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☼ Kittygiggles: generic Prozac (fluoxetine), stabilization


Kittygiggles

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Ouch! I had a microwave this evening  :lol: and I can still appreciate the excellent pun. I feel better now, and I was soothed a great deal from my terror by my cat, who came in from her day's hunting and romping in the wild. I think the panic that ensues when a wave hits is partly iatrogenic but mostly psychological due to something I call the contrast/transition theory, whereby upon experiencing a wave or window, one prone to anxiety can overreact and exacerbate symptoms and become increasingly anxious. Knowing this I was able to calm myself and manage a little sleep. I have a few hypotheses about what brought around the wave but I never learn: I didn't work much on my fabled spreadsheet, if I had I could share such hypotheses succinctly. I keep meticulous notes of my symptoms, medication, supplements, and lifestyle each day, but converting that to a spreadsheet to make graphs to share seems overwhelming. Anyway, one day I'll get there. 

 

As for my quick recovery, it is unusual and hasn't happened before. Usually the initial part of the wave is severe for longer, often 8 to 12 hours, then moderate for about 12 more hours, followed by moderate to mild over whatever period the wave wishes to last. 

 

@Altostrata I really appreciate your input and I'm sorry you read this whole thread, it's a long and rambling mess! I had suspected levothyroxine for some time too as a contributor to withdrawal but it only clicked recently! Sadly though, I am not sure that I can keep taking this low dose without also reducing fluoxetine in the near future. I will for now until my next blood test, due in about 8 weeks. I am trying a lower dose to test my hypothesis about selenium, zinc, and iodine supplementation, which my last two blood tests suggest could be major factors in improving my TSH. 

 

On the other hand, even if the next blood test proves my hypothesis, I am then faced with the dilemma that continuing at 20mg is causing me harm through many side effects, one of which I blame fluoxetine for: non-autoimmune hypothyroidism. My current doctor does agree with this possibility and it isn't a secret currently that fluoxetine can cause thyroid problems. Of the other side effects the one that bothers me the most is excessive sleep and lethargy. Last night I slept 13 hours, which upon waking from, as usual, I felt lethargic all day and quite sleepy. That long sleep and going to bed early tonight are factors I suspect could be to blame for inducing or contributing to the microwave. 

 

Thank you for calling me a thinker: I'm interpreting it as a compliment and no one can change my mind! :P I am also a rambler, which is a bad trait I've tried to stop! Looking back over my thread and other posts elsewhere, I can see that I have yet to shake my perfectionism too and find it hard to see my grammatical or logical mistakes immortalized here!

 

Anyway, I will hold for now but if I ever make a cut in dose, it's going to be a maximum of 5% at a time. I am just looking forward to getting even a slight relief from the lethargy and excessive sleep. Good night to you all and I'm off to ride out whatever kind of wave this is with as much fun/relaxing stuff I can think of. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Be careful about selenium and zinc supplementation, it's easy to overdo either of them. Get blood tests to set a baseline and monitor your levels as you supplement.

 

Eating lots of green leafy vegetables supplies most B vitamins and some minerals, including copper, necessary for thyroid health. If you don't get a lot of sun on your skin, you also need some vitamin D3.

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 for your advice about selenium. I've been careful about vitamin D3, the B vitamins, zinc, and copper. In particular I noticed that taking zinc without balancing it with copper was a possible contributor to my paresthesia and it diminished greatly when I corrected that. My diet comprises fruit, vegetables, fish, and nuts exclusively, with no processed foods; but I am now learning that eating well also means having to learn just how powerful food can be: yesterday I had tuna, Brazil nuts, and a selenium supplement. That put me well above the UL for selenium as I had no idea how much there was in Brazil nuts and my generous serving of tuna was also rich in selenium. Having read some of the side effects, one of which includes irritability, which presented in my wave, I can see that daily supplementation of selenium probably isn't necessary and may actually be harmful. I found this source useful (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/), in particular the thyroid section, showing that selenium only benefits a particular category of hypothyroid sufferer, which excludes me. I suspect now that selenium hasn't been a factor at all in lowering my TSH in the past.

 

Thank you again for the warning. I would schedule blood tests but they can only be prescribed at my doctor's discretion, which is a slow process. My plan is to check my serum levels for all supplements but I am going to have to be diplomatic and possibly charismatic to get that done!

 

@Isabel You inspired me to retry my Gemini20 and last night I managed to complete several calibrations and I weighed my capsule and its contents separately. I narrowed the margin of error down to +-2mg, which is acceptable for my 200mg of powder. I'll be using the scale to taper with therefore, so I am happy with that result. I may transition to liquid if I find it tedious but I plan to prepare my capsules in a batch every month. Thanks again for letting me know which scale you used.

 

I am back to my almost window-self now. Hopefully yesterday was an explicable anomaly. In case anyone is wondering whether I'm making light of waves, don't get me wrong, as short-lived as it was, it still terrified me and I had to use all I learned so far to get through it as smoothly as I did. I still can't explain why it was so short. Here's hoping it's a sign that perhaps my future waves could be short and not last several days. 

 

Warning, boring paragraphs follow

I mentioned previously in this thread that I investigated other ways of measuring dry powder as I was initially frustrated with the Gemini20 but I think I was under the yoke of perfectionism. I am mentioning my ideas here in case anyone has already done this successfully or is inspired to try it in a much better way than my basic attempts! Microgram scales are beyond my means and not necessary now that I can see that I have 200mg of powder in each capsule. The alternative was to use volumetric measuring and I checked here if someone had tried that. I didn't search for long but couldn't find any relevant threads.

