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Dr. Vikas
Dr. Vikas, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2229
Experience:  MBBS ; M.D Psychiatry, MS. Health Informatics
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How do you know if you should discontinue your antidepressants

Customer Question

How do you know if you should discontinue your antidepressants? How do you wean off of them? I've been taking 20 mg of Celexa for 10 years.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Vikas replied 7 years ago.

Hello Janis,

It depends on the severity, number of episodes of depression, and comorbodity of other psychiatric or physical illness besides some other factors.

Normally antidepressants are prescribed in a duration of 6-8 months to 1 year for single episode, nearly 3-5 years for 2 or 3 episodes, and may be for life time in multiple episodes of depression.
(But it again depends on patient to patient and is not a strict rule.)

Stopping of antidepressant should be a collective decision between you and your treating doctor, and you both should agree in my view for this.

Regarding weaning of antidepressants, it should be done under expert guidance, as sudden stopping of antidepressants may cause rebound of illness as well as withdrawal symptoms . Weaning period depends on the half life of a particular drug in use as well as the patient tolerability.

For Celexa (Citalopram), most patient tolerate 50% dose reduction for 3 days, and then another 50% dose reduction for 3 days then discontinuation. But please remember as I have mentioned earlier, that it should be done under your doctor supervision.

If you have any other query, please feel free to ask.

Best wishes

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