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Prozac Tapering (Fluoxetine)

While doctors seem to be quick with prescribing antidepressants, often, they are poor guides when it comes to Prozac tapering, weaning and titration.

Powerful natural remedies for depression are available which may be used in place of toxic drugs. These natural options offer a healthy way to start your journey back to a productive life.

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Prozac Titration
Alternative to Meds has not only the expertise, but also more than 15 years of experience helping people through Prozac tapering and withdrawal. We have published evidence  demonstrating that over 77% of people getting off antidepressant medication and replacing them with less toxic options and lifestyle changes perform symptomatically better compared to when they were medicated.
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Prozac Tapering Schedule Plan

As with virtually all antidepressants, Prozac tapering must be done gradually rather than stopping Prozac all at once. Slowly getting off Prozac may be the best option where side effects have become too difficult to manage. Despite the long list of adverse reactions reported in studies, trials, and as discussed in many online forums, the number of prescriptions for Prozac and other antidepressant medications has continued to dramatically increase. Physicians prescribed 36 million antidepressant prescriptions in 2008 and by 2018 that number had just about doubled. Prozac remains one of the top three most prescribed antidepressant drugs in the world.1

It is hoped that since the updates to assessment protocols for SSRI drugs published in DSM V that these numbers can begin to curb downward. As it turns out, not everyone is a good candidate for SSRI drugs, even by psychiatric standards, and possibly to the dismay of the drug manufacturers.2

The double-edged sword of antidepressant use has received much discussion. On the one hand, numbing unwanted feelings was welcomed as a “quick fix” mentality overtook the medical community. On the other hand, the horrendous side effects, not to mention those when attempting to stop taking Prozac, present the dark side that drug companies just wish would go away quietly.

But the facts remain that antidepressant medications carry serious risks in the form of side effects both when a person begins taking them, and also during Prozac withdrawal. The side effects of trying to quit Prozac, similar to other SSRI drugs can be so overwhelming that many people just decide to keep taking them rather than endure a challenging Prozac tapering process. This is especially true in older persons who just can’t stand up to that level of mental and physical torture.  

Alternative to Meds Center may be able to provide help for such persons who are looking for safe and comfortable titration from Prozac under careful and exacting medical oversight and in a warm and nurturing inpatient setting. One important goal at the center is to help our clients improve mental health naturally, instead of relying on drugs to mask the unwanted symptoms which are reducing one’s quality of life.

What is Natural Mental Health?

Alternative to Meds Center bases its programs on a foundational concept we call natural mental health. It means more than just drug-free. 

Before coming to our center, a person may have been suffering from mental unease or stress. They may have gone to see their regular doctor or even a psychiatrist, and the most usual course of treatment probably involved a short interview in the doctor’s office, and the person may have answered positively when asked about feeling depressed, lacking energy, lethargic, and perhaps other troubles such as insomnia, social withdrawal, or even a vague feeling of general malaise.

A common response might have been to offer a prescription of antidepressant medication, without any further investigative work or other lines of questioning. It is truly unfortunate that medical practitioners including psychiatrists seem inadequately trained to investigate root causes, but simply to find which drug seems like the best fit for the patient’s set of symptoms. This practice is sometimes referred to as “pop medicine,” and it doesn’t have a very good track record.

This abbreviated type of “assessment” would be much like having a patient indicate they have a pain in the leg, and the attending doctor not inquiring has there been any recent injury, or doing any check for broken bones or torn ligaments, etc. and simply offering a prescription of painkillers to “treat” the patient. If that scenario seems improper, and even negligent, that is because it would be. Obviously, medical doctors are well-trained in their field and WOULD be more inquisitive than the above hypothetical situation of treating a patient complaining of a pain in the leg or a boil or a rash. But, when the patient has a symptom that lies outside the realm of obvious physical complaints, the treatment options may default to handing out more pills.

prozac tapering

Assessment Prior to Getting Off Prozac

getting off prozacA client coming to Alternative to Meds Center for relief from unwanted symptoms such as mental unease, stress, depression, insomnia, mood swings, etc., will be assessed in a much more comprehensive way. Since it is well documented that neurotoxins, food and other allergies, nutritional deficits, blood sugar anomalies, prescription drug effects, and other factors can lead to certain symptoms, these and other possible root causes are investigated during assessment and testing that is done prior to treatment.

