Psychological Over-the-Counter Measures

  • A one time dose of Prozac can sometimes ease the transition out of another drug.
  • Making the change gradually can make withdrawal less painful (though I’d rather go from one drug straight to another to avoid the symptoms that led to my taking the drug in the first place).
  • OTC medications are helpful to some:  Benadryl, Claritin, Sudafed.
  • Consider supplements, such as choline, lecithin or B complex.  I once asked my doctor if there was anything for the OCD problem that we hadn’t tried.  He thought a moment and said “B complex.”  For an awful couple of seconds, I thought he had told me to be complex.  I was stunned.  He wanted me to strive to be more complicated?  Fortunately, not.
  • Diet changes can temper the shock; more protein, less fat and sugar.  (Sometimes a carbohydrate snack works.)  Eggs, steak, liver, spinach and cauliflower are good.  Essentially, eat like Popeye… and don’t cut back on food; not good for dizziness.
  • Gentle exercise but no jerky moves if light-headedness is a problem.  I usually jump rope.  I quit working out for a few days and I think this led to back pain.  Better if I’d just done some milder version.
  • I do find that staying busy – concentrating on a job – works pretty well.

Once an alternative practitioner told me that if I were to ever try to go off the drugs entirely, to consider two weeks of hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Possibly he was referring to the symptom of irritability in suggesting that I ‘take a hike.”

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