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  1. 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.
  2. hello, this is my first time posting. I have read some of the forums on here but I still am having difficulty on how to proceed. I was on Paxil 40mg for 7 years. I hate it. I cross tapered onto prozac 40 over 9 days. I was stupid and tried to reduce the Prozac’s dose a couple days as well. The withdrawal is so bad now I can barely get up and I haven’t eaten much of anything in days. These are the same symptoms I felt from stopped Paxil before; intense nausea, headache, vertigo, lethargy, brain zaps, depressed. I can’t function at all. today and yesterday I’ve taken 40mg prozac. I’m going to call the psychiatrist on Monday but honestly they have no clue about anything related to withdrawal and never give me guidance. I have very little faith in them being able to help me. Does anyone know if this is just from stopping Paxil? Or starting prozac? Does being on another ssri not stop the withdrawal from another? I’ve tried withdrawal from Paxil on its own and it’s just impossible. I have no idea what to do at this point. If the United States had free healthcare I would go to the hospital but it doesn’t so I’m not doing that. I’m not sure how much they could even do.
  3. Hello I am looking for some help. I have been under medication since I was 15. I had : - Bromazepam - Prazepam - Paroxetine I managed To give up on benzodiazepines by following the rules of Heather Ashton. I live without benzodiazepines since june 2017. I tried To give up on 20mg of Paroxetine in 2017 : too fast (in 3 months). Then I tried a second time in 2018 : 5% every 30 days. But after one month, I went through hell. I tried a third time in 2018 : 3% every 21 days, then 20 days, 19,...16 days. I sas Well during a year, full of hope!!! But last August the 22th, I went back To 10mg ( I was then at 8.41 mg) Since I'm in hell. Now I wonder : can I hope To be better one day ? Have great day
  4. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Hi everyone I was on Paxil 20mg for 19 years- most of which time it worked well (except for some weight gain and bloating). While studying at grad school I started taking Adderall for four years until it developed until a problem and managed to come off it inn July 2017. Went through the PAWs from that which lasted for a long time (and is maybe still ongoing). However, since I came off the Adderall, the Paxil appeared to have stopped working (either than or the PAWs from the Adderall was overriding its effects). So 5 months ago I decided to do the Prozac bridge to see if Prozac would work for me. I did a straight switch to Prozac 20 mg without any tapering and felt some withdrawals and also felt weird most likely from starting on the Prozac as well. While taking Prozac I have been up and down, with good weeks and bad. However, in the last two weeks I have had what seem suspiciously like the 'waves' I hear about on this site. I have felt the worst I have ever felt in my life and it seems very much like SSRI withdrawal to me (I've experienced withdrawals from Paxil several times before when I either ran out or tried to quit). This time symptoms include a sense of impending doom, nausea, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression. It seems unusual to be suddenly hit with withdrawal symptoms 5 months after giving up Paxil and while still taking Prozac right? So my question is- is this some delayed withdrawal to the Paxil I stopped taking 5 months ago or is it some adverse reaction to the Prozac (even though I have had periods of feeling fine on it). I am leaning towards to the possibility of coming off the Prozac and reinstating the Paxil. Even though I was feeling pretty depressed when I was on Paxil last I didn't feel like this now where I basically feel like I'm losing my mind. Any recommendations on what I should do?
  6. I've been taking Pristiq 100mg (plus 5mg Somit to sleep and 100mg Activigil to wake up) for the past 3 years more or less. I've been trying to quit Pristiq for many months due to HORRIBLE withdrawals whenever I forgot even one pill. I got to down the dose to Pristiq 50mg after enduring two weeks of those horrible withrawals and then they were gone, luckily. Now I'm trying to figure out my next step. There's no Pristiq 25mg where I am from. My psych told me to switch to venlafaxine 75mg three days ago, not the XR, the regular. It has such a short half life that I'm having horrible symptoms as well, even though I'm taking 37,5mg in the morning and 37,5mg in the afternoon. I'm trying to figure out if this is the best way to quit Pristiq. She says I should stay with venlafaxine and taper down from it. I'm worried about feeling awful. I can't function. Should I stay with the venlafaxine or switch back to Pristiq 50mg and figure out something else? Should I bridge with Prozac form Pristiq? Should I stay with venlafaxine and THEN bridge with Prozac? Should I just taper down from venlafaxine? By the way, thank you all for describing so accurately all the discontinuations sympotms of the Pristq- the brain zaps, the headaches, the dizziness, the confusion. What has this done to us? I want out.
  7. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience/knowledge regarding switching from sertraline to fluoxetine. I'm currently on 25mg of sertraline daily. I've been taking this drug for 11 years on and off and have been trying to taper, but find it very difficult. My doctor has switched me to prozac WITHOUT a crosstaper. (Because fluoxetone has a huge half-life it is easier to taper, which is why he is switching me.)He says to take 20mg of fluoxetine every 2 days and cease taking the sertraline immediately. Information on the web regarding crosstaper from sertraline to fluoxetine states to cease sertraline before starting fluoxetine. This is in contrast to other cross tapers betwenn SSRI's (e.g sertraline to paroxetine etc) which recommend crosstaper. It's all confusing. To make matters worse I start a new job a week on monday. I've ceased the sertraline yesterday and am starting the prozac 20mg every 2 days. Apparently this dose of fluoxetine is roughly equivelant to 25mg sertraline. My question is, will I be ok for my job starting in 10 days? I suffer pretty bad from nerves, so I don't want to walk into the job on the first day on the verge of apanic attack. Also, fluoxetine has a very long half-life and takes a while to build into your system, so I'm worried if this will be enough to combat the sertraline withdrawal.
  8. Hello, I was thinking fluoxetine (9years) before sertraline (1 moth) and I want to go back fluoxetine due to its liquid presentation. Anyone know how can I do it? Thanks in advise!
  9. Hi! I’m losing hope. I need to hear at least ONE story of someone who has been in my situation and recovered … I can’t locate any. Was bridged from Lexapro to Cymbalta due to poop out. Crashed into withdrawal from Lexapro. One month later, stopped Cymbalta and reinstated full dose Lexapro. Didn’t know of site at time and listened to dr. It has been a year. Do feel some improvement but still bad brain fog and derealization (disassociation to world around me). Tried to cut Lexapro by 1mg and had severe reaction. Feel trapped.
  10. 36year old man. Married, no kids. I've been on SSRIs for 15 years now. I've been tapering off them for 5 years. Effexor was what I took for depression, anxiety. From 2004-2014 I gradually took more and more until I got to a point where I couldn't be prescribed a higher dose (can't remember specific, will ask doctor). The plan was to get onto a different ssri, but I had to taper down to a lower dose before I could bridge with prozac. The withdrawal was awful and the more I learned about psychotropic drugs the more I wanted off completely. I have strong feelings of worthlessness and shame. I'm embarrassed to look anyone in the eye. I've exercised, meditated, changed my diet, take supplements, see a therapist, i've established a support network, cbt, affirmations, rigid self care program. Still hate myself. Still get suicidal thoughts. I want to try life with no antidepressants. Maybe that's it. I think it's actually the drugs that are keeping my depression from lifting. I hope. I've been aware of the forum for years and finally decided to post. I feel alone in this withdrawal from time to time. I haven't been to a support group in months. My phone never rings and I like it that way. I want to hide from everyone. I don't know anyone else quitting their meds. Feels like I'm losing my identity and I just don't care enough to build it back.
  11. Hello, I’m new, I’ve been on 10 mg lexapro for 11 days. I want to bridge to Prozac. Lexapro side effects and fear of harder withdrawal ( to say the least from what I’ve read) if I wait are my strong motivations. I was on 20 mg of Prozac for about 6 yrs up until 2017. I had no problem stopping because of the long half life I assume but had virtually zero issues. For context I’ve also taken trazadone 50mg for sleep for 12 yrs and have not been able to get off that, so I do have experience with miserably failed ct attempts and one crude ( pill cutting ) experience. Miserable and disheartening. The reason I want to bridge to Prozac is to hopefully mitigate the lexapro w/d and still be on something that addresses the anxiety and depression that caused me to go back on an ssri ( lexapro). I went on lexapro ( despite what I read about harder w/d) because it’s supposedly better for anxiety. It has seemed to work but the blurred vision, and other side effects I won’t mention ( you know) are not acceptable and extreme. I’ve been off work ( my major stressor which caused my anxiety and depression crash) but I have to go back ( work from home in sales) in 9 days. I’m very worried about crashing with symptoms right when I go back to work but want to stop now because I’ve only been on lexapro for 11 days. Please help as I know my GP will just do whatever I say. He already told me “ if you don’t like lexapro you can just stop it and start Prozac and it would be smooth” I’m paraphrasing. Your help and expertise would be appreciated. Main question: is my relatively short stint on lexapro going to make a non taper bridge easier? I know it’s a crapshoot but I don’t want to start a liquid taper for months after only 11 days on the drug. 2012-2017 Prozac 20 mg, stopped no problem. 2016 to present Trazadone can’t get off, 12/16/20 to present on lexapro 10 mg.
  12. I haven't been able to reduce my Cymbalta dose for two years because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms I have experienced with both attempts (a year apart). I spent three years dropping from 60 to 30 mg. I have pretty much given up the goal of eliminating Cymbalta - afraid to cause more damage by tapering the than that caused by continuing to take 30mg. I am unwilling to risk further trauma and drama, so I haven't tried the crossover either. Prozac was too "activating" for me in 1989. I don't think it's likely to be a solution in 2012. I still have restlessness, sweats, problems with balance, an incredibly trigger-happy startle reflex and frequent headaches. After feeling progressively less brain fog during my three year taper, my cognitive processes are really abysmal at this point. I can't keep track of simple stuff, can't handle financial transactions, have problems with noise, light, just stimulus in general. And I haven't changed doses in two years. I wonder, do SNRIs poop-out the way the SSRIs tend to?
  13. Hello, I was started on Effexor 75 mg a year ago for anxiety and OCD. I tried cutting my dose in half 2-3 months ago to 37.5 mg not realizing about withdrawal symptoms. I have never struggled with depression but since changing the dose have been really depressed. 3 weeks ago my doctor added Prozac saying it would help but it doesn’t seem to. I am so frustrated and feel like Effexor has caused me more problems than good. Since I tapered so quickly I don’t know if I should go back up to 75 on Effexor or increase my Prozac or what to do. I feel like my doctors aren’t sure what I should do either as he told me it’s up to me to decide my taper on my own thanks for your time and help in advance
  14. Yogendra from India -- 24 years on various meds. Now on Desvenflaxine 50 mg Exteded Release I am from Delhi, India and was put on such drugs around 24 years back. Now I am 38 years. I have gone through worst experiences in my life. I had a brain stroke around 25 years ago that left my left half of body weakened and paralyzed. I some how recovered mostly from it later on. But have been on psych. drugs for last 24 years ON and OFF. Years back I was on around 10 tabs per day. And many times I stopped medicines cold turkey too but had to come back again when symptoms striked again with full force. I wish to come off from the meds. Currently for the last 6 months I have been on 50 mg desvenlaflaxine EXTENDED RELEASE tablet daily. I heard that extended release tablet should not be cut into pieces. I am in dire need of an advice how to wean off from medicines and live freely and calmly.