 

My first prototype was to craft a 1.5mm diameter tube (I tried a number of containers and found this diameter to be necessary in order to elongate the tube's scale) and score it but I found that the powder was subject to all kinds of problems, such as static electricity, sticking to any surfaces, including the funnel, and lastly, was such an ordeal to get into the tube that I dismissed this idea. 

 

The second idea which I hadn't built yet was to use a frame holding an LED that would shine through one of my capsules (which are very translucent) held vertically, casting its shadow onto a white card at a fixed distance. On the card would be the scale marking 40 divisions of the capsule from its bottom to about 80% up, which is how full each capsule is. After emptying a little powder out, one could then see how much was left very accurately. BUT I think this idea is a bad one because measuring the volume of something using a 2D image is flawed and could result in larger margins of error than a scale. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Wave hit again but it's lingering this time, same flavor as usual as described in my original post. It feels nice to report the wave here. I need to normalize my sleeping again as soon as possible, which might help.  

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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I think a new wave pattern is happening now, where they come and go within about a 24-hour period. This has been my experience the last few days so it is too early to tell if it really is a pattern. Perhaps I am just hypervigilant now with waves and overreact when they happen because I enjoy my windows so much. This is the essence of my contrast/transition theory. I find transitioning so difficult so the more frequently it happens, the worse I am making it for myself perhaps. Also is the intense guilt I feel for being impatient with people. Even if impatience and irritability are iatrogenic, I feel guilty about them. They seem to be iatrogenic as they were never a problem for me prior to fluoxetine.

 

I guess my problems are guilt, and an unnatural sensitivity to neuro-emotion changes.

 

What I did today again was sleep about 12 hours. I take medication exactly the same time every day now as I think that is just essential for me. I allow myself to vary by about 15 minutes either way but that's it. I just set an alarm to take my fluoxetine and levothyroxine.

 

I had considered low blood-sugar to be a possible cause of inducing waves but I think my data disproves that hypothesis: I can eat regularly or not at all for almost 36 hours (not something I do anymore) and the waves came and went about the same frequency and intensity.

 

Lack of sleep doesn't seem to affect me, it is excess sleep I think that is a significant part of the problem. Sure, I could just sleep less but as staying awake is a major challenge on fluoxetine I struggle to do that on stressful days.   

 

Writing here helps a little, so I am grateful for that. I feel like I don't want the windows anymore because having to change in and out of them so frequently is exhausting. There is a level of stability in waves and a sense of low expectations that in one sense make life a little easier. The downside to waves though is that it isn't much of a life worth living. 

 

I think I am reaching my limit of patience with this stabilization period. It's been almost 7 months now and I really just want to taper. However, I can see that it would probably have no positive effect on me; I suspect that tapering now would just increase the risk of worsening my withdrawal as I would be stressing the brain to work more efficiently when it is already struggling to find homeostasis under 20mg of fluoxetine. 

 

Withdrawal is just so much fun!

 

So my plan now is: hold the dose and sleep no more than 10 hours a day, aiming for 9.

 

I'll update here with news on how this new plan goes. I have all kinds of methods to keep me awake in the day, such as cold water head dunks, tiny bursts of additional exercise, and trying to keep all activities as interesting as possible with music, minor distractions, laughing maniacally in the mirror (just kidding but whatever the hell works at this point is probably good!)

 

Forgive the high-energy of this post please but I'm exasperated. Anyway, I'm off to rejoin the craziness that is my withdrawal life now; good luck to anyone else experiencing waves. Also, if anyone else has had their wave frequency change, I'd be interested to hear from you, especially if the waves increased in frequency. It's kind of been a running theme in my thread. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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I like how you think things through so thouroughly and then give us insight!

Lexapro 10 mg February 2009tapered to 5 mg July 2009tapered to 1 mg March 2010went back up to 2.5 mg January 2013tapered to 1.5 mg and stayed till stopping February 2017. 7 days later reinstated 2.5 mg. After 3 weeks went up to 5 mg March 2017 <p>Hydroxine 12 mg March 2017 stopped hydroxine March 26. Reduced lexapro to 3.75 March 30th

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Thank you. That was such a lovely thing to write. It made me feel a little better :)

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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It's going to be a long day. What a bad wave. Perhaps I felt some relief from lowering the levothyroxine dose a couple of weeks ago and this destabilized me now. My choice is to stick to the 12.5micrograms of levothyroxine I've been taking recently and of course stick with 20mg of fluoxetine. I'm going to see what time and not oversleeping does to fix this wave. Perhaps it will. 

 

Something I use in my private notes are these terms, so if there's any confusion, this is what I mean:-

Commencement symptoms = startup effects

Continuation symptoms = side effects

Discontinuation symptoms = withdrawal

 

I think my physical continuation and discontinuation symptoms are awful but I think overall, iatrogenic neuro-emotions are just the worst. It's crazy how I can lower stress, be productive, exercise, eat well (and I am so strict with that too), stick to the stabilization regimen, have a great day only for a wave to hit with no discernible stimuli. For that wave to then give me a set of emotions that make no damn sense is just a joy. On top of that, here's the even crazier bit: I swear by having experienced a neuro-emotion at the same time as the natural counterpart. It was surreal yet provided me with so much clarity, almost a paradox if it didn't make so much sense that I could see the neuro-emotion for exactly what they are: false and a waste of time. 

