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januaryeve Prozac and Xanax withdrawal with severe muscle pain


januaryeve

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Hello! I joined this site today in hopes of finding someone with knowledge of the course of severe muscle pain following Xanax and Prozac withdrawal.

 

I am afraid my muscle pain will never go away, and for me it is disabling.

 

Background: I have had depression and anxiety since I was in early elementary school; I am now in my 60s.

 

I went on Xanax (0.25 mg) only once or twice a week when I was under unusual stress from multiple causes. What I didn't understand, and neither my psychiatrist, psychologist nor internist told me, was a lot of it was likely the stress of going off Prozac.

 

After moving to another state, the stress increased, so I increased Xanax to 3 times a day every day. After 6 months, I was too affected by fatigue to continue on the drug. I went off it over about a week. Within 1 to 2 days, I had severe muscle pain in many areas of my body. Almost 2 months later, I still have it.

 

Explaining where the pain is and when it occurs is complex, because much of it is changes from hour to hour and day to day. I have had pain in many places where I never had it before. I have pain from doing brief minor tasks. And I have persistent daily pain in my back and neck.

 

As an example: I have done a reclining yoga twist for about two years, after a physical therapist recommended it. I loved it! It brought joy! Starting sometime after I started taking Xanax daily, it causes pain in my rib cage, and a weird stretched out feeling in my shoulders. So, more than a year doing this with no pain and loving it, now it causes my rib cage to hurt at length every time I do it.

 

But the worst thing is the difficulty I have cooking. I eat an extremely healthy diet which mandates that I cook a lot. And it is now killing my back. The only housework I even try to do is taking out some of the trash and keeping the kitchen counters clean.

 

Does anyone have any experience with what the course of this muscle problem might be?

 

Thank you all for your help. I am looking forward to providing help to others too.

1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 

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  • Administrator

Hi, Januaryeve.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).

 

Yes, muscle pain can definitely be a withdrawal symptom for both Prozac and Xanax. 

 

Here are some links for coming off Prozac, as well as general information on withdrawal:

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

We also have a members-only benzo forum where you can learn about tapering off of Xanax:

 

Members only benzo forum

 

Ashton and Beyond in Benzo Tapering

 

From your posts, it sounds like coming off Xanax really caused the muscle problems, or at least, is contributing to them. Because you are more than 2 - 4 weeks off, I'm not sure I could recommend reinstating. This thread can explain more:

 

Notes on Reinstating a Benzo

 

If possible, you may wish to explore non-drug ways of handling your muscle pain. Many members report good results from taking fish oil and magnesium, as it can calm the central nervous system (CNS). Also, taking epsom salt baths is a way of getting magnesium and it can really soothe sore muscles:

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Epsom Salt Baths   (note: until you find out if you are sensitive to magnesium, you may wish to start with a much smaller amount of epsom salts)

 

Please let us know more about how you are currently tapering your Prozac, and perhaps we can make suggestions to help with your symptoms. 

 

This is your thread to post updates, symptoms, and to ask plenty of questions. I'm glad you found us for information and support. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, januaryeve.

 

Shep has responded with a very complete list of resources for you.

 

You also might consider acupuncture or osteopathic manual therapy, if you can find it.

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 am in withdrawal from both Prozac and Xanax. However, I stopped all of Xanax recently, and I stopped almost all Prozac (now down to 20 mg/every two WEEKS) long ago.

 

I just looked at Dr. Glenmullen's list of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, and I realized I have very few of them right now.

 

So what I'd like is a similar list of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

 

When I search on Google for this, almost every item refers to addiction. Many of them are written by addiction treatment centers, which could be a less than objective source considering their money-making function. I am not and never was addicted to Xanax.

 

Plus, my main symptom is muscle PAIN. Not the "flu-like aches and pains" on Dr. Glenmullen's list, and not only his "muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches."

 

The main reason I am concerned is to try and validate that my pain is indeed from stopping Xanax. Since it began less than 48 hours after stopping most of my Xanax, I am pretty sure it is. But I want to make sure it is unlikely to be something else.

 

Does anyone know where I can get reliable symptom lists for benzo withdrawal? I'd also sure like to hear details of others' muscle pains after benzo withdrawal.

1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

If you click on the tag "Xanax" at the top left of this page it will bring up other members topics which have Xanax at a tag.  You could also check out the members only benzo forum linked in Shep's post.  Also check out the Ashton Manual, link also in Shep's post.

So close to the end!!!

🏁

Current from 16 October 2021:  Pristiq 0.005mg

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 Oct 2015 

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

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

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  • Administrator

 

The main reason I am concerned is to try and validate that my pain is indeed from stopping Xanax. Since it began less than 48 hours after stopping most of my Xanax, I am pretty sure it is. But I want to make sure it is unlikely to be something else.

 

Does anyone know where I can get reliable symptom lists for benzo withdrawal? I'd also sure like to hear details of others' muscle pains after benzo withdrawal.

 

 

This is Ashton's list of benzo withdrawal symptoms:

 

Ashton Manual - list of symptoms

 

Ashton Manual - Muscle symptoms

 

Please note that benzos are muscle relaxants, so having rebound muscle pain is very common.

 

As to the degree of pain, this varies. Coming off multiple drugs that have this symptom can also make it worse, so the fact that you're dealing with both Prozac and Xanax withdrawal likely factors in.

 

Many people find that very gentle yoga can help, along with epsom salt baths (please see the link for this in my first post).

