The goal of project TAPERING is to find a solution for the problems patients face when they want to stop with or reduce the dose of drugs like antideprssants, anxyolitics or antipsychotics. These problems can be so severe that stopping requires great efforts or is not possible at all, resulting in continued and unneccesary drug use.
The major problem during tapering is the occurence of withdrawal symptoms, physical and/or psychological complaints as a result of abrupt stopping or a too fast dose reduction. These symptoms can be prevented by gradual tapering in small steps and by taking enough time to do this.
Gradual dose reduction is not the same for each patient. A dose reduction scheme which works well for one patients, may make another patient ill. Which scheme works best for which patient cannot be predicted. Currently, patients cannot choose how slow they wish to taper.
Al these problems have been known for many years but this has not resulted in practical solutions for patients and doctors to solve this.
The harmfull effects are large: unneccessarily long drug use and unneccassary and sometimes very severe complaints and false diagnoses when withdrawal symptoms are diagnosed as relapse.
Gradual tapering is very important, but currently very hard to do. The low doses required to make this possible are not available and the presently used taperingscheme’s are nog good enough..
Cinderella’s solution to change this is the development of so-called TAPERINGSTRIPS.
PUBLICATIONS ABOUT TAPERINGSTRIPS
- Onttrekkingsverschijnselen voorkomen bij de afbouw van antidepressiva: het nut van taperingstrips. Groot P.C. Psyfar 2014;9(3):18-26. [in Dutch]
This article explains how withdrawal symptoms arise, why the last phase of dose reduction causes most of the problems and how gruadual tapering using taperingstrips can prevent these problems.
- Taperingstrips voor paroxetine en venlafaxine. Peter Groot en de consensusgroep tapering*. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 55(2013)10, 789-794. (in English: Taperingstrips for paroxetine en venlafaxine)
- Antidepressiva beter afbouwen – een knelpuntennota. Peter Groot en Jan van Ingen Schenau. 2013. [in Dutch].
This report reviews the problems with regard to the tapering of antidepressants and proposes ‘stoppackages for antidepressants‘ as a possible solution.