Saturday, March 09, 2019

How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say

By Benedict Carey
March 5, 2019


In a paper published Tuesday in Lancet Psychiatry, the authors argued that any responsible withdrawal regimen should have the patient tapering off medication over months or even years, depending on the individual, and not over four weeks, the boilerplate advice.

The paper is by far the strongest research-backed denunciation of standard tapering practice by members of the profession.

“I know people who stop suddenly and get no side effects,” said Dr. Mark Horowitz, a clinical research fellow at Britain’s National Health Service and University College London, and one of the paper’s authors.

But many people, he said, “have to pull apart their capsules and reduce the dosage bead by bead. We provided the science to back up what they’re already doing.”


Outside researchers who have studied withdrawal said the new paper was a welcome contribution. “I think what they’ve presented really reinforces what I’ve observed in clinical practice in many patients, and it’s almost identical to the tapering regimen I use,” said Dr. Dee Mangin, the chair of family medicine at McMaster University in Canada, who was not involved in the paper.


People are hacking antidepressant doses to avoid withdrawal
Health 7 July 2017 , updated 10 July 2017

By Clare Wilson

A patient-led movement is helping people taking psychiatric medicines to hack their dosing regimens so they can wean themselves off the drugs without any side effects. Now a Dutch website that sells kits to help people do this is about to launch an English-language site, triggering safety concerns among UK regulators and doctors.


To help people taper their dose more easily, a Dutch medical charity, called Cinderella Therapeutics, together with Maastricht University creates personalised “tapering kits”, with precisely weighed out tablets in labelled packets that gradually reduce over several months. The website recommends people do this under medical supervision and must first receive a doctor’s prescription.


David Healy, a psychiatrist in Bangor in the UK, says people’s experiences of withdrawing from antidepressants can vary a lot. He helps those with severe symptoms by prescribing liquid formulations of their medicine, which they can measure out in small amounts. These formulations aren’t as widely stocked as their pill equivalents.

Moore has just started a liquid version and has found that his symptoms are less severe. But Healy says most GPs refuse to prescribe such liquids because they are more expensive than the standard pills.


Dutch website selling tapering kits for coming off antidepressants launches English-language version
The Pharmaceutical Journal12 JUL 2017By Debbie Andalo

An English-language version of a Netherlands-based website which sells kits to patients to help them wean themselves off antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs has been launched.

Each kit includes a tapering strip of medication packaged in a roll of small daily pouches. Each pouch is numbered and has the same or a slightly lower dose than the one before.


The new website is an English-language version of an established Dutch site, which has been developed in a collaboration involving pharmacist Paul Harder from the Regenboog Apotheek, the charity the Cinderella Therapeutics Foundation and the user research centre at the department of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Maastricht. All are based in the Netherlands.

Harder told the Pharmaceutical Journal that medication would not be prescribed to patients in the UK without a prescription.


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