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Duration and severity of antidepressant withdrawal effects

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Review of: Davies J, Read J. A systematic review into the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal effects: are guidelines evidence-based? Addictive Behaviors 2019;97:111–121.

Key learning points

  • A systematic review assessed incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal reactions.

  • More than 50% of people who attempted to stop antidepressants experienced withdrawal effects and nearly 50% of those experiencing withdrawal effects described them as severe.

  • Some patients experienced withdrawal effects that lasted for several months.

The incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal effects may be greater than clinical guidelines previously suggested and could lead to misdiagnosis of withdrawal symptoms as relapse and inappropriate treatment.1

Overview

This systematic review included 24 studies that provided data about incidence, duration or severity of withdrawal from antidepressants.1 Four studies were UK-based and …

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