 

Anyway, I don't expect people to have the time to read my rambling and my thread is mostly self-serving. However, if anyone is still reading at this point, I'll leave with my usual sentiment: I wish you mild waves and broad windows :)

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Makes sense to me, Kittygiggles. Carry on!

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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Things deteriorated rapidly this morning. I took my medication as normal but within half an hour things just got to a point I had not witnessed in months, much like things were before I reinstated. I was just at crisis level when I decided to increase my levothyroxine dose to 25micrograms, which is what it has been for the last couple of months, prior to cutting it to 12.5micrograms. 

 

The interaction between levothyroxine and fluoxetine is a mystery to me as I cannot find recent studies on it that I can access (due to paywalls). Of course most people object to paywalls but to have them in front of an article that may not actually address my area of interest is unfair: how are we to decide whether to pay for an article if the abstract is so vague? I'd be okay if they hid the results until I paid but they should at least reveal the subject area in more detail and I argue their methodology too. 

 

Anyway, my guess is that based on this inconclusive source (https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/fluoxetine-with-synthroid-1115-0-1463-869.html?professional=1) levothyroxine increases the effective dose of fluoxetine. As an arbitrary example to illustrate this point, let's say taking 25micrograms of levothyroxine increases the effective dose of fluoxetine from the 20mg capsule I'm taking to say 26mg. Therefore halving the dose of levothyroxine as I did about two weeks ago and assuming a directly proportional relationship, would represent a cut of 3mg, so almost 12%. The numbers could be much more significant than this, or more frighteningly, less significant, implying an unpredictable and devastating wave pattern. Still, all this guessing regarding sleep, food, supplements, goes to show that I am falling into the same trap I always do: struggling to explain waves when the explanation is fixed and terrifying: this is fluoxetine withdrawal. 

 

Due to the circumstances, today was terrifying and I am traumatized by it. I had some additional sleep after taking the increase of levothyroxine and now I feel a little better, which is frightening too - to go from one extreme to another. Still, I am barely living now, frightened that every moment could be the last before another seemingly inexplicable wave hits. 

 

In conclusion: changing my levothyroxine dose was probably the cause of all this, including the bizarrely long window. Changing levothyroxine doses is dangerous for me and now I feel levothyroxine is a de facto psychiatric drug that I have to deal with alongside fluoxetine. 

 

Thank you to those who thought discontinuation syndrome was not dangerous enough to warn every patient about it. You've ruined my life and hurt those closest to me as they have lost someone they love. I am barely the person I used to be. I despair. 

I will seek some of my crisis options today as it was too much for me. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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I'm so sorry for the setback. Hope things improve as I'm used to you being positive.

Lexapro 10 mg February 2009tapered to 5 mg July 2009tapered to 1 mg March 2010went back up to 2.5 mg January 2013tapered to 1.5 mg and stayed till stopping February 2017. 7 days later reinstated 2.5 mg. After 3 weeks went up to 5 mg March 2017 <p>Hydroxine 12 mg March 2017 stopped hydroxine March 26. Reduced lexapro to 3.75 March 30th

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Hi Isabel, 

 

Thank you. I have been crying a lot, which in one sense was nice, as I let out a lot of frustration and sadness. I have always been a positive person, which is the real me. I have always been anxious too, which is a part of me I accept fully now and it doesn't bother me much anymore. I would trade withdrawal for my worst anxiety any day. 

 

I am trying my best to pick up the pieces of this trauma.

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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I am sorry that you are having such a bad wave KG. Sometimes there are no explanations, it is just our brain healing itself. I am sure you will have seen the topic on brain remodelling, and there si a video xomewhere about how the healing process and how the waves are part of the process. I'll try and find it for you. My memory is terrible thanks to all the drugs and ECT but if I look hard enough I will find it, it is here somewhere!  I don't think I would worry too much about sleeping more, but then I am a chronic insomniac. The body regenerates when sleeping and maybe that is part of your healing. I am not an expert just my take on it. I can go for days without sleep then suddenly I have to go to bed and sleep several times a day. I call this my sleepy period. I still don't get much sleep, but having 4 or 5 naps of 90 minutes a day for 2 or 3 days revives me and I feel much better. 

 

Just my ramblings, I hope your window opens again very soon.

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thank you for your ramblings, they meant a lot. I'm a fellow rambler too :) I managed a smile as I read it, especially as my cat came in and started trying to murder the microphone. I just watched her and let it happen. She's always a free dose of mindfulness and happiness when she's around. 

 

Anyway, I even thought that using an alcohol mouthwash (I had a sore throat, normally I don't use it) two nights in a row was a possible cause of this. Maybe it is nothing as well. It's human nature to try to find patterns in things and it is always disappointing not to find one but that's one of the scary aspects of this: what if there is no discernible pattern?

 

Thank you for reminding me that this kind of pain can also be seen as healing. I had forgotten that one and it is something I believe in. I have watched many videos here but there's always a chance I missed one. 

 

I'm sorry your memory has taken a beating. I'm also sorry you've stumbled upon a miserable few posts, I wish this were a happier thread right now. 

