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  1. Hello everyone, I'm urgently seeking advice on my current situation, which is scary, unfortunate, and a complete mess. I'm a 30 year old female who has been on-and-off fluoxetine (20-40 mg) for depression and anxiety over the past 13 years. Due to personal instability, I was constantly moving around and seeing new providers. A cycle began where I would discontinue and within 4-6 months be put back on the drug due to a "recurrent episode." I now believe that these recurrent episodes were in fact withdrawal symptoms. I knew nothing about the long-term effects of the drug, and how these periods of discontinuation and reinstatement were priming me for hypersensitivity. The last time I discontinued the drug (fluoxetine 20mg), I noticed within 2 months that I could no longer tolerate, even at a very small dose, another drug that I had previously tolerated (spironolactone). That was the first sign that something was amiss. 4 months after discontinuing, due to severe distress and anguish, I decided to go back on fluoxetine. I started 10 mg fluoxetine for 12 days. I had some headaches, which was typical for me, but I also noticed some other physical side effects - like dizziness and just "feeling off" - which I thought was odd. I wasn't sure what was causing it, so I ceased the fluoxetine. 2.5 weeks after stopping, the physical side effects abated, and I was back to feeling normal. Then, 3 weeks after stopping, I had a huge emotional breakdown -- screaming, crying, urges to self-harm. I decided that I needed to re-start the drug immediately. I began taking the 10 mg fluoxetine again, and started having intense side effects from it that I had never had before. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was kindling. I figured I would stabilize on that dose, so I continued. While some of my side effects partially stabilized, I was still having issues, when all of a sudden a new side effect emerged at 3.5 weeks -- what appeared to be neurogenic bladder. I went to a doctor and they told me I needed to stop taking fluoxetine. With one skipped dose, the issue immediately resolved. I then went through an absolutely hellish 25 day withdrawal unlike anything I have ever experienced. The headaches and neck pain were so severe, and the insomnia so intense, that out of desperation I tried to re-instate at a low dose - approx. 2.5 mg one day, and 1.25 mg the next. This didn't seem to help, but make things worse, so I stopped. However, I'm now 4 days past the botched re-instatement, and I can tell it has had some improvement. The headaches have stopped, but now I am in almost a hypo-manic, jittery state from the increased dose. I'm at a loss as to what the next step should be, and my current provider is no help. Now that I've come to this website, I've realized all the errors I have made. I believe I have basically kindled twice, and I can tell that I have become extremely hyper-sensitive to the drug. At this point, is my nervous system so shot that I need to just give up on the fluoxetine and try to survive the second withdrawal? The only other option I can think of is to try to stabilize on a lower dose -- try taking 0.1 mg? 0.5 mg? -- but I'm not sure if that's feasible given my sensitivity and fluoxetine's long half-life, which will make the levels fluctuate in my blood for awhile before becoming consistent. I'm very scared, and none of the doctors or psychiatrists I've talked to understand what has happened. I'm honestly afraid that I might have a seizure and not survive this.
  2. Hey guys, My past medications: these were most recent, from the age of 15 onward: - Pristiq - 100 mg - Abilify - 15 mg - Fluoxetine - 20 mg - L-methyl folate (supplement) - Adderrall XR (in morning) - forget dosage - Adderrall , 2 throughout day - forget dosage When I was 10, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety due to an unstable home life at my Mom’s. I was diagnosed with anxiety and began taking Fluoxetine after an initial meeting with a psychologist followed by a psychiatrist. At age 15, I attempted suicide and was admitted to a teen unit at a local hospital. There, I was placed on many of the medications that would later be incredibly difficult to discontinue. By age 20, I had erectile dysfunction, weighed ≈285 pounds at 6’, couldn’t concentrate on anything, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, had severely limited vision in both eyes, slept 12 hours per night, had a constant feeling of emptiness, and had an overall feeling of not being present in my life (just kind of floating around). On March 12th, 2020 (yes, at the beginning of the pandemic), I stopped everything Cold Turkey. It probably wasn’t the smartest move, but I’m so glad I did it. I went through about 4 months of what I can only describe as hell. Vomiting, diarrhea, alternating between sleeping for 12 hours and 3 hours per night, and a rollercoaster of emotions I’d never felt before. I’m currently 185 pounds, diabetes free, updated my license yesterday to remove my vision restriction (my vision corrected), have a pretty good running/ weightlifting habit / Nutrition approach going, I just finished 2 years at a local Community College with a 3.2 overall GPA in a transfer program to a B.S. in Chemistry, and life is fantastic. Everything works well, I’m feeling real, genuine emotions for the first time in my life, and I’m thrilled to be alive. The only drawback from this whole discontinuation process is that I now can’t stay in bed for more than 6-7 hours. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, getting the vision restriction from my license removed yesterday prompted me to speak about my story (I guess you could call it a personal milestone). I’m still navigating the whole relationship, being human, and experiencing emotions part of everything but I can say that for once in my life, I’m very happy. Feel free to ask me anything. Thanks everyone, Connor
  3. [50, male] Hi. I'm about to embark on a taper of the dreaded Cymbalta, which I have been on for almost 4 months-- 1 month of ramp up plus 3 months at 30mg. I'm quitting because its main effects have been lethargy, apathy, and demotivation. Some anxiety and sleep relief comes with that but it's not worth the zombification. This stuff scares me and I want nothing more to do with it. Starting about 6 weeks ago, my shrink added Wellbutrin 150mg which hasn't made much difference. About 6 years ago I went through this same process with a prior shrink (for the same complaint, anxiety)-- try Prozac, experience apathy/lethargy, add Wellbutrin. The Wellbutrin felt pretty amazing but ultimately was too speedy and I decided to quit everything. I agreed to Wellbutrin once again in hopes of a similar effect but this time no luck. I think the ugliness of Cymbalta just drowns everything else out. Unfortunately I don't recall the exact details of my prior Prozac/Wellbutrin taper but my best guess is that it lasted between 6 months and 1 year (I was aware of this site and the importance of slowness). There were no adverse effects during the taper. So my primary goal this go round is to taper Cymbalta. But I'm torn between wanting to taper safely/slowly vs reducing my overall exposure and getting back to my pre-zombie state as soon as possible. If I were to do 10% at 2 week steps I'd be looking at an 18 month taper from 30mg. This seems too long. Since I've only been on it 3-4 months, I'm hoping I can go a little faster than that. I'm thinking of trying 15% at 1.5 week steps which would take a total of 10 months. Along the way I may or may not pause to taper some piece of the Wellbutrin, depending on how it all goes. My question is whether or not my 10 month taper plan seems reasonable. Thanks for any input. Sonny
  4. SleepPls009 - Luvox Withdrawal, Insomnia, and Heart Problems (Oh my!) Hi All, It’s great to meet you! Though I wish it were under better circumstances. I’m looking for advice around Luvox reinstatement and doctors who deal with withdrawal; more information is at the bottom of the post. I thank you in advance for your help! I am seven months off of Luvox after having taken it for roughly 20 years. After years of experiencing persistent fatigue, muscle twitches, and some increasing insomnia, I decided to go off Luvox in March to see if that helped my symptoms. Go figure, it made everything ten times worse! I was on 200mg daily in winter ‘21, went down to 100mg without incident at the end of the year. Then in March ‘22 I began tapering little by little until I hit zero on April 12 (note: I was aware that stopping cold turkey was a bad idea, but I was unfamiliar with the concept of protracted withdrawal). Little by little I kept waking up earlier and earlier until I could barely sleep, and depression symptoms kicked in hard. My PCP started me on Prozac in mid-May to treat what she thought was underlying, emergent depression, and after a week I reacted so badly to it that I went to the hospital (couldn’t sleep for days, got a fever, upset stomach, shaking uncontrollably). I proceeded to try a number of different meds with my psychiatrist, but every antidepressant would either keep me awake for days, and every sleep med would lose effectiveness fairly quickly. I eventually got the idea that I might still be withdrawing from Luvox, so we decided to do a med washout to see what would happen. I survived on melatonin at the time, which was abnormally effective at low doses, and kept putting off going back on Luvox, somewhat out of stubbornness, since I felt it would be a “waste” to go back on after all that effort if I could make it to the other end of withdrawal. Eventually (about mid-late August), my brain flipped a switch, and the deep depression spontaneously went away. At the same time, my insomnia problem switched from staying asleep to falling asleep (kind of like what I occasionally had before stopping Luvox but much worse). That’s when medicine reactions became weird. I’d taken ambien before a number of times (roughly 10, 11 in total?) before August. I tended to avoid it because it made the depression a lot worse. I tried it again when the depression went away, and started having strange heart palpitations. One day after I took ambien, I went to the hospital for chest squeezing, but they found nothing. Thinking I was being paranoid, I tried it again a few weeks later and started to have what felt like a full-on heart attack. After working with a cardiologist for a number of months, it seems that ambien was causing vasospasm, or prinzmetal’s angina. A few other meds started causing this, too: Lunesta (I let a doctor convince me it was chemically different enough from ambien - dumb mistake), Quviviq (totally different mechanism than ambien, so confusing), and even melatonin causes odd heart palpitations now. The vasospasm itself seems to cause some sort of injury, because running (which I could do with ease before) brought on an episode, and after episodes I am weak and have chest pain for weeks. I am now at the point where I’m trying to decide what to do next. If my nervous system is still changing, I’m worried that it could further affect my heart or other systems if I let it continue to go unchecked. So this is what I’m wondering: Bottom line: I would love advice on whether I should reinstate Luvox. While I know this is a doctor’s realm, my current psychiatrist doesn’t understand (or acknowledge) protracted withdrawal. I will either need to take evidence and a concrete plan to him, or find a doctor who better understands these issues. As for the arguments for/against reinstating, I am now sleeping better, though not well (I still go about two nights without sleep a week and average 5-6 on a good night). But the crazy/dangerous reactions to meds give me pause. On one hand, I don’t want to cause more problems, and I’m almost worried that taking Luvox now would trigger another vasospasm. But if my nervous system is still rearranging itself I’m also worried that, left alone, it’s bizarre reactions to things could get worse! I would also like to get rid of the visual snow if at all possible. I’d also love recommendations for doctors who deal with or specialize in this sort of withdrawal and nervous system disregulation. I know they are few and far between, but I’m willing to travel pretty much anywhere at this point to get the help I need. Thank you all for your help, and I look forward to hearing back from you!
  5. Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to start with a quick synopsis of my medical background below. I took SSRI antidepressants for 17+ years. I started with Prozac for 5 years from 15-21. Then I took Escitalopram from 22-32. Along the way I was put on Trazodone, Buspar, Ambien and Wellbutrin as well. All in an attempts to control my anxiety/depression and inability to sleep. Also a little mental history - I was bullied from about the age of 9 to the age of 16. It's pretty obvious in hindsight why I was depressed/anxious. I thought the people in this world were mean. I thought everywhere I went was an unsafe place because at this time it was. In response to this I took up boxing and working out so I could become stronger than my bullies. In all honesty it worked. As soon as I became strong and in shape I became popular out of nowhere, which was an interesting transition. Anyways, that's another story for another time. At 15 I visited the doctor because I always held things to myself because I never told my parents I was being bullied or that life outside of my bedroom sucked. They just thought I was sad/depressed. Depression also runs deep in my family. My mother has been on an extreme cocktail of antidepressants since she was about 20. Although this cocktail has been quite a rollercoaster for her as well. She thought this was the only way to help. I had no one to talk to and I felt like the world was an unsafe and scary place so when the doctor prescribed anti depressants and the anxiety disappeared I thought it was a miracle. At this time the extreme side effects didn't matter to me. The fact I lost my ability to feel empathy because I was numb didn't matter because I didn't like people enough to care to empathize with them. I thought I was going to make it in this world on my own come hell or high water. This idea set me off on a path of perfectionism, egocentrism, hedonism and drug abuse. This life is not meant to be lived alone. To make sure this story doesn't become a novel I'm going to go ahead and summarize it here. For 16 years I went on a binger of sorts. Chasing all the highs this world has to offer. Whether this be dating multiple women, chasing drugs and festival culture, chasing adrenaline highs in the form of mountain biking, power lifting or cliff diving. I kept chasing thrills to fill the emotional void left by the SSRI. I also had to be perfect at this point. I had to have a straight A's in college. A quick aside (I had a long period of alcohol addiction that ran in parallel with my SSRI usage from about 16-21). This caused me to fall behind in life so I felt like I had to catch-up quick, mixed with the perfectionism created from early bullying it caused an immense amount of anxiety in my day to day life. I wasn't allowed to rest, make a mistake or simply apologize when I was wrong. This caused insane amounts of chaos in my relationships throughout these years. Finally when I hit about 31 I decided I had enough of this chaos. A 6-year relationship and all of my life long friendships finally collapsed on me. They were built on a false human. They were built on a man that didn't exist. I see myself as two people honestly. The person that was on anti-depressants is not the same human I am off them. Honestly in my mind half the withdrawal is realizing you built a life not suitable to the person you are off the medicine. I moved to a new area and started a new life. I also quit my anti-depressants. I began hiking and looking inward. It took about 6 months from the insomnia, brain zaps, panic attacks and extreme social anxiety to subside. I managed these symptoms with extreme self inquiry. I also started walking daily. I'm running out of time to write this so let me summarize this pretty quickly here. I'm not perfectly better now. I think anxiety/depression are a part of existence now. I accept there will be days I'm tired/scared and will have panic attacks, but I've learned to sit with these emotions and understand this too shall pass. Getting of my anti-depressant also gave me my empathy back. I built closer connections with people than I've had in the past 17 years. It was extremely hard to rebuild a social support system and a new life while quitting the SSRI though. I would say overall life feels deeper now though. In summary: 1) Took SSRI's for 17+ years. Felt like a zombie. I won't say it was all bad. If you are suicidal and have no other options I would say these are better than that alternative. If you believe you have any other options though I would urge you to try them all out. 2) Quit SSRI's at 32. Created a new life. 3) Anxiety/depression still exists but I now just believe these to be a part of life as opposed to something to get rid of. 4) Found a social support system that saved me, built around the real me. Sorry for jumping around so much on this post. I was trying to work from home at the same time. So I kept jumping back into it. If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know!
  6. Hello everyone and can I start by saying how glad I am that I found thus site. I've done nothing except read as much as I can about PAWS since it hit me nearly 2 weeks ago and on sheer popularity alone this site seems to be the one I've settled on. My story is one that started in Mt Kate teens when as a result of alcohol abuse I began to develop anxiety symptoms which I then proceeded to compound with a never ending cycle ogself medication with more alcohol and sometimes illicit drugs. Anyway to cut a long story short after 10-15 years of this I managed to defeat the worst of the alcohol binging and then illegal drug use - the problem was though it had left me with terrible OCD ( intrusive thoughts) which made it very hard to socialise normally. So as with many recovering substance abusers I had the usual need for relaxation that nearly everyone beefs when they're socialising hence the popularity if alcohol but with the damage it had done to my nervous system on top of that. Hence my trip to my GP to see if there was anything he could do to help with the residual OCD, anxiety and looking back mild depression. Oh big mistake as I was prescribed my first SSRI Sertaline which in a mild way did help until its efficacy stopped after a year or so from that I changed to citalopram then escitalopram and mirtazipine the latter actually making me feel worse. Finally I was put on fluoxetine which I had always hoped to be put on having read all the glowing reports of it revolutionising peoples' lives. So I remained on this for around 4 years (40mg) till it hit me that I didn't want to remain on any psychotropic drug for the rest of my life, the realisation that it undoubtedly damaged the taker physically and the clincher that I was tired of having unpleasant dreams every night since I had gone on it which themselves didn't exactly set me up cheerfully for the coming day . Anyway back in September this year I spoke to my GP and stated I wanted to come off it he advised a quick taper a month at 20mg and then stop. I'm even sketchy on the exact dates etc as I didn't think for a moment I'd end up in the living nightmare whrte I now find myself marooned. Anyway things seemed to be progressing well for the first around 4-6 weeks after I took my last pill. Then around 12 days ago I started to feel.physically under the weather which within a day had developed into what I thought was the norovirus stomach bug which meant I had to leave work soon after arriving thar day. Anyway what I thought was the virus gradually developed a mental component which then became all consuming. I'm not even sure now if the gastric problems were not just early physical symptoms of the withdrawal. Living by myself and being too weak to go out the psychological symptoms could start to rage unabated. The most severe depression I'd ever experienced- a feeling if utter hopelessness and devestation - anxiety so intense I could sort of feeling it tangibly in my veins, weird (a bit like a pulse of blood in my head rather than 'zaps'), random pains in my legs, terrible guilt for how I felt I had treated my parents (my wonderful mother and late father did not feel I treated them badly I know but all my years mired in the substance abuse I condemn myself for doing thatvwhen I could have made them far prouder of me). On top of all these symptoms my mother is now 89 and starting to become unwell and living 280 miles away I am trying to help get the care she needs .Finally I work as a locum worker so only get paid when I'm in work so can have no time off to deal with this or I will lose everythihg) I have just had a planned week off but this has obviously been taken by the extreme mental distress I'm experiencing with the PAWS so I'm filled with utter dread at the thought of returning to work tomorrow to a job as a medical professional where I have to interact and assist other people all day. Currently I'm just surviving thus excruciating mental torment from hour to hour Since I returned from my mother's 2 days ago I have made myself start an hours work on my exercise bike immediately on rising- I started yesterday and am about to resume in a few minutes. Also intend to force myself to go out with a local walking group at the weekend akthough that in itself may be terrifying if I suddenly have a panic attack in the middle if the countryside with people I don't know. Aside from the above described symptoms the most trivial things are irritating me especially certain sounds and can themself send me hurtling further into the abyss - yes I know that sounds ridiculous but they seem to trigger off intrusive thoughts which I then ruminate on. I have not had any form of alcoholic drink for 4 years next month - there was a long period when I had stopped the binging but believed I could drink sensibly which I now realise was a false belief in my case becsuse about 10 times in 20 years I fell off the wagon quite spectacularly and at my age that was 10 years roo much. The reason I mention this is that I went as far as buying 2 bottles of beer last night to try to give myself sone relief from this torture but I'm happy to say I left them in my car. They will be disposed of down the sink later! I feeling utterly bereft abd hopeless typing this and reading up on the possible months and years of distress ahead I must admit fleeting suicidal ideation has crossed my mind. But I would never do this to my mum and anyway it is counter to my Christian belief but I admit such strange thoughts as almost wanting to be taken seriously physically ill so I get some kind of care have appeared. I have no real family aside from my mother and because I moved 200 away from my hometown 25 years ago only a couple of friends up here abd even they live 40 miles away so it does feel a very lonely fight. I hope I haven't outstay my welcome with this introduction but felt all was necessary to explain the full situation I'm in and how I got here. I also hope that with 'only' around 2 weeks of PAWS under my belt that you do not think it too early to be typing on here. However the symptoms are clearly withdrawal syndrome and I have never felt a fraction of this torment I an in in a life that overall has not been easy. So thanks for providing this service and at least it shows I am far from alone in this awful experience. Finally restarting an AD is just not an option the only meds I would consider is prn benzos if so directed which a British doctor will thankfully never give you more than about 5 x 2.5mg a month maximum. But really I hope that this is it for me with any meds which cross the blood brain barrier for life. And aside from natural remedies I can finally clean my brain of all the pollutants which we can agree is what they all really are.
