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☼ Kittygiggles: generic Prozac (fluoxetine), stabilization


Kittygiggles

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Too fast

 

Although my drops were tiny it seemed the whole thing was too fast. I got to day 22, which is just over 6%. It showed me that the period for developing symptoms is quite small considering this is fluoxetine. I noticed some dizziness on Tuesday which was very different to my usual type. It seemed much more linked to motion and it had a hint of the foul stench of 'swooshing' to it, which is zapping's close relative. I decided to persevere and got through Wednesday but it just got worse. Still, these symptoms were not too bad but they were alarming, along with mild akathesia and a lot of lethargy.  

 

On Wednesday night I decided to utilize a binary search and go back to around day 10, which would be a 3% drop. I've just awoken from my slumber and feel slightly less dizzy but I do feel the faintest hint of a zap - perhaps it is hypervigilance but I know the zaps, although not really a problem on their own, are the alarm of doom. It will take me another day or two to feel the benefit of the jump back up to 3% from 6%. If I don't then I may have to start again or try 1.5%. It's not great but it is only a loss of 22 days of tapering. 

 

My conclusion is that 2% a week is too fast, so I will try 1% a week when I feel better. That's two years to get off this drug. I could stretch to three years but I think that's my limit, I just can't go slower and witness what this drug is doing to my body. I am in a better place as I write this because earlier I was so angry with all the professionals in the world who prescribe these drugs without warnings, and especially annoyed with those who deny SSRI withdrawal is a fact. I've read a fair few studies now on SSRI withdrawal and even the biased ones (who are trying to push SSRI efficacy) admit there are discontinuation symptoms. They may downplay their duration and/or severity but they all acknowledge their existence. It's as if professionals are all crazy and just won't look at the evidence, either that or they are lying. Ignorance isn't an excuse as they must have covered one of the most prescribed medications in the world. Still, having said that it probably is ignorance as they are pretty clueless when it comes to levothyroxine as well.

 

As nz11 says in his signature, SSRIs are pretty much a form of torture. 

 

Anyway, happy thoughts to you all :)

 

 

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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Old signature dump

 

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

2012 to 2015: 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 and self-directed CBT to help with my anxiety disorders. CBT worked slowly but well and is the reason I got better. Due to the CBT progress I wanted to stop fluoxetine. Under medical professional advisement, I 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. Tried tapering again in 2016 under bad advice, major WD resulted. 

Oct 2016 to Jun 2017 (present): Found SA and decided to try to stabilize, hoping reinstatement would work. I am proud to have stuck with 20mg fluoxetine daily, (with only one 40mg total updose), for about 9 months. Tried liquid (water) dose earlier this year but found it intensified withdrawal. I transitioned too quickly. I am trying to transition slowly to liquid right now, with a plan to microtaper within the next few months.

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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5 hours ago, Kittygiggles said:

Too fast

 

Although my drops were tiny it seemed the whole thing was too fast. I got to day 22, which is just over 6%. It showed me that the period for developing symptoms is quite small considering this is fluoxetine. I noticed some dizziness on Tuesday which was very different to my usual type. It seemed much more linked to motion and it had a hint of the foul stench of 'swooshing' to it, which is zapping's close relative. I decided to persevere and got through Wednesday but it just got worse. Still, these symptoms were not too bad but they were alarming, along with mild akathesia and a lot of lethargy.  

 

On Wednesday night I decided to utilize a binary search and go back to around day 10, which would be a 3% drop. I've just awoken from my slumber and feel slightly less dizzy but I do feel the faintest hint of a zap - perhaps it is hypervigilance but I know the zaps, although not really a problem on their own, are the alarm of doom. It will take me another day or two to feel the benefit of the jump back up to 3% from 6%. If I don't then I may have to start again or try 1.5%. It's not great but it is only a loss of 22 days of tapering. 

 

My conclusion is that 2% a week is too fast, so I will try 1% a week when I feel better. That's two years to get off this drug. I could stretch to three years but I think that's my limit, I just can't go slower and witness what this drug is doing to my body. I am in a better place as I write this because earlier I was so angry with all the professionals in the world who prescribe these drugs without warnings, and especially annoyed with those who deny SSRI withdrawal is a fact. I've read a fair few studies now on SSRI withdrawal and even the biased ones (who are trying to push SSRI efficacy) admit there are discontinuation symptoms. They may downplay their duration and/or severity but they all acknowledge their existence. It's as if professionals are all crazy and just won't look at the evidence, either that or they are lying. Ignorance isn't an excuse as they must have covered one of the most prescribed medications in the world. Still, having said that it probably is ignorance as they are pretty clueless when it comes to levothyroxine as well.

 

As nz11 says in his signature, SSRIs are pretty much a form of torture. 

 

Anyway, happy thoughts to you all :)

 

 

hi kitty ,I so agree with you .its beyond torture of the worst form

.2 days last week I took Effexor instead of my normal generic venlafaxine and within 4 hours I could feel the zaps ,doctor tells me "the chemist runs out of stock", as if there tomatoes ,I told him this is disgraceful :angry:.

I'm doing 1% taper but I'm tempted to go much higher because I've dealt with symptoms for nearly 2 years taking the dam poison .yesterday was the first day in years I didn't leave the house.

EGO/POWER=so called professionals .  the longer and more frequent they get people like us questioning them and criticising it will start to sink in .

from some research  I've done myself ,these drugs are the worst and most dangerous things to give people if they already had anxiety and panic conditions [like petrol on a fire ].I believe this happened to me .sadly I didn't realise about my anxiety until after I took the drugs .

there is some hope..

Here in Ireland there's a man  called terry lynch ,he stopped being a GP because  he understood the madness of just handing over such dangerous drugs .but sadly there's very few .[google him or YouTube ]

We just keep fighting and hoping for peace and recovery .

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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Thank you so much powerback, it is nice to have some solidarity! I liked Terry Lynch's video 'Depression and serotonin'. Like so many people here, I've been told by doctors that a depressive needs serotonin like a diabetic needs insulin. Even if that were true, they still encouraged me to take an SSRI for OCD, knowing that the mechanism for its alleged efficacy (which is now in question when compared to placebo) is also unknown. It was nice to hear what he said but I guess like many here, I wish I had listened to all this before I ever took an SSRI. All I needed was CBT.

