An estimated 1.5 billion daily doses of tablets for depression are prescribed every year in Germany. © atelierk/stock.adobe.com
Does anxiety intensify the discontinuation symptoms of antidepressants?
Patients with depression often face a difficult path to finding a medication that helps them. That is why they often feel anxious when an effective medication is discontinued at the end of their treatment. It is common for this anxiety to be accompanied by unpleasant mental and physical symptoms. These may not be due entirely to discontinuation of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, but also controlled by patient anxieties or previous experiences. This project investigates the effect that these fears have on the different symptoms experienced when antidepressants are discontinued.
Separating the pharmacological and expectation effects of discontinuing antidepressants – a randomised, balanced, open-label and deceptive study
This project applies placebo and nocebo research findings to the discontinuation of antidepressants. Based on the observation that dysfunctional expectations of the discontinuation of a medication contribute to the development of troublesome symptoms and increase the risk of relapse after antidepressant treatment ends, this project is a randomised, balanced, open-label and deceptive study of the discontinuation of SSRIs/SNRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors) in patients. Two factors, treatment and expectation, will be varied for a systematic investigation of their contribution to the development of discontinuation symptoms.
Nestoriuc Y, Orav EJ, Liang MH, Horne R, Barsky AJ (2010) Prediction of nonspecific side effects in rheumatoid arthritis patients by beliefs about medicines. Arthritis Care Res. 62:791-9. PubMed
Nestoriuc Y, v Blanckenburg P, Schuricht F, Barsky AJ, Hadji P, Albert US, Rief W (2016) Is it best to expect the worst? Influence of patients’ side effect expectations on endocrine treatment outcome in a two-year prospective clinical cohort study. Ann Onc. 27:1909-1915. PubMed
Sass K, Habel U, Kellermann T, Mathiak K, Gauggel S, Kircher T (2014) The influence of positive and negative emotional associations on semantic processing in depression: an fMRI study. Hum Brain Mapp 35:471-82. PubMed
In close cooperation with these projects
Prof. Dr. Yvonne Nestoriuc
Prof. Dr. Tilo Kircher
Dr. Tahmine Fadai
Clinician Scientist, Psychiatry Registrar
PhD Student, Psychologist
Dr. Christoph Vogelbacher