SSRI Side Effects

SSRI Side Effects

SSRI side effects can trigger life-threatening events, even after a short time on the drug.


Adolescents and children are particularly at risk for suicide and self harm, according to the black box warnings required by the FDA and placed on the package insert. Despite the drug manufacturers' attempts to downplay and obfuscate the dangers, profits continue to soar, making these drugs among the most lucrative ever brought to market. 

Dr. Peter Breggin reported on suicide attempts documented in Eli Lily's own clinical trials back in the 80's, where the rate of suicide attempts compared to placebo was at minimum 8 to 1, and as high as 12 to 1, but the manufacturer never made these findings public. (ref. Dr. Breggin's testimony to Veteran's Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives on Feb 24, 2010, http://jeffreydachmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Dr-Peter-Breggin-MD-testimony-Congress-Veterans-Affairs-Antidepressant-SSRI-Suicide-Violence-Mania-Military-2010.pdf).

Therefore, according to his research, and the FDA black box warning, this is a real concern. However, there exist other troubling matters which may make tapering off a prescription of SSRI drugs desirable. A summary is provided below. 

Summary of Common to Severe SSRI Side Effects: 

  • increased suicidality
  • risk of bleeding as the drug can cause a reduction in the blood's ability to clot
  • drop in sodium levels, a particularly dangerous occurrence for the elderly 
  • coma
  • cardiac arrest
  • seizures
  • akathisia (unrelenting compulsion to be in motion, disquieting uncontrollable urge that can lead to suicide)
  • photosensitivity
  • risk of serotonin syndrome, potentially fatal reaction caused by too much serotonin in the neuropathways
  • increased depression
  • anxiety
  • sleep disturbances
  • rage, violence, aggression
  • sexual dysfunction, loss of libido
  • nausea
  • headaches

The Alternative to Meds Safe Taper Program

SSRI drugs cause excitatory neurotransmitters to remain out in the nerve synapses, which is what causes the mild euphoric reaction to the medication. Somewhat comparable to a hit of cocaine, or any other stimulating drug, the person will feel a "lift" in tone from the drug, for a temporary period. These antidepressant drugs do not create new serotonin but do eventually exhaust the extant neurotransmitters. Whether or not a person suffered from a deficiency in serotonin before the prescription was started, they ultimately will end up with such a deficit. 

Therefore, one of the targets of the nutritional aspect of healing from SSRI drugs, and other drugs is to provide what the body needs to replenish its supply of these essential hormones. In this way, mental health issues such as depressed mood (where nutrition plays a part) can be addressed using holistic (drug-free) protocols.

The aims of our program are multiple, and include: 

1. to rebuild the body using targetted nutrition to normalize neurochemistry. 

2. to remove toxic build-up from a lifetime of pollution, chemicals in food, air, and water, pesticides, cleaning compounds, poisonous gasses, drugs, etc. 

3. to improve the body's ability to metabolize nutrients which tends to correct after removing the toxic load. Toxins can prevent nutrients from utilization and absorption.  Flooding the body with nutrients will not be useful in the presence of toxins, heavy metals, etc. 

4. to provide medically monitored tapering in a slow and safe protocol for withdrawal from drugs. 

4. to give and teach relaxation techniques which can be used in self-care for stress, anxiety and tension relief without drugs.

5. to provide counseling and guidance for restructuring lifestyle that is conducive to health and happiness and holistic, practical solutions to situational depression.

6. to teach clients about chemicals and their neurotoxic effects on the brain and CNS, about nutritional applications for maximal health, to explain what occurs during medication tapering, and more. 

7. peer group support in many forms, ie. "Reclaiming the Best of Yourself" therapeutic workbook, "Empowering Yourself", and many other uplifting and practical classes. 

Find Out More

The Alternative to Meds Center provides comfortable residential care for those seeking treatment and help coming off antidepressants, and other drugs. Please call the number on this page for more detailed information on how to enroll. We can provide a quote for private insurance coverage for you or your loved one if requested and can obtain the information very quickly. You may not have to suffer for very much longer. Call us today and ask us about our compassionate and effective SSRI withdrawal programs that address SSRI side effects.


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