Delgado P. Monoamine depletion studies: implications for antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. J Clin Psychiatry 67(Suppl 4): 22-26

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, San Antonio TX 78229-3900, USA.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.5). 02/2006; 67 Suppl 4(supplement 4):22-6.
Source: PubMed


The likelihood of a connection between serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) discontinuation and an acute reduction in synaptic serotonin (5-HT) has ignited interest in the similarities between SRI discontinuation syndrome and the symptoms observed after acute tryptophan depletion, which reduces synaptic 5-HT levels. An open question is whether these 2 phenomena have shared characteristics because of a similar underlying mechanism. The evidence in support of a similar underlying mechanism includes the observation that comparable proportions of SRI-treated patients experience depressive symptoms following tryptophan depletion and SRI discontinuation. Furthermore, the proportion of people who have emotional changes with rapid antidepressant discontinuation may be parallel to the proportion of people who experience those changes with rapid tryptophan depletion.

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    • "Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors account for about 60% to 80% of the market share of antidepressants [5]. However, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) self-depletion does not cause depression in healthy volunteers and does not worsen symptoms in unmedicated depressed patients [6] "
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    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2014; 2014(6):902516. DOI:10.1155/2014/902516 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Future clinical investigations need to have enough statistical power to enable examination of within-group comparisons. Current understanding of the pathophysiology associated with the SSRI discontinuation syndrome remains largely speculative (Blier and Tremblay, 2006; Delgado, 2006). In fact, the sole clinical investigation looking at the possible chemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the SSRI discontinuation syndrome was based on a single subject (Kaufman et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Besides demonstrated efficacy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) hold other advantages over earlier antidepressants such as greater tolerability and a wider range of clinical applications. However, there is a growing body of clinical evidence which suggests that SSRIs could, in some cases, be associated with a withdrawal reaction upon cessation of regular use. In addition to sensory and gastrointestinal-related symptoms, the somatic symptoms of the SSRI discontinuation syndrome include dizziness, lethargy, and sleep disturbances. Psychological symptoms have also been documented, usually developing within 1-7 days following SSRI discontinuation. The characteristics of the discontinuation syndrome have been linked to the half-life of a given SSRI, with a greater number of reports emerging from paroxetine compared to other SSRIs. However, many aspects of the neurobiology of the SSRI discontinuation syndrome (or SSRI withdrawal syndrome) remain unresolved. Following a comprehensive overview of the clinical evidence, we will discuss the underlying pathophysiology of the SSRI discontinuation syndrome and comment on the use of animal models to better understand this condition.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 04/2013; 4:45. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2013.00045 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    • "When he discontinued the venlafaxine, he experienced discontinuation syndrome: neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as depressed mood, severe anxiety, irritability, and impulsiveness; gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea; neuromotor symptoms, such as tremors in both hands; neurosensory symptoms, such as vertigo, paresthesias, and unbearable chest heaviness and breathing difficulty, which were most severe when he got up in the morning; vasomotor symptoms, such as diaphoresis; and other neurologic symptoms, such as insomnia, anorexia, and asthenia, as Delgado5 described. "
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    ABSTRACT: Antidepressants are known to have no significant ability to cause addiction. However, a recent study showed many individuals with mood disorders self-medicated with antidepressants to relieve symptoms. We report here a male physician, diagnosed five years ago with major depressive disorder, with insomnia, anxiousness, and chest heaviness. He began self-medicating with 150 mg of venlafaxine daily, without any monitoring. During his most recent severe depressive episode, he was taking up to 1,500 mg of venlafaxine daily. Without this medication, he experienced discontinuation syndrome, which included severe anxiety, chest heaviness, and breathing difficulty, and which he judged as indicating a more severely depressed state. He also experienced overdose symptoms, such as hypertension and tachycardia. He attempted suicide with drugs that he possessed. In conclusion, careful monitoring is needed when treating patients with venlafaxine, because its discontinuation syndrome is similar to symptoms of major depressive disorder, and suicidality may result from an overdose.
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