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Antidepressant withdrawal affects one in six people

One out of every six people have symptoms when they stop taking antidepressants - fewer than previously thought, a review of previous studies suggests.

The researchers say their findings will help inform doctors and patients "without causing undue alarm".

The Lancet Psychiatry review looked at data from 79 trials involving more than 20,000 patients.

Some had been treated with antidepressants and others with a dummy drug or placebo, which helped researchers gauge the true effect of withdrawing from the drugs.

Some people have unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea and insomnia when they stop taking antidepressants, which, the researchers say, can cause considerable distress.

Previous estimates suggested antidepressant discontinuation symptoms (ADS) affected 56% of patients, with almost half of cases classed as severe.

But this review, from the Universities of Berlin and Cologne, estimates one out of every every six or seven patients can expect symptoms when stopping antidepressants and one in 35 will have severe symptoms.

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Source: BBC News, 6 June 2024


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