Helpful Insights forPatients and Caregivers

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When should a medication be stopped?

There are many reasons someone may want to stop taking medications.1-2 When people feel better, they may want to stop. They also may want to stop their medicine because of worries about side effects, not seeing any benefit, or concerns about cost. No matter the reason, always let a health care provider know.

Talking to a health care provider is important because they can address concerns related to medications. They may be able to inform on ways to lessen a side effect that would allow a person to keep taking their medication. Often, they can provide education on how medications help. If high cost is an issue, there may be a generic medication, a different dosage form, or a patient assistance program that a healthcare provider can recommend. Communication is key!

References

  1. Zhu Y, Wu Z, Sie O, Cai Y, Huang J, Liu H, et al. Causes of drug discontinuation in patients with major depressive disorder in China. Prog Neuro Psychopharmacol Biological Psychiatry. 2020;96:109755. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109755. PubMed PMID: 31454555.
  2. Samples H, Mojtabai R. Antidepressant self-discontinuation: results from the collaborative psychiatric epidemiology surveys. PS. 2015;66(5):455-62. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201400021. PubMed PMID: 25930223.
  3. Marriott S, Tyrer P. Benzodiazepine dependence. Avoidance and withdrawal. Drug Saf. 1993;9(2):93-103. DOI: 10.2165/00002018-199309020-00003. PubMed PMID: 8104417.
  4. Haddad PM. Antidepressant discontinuation syndromes. Drug Saf. 2001;24(3):183-97. DOI: 10.2165/00002018-200124030-00003. PubMed PMID: 11347722.
  5. Fava GA, Gatti A, Belaise C, Guidi J, Offidani E. Withdrawal Symptoms after Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Discontinuation: A Systematic Review. Psychother Psychosom. 2015;84(2):72-81. DOI: 10.1159/000370338. PubMed PMID: 25721705.
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