 

I think my biggest problem is that when my waves are bad they are unbearable and I would do anything to avoid them. They are the most frightening thing I have encountered and I've been in some scary situations in my life. I had thought 7 months of stabilization would build a nice foundation from which to taper. Now I'm not so sure and feel that tapering now would at least make this journey mean something. It's as if I've been waiting to take my first step but it never happened. Then again, how could a tapering environment be any better for my brain than trying to stabilize? 

 

It's a puzzle indeed. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Feeling better today but still very shaken. Sticking to 25micrograms of levothyroxine. If I ever need to reduce the dose I will taper it in future to prevent what I suspect caused yesterday's wave. If I need to increase it, I will do so fairly slowly just to be on the safe side. 

 

I hope today goes well. I have thoughts on withdrawal and tapering but I think there is no point tapering until all my withdrawal symptoms disappear. I think this is essential because I am probably healing from damage done last year and beyond, from my bad tapers. If I do any tapering now, I can't see how any proper healing can be done. Suffice to say I need to research this a great deal through rereading on this website and becoming as knowledgeable about SSRIs as I can. It's a lofty goal though as I am not my best cognitively. 

 

I am trying to ignore the terror I have of a random wave hitting at that intensity because they are devastating to me. Minor waves aren't pleasant but they are tolerable. 

 

I am also still trying to find evidence that the levothyroxine cut was to blame for yesterday's horrible wave. It makes sense logically especially in absence of any other reasonable explanation. 

 

So to summarize, my plan is to keep holding at: 20mg fluoxetine, 25micrograms of levothyroxine. The latter may increase as blood tests dictate. 

I will incorporate a more detailed signature soon with supplementation information. In my experience I've not had any problems with supplements aside from worsening my paresthesia. I mostly care about neuro-emotions. My physical continuation symptoms (which I think are not too serious, even hypothyroidism) can get me down sometimes but are almost trivial compared to neuro-emotions. I suppose my bias is based on my core belief that my brain should feel what it should considering the circumstances, good or bad!

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Why am I writing this? Do I need to?

I’ve been trying to compose this post for a while now and have done so about 3 or 4 times. Here’s my latest attempt, which is successful probably because I am in a window. This is a positive post but it may not be apparent! It is to explain my reasoning, upon which my decision to keep holding is founded. I felt like I wanted to share all this with anyone who reads this thread as I feel it helps put things into context. 

 

The conclusion of this post is here: I will likely take another 6 to 18 months to stabilize. Until then I will continue holding at 20mg of fluoxetine daily despite many bad continuation symptoms.

 

Hypotheses:

Below is a list of my substantiated beliefs but they are still just hypotheses born of my interpretation. As always I welcome criticism and corrections :) These are based on SA reading, my experience, and reading the research of reputable sources. A conclusive theory of SSRI withdrawal that gives us all perfect treatment plans would be nice but we are not there yet! However, I feel SA’s theory, when considering the scientific community’s counterparts is the best we have and it does a good job of explaining SSRI withdrawal and gives us a framework from which to build working treatment programs.

 

1. Like many sufferers here, when I undertook my bad tapers under the classic advisement of ignorant professionals (alternate day dosing, >10% cuts, cold turkey at any stage, including at the lowest doses, et cetera) I put my brain into a withdrawal state, which is a kind of brain injury. This injury will persist until my brain heals, which will take an unknown amount of time. This is stabilization: healing the original injury. 

 

2. Stabilization requires time and is largely out of our control. However, a healthy lifestyle, reinstatement (including consistent dosing times, amounts, manufacturing processes, and form), fish oil, and magnesium can help significantly in many cases. I do all those things! For many people it appears to happen 12 to 24 months after withdrawal. It happens within 6 months for some, and for the unlucky ones, it takes more than 24 months.

 

3. Reinstatement is not a cure for withdrawal, it simply helps the brain stabilize, which the brain must still do, whether reinstating or not. For some it eliminates all withdrawal symptoms, for many it diminishes them and eliminates some, for a few it does not work. If reinstatement works, it seems to shorten the stabilization period significantly and of course makes it more comfortable. It worked for me thankfully but my worst symptom: neuro-emotions, isn’t gone completely yet and its severity can be overwhelming.

 

4. Tapering or withdrawing an SSRI do not help the brain stabilize. Doing so will exacerbate the original injury as they induce instability. Tapering is something to be done very slowly and carefully once stable. I plan to microtaper when I am ready.

 

5. Stability is a point where the brain has healed enough so that no withdrawal symptoms remain or the ones that do are tolerable and ideally, easily predictable over the course of performing all of one’s essential daily activities.

 

6. The ultimate goal is pre-SSRI homeostasis and the process to reach it starts as we taper. It happens once we have stabilized after taking our very last dose.

 

My unhelpful expectation

I started the stabilization journey believing it would take no more than 6 months. This was wishful thinking and I had a confirmation bias that blinded me to the fact that everyone, whether tapering, holding, dealing with the aftermath of cold turkey, or conceding that they will be on an SSRI forever, are all aiming for stabilization. Threads like this helped me appreciate the variability of the stabilization period:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4244-after-reinstating-or-updosing-how-long-to-stabilize/page-3?hl=stabilize. Going through my recent wave I had the false expectation that any week now I would be stable. Thinking about the above hypotheses I have come to accept that I am likely to be someone who needs about 12 to 24 months to stabilize (so about 6 to 18 months from now). Until then I will have to endure my waves, accepting that despite my best efforts, they will still happen and they will still hurt like Hell. However, they will get milder and shorter, as my data demonstrates.

