An antidepressant is a medicine prescribed by a specialist doctor, intended to combat depression and reduce symptoms from mood disorders. Sometimes they are also used outside of this area.
Today there are three types of antidepressants , although all intended for the same. We divide them into four types, taking into account the age of the patient, their symptoms, their health, the possible side effects of drugs, the taking of other types of drugs, if they are breastfeeding or pregnant, etc.
Type 1: Selective Serotonin Reception Inhibitors or SSRIs : They are the ones that produce the fewest side effects, treatment with this type is usually started. Some of them are: fluoxetine , cilatopram, sertraline and paroxetine.
Type 2: Selective Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors or ISRN : This type is usually the fastest to take effect. Some of them are: venlafaxine and duloxetine.
Type 3: Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants : Formerly it was the most prescribed type of antidepressant, today its use has been greatly reduced because it can be addictive and dangerous, since it acts in an inaccurate way in the body and difficult to control.
Type 4: Monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOS : In some cases the side effects and symptoms that precede their consumption are of high intensity; especially in the first subtype; later others were created with a lower level.
How can I reduce or stop the dose of antidepressants?
Remove suddenly consumption of antidepressant drugs can be very dangerous for health , especially for the elderly and children. In some cases this withdrawal is the best option, but before carrying it out, keep in mind that if you do it abruptly and suddenly, your risk increases that:
– Symptoms reappear over time and with greater intensity.
– They have suicidal thoughts and self-injurious attitudes.
– Withdrawal symptoms appear.
For this, from Bekia we advise you that if you have decided to completely suspend the consumption of antidepressants or reduce your dose, follow a series of recommendations , which we will name below:
1. Find out about the type of antidepressant you take : It is important that you know how it works, what it affects, how it helps you in your situation, the possible side effects, the necessary duration of its consumption, etc. Knowing this you will be able to assess in a more positive, beneficial and safe way, if stopping the medication is the best option in your case.
2. See a specialist : The suspension of this type of medication can cause serious withdrawal and health problems, so it is recommended that before making any decision on your own, you go to a specialist, such as a psychiatrist and psychologist. This will assess your case and propose the best way to carry it out safely, if necessary.
3. Ask your specialist and explain your ideas on the subject : To better understand your situation, you can write down on a piece of paper the reasons why you think you should stop taking or reduce the dose. Also, if you have doubts, ask him about them, such as: If you can or not reduce the dose gradually, dividing the pills in two, if you can take it every other day, that is, one day yes and one no, etc.
4. Plan a change of antidepressant : If you still feel that the prescribed medicine does not help you or does not do you well, discuss the possibility of changing to another type of antidepressant, another treatment, etc.
5. Follow the instructions of your doctor : If he considers that the suspension or reduction of the dose is advisable, carefully follow his instructions, since only a small deviation from these can cause a very serious problem for your health.
6. Lead a healthy life : While you carry out the suspension process it is important that you take care of yourself, for this: exercise daily, eat healthy and balanced baby water, sleep the recommended hours daily, do not consume foods with a high level of caffeine, do not drink alcohol, etc.
7. Take withdrawal symptoms into account : After stopping this type of drug, it is very common to have withdrawal symptoms, even within a few hours of the last intake. These symptoms can last one or two weeks in the mildest cases and increase this time in the most serious ones.
8. Go to the check-ups : Have your doctor check you often, explain how you are feeling, the changes that the decrease in medications causes in you, if the symptoms of depression or mood disorder reappear, if you you feel uplifted or tired, if you have withdrawal symptoms and which ones, etc.
9. Consider trying psychotherapy : Talk therapy or psychotherapy is good for depression, mood problems, and emotional problems; either by itself or in addition to the consumption of medications.
What are the withdrawal symptoms due to the withdrawal of this type of drug?
The withdrawal symptoms that a person can present when they decide to stop taking antidepressants are very varied, they depend on the person, the way they stop taking the medicine, their state of health, their way of being, etc. Its duration and intensity can also vary. These symptoms are divided into two groups, physical symptoms and psychological symptoms, depending on the location of your condition. Some of the most common if we refer to physical symptoms are:
– Dizziness and headaches.
– Muscle spasms or tremors.
– Diarrhea or nausea.
– Trouble going to the bathroom and flatulence.
– Physical agitation and lack of rest.
– Sensations with a certain similarity to being suffering from the flu.
Some of the most common if we refer to psychological symptoms are:
– Depression, anxiety or emotional and mental agitation.
– Sudden changes in mood, or very happy or very sad, oscillating between the two and changing rapidly.
– Difficulty concentrating and memory problems.
– Increased irritability.
– Very marked weight changes, caused by loss or increased appetite.
– Confusion, fatigue or psychological discomfort.
– Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or hypersomnia.
– Feelings of living in an unreality.