Step 12- Interactions, Reactions and Sensitivities

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Why this step is important

Prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs, hormones, and even herbs and supplements can interact with each other in potent and potentially dangerous ways when taken together. And in some cases, due to the nature of the interactions occurring in the body, reducing levels of one substance can actually increase levels of other substances in the body. Even simply switching between different brand and generic versions of the same medication may cause disruptions, due to variations that can commonly occur in the amounts of active drug present. It is vital to have a good understanding of the different kinds of biochemical interactions, reactions, and sensitivities that could potentially begin occurring during psychiatric drug withdrawal.

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Getting oriented

Countless people take multiple pharmaceutical drugs, drink alcohol and coffee, use supplements and herbs, or get knowingly or unknowingly switched by their prescriber or pharmacist between brand-name and generic versions of their medications without noticing any significant problems. But many in the layperson withdrawal community have found that using these substances or making such changes during psychiatric drug withdrawal can be especially risky and problematic. It’s not uncommon to hear about these various scenarios leading to harms that are reported to be significant and long-lasting. Some of the reasons for this are scientifically well-documented in the research but not widely understood by the general public, and other reasons are less well-understood or more theoretical or speculative in nature. In any case, it’s important to have a general understanding of the potential consequences of substance interactions, variations in active drug amounts, and central nervous system sensitivities before starting a taper. For this step, we provide some introductory readings about some of these issues for consideration, and to help with discussions you might decide to have about these issues when planning a taper with a well-informed prescriber or pharmacist who may be working with you.