  7. Hello Everyone, I'm so grateful for communities like this community. To know I'm not alone. There's so much I want to say though I also want to post an introduction today and my concentration is limited so I'll try to keep it brief. I apologize if it turns out to be a bit long. My first experience of psychotropics was in 1994 when I had moved to a new area, was laid off, and struggling. My PCP was a willing participant and prescribed various medications - Zoloft, Paxil, whatever was available at that time. Nothing seemed to do what I hoped it would do and I didn't go any further. I wish I could say that that was the end of the story. Several years later in 1997, I moved to a new area with a woman I had been seeing. Our relationship was not a healthy relationship and I was under a lot of stress at work, wasn't sleeping well, was having a bit of a nervous breakdown. I decided to make an appt with a psychiatri1st. By that time, I was convinced that medication was an answer to my dilemma. I believed the current narrative of emotional distress, depression and anxiety, neurotransmitters, and the need for medication to make up for what was missing. The first psychiatrist wanted to just put me on Klonopin, said it would do the trick. I knew a bit about benzos and thought this recommendation wasn't helpful. It didn't fit with my understanding of serotonin deficiency. I went to see a different psychiatrist who put me on Effexor, titrating up to 300 mg. He prescribed Xanax initially to help with sleep and anxiety during the day. I was willing to use benzos as a temporary measure. That made more sense to me. I look back with regret and anger that other options weren't offered for what really were normal existential challenges of work and relationship, something I wasn't equipped to handle at the time. Fast forward to the present. I've been on medication since. And I've had a lot of trouble finding a medication that doesn't have significant side effects. I've felt despair. I've been told numerous times that I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life. And yet changing medications is a nightmare. The side effects are a nightmare. I recently read a book called Pathological that prompted a deeper reflection and research on medication in general. That the medication may be my problem. I had already started titrating down on my current cocktail. I experience akathesia on Zoloft, the reason the Remeron was added. It's a bit of a shock that my psychiatrist seemed uninformed. He wasn't aware of akathesia as a potential longer term side effect beyond 1-2 weeks. If patients experience this, it passes, he said. He offered no explanation for why it was passing for me. I've wanted to titrate off the Zoloft for this reason though I haven't known what next. I've felt hopeless. This process is so tiring and disruptive. My psychiatrist is a good man though he doesn't have really good ideas about what to do. Just throw more things against the wall and see what happens as if this were a simple process. I started to believe that maybe I have Bipolar II and misinterpreted the akathesia as hypomania. I was on track to titrate down on my cocktail and look at mood stabilizers, something my psychiatrist was willing to try, when I came across the book Pathological. It changed my view in many ways. My dilemma now is best to proceed. I'm learning just how naive I am about psychotropics and titrating off them. In my efforts in the past, I've followed a more traditional titrating schedule and crashed and burned only to think I'd relapsed and needed that medication. I thought I was doing it more thoughtfully this time which in some ways I am compared to the past though I'm still moving fast. I seemed okay with Zoloft 25 mg and Remeron 15 mg. I went down to 12.5 mg Zoloft and the withdrawal side effects were too much to manage. I'm using liquid Zoloft and quickly went up to an intermediate dose of 17 mg which seemed to be okay. I thought at 17 mg I could go down a third at a time from 25 mg. Because the sedating effects of the Remeron were kicking in on lower Zoloft, I went down on my Remeron to 7.5 mg. It's been 2.5 weeks since that change. It's been hard. The biggest issue is that often I'm unable to think, concentrate. Brain dead. When it happens I'm dead in the water. I can't really do anything. I'm awake though my brain isn't functioning. I can think a bit though my brain quickly locks up, shuts down, goes dead and it's worse as the day progresses. It's a huge issue, making work harder, diminishing my quality of life. I like to read and my ability to read and enjoy it is absent. After reading an article by Adele Framer yesterday, I realized that my plan to not overreact, to name withdrawal for what it is, and just live through the awfulness may not be the best plan. That things may get worse and that there may be a better way. That I need to slow down. Expect that this is going to take much longer than I expected. In that spirit because I'm really struggling with withdrawal and it's having a big impact on my life, I thought that maybe I needed to go back up a bit on the Remeron since it seemed that things really got worse when I went down on it (though I could be experiencing some continued withdrawal from the Zoloft). I went from 7.5 to 11.25 mg Remeron last night. I woke this morning, feeling like I wanted to cry and cry and cry. Maybe this increase is too much. The article talked about kindling and sensitization and I wondered if this isn't why even small dose changes cause problems. My psychiatrist unfortunately is willing to be present as I titrate though his knowledge in this area is limited. My initial question is, Where to go from here with the Zoloft and Remeron to continue the titration? I know I have a lot to learn and am wanting/needing to learn. Also one burning question is, Is this issue with an inability to think, concentrate, and focus, this feeling that my brain shut downs so completely and I can't function, common and is there anything I can do to address this? If you've made it this far, thank you for listening and for any input you can offer. Best, st11
  8. Hi all. I really need some advice about reinstating. I was on Prozac for about 5 years (started at 20mg and was at 60mg for the last 1.5 years) for seasonal affective disorder and anxiety. A couple years ago, I started Adderall for suspected narcolepsy. My narcolepsy got much worse the following year and another stimulant, armodafinil, was added. I finally got approved for a treatment that treats the root problem by normalizing the sleep cycle and started Xywav in September 2021. A few weeks in, I woke up feeling rested for the first time in my life, but with some very unusual symptoms atypical for Xywav. Going down on the Xywav did not get rid of it. I did stop armodafinil which helped a bit. I was referred to a psychiatrist (scheduled 3 months out) and neurologist (scheduled 7 months out). I went 3 months with these symptoms (SEVERE anxiety, dizziness, tremor, muscle twitching and stiffness, feeling agitated by noise and light, and sensory overloads) and was finally diagnosed with serotonin toxicity from the psychiatrist. I did a rapid taper from 60mg to 20mg over 3 months. Each drop I made, I had withdrawal, then stabilized quickly and had the toxicity come back. My psychiatrist and I decided to try holding at 20mg because of a longer withdrawal period, but then I started to feel like the toxicity was coming back. I kept going and taking the pill because I didn't see how it could be toxicity at that point, but I kept getting worse each time I took it. I started having spasms and burning sensations on my skin and was very hyper-reflexive. I was eventually instructed to CT at 20mg. I immediately felt better the next day, pain and spasms were gone within 3 days and I improved dramatically over the next couple months with only mild withdrawal symptoms. I did treat the mild withdrawal by taking 0.25-0.5mg microdoses of Prozac as needed (which I realize now was probably a bad idea, but it worked at the time). At 4 weeks, I started to have mild tingling in my legs but didn't think much of it. At 6-7 weeks out I felt almost completely recovered and back to normal and then week 8 everything started going downhill with the burning and tingling sensations in my legs amping up. I tried my last microdose of 1mg on June 6 and didn't have much change in symptoms. Over the next several weeks, I developed burning and tingling in my arms, back/spine, chest, neck, face, and now stomach. Along with this, I also have had severe muscle spasms in various areas, stiffness/tightness, cramping, and general muscle/joint pain. Posting this, I have now been off for 4 months and am going through wave and window episodes of severe pain and less pain. Each wave I seem to have burning/tingling neuropathic type pain, muscle pain, spasm, or stiffness developing in a new area of my body, so it’s now widespread. The pain is milder during the day, but gets so much worse at night and is causing lots of fear and anxiety. Since starting 5-htp, curcumin, and modified cictrus pectin (recommend by a naturopath) I seem to be having a few more windows through the day of a lot less pain and even 1-2 nights a week where the pain does not become severe at night. My mental symptoms are anxiety/fear, detachment (happens 6-8pm everyday) and some mood swings/low mood. The intense fear caused by the pain is the worst one. Most of my other symptoms are physical (blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite). I know reinstating can be a bit risky this far out, but I am a grad student and the semester will be starting soon. I would like to be more functional than I am... and in less pain. So is it worth trying a reinstatement at this point to see if the pain will go away or should I just try to wait this out? If I do choose to reinstate, my psychiatrist suggested reinstating 5mg, but would it be better to start at 1-2mg and work up? 4 months off at end of July and primary symptoms are pain (burning/tingling neuropathic pain, spasms, stiffness, aches bodywide), blurred vision, dizziness, detachment, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth and eyes, mood swings, and a lot of anxiety and fear. A couple other things. One thing I have working for me in withdrawal is my Xywav. I always get 8 hours of quality sleep a night with no insomnia, so maybe that will help me to stabilize just a bit faster than normal (or maybe its wistful thinking...). I also don't think I have a chemical sensitivity. I have started supplements, an antiviral (acyclovir), and lowered the adderall without any obvious worsening of symptoms. Also is there anybody here who can relate to this and has developed a lot of pain in withdrawal? I’m 24 and never had pain before. I have had a full autoimmune and blood work up as well as a brain mri. All normal, so hopefully it's just withdrawal. Sorry for the long post, but thank you for reading and any advice you can offer.
