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SSRI and SNRI Tapering, Weaning, Titration

SSRI and SNRI Tapering, Weaning, Titration

This entry was posted in Antidepressant on by .

Last Updated on January 15, 2021 by Carol Gillette

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Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Diane Ridaeus
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

SSRI and SNRI tapering doesn’t have to be hellish. Using orthomolecular and environmental medicine, the journey back to health can be made not only tolerable but health-enhancing.

Like many of the staff at Alternative to Meds Center, you may have reached a point where you are no longer able or willing to continue to compromise your health and suffer injury by prescription drugs.

Does Your Diagnosis
Require SSRIs or SNRIs?
SSRI and SNRI Tapering
Alternative to Meds has provided 15 years of cutting edge safe and gentle SSRI and SNRI tapering and withdrawal methods. The goal has always been to improve overall health, using holistic, evidence-based treatments, while getting off prescription drugs. We recommend reading our published evidence that clearly demonstrates our clients’ successes with SSRI and SNRI weaning and titration. We look for the underlying conditions that were missed. Some important factors may have been left untreated. We seek to address the conditions that could have contributed to the intensity of symptoms that led a person to seek prescription medication. It is possible that many persons have been misdiagnosed. It is possible that SSRI and SNRI medications may no longer be necessary or even helpful.

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SSRI and SNRI Tapering — Hormones & Neurotransmitters

In our fast-moving world, the physician prescribing medications can’t take time to educate each patient in a ten-minute visit. There is much to know about how these drugs will impact hormones and neurotransmitters. But don’t rely on drugmakers’ pamphlets. Most of the studies done on SSRIs and SNRIs were done in labs on rats. Much of the data is theorized and drug pamphlets are written to sound like so much poetry. What a person needs is cold, hard facts.

Truly, we highly recommend making the effort to understand more about human hormones and neurotransmitters, especially if you are embarking on SSRI and SNRI tapering. Despite how these drugs are named and marketed, SSRIs and SNRIs cause harsh reactions, often in unexpected ways. When drug dependence additionally sets in, the problems can further magnify. Best to be as informed as possible before beginning SSRI and SNRI weaning.

In a living body, all hormones can affect all other hormones as well as all of the endocrine glands and the nervous system to some greater or lesser degree. Holistic rehabilitation of neurochemistry means rebuilding. replenishing, rebalancing, not just masking deficiencies.

We also recommend learning as much as possible about nutrient deficiencies that can be tested for and might need correcting, which will support natural, healthy neurochemistry.

About SSRIs and SNRIs

SSRIs manipulate serotonin. SNRIs manipulate both serotonin and norepinephrine. These drugs do NOT produce more serotonin and norepinephrine, but they do cause these natural chemicals to collect or aggregate along the central nervous system channels. This causes first an exaggerated effect, followed by a deficit as these “entrapped” chemicals eventually degrade and disappear forever.1

Some might say it is similar to trying to chemically control the weather. When one factor is manipulated, such as chemical cloud seeding to produce more rain, another area of the planet could suffer a manufactured drought as a result. Chemical manipulation does not seem to work very well in the natural world.

About Serotonin

SSRI and SNRI TaperingSerotonin is a natural “inhibitory” chemical. It is a very small molecule but it has the incredible power to affect every (EVERY) part and function of the body, including:

  • Bowel movements
  • Digestion
  • Can stimulate nausea/diarrhea to clean out toxic food, poisons, etc.
  • Healing wounds (allows blood to clot)
  • Inhibits overstimulation (calming, balances against excitation, quietens impulsivity)
  • Regulates/affects growth, weight, bone development, etc.
  • Regulates sleep/wakefulness
  • Regulates heart rate, body temperature, other vital functions such as mood, sexual appetite.

SPECIAL CAUTION: when too much serotonin is activated, a life-threatening reaction called serotonin syndrome can result, requiring immediate hospital emergency treatment.2

About Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine is an “excitatory” natural chemical that can affect all tissues in the body. You can think of it as similar to epinephrine or adrenaline, which are the parent chemicals. Norepinephrine is a very powerful stimulant. The body secretes it at constant low levels as a regulator. When needed, the body secretes it in sudden larger amounts as in responding to a life or death situation. Examples can include:

  • Maintaining or raising heart rate
  • Monitoring/changing blood pressure, i.e., needed during septic shock or cardiac arrest
  • Relaxes/widens breathing tubes for better breathing efficiency
  • Monitors the “fight or flight” responses in the body

SSRI and SNRI Medications have a Wide Range of Effects

The body is an intricately complex interweaving of systems. Each system and gland in the body acts in tandem with or in response to other parts. Lab drugs are chemicals that are designed to disrupt, influence, block, or stimulate the body’s natural chemicals, glands, and systems.

Side effects of taking drugs result because the body cannot withstand being pummeled by these unnatural chemicals. Some of the reactions when reducing the dosage of SSRI and SNRI drugs are from the body attempting to regulate itself. These effects can be physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Undesirable reactions from the drugs range just as widely as the reactions when tapering SSRI and SNRI drugs. Think of anything that could go wrong with any organ or system in the body. That list would serve as good a summary as any. Do not despair. We have developed a program that softens and resolves these reactions during SSRI and SNRI titration.

Making SSRI and SNRI Titration Easier to Tolerate

At Alternative to Meds Center, we have been helping people wean off SSRI and SNRI medications for many years. We have established holistic, effective methods to soften the impacts of coming off these drugs.

SSRI and SNRI TaperingIt’s hard to imagine now, but in the past, the “cure” for scurvy was still a mystery. Vitamin C was yet to be discovered. Today we may not be completely out of the dark ages, but we have come a long way. This is especially so regarding psychiatric medications. We know the important role that targeted nutrition can play in restoring health after injurious drugs.

However, there is another aspect that needs to be addressed before SSRI, and SNRI tapering is attempted. That is to test and find out how polluted the body is. A body polluted with neurotoxic materials like heavy metals, drug residues, pesticides or other chemical exposures, etc. is more resistive to the tapering process. So it is of great help on the front end of tapering to purge the accumulations of toxic junk first. This allows the body to accelerate normalizing of the neurochemistry. Using gentle low-temperature sauna, nebulized glutathione treatments, mineral baths, ionic foot baths, colonics, and many other processes, these pollutants can be removed. When clients finish this purge, they often report feeling brighter, more energetic, calmer, sleeping better, which is a good launch point for SSRI or SNRI tapering.

Find Out More About SSRI and SNRI Tapering

Alternative to Meds Center has much more information for you in regards to alternatives, coming off prescription drugs, and teaching clients how to achieve and sustain natural mental health without drugs.

We can answer any questions you may have about the process, and welcome inquiries about insurance, length of the program, or any other information you require. The center is nestled in the majestic Red Rocks near beautiful Sedona. Clients find the serene, pristine retreat-like setting to be restful and ultra-comfortable. We invite you to look over the documented results of our SSRI and SNRI tapering program, delivered inpatient-style at Alternative to Meds Center.

1. Munkboet C H, Larsen L W, Weisser J J, Kristensen D M, Styrishave B, “Sertraline Suppresses Testis and Adrenal Steroid production and Steroidogenic Gene Expressions While Increasing LH in Plasma of Male Rats Resulting in Compensatory Hypogonadism.” Society of Toxicology, Oxford [Internet] 2018 Mar 21 [cited 2020 Jul 18]

2. Volpi-Abadie J, Kaye A M, Kaye A D, “Serotonin Syndrome.” The Ochsner Journal, {Internet} published Winter 2013 [cited 2020 Jul 18]

3. Orisakwe, O E, “The Role of Lead and Cadmium in Psychiatry.” North American Journal of Medical Sciences [Internet] August 2014 [cited 2020 Jul 18]

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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