New recommendations for deprescribing and tapering antidepressants, benzodiazepines, z-drugs, gabapentinoids, and opioids have been made based on input from service users and a global survey.
These recommendations were recently published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE by a team of authors from the United Kingdom, including Ruth E. Cooper, Michael Ashman, Jo Lomani, Joanna Moncrieff, Anne Guy, James Davies, Nicola Morant, and Mark Horowitz.
The authors not only documented the current state of deprescribing and tapering but also aimed to identify factors that contribute to successful outcomes for service users who go through the deprescribing and tapering process.
“In the UK, a recent Public Health England (PHE) Report identified the scale of the prescribing of drugs that can cause dependence and withdrawal as a significant public health issue. It found that one in four adults in England were prescribed at least one prescription of a benzodiazepine, z-drug, gabapentinoid, opioid or antidepressant in 2017–2018,” the authors write.
“In the USA, it is estimated that 10.4% of people are using benzodiazepines, and benzodiazepine-related deaths have risen, which has generated concern. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated a boxed warning for benzodiazepine medications to add information about the risks of abuse, misuse, addiction, physical dependence, and withdrawal reactions…In Norway, due to dissatisfaction with aspects of mental healthcare, including high rates of prescribing of psychiatric medication, service user groups successfully campaigned for the introduction (from 2015) of medication-free mental health services into national policy.”
Global Survey Leads to New Recommendations for Deprescribing Psychiatric Drugs