Intended for healthcare professionals


Half of people who stopped long term antidepressants relapsed within a year, study finds

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 30 September 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2403
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Just over half (56%) of people who stopped taking antidepressants after long term use experienced a relapse within a year, compared with 39% of those who continued their medication, a study has found.

The trial followed 478 patients from 150 general practices in England for a year.1 Half stopped taking their medicine through a two month tapering regimen followed by placebo pills, while half continued their medicine.

The study team of researchers from University College London, the Universities of York, Southampton, and Bristol, and McMaster University in Canada said that the findings could help doctors and patients make informed decisions on whether …

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