 

I have felt much better since accepting this and I am able to change my cognitive response to waves, which has helped reduce the anxiety and depression that are comorbid with waves. Labelling my neuro-emotions as iatrogenic has helped me take the crucial role of the observer when I need it the most. This is far from easy but like many withdrawal sufferers and fighters, I will take even the tiniest improvements gratefully!

 

How do I know I’m not stable yet?

Confirmation bias may have led me here but these are a few hypotheses that support my belief:

 

1. I am sensitive to levothyroxine dose changes, in particular the cuts in it. Levothyroxine increases the efficacy of fluoxetine. To counteract this in future, if my levothyroxine dose must be adjusted downwards, I will probably undertake a linear 10% weekly taper. Upwards will probably be conducted via a linear 25% updose.

 

2. I am sensitive to the manufacturer and form of fluoxetine. To explain the latter for example, when I transitioned to water recently (although I did it too quickly), it caused a wave that was eradicated upon returning to 100% capsules.

 

3. Stressors and lifestyle changes appear to have a destabilizing effect on me, highlighting a possible pattern of lifestyle-induced waves. These kinds of stressors and lifestyle changes would be benign to a stable brain.

 

4. I know myself very well thanks to this process. I have almost overcome my anxiety disorders with CBT. I know the difference between my baseline neurotic self, my anxiety-disorder driven self, and my withdrawal self. I can identify the cause of instability in my brain very well. A iatrogenic cause cannot be eliminated with CBT so it is easy to identify!

 

In the very recent past I believed that I would welcome my undiagnosed, untreated, anxious self over withdrawal, as the latter is horrific. I realize that the path to my recovery is embracing withdrawal as another part of myself, much like I have embraced my anxious self. I take responsibility for being in this position but I appreciate that withdrawing my SSRI quickly was not a fully cognizant choice and therefore something I would not have encountered if professionals were not ignorant. Moreover, had I not been misinformed by professionals that SSRIs were an essential treatment for anxiety, I would not have taken them in the first place. I would have recovered with CBT alone, which I have proven is possible in my case. 

 

Despite the fact that I probably won’t be tapering for a long time, I will still update this thread with my stabilization journey. I hope to add to the threads of people who have stabilized and prove that there is no need to despair if your stabilization journey is taking longer than expected :)

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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KG I was just reading your post and wanted to say I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

 

On a positive note, I like your writing style. You are very analytical and articulate, and I'm sure once you are feeling better you will have a lot to offer to the world.

 

It seems like you have done a lot of work to notice and Observe your mind. To create a "mind map", so that you know where you are when different thoughts and feelings come up. I've been working on this as well, and seems to have helped me a great deal in keeping calm. I also notice stressors and lifestyle changes have a destabilizing effect. It can take me a few days to get back to my "map", where I know where I am, and know how to handle different mental situations. Most notably, I have been able to distinguish between real feelings or thoughts (that are the real me), versus feelings and thoughts that are derivatives of some neurological process. This enables me to resist reacting to the neuro emotions, which significantly improves recovery time (this way I don't get stuck in a feedback loop)...although they can seem so real.

 

Just think about how much you have grown. When this is all over you will know yourself, and the inner workings of your mind much better than before, and will be able to use this new knowledge to be an even better version of yourself.

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Still doing well at 20mg fluoxetine and 25micrograms of levothyroxine. Embracing waves is the hardest thing I've done in my life but I think it's helping a lot. Currently in a window. I will 'dump' my old signatures in this thread and update it accordingly.

 

Thank you Vegetass for the kind words. A mind map is an interesting way to think about it and quite useful.

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • Administrator

Well, Kittygiggles, you have come a long way!

 

A mind map -- very interesting idea, Vegetassj, thank 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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The vice has once again descended and is tightening around my head. I am dizzy and inexplicably irritable, despite not being irritated by anything at all and still managing to have my otherwise fairly pleasant demeanor at hand. I said I would embrace withdrawal but it is so repulsive that I have retired to bed to try to sleep through it. Having managed one hour, I thought I would write here and put on my emergency music. At moments like this, I doubt reinstatement’s effectiveness, and wonder if I really am better off; aside from brain zaps, I am in this moment much like I was when I started this stabilization journey. What did I do differently today? I didn’t take fish oil and zinc; things I don’t always take daily anyway. I also had a little less sleep last night but didn’t deviate from eating well, exercising, going to bed at a reasonable hour, taking my medication at exactly the right time.

 

It’s almost a joke, fighting withdrawal, as we know it evades most people’s logic and in my case, I feel too primitive cognitively to even begin wrestling it into submission. Here I am though. I had a couple of microwaves during the last two days, from which I bounced back very well.

 

Yet, I am different to when I started but it’s paradoxical, and I don’t have the words or ability to explain it to myself. I don’t even know if much of this makes sense. Sorry, this morning I felt so good and was about to update my thread with more pleasant news but this is all I’ve got. I have noticed that I get hit with symptoms more often in the afternoon but that could be a fallacy.

 

This wave will end, so I remain hopeful. However, I am now scrutinizing reinstatement severely, wondering if tapering may be an option to at least help with the continuation symptoms: lethargy, weight gain, paresthesia, hypothyroidism, indigestion, and a few others to boot. The puzzle remains.

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Too much to say right now but to summarize, I've not had the internet for almost a week, which has made things interesting! I've decided to give myself one more bad wave, then I'm done trying to figure out my stabilization: I am going to start tapering. All of this is subject to change of course as I'm writing this from a microwindow (waves and windows tend to be shorter now but so damn frequent that they infest the same day at times).  

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a moderate wave this evening but I pushed through it and I think I am bouncing back already, which would have made it last about 4 hours. There have been no changes to medication, of course. As the wave hit I decided to get on with my tapering plan and start measuring out capsules for the near future.

 

This was one of many times trying to calibrate my Gemini 20. Over several periods of recording results, I narrowed down the margin of error of my model to +-2mg. I also noticed it could not measure <5mg of powder. I have 195mg of powder to deal with and I wanted to make my first cut at most, 2% (4mg rounded), but doing so with this margin of error coupled with the bizarre inability to detect <5mg of powder makes it a risky endeavor. So using the Gemini 20 is just not possible for me. I will instead decide to just go with water titration and transition over to it much more slowly than I did before, probably using the method I described earlier in this thread.

 

I feel like I am stalking new ground here, as I cannot find any past pattern that resembles what I am going through now: more frequent waves that seem to be getting shorter. Anyway, I promised myself one more bad wave before tapering, so a moderate one won't cut it. I now take fish oil daily without fail and I think days without it are harder, although that's hard to detect. Placebo or no, it's a fairly harmless supplement for me (having considered my health status). I also take magnesium daily. I have been meaning to get around to updating my signature with supplements but I have been postponing it until I have a longer period without modifications. 

 

It's been almost 9 months trying to stabilize now and it's taken a lot for me to keep taking 20mg daily and watching my health deteriorate slowly due to continuation side effects. Still though, having faith that all the negative aspects of this are temporary is a big help. 

 

Anyway, it's nice to have the internet again and an improved service to boot. I have also managed to do more challenging work recently, which is stressful but I think overall has a positive effect on me. I am taking it slowly though. 

 

So long. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Because my sleeping pattern has been changing for so long, I decided to have an evening dosing time. So after I transitioned to that, which makes sticking to an exact regimen easier, I decided to transition liquid doses. 

 

I am on day 4 of transitioning to a liquid dose. 

Day 1: ~33% as liquid

Day 2: ~25% as liquid

Day 3: ~20% as liquid

Day 4: ~20% as liquid

 

I will stick to 20% until day 8, where I will increase by 20%, then again every week thereafter (which would make it 4 weeks to transition in total). 

 

It hasn't been easy and it's as if I am taking a new brand or form of fluoxetine: stressful dreams, general confusion, more intense lethargy, a messed up sleeping pattern, random insomnia but otherwise my withdrawal symptoms have mostly been the same, perhaps a little worse overall as I transition. 

 

I feel okay this evening. I am noticing more problems as time passes with continuation symptoms. Taking this 20mg dose daily is taking its toll on me physically and it's hard to witness a progressive decline. I've done 9 months so far and I would say that my stabilization journey has been productive in terms of withdrawal symptoms and that it was a necessary step. I think that it worked in my case and I plan to keep taking 20mg a day for a little while longer. I am going for a blood test next week for my thyroid so an adjustment may be necessary there with levothyroxine. Once I know what that should be, I will give myself a few months at 20mg before finally starting my taper. Transitioning to liquid now though is something I just had to do as I was going crazy making no progress towards finally ending my fluoxetine dependence. 

 

I may taper sooner but that's the goal of transitioning now: when I feel the continuation symptoms are too much to keep living with, I can start tapering using water titration without delay. As before, I plan to make my first cut at less than 5%, which for now I think I may go for 1 or 2% each week as part of a microtaper.

 

Here's my old signature, as I have updated it today:

 

2010: Unknown SSRI for 48 hours for anxiety, stopped CT due to side effects.

2012: Generic Paxil (paroxetine) for about 2 weeks (cannot recall dose) for anxiety, stopped CT due to side effects, major WD for about 1 month. Started on generic Prozac (fluoxetine) 40mg daily for anxiety. (Started self-directed CBT due to limited finances to help with my anxiety disorders, this worked slowly but well and is the reason I got better).

2013: Updosed to 60mg fluoxetine and dropped to 40mg a few times due to teething problems with CBT

2014: Continued 40mg fluoxetine daily. CBT going well.

2015: Wanted to stop fluoxetine as CBT was the only thing relieving my anxiety, not the drug. Did ill-advised alternate day taper, weekly taper, then instructed to stop at around 20mg a week. Major WD about 2 weeks later, reinstated at 40mg fluoxetine daily.

2016 Jan to May: Continued 40mg fluoxetine daily but felt some lingering WD.

2016 Jun to Sep: Continued 40mg fluoxetine daily but had some intensified side effects when I tried another fluoxetine manufacturer. I then felt more intense WD, so decided to taper again as I did in 2015, and reached about 20mg weekly. WD intensified. I researched WD via reputable sources.

Oct 2016 to Apr 2017 (present): Found SA and decided to try to stabilize, hoping reinstatement would work. I am proud to have stuck with 20mg fluoxetine daily, without fail, for about 6 months. Tried water titration but did 100% liquid for one day followed by 50% the next, bad wave resulted. Back on 100% capsules now.

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had almost a week at ~50% liquid. It's been difficult but not overwhelming so I'd call it a success. I will go to ~75% tomorrow.

 

Thyroid medication and my possible fluoxetine-induced hypothyroidism

A few days ago I increased my levothyroxine to 37.5micrograms and within 12 hours I had a bad wave. I felt my most feared neuro-emotion, which is irritability, as well as a sense of internal agitation that I've seen described as a form of akathisia (although I can get that as well, mostly in the legs).  

 

I dropped back to 25micrograms of levothyroxine the next day and felt better within 36 hours of the original higher dose. Irritability is a known side effect of this drug, as is fluoxetine withdrawal. Both or either of the latter causes may be applicable in my situation so I am considering stopping my levothyroxine medication for a short period to establish whether it has a noticeable effect on my waves; such as their frequency, intensity, and duration. 

 

Hypothyroidism is a known side effect of fluoxetine, the exact mechanism I have not read about yet but I think fluoride is a possible involved element. Under medical supervision, I think I may benefit from this trial of removing levothyroxine for at least 4 weeks, ideally greater due to its fairly long half life (1.5 weeks I think). 

 

Otherwise I am doing okay. I am happy I made it this far transitioning to liquid. At this pace I should be at 100% liquid in just over a week. Hopefully there will be no repercussions from doing so once I've transitioned completely. Once I've been taking liquid for about a month, I should be ready to taper if there are no new problems. 

 

At this point it is clear that fluoxetine is having an adverse effect on my physical health that is reaching clinical proportions, hypothyroidism being just one such effect. That, in turn, has affected my life adversely in more complex ways. In light of this I think it is important that I start tapering fluoxetine as soon as it is safe to do so because holding for stabilization is no longer a safe option for me physically.

 

I wish everyone the best of luck in getting through their waves and I hope you all get broad and eternal windows :) 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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Following the abovementioned wave from increasing my levothyroxine (likely culprit but not conclusive) I should read my own advice more thoroughly:

 

On 4/27/2017 at 5:16 PM, Kittygiggles said:

In conclusion: changing my levothyroxine dose was probably the cause of all this, including the bizarrely long window. Changing levothyroxine doses is dangerous for me and now I feel levothyroxine is a de facto psychiatric drug that I have to deal with alongside fluoxetine. 

 

Does anyone have any experience of updosing levothyroxine slowly? I am going to have to cut the pill I think but I will try dissolving one tomorrow to see if it is very soluble. The same should apply for reducing a dose too. I need more T4 so I have to take more levothyroxine sadly. As long as I am swallowing the fluoxetine poison, I have to deal with this weird hypothyroidism. As a male in his thirties, I have no other probable cause for hypothyroidism. My T4 levels are normal (low range) and my T3 is normal (mid range). Labs' parameters vary and such but the consensus is with such a high TSH my body is certainly missing T4. 

 

On a more positive note, I am on 100% liquid fluoxetine now. In the last 48 hours I made a bad decision and tried to taper by 5% (1mg). I had no adverse reaction but I came to my senses today and stuck with 100%. I need more time to get used to liquid and also adjust to levothyroxine changes if I decide to make any. 

 

I'm amazed I haven't gone crazy from trying to work all this out. I'm off to have as much fun as I can and laugh if possible, it's the only choice in the face of side effects and withdrawal. 

 

Later!

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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sorry I can't help you with your question but just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I admire your positive attitude

 

hope you are doing well

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Aug 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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23 hours ago, Happy2Heal said:

sorry I can't help you with your question but just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I admire your positive attitude

 

hope you are doing well

 

 

Thank you so much for commenting. Your compliment surprised me and I am grateful to you as it made me feel so much better. 

 

As an update:

 

I am still on 100% liquid, which is great. I started tapering last night at 2%, tonight I made a mistake as I was on an intense phone call and just swallowed the whole dose - stupid mistake but I doubt there will be any problems from that. In future I know now to not do anything else when preparing and taking my dose. Still, it does demonstrate how easy it is to taper with liquid (in my case water titration)!

 

I am planning to drop 2% each week but changing to 1% during difficult weeks if they arise. 

 

I don't know if I am as stable as I'll ever get but I think almost 10 months is as long as I can wait because I have too many continuation symptoms. I suspect that reinstatement has done as much as it can in my case. 

 

I'll probably do weekly updates from now on. I had a wave tonight but it was much like my others during the last few months: rather short (a few hours) and about as intense. I do feel like I am constantly in a low intensity wave that intensifies once or twice a week. Perhaps daily fish oil is helping. I do feel much more relaxed with daily magnesium, which again could be placebo but whatever the cause, it's a nice consequence. 

 

Hoping you all keep pushing through your waves and cherish your windows.  

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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I propose a new plan to taper, which I've already started (on day 2 now, entering day 3 tomorrow). I welcome criticism. My fondness of it, I hope, won't influence you either way to say something positive or negative about it. 

 

The Daily Tapering Plan

The amount to cut = daily dose / number of days required to taper

I chose 350 days as it was close to 365 days but easier to see on a graduated container

Each day I taper by 0.0571mg (4 d.p.), which is 2% per week, and 8% a month.

 

I am so motivated by this plan because every day is a step towards getting free of this drug that is now just harming me more than I can tolerate. I will slow down (increase the days) if something major happens and I am considering slowing down towards the end. However, I still want to stick to daily tapering because it suits my personality.

