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Identityfree

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Hi

 

I'm trying to taper off fluoxetine. I have been on 40mg a day since August 2015 but that was after tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

 

I cut down to 20mg/day 2 weeks ago. I didn't take any this past weekend. I took 20mg on Monday and Tuesday. None on Wednesday. I'll skip today too. Then I'll take 20mg on Friday, Sunday, tues and thurs eventually stopping over the next fortnight.

 

I have gained 17kg since last March which I attribute largely to the fluoxetine. I also drink alcohol every night. I'm now obese. I hate it. Still exercising regularly. I had mild depression, stressful job and all that but I'm feeling confident I can get off the drugs now. Am motivated - want to lose the weight!!!

 

I'm currently getting accupuncture once a week and taking supplements recommended by a naturopath to support the tapering.

 

So that's my story. I really am so pleased to find an anonoymous support group. I haven't used a forum before but I spend a lot of time at the moment googling withdrawal symptoms and how to taper etc and came across this site. I think it's what I need.

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome, Identityfree

 

I am glad you found SA.  We are here to support you and help you succeed in coming off of fluoxetine.

 

It would help everyone see your history at a glance if you could fill out your signature block with your med history with dates, to the best of your ability, of stopping, starting, and dosage changes.  Instructions for doing are here:

 

Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.

 

You can use your intro thread to report changes, ask questions and generally journal your journey off fluoxetine.  By clicking "Follow this topic" above your thread, you will be notified of any responses.

 

We do not recommend alternating/dropping doses as a method of tapering here.  It is too destabilizing to the nervous system.  Instead we recommend a 10% taper method which you can read about here:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Though fluoxetine has a long half life, it is still best to keep a steady level in the system day to day.  Here is some information about tapering fluoxetine:

 

Tips for tapering Prozac (Fluoxetine)

 

How are you feeling?  Since you have been on 20 mg/day for two weeks, it would probably be best to resume taking 20 mg daily for another four-six weeks, since that was a 50% cut and it will take additional time for your nervous system to respond/adapt.  You can read about how the brain responds to med changes here:

 

Brain Remodelling

 

In general we suggest tapering by 10% of the previous dose and staying at that dose for at least four weeks.  This allows time for the nervous system to register the cut and produce withdrawal symptoms, followed by clearing of those symptoms and stabilizing. Keep notes on paper.  Once you know when, if any, withdrawal symptoms appear relative to a cut, and when they subside, you will be able to gauge your own taper schedule.  Some may need more than four weeks, while others might be able to cut every three weeks.  Some find that 10% is too much, and that 5% every two weeks feels better.  

 

Well, there's a lot of reading to get started with, so when you've processed those links, post your questions here :-)

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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This is really helpful, thank you! I'm desperate to lose the weight so I guess I was looking for shortcuts. Good to know you recommend staying on 20mg/ for another 2 weeks. Will read the links...

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

This is really helpful, thank you! I'm desperate to lose the weight so I guess I was looking for shortcuts. Good to know you recommend staying on 20mg/ for another 2 weeks. Will read the links...

 

I would recommend staying there for at least a month, actually :-)  The reason being that that is a 50% cut, and will take a good amount of time for your central nervous system to catch up.  Keep track of how you are feeling daily.  If you begin to feel symptoms, it could be withdrawal from the 50% cut, in which case a small up-dose might need to be made.  I would have said move back to your starting dose of 40 mg except for the fact that you'd been at 20 mg for two weeks.  Ups and downs are very destabilizing to the nervous system, and being too aggressive with cutting in the future can really bite you because updating may not always work.  Much safer to move down conservatively and stay on level ground, so to speak, then to hope you can backtrack if too aggressive.

 

Keep up posted on how you are doing :-)

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Thanks so much SG- really appreciate your replies. Just saw your signature block and looks like you've been through a lot. Hope you're well now.

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Well, protracted WD from a too fast taper is no fun at all, and that drives me to help others avoid it if possible!  Now slowly tapering off and below minimum therapeutic levels of two ADs, doing pretty well all things considered!

 

It is hard to be patient, admittedly, but I've suffered the results of being too hasty earlier on, and that is enough to keep me tapering sanely.  I hope that my situation can help you avoid problems along the way.  A proper taper is downright boring in its lack of drama LOL!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi identityfree , welcome to the site.

 

Please read the links SqirrellyGirl provided.

"I cut down to 20mg/day 2 weeks ago. I didn't take any this past weekend. I took 20mg on Monday and Tuesday. None on Wednesday. I'll skip today too. Then I'll take 20mg on Friday, Sunday, tues and thurs eventually stopping over the next fortnight."

 

Even if you decide to continue to take 20mg daily , after decreasing 50% for 2 weeks then infrequent dosing, you can expect it to take a good 2 or 3 month to feel your normal self again.

 

Please let us know if you decide to give your brain the opportunity to stabilize / recover before tapering off in a safe way.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thank you Fresh. I didn't take any today - I simple forgot. Seem to be feeling ok. My capsules are 20mg and the liquid advice looks confusing... Some days I wish I'd never starts this in the first place. I don't think I understood how hard it would be to come off. So good to come on here and get a reality check about the true timeframes. I'm going to come on each day and record if I took a dose or not and how I'm feeling - it's going to be the best way to keep an eye on things.

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's a good idea to keep a record , on here as well as on paper.

 

It's actually quite simple to make a liquid solution. You dissolve one 20mg tablet in 20mls of water

in a small jar (buy a 10ml plastic syringe). Then draw up say , 18mg and squirt it into your mouth.

That's all there is to it.

 

Please stay on 20mg at least a few weeks , till you feel "normal" again. Then we can help you as you taper if you want.

 

:)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you Fresh. I didn't take any today - I simple forgot. Seem to be feeling ok. My capsules are 20mg and the liquid advice looks confusing... Some days I wish I'd never starts this in the first place. I don't think I understood how hard it would be to come off. So good to come on here and get a reality check about the true timeframes. I'm going to come on each day and record if I took a dose or not and how I'm feeling - it's going to be the best way to keep an eye on things.

 

Do try to take your dose every day, identityfree.  Fluoxetine has a longer half life so it may seem like you can get away with skipping doses, because you don't feel bad the day that you do skip, but the oscillations will catch up with you as you reduce.  it won't help you get off any faster.

 

Reducing when your system has become dependent on the drug is challenging to the nervous system and can cause sensitization such that your system becomes hair trigger about changes, so consistency is really best.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Very wise words. Took 20mg today. What do you think about starting 18mg tomorrow?

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

To be honest , you've done so much bouncing around the past 2 weeks , it's going to take a good while to recover anyway.

It may be that you can stabilize on 18mg just as well as on 20mg at this point - it's a bit of a guess.

We advise people in this situation to go back to the dose they were last stable on.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Fresh jumped in before I could finish my response!

 

Please read this again:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11721-identityfree/?p=216952

 

I get that you are itching to get on with your taper, but you just went from skipping a dose, after having gone down to 20 mg from 40 just two weeks ago.  It is still too soon to do any tapering.

 

So, am I to understand your sig correctly, that you were on 20 mg for one year and then tried to come off, unsuccessfully, so ended up on 40 mg as of Aug. 2015?  And two weeks ago you went to 20 mg?  How did you come off the first time?  What kind of taper schedule?  You have already had one failed attempt, so your nervous system will likely not be as forgiving of being pushed too fast this time.

 

A lot of folks are antsy about getting on with it, and push their tapers, cutting too often, by too much, or both.  More often than not they get into trouble and backpedal, try to up-dose.  The problem is, by all the erratic dosing, their nervous systems sensitize to where the up-dose doesn't even work, and it takes weeks or even months for them to stabilize.  They beg for help to alleviate their symptoms, but there is none to give - only time.  When you are in that place of suffering, you will seriously wish you had gone more cautiously.  

 

Of course, you have the reins.  All we can do is try to guide you, and we'll be here to try to pick up the pieces if things go south if you do push it.   If you do go to 18, please stay there 6-8 weeks AT LEAST.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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This is what I needed to hear. Thank you. Will stick on 20mg a bit longer. I feel good enough. You're right last year was horrible - hadva stressful family event so I wasn't sure if it was circumstances or the drugs making me feel so bad. So I went back on. Instead of going to the dr I bought over the counter. Read around. Increased my dose to 40mg. Now feeling just fine for a few months and need to tackle the weight. Seeing psychiatrist is a long wait so I've just been going to a general doctor - who is the one who pointed out I'd gained 20kg since last March. That's a lot. More than normal as a side effect right? Must lose it ...

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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Thank you both. I really do appreciate this support.

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Be kind to yourself about the weight - it will come off as you get lower.  I gained some weight from Remeron and was really stressing over it, but finally came to accept my body and not see it as the enemy.  My body is a victim to what has been done to it with these drugs.  Nurture yourself, feed yourself with good health in mind, and you will lose the weight.  It's hard enough getting off these drugs without self-judgement.  Slow and steady wins the race around here :-)

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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20mg today. Feeling nauseous...

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hang in there , give it a few days.

Lots of ideas for nausea in the Symptoms and Self care section . . . ginger , ginger tea , peppermint tea ,

apple cider vinegar , greek yoghurt. See what works for you.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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20mg today, Monday 4 April (aiming to go to 18mg on 7 April).

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there,

 

I'm just wondering what is the rush?  Going up and down on doses upsets your nervous system.

 

SG on 2 April:

 

"I get that you are itching to get on with your taper, but you just went from skipping a dose, after having gone down to 20 mg from 40 just two weeks ago.  It is still too soon to do any tapering."

 

My opinion is that it would be better to stabilise on 20 mg for a while before doing another drop in dose.  The idea is to reduce your drug with minimal symptoms.  It might end up being worse dropping to 18 mg on 7 April and then possibly suffering bad withdrawal symptoms and then having to updose.

 

We have to throw out the calendar and listen to our bodies.  Please reconsider.  This is not a race.

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Identityfree.

 

Please let your nervous system settle down for a good long time before reducing from 20mg. Don't sabotage this taper -- you'll go off successfully this time.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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20mg again today. I guess I am in a rush. Thank you for your support!!!

