Detoxify from medication


All of the drugs below have an appropriate use and intended purpose. Overuse, or use of multiple medications simultaneously, can lead to brain degeneration and mental health issues.

Always follow the advice of your health practitioner and never get off your prescription medication without being supervised by a medical practitioner.

A good resource for helping you get off your prescription mental health drugs if this is what you want and you are supervised by your health practitioner:

Medications and their side effects

Many of the medications below, whether prescription or over the counter, can have side effects which can be detrimental to your health, and contribute to mental health symptoms. They can contribute to hormonal and nutritional imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, inflammation, and gut issues, as well as toxicity.

Unless absolutely necessary, avoid medication when possible, and practice lifestyle changes, mind-body therapies, etc… to help address the conditions you were trying to treat with the medication. Work with a qualified health practitioner if you want to reduce or stop your medication, and/or develop an integrative or functional medicine programme for your mental health.

If you are detoxing from medication, again be sure to work with a qualified health practitioner, and you can aid the process by following guidelines in optimise your detoxification.

There is a correlation between psychological pain and physical pain. Research has found that psychological pain is also numbed by pain killers Kross, E., Berman, M. G., Mischel, W., Smith, E. and Wager, T. (2011). Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain. [online] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108 (15), pp. 6270-5. Available at: [accessed 11 Sept. 2017]., which may explain the large numbers of people addicted to pain relief medicine – as many as one in ten British adults Indivior. (2015). Opioid painkiller dependence affects as many as one in ten British adults. [online] Action on Addiction. Available at: [accessed 12 Aug. 2017]..

Long term use of pain relievers can have adverse effects on the gut and other organs, and it is best to use other, non-pharmaceutical ways to relieve pain if possible. Mind body therapies and meditation can be very helpful.

  • Aspirin (sold under multiple brand names)
  • Acetaminophen (also under multiple brand names)
  • Benzodiazepines
    • People with chronic or acute pain are often prescribed benzodiazepines — tranquilizers derived from valium which act as anxiolytics
    • There are many downsides to these, not least that they can create severe dependency, but also are damaging to the gut, and decrease your ability to contract your muscles which is counterproductive to any sort of rehabilitation
    • Some benzodiazepines are also linked to weight gain
    • Typical benzodiazepines include Xanax, Diazepam, Ativan, Baclofen Scott, T. and Tatta, J. (May 2015). Nutritional Influences on Anxiety and Musculoskeletal Pain. [online] The Anxiety Summit, Season 3. Available at:
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortiptyline (Aventil, Pamelor)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Haloperidol (anti-psychotic) (Haldol)

There are many side effects to antidepressants including:

  • Sexual dysfunction and loss of libido
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal ideation

Scott, T. and Amen, D. (May 2015). The Brain Warrior’s Way to Attacking Anxiety, Depression and Ageing. [online] The Anxiety Summit, Season 3. Available at:

Some of these drugs are also prescribed as antidepressants, and can be prescribed for ADD, anxiety, depression, obesity, Alzheimer’s.Scott, T. and Amen, D. (May 2015). The Brain Warrior’s Way to Attacking Anxiety, Depression and Ageing. [online] The Anxiety Summit, Season 3. Available at:

  • Carbamazeprine (tegretol)
  • Ethosuximide (zarontin)
  • Fosphenytoin (cerebyx)
  • Mephobarbital (mebaral)
  • Phenobarbital (phenobarbital)
  • Phenytoin (dilantin)
  • Primidone (mysoline)
  • Valproic acid (depakote, depakene)
  • Carbidopa and levodopa (sinemet)

This combination of drugs is used to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and has no bearing on the course of the disease. It can have debilitating side effects.

These include anti-inflammatory drugs, estrogens, and anything with NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) on it. These drugs are not toxic in isolation but taken chronically and simultaneously with others can have a negative impact on your gut and other organs.

Birth control pills can lower serotonin and magnesium, which are both naturally calming to the brain and nerve cells, and can cause and exacerbate hormonal imbalance which can cause mental health issues Scott, T. and Amen, D. (May 2015). The Brain Warrior’s Way to Attacking Anxiety, Depression and Ageing. [online] The Anxiety Summit, Season 3. Available at: