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Patterns of long-term antidepressant use.


Antidepressants are an effective treatment for acute major depressive disorders but they are often also used for mild or moderate depression for which evidence of effectiveness is lacking. An emerging body of research suggests that treatment discontinuation be considered for some long-term users of antidepressants, especially those with mild to moderate depression treated in the community. Australia has the second highest antidepressant prescribing rate in the world and the average duration of treatment is considerably longer than the guideline-recommended six to twelve months. This suggests that attempts to cease antidepressants for a number of patients are either not occurring as frequently as guidance recommends, and/or attempts are unsuccessful. Our study aims to better understand the patterns of long-term antidepressant use.