Discontinuing antidepressants: Pearls and pitfalls

Cleve Clin J Med. 2022 Jan 4;89(1):18-26. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.89a.21020.


Stopping antidepressants can be challenging due to the high rate of discontinuation symptoms. Patients with antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (ADS) commonly experience insomnia, flu-like symptoms, mood disturbances, dizziness, and paresthesias, but a broad array of adverse effects is possible. Symptoms can last for days to months, and different symptoms have different durations. Patient education, identification of patients most at risk for developing symptoms, and a slow antidepressant taper or cross-taper are important steps in mitigating the risk of ADS and managing patient concerns about ADS. Tapers should be carried out over weeks to months. Discontinuation symptoms should be managed with restarting the prior dose of antidepressant and then tapering even more slowly, with additional symptomatic management as needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Paresthesia*


  • Antidepressive Agents