What are the possible withdrawal symptoms associated with the abrupt discontinuation of SSRIs?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Abrupt discontinuation of SSRIs that have shorter half-lives, such as paroxetine, may induce withdrawal symptoms, some of which may mimic a recurrence of a depressive episode (eg, tiredness, irritability, severe somatic symptoms). The withdrawal symptoms can appear after as few as 6-8 weeks of SSRI treatment. In addition to causing rebound depression, paroxetine discontinuation can also cause cholinergic rebound. Moreover, relapse may occur earlier after rapid withdrawal (< 15 days) than after more gradual withdrawal (≥ 15 days). [214]


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