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Moment19: fluoxetine withdrawal and current course to recovery


Moment19

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I got on Fluoxetine after 2 years of aggressive anxiety and deep depression. I was prescribed 10 mg and then 20mg and eventually to 30 mg at one point.

I didn't know better at the time but I was constantly fatigues I had slight depression and not much anxiety after the 2 years but I had no energy and headaches. When I started the Fluoxetine it gave me the energy I was craving. I was sleeping 8 + hours prior to the fluoxetine, eating healthy and very often and then napping before soccer practice (I played college soccer) just to try and have enough energy to go 75% at practice. 

 

When I got on the fluoxetine I didn't have to sleep as much, and I had energy! It was awesome. I didn't really look into side effects or other options at the time because I just wanted to have the energy to play soccer. It relieved headaches and removed my fatigue. It felt like the vitamin my body was craving but I couldn't ever get it satisfied with the healthy eating and sleep.

 

I had spouts of extreme anxiety flare ups whenever I would try and get into a relationship. So during my 4 years at the university I tried one relationship for a year and it was extremely difficult causing out of body experiences, anxiety, and overall felt like my nervous system was dying. I continued on the fluoxetine at the time but it didn't solve for the OCD / Anxiety I was experiencing and I didn't have the skills to know how to lean into it and start trying to think about things differently and change my brain and nervous system.

 

I finished my soccer career and moved from a very warm environment to a part of the state that has very cold winters and hot summers. The winter brought on all sorts of depression and hopelessness. I was working at a Bank at the time. I pushed through that winter and started working on trying to change the way I was thinking and the beliefs I was holding. I felt that I had made very good progress and decided to start tapering my fluoxetine. I dropped to 10mg for a few weeks and then I just stopped taking it all together. I started to experience sever brain zaps. I re instated at 10mg every other day for a month or so. I then stopped and the brain zaps were gone! 

 

I thought I was home free! But I was not, 4 months later I started having the headaches I was having before I started taking the fluoxetine. They were so severe and would come on so strong around 1 or 2 pm in the afternoon. I started experiencing brain zaps again as well. Then one night Tinnitus hit me like a sledge hammer. My ears started ringing so loud. And on occasion they would hurt. I couldn't sleep, the ringing had gotten so loud.

 

I went to every doctor I could see. I saw my general doctor and she said to try sertraline. I got on 25 mg of it for a few weeks. I had all kinds of symptoms trying to get on it. I was fatigued, felt like I had the flu, achy, headaches, etc. It wasn't solving the current headaches, fatigue, and tinnitus. We then switched me to Fluoxetine 10mg it was just giving me different kinds of headaches along with the ones I was having. When I got on Fluoxetine the first time I did not experience any side effects at all. 

 

I had CT scans done to see if I had tumors. Nothing. No doctor could explain what was going on with me. I had enflamed sinuses so they gave me some steroids to help with the inflammation which helped a little bit.

 

I eventually tried just doing 5mg a day but that was still an issue. So went back down to zero.

 

I have been struggling with headaches for over 12 months and tinnitus for over 8 months now. My vision has gotten blurry and I have tried to get glasses to see if that was causing some of the headaches.

 

It has been a living hell. I found this website and some success stories. Trying to figure out what to do and how to move forward. Wondering if I should try and get back on 5mg of fluoxetine a day and see if that will clear the headaches without the reinstating headaches and then taper from there?

 

Would love to hear any and all experiences that could help. Thanks.

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Moment19: fluoxetine withdrawal and current course to recovery
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there Moment19 and welcome aboard,

Sorry you had to find us this way......but glad you are here now.

 

Oh most definitely your story is one of WD(withdrawal).  And thank you for sharing it here with us.

And I'm sorry, so sorry it's gone on this long and is still so very difficult.

 

Hoping too, that you can feel better about deciding what to do soon, and get some abatement of WD symptoms.  Sometimes a community that "gets it" can be really invaluable in healing.

 

Anyway.......I'll give you some basics, as I don't know how much of the site you've browsed yet.

What is withdrawal syndrome.

And you likely will see many of your symptoms here ^
Hoping you have experienced some windows, if even partial days of

 

The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

at this date, it is really unknown if a very small dose reinstatement would help or not.  I know you tried 5 mg without success or possibly getting worse, which does sometimes happen if our systems are sensitized from our drug or drugs.  We usually have members reinstate at mini-doses, even less than 5 mg.

