As with virtually all antidepressants, it is recommended that Prozac tapering be done gradually rather than stopping Prozac all at once. Slowly getting off Prozac may be opted for 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. Antidepressant medications carry serious risks in the form of side effects both when a person begins taking them, and also when they attempt 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.
The Alternative to Meds Center may be able to provide help for such persons who are looking for safe and comfortable withdrawal 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 quality of life.
The Alternative to Meds Center bases its programs on a foundational concept we call natural mental health.
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 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 fall short.
A client coming to the 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:
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 Prozac 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. Stopping 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.
At the Alternative to Meds Center, withdrawal from Prozac 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 quit 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.
Please contact the Alternative to Meds Center for much more detailed information on the programs we offer for those stopping 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. The Alternative to Meds Center may be able to provide the exact type of Prozac tapering help you or your loved one may have been searching for.
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.