Mental health

Duration of antidepressant treatment

Question 2: How long should treatment with antidepressants continue in adults with depressive episode/disorder?

  • Population: individuals with depressive episode/disorder
  • Interventions: antidepressant medications: Tricyclic Antidepressants and related, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Comparison: placebo
  • Outcomes:
    • treatment effectiveness in terms of reduction of symptoms
    • treatment effectiveness in terms of improvement in functioning
    • acceptability profile.


In adult individuals with depressive episode/disorders who have benefited from initial antidepressant treatment, the antidepressant treatment should not be stopped before 9 -12 months after recovery. Treatment should be regularly monitored, with special attention to treatment adherence. Frequency of contact should be determined by the adherence, severity and by local feasibility issues.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile