Antidepressant Withdrawal


There are several types of antidepressants. The ones that are prescribed the most are SSRI (Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Pexeva, Zoloft) and SSNRI (Cymbalta, Effexor) drugs.



SSRI drugs influence the brain chemical serotonin. This neurotransmitter signals calming and soothing effects. SSNRIs also have an effect on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Exhaustion and lack of focus are usual symptoms when nerves are deficient in norepinephrine.



SSRI and SSNRI drugs are synthetic chemicals. If your nerves are deficient in serotonin and/or norepinephrine , the drugs will not increase your body's own production of the brain chemicals. Rather, they slow down the normal rate by which they transmit messages and are recycled. This is why they are called "reuptake inhibitors". Slower nerve transmission means slower brain and body functions.



These drugs slow down nerve impulses, which allows serotonin (or norepinephrine) to remain longer in nerves. When you stop taking the drug, nerves resume their normal rate of  transmission and the deficiencies of serotonin  or norepinephrine become apparent. You may again feel some of the symptom­s—sometimes more intensely—that made you start taking the antidepressant in the first place.



Withdrawal symptoms are usually more severe when you withdraw from an antidepressant that is short acting (stays in the body for a shorter period of time). These include Effexor,  Cymbalta , Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil and Zoloft.


HOW DO I WITHDRAW FROM AN ANTIDEPRESSANT? Your antidepressant withdrawal should be slow and gradual to cope with the withdrawal effects that kick in when you stop taking such mood-altering drug. Click below for our step-by-step approach to successful antidepressant withdrawal. ﷯ WHAT ANTIDEPRESSANT WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS CAN I EXPECT? Some of these are withdrawal symptoms are the same side effects that can occur when you take the antidepressant. You may experience them more intensely when you withdraw unless you do so slowly and gradually. DO NOT STOP TAKING AN ANTIDEPRESSANT "COLD TURKEY"—the symptoms can then become unbearable, even life threatening. • Anxiety • Depression and mood swings • Electric shock sensations (brain zaps) • Dizziness and balance problems • Loss of coordination • Fatigue • Flu-like symptoms (muscle aches and chills) • Headache • Muscle spasms • Nausea and vomiting • Nightmares • Tremors • Insomnia • Irritability • Return of or increased depression symptoms • Confusion • Profuse sweating • Suicidal thoughts • Abdominal cramping and pain • Weight gain or loss • Sexual dysfunction (reduced desire, difficulty reaching orgasm, erectile dysfunction) WHAT SHOULD I TAKE TO HELP WITH THE WITHDRAWAL SIDE EFFECTS FROM ANTIDEPRESSANTS? Nutritional support to help your antidepressant withdrawal should focus on naturally increasing your body's serotonin production. Expect the nutrients in the BASIC TAPERING PACKAGE to help you with most of the withdrawal symptoms and give you relief. IN ADDITION, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU USE THESE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: EXTRA OMEGA 3. The BASIC TAPERING PACKAGE has Omega 3 but you will want to take more when you withdraw from an antidepressant. Omega 3 is essential for your body to make serotonin. Higher doses also help you avoid the "brain zaps" can occur when you withdraw. Take an extra 2-4 capsules per day. B6 • B12 • FOLATE. These are key vitamins to produce serotonin. Take 1-2 capsules per day. NERVE MULTI-VITAMINS. This product gives you more B vitamins plus a full range of other essential vitamins and minerals for healthy serotonin levels. Take 1-2 capsules per day. CHERRY CALM DAY: Gives you further relaxation during the day or at night. Take 1-2 capsules. CHERRY D3: Gives you 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 in a base of calming tart cherry extract. Take 1-2 capsules per day. FOR BETTER SLEEP: The RELAX NIGHT liquid in the Basic Tapering package new STAY ASLEEP capsules will help you get a good night's sleep. If you wake up at night, you can use the FALL ALSEEP MELTS to get back to sleep quickly. STAY ASLEEP at night is especially useful when you taper from an antidepressant. It has tryptophan, an amino acid that the body needs to make serotonin.

DRUG WITHDRAWAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION is a nonprofit organization that researches and publishes information about effective methods to withdraw from medication and drugs. Statements, information and products mentioned are for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information has not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Consult a health-care professional before using any information provided. The foundation does not advocate or recommend to discontinue any medication. The foundation recommends that any program to taper off a medication should be supervised by a qualified medical doctor. Copyright © 2013 by DRUG WITHDRAWAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION, 334 West 57th Street #343, New York, NY 10019. Web: Email:

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