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Mental health
Antidepressant discontinuation can be problematic for patients but relapse rates might be reduced with cognitive behavioural therapy or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
  1. Justine Raynsford
  1. School of Health Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Justine Raynsford, University of Bradford School of Health Studies, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK ; j.raynsford{at}

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Commentary on: Maund E, Stuart B, Moore M, et al. Managing antidepressant discontinuation: a systematic review. Ann Fam Med 2019;17:52-60.

Implications for practice and research

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may help patients remain well after antidepressants are discontinued. 

  • More research is needed into strategies that help encourage patients to discontinue antidepressants successfully.


Antidepressant prescriptions continue to rise. In many cases consideration should be given to stopping medication at some point. Current UK guidance1 suggests that for first-time users treatment should last for 6 months after remission of symptoms, and for those with a second episode 2-year treatment is advised. Some patients may need long-term antidepressants, but research suggests that many long-term users continue to take them without a clear evidence base.2


The stated aims of the study were to discover effective interventions in managing …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.