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theo93 6 weeks off prozac


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Hi there, I have been off prozac for 6 weeks now, really struggling with anxiety, irritability, emotional up and downs. Overall restlessness. My Dr decided to see how I would do without meds. Last one we tried prozac could not tolerate going up to 20mg, way too much anxiety. ever since a bad car accident and mild brain injury I have not seemed to have a good response or decent enough response since the accident. Clearly did not taper the way it is suggested here. He has said I should go back on one I tolerated the most which was celexa. We have talked about it a couple of times, but I was thinking I was doing OK, but have been working for over 2 weeks in a row, which I believe kind of distracted me, but last weekend I was off for two days and felt horrible, this has been the toughest time, anxious at work and am justvtrying to hold on till I see my psych next Wednesday. I live at home and I have struggled with putting on a front and has been rough for my mom. I am now an anxious irritable case and am really thinking about just starting the Celexa or even the prozac again as in hindsight I was better, then now. I don't enjoy anything and find it extremely difficult to relax. Feel like my brain is so used to serotonin meds. I don't want to lose everything as a result of stopping the prozac. Thanks for reading.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello theo93, i'm glad you have found SA!


Clearly you have been having trouble with withdrawal from Prozac, but it would help us to get a little more information.  What kind of taper did you follow?  How long at each cut?  It would be very helpful if you could fill out your signature block so that anyone visiting your thread can see your history at a glance.  Instructions are here:


Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature


Because you have been on and off more than one psych med, your system is very sensitized.  Taking a med that you are not withdrawing from could go very paradoxical on you, making things worse or causing an adverse reaction.  How long were you on the Prozac?  Prior to Prozac, which one were you on and for how long?  It would be good to have a time line of which meds you have been on, dosages of each, how long on each, how long off between them, etc.  So that we can determine which med would be best to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Include side effects and symptoms.


Here are some links that will be helpful for you to read.  Once we have more information from you, we will be able to make suggestions for making you feel better. 


At this time it is everyone's temptation to DO SOMETHING to get relief, but often those things will make matters even worse, so try to hang on and be patient while we get this sorted out.


Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


There's a lot there, so come back with questions!



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 for the reply, I have been on SSRI or SNRIs since around 17 or so. On and off. The one I took for the longest was citalopram. Doing a med history will take some time. Lots of switching after my car accident, my god lol! This is the first time I have been somewhat med free for quite some time. I still take o.5 clonazepam once a day. Was only on prozac for maybe 4 or 5 months. Could not get to twenty as it made me really anxious. Tapered by 1 every second day for a week, then third, then fourth then none. Dose was only 10mg. Maybe feeling so crappy a lot because I have been on one thing or another for so long. Got a lot of walking in today which helped. So restless. Its funny as I am typing this I feel calm at the moment. Probably because I just ate a big dinner late. Thanks again for your reply. I think the hardest thing is I have been going through this hell for 6 weeks and it seems like giving up to go back on an SSRI, but, at the same time the withdrawal is clearly impacting my quality of life.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome from me too Theo, I'm glad you joined, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.


As SG wrote, we need a bit more information about your recent drug history if we are going to be able to offer reliable suggestions about where to go from here.


You haven't said how old you are now, so I don't know how long you have been taking psych meds for. Your drug history doesn't have to be perfect, the last year or two is the most important for detail. What we need to know is what drugs you have taken, the approximate date you started and stopped them. How you stopped taking them (tapering schedule if there was one). Also if you experienced any side effects while taking the drug. Also the drugs you are currently taking - start date and dose.


If there is a list of many different drugs in a short period of time, with lots of switching, you don't need to provide all the start and stop dates, just list them within the time frame that the trials occurred. If you can't remember all of them, that's ok.


From what you have written so far, I'm getting the impression that for the length of time you have been taking these kinds of drugs, you tapered much to fast. Not only that, you used the skipping doses method, which we don't recommend, it tends to cause destabilization of the nervous system which can lead to worse symptoms.


How did you feel when you were taking 10mg of Prozac? Do you want to try to manage life drug free, or was that just your doctor's idea? Were you taking any medications before your accident?


Recovery tends to happen in a windows and waves kind of pattern, so the fact that you are having some better days and worse days would be quite normal. Some people find that the distraction of pleasant work does help take their mind off symptoms. But for others, symptoms are so severe that work becomes impossible.


I'm concerned that your withdrawal symptoms could last a lot longer. Withdrawal syndrome for some people can last months, sometimes even years. The clonazepam you are taking every day could be masking the full intensity of symptoms. Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine and will need to be carefully tapered if you want to stop taking it. But I suggest you stay on if for now as its probably helping cushion the antidepressant withdrawal.


Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Please read through the link on reinstatement that SG posted for you above.


I know its a lot to absorb, but reading through the information in the links will help you understand what's going on and enable you to make better decisions for your own health. If you could have a go at giving us a bit more detail about your drug history, that will also help us make more specific suggestions for your situation.


If you let us know what's going on before making any changes, we can give you our input to help with your decision making process.


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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Thanks for your reply Petunia, I will try to find my med history from the pharmacy. I am 39. And it was my DR's suggestion to get off, because after a bad car accident in 2012, getting a good response and tolerating med side effects has been difficult. Cannot seem to tolerate therapeutic doses very well.

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