  15. I'm new here, but have been following this forum off and on for over a decade. I think I'm finally stable enough to try tapering off my current meds. I've been on some form of ssri for about 25 years. I've been working with a naturopath for about 5 years to address some other health concerns that have really been supportive to my healing. I'm entrenched in a wellness program that is also very supportive. I tried earlier this year to taper off with help of a dr and thought it would work (silly me). His suggestions for tapering were far too large and quick. I've read a lot of what has been written here and have prepared myself to go much much slower and realize it could take years. For this next attempt, the dr proposed a prozac bridge and I went along with it, as I've done something similar before and it worked pretty well. (Again, silly me). Prozac makes me very very tired and I do not want to continue it, plus I don't think I need it for the taper, given what I've read here. I'm in the process of tapering off the Prozac and went from 20mg to 10mg with no problem whatsoever. However, my jump from 10mg to 5mg was quite disasterous. I now realize I must go much much slower going forward. I'm at 10mg Prozac now and will start going down on that next week. I will eventually attempt tapering off my 75mg effexor, but that will be after prozac taper. I'm trying to get everything in place for this. I've printed out symptom logs to keep track of everything daily and will look into the jeweler's scale for my effexor. Here I go! 🙂
  16. Hi I am new on this site. Firstly this site is very helpful and thank you all. Now I am in really bad situation and I need advice. This is my drug history: January 2012-April 2019 on Effexor 225 mg April-August 2019 I tapered Effexor to 150 mg August 2019 I did bridge with 20 mg Prozac and quit Effexor. Oct 15 2019 I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Now I am on 10 mg Prozac. My bad symptoms started when I quit Effexor and did bridge with 20 mg Prozac. But I could manage symptoms for a while. I think Prozac worked because I could function. But 3 months after I quit Effexor, I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Symptoms got worse then. I am crying every day and anxiety is horrible. I am taking Omega 3. This helps with headache. But I can't manage emotional symptoms. What should I do? Should I updose Prozac?
  17. I started taking lexapro about 5 years ago was on 20mg. I tapered off over the course of 9 weeks by 10mg each. I've been off for 12 days. I've been feeling the brain zaps which I expected, I was tired and irritable which I expected. One night I woke up in a dead slee with pgad symptoms. Who would have thought that an anti depressant withdrawal would have caused this? I do not have it as bad as what I read but it is there. Im also feeling itchyness all over my body. Tingling everywhere, did anyone have pgad from withdrawal? Did it go away? How long did it take? I came off the lexapro to try and have a baby with my husband. Iam now devastated. Please give me some positivity! (mod note: Original title: Pgad help! Does it ever go away!)
  18. 2-17-16 I was taking Effexor for 13 years (since I was 19y/o) up until a year ago then was weaned off with Prozac till September 2015. I experienced everything that everyone has talked about. October and November seemed to be going well and then December developed SEVERE stomach pain and burning with GERD/GI issues. I went to the doctor and have since been on Prilosec 2x a day which isn't doing sh*t for me. I am completely terrified. They ran the basic tests of ultrasounds and blood work and came back normal. I am terrified of having the scope although that is what's next when I go for a follow up in a few weeks. I know that's what's needed to get a better look but I've never been put under and it sounds terrifying. Not sure if these are delayed withdrawals??? I was tapered with Prozac till 5 months ago and now this horrible stomach pain and acid. Has anyone experienced this? Is it permanent? I lost 20lbs from being scared to eat normally and only drinking water. I just want to know I'm not alone in these symptoms. December to now can't be normal to have pain this long, right?
  19. On day 5 only of using 10mg of Prozac with 75mg of Effexor for first week, then 20mg of Prozac and 37.5mg of Effexor for week 2, then no more Effexor. Could it work? Who the hell knows? Been on antidepressants for 20 years and have had enough of withdrawal/activation syndromes/poop out. These are powerful analgesic drugs that should never be prescribed. Psychosocial support(cbt, exposure/desensitization therapy works and is much safer).
