Last Updated on March 2, 2022 by
Last Updated on March 2, 2022 by
Prozac withdrawal should be done slowly, not all at once due to the overwhelming reactions that may ensue. Prozac or fluoxetine has a relatively long half-life, and this may allow for easier withdrawal than other antidepressants with a shorter half-life. However, each person has a unique health profile, and reactions differ from person to person.3,19 Prozac addiction or abuse has been reported as a small but growing concern in the medical literature.8 However, dependence is much more frequently observed, resulting in adverse withdrawal effects. A 2017 review of prescriptions in Germany found SSRIs to be the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drug across the country.10 And, a study out of Denmark showed that the majority of medical advice hotline calls had to do with questions relating to antidepressant withdrawal symptoms.11
Some persons will experience mild symptoms, while others may find the withdrawals compare to or surpass the level of discomfort associated with coming off benzodiazepines, according to a massive review of medical literature by Offidani and associates, published in the 2013 Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.12 A set of 53 withdrawal symptoms associated with antidepressant withdrawal was compiled by Black et al, published in the 2000 Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.13 The most common Prozac withdrawals are listed below. Always seek medical oversight for Prozac withdrawal for your health and safety.
Prozac can have extraordinary side effects and debilitating withdrawal characteristics for certain persons. Disturbingly, these patients tend to get disregarded and minimized for their very real suffering.
Prozac© withdrawal can be safely done but must be done gradually and can be greatly eased with adequate support during the process. There are strategic ways to build the neurochemistry naturally so as to properly brace for the withdrawal process
According to recent statistics, Prozac is once again poised among the top three most prescribed antidepressant drugs in the world. Statista reported 24,961,000 Prozac prescriptions were written in the US alone in 2011-2012.1 Despite sagging sales pre-pandemic, the numbers have again spiked for antidepressants and other pharmaceutical drugs at an astounding 34% rise according to 2020 statistics.26 Prozac is an antidepressant drug in the class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Prozac affects certain natural chemicals that are designed to regulate brain function, the digestive system, hormone activation or suppression, body temperature, mood and emotional response, and a million other components of the human body. A theory was launched that depressed persons have a deficiency in serotonin and a new era of drugs was born to respond to this condition. However, the “serotonin theory” has been subject to debate,15,16,17 despite the successful marketing of SSRI drugs, capturing billions of dollars each year for the ongoing sales campaign.
In 2018 the National Center for Health Statistics reported that 48% of all US citizens took at least one prescription drug in the previous 30 days and that the third most prescribed drug was antidepressant medication.4 Just as alarming, teen suicides have also risen by 50% in the last decade.27 Many such antidepressants were originally approved only after short-term studies that did not include long-term efficacy or safety. According to a comprehensive review of clinical data by Danborg et al, the benefits of SSRI use have been exaggerated by short-term trials, and the harms of long-term SSRIs have been underestimated and are largely unknown. All authors in the review concluded there were no documented long-term beneficial outcomes after long-term use of SSRIs.16
SSRIs are prescribed to children 8 and older and adults for major depressive disorder, for children age 7 and older, and adults diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder in the adult population.7 With surprising clarity, the DSM-5 clearly delineates the critical importance of assessment in carefully selecting persons who may or may not be good candidates for SSRI drugs.2
While an ever-growing number of doctors and nurse practitioners are legally able to prescribe medications, it remains essential for consumers to practice due diligence in fully researching a drug and possible useful adjunctive therapies for treating depression in all age categories, before either beginning or ending a prescription drug. For those who have decided to stop taking Prozac, medical oversight is strongly advised. Alternative to Meds Center has designed programs using non-harmful, effective techniques and implements educational components that teach clients and practitioners alike how to get off Prozac safely and as comfortably as possible.
Below you will find some information that may be useful for such research, covering frequently asked questions, concerns, side effects, and additional data. Also below is more information on Prozac alternative treatment, stopping Prozac safely, and more. Please contact us to provide more information on these or other topics by request.
When Prozac side effects become hard to tolerate or seem to outweigh the benefits of the drug, a person may decide to stop taking Prozac. Prozac cessation should be gradual.
Always seek medical assistance from your doctor, or a competent and licensed health practitioner to get guidance on how to get off Prozac safely. Alternative to Meds Center specializes in Prozac withdrawal treatment and other programs to achieve mental health naturally. Stopping Prozac can be done surprisingly gently and comfortably with the correct protocols and support in place.
SSRI drugs such as Prozac are used in treating MDD (major depressive disorder). There are about half a dozen SSRIs that the FDA has approved for treating depression, each having similar characteristics and efficacy. Prozac is the one that remains approved for prescribing to young people, and that is possibly why the number of Prozac prescriptions tends to outweigh the other drugs in this class. Prozac alternative treatments are available but sadly ignored in the main by doctors and others who may not have been trained in such methods, using non-drug-based protocols.
According to various psychiatric associations around the world, pharmacological solutions are not always the recommended first line of defense. For example, often the recommendation of psychotherapy is shown to work where prescribed antidepressants are much less effective. For example, two-thirds of adolescents who were prescribed antidepressants reported relapse phenomena after completing a course of SSRI treatment in the absence of psychotherapy.3
One type of “talk therapy” found effective for the treatment of depression is called CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. There are many forms of CBT that can be explored, including these:
Cognitive restructuring: involves identifying irrational beliefs or negative automatic thoughts or assumptions and replacing those with more positive and realistic thoughts and conclusions.
Behavioral Activation: creating strategies that support and explore pleasurable experiences; this may motivate and overcome those aspects of inertia or avoidance that are often associated with depression.
Problem-solving collaboration: engaging with a skillful therapist can foster new ways to solve old problems.
Between therapy sessions: assigned “homework” to be done between sessions can provide meaningful opportunities to put into practice newly discovered ways of addressing challenges that may instill a sense of tangible and demonstrated progress.
Prozac is the brand name for fluoxetine hydrochloride, the active main ingredient. Slang or street names for Prozac are:
Prozac has become a slang word itself, according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, where the definition for Prozac used as an adjective to describe “someone lively and excited.”
The most troubling side effect for Prozac is the increased risk of suicide, and unexpected episodes of rage or violence, especially in the initial period of starting to take the drug.20-25
Some people do not report any Prozac side effects or report only mild reactions. Others experience a range of adverse effects from mild to moderate to severe. Such reactions may lead to a decision to begin a program of getting off Prozac. For those considering Prozac cessation, a Prozac taper should only be attempted with medical help and guidance.
Below is some information regarding some frequently asked questions about Prozac and some of the characteristics of the drug.
Ask your doctor if you have more questions about Prozac such as when to take it, if you have concerns about side effects, concern that your dosage needs to be changed, and whether to consider Prozac withdrawal. These are important questions requiring qualified medical advice.
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Originally Published Sep 13, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus
Dr. Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.
Diane is an avid supporter and researcher of natural mental health strategies. Diane received her medical writing and science communication certification through Stanford University and has published over 3 million words on the topics of holistic health, addiction, recovery, and alternative medicine. She has proudly worked with the Alternative to Meds Center since its inception and is grateful for the opportunity to help the founding members develop this world-class center that has helped so many thousands regain natural mental health.