What are the Best Tips for Safely Discontinuing SSRIs?

K. Gierok

In order to have the most success when it comes to discontinuing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it is essential that individuals first consult with their physician in order to discuss possible risks and benefits. Once a patient has been approved to discontinue this medication, he or she should work with their doctor to ensure dosage rates are decreased safely and effectively. Starting or sticking to a regular exercise program and eating a healthy diet are also important steps for those who wish to discontinue SSRI use.


Those who are interested in discontinuing SSRIs should be sure to first discuss the possibility with their physician. He or she should be able to discuss the risks and benefits of discontinuing SSRIs. For best results, the individual seeking the discontinuation of the SSRIs should consult with the physician who initially prescribed the medication in order to make sure that current health status will be maintained.

Serotonin levels have a significant affect on mood and physical state.
Serotonin levels have a significant affect on mood and physical state.

When discontinuing SSRIs, it is essential that those who have been consuming the medications on a regular basis decrease the rates of usage as slowly as possible. In most cases, individuals will be encouraged to decrease dosage rates by 25 percent for a significant period of time. Assuming no health risks are posed by this, and current health status is maintained, the individual will then be allowed to decrease dosage by another 25 percent, with the patient's health continuing to be monitored. This pattern will be followed until the patient in question is no longer consuming any SSIRs. While a pill cutter may prove to be a good option for some who are decreasing their dosage rates, others can achieve success simply by requesting their prescriptions in smaller doses.

Those who wish to discontinue SSRI use should also participate in exercise on a regular basis. Exercise has been found to be essential in maintaining high brain serotonin levels, which may be especially important for someone discontinuing SSRIs. Those who have never exercised before may want to consider consulting with a personal trainer or physical therapist in order to ensure the best results.

Eating a healthy diet and consuming all prescribed vitamins and supplements is also important for those wishing to discontinue SSRIs. Like exercise, studies have suggested that sticking to a healthy diet is important in maintaining brain serotonin levels. Individuals discontinuing SSRIs should be sure to eat plenty of whole grains, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables.

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