Stopping antidepressants

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Editor, – The article 'Stopping antidepressants' (Aust Prescr 2001;24:13-5) brings together many practical discussion points for pharmacists to reinforce the medical practitioner's treatment. However, in listing the factors influencing the decision to stop treatment, a significant omission as a factor is the continuing presence or otherwise of the trigger(s) which contributed to the original depression.

John Williams
Mosman, NSW

Professor Isaac Schweitzer and Kay Maguire, authors of 'Stopping antidepressants', comment:

Mr Williams raises the role of triggers in precipitating and perpetuating a depressive disorder. This area remains somewhat controversial and each individual case must be considered in its overall context. Judgement is often required which can be difficult and complex. Did the depressive illness itself result in the difficult psychosocial situation of the patient or did psychosocial factors play a role in bringing on the illness? These are central questions which must be considered.