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Jennifer: less than a year on fluoxetine


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I started fluoxetine after several life events that have made me anxious around people and without confidence. (I used to be the life of the party and never wavered in making decisions or doubted my ability).


After 7 months, I felt I was in a place to stop taking it. Took a month to get my appointment with my doctor. She told me to take the 10mg every other day for two weeks and then I'm done.  That was all.  


I was told by friends and family to look up withdrawn symptoms because it can be difficult. I did a cursory look and didn't see much to worry about.  A week in and I have migraines, short temper, agitation, diarrhea, and sleep problems.  


After some reading on this site I made a liquid that I will begin daily tomorrow morning at 7.5mg since I've been doing a week of every other day 10mg, hoping to reduce the WD symptoms. 


I really hope this is the right decision. Let me know if I should change it up. Thanks.


Thanks so much for this site.  

Edited by scallywag

10mg fluoxetine since May 11, 2016.

Doc advised every other day to quit on January 16, 2017.

One week in and the WD are getting obnoxious.

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Hey Jennifer,


Most of the moderators on this site are going to tell you that as far as tapering goes, you probably want to cut the dose by 10% a month and go slow. The wd symptoms you described are pretty common, certainly the irritability and the insomnia or sleep problems and the diarrhea or gi problems. Are you enjoying our Midwest January global warming thaw? I live up the river in Minneapolis and spent several years myself in Winona and Wabasha. I had the same reasons for being put on meds as you had mentioned. social anxiety and low self esteem or self-doubt. usually I would be fine in social situations but when my depression would hit (usually in the winter) I would start to feel unsure of myself and start thinking that I was had less worth or intelligence than other people and then I would start retreating to my room with almost paranoid like symptoms. I don't know if it the same with you, but from the way you describe your problems it sounded similar to what I used to go through. One second you are a social being and a functioning part of society and suddenly something happens and you withdraw into yourself and start second guessing everything that happened before and spiral downward with self-doubt. anyways...

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.


On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 


Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.





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  • Moderator Emeritus

Jennifer -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
Since you've only been taking 10 mg every other day for a week and are already having symptoms, it would be best to take 10 mg. You can probably use the liquid you've already made. Switching formulation (from tablet to liquid) "counts" as a change; you would be wise to delay any decreases for at least 4 weeks.

While you're settling in with liquid doses, have a look at these topics about withdrawal symptoms and tapering:
Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.
What is withdrawal syndrome.
Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.
Thanks Derek, for posting about SA's recommended taper - no more than 10% per month. Here's a  link that explains it:
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

You can find information specific to tapering fluoxetine here:
Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

Many people find it helps their symptoms to supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids and/or magnesium. Start with one at a low dose and work your way up.
Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil).
Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker.

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

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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