Provide Tapering Strips for people who want to withdraw safely from antidepressant drugs

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Provide Tapering Strips to help users who want to stop taking drugs for anxiety & depression

Psychotropic prescription drugs (such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics) are often very difficult to stop taking. Many people experience difficulties stopping or reducing their drugs even with the support of Doctors and Psychiatrists. Research indicates that more than 50% of users will experience significant withdrawal effects. Yet this is little recognised by doctors. 

Because stopping or reducing these drugs is so difficult, many people feel trapped into taking these tablets for many years, giving them side effects and costing the NHS money in providing unnecessary prescriptions. In 2016, the UK NHS spent £780,000 per day just on antidepressants.

Many of these drugs cause a physical dependence and the best way to avoid any unpleasant symptoms is to reduce the dosage slowly over an extended period.

As it is now, many people who want to stop have no option but to reduce to the lowest possible dosage then “jump off” which can be extremely challenging. Some users simply carry on taking a drug beyond the point at which it was effective and useful to avoid the challenge of stopping.

Providing a safe method by which people can gradually reduce their psychoactive prescription medications helps patients and helps doctors too.

A Dutch research team from the User Research Centre of Maastricht University, led by Dr Peter Groot and working with the not-for-profit Cinderella Therapeutics foundation have created the solution that this petition is calling for. Over 2,000 people have already been helped by this solution.

More details are available on this website: www.taperingstrip.org

 

What we request

We want the UK medical authorities to trial and implement Tapering Strips which provide the most commonly prescribed medications in decreasing doses over a period of time. 

We need Tapering Strips to help the millions of users of psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs because:

  • Many tablets are only available in increments that are so large that they are useless for gradual lowering (tapering) of the dose. 
  • Liquid forms for some medications are available but tend to be hugely expensive and therefore the NHS will not provide them. 
  • Pill cutting is, at best, a hit and miss affair and can lead to withdrawal effects.
  • Many doctors and psychiatrists confuse the symptoms of withdrawal with a return of the symptoms that the tablet was originally prescribed for.
  • Tapering Strips would save a significant amount of time for General Practitioners, Psychiatrists and Community Mental Health teams.
  • They would help users of psychiatric medications stop taking them safely and in a controlled fashion, giving them control over their drug intake.

This solution exists and has already helped over 2,000 Dutch patients. We should adopt this approach UK wide and learn all we can from the Dutch researchers leading the study. This is vital work, and the solution is elegant and brilliantly simple.

For more information visit: www.taperingstrip.org



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