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been trying to get off my last 20 mg WEEKLY of Prozac. I tried going straight off; it did not work. Tried taking the Prozac once every two weeks; again had withdrawal symptoms. No longer have a psychiatrist. The nearest one is hours away from where I live. In a city I don't want to go to.

 

My primary physician in my new state, who has always seemed like an excellent doctor, is telling me to take 25 mg sertraline DAILY as the path to get off the Prozac.

 

Is this reasonable? Is there a better way to get off Prozac?

 

I have an appointment to discuss this in 4 days, so I am hoping someone on here can arm me with information before I go.

 

I previously spent more than 4 years getting down to this low level on Prozac. I am afraid taking sertraline every day will delay my progress--perhaps for a very long time, so I am scared to follow these directions from my doctor.

1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 

Link to post

I just saw somewhere else on SA that (an administrator?) had recommended a psychiatrist in driving distance of a poster. I am wondering if someone can do that for me. I know that's a long shot.

 

I live in northwestern Tennessee, in a town of 600 people, not near any sizeable town or any town with a psychiatrist. In dire circumstances, which I may shortly be in, I can drive to Murray, KY, Jackson, TN, Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, or Clarksville, TN. I would do this if I knew I was going to a doctor who could and would be willing to help me with my taper off Prozac, if my primary doc doesn't work out.

 

I am not comfortable driving in large cities where I don't know my way around. It is too easy to have an accident the way the roads are now and the way people drive. That's why I would prefer Murray, KY or Jackson, TN.

 

Is anyone able to help me with this?

1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have been trying to get off my last 20 mg WEEKLY of Prozac. I tried going straight off; it did not work. Tried taking the Prozac once every two weeks; again had withdrawal symptoms. No longer have a psychiatrist. The nearest one is hours away from where I live. In a city I don't want to go to.

 

My primary physician in my new state, who has always seemed like an excellent doctor, is telling me to take 25 mg sertraline DAILY as the path to get off the Prozac.

 

Is this reasonable? Is there a better way to get off Prozac?

 

I have an appointment to discuss this in 4 days, so I am hoping someone on here can arm me with information before I go.

 

I previously spent more than 4 years getting down to this low level on Prozac. I am afraid taking sertraline every day will delay my progress--perhaps for a very long time, so I am scared to follow these directions from my doctor.

 

Hi JE,

 

I've moved you post here into your Intro/Update topic because it is about your individual situation.

 

SA recommends tapering by 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  SA also recommends taking your drug on a daily basis so that the levels remain consistent.  Shep gave you the Why Taper link in her post.  Please read it.

 

My suggestion would be to start taking Prozac on a daily basis until you get stabilised and then taper as recommended by SA.  If you are taking 20mg weekly, you could divide that by 7 to give you a daily dose, so take 3mg daily.  This link suggests ways of getting small doses Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine).  You would then stay on 3mg daily for a few months for things to stabilise.

 

If you are not experiencing any bad reaction to taking Prozac, SA suggests staying on the drug you are on rather than adding other drugs into the mix.  When you start adding drugs you won't be able to work out what is withdrawal from the existing drug and what is side effects from the new drug.

 

I suggest you check these out.  They helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

So close to the end!!!

🏁

Current from 16 October 2021:  Pristiq 0.005mg

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 Oct 2015 

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just to clarify my post above, you would take your 20mg and on the next day start taking 3mg every day.

So close to the end!!!

🏁

Current from 16 October 2021:  Pristiq 0.005mg

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 Oct 2015 

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

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

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HI January. In reply to your post above :  There is a Dr David Allen in Tennessee.  Here is the link . He is mentioned in post 3.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/#entry10511

 

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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I just saw somewhere else on SA that (an administrator?) had recommended a psychiatrist in driving distance of a poster. I am wondering if someone can do that for me. I know that's a long shot.

 

I live in northwestern Tennessee, in a town of 600 people, not near any sizeable town or any town with a psychiatrist. In dire circumstances, which I may shortly be in, I can drive to Murray, KY, Jackson, TN, Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, or Clarksville, TN. I would do this if I knew I was going to a doctor who could and would be willing to help me with my taper off Prozac, if my primary doc doesn't work out.

 

I am not comfortable driving in large cities where I don't know my way around. It is too easy to have an accident the way the roads are now and the way people drive. That's why I would prefer Murray, KY or Jackson, TN.

 

Is anyone able to help me with this?

 

ChessieCat,

 

Thank you for this information. This may explain what my doctor is trying to do with Zoloft. I have no intention of going on Zoloft, but I will use your information to taper off Prozac. I am going to ask my doctor to help m with that, but if not, I will use the tips on SA's "Tapering off Prozac."

 

Thank you again. I am a little overwhelmed with all the information I am getting in response to my request. This is a really good place!

1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 

Link to post

HI January. In reply to your post above :  There is a Dr David Allen in Tennessee.  Here is the link . He is mentioned in post 3.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/#entry10511

 

Ali 

 

 

AliG,

 

I just checked, and Dr. Allen works in a town or suburb just north of Memphis, which will be accessible to me if I need him. Your information is very useful to e. Thanks!

1990-2016   Prozac, 30 mg. Tapered over 4 years, now down to 20 mg per WEEK.

Nov. 2016, tapering Prozac until completely off (soon, I hope).

March 2015 through Oct. 2016   Xanax 0.25 mg 3x daily.

Nov. 2016   Xanax: Completely off.

1-2 days after going off Xanax, severe muscle pain. Continues.

 

 

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