Medicine: Can general practitioners (GPs) stop antidepressants?
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Sonntag, 15. Mai 2022 ab 13:30 Uhr
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act.
Depression is among the most treatable of illnesses.
Almost all patients gain some or a lot of relief from depression after the treatment. The treatment of depression should include the treatment of all other illnesses, more light (i.e., avoiding not having enough exposure to daylight), increasing your level of physical exercise, psychotherapy (specifically, cognitive behavioural therapy), and antidepressant medication. Antidepressant medication should be discontinued once there is no need for it anymore because the long-term use of antidepressant medication can lead to moderate or severe side effects.
A clinical study on discontinuing antidepressant medication by general practitioners (GPs) was carried out in 2021. It included 478 patients with depression in remission.
After 1 year of follow-up, relapse into depression occurred in 39% of the maintenance group and 56% of the discontinuation group. Therefore, a relapse of depression can be attributed to discontinuing the antidepressant medication in only 1 in 6 patients. As a result, discontinuation of antidepressant medication by general practitioners (GPs) is worth it for patients with depression who are interested in discontinuation. However, such patients should be counselled about, and monitored for, symptoms of withdrawal and relapse.
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