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Can you tell me if one necessarily needs to stay on

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antidepressants permanently?...if a crisis passes...
Can you tell me if one necessarily needs to stay on antidepressants permanently?...if a crisis passes can you be successfully and safely be taken off the medication?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
6/17/2010
Doctor: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 8 years ago
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19,823
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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It is not necessary for all patients to remain on antidepressants permanently, but it very much depends upon the clinical situation. Most patients that have an acute episode of major depression that respond well to antidepressants can be taken off the medicines after a period of time. There is evidence that stopping the medicine too soon will increase the risk of recurrence, so it is generally recommended that the person stay on the medicine for ~6 months. There are some people that need a longer course, even though not indefinite. Unfortunately, there are some people with chronic depression that do require indefinite treatment with an antidepressant. Obviously, chronic depression had to have started at some point in time and may be considered an acute episode at that point, but it will become apparent when the antidepressant is stopped and the symptoms recur. It is reasonable, though, that if a person is doing well on an antidepressant, that there be periodic attempts to stop the medicine and see if the symptoms recur. If after multiple attempts over several years, each attempt at stopping the medicine results in recurrence of symptoms, then the decision may be reached to plan for indefinite treatment.

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