Is it dangerous to suddenly stop taking antidepressants?

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Is it dangerous to suddenly stop taking antidepressants?


Are you feeling well and do you think you are ready to stop taking antidepressants? It may seem like you don't need medication anymore, but in most cases antidepressants are the reason you feel better. Therefore, it is important that you adhere to the treatment that your doctor prescribes for you. Do you still want to stop taking antidepressants? It's best, then, to ask your doctor for a gradual schedule that will help your body slowly adjust to life without medications.

Read also: Antidepressants cause serious anxiety symptoms in the first few days

Why not suddenly stop taking antidepressants?

Antidepressants help balance chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals affect your mood and emotions. Disturbed balance can lead to major depression or anxiety disorders. Antidepressants correct this imbalance, but it may take four weeks or more to achieve maximum effect.

If you feel like stopping your medication because of unpleasant side effects, remember that it may take some time until the right dose is found. However, do not stop taking the medication until you talk to your doctor, as this may not only lead to a relapse of depression, but also trigger withdrawal symptoms.

Read also: Do ​​antidepressants cause obesity?

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Read also: Depression: Why this long suffering?

Side effects: suddenly stopping taking antidepressants

According to a study, about half of patients treated with antidepressants experience unpleasant side effects or withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt cessation or interruption of treatment. In approximately one in two cases, withdrawal symptoms are severe. It often lasts for several months, and in some patients it may last for more than a year. Symptoms include:

  • You get sick. Many people who stop taking antidepressants feel like they have the flu or a stomach bug. They may also experience disturbing thoughts or images.
  • Stopping the medication may delay your treatment plan or worsen symptoms.
  • Not being treated properly can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts. It also increases the risk of acting on those thoughts.
  • Stopping antidepressants can worsen other symptoms associated with depression, such as headache, pain, or insomnia. In addition, untreated depression can make it difficult for you to manage other health problems.

Other symptoms of stopping antidepressants include:

  • He is afraid
  • exhaustion
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression and mood swings
  • nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Colic
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • headache
  • To sweat

Read also: 11 side effects of antidepressants

Pregnancy and antidepressants

Have you just found out you're pregnant? Do not stop taking antidepressants. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women with untreated or poorly managed mental health problems, including depression, may be less likely to take care of themselves during pregnancy. Tell the doctor who treats your depression that you are pregnant and also tell your gynecologist that you have depression and are taking medication. Together you can decide how best to treat depression during pregnancy.

Read also: Dealing with depression: What can you do for yourself?

How to stop or reduce antidepressants?

It is recommended to gradually stop taking antidepressants over a period of at least 2 to 4 weeks. It is best to taper more slowly if there are risk factors (higher dose, complaints of skipping a dose or previous failed attempts to quit smoking) or if withdrawal symptoms occur during the taper.

Good follow-up and sufficient flexibility are crucial when implementing phase-out schedules. Psychological guidance can increase the chance of success.

Read also: How do we stop or reduce antidepressants?


Last updated: March 2024

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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