S.M. Maixner, J.F. Greden: Extended antidepressant maintenance and discontinuation syndromes. Depress Anxiety 1998 8 Suppl 1 43-53

For various reasons, patients may discontinue medications, and when this happens withdrawal phenomena may occur. Withdrawal effects are well documented for all antidepressants and can be profound with TCAs. After stopping some SSRIs, a few withdrawal symptoms may have similarities with those following discontinuation of TCAs, but unique ''CNS-like'' effects are frequently described, including brief recurrent episodes of dizziness, lightheadedness, vertigo, electric shock-like sensations, and gait instability. These appear to be half-life dependent, with agents with shorter half-lives having more discontinuation symptoms. If antidepressant medications must be discontinued, a gradual taper is preferable, perhaps extending three to six months or longer to prevent discontinuation effects, enable adaptation at the receptor level and allow earlier recognition and treatment of recurrent depressive symptoms. (Emphasis added - CM)

Back to 4.2