 

Anyway, thank you again for your great post, it feels good to channel my frustration about withdrawal at the misinformed, ignorant, or lying professionals who misinformed me! :)

 

Update

So it's been 3 days on 97%. I noticed a drastic improvement in symptoms within the first 12 to 24 hours, I was able to function again. Symptoms today are tolerable but I still have brain fog, a strange dizziness, and constant daily headaches (although they are normal for me since withdrawal anyway), among other symptoms. Although the symptoms are fairly minimal, I am still concerned that they only really diminished on day 2 and have stayed the same. I need 4 days to get the blood levels right so I am happy to wait for that. I am just wondering whether I should start again at 100% and hold for a week or two then reduce slowly at my new proposed speed of 1% a week. Clearly 2% a week was too fast for me. I am considering this because the improvement in symptoms at 100% may be fast, like it was when I went from 94 to 97%. 

 

 

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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6 hours ago, Kittygiggles said:

Thank you so much powerback, it is nice to have some solidarity! I liked Terry Lynch's video 'Depression and serotonin'. Like so many people here, I've been told by doctors that a depressive needs serotonin like a diabetic needs insulin. Even if that were true, they still encouraged me to take an SSRI for OCD, knowing that the mechanism for its alleged efficacy (which is now in question when compared to placebo) is also unknown. It was nice to hear what he said but I guess like many here, I wish I had listened to all this before I ever took an SSRI. All I needed was CBT.

 

Anyway, thank you again for your great post, it feels good to channel my frustration about withdrawal at the misinformed, ignorant, or lying professionals who misinformed me! :)

 

Update

So it's been 3 days on 97%. I noticed a drastic improvement in symptoms within the first 12 to 24 hours, I was able to function again. Symptoms today are tolerable but I still have brain fog, a strange dizziness, and constant daily headaches (although they are normal for me since withdrawal anyway), among other symptoms. Although the symptoms are fairly minimal, I am still concerned that they only really diminished on day 2 and have stayed the same. I need 4 days to get the blood levels right so I am happy to wait for that. I am just wondering whether I should start again at 100% and hold for a week or two then reduce slowly at my new proposed speed of 1% a week. Clearly 2% a week was too fast for me. I am considering this because the improvement in symptoms at 100% may be fast, like it was when I went from 94 to 97%. 

 

 

Hi Kitty.ye I reckon its a deeper thing going on about society and how the power structure is determined ,"that person knows better because there a professional ".this is wrong .we got to inform ourselves in all matters of the world ,it took this situation for me to cop on .

we are rightly so intituled  to our validation of the mess of what happens to us ,especially these drugs .

 

but your first thing must be your recovery ,be very mindful of anything you read that mite set you off in anger or bad moods ,we are so sensitive to the smallest things in withdrawl ,just know when to back off and say to yourself and say "ok that's enough today its time for me and relax/fun .

good your experiencing some positive functionality ,take care .

PB

 

 

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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Great advice powerback regarding neuro-emotions. Lowering stress and using CBT techniques have been essential to getting through withdrawal. There's a long road ahead of me too with tapering. 

 

So I took 100% last night and I will stick with that for about 3 weeks. I felt better within about 6 hours but there is still some of the symptoms left. In any case I have to stick to 100% for now. If my 1% a week plan is too fast then... well we'll see but it will really test my patience. 

 

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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Well, the dizziness is just depressing now. Unless I am 100% focused on something constantly, it is very difficult to not lie down to sleep. It's bizarre but I know it from my early days of withdrawal. I find it disheartening that I have suffered such a severe symptom after dropping to only 6% over 21 days. It was too fast for my brain but I can't estimate now how long it will take to feel normal again. As we all know, this could be any length of time, which makes me question whether a slow taper is even possible for me at this point or any point in the near future. I wish to taper over 700 days but I am thinking that the only way my brain will ever recover is when fluoxetine has left my system completely. So, if I can't find any relief then I will risk everything and taper as quickly as 'safe' allows, which would be over about 210 days. 

 

These are all options I'm considering but for now I wish to try 700 days. 

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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Hi kitty I sympathise and relate to this issue so much ,what a pain ,I'm doing a 25day 1% taper for now[on my second bead out] .I mite even speed it up .I'm at my wits end and sick of it .the feeling of loosing my mind is increasing .I cant tell you what to do but I will tell you I was on 37.5 for nearly 2 years and I'm sorry I didn't taper long time ago .my problem was I became braindead [IQ] and couldn't think straight .

my thinking is the same as you ,if I have symptoms and want off them then push through, I'm only sorry I never did it a year ago .only you can judge your situation ,but some old posts here helped me realise I was in poop out and withdrawal at same time so my only option is off and put my fait in my brain healing itself .

take great care

PB

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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So, I did a week at 99%, now I'm into a couple of days of 98%, with a plan to go down 1% a week. If that's too fast then I'll have to go slower again. Hopefully I'll be okay. 

 

Good luck in your taper powerback. I too have regrets about withdrawal. My main one is that I feel I reinstated too high but there's nothing to be done about that now. As for poop out, well it doesn't apply to me as it implies that SSRIs are effective treatments for OCD, which is demonstrably false far too often; CBT is all that helped me and all that is helping me. This drug was just one big mistake and waste of time, in addition to a host of commencement, continuation, and discontinuation symptoms. I would feel better if I could say SSRIs helped at any point but they never did!

 

I hope you find the strength to keep being patient. I've talked myself into going even slower than 1% a week if I have to. If my brain needs it, then it needs it. You're going even slower than me and I think that I may have to go at that speed eventually. For now I'm doing okay and hopeful that 1% a week is tolerable. Thanks for dropping in my thread, I really appreciate it. 

 

Daily tapering: It was a novel experiment, the objective of which was to render dose changes imperceptible to my brain; therein lay the problem though because I was unable to determine at which point problems arose. Weekly tapering gives me an option to go back one or two weeks in most cases as they are clear and probably trigger points for a symptom. 

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 now down to 97% (cutting day is Sunday). I've had a new symptom recently: severe depression. It's horrible and reminds me of some of the commencement symptoms I got when starting fluoxetine.

 

I am turning to CBT for depression to help me through this dark time as well as rest and distraction. What a horrible, horrible feeling, which I won't go into here but I think we all know what it's like. 

 

Prior to this I was okay, even had some very productive good days. I don't think that this depression is from any particular cut in dose so I will persevere. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. 

 

I also found it hard to deal with the aspects of depression that can take those of us who suffer from it intermittently by surprise: shame from perceiving having depression as a failure. 

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 was better the day after and I am even better today. There seem to be no withdrawal symptoms from cutting my dose so far. I am due to cut another 1% next week, which would take me to 96%. I quite like this method, I hope it's slow enough for my brain.

