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imcomingback: Wanting to taper off Prozac and Xanax: I'm terrified


imcomingback

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Hi, everyone. 

 

It is nice to be in a place where I know I am not alone.

 

I want off both of these medications: 

 

I have been on 20mg of Prozac since March of 2020

I have been using Xanax daily .5-.75 mg for about two years, maybe a little more.

 

I was prescribed the prozac to treat OCD and generalized anxiety, never had any clinical depression.

I was prescribed the xanax to take as needed for panic. I got pregnant and got off it easily, and even though it said as needed, I needed it pretty regularly. Postpartum I had severe anxiety and finally took a xanax around 6 months PP which offered great relief. I started taking it as needed here and there but then with life stress my anxiety increased immensely, and here I am almost 2 years in of taking it daily around 5pm. 

 

Even on the good days I end up taking the xanax when I don't need it because I am terrified of withdrawal and the possibility of withdrawal induced psychosis (part of my OCD themes). I have been sober from alcohol for nearly 14 years and went through severe withdrawal from that ( I was 22 at the time and am now 36). I am scared to experience that again but I want off all this stuff and I want my old self back. The old me who would exercise the anxiety away, not medicate it away. 

 

I don't really know what advice I need or just to know that I am not alone. I know there is the possibility that maybe it won't be as bad as my mind is making it but I want to be prepared. I plan on discussing this with my doctor but I feel like she doesn't understand the seriousness of tapering. 

 

Thanks for listening, 

-Lindsay 

Edited by FireflyFyte
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  • FireflyFyte changed the title to imcomingback: Wanting to taper off Prozac and Xanax: I'm terrified
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Hi imcomingback,

 

Welcome to SA. Please summarize your drug history in your signature by following the instructions at How to Summarize Your Drug History in Your Signature. You may need to be on a computer to complete this.

 

When on multiple medications, we recommend only tapering one at a time. Generally speaking, the thought is to taper the more activating medication first which in your case would be the Prozac. You can read more about this at Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

We also recommend dropping no more than 10% of your previous dose per month as a starting point for the harm reduction model. More details can be found at Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

If you decide to start with the Prozac, we have a thread for tapering it at Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine).

 

1 hour ago, imcomingback said:

here I am almost 2 years in of taking it daily around 5pm. 

 

Can you confirm that you are taking the Xanax only once a day?

 

Thanks,

 

Firefly

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg -> June 9, 2024 = 0.57mg -> June 24, 2024 = 0.54mg -> July 6, 2024 = 0.51mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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Thank you for responding!

 

Yes, I only take xanax once a day. I have .5 mg pills and I either take .5 or .75 depending on the anxiety. If I take the .5 and in 40 minutes of so I don't notice a difference, I'll take the additional .25. However, lately I have noticed only the .75 is working due to tolerance so I usually start with that and stay there. 

 

Thank you for the links to the Prozac taper. I plan on starting with the prozac and use the xanax to help aid in the withdrawal process, assuming I have them.

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8 minutes ago, imcomingback said:

Yes, I only take xanax once a day. I have .5 mg pills and I either take .5 or .75 depending on the anxiety. If I take the .5 and in 40 minutes of so I don't notice a difference, I'll take the additional .25. However, lately I have noticed only the .75 is working due to tolerance so I usually start with that and stay there. 

 

Xanax is designed to be dosed three times a day so part of your tolerance could be inter-dose withdrawal. You might want to consider changing over to a schedule of three times a day so every 8 hours taking .25 which would total your current .75 dose.

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg -> June 9, 2024 = 0.57mg -> June 24, 2024 = 0.54mg -> July 6, 2024 = 0.51mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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8 minutes ago, FireflyFyte said:

 

Xanax is designed to be dosed three times a day so part of your tolerance could be inter-dose withdrawal. You might want to consider changing over to a schedule of three times a day so every 8 hours taking .25 which would total your current .75 dose.

That is a great idea, I really appreciate that advice. I guess I always wanted to wait until night because thats when the anxiety gets bad but I think I will try that!! Maybe it will reduce the night anxiety too, kind of act like a buffer before it hits. So, taking it three times a day won't increase the chances of a bad withdrawal once I start tapering?

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28 minutes ago, imcomingback said:

So, taking it three times a day won't increase the chances of a bad withdrawal once I start tapering?

 

Dosing appropriately tends to create more stability and makes tapering smoother once you get to that stage.

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg -> June 9, 2024 = 0.57mg -> June 24, 2024 = 0.54mg -> July 6, 2024 = 0.51mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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On 6/10/2024 at 1:37 PM, FireflyFyte said:

 

Dosing appropriately tends to create more stability and makes tapering smoother once you get to that stage.

Ok, thank you and sorry for the late reply. 

 

My psychiatric provider switched me over to the liquid prozac today and I took it for the first time. I took 4.5 ml, am I correct in my tapering math? I believe that is 10 percent of 20 mg which is 5 ml? 

Also, it increased my bad side effects which I had when first starting the prozac, like clenching jaw and ear ringing and extra anxiety. If that continues, I may try to taper from my capsules instead. 

 

Additionally, she believes I have some ADHD going on along with my binge eating episodes and prescribed be Vyvanse. I researched the medication and it says it is not typically safe to take with SSRIs due to serotonin syndrome. I emailed her and asked about that interaction and have yet to hear back from her. Have you had any experience with this medication as I see it is listed in your signature? Do you think it will set back my progress on tapering?

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