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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 55 (2013) 10, 789 - 794

Short report

Taperingstrips for paroxetine and venlafaxine

P.C. Groot, de Consensusgroep Tapering

background Tapering strips can be used for the gradual reduction of the dose of certain types of drugs such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines. The strips contain a slightly lower dose on each consecutive day. This prevents the withdrawal symptoms still experienced by too many patients and lowers the risk of relapse.
aim To make tapering strips of antidepressant drugs available for patients in need of a tapering-off procedure.
method The Consensusgroup Tapering studied the literature and consulted with experts to find out whether the plan to make tapering strips of paroxetine and venlafaxine available for patients is feasible.
results The Cinderella Therapeutic Foundation (www.cinderella-tx.org), a not-for-profit organisation which aims to give patients access to orphan drugs and treatments, wants to make tapering strips of paroxetine and venlafaxine available since these are the two antidepressants that cause the most problems. The process of producing, packaging and checking the tapering doses is iso-certified; each strip is provided with a bar-code and can be followed and traced. Therefore the strips will conform to current safety regulations.In view of the large number of patients taking paroxetine and venlafaxine there is likely to be a considerable demand for tapering strips.
conclusion From a financial, marketing and practical point of view, the introduction of tapering strips is feasable. Patients will derive considerable benefits. The paroxetine strips will be produced first and are expected to be available from December 2013.

keywords antidepressants, dose reduction, SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), tapering, tapering strips, withdrawal symptoms