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Butler Hospital
Butler Hospital

TAPS (Tapering Anxiety Pharmacotherapy Support) Study

Have you ever wondered if you could control your anxiety symptoms without the help of medications?

If so, the TAPS study might be right for you. Though serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) may help many people manage anxiety symptoms, there are a variety of reasons individuals may like to discontinue the use of this medication. Our patients tell us some of these reasons include:

  • Sexual side effects.
  • Weight gain.
  • Cost.
  • A desire to see if they can stay well off medication.
  • Pregnancy or the desire to become pregnant.

Our past research shows us that many patients come off SRIs with little impact on their symptoms. We are interested in learning if our program can help patients safely and successfully accomplish this by using a slow taper design and by monitoring patients’ symptoms weekly throughout the treatment.

What is the Purpose of the TAPS Study?

The TAPS Study evaluates two supportive programs designed to help individuals with panic disorder (PD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) safely come off long-term medication frequently prescribed for these disorders.

In this study we focus on one type of medication, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), which include: Anafranil (clomipramine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram), Celexa (citalopram), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Zoloft (sertraline), Effexor (venlafaxine), and Cymbalta (duloxetine).


Adults with panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder who wish to stop taking long-term (2 years or more) SRI medication may be eligible to participate.


Participation in TAPS involves an initial screening appointment to ensure eligibility that includes completion of interviews and questionnaires. Eligible individuals are then assigned by chance to one of two 22-week programs using different techniques to help people come off medication.

All study participants will receive:

  • A comprehensive assessment of their symptoms.
  • One of two 22-week programs designed to support individuals coming off SRI medication.
  • Seven biweekly medication management sessions with an experienced study psychiatrist.
  • Compensation for time spent completing study assessments (up to $150 for full participation).

If you are interested in learning more about the TAPS study, please contact Maggie Peebles-Dorin at (401) 455-6243 or fill out the form below and a staff member will contact you.

Participation is voluntary. All information gathered will be treated as confidential. This study is conducted by researchers at Butler Hospital who are affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

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Want to learn more about the TAPS Study for anxiety? Visit our TAPS frequently asked questions page.
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