International Antidepressant Withdrawal Project


Introduction to Antidepressants

This site

- explains what antidepressants are
- discusses dangers connected with taking them
- advises on the tapering methods
- describes the reasons why doctors deny the existence of a prolonged withdrawal syndrome despite numerous testimonies from the patients
- helps people make a fully informed decision about taking antidepressants

What are antidepressants?

In the beginning antidepressants were prescribed mainly for depression.
Today they are prescribed for a wide array of psychological and physical illnesses.
One of the main types of antidepressants are SSRIs. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies maintain that they have much fewer side-effects than their predecessors, and that taking them is safe.
The truth is that the effect they have on the human body may in the long run be disastrous, and this fact is rarely mentioned in scientific studies.
Apart from severe side effects, SSRIs also cause addiction or physical dependence, and that is why going off of them needs to be done very carefully.

Most commonly prescribed antidepressants

SSRI (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors)

- citalopram (Seropram,Celexa)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- escitalopram (Seroplex)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- sertraline (Zoloft)

SSNRI (Selective Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor)

- venlafaxine (Effexor)
- milnacipran (Ixel)
- duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- desvenlafaxine (PristiQ)


Not only do they affect serotonin levels in the brain, but they also have a profound impact upon a delicate balance between serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline, which, in turn, may lead to deregulating the entire body’s homeostasis.
After stopping taking SSRIs, it may often take months or even years to fully recover.

They profoundly change the brain and body chemistry. After stopping taking them, the body needs time to reach the state of homeostasis again (the delicate balance between serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin has to be re-established), which process may take months or even years.

When the doctor prescribes an antidepressant, it is usually so because the patient suffers from depression, low mood, or psychological/emotional problems. At some point, when the patient is advised to lower the dose of the drug, or to cease taking it altogether, s/he may experience a plethora of still other, never before encountered symptoms, sometimes so intense that performing the most basic of activities, like walking, eating, sleeping and talking becomes close to impossible.
The patient becomes effectively disabled.

This is a website of a peer support community on the Internet. Suggestions, opinions and advice provided by anyone on this site should not be considered as professional services, and are no substitute for professional health care.
Please consult your own trusted health professional before making any changes to your medication, or making any other health decisions.