  9. ADMIN NOTE If you are looking for information about switching or "bridging" to Prozac to go off your antidepressant, read this ENTIRE topic: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/19373-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/ Prozac was the first popular SSRI, released in 1987, and was a substantial source of profit for Eli Lilly for many years. It became available in a generic form in 2001 (Lilly's fortunes subsequently plummeted). It comes in 10mg, 20mg, and 40mg capsules, as well as a liquid (usually 20Mg/5Ml), which is very helpful for tapering off. After a single oral 40 mg dose, peak plasma concentrations occur after 6 to 8 hours. In Australia and parts of Asia, brand-name Prozac is available in 20mg flavored dispersible tablets, instructions for which advise that they may be dissolved in water. The tablets are scored, indicating they may be split. (In the UK, similar fluoxetine dispersible tablets are called Olena.) Prozac also comes in a 90mg weekly capsule, containing coated pellets for delayed release adding 2 hours for peak plasma concentrations (very rarely prescribed). Prozac has the longest half-life of any SSRI. After you take it for a few days, half-life is about 16 days. Fluoxetine itself has a half-life of 2-4 days, but as it is processed, your body creates an active antidepressant metabolite, norfluoxetine, which has a half-life of 7-15 days. So Prozac keeps on extending its half-life as it is metabolized. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoxetine , fluoxetine and norfluoxetine inhibit each other's metabolism, extending the half-life of the drug. Because the half-lives are so long, the full effect of Prozac on the brain may not be felt for several weeks. fluoxetine (1-6 days) ---> norfluoxetine (up to 16 days) ---> other metabolites Prozac is mainly metabolized by the liver enzymes identified by cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 and CYP2C9/2C19, and inhibits its own metabolism via cyp 2D6 and cyp 2c19, which means lower doses get metabolized faster. (Prozac and its metabolites are also mild to moderate inhibitors of CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, and CYP3A4.) Is Prozac "self-tapering"? Because of its very long half-life, Prozac has the reputation of being "self-tapering," meaning it requires only a short taper. However, some people do suffer withdrawal from Prozac, just as severe as other SSRIs. Because of the long half-life, withdrawal symptoms simply take longer to appear. We suggest starting out with a slow taper of 10% per month for a couple of months; if no withdrawal symptoms appear, rate of taper may be increased -- but slow down if withdrawal symptoms arise. Reduce by 10% per month to start The 10% rule holds for Prozac, just like other psychiatric drugs: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? Using fluoxetine liquid to taper Using a liquid can be a very precise way to taper, by far the easiest way to titrate by very small amounts. Fluoxetine liquid comes in a concentation of 20mg fluoxetine in 5mL of liquid, meaning there is 4mg of fluoxetine in 1mL. If you are taking 10mg Prozac now, the liquid equivalent would 2.5mL. If you want to take 9mg of Prozac, you would take 2.25mL of the liquid. Always check the concentration of the liquid you get as it can vary among manufacturers, and adjust your calculations accordingly. If your fluoxetine liquid contains 20mg fluoxetine in 5mL of liquid: 1 mL= 4mg 0.5mL = 2mg 0.25mL = 1mg 0.2ml = 0.8mg You will need an oral syringe to measure out your dose of the liquid. To use the oral syringe, you need a special cap to put on the bottle of liquid Prozac. The cap should have a hole in it, the tip of the oral syringe fits into this. Read this about oral syringes. If your pharmacist doesn't have a cap, ask for a smaller medicine bottle with this type of cap. Pour some of your liquid Prozac into it and draw your dosage from the smaller bottle. Here's an illustration of how to draw the medication from the bottle http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__2284 Also see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__21391 See more detail about how to measure and taper Prozac-brand liquid here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/page__view__findpost__p__41090 It may be more convenient for you to take part of your dose in tablet or capsule form and part in liquid form for a while, tapering from the liquid part. Or, you may wish to gradually transition from taking your dose in a solid form to liquid form. See "Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid" below for how to make the change from taking your daily dose in all-solid form to all-liquid form. Making your own fluoxetine liquid how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules Fluoxetine is one of the few psychiatric medications with a long history of do-it-yourself dilution in water or juice. Mixed in cranberry juice, it's been called "Cranzac." My own personal preference would be to dilute it with water, to avoid any degradation that might be caused by sugar or acid in the juice. Also, it will be easier to see how well the fluoxetine is dissolved in water. (There may be particles swirling around, that's the filler in the capsule that doesn't dissolve.) Your fluoxetine liquid may be a little bitter -- just swallow it quickly. You might want to chase it with a little fruit juice. There are instructions for DIY Prozac solution here: http://depression.about.com/cs/sideeffects/ht/cranzac.htm (A psychiatrist posts about it here.) For very gradual tapering, for example, you can dissolve a 10mg capsule or orally dispersible tablet in 10mL of water to make a solution with 1mg Prozac in 1mL of water. To take 1mg Prozac, use an oral syringe to take out 1mL. Refrigerated, it's supposed to be stable for 14 days. From a pharmaceutical technician manual Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in lower-dose tablets or capsules, gradually converting to all liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another. For example, if you are taking more than 10mg fluoxetine per day, you could get your prescription filled in 10mg tablets or capsules and take part of your daily dosage as a capsule or tablet and the rest in liquid. If you are taking 10mg fluoxetine tablet or capsule, for the transition, you might alternate days where you take 10mg in capsule form and 10mg in liquid form, gradually taking more days in liquid form. (Do not skip any doses.) If your doctor prescribes liquid and tablets or capsules at the same time, most likely, he or she will have to indicate "divided doses" in the prescriptions to get the drugs covered by insurance. Dividing contents of capsules into empty gelatin capsules One way of tapering is to split up the powder in a capsule into smaller dosages. Go to a health food store and get empty gelatin capsules, the biggest they've got. When you open up a Prozac capsule, you can carefully pour a fraction of the powder into empty gelatin capsules. You won't have 5mg per capsule exactly, because it's difficult to eyeball the amounts. If you want to be more precise, carefully pour the powder onto a piece of black paper and divide it into quarters with a knife, then scoop each 1/4 into an empty gelatin capsule. See more about this technique at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__p__3033#entry3033 If you are very sensitive to variations in dosage, this method will not be precise enough for you to control your taper. Divide up capsule contents with an electronic scale If you want to be even more precise, weigh the powder in a capsule with an electronic scale, divide it up, and put it into empty gelatin capsules. The powder is very fluffy, though -- make sure it doesn't blow off the scale. See Using a digital scale to measure doses Have a compounding pharmacy make up capsules of smaller dosages With a prescription, a compounding pharmacy will accurately weigh the doses and put them into capsules for you. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__p__3001#entry3001
  10. Elisabet

    Elisabet

    Hi, I was on sertraline for around 9 years, due to anxiety. I have had anxiety as long as I can remember, tend to ruminate, but have lived with it and it has mostly worked alright. Some periods I have not had it at all, but it is usually there. It has been in a way that I have been able to work and function though. I had just moved countries at the time I started sertraline, had two little ones and started a new job I wasn't comfortable in. I had tried cbt but think in hindsight that the therapist was just not right for me. I do believe in cbt and has had great help from that later on. I also have pmt. Starting sertraline helped me, after maybe ten days of anxiety and restlessness, worse than anything I had ever experienced in my life. I have since then tried to stop at least a couple of times. Once alone (stupidly) and also with help from a gp. I failed though. I have experienced head "zaps", a pinching feeling behind my ears that I have noticed in terms of withdrawal, restlessness in my limbs, tension and an anxiety so extreme it has really been hard to deal with. In hindsight, I probably was my best when I was on 25 mg sertraline, a lot more energetic and happier than when I was on 50 mg. I have also experienced my ruminating problems but in such an exaggerated and extreme way. Not like how I remember it before sertraline. This last time I tapered very slowly for two years, and had a great doctor who supported me. Then I moved countries and met a gp who suggested we could switch the last, at that stage 12,5 mg of sertraline to fluoxetine. This was done but the dosage I was asked to take meant I got down to the equivalent of 6 mg of sertraline, so for me who had tapered slowly, 1-2 mg, 6 mg seemed like a lot. I reacted with extreme anxiety, compulsive thinking and pure dread, I did not recognise myself at all. The doctor suggested to take out the fluoxetine as well, after I had been on it maybe 6 weeks. This was in the beginning of July this year. The first bad period lasted about a month with anxiety and my sleep was just not working. Then it got quite a bit better in August (although not a 100%). Then three weeks ago I started experiencing the same difficulties I had in July. Extreme feelings of guilt and ruminating, an anxiety that feels so much more physical than how I remember that it used to be before sertraline. It feels extreme and long lasting, few breaks. I also feel sad and down, crying a lot, every day, which has never, not before sertraline either, been typical for me. I do not recognise myself. I have had my anxiety before but overall been quite happy. I am in contact with the same gp and whilst I don't feel entirely comfortable with him, he is very engaged and he thinks it is withdrawal as well, which is very much my interpretation too. I have some medications to help me get through this. Physical symptoms have been the pinching feeling behind my ears, tension and a restlessness in my limbs. An overall mental sickness feeling that is hard to describe, like I am totally out of balance. I really want to get through this but I am finding it hard to not know how long it is going to last? The obsessive thinking is making everything so hard at the moment. They did help but never did I think I would be on them for years, it was never my intention. I wonder if anyone else has experienced something similar? Any idea how long it can last and what can help? I understand that getting on ssri again probably would help but it has now been so long that I wish I could manage to push through (but obviously there are limits at the same time.) I exercise and try to do things that are good for me but it is tough at the moment.
