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kaydb: Husband on fluoxetine


kaydb

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Hello!
My husband was on 40mg of fluoxetine (generic Prozac) for about 3 months. Long story short (I posted most of the story in the marriages ruined by ssri's thread) he started displaying symptoms of a hypomanic state. He agreed to get off the medication. We made an appointment with his doctor and with his therapist. A few days before his dr appointment he started taking 20mg. His doctor told him that fluoxetine has such a long half life that it's basically self tapering. He advised him to skip one day, take another pill and then he could just stop. I'm worried after reading a lot that he's going to experience withdrawal symptoms. He took his last dose 6 days ago.
If he starts feeling withdrawal symptoms when will they show? What should I look for?
The doctor said all the medication will be out of his system in 30 days. How long will it take for him to go back to his normal self?

Edited by scallywag
tags

Supporting my husband

-He was prescribed 40mg fluoxetine in May 2016

-He began experiencing mania & other negative side effects in June 

-I did not realize what was happening until August

-Doctor recommended coming off the medication and he did a fast taper (we didn't know any better)

-30 days off the medication was Sept 20 2016

-So far no withdrawal symptoms that he or I have noticed

-Still noticing some changes in his behavior that haven't gone back to "normal" 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

kay - Thanks for posting an introduction.
 
Although Prozac (fluoxetine) and its metabolite have long half lives, some people do experience withdrawal symptoms.
 
It is very important that your husband is personally committed to reducing his Prozac dose.  It doesn't matter how much you or any other person wants it for him, he's the one who's risking feeling rotten with withdrawal symptoms. 
 
It's probably a good idea for both of you to read this topic, and post your questions here in the introduction thread you've started.
 
Before you begin tapering
 
A note: It's more effective for us to support the person who is tapering medication than the spouse, parent, sibling or other loved one. If he wants to taper, it would be good if he posted his questions and experience.
 
These two topics talk about withdrawal symptoms and describe what seems to be happening in the brain and the rest of the CNS (central nervous system).
What is withdrawal syndrome
How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"
 

No one -- not your husband's doctor, not us -- can predict whether your husband will experience withdrawal symptoms, how intense they'll be or how long they'll last. We suggest that people taper slowly to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms occurring and if they do arise, small dose reductions can reduce the intensity of symptoms. For more information about the way that we suggest people come off psychiatric medications SAFEY, please read:
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Also relevant for you and your husband:
Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

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

Link to post

Scallywag, 

Thank you for the info & resources. 

He is 100% committed to getting off the medication. Right now he's at 1.5 weeks without. I let him come to the conclusion of needing to stop the medication by himself. I compiled info from sites like these, typed out everything I had noticed in him personally that matched up and basically presented it to him. I realize we are extremely lucky that he put it all together so quickly and was willing to do something about it. 

 

He so far has not shown any withdrawal signs. He was very irritable & frustrated one evening, but that's been it. He says he can't really feel any difference and hasn't felt any negative side effects. Here's to hoping it stays that way!

Supporting my husband

-He was prescribed 40mg fluoxetine in May 2016

-He began experiencing mania & other negative side effects in June 

-I did not realize what was happening until August

-Doctor recommended coming off the medication and he did a fast taper (we didn't know any better)

-30 days off the medication was Sept 20 2016

-So far no withdrawal symptoms that he or I have noticed

-Still noticing some changes in his behavior that haven't gone back to "normal" 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

kayb - I hope your husband is one of the lucky ones who has little to nothing in the way of withdrawal. It might be wise that both of you are aware that Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms are a possibility.

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

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

It's almost been 30 days since his last dose of medication.

He said he hasn't noticed any negative side effects, so I'm hoping it stays that way. We found out he has a B12 deficiency, which is linked to anxiety & depression. You'd think they'd check stuff like that before medicating people! It doesn't mean that was definitely the cause of his anxiety, but it could at least play a role.

 

We've been slowly healing, but I still feel some tension in our relationship. I guess time will slowly heal that. I've noticed positive changes like, he's been making up silly songs again. I didn't realize he had stopped, until he did it last night and I realized I had t heard him do that in awhile. He also started calling me "wife" again. For a period of time he was calling me "partner" which bugged me for some reason. It felt like, distancing almost. So I'm happy to be back to wife.

 

It seems the hypomanic symptoms have subsided. There's still a couple things that I'm hoping fade, but for the most part things seem to be looking up.

Supporting my husband

-He was prescribed 40mg fluoxetine in May 2016

-He began experiencing mania & other negative side effects in June 

-I did not realize what was happening until August

-Doctor recommended coming off the medication and he did a fast taper (we didn't know any better)

-30 days off the medication was Sept 20 2016

-So far no withdrawal symptoms that he or I have noticed

-Still noticing some changes in his behavior that haven't gone back to "normal" 

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...

He's still not experiencing any negative side effects that we've noticed.

We have an appointment with a marriage counselor next week. 

He's no longer seeing his therapist on a regular basis. I keep trying to lightly suggest he make an appointment with her or to see a psychiatrist and he agrees, but never does.

We actually had our one year marriage anniversary last week and it kind of set me back in the healing process a little. Just realizing how happy everything was a year ago, before he was prescribed medication and how everything just sucks now.

I'm hoping the counseling together helps. I'm still noticing he is spending rather extravagantly and there's still a change in his social media content, that is sexual in nature. 

Supporting my husband

-He was prescribed 40mg fluoxetine in May 2016

-He began experiencing mania & other negative side effects in June 

-I did not realize what was happening until August

-Doctor recommended coming off the medication and he did a fast taper (we didn't know any better)

-30 days off the medication was Sept 20 2016

-So far no withdrawal symptoms that he or I have noticed

-Still noticing some changes in his behavior that haven't gone back to "normal" 

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

My husband just started getting dark circles under his eyes. I noticed it the other day because I told him it looked like he had a bruise. Then he said something yesterday about his eyes and how he looked crazy. Now, thinking back on it they have actually been there for a lil while and I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the prozac. He's been getting plenty of sleep and having no problems sleeping so it's not a sleep thing. Is this a normal side effect?

Some people have reported noticing similar changes as they are/were tapering: Facial changes

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

Link to post

Interesting. I sent him that link. He is going to make an appointment with his primary doctor, just to make sure everything's okay.

Supporting my husband

-He was prescribed 40mg fluoxetine in May 2016

-He began experiencing mania & other negative side effects in June 

-I did not realize what was happening until August

-Doctor recommended coming off the medication and he did a fast taper (we didn't know any better)

-30 days off the medication was Sept 20 2016

-So far no withdrawal symptoms that he or I have noticed

-Still noticing some changes in his behavior that haven't gone back to "normal" 

Link to post

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