 

And this is basically just information you'll have here now, I'm not leaning one way or another right now, as far as feeling like a reinstatement might be worth trying.

I think if you can find sufficient helpful non-drug coping to practice, and feel supported.......that perhaps Time may be the real answer, and solution.  It does take patience though, oh my.  Once you understand what has happened though......that alone might help a lot.  And that you are not alone.

 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made.  The CNS likes stability. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system.  

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

We do have a pretty extensive symptoms and self care forum.  You'll see it from the home page, just a little ways down.  Do check out the top pinned topics there.  Lot's of helps for coping with symptoms.  I'll pull a few topics out of there for you now, that relate to some of the symptoms you mentioned.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1785-migraine-headache-neck-ache-pain-and-head-pressure/

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1736-tinnitus-what-does-all-that-noise-mean/

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/17677-vision-symptoms-floaters-snow-blurreddimmed-vision-twitching-dry-eyes-and-pain/page/2/

 

Brain zaps

 

Just click on the underlined stuff to go to topic.  Best to start at the beginning of topics too.  I did a few quick links that may land you at later pages, just scroll on back to get to the first posts in topics.

 

How long since you've used the steroids for the sinus stuff?  Sometimes steroids can set symptoms off a bit too.  Do be sure to check at Drugs.com, anytime before you take any medications from here on out.  It sure does sound like you have developed some drug sensitivities from the Prozac or WD from.

 

This is your introduction/journal page where you have now introduced yourself to the community, you can ask questions here regarding your case,  give updates, keep a record of your journey and interact with other members and staff here as well.

 

Welcome aboard, to the ship that none of us planned to board.....but, well, here we are.......it's a good community.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays (mmt)

Edited by manymoretodays

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022, and again finally 5/25/24.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@manymoretodays

 

Thank you so much for your reply! I will take a look at all those links you sent.

 

I took the steroids probably 8 /9 months ago. They seemed to help with the sinus drainage. The tinnitus and headaches were already in full swing before I took the steroids. I also had tried taking asprin to help with the headaches but that might have made the tinnitus worse?

 

I was prescribed imitrix (sumtriptin) for the headaches. Tylenol and Advil wouldn't do anything to help. The imitrix actually does wonders for me and helps with the headaches, however it is short lived and only helps for the day, eventually the headaches come back. They are weird headaches they seem to be concentrated right behind my eyes and nose at the front of my head. That is why I got the CT scans to see if there was a tumor but nothing showed. 

 

Thanks again for your help and insight!

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

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  • 1 month later...
  • Administrator

Hello, @Moment19, how are you?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi @Altostrata, I am doing okay! I have made it through a lot of the headaches. I still have a lot of chronic fatigue. I get short windows here and there where I feel really good but then have a long period of time back in what feels like my brain is trying to recover.

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

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  • Administrator

Good to hear you're moving towards recovering. Which of the remedies worked for the headaches? How long did it take for them to go away, was there any pattern? What are your major symptoms now?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata 

  • Headaches still come on and I get dark circles under my eyes on occasion. What has helped most I think has been sleep, time, and cutting out rumination. My brain wants to find what to fix so that I can feel better. Trying to find a problem that could be the issue. It could be any theme but the brain finds more things to try and fix thinking it will finally be the solution to the problem if I fix it. Cutting that out and allowing the uncertainty to exist, along with any thought or feeling has been a major aid in recovery. I am not always good at it, but the weeks that I have been able to make recovery easy I feel my brain has made the most progress in healing. Which has resulted in the various windows of feeling pretty good with more energy and optimism and motivation for my goals. 
  • It probably took about 8 months for the really difficult withdrawal headaches to back off. I am finally sleeping without any other aid except for I take magnesium at night. I sleep pretty well through the night. Where as when withdrawal hit I was not sleeping at all.
  • I am approaching 12 months since the withdrawal really started hitting. I am in a much better place than before but there is still some ground to cover. Hoping windows become longer and stronger. Ears still ring constantly, and I still deal with headaches and numb emotions. However, I am experiencing a lot of OCD symptoms that I am learning how to apply the new skills without SSRI to handle and become better at. It takes a lot of effort some days to be present and not ruminating in my head but when I am able to stop thinking about fixing I have found the most progress.

