Prozac is a popular antidepressant drug that is used to treat anxiety and depression. The drug is also prescribed in the treatment of several other conditions. It can be used to help patients get over a rough patch or even for the treatment of major depression. Like many other antidepressant, the chances of experiencing Prozac withdrawals are always real. The good news is that withdrawals from Prozac are considered to be easier than the other SSRI drugs. One of the reasons for this is that it has a longer half-life.
How to take Prozac
It is advisable to take Prozac as per your doctor’s instructions. Be sure to follow the instructions on the prescription label. Where necessary, the medical practitioner can change the dosage of the drug to ensure that you get the best results. You should not take the medication in smaller or larger amounts or for a period that is longer than what is recommended. Ensure that you swallow the whole capsule and you should not chew, crush or open it.
It can take up to four weeks before you can see an improvement in your symptoms. You can continue using the medication as per the doctor’s direction. You should inform your medical practitioner is there is no improvement in your symptoms. Avoid a sudden stoppage in the use of the drug as it could worsen the withdrawal symptoms. You can consult your medical practitioner on stopping the use of the drug in a safe manner. Prozac should be stored at a room temperature and in an area that is free of heat and moisture.
Prozac withdrawal symptoms
Like we have already noted, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off the antidepressant. It is worth noting that the list of withdrawals symptoms will differ from one person to the other. This is because every person will react differently to drugs and their bodies will respond differently to stopping the use of a drug. There are people who will only experience minimal withdrawal symptoms while others will be affected by nearly everything in this list.
- Agitation. There are many people who will report feeling restless, irritable and restless when they are coming off the drug. This will be as a result of lack of the calming serotonin that is increased by the drug. Once you come off from the medication, you will experience the opposite of relaxation.
- Anger. There are individuals who will exhibit extreme anger after stopping the use of Prozac.
- Anxiety. The goal of this medication is to calm a person by treating depression and anxiety symptoms and this is the reason why users of the drug will experience anxiety when they come off the drug.
- Blurred vision. There are individuals who experience blurred vision when they come off the drug.
- Confusion. Some patients experience subtle amnesia and confusion as part of the withdrawals. While extreme confusion can be rare, some persons report feeling slightly confused when they go off the drug.
- Crying spells. There are patients who will experience emotional upheavals when coming off the drug and this may be unbearable leading to crying spells as a way of releasing some of the pain that they are experiencing.
- Depression. Since you were using the drug to treat depressions, you can end up feeling depressed when withdrawing from the drug.
- Dizziness. Dizziness is a common withdrawal symptom in patients coming off the drug because the brain is no longer inhibiting the serotonin reuptake. For patients who are yet to heal from the condition, withdrawing from the drug may worsen it.
- Emotional mumbling. There are instances when you may feel emotionally numb due to the withdrawal symptoms
- Fatigue. Patients coming off the drug may feel fatigued or extremely tired all day. This lethargy may be so extreme that it may be impossible for you to complete your tasks.
- Headache. There are instances when you will experience minor or extremely intense headache after you have quit Prozac. While it may not be easy to deal with these headaches, the good thing with them is that they will subside in a couple of weeks.
- Insomnia. There are people who may be unable to sleep at night as a result of the withdrawal.
- Lightheadedness. On top of headaches and dizziness, there are many people who experience a feeling of lightheadedness.
Other withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Muscle pain
- Night sweats
- Panic attacks
- Stomach pains
- Suicidal thoughts
Remedy for Prozac withdrawals
It doesn’t have to be difficult to handle Prozac withdrawals. In case you are taking Prozac and another anti-anxiety medication such as benzodiazepine, you should discontinue with the use of the anti-anxiety medication. Your medical practitioner can also recommend that you discontinue the use of Prozac in a gradual manner. Other measures that you can use to handle Prozac withdrawals include:
- Omega 3 fish oil. This can be a good remedy for the head symptoms
- Consume foods that help to improve depression. Eat foods that help to improve your energy and fight depression. These include foods that are rich in magnesium such as spinach and almonds, milk, bananas and mushrooms.
- Maintain an exercise routine. Exercising has very many major benefits and can be effective in reducing Prozac withdrawals.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugary foods and drinks. Alcohol and caffeine will help lift your moods but only for a short period. They will later negatively affect your stress and anxiety. These two will also cause insomnia.
- Good dietary habits. Our eating habits affect our depression levels. There are studies that indicate that people who take large meals are more likely to suffer from exhaustion and depression. On the other hand, those who consume several smaller but healthier meals are likely to experience high energy levels.
- Use of herb. There are certain herbs that can be effective in alleviating Prozac withdrawals. These include citrus, fu-shen, polyala and gingseng.