  11. Hi, I have been struggling with hearing sensitivity and eye issues ever since I made the mistake of listening to my neurologist and trying Effexor, and then upon recommendation of a psychiatrist, Prozac. Both were for short time periods. I am a little more than 4 months out of my last prozac dose. Ears/Hearing: hypersensitive to certain sounds - sudden sounds, sharp impact sounds, crinkling plastic wrappers etc. High pitched tinnitus that is generally not too instrusive and can be better or worse but always there. No hearing loss as of post-Effexor, pre-prozac. Eyes: “tight” feeling that is somewhat better than a few months ago but still not normal. I probably have some visual snow, and my night vision is worse because it’s like my eyes are amplifying light that’s not even there. Constantly bloodshot and dry eyes - taking restasis but opthamologist didn’t see any other eye issues. Balance: generally ok but occasional unsteadiness. Other: Mild constipation: gastroenterologist didn’t see anything wrong. Some TMJ pain and minor random muscle twitches. Occasional facial tremors that are better than a few months ago but not gone. Frequent trouble sleeping- falling asleep, getting enough sleep or deep sleep. Basically I believe that these drugs hypersensitized me. I sincerely hope that this hypersensitivity will decrease over time. I have seen some improvement vs say 2 months ago, but I have a long way to go. I have read on this site that it can take a long time for the nervous system to calm down. I believe that I am generally improved on magnitude of sensitivity vs say 2 months ago, but I am clearly not on a “some people take as much as a month to recover” timeframe.
  12. ADMIN NOTE: Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to fluoxetine. Be sure to read details and cautions below . Consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner before changing medications. Also see Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac) Switching or bridging with another related drug, usually of a longer half-life, is a medically recognized way to get off psychiatric drugs, particularly if you find tapering your original drug to be intolerable. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug. For many doctors, a switch to Prozac to go off a different antidepressant is routine. Because of the risks of switching drugs -- see below -- we recommend attempting a very gradual direct taper from your drug, with bridging with a different drug only a last resort. There are a lot of unknowns in bridging. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has the longest half-life of any of the modern antidepressants. Because it takes more than a week for a dose to be metabolized completely, a careful taper off fluoxetine is easier for many people -- see information about Tapering off Prozac. And, at least fluoxetine comes in a liquid. (Do not assume fluoxetine is "self-tapering"! We have many people here with Prozac withdrawal syndrome. While going off fluoxetine usually has less risk, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. No bridging strategy is risk-free.) Citalopram (Celexa )and its sibling escilatopram (Lexapro) have half-lives of about 35 hours, a relatively long half-life among SSRIs, and are other candidates for a bridging strategy. They also come in a liquid form. You must find a knowledgeable doctor to help you to with a bridging strategy. The cross-taper method discussed below is probably the safest way to make a change in drugs. You might wish to print this post out to discuss it with your doctor. For most people the switch goes smoothly but for some it doesn't. The drawbacks of switching to another drug to get off the first drug, described below, apply to ALL bridging strategies for ALL drugs, including benzodiazepines (where people often want to bridge with diazepam per the Ashton method). Risks of bridging A bridging strategy has the following drawbacks for a minority of those who try it: Dropping the first antidepressant in the switch may cause withdrawal symptoms even though you're taking a bridge drug. Adverse reaction to the bridge drug, such as Prozac. Serotonin toxicity or adverse effects of a drug combination. If withdrawal symptoms are already underway, switching to a bridge drug may not help. A cross-taper requires a number of careful steps. Difficulty tapering off the bridge drug. All of the bridge drugs can be difficult to taper themselves. So, like anything else, a drug switch is not guaranteed to work. When to switch or bridge "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know". A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to the substitute drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. The risk of a switch is justified if you find a taper from the original drug is simply too difficult. Usually people will do a switch when they find reducing the original antidepressant by even a small amount -- 10% or even 5% -- causes intolerable withdrawal symptoms. (I have heard doctors say they don't even try tapering off paroxetine (Paxil) or venlafaxine (Effexor ), they switch to Prozac at the beginning of the tapering process.) If you are having intolerable withdrawal or adverse effects from an antidepressant, it may be worth risking the worst case, which is that a switch to a bridge drug doesn't help and you have withdrawal syndrome anyway. If you're thinking of switching simply as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risks against the amount of convenience you would gain. Generally, switching for convenience is a bad idea. CAUTION: A switch to a bridge drug is not guaranteed to work. It's safer to slow down a taper than count on a switch. A switch really should be used only when a taper becomes unbearable or there are other serious adverse effects from the medication. You must work with a doctor who is familiar with bridging, in case you develop severe symptoms. Overview of cross-tapering method For drug switches, many doctors prefer cross-tapering, where a low dose of one drug is added and gradually increased while the first drug is reduced. For a period, both drugs are taken at the same time. Here is a graphic representation of cross-tapering: If you are making a switch to Prozac, the second antidepressant is fluoxetine (Prozac). Given fluoxetine's long half-life, it may take a couple of weeks to reach full effect. The effect of the amount you add at each stage of the cross-taper will build throughout the process. As it is possible to overshoot Prozac dosage, it's best to be very conservative about increasing fluoxetine throughout the cross-taper, you could end up with serotonin toxicity from too much fluoxetine (see below). Also see this discussion about cross-tapering with Prozac: Serotonin toxicity and serotonin syndrome You run the risk of serotonin toxicity if you are taking too much serotonergic. Most antidepressants (and some other drugs, such as triptans and MDMA) are serotonergics. Serotonergic effects of antidepressants are added when you take more than one of them, particularly if you add an SSRI (such as Prozac, Celexa, or Lexapro) to an SNRI (such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima)). (Other types of antidepressants should not be combined with tricyclics or MAOIs.) Symptoms of too much serotonergic can be: Nervousness, anxiety, akathisia, sleeplessness, fast heartbeat. Symptoms of serotonin toxicity can be these plus disorientation, sweating, and others. Serotonin syndrome is even more serious. See Serotonin Syndrome or Serotonin Toxicity Reduction of the drug dose should resolve serotonin toxicity. Note that if you cross-taper, you will be taking 2 drugs at once for part of the time. Because of the potential of serotonin toxicity by overdosing SSRIs as well as in combination with SNRIs, it's safest to err on the lower side of a Prozac dose "equivalent" -- such as 5mg -- to your original drug. This is why doctors familiar with the Prozac switch will cross-taper by adding an initial LOW DOSE of Prozac to an SNRI. Start low, the effect of fluoxetine will increase over several weeks. Another concern: Escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs. If you add 10mg escilatopram to the high dose of 60mg duloxetine (Cymbalta), for example, you run the risk of serotonergic toxicity -- 10mg escilatopram is equal to approximately 20mg-30mg duloxetine. How much fluoxetine (Prozac) to substitute for my drug? Since fluoxetine's half-life is so much longer than those of other antdepressants, its effect is a little different. It's not a stronger antidepressant, but the effect of each dose lasts much longer. This may be the reason a lower dose of fluoxetine often seems to adequately substitute for other antidepressants. For an idea of equivalent doses of your medication to fluoxetine (Prozac) read this post (January 7, 2018) in this topic. It compares fluoxetine 40mg/day (a fairly high dose of Prozac) to other antidepressants. Source of that data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911132 If you have tapered to a lower dose of an antidepressant, an even lower dose of Prozac may be more tolerable. If you are about half-way down, you might want to try 10mg Prozac. If you have decreased further, you may wish to try 5mg Prozac. If you have substituted fluoxetine for your drug and after two weeks, you feel you have withdrawal symptoms, you may wish to gradually the fluoxetine dosage. After each change in fluoxetine, wait at least 2 weeks to see the effect before deciding on another increase. More is not better for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. EXAMPLES OF THE PROZAC SWITCH Below is information I've gathered from doctors about how to do the Prozac switch. You will see there is no standard protocol. Healy 2009 method for the Prozac switch From Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines: Phelps-Kelly 2010 method for Prozac switch From Clinicians share information about slow tapering (2010) Jim Phelps, one of the authors of the above, posted in 2005 in some detail about the so-called "Prozac bridging" strategy. He said it is described in Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash, maybe in the chapter titled of "Held Hostage." The technique Dr. Phelps described in this post skips doses and finishes with alternating dosages, which we do not recommend for people who are sensitive to withdrawal symptoms. Given that fluoxetine liquid is available, this is completely unnecessary. Foster 2012 method for Prozac switch Dr. Mark Foster, a GP whose mission is to get people safely off psychiatric drugs includes this in a presentation he gives to doctors. http://www.gobhi.org/spring_conference_powerpoints/safewithdrawal_of_psychotropics%5Bautosaved%5D.ppt. His method involves overlapping Prozac with the other antidepressant -- cross-tapering. Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler) For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil (20mg) or Cymbalta (20mg), he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge." The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excessive serotonergic stimulation (serotonin toxicity) from the combination of the two antidepressants during the overlap period. Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be easier than tapering off Effexor. Smoothing out a transition to fluoxetine Even with a cross-taper, your system might feel a jolt after you finally drop the initial antidepressant, particularly if it is an SNRI, such as Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta, or other drug that is not an SSRI like fluoxetine. (Other SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro). If you go through a rough patch after the transition, patients find they can take a tiny chip of the original drug (or a bead or two, if it's a capsule containing beads) for a week or two to smooth out the transition. Eventually, you'd take a chip as needed only when you feel a wave of withdrawal from the original drug, and then finally leave the original drug entirely behind. (A gelatin capsule might make a tablet fragment easier to get down, but it is not necessary if you can wash it down with a good swallow of water. The gelatin capsule quickly dissolves in your stomach.) Here's an example. There is no shame in doing this. Whatever works, works.
  13. Hey, my name's Leland. Last May, 2020, I started having Panic Attacks due to life stress, COVID fears, and unhealthy lifestyle habits. After a week of bad anxiety, DP/DR, I was prescribed 10 MG Prozac. The first week was managable, so I increased to 20 MG. Did all kinds of research on the drug to assuage my fears, but my side effects were pretty minimal. Panic attacks continued once a week or so, but began to slowly weaken. After one bad day in late July 2020, my doctor and I increased my dose to 30 MG. After a few weeks of this I felt pretty calm again. For the next few months, my anxiety was hit or miss, but I stopped having panic attacks, and I learned to live with the anxiety that would creep up, so largely that went away as well. I felt pretty detached and foggy with the medicine, but very calm, so it was worth it. This spring, I had gone 7 or so months without a panic attack, so I decided to taper off. My doctor recommended dropping 10 MG every 2-4 weeks, so I chose 4 weeks. Went from 30 to 20, then to 10 on May 8. On June 1 I took my last 10 MG pill. Immediately I felt withdrawal symptoms. Brain zaps, fatigue, body and head aches, and a feeling like I was underwater. Did some research on my own and found this site! Decided after 5 week of symptoms to talk to my doctor about reinstating and tapering again, from 5 MG. Before I received the liquid medicine, I went on a vacation with family and drank, a lot. Came back to California having new and severe anxiety attacks (not panic attacks, since I gained the skills to stop them from becoming panic). New feelings of DP/DR came from the anxiety. Took my first reinstated dose of 3 MG on July 30. The next week was full of dizziness, anxiety, DP/DR, aches. Came to an understanding with my Psychiatrist that binge drinking while having Withdrawal Symptoms led to my anxiety outburst. Increased to 5 MG liquid on August 7. Since then, my anxiety has lessened some, but I still have daily feelings of feeling underwater, occasional anxiety outbursts, and fatigue. Have cut my drinking by 85%, now only 2 beers per week. Sleeping well, eating well and exercising, walking to lessen my anxiety. Ultimately, I'm staying on 5 MG liquid for several more weeks before doing the 10% taper. Withdrawal symptoms *seem* better, definitely no more brain zaps. But it's hard to tell with all my new anxiety symptoms. I want to calm my anxiety holistically, instead of increasing my prozac back up to 10 or 20 MGs. The medicine really worked for me, but I want to be able to remove it from my life eventually as well. Will continue to take care of myself everyday, and hope both the medicine and anxiety symptoms even themselves out over time. Excited to have found this site!
  14. Hello! I am in a hell of withdrawal. I have been on many different SSRI’s in the past and they all worked but had intolerable side effects. About a year ago I started sertraline, and when it didn’t work my psych put me on Abilify and lamotrigine. The Abilify seemed to help a bit but gave me crazy anxiety and tardive skenesis. The lamotrigine has never seemed to do anything. Since last March I have been trying to taper. I’ve had two terrible experiences when my doc told me to stop the S and A cold turkey. I’m back on low doses of both. Currently I take 12.5mg sertraline, 2mg Abilify, 200 mg lamotrigine and would like to get off all of them, if possible. I have terrible anxiety and crying spells that I’ve had since starting the sertraline and Abilify. Im wondering which drug I should try to taper first?? Thanks for your help!
  15. NeedMoreHope

    NeedMoreHope: Prozac

    Hello SA Community, I am new to the site, but have been reading a lot of info here over the past 2 1/2 years. I am in a bad place... I was on 20 mg Prozac for many years, and was told by a Dr. in Feb 2018 that I could just "stop it". Well... I crashed bad. I didn't know what was happening, and over the next year and half, I was given over 22 different meds (including back on Prozac and numerous AD's, benzos, sleeping pills, BP meds, mood stabilizers, and lastly, an antipsychotic). I deteriorated more and more and finally decided to get off everything. I am down to my last 5 mg of Prozac. I have suffered very much - my biggest symptoms have been horrible insomnia, dark depression, intense anxiety among others. I haven't had but a couple of days of windows in the past year. I am just losing hope. Will I get better? I am holding at 5 mg for a long time (just reduced 2 weeks ago). I think I did EVERYTHING wrong.... Thank you.
  16. Hi all. I’m writing on behalf of my husband. Bit of background: 2003 was put on Prozac for 3 months- no adverse reaction and subsequently various doses of venlafaxine which he successfully came off of with no issues. 2013 was switched from Venlafaxine to sertraline. Had ‘activation syndrome’ (extreme anxiety) for 8 weeks (always thought it was him) but went away once body used to drug. August 2021 had been on 25mg for years and thought he would taper over 2 months, successfully came off no issues or problems. january 2022- I was having a C section and he was a bit worried, nothing extreme though, just normal worry and decided to reinstate the Sertraline. Within days, ‘activation syndrome’ was back. He stayed on for 5 weeks and then doctor said ‘come off as you weren’t anxious or depressed to start with’ symptoms of withdrawal started but manageable. He thought after 6 weeks that it wasn’t withdrawal as nhs website said it should have gone after 2 weeks! March 2022- started mirtazapine at 15mg going up to 30mg. Fine for 3 weeks, but then developed activation syndrome and quickly came off. GP advised to go back on to sertraline at a bigger dose- ended up in a and e, so agitated! 3 weeks later, he thought that the mirtazapine might be less activating at a smaller dose, so went back on at 15mg… alas, 3 weeks later, activation syndrome is back! june 5th came off and has been battling severe anxiety, but generally, every other day! I am aware of windows and waves but don’t understand this. One day he’s perfect and the next can’t leave the house! He also started propanalol in June which we feel makes it worse as apparently it blocks seritonin to a degree, but makes anxiety a lot worse if he reduces (or maybe he did too big a jump). NHS have left us to it, no help! Have a private appointment on Monday. Questions are: If he is getting windows this early on, is it a good sign?! The only symptom he has is extreme anxiety/agitation which seems more a reaction to lack of seritonin, thus firing out tons of cortisol? Could he go on a low dose of Prozac to see if that helps? Prozac is the only antidepressant he doesn’t think caused activation syndrome?! is there any experiences with propanalol making matters worse? I think there is a slight improvement in the anxiety but considering it’s only been out of his system for 6 weeks I expect takes a lot longer to build new pathways etc/level out. Thanks for reading. Just want my husband back, it’s destroying me and him!