 

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 am in the middle of my 95% week. It's been good since I last posted but I've been hit with depression again, which seems to be abating today. It seems to last 2 to 3 days and is very severe. I have coping mechanisms in place but I am trying to work out why it's happening. Knowing why will help me overcome it much faster than I do currently and possibly reduce its intensity and associated feelings of helplessness. 

 

My guess is that it's linked to serotonin transporter occupancy, the hypersensitivity that I've developed due to withdrawal, and of course stressors in my life. I am in a period of uncertainty and stress at the moment that I hope will improve over the coming month or two. 

 

This thread is useful: 

In addition I need to reconsider my nutritional needs and my hypothyroidism treatment. 

Otherwise though I would say that the 1% reduction a week is working out well so far. 

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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My 94% week is going well, just some mild withdrawal symptoms over the weekend prior to dropping but I've been feeling great the last couple of days. I've just been increasingly busy with more normal things and I embrace every moment of normality I can get. I don't think I'll ever get used to transitioning between windows and waves fully but I feel I am slowly getting better at accepting the change and moving on. In summary then, surviving withdrawal has and is taking everything I've got, of course mostly in waves, but the rewards are worth it - I just need to keep reminding myself of that and periods like this. 

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...

Hi everyone, 

Week 93% and things are going well! :) I will keep going like this until 90% then hold for a few weeks before continuing. I've had a great week and today is fantastic. I know there seems to be a trend of saying that here then hitting a wave but that's life I guess :D I am so grateful to this website and everyone here sharing their stories. To think I am actually at a point where I am happy taking about 2 years to come off this poison is miraculous. Dropping each week is just so motivating for me; if I had to I would go even slower. 

 

Each week has been pretty straightforward in terms of withdrawal symptoms - mild at worst and nothing different to when I was stabilizing. If anything, things have been a little better since tapering, possibly due to the hope it creates or maybe because my body is healing a little bit faster now. 

 

BIG KISSES. 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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  • 2 weeks later...

91% week is here! I had a small amount of neuro-emotions today but otherwise I am doing well. I started the weekend with what I thought was withdrawal but was in fact a cold mimicking some of the headache and dizziness types of symptoms I get in withdrawal. I've never been so happy to have a cold! It was so mild though that it wasn't clear what it was in the first few hours. 

 

Since starting this taper I've not felt anything worse than when I was stabilizing so I'd say it's going exceptionally well. I am still wondering whether to hold at 90% but I am inclined to do so for an extra week just to see how I feel. It could yield some valuable information and I am content with having almost reached 10%. 

 

Wishing you all the best luck in recovery, as usual :)

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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Good to hear all progressing well Kitty

cannabis: Spring 2002 - Dec. 2007; regularly smoked, stopped cold turkey; symptoms: paranoid and depressed

Paroxetine: 20 mg July 2008, 40 mg October, 20 mg spring 2009, 0 mg summer 2009

Depakote (sodium valproate): October 2008 - Spring 2009

Haloperdidol 1 week Oct. 2008, H caused seizures, went to A&E;  stopped taking it.

Citalopram few weeks in the fall of 2009 to deal with withdrawal symptoms from stopping paroxetine

Paroxetine round 2: 20 mg Feb - summer 2010 -20mg don't remeber if I went up to 40mg

Venlafaxine & sodium valproate (again): Sep 2010 - Summer 2012  

SERTRALINE: November 2012 - May 2016 , 50-100mg (few days @ 150mg in Summer '15). a complete freak out at the end of April. 

May 2016 Prescribed Lithium and Abilify HAVE NOT TAKEN

No medications May 2016 - October 2016

Hospitalised - November 13th 2016 - Prescribed 15 mg Mirtazapine/Remeron. Reducing since 24 December 2016.  9 June 2017 medication free. 

 

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Things were going well at the start of 90% week but last night I got hit by the withdrawal train. I was in bed for about 4 hours, paralyzed (figuratively), a crushing headache, irritability, and terror. I could say or do nothing, only enough words just to say 'bad withdrawal, sorry'. Only sleep fixes it (or time) and a few distractions, including my cat, who wasn't in at that time sadly. I don't think cutting to 90% is the problem, in fact, so many times, levothyroxine increases seem to exacerbate my milder waves. I keep trying to increase my dose because my TSH is high. However, my doctor is very considerate and says there's no rush to increase it. I was planning to hold at 90% anyway for an extra week, so I'll do that and I'll stick with my lower dose of levothyroxine.

 

As usual, moving on from last night and not feeling embarrassment, guilt, or fear for what happened is what I need to do. I am considering starting a thread about my specific symptoms if I can't find a similar thread. I am really intrigued by the hypothesis that neuro-irritability is a form of or at least coincides with akathisia. When I increase levothyroxine and/or have a wave, I get akathisia in the legs (mild usually) but also I feel it in my jaw, where I clench a lot (as I am now), I think it is possible that this agitation occurs in the mind too as it feels like I am 'under attack' from intense stress during it. It floors me and I retreat to my lowest level of functioning and all my safety nets and coping mechanisms are called in. 

 

I am okay now, which as I've mentioned before, is the contrast that just amazes me: withdrawal is incredible, although waves do seem to come with an hour or two's warning, it's still a rapid transition from a good few weeks of mild waves and long windows. I try to remember my brain is healing during such a wave but overall I am not able to think much. Knowing that such episodes of complete dysfunction and shutting down are not my fault is of little comfort because I still take responsibility for them. What is comforting is to know that this website exists and we're all trying to work out this confounding puzzle. We're part of a global, pseudo-involuntary, clinical trial with no one to hold accountable for the disaster caused.

 

Anyway, I am off to enjoy myself (I can right now) and try not to remain wide-eyed at the unavoidable, speeding waves that hit like Tyson. Big hugs to you all.

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...

Coming to the end of my second week holding at 90% and it's been great! I have been productive and much like my old self. What a great big window and pushing myself to get over the last wave paid off; something I need to remember for the next inevitable wave :) I have stuck with the same standard dose of levothyroxine now and I will remind myself here to start threads (unless similar ones can be found) on these things:

 

1. Levothyroxine/synthroid and its side effects in common with withdrawal (focusing on the impact of dose changes during withdrawal)

2. The hypothesis that secondary (iatrogenic and/or exacerbated) hypothyroidism can be caused by SSRIs

3. A list of research investigating and shedding light on the significant interaction that I've heard is rumored to exist between synthroid and SSRIs. For those who don't know, I have yet to verify it but I've read that synthroid can increase the efficacy of SSRIs somewhat, and vice versa. The impact of this interaction means that as I mentioned earlier in my thread, synthroid then becomes a de facto psychiatric drug for those on withdrawal and can upset the healing process substantially when doses change. It is what I suspect has contributed to my withdrawal symptoms as my data seems to demonstrate a correlation at the very least. 

4. Perhaps a thread expanding the neuro-emotions one, with a link to it of course, but to investigate each neuro-emotion (or neuro-state, such as neuro-depression, neuro-anxiety etc) separately. I think that would be useful for people concerned with a particular neuro-emotion/state to just go to the main thread to understand the concept then go to the thread for their specific problem to learn tips on how to deal with it. Perhaps it's a redundant idea as we already have plenty of advice here and the thread on dealing with the emotional symptoms caused by withdrawal. Still though, sometimes it does seem that specific emotions/symptoms can be hard to discuss as there are so many and staying on topic is hard when we all have something to say. 

 

I am not sure when I'll get around to researching the above and deciding if threads need to be created. I have so much stuff to catch up on that I am often unable to do. I am better this window though - I am reminding myself not to go too fast as it can often lead to stress. Taking it easy during windows and capitalizing on them slowly is the best way to keep life as consistent as possible I feel.

 

Wishing you all a great day/night. 

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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  • 1 month later...

Wow, well it has been a while. Luckily I have been busy and my waves have been short and less intense.

 

I am at 79% now (i.e. a 21% reduction) and my waves are better now than ever. However, a big problem for me over the last couple of months has been levothyroxine and the countless hours now I've spent researching my case of mostly asymptomatic hypothyroidism. I do wish SA had a team of thyroid specialists! As you can imagine the amount of information about the condition, treatments, and prognosis is overwhelming. I've been hacking away at this problem for about 2.5 years now, and I still stand by it being likely caused by fluoxetine. I can't prove that though, yet. Perhaps I can't ever. My problem is that whenever I increase levothyroxine, I get side effects that mimic hyperthyroidism, that could also be iatrogenic (as indicated by the drug's studies and accompanying literature), namely irritability, heart palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, akathisa. Aside from heart palpitations, the other symptoms are much like my withdrawal symptoms. I have muscle weakness, some minor joint problems, and lethargy, which all subsided when I tried to withdraw from fluoxetine in my past (very quickly at that) and persisted. I exercise as often as I can but I have to take things very slowly. I take supplements, I'm doing what I can.

 

Anyway that's the end of my rant, I increased my withdrawal rate slowly over several weeks to reach my current 2% each week. I just had to do this because seeing my body deteriorate was a greater evil than dealing with waves. So far it has been going okay. I am about to stick to 2% for an extra week to give my brain time to adjust. 

 

I hope you are all doing well. I will try to update here more often.

 

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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  • 4 months later...

I apologize for the long delay. On the whole, it has been good news. I am now at 50% of my original dose and water titration with 0.66% cuts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (for a total of 2% weekly) is working very well. My brain doesn't tolerate big drops at all but seems to work very well with small drops more frequently. 

 

Magnesium has been critical to this process I believe, as has omega 3 oil (EPA+DHA). 

 

My waves have been a lot less severe in recent times and less frequent. I am able to work a lot more, tolerate more stress, and engage more socially. I have a long list of continuation symptoms and discontinuation symptoms, it gets tiring tracking them all but I keep at it, every day, as it is essential to have a record to inform future decisions. 

 

One rule I have is to find something to laugh at every day. It's like a brake, helping me slow negative things down. 

 

I hope you are all doing well out there. I don't know how often I'll update here as I am now too busy I believe to do it as often as I did in this thread's early days. Thank you to all the people who have helped me here. One thing is certain though, is that I will be back with updates as I progress (or regress), it's the least I can do by way of thanks. My next goal will be to post here at 40% perhaps. Hopefully I'll see you then.  

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

Good to hear your taper is working, KG. Looking forward to updates.

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 comment and beyond that, this website :)

I think it is very valuable to visitors to see people update their threads at least occasionally in what is usually a long process. Even if I reach 0% and stay off, I will keep updating. I look forward to getting a sunshine logo in a year or two as well :)

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

Yes, you get it, KG! 😸

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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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/2/2018 at 1:38 AM, Kittygiggles said:

I have a long list of continuation symptoms and discontinuation symptoms, it gets tiring tracking them all but I keep at it, every day, as it is essential to have a record to inform future decisions.

 

Today was hard. I am still in tears but worry not, these are not the product of withdrawal, nor of fluoxetine in my system, nor of any iatrogenesis that I can tell. This is normal sadness at my continuation symptoms. Perhaps this isn't melodrama because I know that other survivors here would probably agree with this concept: my SSRI (fluoxetine) is killing me slowly. Over the years I have seen symptoms pile up, often inexplicably, and the latest group, which I discovered in January this year, prompted me to try to get off fluoxetine faster. Luckily I can tolerate 2% a week well. 

 

Yet I am now willing to push my luck because my physical symptoms are just getting worse and another 6 months of tapering (which could well be more due to the serotonin transporter occupancy at lower levels), could result in me having serious complications, including surgery. I know I may be catastrophizing but the evidence that my body is just starting to fail in many ways is conclusive and my fear is that things will just get worse from here. I have waited around 4 months for symptoms to subside but they are persistent. 

 

Looking at my experience of withdrawal thus far, I believe that worsening withdrawal symptoms (to at least the level that prompted me to taper in the first place) would be preferable to my current deteriorating quality of life. 

 

I don't think anyone here would be willing to answer this question, because I know you would all wish me to keep going at my current good pace. I am hoping to see a specialist soon for my physical problems but if it looks like reducing fluoxetine could help relieve my symptoms, what is the absolute fastest tapering regimen one could endure?

 

Perhaps the answer is cold turkey and therein lies the problem: it depends on the person and no one can know to what extent a faster taper will affect me in advance. I would never do that anyway as I've stopped suddenly before and there would be no benefit to it as opposed to at least a drastic taper. 

 

If the answer is about 10% every 3 or 4 weeks, (I am currently on a total of 8% every four weeks), then going at that speed isn't worth it. 

 

Sorry it isn't a positive post. Withdrawal is going fine though, so there's that. It's the fact of having to keep taking this poison that is the problem. 