  20. Can anyone share if while coming down off of Effexor XR and bridging and going to Prozac they had horrible panic and anxiety symptoms with numbness, tingling and weakness? I feel like I'm coming out of my skin and have a terrible dread, panic waking up. My feet feel cold at night, then on fire in the morning. I can't get any relief. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  21. I suffered from depression and was put onto fluoxetine (Prozac) about 10 years ago. Did 2 months on increasing doses but was having no effect. Easy switch to citalopram. Upped to 60 mg. Seemed to control depression quite well for quite a while. About 7 years ago citalopram stopped being effective enough so got moved to venlafaxine (Effexor). Venlafaxine worked, but whenever I missed a dose (took extended release version and always took about 8am) i'd get a headache by about 2pm. Since about June last year i've been coming off V. 225 to 150 jump I made without any problematic withdrawal symptoms. Tried 150 to 75 and got bad symptoms, so back to 150. Managed to get hold of Effexor brand with the beads (instead of generic pills) and titrated down to 75 mg over 7 months. I did a slow taper some weeks at only 1.5 mg down, others up to about 5 mg down, depending on what was going on in my life. Hit 75mg mid - January. As i'm not currently working I thought i'd try a more severe drop to speed it up whilst I can spend whole day in bed and don't need to concentrate as much. Did 15 mg week 1, then 15 mg week 2. Got side effects (headache, light-headedness, insomnia, lethargic - so the usual). Upped from that 45.5mg to 47.5 mg in hopes it'd cease symptoms. They got notably better, but by no means gone. I've been doing my research online and spoke with doctor and agreed to bridge with prozac. So taken: Yesterday: 10 mg Prozac, 47.5 mg V Today: 10 mg Prozac, 47.5 mg V + 3 mg V (additionally 3 mg V as felt light-headed). Getting a bit of nausia which I think is P side-effect (nothing I can't handle though) In hind-sight I probably should have re-stabilised on V before adding prozac, but it's started now. Any advice or thoughts on how to move forward from here would be appreciated.
  22. LSS, I have been on some form of antidepressant/anti-anxiety med for 20 years. I was in a massive car accident with severe head trauma back then, and have had inexplicable panic attacks since. Without meds, I tend to randomly pass out 4-5x/week from a classic hyperventilation/anxiety attack. Only difference is that mine tends to come out of nowhere, without any trigger. They are super hard and fast, so I don't even see it coming sometimes. That's resulted in an additional 6 diagnosed concussions... For the last 15 years, I have been on Effexor XR, 150mg (name brand only). For the last 2 years, they added Celexa (generic), 20mg. The Effexor is killing me... I can't sleep. No more than 4 hours/night, interrupted, in the last few weeks. I literally have to pee at least every hour if not more often. I have had night sweats for 8 years. And my lymph nodes in my neck are so incredibly large (roughly 2 golf balls in size), that I've had some surgically removed. (obv. not cancerous). So, I've contacted my doctor, asking to ween off using Prozac as a bridge based on what I've read. I'd be happy to quit the Celexa too, I don't get withdrawal symptoms much from the Celexa, nor does it seem to help much. However, instead of doing that, she increased Celexa to 30mg/day, and cut the Effexor in half to 75mg for 2 weeks.... continuing to cut in half every two weeks until complete. I really don't see Celexa proven to be a good bridge. Experiences? Thoughts?? The withdrawal is pure hell, as I'm sure anyone reading this knows. I will, of course, try this... I just worry so much about the withdrawal.
