Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Withdrawal from Medication Types

There are two main types of drug withdrawal:

  • Psychological withdrawal
  • Physical withdrawal

There are hundreds of drugs that can cause withdrawal following a long period of therapy. Most of the drugs that cause serious withdrawal are prescribed to treat pain, anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders.

Drugs that can cause serious withdrawal symptoms include:

Even common nonprescription substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine can produce withdrawal symptoms.

For more information:

Withdrawal from Medication Physical Withdrawal

Physical drug withdrawal can affect organ systems in the body such as the cardiovascular system and the nervous system. Physical withdrawal may cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure.

Physical withdrawal can trigger:


Other physical symptoms include:

Withdrawal from Medication Psychological Withdrawal

Psychological drug withdrawal causes:

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Withdrawal from Medication References
  1. Britton JW. Antiepileptic drug withdrawal: literature review. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002 Dec;77(12):1378-88. [12479528]
  2. Giannini AJ. An approach to drug abuse, intoxication and withdrawal. Am Fam Physician. 2000 May 1;61(9):2763-74. [10821156]
  3. Kosten TR, O'Connor PG. Management of drug and alcohol withdrawal. N Engl J Med. 2003 May 1;348(18):1786-95. [12724485]
  4. Williams D, McBride AJ. The drug treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms: a systematic review. Alcohol Alcohol. 1998 Mar-Apr;33(2):103-15. [9566471]
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