May 10, 2018 – Antidepressant Guidelines


Anchor lead: How long should someone take an antidepressant? Elizabeth Tracey reports

A recent report cited troubling symptoms for some people when they stop taking antidepressant medications. Ramin Mojtabi, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins who assisted in the report’s data analysis, says for short term treatment, there are guidelines.

Mojtabi: If you go to practice guidelines they would recommend continuing these medications after starting between six and nine to twelve months for people who have experienced say one episode of depression. For long term treatment the guidelines are generally silent.  :17

Mojtabi says the research record is also lacking.

Mojtabi: There are no trials that have looked at the long term effect of these medications or long term benefit of these medications.  :08

Mojtabi says there are likely many people who simply stay on antidepressant medications because of their concerns about a recurrence of depression symptoms, but notes that a careful review of medication use with a provider is prudent, with a plan for cessation. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.