How Do You Come Off Prozac?


Quick Answer

Choosing to stop taking Prozac, generically known as fluoxetine, is best done with the supervision of a doctor or therapist, according to Harvard Medical School. A medical professional helps a person decide whether this is a good decision, while taking medical history into account.

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How Do You Come Off Prozac?
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Full Answer

It is always a good idea to take things slowly when withdrawing from an antidepressant medication such as fluoxetine, notes Harvard Medical School. It is common for people taking the drug to experience an improved sense of well-being and to wish to discontinue use. Stopping the medication while stress and negative feelings are still present is not considered a wise decision. Therefore, it is helpful to speak with a physician to create a drug withdrawal plan in order to minimize any health risk. A withdrawal plan involves tapering the dosage gradually. Keep a mood calendar for recording changes in mood during this process to provide a useful guide. Such a calendar monitors progress and suggests whether continuing to lessen the dosage is proper at a given time.

People withdrawing from fluoxetine are much less likely to experience negative side effects than those taking other antidepressants. This is because fluoxetine takes longer to metabolize, according to About.com. The effects of fluoxetine naturally taper off gradually on their own. Therefore, the sudden drop of serotonin levels that is typically responsible for unpleasant side effects is not as prevalent. Harvard Medical School notes that it takes 25 days for fluoxetine to be almost totally eliminated from the body.

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