Guidance on switching antidepressants advises caution

New guidelines on switching antidepressants suggest that GPs stick to conservative approaches, with tapering periods as long as four weeks and drug-free washouts of five days. 

A cautious approach is needed in primary care because some antidepressants may trigger withdrawal symptoms if stopped too quickly, and interactions may lead to serotonin syndrome weeks after stopping, according to Professor Nicholas Keks and colleagues at the Centre for Mental Health Education and Research at Monash University, Melbourne.