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Commonly used antidepressant drugs ... The difficulties that people have in discontinuing ... (13 Sep 2018)

The difficulties that people have in discontinuing antidepressant medications has been in the news recently. An analysis published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic on the effects of discontinuing commonly usedantidepressant drugs like venlafaxine and duloxetine indicates that these drugs may cause dependence and withdrawal syndromes when they are stopped.

The Authors conducted a systematic review examining electronic databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and MEDLINE from the inception of each database to June 2017. Sixty-one studies met the criteria for inclusion. There were 22 double-blind randomized controlled trials, 6 studies where patients were treated in an open fashion and then randomized to a double-blind controlled phase, 8 open trials, 1 prospective naturalistic study, 1 retrospective study, and 23 case reports. Results showed that withdrawal symptoms occurred after discontinuation of any type of SNRI. The prevalence of withdrawal symptoms varied across reports and appeared to be higher with venlafaxine. Symptoms typically ensued within a few days from discontinuation and lasted a few weeks, also with gradual tapering. Late onset and/or a longer persistence of disturbances occurred as well.

These findings highlight the need for clinicians to add SNRI to the list of drugs potentially inducing withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation, together with other types of psychotropic drugs. The leading author of the study, Giovanni A. Fava, MD (University of Bologna and University at Buffalo) comments: "this type of antidepressant drugs is widely used with the wrong assumption that they do not cause dependence and problems upon discontinuation. We should be more cautious in prescribing them and be aware of the problems that ensue when you stop them".


Source: Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Full bibliographic information
Withdrawal Symptoms after Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor Discontinuation: Systematic Review Psychother Psychosom 2018;87:195–203

Published in Medical News

 

Children who take paracetamol during their first two years of life may be at a higher risk of developing asthma by the age of 18, especially if they have a particular genetic makeup, according to new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

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The jury is still out on whether people at moderate risk of a first heart attack or stroke should take daily aspirin to lower their risk, according to late breaking results from the ARRIVE study1 presented at ESC Congress 2018 2 and with simultaneous publication in the Lancet.

Published in Medical News

 

A single pill with two drugs could transform blood pressure treatment, according to the 2018 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Society of Hypertension (ESH) Guidelines on arterial hypertension published online in European Heart Journal1, and on the ESC website.2

Published in Medical News
Thursday, 28 June 2018 19:17

Delivering insulin in a pill

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an oral delivery method that could dramatically transform the way in which diabetics keep their blood sugar levels in check.

Published in Medical News

A rigorous review of research, led by the University of Southampton, has found there is not enough evidence to support the current clinical practice of prescribing antidepressants for insomnia.

Published in Medical News
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  • Interactive Discussion on Valsartan

     

     

    The Malta Medicines Authority in collaboration with the Superintendence
    of Public Health and the Department of Pharmacy University of Malta
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    THE VALSARTAN SAGA


    SCIENCE | MYTHS | REALITIES

     


    led by Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott

     


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    Venue: Conference Room, Life Sciences Park, San Ġwann

     


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    RSVP: info.medicinesauthority@gov.mt | 23439202

    Written on July 21, 2018

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