Guidance for the discontinuation or switching of antidepressant therapies in adults

J Pharm Pract. 2013 Aug;26(4):389-96. doi: 10.1177/0897190012467210. Epub 2013 Mar 4.


Antidepressants (ADs) are commonly used for the treatment of various psychological and other medical disorders. Patient response and regimen duration with individual agents varies, necessitating discontinuation (DC) and/or switching between ADs. However, withdrawal symptoms may occur upon DC of the AD, and clinical symptom control may be compromised if the change to a new AD agent is not initiated appropriately. The purpose of this evaluation was to review the available literature and resources to compile documented methods for discontinuing or changing AD regimens in the clinical setting into a single guidance document. The results of this evaluation have yielded both detailed and general recommendations for practitioners to use and consider in discontinuing an AD and making changes between AD agents. The information provided herein is intended to provide useful guidance for clinicians and other health care professionals in their management of patients discontinuing or switching between selected AD agents.

Keywords: antidepressant; discontinuation; taper; withdrawal; withdrawal syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*


  • Antidepressive Agents