Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and their Families

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Springer Publishing Company, Jul 19, 2012 - Psychology - 352 pages

This is the first book to establish guidelines and to assist prescribers and therapists in withdrawing their patients from psychiatric drugs, including those patients with long-term exposure to antipsychotic drugs, benzodiazepines, stimulants, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. It describes a method developed by the author throughout years of clinical experience, consultations with experienced colleagues, and scientific research. Based on a person-centered collaborative approach, with patients as partners, this method builds on a cooperative and empathic team effort involving prescribers, therapists, patients, and their families or support network.

The author, known for such books as Talking Back to Prozac, Toxic Psychiatry, and Medication Madness, is a lifelong reformer and scientist in mental health whose work has brought about significant change in psychiatric practice. This book provides critical information about when to consider psychiatric drug reduction or withdrawal, and how to accomplish it as safely, expeditiously, and comfortably as possible. It offers the theoretical framework underlying this approach along with extensive scientific information, practical advice, and illustrative case studies that will assist practitioners in multiple ways, including in how to:

  • Recognize common and sometimes overlooked adverse drug effects that may require withdrawal
  • Treat emergencies during drug therapy and during withdrawal
  • Determine the first drugs to withdraw during multi-drug therapy
  • Distinguish between withdrawal reactions, newly occurring emotional problems, and recurrence of premedication issues
  • Estimate the length of withdrawal


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A Guide for Prescribers Therapists Patients and Their Families Chapter 1 A PersonCentered Collaborative Approach to Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
A Guide for Prescribers Therapists Patients and Their Families Part I Reasons to Consider Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal or Dose Reduction
A Guide for Prescribers Therapists Patients and Their Families Part II The Drug Withdrawal Process
A Guide for Prescribers Therapists Patients and Their Families Bibliography
A Guide for Prescribers Therapists Patients and Their Families Appendix Psychiatric Medications by Category
A Guide for Prescribers Therapists Patients and Their Families Index

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About the author (2012)

Peter R. Breggin, MD, is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former full-time consultant at NIMH. He is in private practice in Ithaca, New York, and the author of dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty books. Some of his many books include Toxic Psychiatry, Talking Back to Ritalin, The Antidepressant Fact Book, and The Heart of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence, and, with co-author Ginger Breggin, Talking Back to Prozac. His most recent publications include Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime (2008) and Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex, Second Edition (SPC, 2008). Dr. Breggin is the founder and director of The Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education and Living ( His professional website is

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