  17. MOD NOTE : RealMe's Introduction thread is here ------------------------------------ Because of what I learned here and with the support I found here, I have been completely free of anti-depressants. I have not taken any mood altering chemicals in over two years, so I finally feel competent to write my success story. When I got here I was so confused, I'm not even sure what I was taking. I reported my symptoms to the psychiatrist, primary care doctor and therapist, and all were in total agreement that I "needed medication." Even in my confused mental state, I finally realized that nothing they recommended was doing anything but making me worse. When I tried to get support to withdraw from psychiatric medications, I was told I was having a resurgence of my "depression." No one in the medical field that I came in contact with would support me in my desire to get off meds, and no one would acknowledge the phenomenon of "withdrawal syndrome" from anti-depressants. To this day, I have a very skeptical attitude toward all doctors and feel that, regardless of how well-meaning they might be, they are nevertheless medicating people into senselessness. My mantra is to "never snivel or weep in front of anyone with a prescription pad." When I was 19, I went to the clergy for help with nervousness and low self esteem. From there I was referred to a psychiatrist who gave me Valium. That was the beginning of the end for me. Now I had an addiction to sedatives along with increasing nervousness and lower self esteem. Later I was given Tofranil, Elavil, Desyrel, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Abilify (a real killer in my experience) and some others. I gained a ton of weight and lost my ability to feel normal feelings at all. I remember being at my father's funeral and thinking something must be wrong because I didn't cry. Not only did I not cry, I couldn't feel anything. And I loved my father. Over the years, I tried on my own many times unsuccessfully to detox from these prescribed medications. By the time I arrived at this web site, I was trying to withdraw from Abilify, Wellbutrin and Prozac. I learned about slow and steady until I had decreased my dosage of Prozac to liquid from a dropper. It was extremely difficult to get my doctor to prescribe the liquid form for my detox because he was still insisting that I could not do without a full dose! He insisted that I see a therapist and agree to go back on medication if I "got worse." I don't think about that process very much. I went to the therapist and told him whatever I thought would convince him that I was fine without medication. Then I would report my true and actual symptoms to the people on this forum and took their suggestions. Thinking of "puppies and kittens" as a coping strategy makes me smile to this day. What I do think about often is that I have been drug free for a long time. I feel happy, sad, anxious, calm, confident, worried, fearful, full of faith. In other words, I am leading a normal life with a full range of emotions that are appropriate to either what life throws at me or what life offers to me. At first, I feared that I was too old to change after years of being in psychiatry land, but I wasn't. I believed what I discovered here, and I am extremely grateful to have survived anti-depressant withdrawal.
  18. Firstly hi, i wish someone can guide me, may 2021 i started on paxil 10 mg then 20 mg to the end of mars then i switched to zolof 50 mg then 25 mg but it gave me insomnia and lost my appetite so i switched to lexapro 5mg after 7 weeks on zoloft.. Lexapro always made me lose my appetite so i just stopped then i got into withdrawal so i used prozac to get rid of them after one week like this : one week 5 mg prozac One week 2.5 mg One week 1.25 It got rid off dizziness and zaps but nauaea it still there after i finished prozac ( when i was on it i didnt have much appetite too ) Its 10 days ago So what should i do now plz help me Tough it out ? For how long ? Or reinstate lex 2.5 mg but it will make me lose my appetite anyways Can i taper if i wasnt stable on it and still give me side effects ? Plz help and opinions and thanks..
  19. ADMIN NOTE Farmgirlworks's Introductions topic is here. A pickle-and-cheese sandwich marked the beginning of the end of this trip to hell. At 25 months, I stopped in at a neighborhood yard sale. While my friend looked at a carpet from Mexico, I was drawn to an older man sitting on the front stoop and eating something. I looked closer and saw that it was a pickle-and-cheese sandwich. And I realized that I *wanted* one. I craved it. Bad. It was a strange feeling after months of forcing myself to eat and often could only stomach potato chips dipped in butter. I walked over and discussed the sandwich with him. Havarti cheese, bread, lettuce, and, of course, pickles. He told me that the brine of pickles is good for cramping. “I come from a long line of crampers,” he said. I could not get it out of my mind. I actually had a CRAVING. Next stop was the grocery store and I got all the ingredients. I dressed it up a little by making it into a grilled cheese and pickle sandwich with lettuce, mayo and mustard. Cut it into little triangles and, well on the eighth day, God made a pickle-and-cheese sandwich. And it was good. Best of all, I knew I was going to heal in time. The corner had been turned. . . . For every person who is in withdrawal -- wherever you are in the process -- you will heal!!! Know that, deeply breathe it in. Healing is inevitable… unfortunately the pain is too but it will eventually end. Hang in there. I didn’t “think” I would recover but always “believed” it because of the Success Stories. I have gone through so much high stress the past 3 years -- some of which was withdrawal but a lot was situational family dramas, auto near death experiences, and meeting my biological father less than a year ago. It’s been, well, "a lot." However, I am grateful and humbled to be on the other side. Yes, I still trend toward depression and anxiety but not at sky-high withdrawal levels. I now have tools to cope. Creativity is increasing each day and my motivation and cognition, while lagging a few steps behind, is coming back as well. And while anger is hard-wired into my DNA, now I am more of a firecracker than a bomb. ~~~ Drug: sertraline (zoloft) 50-75mg Time on drug: Jan 2012 - April 2017 Kindling: cold-turkey (CT) multiple times including once in 2015 for 6 months Fast-tapered sertraline 5ish weeks Complete end on April 1, 2017 Age/sex: 50yo female Recovery: 33 months, 90+ percent Supplements: magnesium powder, fish oil, aspirin. I used others ($$$) but nothing with regularity. ~~~ I was put on sertraline because I had just come back to Seattle from a six-month stint in an isolated, tiny rural town as a funeral director -- not stressful at all. I quickly fell into physically painful depression and high anxiety because I had no job, no place to live, and a new dog -- not stressful at all. No doubt I had PTSD. If I knew then what I know now, I should have splurged on therapy, quit drinking, and gotten a gym membership. But I did not and after two months asked my GP to prescribe anything to make the pain stop. After a couple weeks on Wellbutrin which created such anxiety, I quit and switched to Zoloft. And it worked. At least for a while. But there was breakthrough depression and I did not want to be dependent on a drug for the rest of my life. Of course, the GP gave me the lines about “it’s just like insulin for a diabetic” and “you have a chemical imbalance.” I went rogue several times and tried to stop cold turkey because this stuff isn’t addictive, right? I finally decided in spring 2017 that I wanted to stop for good. I decided to attend an ayahuasca ceremony for Easter -- hippie! -- and knew I could not be on an SSRI to do it. So I did a fast taper for Lent and in 5ish weeks stopped. The ayahuasca was transformative and I felt great… until I soon did not. My therapist at the time, with no medical knowledge, advised I switch to Lexapro because “it worked” for her. I dumped her immediately because my soul knew this was not right and was beginning to sound like a medical pharmaceutical conspiracy. After a couple months of suffering and quitting drinking, I found Surviving Antidepressants and saw that indeed this pain was REAL and experienced by others and I could lean into the expertise here. I’ve never looked back. The moderators said it would take time and indeed it did. Here is my thread about it. ~~~ The following helped me stay alive… I was going to say “and hope” but, frankly, there were several months when I didn’t have a shred of hope. It is the absolute worst (insert every curse ever uttered) hell. And I say this as someone who survived brain surgery. Yes: this is worse. And you will get through it. What kept me alive: - information - peer support - Success Stories on this site - acceptance - rage at pharmaceutical companies I obsessively read most of the “symptoms” threads to find out what was happening and get information. I needed proof that I wasn’t a freak of nature and that others had experienced the exact same thing… and recovered. The information on this site is invaluable, I learned so much. We are lucky to have such a comprehensive resource. I also watched YouTube videos, Baylissa Frederick videos, and read Beyond Meds and Inner Compass Initiative. The peer support on SA is exceptional -- I am reading over my thread and moved to tears (I can cry now!) by the compassion of members. I briefly hosted a Meetup for other withdrawal folks and could only do it a few times because I was still ill (apologies to The Smiths). I could not hold space for the misery and sad stories that people appeared with. One dear girl came with a handwritten letter in pencil on lined paper about her experience -- I am still haunted and inspired by her courage. I bow to the moderators here and what they do daily. Their knowledge and compassion blow my mind. It is a strength not many of us have. Part of my diet was reading the Success Stories over and over and over. There are some that I read at least a dozen times, eating up every single word and ingesting the message that “it does get better, hang on.” Do good writers get afflicted with withdrawal? It seems so based on the Success Stories. Seriously, I cannot recommend these enough to give you the