QUESTION:

Dear Dr. Heller,

Good morning.  I’ve been on this medication for over 10 years (Prozac).  Is this drug addicting?  I would like to get off of it, but I tried twice and it didn’t work.

ANSWER:

Prozac is not an addicting medication.  All the medications in the SSRI class can have withdrawal symptoms, although Prozac has the best profile in this regard.  In fact it’s often recommended that patients temporarily switch to Prozac when discontinuing the other drugs in the SSRI class (Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa). What could easily be happening is that you simply need to keep taking Prozac, and that the symptoms you had prior to taking the Prozac have returned.  This is particularly true if unhappiness or the BPD were a problem before the Prozac was started.  Approximately 40% of depressed individuals only get depressed once.  The rest need additional treatment in their lifetime, many permanently.

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