  23. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in the last 14 years. Usually would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off with no problems. The last time I took them (2011), I needed the maximum dose of sertraline (200mg) to get an effect. After a year on it, I felt it was time to stop. The nurse insisted I had to keep taking or risked relapsing into severe depression. I tried several times to bring up the topic to no avail. After about 1.5 years on it, I cut the dose on my own to 150mg and felt ok for 2 weeks. But after I started having a dull headache that lasted hours, dizziness, serious cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. I could not function and needed excessive sleep (12-14 hours/day). Tried increasing it again and the more severe symptoms got better, but the headache and flu-like malaise persisted for at least a week. I consulted with a psychiatrist. We tried effexor and cut on zoloft. Had no withdrawal symptoms, as I was cross-tapering. I was completely off the zoloft. Only took Effexor for about a month on a low dose (never past 150 mg) because it never helped with the symptoms of Atypical Depression I had. When I started tapering down the effexor, I got the dizziness and extreme fatigue again. When I would fall asleep, I found it extremely hard to get up. Literally felt pinned to the bed. Woke up more tired than I went to bed, even after 12 hours of sleep. Woke up dizzy and with a headache. I increased dose again and we're doing a slower taper over 21 days. The starting dose is 37.5mg. I experience dull headache that lasts hours, flu-like malaise, muscle tension, fatigue every day (with the occassional good day of no symptoms and the occassional day of much worse symptoms). I have learned to cope the best I can with these symptoms, but the fatigue gets unbearable at times. I sleep 12 hours at night and still feel tired and even drowsy during the day. I'm in grad school and it's hard and often impossible to study or even make it to class. I was supposed to decrease dose to 25 mg after 10 days on 37.5mg, but since I still have symptoms, I'll ask dr if I can postpone the decreasing... Im also concerned that the increasing apathy Ive had over the last 7 years might be due to antidepressant use. It could also be depression, but if it is SSRI use, its a very scary symptom that is not going away (has not gone away for more than 3 months in over 14 years since I started having depression/taking SSRIs). The only reason I can semi-function today is because I take nuvigil (a stimulant) 3 or 4 times/week. Without that, I can't do homework or clean or shower. Im extremely dysfunctional. I don't rely only on the stimulant though. I use it to give me energy and motivation and alertness that I use to do positive things, which improve my mood and further help with apathy.
  24. Greetings I am a 49 year old male. I was prescribed Paxil 20mg 15 years ago. I was having panic attacks and originally prescribed Zoloft. I reacted badly to that med and immediately took my self off of it. Wasnt on it more than 3 days. Still suffering from gripping anxiety my PCP suggested I try another med in this class as everyone reacts differently to them. Initially I resisted but wanted relief. So I relented and took the sample starter pack of Paxil. Within 2 weeks I was feeling better. There was no question it had an affect. I had mild sexual side effects mainly muted orgasms. In the big picture it was a small price to pay for not living in constant fight or flight mode. I have tried numerous times to get off of this drug. Always failing. Being told that my symptoms where a return of what led me to go on the medication to begin with. I could get down to 10 mg but never any lower before experiencing significant discomfort. I would go into crises and return to my original dosage. I saw a psychiatrist and he prescribed prozac to substitute for the longer half life. That was a huge mistake. This summer I began a new quest feeling more determined than ever to rid myself of this poison. I got down to 10 mg and stayed there for months. I was stable. Using a pill cutter I got down to 5 mg and felt relatively stable. I convinced my PCP to prescribe Paxil in liquid form. This suspension was 10 mg per 5 ml. I started taking 2.5ml/ equivalent of 5 mg. I seemed ok. So I went down to 2 ml and seemed ok. Very little side effects. I was feeling strong so I did the very stupid thing and accelerated my taper. I went down to 1.5 ml. then 2 weeks later went down to 1.2 ml. All hell broke loose. Panic attacks. Flu symptoms. Anxiety. Crying. Anger. pain. Hypochondria. I researched supplements and tried Omega 3's, B Complex, vitamin D. researched tryptophan and 5-HTP but thought better than to try this. It seemingly came in waves. Everytime I hit a window I thought it