strength to make it through one more day, hour, minute, second. Acceptance came late in the game because I couldn’t believe this might go on for years. I had to hit rock bottom first: unable to work, “friends” disappearing, and the possibility of never feeling any semblance of joy again. In the beginning, I resolved to go on by giving myself deadlines. “If you make it one year and everything still is this bad, go back on drugs.” “If you make it 18 months and it is still this bad, you can kill yourself.” “If you make it 24 months and it is still this bad, then you can storm the office of the CEO of Pfizer.” Yeah, immature crap, I know. But it helped me stick it out. Then at 2 years, my bio-father unexpectedly entered my life and deadlines were no longer viable options -- that relationship means the world to me. I think that was when I truly started to “accept” that I’d be sick as long as I was sick and get well when I got well. Yes, rage is not zen, not productive, and probably wasted energy. But it was the spark in my darkest hours that kept me going. I don’t mean homicidal rage, just the desire to add to information about how real and bad this experience is. There is a rage that comes with not being “seen” and this illness is definitely not seen except by those going through it and a few compassionate people. Every time I read “discontinuation syndrome” in media articles, I wanted to pull my hair out. Still do. I firmly believe that it will be seen eventually and want to support that however possible. What has helped me, but is not in the category of keeping me alive, is first and foremost kundalini yoga. I am now taking a training course in kundalini and am developing a class for people going through withdrawal. It is a trauma unto itself and the focus on the glandular system and, especially, strengthening nerves has helped immensely in healing. AA for honest sharing. I wasn’t able to get into the personal soul-searching until half way through the second year as what I was experiencing was chemical and no amount of soul searching was going to change that. I was legit envious of those who recovered from alcohol or opiates in months and here I was suffering from prescribed medication for years. And, I had reservations -- sometimes explosive anger -- at the members on psych drugs. However, now I am getting so much from AA, seeing patterns, changing my behavior going forward, forgiving myself the past. Hydrotherapy in the form of pools, hot tubs, and saunas were a big part at the end of year 1. Especially the sauna. I religiously do a cold rinse at the end of showers. This stimulates the parasympathetic system through the vagus nerve. Check out Wim Hof on YouTube. I do it because of kundalini but this method is a widely accepted way to strengthen nerves. And taking epsom salt baths a couple times a week calmed my body especially during bouts of akathisia. Acupuncture: I still do this regularly and she followed the NADA protocol for drug withdrawal (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153313/) Art! It took a good year before I began to have glimpses of ideas for art projects. My thread has the work I did. Sometimes just sitting and slowly stitching was all I could manage. The last piece was drawn from quotes here and I am proud of it as a piece of activism. Timed gratitude lists for 10-15 minutes each day. Did this for a few months in the second year. I got this from a site about combating anhedonia and there is a neurological basis to strengthen the “wires” of positive connections in the brain. The gratitudes always have to be different to strengthen your “mind muscle” to see more positive events. Yeah, it sounds hokey... and it also helped. ~~~ Symptoms, I’ve had a few but not too few to mention (if you think “My Way,” please make it the Sid Vicious version): black depression, sky-high anxiety, neuro-emotions, anhedonia, daily suicidal ideation, headaches, severe head pressure, low appetite, panic attacks, leaky eyes, facial nerves tingling, akathisia, cortisol morning spikes, fatigue, tense shoulders and neck, cognitive decline (cog fog), depersonalization/derealization (DP/DR), no creativity, impulsive rage at people on the street, catatonia, intrusive thoughts, unmotivated, no confidence, no self-esteem, and emotional dysregulation (a later symptom). Had short windows but mainly months of waves. Triggers: fluorescent lights, caffeine, processed food, crowds, unsupportive family/friends, and above all else, high situational stress. ~~~ Admittedly, I am nervous about big situational stressors that are marching down the pike in the form of aging parents (now I have three), financial security, and vocation. Then, there is the “3 year relapse.” My memory is not good and focus is difficult. But both are steadily improving. I do wonder if this experience has made me less resilient to depression and anxiety. However! I made it through and if that doesn’t take serious resilience, I don’t know what does. So screw the nervousness: I’ll survive yet again. You will too. ❤️ . . . It just wasn't like the old days anymore No, it wasn't like those days... Does the body rule the mind Or does the mind rule the body? I dunno – THE SMITHS, "STILL ILL" ~~~ Book recommendations The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth by Gerald May Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker Own Your Self and A Mind of Your Own by Dr Kelly Brogan Death Grip: A Climber's Escape from Benzo Madness by Matt Samet Blue Dreams by Lauren Slater
  20. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  21. Hello. I have been on 20mg Prozac for twenty years. I then starting taking one every other day for about two months. Then one every three days for about two months. I felt fine during this whole time. Then stopped. Again I felt fine. I felt like myself again. I had feelings. I was very angry, but that was ok because I felt like I had that fire back in my belly. Anyway four months down the road. Exactly four months to the day from my last ever pill. I am experiencing severe panic attacks and anxiety about my past mistakes. Just suddenly came from out of nowhere. I’m also starting to feel depressed with all this exhausting obsessive worrying. I’m at a crossroad here. I don’t know if I should just carry on and stay strong without the pills. Or start back on them again? Maybe if I carry on without them the thoughts and anxiety will slowly disappear over time? Or will it never go? I just don’t know. I really don’t want to get back on the pills because they make me feel tired and numb. But at least my worries will go. I've come so far. Four months down the road after twenty years of Prozac. Anyone have any words of support or advice? Thank you.
  22. I took escitalopram (10mg), clonazepam (0.5mg) and modafinil(10mg) for four days and then quit cold turkey 12 days ago. It was a bad decision. I am having trouble concentrating, loss of motivation, genital pain, genital numbness. Before this I had taken fluoxetine for seven months and quit in last december. Any suggestions on how I should proceed? Should I go back on the drugs and taper them slowly? I also have PCOS so I was taking finasteride (5mg) for one and half months and quit it 3 days ago(I had read that it can also cause sexual dysfunction) and currently taking diane 35(ethinyl estradiol and cyproterone acetate) along with some vitamin supplements. Also on latanoprost and timolol eye drops for glaucoma.
  23. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  24. Hello, and thank you a million times for the site, I am gutted to be here. I'm so sorry I didn't fill in my history, I thought it went in the signature and didn't want to do it twice, I'm in something of a rush and feeling utterly terrible. I realized I should have but don't seem to be able to go back and fill it in. Apologies for any inconvenience. One of a thousand stupid decisions I seem to make all the time on these meds. So I'm hoping for some advice about switching. I've been on Mirtazapine for approximately 8 years and I'm reaching the point where the Gemini scales won't be accurate so I'm looking to switch. However, I switched to Prozac a couple of years ago and had a terrible time. I was manic, couldn't sleep or eat, and so went back. At the time I thought it didn't agree with me but I now realize it may have been withdrawal from the mirt that was causing the problems. I'm really sensitive, which is why I've had to change pills in the past after reactions like skin rashes so I'm worried about trying something new. I'm hoping you guys might have an idea of what I could switch to that's soluble and hopefully, easier to get off than Mirt. Also, over the 2 or 3 months I'm starting to feel depression creeping in, which I haven't had before as a withdrawal symptom, so I don't know if it's withdrawal or relapse. I can't take anything else for the depression as it'll interact so I'm thinking of going back up to 7.5 and staying there but the thought of staying on this medication makes me feel suicidal. This is complicated by the fact that I stopped drinking completely 3 weeks ago which can apparently cause depression although the depression starting earlier but it could be exacerbating it. I realize there's a chance, a good chance, that, having been on these meds for so long, and having swapped about along with being so sensitive, I might well have to stay on them forever. I'm trying to come to terms with this, but I don't want to give up giving up too easy. Many thanks again for the site, I wish I'd found you earlier, and for any advice you can offer.
  25. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. I started seeing a physiatrist that put me on the combination of Straterra and Vyvance for ADHD, Trileptal and Trintellix for depression/mood stabilizer and Prozac for OCD. I have been on this mix of medication for more then 5 years. I think I am not ready to start weening myself off this medication, because I am in a very good place mentally. The last time I tried to stop Prozac I went from 50 mg to 0 over 5 weeks, but I think that it was way too fast and I had to go back to my previous doze. Looking back, I should have questioned all this medication when my doctors was prescribing it, but now I feel stuck and not sure where to begin. Hoping someone here has some suggestions.
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