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Venusdatura21: 1 month cold turkey fluoxetine 20 mg 15 yrs


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I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.  I was stressed, tired, overwhelmed, didn’t take the time to go to the dr to refill my meds.  Soon it was 1 week off, not bad, then two.  By week three I was dealing with an infection in my mouth that was my third round.  The endodontist redid the root canal, put me on another round of antibiotics and Tylenol 3 for the pain.  That week I felt very off, couldn’t concentrate, and felt very out of it.  I thought it was just all that I was taking but come last week I spiraled fast.  Constant brain zaps, agitation and anxiety (never been anxious), and memory and concentration issues.  I left work on Wednesday and haven’t been back.  My dr put me on adrenals, 5-HTP, probiotics, glutathione, and fish oil. I am not functioning well, I feel like I have the flu and I cry most of the day.  I feel like I can’t get a grasp on myself.  I can’t think straight.  Sleeping is ok, I have been waking up a bit.  From everything I’m reading I feel like there isn’t much hope to feel better anytime soon.  I don’t know what to do.  Should I reinstate and taper or should I forge on?  My personality is that I am very strong and determined and usually pull myself out of things like this.  But this is kicking my ass.  And I feel like I have no one that understands.  Along with the guilt of missing work and not being present for my kid, it’s all too much right now.  I feel like I want to climb out of my skin.  I’m desperate.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Venusdatura21: 1 month cold turkey fluoxetine 20 mg 15 yrs
  • Moderator Emeritus

HI Venusdatura and welcome to SA,


It sound very much like you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from going off your drug.   Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms


The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to reinstate the drug.  Please do not go back on the last dose you were taking.  Your brain will have already made some adaptation since you have been off the drug.  It is better to start with a small amount and take a little bit more if needed than to start with too high a dose.  Once we have more information about the drug and dose you were taking we can suggest a dose for you to try.  Please carefully read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Please also carefully read Post #1 of this topic:  5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan


We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  


This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 


I'm going to give you lots of links to check out.  Please don't feel overwhelmed, just work your way through them one at a time as you feel able.


SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold at that dose for about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This is because psychiatric drugs create a physiological dependence, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.


Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  If after 4 weeks you don't feel stable, are unwell or life circumstances are a bit more stressful than usual (for example the Christmas period, winter time, or job change) it is better to stay at that dose for a bit longer until things settle down.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ  There are links to tips for tapering different drugs and how to get the dose you need.


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

Keep Notes on Paper


Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online


The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  


Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope


There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.


As I said, lots of information, but I really want you to have what you need so you can have a successful taper.


This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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