Can I stop antidepressants as I am in a stress-free environment?

Q. Is it advisable to stop antidepressants on own?

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 25, 2023

Hello doctor,

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression because of work-related issues two years ago. Then I was prescribed Deanxit (Flupenthixol and Melitracen) 10 mg once every day till last month. Now I am trying to withdraw by reducing the dose over a month time, taking one tablet every two days for two weeks, then half the medicine every two days for two weeks. Before this, I tried to withdraw two times under the doctor's supervision. But both times I failed to be able to withdraw as both times, more likely my withdrawal symptoms got severe in three weeks and it was difficult to manage, so put back again on medication. Now I am in a stress-free environment and I hope withdrawal symptoms should be less severe and I might be able to withdraw. If in case, it is going to happen like the previous times causing severe symptoms, what should I do in that case? Is it fine that my method of withdrawal reducing the dose as mentioned above is good enough?



Welcome to

If psychologically you are feeling stable for at least six months to a year, then you can try to cut down medication gradually. You can try tapering off the medication over a longer period of time to minimize the chances of withdrawal symptoms. For example, try taking half the dose for one day and full the next day alternately for two weeks. If you are not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms, then reduce the drug to half and take it daily for the next two weeks. If you are not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms, then take half-tablet on alternate days for further two weeks. You may stop the medication provided you are comfortable. This is a rough guide. At any stage, if you develop withdrawal symptoms, step up to the previous dose for a longer period and then try again. Sometimes it may take a few months to completely withdraw the medication. I have to say that Deanxit (Flupenthixol and Melitracen) is not the first line medication indicated for anxiety and depression. It is no longer used in many countries due to difficulties in withdrawal and side effects. I will recommend visiting a doctor locally as well to monitor and support you during the withdrawal period. Also, use psychological strategies to prevent any relapse in mood and anxiety symptoms. Thank you.

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