Abrupt drug discontinuation in treatment-resistant depression is associated with high relapse rates, according to a new study. Among patients with chronic depression who tried to quit taking antidepressant medication, over half relapsed into depression by the end of a year, compared to those who did not try to quit, according to a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial released Wednesday.
I think we can be very cheered by the findings. This is really good evidence to support a patient’s own decisions — in discussion with their doctor or other prescriber — about whether they should continue antidepressants or not. Both courses of action are reasonable,” explained co-author Dr. Tony Kendrick.
“In my own practice, if the patient has a first episode of depression, and particularly if it was triggered by a life event — death of a loved one, failed business — then I try my best to get patients into remission (and) then I treat for a minimum of six months after they achieve remission,” explained Dr. JeffreyJackson.