawal Spectrum: Mild, Moderate, and Severe Withdrawal Reactions.

 

4. How Changing the Dose of Antidepressants Up or Down May Make Patients Suicidal.

 

5. Worst Offenders: The Antidepressants that Cause the Most Frequent Withdrawal Reactions.

 

6. The 5-Step Antidepressant Tapering Program: How to Avoid Uncomfortable or Dangerous Withdrawal Reactions.

 

7. Step 1: Evaluating Whether You Are Ready to Try Tapering Off Your AD.

 

8. Step 2. Making the Initial Dosage Reduction.

 

9. Step 3. Monitoring Withdrawal Symptoms After a Dosage Reduction.

 

10. Step 4. Making Additional Dosage Reductions.

 

11. Step 5. The End-Of-Taper Evaluation

 

12. Tapering Children Off Antidepressants

 

Afterword

 

Appendix 1: Daily Checklist of AD Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Appendix 2: Graph of an AD Withdrawal Reactions.

 

Appendix 3: Tapering Older Tricyclic and Heterocyclic ADs

 

Appendix 4: Tapering Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor ADs

 

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Altostrata

From earlier discussions in Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

 

On 9/2/2012 at 1:28 AM, strawberry17 said:

I read the book "Coming off Antidepressants" by Joseph Glenmullen, and I always recommend it to people thinking of tapering, that book was my big lightbulb moment when I suddenly understood what was going on and that I was experiencing withdrawals, it is still available on Amazon and I can really recommend it.

 

On 9/2/2012 at 5:14 AM, starlitegirlx said:

I used his book as the template to doing my withdrawal. However, I should add that he writes in his book that imipramine withdrawal is limited to flu like symptoms for the most part and that the recommended decrease is 50 mg per month or so. That's about as far off from my experience as on gets. I think he's got the SSRIs pretty accurately, but there's not much info on other ADs like imipramine or perhaps taking it for 16 years is the factor. Who knows? But he didn't really acknowledge the severity of withdrawal that imipramine users can face and for the most part the book is about SSRI users, yet I have most of the right hand column from that sheet. Not all, thankfully, but a lot of it. I also had parts of the left hand column but they are mostly diminished. So in a way he's right, just didn't give it much coverage. My main withdrawal symptoms are physical at this point with some random emotional ones mixed in but I think they tend to be just coping with what I've been and am going through (like crying a lot or varied emotions which there's not way an experience like this would not cause a person to have a myriad of emotions to deal with).

 

On 6/8/2012 at 10:54 AM, Altostrata said:

Thanks, dalsaan. A valuable addition to our Tapering section.

 

I thought Joseph Glenmullen's book The Antidepressant Solution was excellent. His tapering schedule is moderate, but he specifies over and over that it should be slowed if needed for the individual.

 

It's also a good book to give to your doctor. Joseph Glenmullen is a Harvard psychiatrist. The book has a complete citation section.

 

On 9/2/2012 at 9:57 AM, starlitegirlx said:

No, he doesn't. I was on the older ones - imipramine. I actually think that bodes better for someone who has been on an older one. The SSRIs are where this discontinuation syndrome or whatever more pleasant crock of hooey name they're calling it is where the focus is because it's more severe, sadly. Imipramine got a few pages toward the back and he was pretty far off in my case though he did say flu like symptoms seem to be the main withdrawal for tricyclics and most of mine (barring during worst parts of a withdrawal phase after a reduction) have generally been in the physical domain. I can pretty much go straight down that right hand column a check several of them. They seem to cycle as the diminish. Two good days then a worse day. Sort of like that. So actually, I'm going to take that as a sign of getting past this permanently.

 

Your impression is accurate. I guess it's because the SSRIs, when they came out, was when docs started handing them out like pez candies thinking they were this miracle drug. I was lucky in that they had an immediate horrific effect on me so I never got put on them for more than a few months. Some, just weeks. That was decades ago.

