Learn About the Phases of SSRI Withdrawal
SSRIs regulate and maintain the brain’s serotonin levels. Going through the phases of SSRI withdrawal may require professional help.
What Are SSRIs?
SSRIs, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors, regulate the amount of serotonin in the brain to help treat depression. These antidepressants help those struggling with depression symptoms but stopping SSRI usage can be very challenging. It is essential you speak to your doctor before you stop taking your prescribed SSRI antidepressant medication, as there are many withdrawal symptoms associated with SSRI drug withdrawals, which is called SSRI discontinuation syndrome.
SSRIs are a group of medicines commonly used to treat some forms of anxiety and depression. This medication regulates the brain's function for people with mood disorders by raising the serotonin level. Although beneficial, there are some disadvantages to SSRI therapy, the chief of which is that withdrawal symptoms can occur upon discontinuation of SSRI medication.1
How Do SSRIs Work?
As already stated, SSRIs function by preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed, which helps to prevent serotonin reuptake. This causes the level of serotonin in the brain to rise. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety, mood, and other mental-related issues. By increasing the level of serotonin, SSRIs enhance mood and lessen stress. 2
How Long Do SSRIs Take to Work?
The effect of SSRIs varies from individual to individual. However, most people start to notice results after about four to six weeks of treatment. Sometimes, it takes several months for the effects of SSRIs in the brain to become evident. The relationship between addiction and SSRIs is a major concern because the body can develop dependence and tolerance to SSRIs.
Half-Lives of Common SSRI Medications
The half-lives of SSRIs are the time it takes for the concentration of the SSRI drug to reduce by half in the body. Although the half-lives of SSRIs do not change based on dosage size, they can vary from individual to individual. Here are some common SSRI medicines and their half-lives:
Possible Side Effects of SSRIs
Like every other medication, there is always a risk of side effects. Here are some of the side effects of SSRIs: 3
SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome
SSRI discontinuation syndrome is also known as SSRI withdrawal. It occurs when a person stops the usage of SSRIs. SSRI withdrawal can cause various symptoms, and they include:
Why SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms Occur
SSRIs are believed to function by modifying serotonin levels in the brain. However, when SSRI drugs are stopped, there is a reduction in the concentration of these drugs in the body. As a result, serotonin levels are no longer controlled and may fall out of balance. This results in the manifestation of several SSRI withdrawal symptoms.
Changes in the Brain
Another theory shows that SSRIs function by altering the concentrations of other brain chemicals like norepinephrine and dopamine. The balance of these other substances may be affected when a person stops taking an SSRI. In addition to the withdrawal symptoms from SSRIs, SSRI withdrawal can manifest various additional symptoms. It may even result in the development of whole new illnesses. These are known as co-occurring conditions.
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How to Spot Discontinuation Symptoms
If you or someone you know stopped taking SSRI and you're concerned about the risk of discontinuation syndrome, here are some symptoms of SSRI discontinuation to be aware of.
Prevention of SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome
There are a couple of methods you can employ to prevent SSRI discontinuation syndrome. They include: 4
Get Treatment for SSRI Withdrawal at Ripple Ranch
There are several treatment options accessible for individuals battling SSRI withdrawal. At Ripple Ranch, we provide a thorough strategy designed to meet each person's needs. Our highly skilled, care-focused staff will collaborate with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that will enable you to detox efficiently and securely. We also provide different forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy and individual and group counseling.