Antidepressants: weaning must be done gradually

If you take antidepressants, it is imperative to stagger the shutdown. The English National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued new recommendations on how to stop these medicines. Indeed, it is imperative to accompany adults suffering from depression for safe weaning.

Specifically, adults who wish to stop taking antidepressants should have the dose of their medication reduced in stages to reduce the likelihood and severity withdrawal symptoms. “The committee said primary care and mental health professionals should follow the recommendations of the NICE guidelines on stopping antidepressants, including agreeing with their patient whether it is right for them to stop taking the drug and, if applicable, the speed and duration of the withdrawal”, details the instance.

Before continuing: “Reducing the dose of an antidepressant in stages over time, known as tapering, helps reduce withdrawal effects and long-term dependence on the drug.”

Take into account disparities

For the committee, it is imperative to reduce or make tolerable any withdrawal symptoms before proceeding with the next dose reduction. “There are millions of people taking antidepressants. If a person decides they want to stop taking this drug, they need to be helped by their GP or mental health team to do so. the safest and most appropriate way“, details Dr. Paul Chrisp, director of the Center for Guidelines at NICE. Before adding: “In many cases, people experience withdrawal symptoms, and the time it takes them to stop these drugs safely may vary, so our committee’s helpful and usable statement for staggered weaning over time from these drugs is to be welcomed.”

According to experts, it is also recommended to take into account disparities that exists between populations. In 2021, “only 11.9% of people from mixed families, Black, Black British, Asian or Asian British had treatment for depression, compared to 79.9% of people from white families”.

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