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ReadyForIt: How to Taper Off an Already Low Dose


ReadyForIt

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Hello, SA! 
 

I have been lurking for a few days and am determined to stop “needing” SSRIs, or at least feeling like I need them. I’ve undergone a few years of CBT for major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and OCD. All in all, I’ve made a lifetime of progress in about 10 years due to a great therapist (after a few not so great ones), a great psychiatrist (after a few not so great ones), and a wonderful support network. I am extremely grateful for all these things and it’s part of what makes me feel so ready for taking this last step. I have the tools in my bag; I just need to use them. 
 

Long story short, it started with Lexapro + Ativan as needed around 2014, but Lexapro didn’t work well, so I switched to Zoloft for a few years. That helped, and eventually I stopped taking Ativan as well… and then I found a wonderful therapist, who taught me so much about how to react to things with more and more control. I experienced a few rather difficult intimate relationships (gaslighting, narcissism, etc.) which didn’t help but I got through it. In 2018, I found myself in a new city with a new job and eventually a new and supportive partner. At the end of 2018, I switched to 10 mg Prozac.
 

In 2020, I stopped taking Prozac over what I realize now was too fast of a taper, and found the anxiety thereafter very difficult. I was sold on the idea that it’s ok to stick with a low dose but honestly, I’m done with it and ready to let my CNS do its thing. 
 

Personally, financially, career-wise, and relationship-wise, my life is stable. I am very active, but not planning anything major, not planning on having children (at all), just focusing on the here and now, so now is as good a time as any. 
 

I am worried that perimenopause (will be 34 this year and already experiencing some symptoms) in the coming years will make things difficult, but I’m tired of random dizziness, night sweats, having to take a pill every morning, and anxiety despite having an anti-anxiety medication. 
 

My biggest worry is the dosage. I have been reading a ton about safe tapers and I am ready and raring to go… but how do you taper off a 10mg capsule? And what do you do if your psychiatrist won’t prescribe it or your insurance won’t cover it? I can’t say that is happening as I haven’t even started the journey (again) yet, but want to be prepared. 

My second biggest worry is remembering to ground and use my CBT tools. I often get anxious when I’m in a safe place (or out in public but with trusted people), but that’s a behavioral thing that I believe I can deal with. 


As of 2021, I take 25 mg Hydroxyzine as needed for sleep (and allergy attacks as I was told it’s basically an antihistamine but if this is untrue or unsafe please let me know), but am comfortable stopping that too. 
 

Open to any and all advice and thankful for this page and this community. 

Edited by Gridley
Forgot to add a dosage and time frame.
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SurvivingAntidepressants, ReadyForIt.  We're a site for tapering off psychiatric drugs, and we're happy to help you taper off your 10mg Prozac and can give you instructions how to get the doses you'll need for your taper.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  A list format is best.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

We recommend tapering no faster than 10% of your current dose every 4 weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The following link is specifically about tapering Prozac, including how to get the nonstandard doses needed for a 10% taper.  Two of the methods you can do on your own without need for a prescription other than your current 10mg Prozac pill.  First, as described in the link, you can make your own liquid from the pill and taper using that liquid.  The second on-your-own method, also describe din the link, is to weigh doses using a digital scale.  Many members use the Smart Weigh Gem20 scale available on Amazon.  Two methods that do require a psychiatrist's cooperation in the form of a prescription are using a prescription liquid and using a compounding pharmacy.  It's all in the link:

 

Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac)

 

It's especially important to taper slowly at the low doses such as 10mg.  This link helps explain why:

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

It's also important to taper down to a very low dose before "jumping to zero."  It's a good idea to get to the 00's before jumping.  For example, I jumped from Lexapro at .025mg.

 

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 (glycinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 22: 7.6mg

Taper is 90% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zinc, melatonin .3mg, anti-candida, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Gridley changed the title to ReadyForIt: How to Taper Off an Already Low Dose

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