Stevie Lewis is a campaigner and board member of IIPDW. She took an SSRI for 17 years, the majority of which was spent trying and failing to stop because the withdrawal effects were so severe.
Mark Horowitz is an Associate of IIPDW, a Clinical Research Fellow in psychiatry at University College London and North East London NHS Foundation Trust. He has a PhD in the neurobiology of antidepressants from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. He has published articles on safe tapering in Lancet Psychiatry and authored the Royal College of Psychiatry guidance on stopping antidepressants. He has lived experience of this process.
Together with IIPDW they have created a 1-hour training video to support prescribers and patients to manage antidepressant withdrawal syndrome in clinical practice. You can watch the video on our website here.
This video coincides in the UK with the long-awaited National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on how to safely stop antidepressants (and other drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal) which were published on 20th April 2022 and outline a method of stopping antidepressants that is a sharp departure from previous guidance. While this guidance represents a significant advancement, the brief fashion in which it is outlined makes it challenging for clinicians to implement in practice. The video helps provide more detail on the process of supporting a patient to withdraw from antidepressants.
The video has already been featured in an article in the BJGP Life, part of the British Journal of General Practice.