Thus, the destination of eliminating or at least reducing the impact of root causes for symptoms can be mapped out for each individual. Treatment for symptoms then can begin to accomplish several important goals:

  1. To help a person safely and comfortably reduce or eliminate medications, for example, Prozac tapering, which can reduce their unwanted drug reactions and side effects, and
  2. During and after Prozac tapering, helping the client discover and initiate changes in their routine, diet, environment, etc., that may help reduce or eliminate their troubling symptoms reducing the need to mask these with prescription drugs. This is fundamental because prescription drugs such as Prozac were never designed to cure or fix, but only to mask unwanted symptoms and feelings. For example, a person who has a potassium deficiency may suffer chronic headaches. One could just continue to take aspirins or could be given the opportunity to discover this deficiency, correct it, and benefit from eliminating or at least experience a reduction in the frequency and intensity of their headaches.
  3. To provide a thorough education to each client which will enable the person to know how to enhance mental wellness in a natural and proactive way that can be integrated into their lifestyle. Each client is given many tools and information needed for a better understanding of the effects that certain precursors or other factors can have on neurochemistry, which can affect many aspects of health.

These three goals demonstrate the overall aim to achieve what we call natural mental health: reduced or eliminated symptoms, and minimum to no drugs required for feeling healthy, well, and symptom-free.

Where a person elects antidepressant tapering as a desired treatment option, additional holistic treatments offered at the Alternative to Med Center can open the door to addressing and correcting root causes for the symptoms that led to a prescription of Prozac in the first place. Many other forms of help and support are also provided such as CBT counseling, life coaching, problem-solving, education on nutrition for a healthy brain and CNS, how to create and maintain a healthy microbiome, education on healthy self-care for high functioning neurotransmitters, and much more.

There is no real point in getting off Prozac if the original symptoms or problems will just come back again. Weaning off Prozac, or other prescription drugs, should also be accompanied by thoroughly investigating the root causes for these troubling symptoms, and providing therapies and treatments that will begin to correct the source of these unwanted feelings such as hopelessness, grief, tiredness, stress, depression, etc., in natural, drug-free ways.

Prozac Titration & Prozac Weaning Help

At Alternative to Meds Center, Prozac titration, also known as Fluoxetine tapering, is only part of the overall picture. Our clients are given a program designed to help meet their individual goals, which gives the client getting off Prozac a comprehensive and well-planned route to accomplish the task safely and as comfortably as possible.

Trying to wean off Prozac without such preparation, planning and medical oversight can be near to impossible to endure and can be unpredictable. We understand the challenges facing our clients and have helped thousands of clients to reach their goals by designing their program to fit their unique history and profile, and to mitigate the discomforts that often accompany trying to quit Prozac and other medications.

How to Wean Off Prozac Safely While Limiting Intense Withdrawal Side Effects

Please contact Alternative to Meds Center for much more detailed information on the programs we offer for those weaning off Prozac or other prescription drugs. If you are looking for a dependable, safe program that will provide the most helpful and comprehensive protocols and treatment options for how to get off Prozac, our center may be exactly what you have been searching for.

Trying to quit Prozac can be surprisingly easier and more comfortable than you may have thought possible. We have been successfully assisting clients toward their goals of improving natural mental health for nearly a decade and a half now. Alternative to Meds Center wants to provide the exact type of Prozac tapering help you or your loved one may have been searching for.

1. “Top antidepressant drugs in the United States based on prescriptions dispensed in 2011-2012 (in 1,000s)” Stastista [INTERNET] [cited 2019 Sep 17]

2.  Millhouse T, Porter J, “A Brief History of the Development of Antidepressant Drugs” US National Library of Medicine [INTERNET] February 2015  [cited 2019 Sep 17]

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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