My father came up to me today and asked if I knew anything about the effects of quitting prozac. Needless to say, I didn’t.

He had been on it for six years until a month ago, when he decided to quit. Since then he’s been experiencing some rather odd things, which seem sort of like withdrawal: He says that his feet go numb, that his sense of balance is becoming an issue, and he’s been gaining some weight. I’m sure there are some other things going on as well, our conversation was brief, but I’m wondering if these are normal symptoms and if he’s going to go back to normal in a few weeks.

Does anyone have any advice or knowledge about this?


There can be side effects from drmatically quitting Prozac and other SSRIs, q.v.

These tend to be less dramatic for Prozac than other SSRIs due to its long half life. Some of your dad’s symptoms may also be caused by anxiety. It is possible he was taking the drug for depression; depression often has a component of anxiety.

Your father’s withdrawal symptoms seem perfectly normal. My close friend quit Prozac some time ago, and he experienced all of the things you mentioned in your post (and much more…but we won’t go there). He began to feel normal again after about six weeks. This “recovery” time varies from patient to patient.

Words of caution: Tell your dad to taper off the drug VERY slowly to minimize withdrawal effects. If he quits “cold turkey” he will feel Very Strange until the drug has been eliminated from his body. Even with tapering, he may feel some strange effects, but they’ll be minimal.

Best wishes for your dad’s success. Hopefully he’ll not need to go back on the Prozac in the future.