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Severe withdrawal symptoms after stopping antidepressants

Severe withdrawal symptoms after stopping antidepressants



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Dangers of stopping antidepressants

With depression, patients often take so-called antidepressants. If these medications are stopped, severe and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms can occur. Unfortunately, many patients do not know about it. That is why experts are calling for changes to the guidelines for taking antidepressants.

Researchers from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said the official guidelines for stopping antidepressants for the medical treatment of depression need to be adjusted because many patients experience severe symptoms such as restlessness, sleep disorders, and altered sensations for a long time after stopping.

How easy is it to take antidepressants?

When people stop taking antidepressants, they often experience withdrawal symptoms. According to the guidelines of the National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE), most people should be able to easily stop taking antidepressants within just four weeks. However, researchers at the Royal College of Psychiatrists are of the opinion that the official guidelines must reflect the full range of patient experiences.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that some patients suffer from severe symptoms for longer. The existing guidelines are now being updated for the first time in ten years. Hopefully, this will result in more serious and prolonged side effects from these medicines being taken into account. Emphasis must be placed on how to support patients with antidepressant withdrawal problems

Antidepressants can save lives

From the experience of patients and doctors, it can be seen that some patients may experience more severe symptoms from antidepressant treatment that last much longer than previously stated in guidelines. While antidepressants are an important, potentially life-saving treatment option for people with severe depression, their use must be carefully controlled. More research is needed to quantify how many people have trouble taking antidepressants. Doctors need to talk to their patients about the potential benefits and harms, periodically reviewing treatment progress, and effectively managing withdrawal symptoms.

These changes should be made

The Royal College of Psychiatrists' published report on antidepressants and depression includes a number of recommendations, including that the NICE guidelines should be updated. Other recommendations included, for example, the introduction of a routine monitoring system to provide comprehensive data on when and why patients were prescribed antidepressants. Doctors should be better trained in best practices on prescribing and using antidepressants. The NHS program for conversation therapies should be expanded so that it is available at any time as a supplement or alternative to antidepressants.

Guidelines are being adjusted

"We know NICE is working to update its policies and we want them to be more in line with what we hear from some patients and general practitioners about the range of antidepressant experiences," said Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in a press release. “Antidepressants can be very effective in treating moderate to severe depression, especially in combination with talk therapies. We want the guidelines to support your application in the best possible way, ”adds the expert. Last year, NICE published an updated draft antidepressant withdrawal guide, which is currently being discussed. (as)

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Video: SSRI Withdrawal (August 2022).