 

 

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

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  • Administrator

How did you learn to manage the rumination?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata There is a guy named Mark Freeman. He has a book called, "You Are Not A Rock". He has a lot of really good exercises to work on cutting out the rumination. He also has a youtube and twitch stream that he does that has all kinds of helpful brain exercises. Implementing that stuff has been very helpful. Still working on learning the stuff but so far it has been very helpful. I finally feel like my brain is starting to heal more but my ears still ring and I am pretty fatigued most of the time. However, the headaches have backed off and the sleep is going much better and all I take at night is magnesium for that. 

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Please add your excellent suggestion to 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Will do

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

Link to comment
  • 7 months later...

Hey, how are you feeling? 🙂 Has your dark eyes symptom gone away yet or at least less frequent?

 

I have the same thing all of a sudden since withdrawal & I feel like it ruins my face 

April 2022- Only 1 celxa pill 10mg

had an adverse reaction & never took anymore again 

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@peaceandlove

 

I am sorry to hear you are experiencing the same things! It is the absolute worst.

 

I am doing a little better. It has been an extremely slow process. I still get the dark eyes symptoms on and off, usually if I get an anxiety spike. I think it is in big part due to how sensitive our nervous system is. 

 

Taking magensium glycenate at night has been helpful. As well as I take NAC to try and help with the ringing ears.

 

I think the most useful and hardest part has been trying to learn how to accept all the symptoms, thoughts, and feelings. The more I resist it the worse they usually get. Hopefully this helps. Let me know how you are doing!

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

Link to comment
  • 10 months later...

@Altostrata

 

jumping back in here I haven’t posted for a while. 
 

Update: my nervous system continues to be hyper sensitive. I do have enough energy now that I am training for a marathon! 
 

however I continue to have very few windows where I feel any emotion. I am still pretty locked out and my ears ring constantly. 
 

since I cut cold turkey almost more than 2 years ago I have SLOWLY gotten better but I co tongue to experience a Miriam of symptoms and an overall numbing feeling of my brain and a lack of emotion for good and bad. Just stale. 
 

Any suggestions on additional recovery I could implement. I still take magnesium at night. But other than that I don’t take really anything else because my nervous system cannot handle it. 
 

cheers

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

Link to comment
  • Administrator

An emotional anesthesia is very common in withdrawal syndrome. See 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 8 months later...

Thanks @Altostrata I am still on the current course. I have heard some people talk about reinstating but I don't think that is the move here I am over 3 years off the drugs but still continue to have pretty severe emotional numbing. I'll get windows here and there but not often. Any suggestions or things you think I should implement?

 

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Hello, just to let you know Alto has moved on to new pastures and we all wish her all the best after her huge amount of work here. There has been quite a change to staff as well, with many of the longer standing mods also stepping back. 
 

I’m sorry to hear your emotions are still numbed 3 years after quitting your AD.  Glad to hear you are getting the odd window. Hopefully that will improve as yet more time passes. How did your marathon go? That sounds like quite some undertaking! It is very positive you are able to handle that amount of exercise. I think it shows hope for more recovery in the future ☺️

am not a medical professional. I provide information and make suggestions based on my own experience and SA guidelines. I am unable to respond to private messages. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019  April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine down to around 6mg - skipping days to taper

October 2019 - Dec 2019 unwell from failed taper including jumping about in doses 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 25 Oct 4.5mg

2023: 16 Jan 3.6mg, 28 Sept 1.8mg

2024: 13 May 1.1mg

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Faure

 

Thanks for the update! Sad to see them leave but that’s how it goes. 
 

have you seen it useful to reinstate at all this far into withdrawals / not taking them? 
 

marathon went well. Pretty numb the whole time emotionally but my body can handle the exercise so that is good! 

Fluoxetine 10 mg for 2 months

Fluoxetine 25mg for 4 years

Fluoxetine 10 mg for a few months

Fluoxetine zero

Brain zaps

Back up to Fluoxetine 10mg

Zero Fluoxetine for 4 months - After 4 months extreme withdrawal symptoms surfaced

Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks - couldn't stabilize. 

Fluoxetine 10mg then 5mg 2 weeks couldn't stabilize

Fluoxetine zero - Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms since 4/2021

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