How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say

Very interesting and informative article.

The new paper, she added, “speaks to how hard it is to get this information into the clinical world. We laypeople have been saying this for a long time, and it’s telling that it took psychiatrists coming off meds themselves for this information to finally be heard.”

“Doctors have in mind that these drugs act in a linear way, that when you reduce dosage by half, it reduces the effect in the brain by a half,” Dr. Horowitz said. “It doesn’t work that way. And as a result, there’s a huge load in terms of the effect on brain receptors, and patients are being advised to come off way too quickly.”

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It surely really depends on the antidepressant? (and the dose). I quit Ami in one month and had zero issues. This is one reason why Ami and Nort (Tricyclics) are preferred options over SSRIs. In any case I agree that these drugs have significant effects even at low doses.

And the person and their current mood I’d say. It’s really unfortunate we end up having to take drugs at all for anything. Addiction is a dreadful thing and withdrawal really awful to watch. I cannot imagine actually experiencing it. Helen

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but you were also at a low dose, at a higher dose (the dose needed for depression and anxiety), Ami is also difficult to withdraw.

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Yep, but that is as it should be for MAV (my dose was typical as per Hain, for example)

SSRI’s are well known to be more difficult to come off of (hence for MAV they are usually proposed after other meds have failed).

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SNRIs are the most difficult, apparently. But within each class, there are famous ones, Paxil and Effexor top the list. Prozac is the easiest due to the long half life.

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Unfortunately for MAV if you are project managing your migraine and you have to stay on a med for say a decade your best bet is an SNRI or SSRI. They have a minimal side effect profile compared to even Amitriptyline which can cause extreme weight gain. Topomax and Valporate and other anti-convulsants have a horrible side effect profile. Both Scott and Adam founders of mvertigo used Paxil and Zoloft for more than a decade.

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So glad to read this, my neuro told me a few weeks ago that I could be on effexor for the next ten years (one it remains effective) until I get past meno :blush:


Yes, slowly. I did Paxil in 3 months while having an awful time with MAV. Was definitely the hardest period in my life, can’t imagine anything being harder than that in the future. In my experience, getting past the 3-6 weeks mark after getting off the last little bit is the real kicker.

But… with MAV under control, and if you maintain a relatively low stress life, I think getting off antidepressants is totally doable. There are horror stories you hear about all the time, but so many people come off them and you just never hear the success stories. I went off Paxil another time in my life when I was 19. Just stopped taking the pill and I don’t recall anything bad ever happening. Don’t think I even felt a difference!