 

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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Suspected IBS and/or diverticular disease

In February, during some influenza, I developed suspected IBS and/or diverticular disease. Coincidentally, I had increased my levothyroxine treatment by a small margin, following a long period on the same dose; I have fairly conclusive anecdotal evidence that increasing levothyroxine upsets my intestines (flatulence, loose stools, abdominal pain) but I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt so until the start of this week, I persevered with the higher dose. 

 

Symptoms like IBS since early February:

  • Abdominal pain - mostly in the lower left (descending colon), but it comes and goes, sometimes moving to the right (the rest of the large intestine), around the navel, the stomach. It also varies in intensity but there is almost always some pain, which changes with bowel movements and passing gas but not always.
  • Loose stools - one to three days a week, not diarrhoea
  • Bloating - a constant problem since starting fluoxetine years ago. Passing gas doesn't relieve it completely. Even on rare days where I may undereat in terms of volume or calories, it is still there. 
  • Not quite constipation - no problem passing stools but sensitivity to large amounts of fiber (minor impaction, so I reduced the quantity and volume of fiber, spreading it throughout the day). This used to slow the frequency of bowel movements but they were still daily, fixed with steps listed below.  

Another symptom that may be linked but started ~2 years ago:

  • Belching - Lots of persistent belching after food or drinking water (which can happen for an hour or two in some cases). I have seen a gastroenterologist, and after an endoscopy, he found nothing wrong and could not explain it. I decided to put that down to a possible fluoxetine and/or withdrawal side effect. I do not have acid reflux or a hiatal hernia.

Current diagnosis

I've been to two generalist doctors, one of them twice. One suspected IBS, possibly diverticular disease; the other thought it was scar tissue movement from all the coughing during influenza (I had a hernia operation in the last couple of years) but as the pain is still here and my muscles work fine then that can't be it, especially considering its mutable location. 

 

I am planning to see a specialist and may have a colonoscopy. Aside from colon cancer, the procedure will only discover IBS, diverticular disease, or Inflammatory BD (IBD). I don't think a colonoscopy is warranted as I am at low risk of colon cancer, I don't think I have IBD as I don't have most of the symptoms, and the procedure won't improve my treatment options if it is IBS or diverticular disease: i.e. dietary changes, and maybe probiotics. I refuse to take antibiotics or other medication unless my life depends on it, which at this point, fingers-crossed, it doesn't.

 

I really think it is IBS and that fluoxetine is to blame (its consumption, reduction, and possibly withdrawal). I have been checking all threads where IBS is mentioned, hoping to get a better picture of how SSRIs affect our digestive system adversely; whether we reduce them, start, or continue to take them. Their effect on serotonin is clearly going to do something with our intestines, considering the organ's (and related flora's) role in serotonin regulation and production. 

 

What am I doing about it?

Eating small meals more often (started about 3 weeks ago) - no improvement yet, other than helping with stopping the giant stools I used to get.

Eliminating problem foods (started only 1 week ago) - I keep a diary but it's hard to tell what's helping at the moment and in today's case, what is making it worse - lots of bloating and abdominal pain today; so, no improvement yet.

Stopping supplements (started only 2 days ago) - I used to take these daily: magnesium, omega 3 (fish oil - EPA and DHA), calcium, vitamin D3 (I don't get much sunlight). I also took vitamin B12 once a week. No change yet.

Probiotics (started a daily dose today) - I have taken one capsule a week for about a year or so. Having read about them here and elsewhere, I have decided to try taking it daily, as I don't think it can hurt. However, I am not sure how bacterial overgrowth occurs in the intestines and whether introducing the beneficial species can help in such an instance; i.e. maybe the body can become sensitive to them during bowel irritation. No change yet. 

Increasing exercise frequency to daily and its intensity (started ~3 weeks ago) - due to muscle weakness and joint pain (suspected fluoxetine side effect), I have had to limit my daily activity over the years but I have changed some of the types of exercise I do to reduce joint impact. I am a healthy weight and manage to do something most days. No change yet. 

Having a good diet (started ~3 years ago, ) - I eat these exclusively: fruits, nuts, vegetables, fish (a few times a week), and eggs (not too often). To clarify, I don't eat dairy, now avoid gluten, I don't smoke, I don't drink alcohol, I don't drink tea or coffee, and I drink around 2 to 4 litres of water a day (but I try not to do so around mealtimes to aid digestion). No change - I ate like this before and during this suspected IBS. 

Sleeping at a consistent time (started ~2 weeks ago) - I can go through periods of sleeping at random times but I've stabilized this recently. However, I've always had enough sleep, at least 8 hours a day. Sadly, 10 to 14 is fairly common due to fluoxetine (conclusive anecdotal evidence). 


What next?

Although it could be hypothyroidism causing IBS, I find this unlikely as it has been asymptomatic (aside from blood tests) for about 3 or 4 years. The IBS only arose a few months ago, coinciding with an increase in levothyroxine. I'm hoping this information helps someone or invites some advisory responses, as I'd welcome any! So in the meantime, all I can do is persevere with the actions listed above to see if one or more of them provides relief from this constant pain. I'll update here when I learn something new. 

 

How this affects me

I will admit that my previous post was about this issue. I was devastated but to some this would be nothing. I find that fact reassuring but this is one of many symptoms that affect my quality of life adversely. Considering I eat as frugally as a monk, having to restrict my diet further is depressing: I miss enjoying ALL fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The thought of diverticular disease is upsetting as I am biased towards negative thinking, especially considering how much of a negative event withdrawal syndrome, and SSRIs in general are. So, I sometimes imagine myself getting bowel infections requiring hospital admission, then a bowel resection surgical procedure, with a lifetime of subsequent problems. If not that, then the misfortune to get colon cancer.

 

These are typical depressive thought patterns, which I can fight with CBT fairly effectively, along with distraction, and keeping busy. From my thyroid, to this issue, and other symptoms, which are tedious to list, I am more keen than ever to get off fluoxetine as fast as physically and mentally possible. I believe strongly that it is the root of all these problems. For the record though, I've not changed my reduction speed yet because I don't know of any feasible way of doing so safely, I think I've found my maximum speed. At this rate I will be at 0% around November, so 6 months from now. Can I live with constant abdominal pain until then? Maybe: it's not intolerable but with the other side effects it's depressing and worrying.

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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  • 3 weeks later...

IBS

So, as I sated above, I've been on a healthy diet for years. Cutting out junk/processed food hasn't been an option for me in resolving my apparent IBS, as I didn't eat them anyway. I have found some relief by reducing dried fruit and reducing the volume of food I eat. I am concerned that the latter tactic may result in me undereating but as I am still a healthy weight I am not too concerned. I didn't find much relief from reducing supplements although I found that magnesium and fish oil may have been a placebo effect. I have reintroduced a little magnesium though because even the best diets run the risk of magnesium deficiency and it is so good for us. 

 

I saw a gastroenterologist who prescribed me alverine citrate with simethicone, which is a combination that seems to be used exclusively with IBS. This concludes his diagnosis after a bout of thorough questioning and examination. Although IBS is probably best diagnosed after ruling out other conditions via invasive tests, both he and my doctor believe I have IBS. I have no reason to disagree, although I had hoped for a stool test and/or colonoscopy to rule out anything more serious. My age and lifestyle puts my risk of having colon cancer at about 1 in 17,000, which puts my mind at ease. 

 

I haven't taken the medication yet and I am not sure I will, because my presence here probably explains my aversion to taking medication unless absolutely necessary. I have considered SIBO as a possible thing to investigate further but in the meantime I am just carrying on as I am, experimenting with food combinations, and going to write a letter to the gastroenterologist to clarify a few things. I may get a second opinion but there's nothing rational that says I should at this point. IBS treatments don't seem to be particularly effective and as long as symptoms are tolerable, I see no harm in trying non-drug methods in alleviating symptoms long term. 

 

Withdrawal - a question about linear tapering

So, I've read the threads about tapering here many times, so I understand the safest method is to taper a fixed percentage based on the last dose. However, I've been tapering linearly for roughly a year and I doubled my rate in March. I have a chart to compare my rate with the safe method and I'm not too far ahead. I have no worsening of withdrawal symptoms yet so my plan is to just keep going until I hit a problem, then hold as I revise the rate for reduction. My target is to hit 20% and then slow down anyway. 

 

I appear to be one withdrawal sufferer who was sensitive to slight reductions from the start, which is why I opted for a weekly micro taper, which is now three drops each week. I seem to do well with tiny drops so I have nothing that alarms me about carrying on with a linear taper for the next 2 to 3 months. So, my question is, other than encountering worsening withdrawal symptoms, is there anything I haven't considered about my plan to keep going for a bit longer?

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 have been tapering off of Prozac as well.  I dropped .1 ml each month for about 7 months.  I am now down to .15 ml, which is about 1/2 mg.  Each time I reduced my dose, I felt increased anxiety and insomnia for a few days but it would go away.  I would hold the dose for another week or two and then drop again and go through the symptoms again until they passed and so on.  It was a perfect cycle and I knew what to expect.  However, now that I am down to 1/2 mg, and I am approaching zero, the withdrawal symptoms are worse.  I think I will have to go the rest of the way more slowly.  There's a thread about tapering near zero that includes some charts that show that the closer you get to zero, the greater the reductions impact the serotonin transporter proteins so you feel a stronger effect.  

 

If you're doing well with you taper, I would keep it up unless and until you encounter a worsening of symptoms and then I would just slow it down.  I recommend you find the thread and see the charts.  They really helped me understand why my symptoms got worse near the end.  It's also good to know that the symptoms, no matter how bad, will pass with time.  

Paxil 25 mg — January 2010 — June 2012

 

Wellbutrin 300 mg — December 2012 — September 2016

Prozac 20 mg — December 2012 — September 2016

Trazadone — 100 mg December 2012 — September 2016

 

10 mg Prozac — October 2016 — November 2017

25 mg Trazadone — October 2016 — present

 

8 mg Liquid Prozac November 2017 — present

 

 

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Thank you so much Ruth for your response. Just to clarify, you did a linear taper then, at 0.1ml per month for 7 months? I am reassured to hear that you think continuing a linear taper, when there are no problems, is not disastrous necessarily. Cutting three times a week at small increments seems to suit my brain very well. Right now, I don't notice any difference between cutting and normal days so I think I've found the right method for me. From my diary I can see there's no cause for alarm yet so I'll keep going until my symptoms change significantly, then review. 

 

I read the serotonin transporter occupancy study I think back before even starting my taper and I immediately saved it as a PDF! It helped me understand the impact of dropping to zero and how the decline is exponential when one reaches 4, 3, 2,  and <1mg. The study was groundbreaking in my opinion in terms of explaining patterns as it seems to corroborate the anecdotal evidence from people here experiencing a shock when they hit the low doses and zero. This is why I mentioned earlier my plan to slow down at ~20% (4mg). I will just wait to see how I feel I guess at that point and in the meantime, keep going as I am :) 

 

I am so impressed that you have reached 0.5mg, well done! I hope you find a rate of reduction to zero from there that doesn't cause you too much pain and suffering. Thank you again for responding to my thread; it's nice to have visitors! 

 

For anyone else reading this who is wondering or needs a reminder

The study is: "Serotonin Transporter Occupancy of Five Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors at Different Doses: An [ 11 C] DASB Positron Emission Tomography Study"; Meyer, Wilson, Sagrati et al; Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161:826–835

Here's the thread: Why taper paper demonstrates importance of gradual change...

A link from the thread to the study: AMJ PDF link

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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  • 4 weeks later...

IBS update 

I have found a great deal of relief since starting a prebiotic (Beta-Galactooligasaccharide) and a new probiotic (Lactobacillus Acidophilus). My old probiotic had a variety of bacteria in addition to L. Acidophilus, but its apparent inefficacy could just be down to the brand. I won't mention brands and retailers here unless I am allowed to as I don't want to promote any. The core ingredient is probably what matters anyway and a brand works for one person may not work for another. 

 

I have no conclusions about food yet other than getting cramps from wheat. My understanding is that food is not a cause of IBS but a major contributor to its symptoms, so conclusions about food are moot. My diet has always been very strict and as I tend not to eat processed food of any kind (including bread and pasta), avoiding wheat has been easy. Following the low FODMAP diet I thought I had to avoid some of my favorite foods, such as lentils, raisins, dried fruit but as I just mentioned, I can't draw any conclusions really: I just seemed to get better in time. My gastroenterologist has concluded it is IBS (without constipation nor diarrhoea) in a follow-up letter. 

 

I am open to the possible psychosomatic component of IBS and I have found great relief as well from knowing that it probably isn't serious and from making an effort to ignore it with distraction as much as possible. Finally, I must add that I have increased my levothyroxine treatment a little too so an improvement in symptoms could be from this but as with many things SSRI-related, the apparent IBS could be a continuation and/or a discontinuation symptom. 

 

Withdrawal update - now at 36% of my original dose

Tapering is still consistent in terms of continuation and discontinuation symptoms. Waves are often limited to just a day and are more infrequent. One thing that may be a new development are some physical symptoms. I can't tell whether they really are new or are so sporadic that they appear to be new now as opposed to when they seemed to occur as a prominent feature of more persistent and longer waves earlier in my withdrawal journey. As an example, dizziness and sleepiness are now rarer and could therefore be attributed to changes in food, sleep, or activity, rather than just happening frequently for most of the day during early withdrawal. Anyway, it is good that I have reached this far without any major problems and my goal is to reach 20% at this speed before considering a much slower reduction. 

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Withdrawal update - now at 31.4% of my original dose

As for withdrawal, I've had a few more bad days than normal, with waves lasting a day or two, although I think I can blame stress. My hypothyroidism has been a major problem recently and I am trying to get to the root cause. I consider fluoxetine to be a very likely candidate and I just want to be off this medication. The continuation symptoms are mounting, whether direct or via secondary hypothyroidism. I am so very desperate to be off the drug but all I can do is wait and watch it eat away at my physical health. 

 

I am so angry at the people who consider SSRIs benign and who facilitate its use. I need to vent it here: what a disgusting and poisonous drug! It is a disgrace that it is prescribed for conditions it does not help and/or that can be treated successfully without drugs (in my case CBT). The biggest horror of all, it is prescribed to vulnerable adults but moreover, to children and pets! I can only cope with the knowledge that it is prescribed to animals through sheer denial.

 

I know that I am near the precipice of serotonin transporter occupancy reduction, so any additional decreases would be catastrophic. Ironically, it is at this point I have found myself to have lost patience. I have no idea how I tolerated my stabilization period and tapering thus far; perhaps I was a docile zombie, numb to the physical decay that afflicted me. I have been lethargic for the ~6 years I took this drug; it is a miracle that I still try to exercise and function, albeit ineffectively.

 

Some of my health problems and symptoms have led me to acknowledge that I have increased risks for certain types of cancer, all because of fluoxetine. Yet the only comforting thought I have, when I consider a premature death, is that I will probably reach 0mg of fluoxetine before I die. Of course this is melodramatic but I consider anyone who reaches 0mg a hero or heroine. It is an accomplishment. Surviving what comes after is of course part of that. I reached 0mg once and I felt so healthy, happy, and energetic, but alas, like almost everyone else here, I did it too quickly, following doctors' advice. 

 

Perhaps it is merely pessimism but I find no pleasure now in each reduction, as I used to, waiting desperately to reach 0mg. This is because I came to realize one of many terrifying truths about SSRIs since being here: they are potent, even at the tiniest doses. 

 

ANYWAY! I'm off to try to be positive now, to find laughter (as is my daily quest), and be as productive as I can. As usual, seeing my cat enjoy the beautiful countryside and hunt to her heart's content helps a lot! :)

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, you probably do not have increased risk of cancer because of fluoxetine.

 

However, you might want to hold on reducing your fluoxetine dosage for now, while you sort our your thyroid treatment. Are you taking thyroid hormone?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Altostrata,

 

Thank you for your response, which I hope was not prompted by what I realize now could be a post interpreted as a request for help. I was just trying to vent and I appreciate how attentive you all are here! 

 

Modifying one drug at a time and when to continue withdrawal

You bring up an interesting point: modify one variable (i.e. drug) at a time. I am painfully aware of this wisdom but unfortunately, fluctuating thyroid hormones are an inevitable consequence of hypothyroidism (or any other thyroid disorder for that matter). So far, modifications have had adverse effects on my health but haven't worsened withdrawal. My meticulous diary keeps my navigation through the myriad symptoms relatively straight. With that in mind I would like to keep reducing fluoxetine at the same pace unless I get serious withdrawal, which in my case comprises mostly:

 

Dizziness, irritability, brain zaps, and headaches (all of which at an intense, debilitating level)

 

Changing thyroid treatment usually affects headaches, dizziness, and fatigue but not in the same way as fluoxetine withdrawal. If you still think it's a bad idea to keep withdrawing fluoxetine now, perhaps because of some unforeseen consequence on my part, then I will consider it as you've such a unique wealth of experience and knowledge regarding this. 

 

The other problem with synthroid (T4) is that it has an apparent bilateral amplification effect with fluoxetine. However, this has made me very careful not to modify T4 arbitrarily, using the concept I learned here at SA of giving my brain time to adjust to medication changes. I tend to give thyroid treatment at least 3 months to settle before making further alterations. 

 

Hypothyroidism and the complexity of treating it

I try to keep my thyroid treatment and discussions of hypothyroidism out of this thread and forum because it is only relevant at best if one considers it a consequence of continuing (or discontinuing) SSRI treatment. I haven't found any studies that can demonstrate a causal link between SSRIs and thyroid issues, frustratingly. However, I have discovered that fluoxetine can increase RT3 production, which would be enough to present as overt hypothyroidism. In addition, fluoxetine could prompt an autoimmune response although I admit the evidence to support this is anecdotal and tenuous. I am hopeful though that in my case, fluoxetine is the toxic branch that supports my apparent autoimmune hypothyroidism (the tests this week will give me more information). 

 

T4 consumption to modify TSH levels is unlikely to work alone and will never address the cause

Sadly, it is incumbent on all thyroid disease sufferers to become their own endocrinologists and learn how to treat themselves, using T3, T4, LDN, or tackling the source of their autoimmune condition if relevant (although hypothyroidism is almost always an autoimmune issue). I am due for more tests this week that will help me identify the cause of my hypothyroidism. I would update my signature with my treatment protocol but it is subject to frequent change and is fairly convoluted (a reflection of how hard it is to identify a cause), so it would just confuse my fluoxetine withdrawal journey. Once I reach a conclusion about it, I will definitely let everyone know via this thread. 

 

Fluoxetine and cancer

The only reason I mentioned this was because if fluoxetine caused my hypothyroidism and resulting endocrine issues, then it has increased my risk of thyroid cancer, because there is a causal link between thyroid inflammation, TPO antibodies, and thyroiditis, with thyroid cancer. It could be dismissed reasonably as a tenuous link, because at my age and sex, my risk of having thyroid cancer right now is about 1 in 300. My last ultrasound was ~3 years ago and revealed one insignificant nodule and a normal-sized thyroid, prior to any significant treatment and lifestyle changes. However, a new ultrasound, which I am going to schedule within the next 3 to 6 months may reveal some bad news, although improbable. Although I have little doubt that if I were to expose my body to fluoxetine for another 6 years, things would get a lot worse for me, increasing my risk factors for prostate, thyroid, and colon cancer, and who knows what else? Hopefully I am complete wrong about all this but I can see no harm in being cautious if it doesn't cause me undue anxiety and stress!

