Stage-wise reduction of antidepressant dose to manage withdrawal symptoms

According to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), dose reduction of antidepressants should be done in stages. The committee suggests that community care services should work in coherence with the patients to design the mode and duration of the treatment plan. “Sometimes, antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are worse than the depression itself and the length of time it takes them to completely overcome the drugs varies among individuals”, says Dr Paul Chrisp who is in charge of the NICE guidelines. NHS data shows that antidepressant prescriptions peaked in 2022, with around eight million people taking them in England alone. One in every six adults aged 16 or above experienced some form of depression in 2021, mostly owing to COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

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