Author: Alex Thompson

Fluoxetine withdrawal: Symptoms and what to expect

how to ween off prozac

Tapering allows your body to get used to a new change instead of introducing an abrupt one. Tracking your moods in a journal, calendar, and app can help you identify when your symptoms were worse and when they started to improve. People should work with a doctor to come up with a plan that best meets their needs. Experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily mean that someone is having a recurrence of depression. The FDA has also approved it for the treatment of MDD in children aged 8 years and older. Connect with thousands of patients and caregivers for support and answers.

You may experience Prozac withdrawal for a couple of months after stopping this drug, while your brain adjusts to lower levels of serotonin. Hearing “withdrawal” may make you think of addiction or dependence. However, having withdrawal symptoms while tapering antidepressants doesn’t mean you have an addiction. Instead, the symptoms come from your brain’s readjustment after being affected by your medication. Together, you’ll probably discuss a backup plan in case your depression returns, including whether you’ll try medication again or seek alternate treatment. A 2019 review of existing research reports that 56% of people experience withdrawal effects when stopping various antidepressants.

  1. “Being upfront about cost lets us work around it,” Dr. Coulter says.
  2. It can include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
  3. Antidepressant withdrawal, also sometimes called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, refers to symptoms that appear when you stop taking prescription medication to treat your depression.
  4. Connect with thousands of patients and caregivers for support and answers.
  5. Working with a mental health professional can help you avoid any unwanted side effects of stopping your antidepressant.
  6. This means drugs that stay in the body for a shorter period of time.

“If you were put on medication because of a stressful life event, and there’s been sufficient time and treatment that your symptoms have resolved, it may be time to try going without it,” Dr. Coulter says. These side effects may include sexual dysfunction, nausea, a loss of appetite, and sleep issues. These issues may cause some people to want to stop treatment with fluoxetine. People should call a doctor if the side effects are severe but call 911 if they feel life threatening. Other research suggests that fluoxetine may be “particularly unproblematic” when people stop taking it because of its especially long half-life of 96–144 hours, which equates to 4–6 days. @gailb may also have some input on your desire to go off this medication.

They can help you determine how fast you can taper and help you manage your symptoms. The amount of time it takes is different for everyone, and it will depend on which medication you take, how long you’ve been taking it, and if you’ve had side effects in the past. Take your time and don’t get discouraged if your taper seems to be taking a long time, or takes longer than other people you know who tapered their medication. “Some people tell us that being on an antidepressant doesn’t fit with their treatment ethos, and others just don’t want to have to remember to take a pill every day,” Dr. Coulter says. If you don’t like the antidepressant you’ve been taking, share those concerns with your doctor so you can work together to determine a better option. Maybe you went on antidepressants after the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or the end of a relationship.

Too much TV might be bad for your brain

Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms can vary according to how long you’ve been taking your medication and which medication you take, among other things. If you’re wanting to stop your antidepressant because of unwanted side effects, consider discussing other medication options for your symptoms with your doctor. Every medication works in a unique way and has different side effects. Antidepressant medication can be an important tool for treating depression and some other mental health conditions. But those medications can come with side effects that you might like to avoid.

This may include trying different antidepressants or combinations of antidepressants. When quitting Prozac, there is a risk that symptoms of major depression will return. Studies show that Prozac can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in those diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), especially children and adolescents. Prozac withdrawal symptoms can range from mildly bothersome to severe and incapacitating. They generally begin between 1.5 to 10 days after a decrease in dosage or discontinuation of the drug.

People should take the drug during pregnancy only when the potential benefit justifies the possible risk to the fetus. SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin available to the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that promotes positive feelings and stabilizes mood. Here is a post that came from a Mayo pharmacist a while back regarding withdrawing from antidepressants. Their goals are to minimize the side effects of transitioning from one medication to another and to minimize interactions between the two — along with anything else you’re taking. They may be able to switch you to a different antidepressant or to a generic version — one that’s covered by your health insurance or falls within your financial abilities if you’re paying out of pocket.

Give antidepressants a chance

However, there is no single recommended method to safely decrease your dose of Prozac (fluoxetine), regardless of whether you are trying to eventually discontinue the drug or you are just adjusting your dose down. The good news is that among the SSRIs, Prozac is the least likely to cause withdrawal symptoms. A doctor can evaluate your current prescription dosage and make a plan with you to taper off your medication. What we know about treating antidepressant withdrawal naturally is mostly anecdotal, or not proven. Symptoms that show up within a week of quitting your medication are more likely to be withdrawal-related and will likely subside within 1 to 2 weeks, according to research from 2017. Antidepressants work by balancing and improving the way neurotransmitters work in your brain.

how to ween off prozac

Prozac, or fluoxetine, is an antidepressant in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Because Prozac affects your brain chemistry, it should never be stopped without consulting your doctor. Discontinuing any prescription medication should only take place under your doctor’s supervision.

Talk to your doctor first

It tells you so much about your body, what drugs work and don’t work plus so many other things. Symptoms are typically mild and will start within 2 to 4 days after you go off your medication. Try to research the possible effects of stopping the medication you’re taking.

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Whatever the case, you’re feeling more emotionally stable and better equipped to face the world sans medication. There’s no rule book for when to go off antidepressants, and the reasons to do so are as varied as the patients who use them in the first place. The first course of action, though, is to figure out why you want to stop.

The Discontinuation-Emergent Signs and Symptoms Scale, or DESS, is a checklist you can use to evaluate your symptoms and their severity. With the help of a healthcare or mental health professional, you may be able to successfully transition to a lower dose depression medication or no medication at all. If your symptoms are severe, it may be recommended that you go back to taking your medication at your original dose temporarily. The next time, the plan may involve tapering off the medication more slowly.

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Stopping your antidepressant can cause physical and mental health effects whether you stop abruptly or taper off slowly. If you’re experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, consider these tips. The duration of withdrawal symptoms from other antidepressants can also vary greatly. However, in general, people will experience symptoms within a couple days of drug cessation, which may last for up to 2 weeks. Those who have been taking fluoxetine in the long term should work with a doctor to find treatments and strategies to minimize the potential withdrawal effects. It is also important to monitor for a return of depressive symptoms.

The time it will take to wean off your medication depends on your dose and how long you’ve been on the medication. No matter what antidepressant you want to stop taking, you shouldn’t try to do it on your own. Always talk to your doctor about the best way to wean off your medication. The average amount of taper time is two to four weeks, but it varies based on two important factors.