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how to get off prozac

Prozac Withdrawal

The Alternative to Meds Center has been fortunate enough to identify techniques of Prozac withdrawal help which make this process simpler, and greatly lessen potential withdrawal problems. There are many people who, for many different reasons, experience problems with harsh Prozac withdrawal symptoms. (1)

What About Prozac Dependence?

Many individuals do not realize that their body may have become dependent on this medication, and when the time comes for stopping Prozac; Prozac withdrawal symptoms are very likely to emerge. Antidepressant withdrawal does not always appear to be adequately discussed between doctor and patient when a person is given a new prescription for this medication. It may not present itself as a problem until the user of the drug opts for stopping Prozac, or their doctor decides to switch them to another medication. Then the problem of dependence on the drug can rear its very ugly head. (2)

Why is Prozac Prescribed?

Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and like the other drugs of its class, is prescribed for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, and other mental conditions and disorders. It seems as though individuals who take this drug are basically in two different categories. Some will take it for a short period of time, and some will take it for a very long period of time or even for a lifetime. Those who take it for a lifetime may essentially never have to confront or experience the symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal as long as they are constantly increasing their Prozac dosage. This is not necessarily the most effective way of treating depressive symptoms or other conditions, but it certainly allows one to avoid Prozac medication withdrawal.

On the other hand, the people who may take this drug for a short period of time to deal with symptoms of depression or anxiety will most likely have to deal with and confront the withdrawal symptoms of antidepressant discontinuation. Many individuals may suddenly decide on their own to stop taking their medication without talking to the doctor first. This generally produces very unpleasant effects and the end result may include an array of Prozac withdrawal symptoms and can make individuals think that their depression is reoccurring. Making the decision that you are stopping Prozac is okay but acting on it is not recommended until you have arranged a confirmed Prozac withdrawal treatment plan with a doctor.

Are Prozac Withdrawals a Sign of Returning Mental Illness?

It can be easy to mistake symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal for the symptoms that this drug was initially prescribed to keep under control. Symptoms can be confusing to analyze, especially when in the middle of experiencing them. This reiterates the extreme importance of having medical guidance during antidepressant withdrawal. Common symptoms include burning sensations, agitation, Prozac withdrawal headache, fatigue, insomnia, tiredness, Prozac withdrawal dizziness, worsening depression, anxiety, confusion, and irritability. A person can find non-drug treatments for the original symptoms that possibly led to a prescription of Prozac in the first place. (3)

Slowly Reducing Prozac Recommended for Safe Withdrawal

prozac withdrawal

Never stop Prozac cold turkey or without professional help from a medical doctor who will recommend an appropriate tapering schedule. A schedule should be unique for each person and may depend on various factors such as dosage and length of time the person has been taking this medication. Slowly reducing the daily dosage of the medication will lessen Prozac withdrawal time, greatly minimize the chance of withdrawal symptoms and allow the individual in withdrawal to comfortably complete the process. Prozac medication discontinuation can be an important step on the path to recovery from depression, and the withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing the use of this drug may be efficiently managed with the care of competent medical professionals who are trained and familiar with the process.

Does Prozac Increase Serotonin Levels?

No drug can create more serotonin. In fact, clinical studies demonstrate that SSRI antidepressants will eventually exhaust serotonin stores and suppress the ability of serotonergic receptors to function. (4) Depression is often blamed on a serotonin deficiency. This is a controversial topic that has not been resolved completely. However, what we do know is that most individuals who are on an antidepressant were given the medication during an emotionally traumatic time. But years later they still take the antidepressant and struggle with symptoms of withdrawal when trying to get off of it. Let’s look at the reasons why a person experiences antidepressant withdrawal. Even though a person may not have been serotonin deficient before taking this medication, the use of an antidepressant can cause a serotonin deficiency to develop.

Serotonin is an inhibitory natural chemical that inhibits stimulation from the environment, creates the neurohormones for sleep, and also helps to lessen compulsiveness. When an individual is in Prozac withdrawal, they may likely struggle with overstimulation, sleeplessness, anxiety and sometimes even symptoms of OCD or Tourette’s. This occurs, at least to some degree, because there now actually is a deficit in serotonin, and overstimulation can result.

The Alternative to Meds Program for Prozac Withdrawal

The alternative to Meds Center aims to uncover the underlying reasons of why a person may be depressed. Part of our strategy is to combat depression while the antidepressant is withdrawn, as well as after, using targeted nutrients and supplements that are able to promote the creation of more serotonin. Our program also includes the removal of accumulated neurotoxins, stabilization of neurochemistry with substances that are natural, massage, yoga, exercise, peer support, Equine-assisted therapy, and other holistic treatments that effectively reduce the discomforts normally associated with Prozac withdrawal. You are invited to call us, so we can talk, and you can find out more about what Prozac withdrawal help might mean to you, or to someone you love.

  1. Harvard Medical School Publications article entitled, “Discontinuation Syndrome and Antidepressants”, authors C. Bullock, MD and C. Bernstein, MD, and FAHS, published April 11, 2019, online: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/discontinuation-syndrome-and-antidepressants-2019040416361, accessed October 18, 2019
  2. NYT article entitled, “Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit”, published April 7, 2018,
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/health/antidepressants-withdrawal-prozac-cymbalta.html, accessed October 18, 2019
  3. Article published by Harvard Medical School entitled, “What Causes Depression?”, published June 2009, updated June 24, 2019, online: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression, accessed October 20, 2019
  4. Article by authors W.B. Seisser, B.D. Sachs, A.J. Ramsay, T.D. Sotnikova, Jean-Martin Beaulieu, X. Zhang, M.G. Caron, and R.R. Gainetdinov, published in the US National Library of Medicine Jan 16, 2013, entitled, “Chronic SSRI Treatment Exacerbates Serotonin Deficiency in Humanized Tph2 Mutant Mice” published online October

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