Depression; Longterm use of SSRIs; 041915 Hour 2

Question

Is it harmful to stay on Zoloft for many years?

Answer

Not really. The problem with SSRIs is not that it is bad to stay on them, but they do tend to lose their effectiveness. This is because they do nothing for the production of serotonin. They are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and what they do is make it such that the cells do not reabsorb the serotonin as rapidly as they should, thereby increasing the effect of serotonin levels, in what is called the neural cleft. Wonderful, but unless you do something to increase the production of serotonin, the body adapts to it.

Generally, what i do, is start people on something called 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP. That increases the cells’ production of serotonin, and makes the SSRIs more effective.

You have to be careful, though. if your body had adapted to the SRIs in the absence of the 5-HTP, it is easy to overdo it. We start people off at low doses, and increase gradually if need be. Longer use of Zoloft is not harmful; as long as you are taking the 5-HTP, the SSRIs will work fine.

David S Klein, MD

David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM was born in Washington, DC, and was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland with degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. Medical School was completed at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, followed by Internship in General Surgery at the University of North Carolina and Residency in Anesthesiology at the Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Dr Klein has been practicing medicine since 1983, concentrating in Pain Medicine, Minimally Invasive Medicine and Surgery, and Neuroendocrinology. Earning Board Certification in Anesthesiology, Dr. Klein was elected Fellow in the American College of Anesthesiology, and he was elected Fellow in the American College of Pain Medicine. He is currently an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida, School of Medicine. He has focused his private practice on treating patients with hormone imbalance issues, nutritional deficiency related medical problems as well as pain related issues and impairment. With a highly-complex, CLIA licensed laboratory in-house, he has been able to provide rapid-turn around analysis efficiently and cost-effectively. Lecturing extensively nationally as well as internationally, Dr. Klein has authored many articles on topics relating to pain, injury and nutritionally modulated illness. His radio show, “Pain Free Living,” received top ratings during the 6 years it was on the air. Currently practicing in Longwood, Florida, Dr. Klein practices entirely in the office setting.

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