Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome: consensus panel recommendations for clinical management and additional research

J Clin Psychiatry. 2006:67 Suppl 4:27-30.


Objective: Currently, no evidence-based guidelines exist for the management of serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) discontinuation syndrome. This article summarizes recommendations with respect to future research as well as clinical management recommendations for SRI discontinuation syndrome.

Participants: In April 2004, a panel of physicians convened in New York City to discuss recommendations for clinical management of and additional research on SRI discontinuation syndrome.

Evidence: Previous guidance for management of SRI discontinuation syndrome was proposed in 1997 in a consensus meeting also chaired by Alan F. Schatzberg. A literature search of the PubMed database was conducted to identify articles on SRI discontinuation syndrome that have been published since 1997.

Consensus process: The 2004 panel reviewed important preclinical and clinical studies, discussed prospective investigation of this syndrome in clinical trials, and suggested the establishment of a research network to collect data in naturalistic settings. The panel also reviewed the management recommendations published in 1997 and subsequently updated the recommendations, taking into account the latest clinical data as well as the personal experience of its members with patients.

Conclusions: Additional preclinical and clinical studies are necessary to further elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms of SRI discontinuation syndrome and to identify the patient populations and agents that are most affected by this phenomenon. Management strategies include gradual tapering of doses and should emphasize clinical monitoring and patient education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / therapy
  • Syndrome


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors