WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES AFTER STOPPING TAKING PROZAC?

One can stop taking Prozac at any time without concern for serious withdrawal effects due to the pharmacology of the drug itself. There are no symptoms of tolerance to Prozac or withdrawal symptoms of the sort that characterize drugs of abuse, including minor tranquilizers, sleeping pills, alcohol, and most illegal drugs.

However, patients who discontinue the drug will most often rebound into the previous depressive condition. Once the treatment is removed, the biological component of the illness will revert to its original state, and the illness usually returns.

If the illness is intermittent and the patient goes off Prozac, the depression may not come back immediately, but it is very likely to return at some point in the future. After an initial episode of depression, the chances of experiencing a second episode are probably better than 50%. (A study in Europe found that the likelihood was much higher—between 70% and 80%.) Even more impressively, a second episode is followed by a third episode in 80% to 90% of the cases.

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