According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 20 percent of patients taking Prozac or its generic equivalent – fluoxetine – experience some sort of withdrawal symptoms.
(That’s assuming they’ve been taking the antidepressant for at least six weeks.)
Most patients will experience only minor Prozac withdrawal symptoms.
They might even blame their Prozac withdrawal symptoms on the flu or a return of their underlying depression or anxiety. For others, however, the Prozac withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating.
The most common Prozac withdrawal symptoms begin within hours or days of discontinuing the medication. Some of these symptoms resemble the flu, and include headache, nausea, diarrhea, chills, fatigue, hyper-arousal and dizziness.
Besides flu-like symptoms, you may also find yourself irritated, anxious, agitated, confused, tired, dizzy, with headaches, insomnia and tingly sensations in your brain or body… since these are some of the other common Prozac withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, many other withdrawal symptoms also exist. Here’s a partial list below:
Prozac Withdrawal Symptoms
- Abdominal discomfort
- Allergic reactions
- Blurred vision
- Chills and hot flashes
- Crying spells
- Feeling of impending doom
- Flu symptoms and general malaise
- Gait disturbances
- Jolting electric “zaps”
- Memory and concentration difficulties
- Muscle and joint pain; body pain (could be anywhere)
- Obsessive thoughts
- Skin rash
- Sleep disturbance and insomnia
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tingling sensations
- Visual hallucinations
- Vivid dreams
However, no matter what type of physical or psychological problems you’re having, they could be due to discontinuation of Prozac. Hundreds of withdrawal symptoms exist, although most are rare. Acne, arthritis, and hair loss are all examples of rare symptoms experienced by some users who stopped taking Prozac.
Here’s a list of all reported Prozac adverse reactions.
Once you’ve determined you’re suffering from withdrawal, the next step is to come up with a good plan to deal with it. Ideally, you’re still taking Prozac, and you haven’t begun to taper off it yet. That way you have time to get yourself as healthy as possible before you start tapering.
And by ‘healthy’ I mean eating right, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and taking a few supplements such as Vitamin E and Omega 3 and barley powder.
Something to keep in mind… I know it’s obvious, but if you’re not eating healthy, or exercising, or drinking lots of pure water, then supplements will have much less value or impact.
Once the lifestyle modifications are in place, then you can begin to slowly taper your antidepressant intake. Generally, you would want to reduce your Prozac dosage by no more than 10 percent at a time, then wait a few weeks before reducing another ten percent. By following this slow taper regime you will be erring on the side of caution. Remember, most people will have few or no side effects from withdrawal of Prozac.
But what if you’re not ‘most people’?
Or what if you want to deal with the underlying cause that compelled you to take Prozac in the first place? What if you want to deal with the depression, or the OCD, or the anxiety, in a proactive manner?
Fortunately, there’s now a gold mine of free information regarding both antidepressant withdrawal, and how to handle the root causes of emotional problems without drugs of any kind.
The antidepressant information has been culled from the best literature available on the internet, while the emotional healing information comes from a radical new way of healing yourself from the inside out.
For more information just click here.
One of the reasons the emotional healing component is so essential comes from the fact that antidepressants are only slightly more effective than placebo. In fact, the difference in efficacy has been referred to as having ‘statistical significance’ but not ‘clinical significance’, except for the most severely depressed patients.
So while Prozac may hold value for severely depressed patients, the vast majority of users would see similar improvement in mood by taking a sugar pill. Which, ironically, can be a very bitter pill to swallow.
If antidepressants such as Prozac were harmless, then it wouldn’t matter if you chose to take them to combat the everyday stressors of life. But as early as 1991, in Talking Back to Prozac, psychiatrist Peter Breggin warned that Prozac was causing violence, suicide and mania. A very small percentage of patients were experiencing very severe reactions.
Another rare side effect of Prozac withdrawal causes sexual dysfunction which lasts well after the antidepressant has washed out of your system. All the more reason to err on the side of caution when you, with your doctor’s advice, choose to stop taking Prozac.
In addition to reading about the potential to being allergic to paxil, it’s also important to understand the underlying causes that would lead someone to such a painful place.
I almost feel guilty because my life has become so enjoyable and so easy. Especially since I remember how miserable I used to be.
Basically it comes down to making one slight shift in what you do everyday, and you can watch in amazement as your life slowly begins to start working out in almost every way.
It’s such an important change that I’ve written a complete e-book about it. And I’d like to give you a copy for free. All you have to do is write your first name and primary email address into the space below, and you’ll be receiving a link to download the e-book right away.