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RDdevotee: Prozac stopped after 30 years, Is this withdrawal?


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I'm reaching out to see if these symtoms are familiar to anyone and if so, will how long before the go away?Prozac 60 mg a day for 30 years. A psychiatrist gave started my on Prozac for anxiety after I experienced my first panic attack explaining that anxiety was a form of depression. My life has gone quite well given the typical ups and downs it can bring.My primary care doc retired and I was having problems getting an appointment with my new one so I decided that maybe I should just wean myself of of Prozac which I did taking 60mg every other day, then 40mg every other day and finally 20mg every other day and when it ran out, I was done. This was about 3 months ago. Today I am living in my own private hell wondering if I am going through the change of if this is Prozac withdrawl. I wake up feeling fine but then getting ready for work the fog rolls into my head, I feel dizzy , like I'm looking out of someone else's eyes and I cry. I cry in the shower and focus on my breath until I can finish getting ready and can go on to work. Work is such a fog. I can not think to answer any complex questions and it is a struggle to get through the day trying to appear "normal". Thoughts of unworthiness course through my head and I cry and I cry. It seems like all I do is cry. Because I am trying to cover this up by going in the bathroom to focus on breathing or finding somewhere else to get it together, by the time I get home, i am exhausted....and by the way I have never been someone to cry at the drop of the hat...I am going to make an appointment to see my new doc next week..sometimes I feel like I might have a brain tumor or something... could this be Prozac withdrawl??

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi RD -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)


I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums enlightening and helpful for your taper.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.


It's unlikely that you're dealing with a brain tumour. The symptoms you've described are common after discontinuing an SSRI like Prozac.


Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome


For more detail and links to other topics, check out What is withdrawal syndrome


Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)


At 3 months after your last dose, you're toward the end of optimal period where reinstatement is most likely to be effective in reducing w/d symptoms. There are members here at SA who were helped by a reinstatement 6 and 10 months after their last dose. Please read the topic on reinstatement and come back to this topic to post your questions about your situation:


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years. Please put your withdrawal history in signature


You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread. Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears: select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.


This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Administrator

Hi, RD. Welcome to the forum from me, too. 


The symptoms you describe sound very much like withdrawal. Coming off at 20 mg every other day was a high dose to come off of, and as Scallywag mentioned, reinstating at a small dose is something you may wish to consider. 


You may also find helpful information in the non-drug coping section to aid in your recovery:


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Many of us become very sensitive to supplements during withdrawal and recovery, but many members do report good results from fish oil and magnesium. Please research all supplements thoroughly and start out with only one at a time and at very low doses. These links will get you started:


 King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)


Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker


Epsom Salts - Another Way to Relax with Magnesium


While 30 years is a long time to be on Prozac, I was on many psych drugs for 30 years and was able to come off and am slowly healing. There are quite a few long time users on this forum, so you're in good company here. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey RD, believe it or not, those sound like "middle of the road" withdrawal symptoms.


Every other day (as recommended by many doctors) is a very destabilizing way to taper.  


Here's a list of "common symptoms" - you can use it to check your own symptoms, and if you make copies, you can use it to track your progress as your symptoms change.




You were on the drug for 30 years, expecting the changes to go away after a few months is unrealistic.  Because you were on the drug for so long, I think a tiny reinstatement wouldn't hurt.  W


When you've filled out your signature, and we know exact dates of your dose changes and last dose, then we will be able to consider a reinstatement.  It will likely be tiny - like 1-5 mg.  Just enough to ease your symptoms, but not enough to overstimulate you, either.H


How do you take a tiny dose like 1 mg?  Well, you are lucky, Prozac comes in a liquid.  That is the easiest possible way to get tiny doses.  If you look around the site, you will see many people on very tiny amounts.  (doctors often scoff at these tiny amounts, but if it eases your symptoms, then it does.)


Any doctor can prescribe, too.  It doesn't have to be any special doctor.  GP's hand this stuff out all the time.


Welcome to SA, I hope we can help!

"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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  • 2 weeks later...

Did these symptoms just start three months after you quit?

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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Hi RD -


When I went off Prozac my withdrawal symptoms took a turn for the worse at 3 months. I also constantly cried everyday. It has only been recently that I can make it through the day without crying. I used to never cry, but now the smallest thing can make me cry. I also have suffered from brain fog, lack of concentration and memory problems. I now have to write things down so I don't forget them. I used to pride myself on my memory, but not anymore.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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I feel for you. I was on 20 mg for over 12 years and am going through the same thing. The crying spells are pretty intense, like you I was one to never cry.

12 years Prozac, tapered off start of February . 20 mg to 10 mg (Extreme exhaustion, some anxiety, jaw pain) then from 10 mg to 5 mg in March ( Extreme exhaustion, anxiety, mood swings, tingling and numbness in feet, legs) April was 0 mg (crying spells, agitation, anxiety, mood swings, depression) End of June started spasms, burning sleep disturbances,waking every two hours. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to RDdevotee: Prozac stopped after 30 years, Is this withdrawal?

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