 

My hypothesis is that getting the brain to adjust to tiny decrements daily may enable it to adapt more efficiently and that such daily adjustments will be imperceptible to me. 

 

So far I have no complaints. I will update here every so often. 

 

To iterate: criticisms are welcome. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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no criticism from me ,well done and best of luck ,looks well planned

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You may want to test your approach with a hold of a few weeks after the first month just to make sure that there's no symptom backlog accumulating.

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 comment

Thank you to you both for your perspectives. I think a test is warranted Scallywag, so I'll try to do something in 3 weeks. I'm coming to the end of the first week and there's been no change (which isn't surprising). 

 

On an unrelated note is my current (third or fourth) attempt at increasing my levothyroxine dose. I am trying to go from 25micrograms to 37.5micrograms. I am here to just express my symptoms I guess. It intensifies my withdrawal symptoms, the first 48 hours were challenging but okay, today, being the next 24 hours were very hard, with dizziness reaching 8 out of 10, a headache reaching 7 out of ten, and irritability luckily only reaching 4 out of ten. 

 

I decided to persevere with the dose. I just hope things improve by tomorrow. 

Honestly, with all the data I have, it really is unrelated to fluoxetine tapering: I've tried levothyroxine increases before during withdrawal and this kind of thing always happens. I usually give up within the first few days but I am trying to push through such symptoms now. Hopefully it is a temporary storm as I transition to the higher dose. 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So far so good: 

Day 18 of tapering and no problems. I've struggled to increase my levothyroxine dose, with my longest period being 7 days straight. I have just stuck to my old dose since last Sunday. I am so motivated by daily tapering and doing it with liquid is very easy. Overall I'm doing well aside from some physical symptoms. I am preparing myself for some waves so I'm not surprised. My diary has all the data I need to push through them and to estimate their duration and severity. The main symptoms I'm on the lookout for are brain swishing (a strange form of dizziness) and brain zaps. If either of those happen, particularly the latter, I will stop tapering and possibly increase the dose slightly. 

:)

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to read that you've noodled the liquid tapering so it works for you! :D

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 comment

Hi Scallywag,

 

I had to look up noodling, I wasn't sure what it meant XD! I've been working for hours, and listening to music. For some reason my brain is just thriving on: Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart. I haven't heard it in years and when I did it made me feel energized. I've had a window for about a week now. I think my acceptance of my slow tapering plan, windows, waves, and the state of my brain has been such a major aspect of feeling better. 

 

I am keeping a close watch on when I should hold at a dose for a couple of weeks. I'm going to keep going though until I get a clear indication that it is necessary. 

 

I hope everyone can find the strength to be mindful and enjoy whatever their senses can provide them in the present. For me it is music, the smell of wild flowers in the air, bird song, and the visits from my cat when she comes home from romping in the wilds. 

 

X

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ooof, slang expressions don't translate globally, and sometimes not even in the same country. Thanks for reminding me.:D

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 comment

I love opportunities to learn slang, it's no problem :) Also, I like to think the internet is helping things translate globally. The song of the day is now Haddaway - What is love? Someone here likes the nineties ;)

 

Edit: I will update my signature properly soon. 

 

Second Edit: I thought of writing something today so while I am at it I will say it now. No matter how much damage fluoxetine has done to me, I am so happy for these days where I have been my true self. This kind of window is what all this struggling is for. Even if it all ends in a minute, a day, or a week, I fought so hard for it and I love that this kind of recovery is possible. SSRIs sometimes win and crush us but it's always worth fighting them, even if the best weapon we have is patience, time, and clinging to whatever we can to make us feel better. 

 

To any misinformed psychiatrists or psychologists out there (not that they would be reading this) who would like to think that my current state of mind is just a product of fluoxetine, or some new mental health diagnosis, you're so wrong. Not only am I happy, I am thriving and productive. I am my normal neurotic self, who I am happy to be because I can work on my anxiety and OCD with CBT, drug-free.  

 

That's the funny thing with all this. Medical professionals often suspect incorrectly that those going through withdrawal have developed a new issue that needs medication. However, I would welcome such a diagnosis if it were even remotely true because then I could say: 'great, I can work on that with CBT and/or any other therapeutic lifestyle choice and take control of it without medication'. Sadly though, such diagnoses are usually incorrect as SSRI withdrawal is such an obvious and conclusive cause for symptoms that are now so well documented. 

 

2012: 2 weeks of paroxetine, I cannot recall the dose. Strong side effects, stopped cold turkey, had intense, horrible withdrawal thereafter

2012 to 2016: Fluoxetine 40mg daily, sometimes 20mg daily, a couple of bad tapers under doctor's advisement, increasingly bad withdrawal symptoms with each major dose change

Oct 2016 to June 2017: 10-month reinstatement of 20mg fluoxetine daily to stabilize. A very difficult period but withdrawal gradually improved

July 2017: At 20mg (100%), started a linear tapering regimen using water titration (20mg fluoxetine into 300ml of water).

June 2019: Currently at 0.200mg (1.00%). I have many symptoms, most I attribute to fluoxetine, some to withdrawal, and the rest to hypothyroidism. Continuing to reduce anyway.

July 2019: Jumped from 0.066mg (0.33%) to 0.000mg (0.00%); I'm now free of the poison.

 

My introduction thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14226-kittygiggles-generic-prozac-fluoxetine-stabilization/

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Kittygiggles: generic Prozac (fluoxetine), stabilization

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