In the Netherlands about 150.000 people with depression use antidepressants longer than one year. Although many patients benefit from
antidepressants, long term use of antidepressants can cause side effects and little research has been conducted on whether it is safe to stop using antidepressants when someone feels better.
The OPERA (Netherlands study of Optimal, PERsonalized Antidepressant use) study is a randomized placebo-controlled study into the short and long-term effects of early reduction of antidepressants versus later reduction
The study, led by Prof. Brenda Penninx, from Amsterdam UMC, aims to research the chance of relapse into depression after reducing the use of antidepressants and aims to find out the most adequate use of antidepressants. Additionally, the broad-based research should provide health care professionals and patients with tools to phase out antidepressants. The OPERA study is subsidized by the ZonMw-program Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen and runs from 2019 until 2025.
For more information about the project: