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Ssri and Snri Withdrawal Symptoms Reported on an Internet Forum

Stockmann, T; Odegbaro, D; Timimi, S; Moncrieff, J; (2018) Ssri and Snri Withdrawal Symptoms Reported on an Internet Forum. International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine , 29 (3-4) pp. 175-180. 10.3233/JRS-180018. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are well-recognised, but their potential duration remains uncertain. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to describe the characteristics of withdrawal associated with two popular classes of antidepressants, including duration. METHODS: We analysed the content of a sample of posts on an antidepressant withdrawal website. We compared the characteristics of withdrawal associated with SSRIs and SNRIs, including time of onset, duration and nature of symptoms. RESULTS: 110 posts about SSRI withdrawal, and 63 concerning SNRI withdrawal, were analysed. The mean duration of withdrawal symptoms was significantly longer with SSRIs than SNRIs: 90.5 weeks (standard deviation, SD, 150.0) and 50.8 weeks (SD 76.0) respectively; p = 0.043). Neurological symptoms, such as 'brain zaps,' were more common among SNRI users (p = 0.023). Psychosexual/genitourinary symptoms may be more common among SSRI users (p = 0.054). LIMITATIONS: The website aims to help people with antidepressant withdrawal, and is therefore likely to attract people who have difficulties. Length of prior use of antidepressants was long, with a mean of 252.2 weeks (SD 250.8). CONCLUSIONS: People accessing antidepressant withdrawal websites report experiencing protracted withdrawal symptoms. There are some differences in the characteristics of withdrawal associated with different classes of antidepressants.

Type: Article
Title: Ssri and Snri Withdrawal Symptoms Reported on an Internet Forum
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3233/JRS-180018
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3233/JRS-180018
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Antidepressant, SNRI, SSRI, antidepressant withdrawal, online report
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058621
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