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SGHG: Feelings of severe anger after stopping prozac


SGHG

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With the help of my doctor I reduced my prozac (40mg per day) very slowly over a year and stopped about a month ago. I am getting terrible feelings of anger, can be abusive to loved ones. I am also finding it difficult to relax. I am getting other symptoms but can deal with them. Am I alone with these feelings of anger. I do not want to go on to additional medication. Feeling desperate.

I started taking prozac about 20 years ago.  I was initially given 20mg but over time this was increased to 40mg, not due to depression, but due to anxiety.  I told my doctor a long time ago that I wanted to come off of the medication but his response was that he thought I would probably be on them for life.   I told him that I did not feel I had suffered from depression in the sense that most people do. (My mother who has mental health problems used to give me her medication when I was young. about 12-14, to make me more controllable - Valium, Librium and others but I do not know their names.  I eventually found that I did not feel normal unless I was taking some kind of mind altering medication and went to my doctor when I was about 18 and was prescribed triptozol (not sure of spelling) which I took for many years.   I eventually came off of these and became a heavy weed user.  When I stopped smoking I started the prozac, as I said about twenty years ago).  Luckily a new doctor arrived at my practice who supported me reduce.   I started to reduce by taking 40mg one day and 20 mg the next. After one month I only took 40mg every two days, the next moth every three days, the following month just one day a week.  I stayed on the 20mg for 3 months before reducing to 20mg every other day, then to every three days.  My doctor then prescribed 10 mg and told me to reduce by taking every other day and slowly reducing to every three days, then every four days etc till I was on one every week.   I am now no longer taking any antidepressants. I am finding this really hard. I am not in the US.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SGHG: Feelings of severe anger after stopping prozac
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi SGHS, 

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), I’m glad you found this site.  

 

Unfortunately few medical professionals have any idea how to safely taper off of these drugs and often give the wrong advice, which for many people leads to the trouble you are experiencing.  While I am certainly happy to hear that your doctor tapered you over a period of a year, it unfortunately wasn't long enough.  Because some of us are so sensitive to tapering off of these drugs, many have to taper over many years.  I'm not sure how long you were on Prozac, but the longer you have been on a drug, the more cautious you have to be as the brain has adapted to functioning with the drug in your system and has to be tapered carefully to avoid upsetting the central nervous system (CNS).  The withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing are not uncommon when the CNS has been destabilized.

 

I am very happy to hear that you do not want to go on additional medication, this is a very wise choice.  Once the central nervous system has been destabilized by withdrawal, the worst thing you can do is add another drug.  Oftentimes medical professionals will add either benzodiazepines, sleeping pills or another antidepressant to the mix and all this does is further destabilized the CNS.

 

Surviving Antidepressants recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with a hold of at least four weeks before your next decrease.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at an even more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  To give you an idea of the protocols recommended by SA, I've attached a link below: 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

In order to get a better idea of your history, we ask all of our members to fill out a withdrawal history signature so that all of your drug/tapering history can be read at a glance and it will be easier for the moderators to determine what they are dealing with.  Please follow the instructions at the link below:

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

Unfortunately there are only two options available to help ease withdrawal symptoms both of which take time and extraordinary patience.  I won't inundate you with too much information and wait for your drug/tapering history before providing specific recommendations for your situation, but so you are aware, one option is to wait out the symptoms which can often take a significant amount of time and the other is to reinstate a very small dosage of the original drug until your withdrawal symptoms ease and you are stabilized and then properly re-taper off of the drug.  You can find more information about reinstatement at the link below: 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Please feel free to connect with other members of the community in your introduction thread, SA members are very supportive, they know what you are going through and are happy to help.

 

Best,

BaroqueP
 

 

 

Edited by baroquep

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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I am sure you are right.   I am in the UK.  I have had problems getting a doctor that recognises that coming off Prozac causes problems.   My last doctor said that it had not been proven that a withdrawal program was need and that I would not encounter any withdrawal symptoms:angry: so I went cold turkey for a month and ended up off work for the whole time before going back on Prozac (This was about eight years ago).     My current doctor said that he was aware that some people did encounter problems and did support me over the year, but to be honest I think he was getting fed up of me telling him that I was having problems.  I am determined to survive this.

I started taking prozac about 20 years ago.  I was initially given 20mg but over time this was increased to 40mg, not due to depression, but due to anxiety.  I told my doctor a long time ago that I wanted to come off of the medication but his response was that he thought I would probably be on them for life.   I told him that I did not feel I had suffered from depression in the sense that most people do. (My mother who has mental health problems used to give me her medication when I was young. about 12-14, to make me more controllable - Valium, Librium and others but I do not know their names.  I eventually found that I did not feel normal unless I was taking some kind of mind altering medication and went to my doctor when I was about 18 and was prescribed triptozol (not sure of spelling) which I took for many years.   I eventually came off of these and became a heavy weed user.  When I stopped smoking I started the prozac, as I said about twenty years ago).  Luckily a new doctor arrived at my practice who supported me reduce.   I started to reduce by taking 40mg one day and 20 mg the next. After one month I only took 40mg every two days, the next moth every three days, the following month just one day a week.  I stayed on the 20mg for 3 months before reducing to 20mg every other day, then to every three days.  My doctor then prescribed 10 mg and told me to reduce by taking every other day and slowly reducing to every three days, then every four days etc till I was on one every week.   I am now no longer taking any antidepressants. I am finding this really hard. I am not in the US.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi SGHS, 

 

You will survive this, it sometimes just takes time.  I don't think doctors have any idea of the problems these drugs cause and how slowly they have to be tapered when a person has been on them long-term.  My own doctor made it seem like there was something wrong with me as she said most people don't experience withdrawal.  At least I was prepared and able to say that may be so, but because she'd had me on the drugs for so long could be the very reason I was having so much trouble ... she didn't have a comeback for that.  

 

At least your doctor was open to tapering you off over the course of a year, most tell their patients they can stop right away, or alternate doses.  I would imagine that doing a relatively slow by most doctor's standards, it may very well benefit you in the long-term.  

 

I've attached a couple of links that might help you to further manage the symptoms you are dealing presently dealing with.  Please keep in touch and let us know you are doing.  

 

Neuro Emotions
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Best,

BaroqueP
 

 

 

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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