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My name is Milkthystle -- tapering off Zoloft


Milkthystle

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Hello. I've been trying to reach out to this group but my brain hasn't worked well enough to put my thoughts together. Not that I'm going to do well right now, but I'm going to try. I've been on Zoloft or Prozac since 1999. 40mg of Prozac for a year or so then I'd switch to 200mg Zoloft and back again in a year or two. On August 1, 2011 I began to taper off of 200mg a day of Zoloft. I don't want to go through all the details of symptoms and dosages, I'll just say it was very unpleasant and I tapered very slowly. I was down to 12.5mg of Zoloft a day for about 2 or 3 weeks and couldn't take then next step down. Weird I thought. So I took 20 mg Prozac because of it's longer half-life. I had relief of withdrawal symptoms. 3 days later I needed another dose, so I took 10mg. That worked! Three days later I needed another 10mg. 3 days later, which was the day before yesterday, I took 5mg. So now it's been only 2 days and I'm feeling like I need another 5mg. If my thinking is correct, and it may not be, 5mg every other day is still less than 10mg every third day so it is still a tapering dose.

Last week my husband left and not sure if he is coming back. We've been married 12 years and I'm 57 and he's 62. I have been very moody and angry and I told him that if he doesn't like it he can leave, and so he did. This was just hours before one of my 10mg doses. He has never been a supportive person or tender and I'm not sure I want him to come back.

Does anyone have experience of using Prozac to get off of Zoloft successfully? Is my math correct about tapering doses? Any kind words? Thank you.

Have been taking Zoloft or Prozac since 1999 and began tapering off Zoloft August 1, 2011.

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Hello and welcome, Milkthystle.

 

I'm glad the Prozac has counteracted withdrawal from Zoloft. Did you start the Zoloft taper August 1, 2011? That would be only 2 months ago.

 

I worry about your Prozac dosing schedule. The way you've been doing it, Prozac hasn't had time to build up to a consistent level in your bloodstream -- but it has a long half-life, as you know, and apparently the level you've reached has been enough for you so far.

 

If I were you, I'd take 5mg consistently every day for a few weeks. This will enable it to build up to a consistent 5mg level. Then I would get Prozac liquid and reduce by 1mg every 3-4 weeks. No reason to take chances.

 

Because of its long half-life, Prozac is the only antidepressant for which you can alternate dosages and still get some kind of stability. Even so, we recommend being consistent in dosing, because alternating will still cause some fluctuation in blood level of the medication, and that can set off withdrawal symptoms.

 

Withdrawal can cause irritability. Do you think that was what happened when you got angry with your husband? Perhaps he can forgive you?

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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Hi Alto, thank you for responding! I think your suggestion that I take 5mg a day of Prozac for a few weeks sounds really good and I'm going to try it. I started tapering August 1st and I thought 2 months was a long time! You make is sound like it could take a lot longer so now I don't feel like such a failure. Thanks for that! I guess after taking something for 12 years at maximum dose is quite a bit to get through.

I've been irritable, tired, not feeling like cooking and cleaning. Good grief. It is such a relief to not have him around though. I don't have to try to be pleasant all the time. I actually feel better with him gone, but he called and wants to talk soon so we will on Saturday. Even though I'm the one with "mental problems" I don't yell at him or call him names, I know how to fight fair. He is the one that has to stop some behaviors.

I could mix Prozac into a solution with water. Do you know how long it will keep in the fridge? I'd rather not go to the doctor and get a prescription for the liquid if I can help it. But it would be very hard to divide the powder into smaller than 5mg and be accurate, so mixing a solution is a good idea.

Thank you again for your help. I really appreciate it, you are very kind!

Have been taking Zoloft or Prozac since 1999 and began tapering off Zoloft August 1, 2011.

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Welcome Milkthystle;

 

I just joined yesterday. I can relate to the brain fog that makes us wonder if our thinking is correct. So tough when I am trying to stand in the kitchen counting beads and calculating percentages.

 

I am weaning from Effexor. I tried using Prozac that way but it gave me bad headaches. Still I may try it again - headaches not seeming so bad compared to some of the other symptoms. I have been doing this since Feb of this year and it looks like it is going to take some time, but I am glad I am doing it.

 

Sorry about the relationship problems - that has to make it so much harder. I am 55 and I just want to begin the second half of my life without meds.

 

I am glad you are posting. Crocus

xxxx

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I know how you feel. I get on here and just write away. Then I wonder if I made any sense. Sometimes I read over what I wrote and I feel like I was communicating bizarrely. lf that's a word.

 

I had to leave my husband because he was mean to me. I'm much happier without him. He stressed me out. We were married for 18 years and I left when the kids got old enough. Of course I don't know how he is in comparison to your husband. But I just felt like for once it was "me" time.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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Hi Crocus and Shanti! It's good to hear from you, I don't feel so all alone now. I have agoraphobia and live out in the desert so I'm very isolated, which I like. I have fences with locks and dogs that bark so no one can "sneak up on me".

 

Brain fog, ugh! One day I was looking at the clock and I couldn't figure out how to tell time, the clock didn't make sense. I kept thinking that the minutes should be numbered too, instead of having to count by fives. It's almost funny now looking back. I fell asleep holding that stupid little clock.

 

I'm not sure the 5mg of Prozac is enough, I might increase it a bit depending on how I feel tomorrow. It takes about 10 hours for Prozac to help relieve symptoms. There's large part of some days lately that I have felt pretty darn good, better than when taking Zoloft. I don't think I ever really felt good on that stuff. I take Xanax for anxiety, but I try not to take it unless I'm getting physical symptoms like chest pains or diahrea.

