This guideline covers general principles for prescribing and managing withdrawal from opioids, benzodiazepines, gabapentinoids, Z‑drugs and antidepressants in primary and secondary care.

It does not cover gabapentinoids prescribed for epilepsy, nor opioids prescribed for acute or cancer pain, or at the end of life, nor management of illicit drug dependence.  Click here to read or download.

This guideline includes recommendations on:

  • supporting people taking a dependence-forming medicine or antidepressant
  • making decisions about prescribing and taking a medicine
  • starting a medicine, including information and support, management planning, prescribing strategies and working with other healthcare professionals
  • reviewing a medicine
  • making shared decisions about withdrawing medicines
  • dose reduction, managing withdrawal symptoms and interventions to support withdrawal

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