 

So this doctor is good for SSRIs, but that's his area. Much like my doc who knows about the issue with SSRIs, but is stunned at what I've been going through. Cie la vie. I'll get through it. It improves gradually. I had just expected once I was off and not decreasing any longer the withdrawal would go away and I'd have been fine within a month.

 

On 9/2/2012 at 11:58 AM, Altostrata said:

I wonder if The Antidepressant Solution and Coming off Antidepressants (a much better title) are the same book? It doesn't seem Coming off Antidepressants was published in the US.

 

strawberry, is this table of contents from The Antidepressant Solution the same? http://books.simonandschuster.com/Antidepressant-Solution/Joseph-Glenmullen/9780743288989/excerpt Table of Contents

Contents

Preface 1. Antidepressant Withdrawal and Dependence: Defining the Problem

2. Resolving the Controversy over "Addiction" to Antidepressants: The BBC Exposé

3. The Withdrawal Spectrum: Mild, Moderate, and Severe Withdrawal Reactions

4. How Changing the Dose of Antidepressants Up or Down May Make Patients Suicidal

5. Worst Offenders: The Antidepressants that Cause the Most Frequent Withdrawal Reactions

6. The 5-Step Antidepressant Tapering Program: How to Avoid Uncomfortable or Dangerous Withdrawal Reactions

7. Step 1. Evaluating Whether You Are Ready to Try Tapering Off Your Antidepressant

8. Step 2. Making the Initial Dosage Reduction

9. Step 3. Monitoring Withdrawal Symptoms After a Dosage Reduction

10. Step 4. Making Additional Dosage Reductions

11. Step 5. The End-of-Taper Evaluation 12. Tapering Children Off Antidepressants Afterword Appendix 1: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms

Appendix 2: Graph of an Antidepressant Withdrawal Reaction

Appendix 3: Tapering Older Tricyclic and Heterocyclic Antidepressants

Appendix 4: Tapering Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor Antidepressants

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

 

On 9/3/2012 at 12:05 AM, strawberry17 said:

Hi Alto, just looked in my well thumbed copy and it appears to be identical so obviously mine is a UK/European copy, wonder why they gave them different titles?

 

On 9/3/2012 at 8:06 AM, Altostrata said:

They probably realized Coming off Antidepressants is a much better title! The Antidepressant Solution gives the exact opposite impression.

 

Dr. Glenmullen should update it and reissue it under Coming off Antidepressants.

 

I like this book the best of all the withdrawal books. It's practical and to-the-point. Dr. Breggin's books are hard to get through.

 

On 9/3/2012 at 2:20 PM, Nikki said:

I read Dr. Glenmullen's book and got alot out of it at that time. Somewhere in that book I remember reading that he can be contacted for advise.

 

It was very validating for me at that time.

 

Hugs

 

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Altostrata

I have written to Dr. Glenmullen a couple of times over the years. Recently, I suggested updating and reissuing his book.

 

He would like suggestions.

 

If you have read The Antidepressant Solution (or Coming off Antidepressants), what changes would you like to see made?

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Andie

Agree, this is the best book I have read on ADWD. I've read it so many times, both the front and back covers have fallen off. It was hard to get in Australia at the time, but I now see its available from bookdepository.com. 

 

One of the case studies was a teenager trying to come off Effexor, and the details really hit home. I was reading about me! Violent withdrawals within 20 hours of a missed dose of Pristiq, and feeling like a hostage to the medication. 

 

I wouldn't have been able to follow the suggested taper schedule as it was way too fast for me. It would be interesting to know how Dr Glenmullen would incorporate what we know about sert occupancy into his tapering schedule. 

 

And of course I would  like to see some suggestions on how to taper off Pristiq. 

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Altostrata

What tapering schedule worked for you, @Andie

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Andie

The only one that has worked has been the method described here on SA. 10 percent reduction of the previous months dose and a months hold in between, with extra long holds if I felt symptomatic. I came down quite smoothly from 50-15mg. 

 

I’ve run into some trouble using compounded capsules (it’s not precise enough for me anymore ) so I am most likely going to switch to Effexor XR and use the same 10 percent method to come down from there. 

 

 

 

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