Prescribers often fail to support patients discontinuing antidepressants, study finds

This report by Ashley Bobak has been published by Mad in the UK. It begins:

“A majority of patients seeking medical support when discontinuing antidepressants found their prescribing doctors to be unhelpful, according to the results of the second-largest international survey ever conducted on the subject.

Published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the survey highlights the inadequate support and resources available to patients trying to quit antidepressants, forcing them to turn to online support groups for help. Participants in the survey also identified the need for additional resources, such as smaller doses and a 24/7 helpline, to aid in their transition off the medication.

The lead author, John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London and Chair of the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (, commented:

‘These recommendations, by hundreds of patients who have been badly let down by their doctors, precisely echo the recommendations of the comprehensive Public Health England report in 2019. Yet, to date, the NHS has still not put in place a single specialised service, helpline, or training programme for doctors.

Antidepressant prescription rates are high internationally, including in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, and Portugal. Across the U.S. and the U.K., antidepressant drugs are prescribed disproportionally to women. In the U.K., they are also more often prescribed to those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and older people …”

You can read more from here.

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