 

Crocus, you said you are counting beads in the kitchen? Is that how you divide Effexor?

Have been taking Zoloft or Prozac since 1999 and began tapering off Zoloft August 1, 2011.

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Yes MT, I have to use the capsule form and take out beads. I stand there with a razor blade and mirror and divide them into 10's and put them in veggie caps. I put the dog out for fear it will accidently lick one up if it rolls off the mirror to the floor...ugh! There has got to be a better way!

xxxx

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....

I could mix Prozac into a solution with water. Do you know how long it will keep in the fridge? I'd rather not go to the doctor and get a prescription for the liquid if I can help it. But it would be very hard to divide the powder into smaller than 5mg and be accurate, so mixing a solution is a good idea.

Thank you again for your help. I really appreciate it, you are very kind!

 

Yes, you can make a liquid yourself. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/page__p__6498__hl__prozac__fromsearch__1#entry6498.

 

....

I'm not sure the 5mg of Prozac is enough, I might increase it a bit depending on how I feel tomorrow. It takes about 10 hours for Prozac to help relieve symptoms. There's large part of some days lately that I have felt pretty darn good, better than when taking Zoloft. I don't think I ever really felt good on that stuff. I take Xanax for anxiety, but I try not to take it unless I'm getting physical symptoms like chest pains or diahrea.

....

 

You might want to take 7.5mg a day instead of 5mg for a few weeks. You can mix up the liquid to do this. Most pharmacies will give you an oral syringe so you can measure the liquid out.

 

Yes MT, I have to use the capsule form and take out beads. I stand there with a razor blade and mirror and divide them into 10's and put them in veggie caps. I put the dog out for fear it will accidently lick one up if it rolls off the mirror to the floor...ugh! There has got to be a better way!

 

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of choices with Effexor capsules. See Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine)

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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I took another 5mg Prozac this morning and I feel pretty good today. I think the 5mg per day is the answer for the next 2 or 3 weeks. I have at least 30 20mg capsules I had saved. I have tons of meds in my fridge for humans and dogs! It comes in handy.

 

I was talking to my sister in law, she's a physician's assistant, and she asked what I've been up to. I told her about tapering off Zoloft and she said there is no such thing as withdrawals from Zoloft! She was adamant, absolutely NO WITHDRAWAL problems EVER except she said that Effexor withdrawals had been reported. She said that some patients may get a little dizzy when they stop Zoloft but that is all. I told her I had been taking 5mg Prozac per day to help me wean down and she said that 5mg wasn't a therapeutic dose. I didn't tell her that even the drug companies admit to SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome.

 

Oh well, not very supportive but I don't really care. She has been supportive at other times, many times over the years especially when my husband or I are following conventional medical protocols such as having surgery or lab work, things like that. Many people find security and comfort in following medical advice. I have to check things out and think things through for myself (which I should have done before taking Zoloft!)

 

I'm so grateful for this forum for support because there isn't any support in the medical establishment nor in my family.

Have been taking Zoloft or Prozac since 1999 and began tapering off Zoloft August 1, 2011.

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True, the medical establishment is terribly uninformed and too often families don't believe you when you tell them what you're going through.

 

Milkthystle, if your sister may be interested, we have lots of papers about antidepressant withdrawal in From journals and scientific sources. Here's one that might be particularly good for her -- it was published in a nursing journal: Potential adverse effects of discontinuing psychotropic drugs: part 2: antidepressant drugs.

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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Thank you Alto for the link. I don't want to deal with that subject again with her, I'd rather just forget it and enjoy my "good" days. BUT if she is treating patients that she is prescribing and then taking off Zoloft, then I feel that I owe it to her patients to inform her or lead her into more insight about the effects this drug may cause. She is a very strong woman and I can see how patients would feel compelled to lie to her about their symptoms. I lied to her myself as the conversation continued, I downplayed my problems to the point of being very untruthful.

 

She said that the symptoms I described are from toxic levels of the drug and are not withdrawl sypmtoms. So I'm thinking that she thinks I taking an overdose of Zoloft. Like I would do that, good grief! There is something called Seratonin Something that is when too much Seratonin is in the body, but that just can't be what is happening to me when I've gone from 200mg/day to 12.5mg/day Zoloft and then 5mg/day Prozac.

 

I feel pretty good again today, I'm going to watch horror movies on T.V. and bake some bread. Hubbys coming home today and we are going to talk. Ugh. I'm basically going to tell him that yelling and name calling is not OK, ie a deal breaker. We have two homes so if he calls me ugly names again I have a place to go and I will go and take the dogs with me. And another thing that I won't put up with is being citisized about everything I do, I can't cook/season food correctly, the clothes aren't clean enough, the whites aren't white enough, the house is dirty (that one is true though), I'm a bad mother, I neglect the dogs, I'm crazy, I'm insane, I don't know how to drive, I can't make good decisions, I'm immature and act like a 5 year old. I could go on but you get the idea.

 

I guess I ranted a bit, sorry. That felt good though, I feel more relaxed. Thank you so much for your support, I feel pretty good. I'm still surprised when I feel good, it's so precious.

Have been taking Zoloft or Prozac since 1999 and began tapering off Zoloft August 1, 2011.

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Completely understand your not wanting to argue with your sister. She's thinking of serotonin syndrome, which is an overdose of antidepressants or drugs that conflict with them. She's completely off, but that may be the only adverse effect she knows.

 

It's pathetic how little the medical profession knows about these drugs.

 

Glad to hear you're having a good window.

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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