Toss out the drugs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I'm on a bit of a cocktail of drugs at present: anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and an MS trial drug. It's near impossible to tell how well Paleo is working under these circumstances, if I'd be better or worse off with/without the drugs playing games with my system. I'm not looking for medical advice, per se, but with all the touted benefits of Paleo (and supposedly for my above-mentioned ailments), I am WANTING to do an N=1 with the whole lot. Should I? My doctors aren't going to OK any such advice, as they have vested interests, so what's a drugged-up Paleoer to do?



on June 10, 2012
at 10:42 PM

Whatever you do, don't cold turkey those antidepressants. I did that once. Brrrrr. Bad news.

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8 Answers



on June 10, 2012
at 08:21 PM

NEVER go off a drug overnight. Especially antidepressants and mood stabilizing drugs. You may want to WEAN yourself, but don't just dump them out.



on June 10, 2012
at 07:18 PM

I would advise you to find another doctor who's at least willing to talk about it. It doesn't seem wise to just give up medications on your own and see what happens. Try to find someone who has an interest in food-based healing, but also has a medical background and then tell him/her about your plans. That's the only reasonable way to lower your medicine intake, I believe.


on June 10, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Ditto the above. These aren't drugs to quit "cold turkey." Find someone qualified to supervise the experiments.


on June 10, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Probably not best to just stop your meds without consulting with your prescriber(s). However, I assume that you only take your anti-anxiety med when you need it so you could try to see what happens when you don't take it. Also, if your antidepressant comes in different strengths you could discuss with your prescriber about lowering the dose. If you are on an SSRI you may have serotonin rebound if you stop taking it altogether and that isn't very pleasant. Don't know what MS drug you are on so can't advise you there. But in any case, talk to your prescribers and good luck!



on June 10, 2012
at 10:03 PM

DO NOT go off your drugs on your own. The medications you're on need to be titrated. Going off of them on your own can cause drastic and serious side effects.

It IS possible to have success with primal/paleo living while still on medications. I did it for a year while on oral prednisone (the only MS drug that actually works for me!). You just have to be more patient with yourself -- you won't see the same dramatic results other people may see. The same goes for the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. Because they tend to cause fluctuations in body weight, etc., they're going to impact some of the results you see -- but you will STILL be healthier staying the course of a life-long primal diet and movement regimen than if you'd skipped it, continued with a SAD diet and either no fitness activities or chronic cardio, and been on the same medications.

Talk to your doctor about doing a trial off-meds... have him help you titrate off the medications, and give it a go, under supervision, for 60 days. At that point, you can discuss whether or not it's valuable to you and safe for you to avoid going back ON the drugs (and once you're off, it's a lot easier to have that discussion about not going back on, because you already have the leverage of 2 months of success without them!!!)



on June 10, 2012
at 07:40 PM

I am no doctor or have any medical training but I know from experience, both personal and that of friends, that any hormone altering drug will have a nasty rebound effect if you don't come off it properly. As with Ben, above, I would consult a third party that is not directly benefitting from your prescriptions.

I would avoid those in different fields though, a chiropractor or homeopath or herbalist will, first off, not understand the medication or its rebound effects and secondly will be more likely to want to guide you towards the solution that will make THEM money and then you are caught in the same issue. Be sure it is someone in the medical field that has exposure to the drugs you are talking about. Even a pharmacist may be able to give you some insight.

All that being said if the medication is managing your symptoms I am not certain that I would say to go off of them. If they are not managing them and you are on Paleo there is a good chance that Paleo is already doing what it can and moving from the meds will only show you what it WASN'T doing. The "onboarding" stage for SSRI's and other antidepressants is usually a couple of weeks so make sure you are ready to have symptoms for that long if you need to go back on them.

I don't want to sound all doom about it though, if Paleo fixes your MS then yes it would be WAY better to eat right and take no meds at all!


on June 10, 2012
at 08:01 PM

My daughter takes an anti-epileptic (Epi-Val) and anti-anxiety drugs (Ativan, PRN). She's only 13, and not Paleo, but I would never just discontinue without medical supervision. Try to find a different doctor, if you want to go down that path.

I'm Canadian, though, so our doctors don't benefit financially from prescriptions, and all my daughter's drugs are generic.


on June 10, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Slowly reduce the dosage and see how you go, don't stop cold turkey

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