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Antidepressant Withdrawal: Is There Such a Thing?



If you stop taking antidepressants, could you experience antidepressant withdrawal?

Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, MD

Antidepressant withdrawal is possible if you stop taking an antidepressant, especially if you've been taking it longer than six weeks. Symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal are sometimes called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome and typically last for a few weeks.

Anxiety

  • Insomnia or vivid dreams
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness [1
    9659909] Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Flulike symptoms, including achy muscles and chills
  • Nausea
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Return of depression symptoms
  • Having symptoms of depression symptoms does not mean you're addicted to an antidepressant. Addiction represents harmful, long-term chemical changes in the brain. It is characterized by intense cravings, the inability to control your use of a substance, and negative consequences from that substance use.

    To minimize the risk of antidepressant withdrawal, talk to your doctor before you stop taking an antidepressant.

    In some cases, your doctor may prescribe another antidepressant or another type of medication on your doctor's prescription a short-term basis to help ease symptoms as your body adjusts.

    It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between withdrawal symptoms and after depression you stop taking an antidepressant. Keep your doctor informed of your signs and symptoms. Updated: 2016-01-16

    Publication Date: 2016-01-16

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