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First Published Tuesday, 17 March 2009


The Long Goodbye

Tapering slowly is the mantra for pruning these regimens, but some patients may still experience withdrawal symptoms.


By Victoria Stagg Elliott, AMNews staff..


Not long after Thomas C. Bent, MD, a family physician in Laguna Beach, Calif., prescribes an antidepressant, patients start asking certain questions. “As soon as they’re feeling better they start saying, ‘How long do I have to take this? When can I stop this?’ They don’t say that about their blood pressure medicine,” said Dr Bent, who is the medical director and chief operating officer of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic. He is also president-elect of the California Academy of Family Physicians, although he was speaking personally.


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Copyright 2009 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Why some patients have extraordinary difficulty quitting antidepressants isn’t clear. It may be more than simple individual biology. Nor is it confined to psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Even aspirin can be very difficult to discontinue for some.



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