How Do I Wean Myself Off Antidepressants?

What is the hardest antidepressant to come off of?

Hardest-to-Stop Antidepressantscitalopram) (Celexa)escitalopram (Lexapro)paroxetine (Paxil)sertraline (Zoloft).

What happens if I go off my antidepressants?

It might seem like you don’t need the medication anymore, but if you stop taking it, the medicine will leave your body and your symptoms might return. Quitting without consulting your doctor can be life-threatening. Suicide is a serious concern. It can also trigger withdrawal symptoms and relapse of your depression.

Is it OK to stay on antidepressants forever?

Continue taking antidepressant medicine even when you start to feel better. Although it may be tempting to stop medication as your mood lifts, continue taking it for as long as your doctor recommends. Most doctors advise patients to take antidepressants for six months to a year after they no longer feel depressed.

Which antidepressants have the worst withdrawal symptoms?

Among the SSRIs paroxetine seems to be the worst offender and fluoxetine the least while sertraline and fluvoxamine tend to be intermediate. However, the most serious discontinuation reactions came from the SNRI venlafaxine.

Do SSRIs permanently change your brain?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac are regularly used to treat severe anxiety and depression. They work by immediately increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain and by causing long term changes in brain function.

What is a brain zap?

Brain zaps are electrical shock sensations in the brain. They can happen in a person who is decreasing or stopping their use of certain medications, particularly antidepressants. Brain zaps are not harmful and will not damage the brain. However, they can be bothersome, disorienting, and disruptive to sleep.

How long does it take to wean off antidepressants?

Withdrawal symptoms usually come on within 5 days of stopping the medicine and generally last for up to 6 weeks. Some people have severe withdrawal symptoms that last for several months or more. See your doctor if you get severe withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking antidepressants.

Is it difficult to get off antidepressants?

Discontinuing SSRIs can be an extremely difficult process. Studies on long-term use have shown that the longer someone is taking an SSRI, the harder it is to quit.

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

The process of healing the brain takes quite a bit longer than recovery from the acute symptoms. In fact, our best estimates are that it takes 6 to 9 months after you are no longer symptomatically depressed for your brain to entirely recover cognitive function and resilience.

What happens if you stop taking SSRI suddenly?

Quitting an antidepressant suddenly may cause symptoms within a day or two, such as: Anxiety. Insomnia or vivid dreams. Headaches.

Does Benadryl help with SSRI withdrawal?

If you were on a very high dose of Paxil (paroxetine) or Effexor (venlafaxine), you may need to take a second 20mg dose of Prozac. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an over-the-counter allergy medication that has been reported to help with discontinuation symptoms too, though it has a sedating effect.

What is the #1 antidepressant?

Zoloft and Lexapro came in first for a combination of effectiveness and fewer side effects, followed by Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Cymbalta, and Luvox among others. “We were surprised because we found a difference among antidepressants,” said Dr.

Do you lose weight after coming off antidepressants?

Some suggest that water retention may be responsible for the increased weight, but once the medication is out of the body, the excess water should be lost. Others point to some muscle loss before and during the early stages of treatment, when depression had led to weeks of inactivity.

How do you wean off antidepressants?

Going off an antidepressant usually involves reducing your dose in increments, allowing two to six weeks between dose reductions. Your clinician can instruct you in tapering your dose and prescribe the appropriate dosage pills for making the change.

What does SSRI withdrawal feel like?

The most common symptoms of SSRI discontinuation syndrome are described as either being flu-like, or feeling like a sudden return of anxiety or depression. 1 They include: Dizziness. Vertigo.

Do you feel better after stopping antidepressants?

The best reason to stop taking your antidepressant is because you feel better and you and your doctor believe that you will stay well after you stop taking it. An antidepressant needs time to work. You may need to take it for 1 to 3 weeks before you start to feel better and for 6 to 8 weeks before you feel much better.

How do you treat SSRI withdrawal?

In this panel, four specific guidelines were proposed for SSRI discontinuation: reassuring the patient; reintroducing the drug and tapering at a slower rate for severe cases; all drugs (with the possible exception of fluoxetine) should be slowly tapered to reduce the incidence of a discontinuation syndrome; and …