was over and I was stabalizing just to hit an intense wave again. mornings seem better with waves in the afternoon. Im afraid I damaged my nervous system. Im struggling with what I should do next. I have become fearful I will always have these symptoms. Not sure if I should up my dose or stand pat and give myself more time to stabilize. I recently have had windows where I feel fantastic. Like my old self. Only to hit an intense wave of misery. Its brutal. I do not trust doctors. They are clueless. I have been told to skip doses etc....its unreal the disservice so many people have suffered at the hands of this poison. "Its not addictive" you might feel uncomfortable for a week or two. My god I want to shove this down their throats and let them feel it. Should I up my dose? Stand pat and stabilize? I have been on 1.2 ml for 4 weeks and still feeling symptoms. Maybe just a slight bit of improvement. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  25. frederike01

    frederike01

    Hello everyone! Ok it's a long story but i'll give it a shot! my name is Frederike. Oh and my english might be not THAT good, but...i'll try my best! =) . When i was very jong (about 12 years old) i started to develop anxiety combined with OCD. At that age it wasnt very harmfull yet but it got worse when i got older. I went to a psychologist at 13/14 but that didnt really help. so i stopped going. But my anxiety didnt left me so i went. The psychiatrist prescribed me fluvoxamine when i was 15 years old. I also started to experience 24/7 derealisation. The meds. didnt really work i think but i thought maybe it would be worse without them and i dindt know how hard it was to get off back then so i kept taking them. my anxiety OCD en derealisation didnt disapeare or get any better. i try'd to stop several times but the next day after lowering my dose my derealisation would become so bad i couldnt stop if i wanted to continue to function. and the docters told me: well, then keep taking them. So i took the pills for many years and after taking them for about 8 years my anxiety and derealisation slowely worsened.3 years ago all of a sudden i felt really bad and anxious i had to stop working. I went to my dokter and firt we desided to higher my dose. i was on 125 mg fluoxetine. But that dindnt work at all. It made me feel even worse. so i decided to lower my medication (with my dokter)and maybe switch to some other meds. i was on 175 mg. fluoxetine at that moment.I decided i didnt want to switch but i wanted to stop taking the meds. because they never really worked and i wanted to solve my problems for real.i wanted to know wich part of my problem was really mine and witch part maybe the meds. i knew i would never get better if i would start trying some other meds. i was afraid i would even get sicker. So i went from 175 to 0 in about 5 weeks. Even though i felt so so bad i kept on lowering because my docter told me : after quitting the withdrawal will last for only 3 weeks.Then they will disapear.Wel that was the breaking point. i went totally insane,experienced continue panic and anxiety OCD and derealisation at the worsed levvel.my symtomes had NEVER been this severe.So i went into a mental hospital. They gave me paroxetine. i was ok with it bacause i wanted to "ficks" this way to fast lowering of my medication, and dicided to take it and then slowely taper off when i was back home. In the end I was on 50 mg. paroxetine and 1,5 mg lorazepam. but it never really covered up the mess quitting fluoxetine made.Only a little.At that time i didnt know paroxetine is the worst drugg (SSRI) to get of but I found out soon enough. I found a good therapist (not a psichiatrist) and dicided to slowely taper off meanwhile fixing myself with therapy. All this time i could not work or function. every single step i took on lowering was a hell. I am on 0,5 mg lorazepam now and 3,5 mg. fluoxetine. When i was on 14 mg paroxetine i couldnt get any lower. even lowering 0,2 made me feel to terrible. so i siwtched to fluoxetine because it would be easyer to get off. the switching was hell. then i started lowering from 14. every week i took off 2 mg. until i was on 4. ( i did this again in a clinic).i thought it would be way to quick for me but i felt no extra withdrawal symptomes. wich i almost couldnt believe. Then after going home ( at 4 mg.) i broke down again. obviously the withdrawal started wayyy later.So here i am, feeling worsed then ever. Not knowing when this hell will stop and whether i will still be alive by then. Starting new medication is no option at all because whatever psychiatric drug i put into my body, my body just cant take it.So this my story in short thermes. right now i'm on 0,5 mg lorazepam and 3,5 mg fluoxetine. Hope to speak to you soon!
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