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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Hey IDfree - I'm going to agree with Fresh and the others on this one. 

 

You were on 40 mg for over 6 months, and dropped to 50%, or 20 mg, in mid-March.

 

It will take 2-3 months before you know what the price you will pay for that cut.  That's what Fresh said, and I agree.

 

There is often a honeymoon phase in going off antidepressants - you feel so much better, clearer, and you start to have feelings again.  But these drugs are famous for delayed reaction.  Sometimes people will be fine for 6 months, and then feel like a ton of bricks landed on their brain and nervous system.

 

It's better to be careful, and not get hurt.  Once withdrawals start in, all bets are off, and you are on the rollercoaster for the rest of the ride.

 

Please hold at 20 mg for 3 months before trying to make any further changes.  Make sure you are okay on 20 mg before cutting your dosage again.

 

Take this time to be good to yourself - take a yoga class or tai chi, or get massage or acupuncture.  Learn to meditate, or practice mindfulness - or join a social group that helps you challenge yourself and interact with people.  

 

Tapering is destabilizing; the time you spend holding is the time your body is actually healing.

 

Rhi's description of healing the brain

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi all, just to let you know - still tracking well on 20mg /day. I have also been reading and coming to terms with timeframes. Thanks again for the advice and support.

 

I did get acupuncture too.

 

I liked the point above about holding time being healing time.

 

Hope you are all feeling well.

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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Hey IDFree - I love my acupuncture sessions!

 

I can't say exactly what they do for me - and it's not always pleasurable as sometimes she puts the needles in at points of pain!  BUT - when I am done, I feel softer, slightly sedated, less painful, and then have about a good week or two before going back.

 

I used to go weekly, now I go about once a month for a "tune up!"

 

I'm so glad you've decided to hold, after your big drop and every-other-day doses.  It is my hope, that, if you do this carefully (the last part is more likely to need to be slow), you can have a symptom free taper!  And then we will ALL cheer!

 

Here's a link that I don't think you have yet:  3 KIS's Keep It Simple, Slow, Stable

 

I hope you see the sun today!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hey IDFree - I love my acupuncture sessions!

 

I can't say exactly what they do for me - and it's not always pleasurable as sometimes she puts the needles in at points of pain! BUT - when I am done, I feel softer, slightly sedated, less painful, and then have about a good week or two before going back.

 

I used to go weekly, now I go about once a month for a "tune up!"

 

I'm so glad you've decided to hold, after your big drop and every-other-day doses. It is my hope, that, if you do this carefully (the last part is more likely to need to be slow), you can have a symptom free taper! And then we will ALL cheer!

 

Here's a link that I don't think you have yet: 3 KIS's Keep It Simple, Slow, Stable

 

I hope you see the sun today!

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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Have you had acupuncture points in your ear? Seems to be good for tapering.

 

Planning to go to 18mg tomorrow.

 

I live in the tropics - so much sun it's extraordinary!

 

Hope all' swell for everyone

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I stopped completely on 22 April after a while on 10mg. So it's been a week.

 

I'm in my bathroom crying. I haven't cried like this in months. I'm irritable at work. Withdrawal? Or do I just need a holiday?

 

Have booked to see acupuncturist tomorrow and do the ear points. I don't want to go back on the Prozac. You all thought I was rushing - I was - but tapered over 2 months and I just want the drugs out of my life

 

Lucky this site is here to distract me. Not sure I'll have much of a social life or any friends left at this rate!

40mg fluoxetine day since August 2015, 20mg/day since 17/3/2015 but that was after unsuccessfully tapering off in April 2015 from 20mg/day after 1 year.

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Yikes !  You might have gone too fast .

 

Post 23 :  Jan Carol:

Please hold at 20 mg for 3 months before trying to make any further changes.  Make sure you are okay on 20 mg before cutting your dosage again.

 

on April 13 you were planning to go to 18mg.

 

I'm not sure what happened , but if you could possibly reinstate  a small amount , it might be helpful. Maybe 1 - 2 mg ?

There is a period of time , before symptoms can hit  . It sounds like you could be there , to a degree. I'm sorry this is happening.

What do you feel about reinstating ?

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hello Identity, 

 

I'm sorry you are feeling so horrible, but withdrawal tricks us and makes us irrational and we make risky moves that in a better frame of mind we would see as perhaps not being so smart :-)

 

I know you want to be free of the drugs and never put another one in your body, but your nervous system doesn't particularly care about how you feel and has it's own needs in the matter.  No matter how much we wish to be off, there is no rushing the nervous system and you have set yourself up for a lot of suffering. 

 

So, it is time to take some deep breaths and think about harm-reduction.

 

I have been there with you, thrashing against having to take the pills.  We are truly stuck between a rock and a hard place, and there are no quick fixes or easy answers.  You are feeling desperate to be done with them, but you are not thinking clearly about the fact that you will continue suffering even when the drugs are out of your system, and that suffering will be much worse than if you just stabilized and then followed the slow taper.  You are not getting this over with faster by cold turkeying. 

 

Ultimately it is your choice and we are here to support you no matter which way you go.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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