 

A possible contribution to SA in the future

I am not sure if I have the time or knowledge and skills to do this but I would like to start a poll as part of a thread to determine how many people have developed hypothyroidism after commencing SSRI treatment. Perhaps it could help us discover factors that may point to a causal link. Who knows? (I hope someone does :))

 

Thank you

Thanks again Altostrata, it was kind of you to take the time to respond to this thread. I appreciate that with each passing month, there are probably more and more people visiting this site who require help but not enough volunteer moderators to manage them all as often as we'd all like. It's a reflection of how helpful this website is but also how much damage SSRIs are causing to almost everyone who takes them. I hope one day to be able to contribute or give back to SA for the help it has given me. Sorry for the long response!

 

TL; DR. PS

Thanks for the response, I love it here, great bunch of people I hope to help more one day :)

 

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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17 minutes ago, Kittygiggles said:

Sadly, it is incumbent on all thyroid disease sufferers to become their own endocrinologists and learn how to treat themselves, using T3, T4, LDN, or tackling the source of their autoimmune condition if relevant (although hypothyroidism is almost always an autoimmune issue). I am due for more tests this week that will help me identify the cause of my hypothyroidism.

 

This is so true.

 

If I were you, I'd get the thyroid treatment settled before making further changes in Prozac dosage, not because of a causal connection or interaction (which you have very perceptively noted) but because excessive thyroid hormone can cause symptoms that may be confused with Prozac withdrawal symptoms. Changing more than one drug at a time introduces confounding factors, as you said.

 

You're at a lower dosage of Prozac now, the interaction with thyroid should be reduced as well.

 

You may wish to add to our topics for discussing hypothyroid treatment:

 

Thyroid symptoms - hypothyroid, Hashimoto's

 

Thyroid panels

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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Thanks again for the response, sorry, I don't mean to engage you with further responses; your time is valuable. It has been a great help for me to discuss this with you as I've had to write my situation down which enables me to see my position more clearly! I read Karma's thyroid thread a while ago and it's an excellent introduction to hypothyroidism, sadly it isn't as active as it used to be.

 

On 7/17/2018 at 10:39 PM, Altostrata said:

If I were you, I'd get the thyroid treatment settled before making further changes in Prozac dosage, not because of a causal connection or interaction (which you have very perceptively noted) but because excessive thyroid hormone can cause symptoms that may be confused with Prozac withdrawal symptoms. Changing more than one drug at a time introduces confounding factors, as you said.

 

You are right about the overlap with symptoms from thyroid disease, medication, and SSRI symptoms. However, through mental gymnastics and a detailed diary I am able to distinguish between withdrawal symptoms, continuation symptoms, and thyroid disease and medication symptoms. Below I go into why getting off fluoxetine must be the priority because there is likely never going to be a point where I can get the "thyroid treatment settled"; I think it's such a nebulous state that sufferers try to reach and it isn't clarified until the root cause of the thyroid issue is addressed. Treatments can help but they will always obfuscate some aspect of the problem.

 

On 7/17/2018 at 10:39 PM, Altostrata said:

You're at a lower dosage of Prozac now, the interaction with thyroid should be reduced as well.

 

Oh, how I wish this were the case - it could be and it is what I am hoping for but until I'm off fluoxetine I don't think I'll know for sure, which brings me on to the next part of my post.

 

Fluoxetine's toxic continuation symptoms 

Withdrawal is still going well for me. Sadly, as my mind becomes less afflicted by fluoxetine's haze, I am able to see the damage it is causing and I am compelled to repair it as quickly as possible. From seeing its effects on my thyroid (increasing my risk of cancer from an adenoma), affecting the pituitary-thyroid axis, again, with a probable adenoma, to wreaking further havoc to my endocrine system via elevated prolactin and reduced testosterone, to a multitude more moderate although less dangerous symptoms, it is clear that I must get this out of my body immediately. More blood tests have revealed complications that require further tests and scans to understand fully; yet through cursory searches one can find increasing evidence, old and new, that fluoxetine affects the pituitary, thyroid, RT3 production, and may displace iodine via its fluoride component.

 

I have looked at other causes of my hypothyroidism:-

 

* chemical toxins (other sources of fluoride, mercury, past use of isotretinoin etc)

* pathogens (H. Pylori, EBV, etc)

* food intolerances (gluten, dairy, soy, etc)

* psychosomatic indigestion (from stress, anxiety, depression etc)

 

Yet, having addressed almost all of the above, particularly the dietary and mental health part, the most likely culprit is fluoxetine

 

I have to try to reduce fluoxetine faster because its potent effect seems to remain at sub-1mg doses, according to anecdotal SA observations and from the abovementioned STO-study. I am scheduled to reach 0mg in about 15 weeks. The dilemma is whether to endure withdrawal or face increasing endocrine disruption and cancer risk. Thankfully, thyroid cancer is oft dubbed indolent and the most favorable of cancers. Perhaps almost as comforting is the fact that pituitary adenomas are even less likely to be malignant than thyroid ones, yet the creation of adenomas can be caused by fluoxetine and I think it is the sole or at least primary cause of them in my case because I have no other risk factors.

 

There are two questions that I feel I must answer before I can decide whether or not to increase my speed of fluoxetine reduction:-

 

Is all damage wrought by fluoxetine reversible? It seems unlikely, so perhaps a more reasonable question would be how much more damage can fluoxetine do within 15 weeks?

* The maximum speed of reduction I would propose would be 4% of the original dose each week, which is double my current speed. I am almost certain that withdrawal will hit hard if I do this but will that damage be reversible and less impactful than the present and future endocrine system damage? 

 

The next 7 to 15 weeks will be difficult, with more tests, scans, and managing their scheduling and interpretation. My dream is that after it, I will somehow achieve relatively good health and not have to manage symptoms, supplements, medications, conditions, and never have to see a doctor until I hit my nineties (if I ever live that long)!

 

Anyway, I wish everyone reading this is a permanent window, I'm off to enjoy mine, despite fluoxetine!

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

You may indeed be experiencing the effects of fluoxetine at sub-1mg doses, but such low doses do not have the same influence on disease promotion or drug-drug interactions. In my opinion, you are probably making yourself anxious unnecessarily about the low dose of fluoxetine you are taking.

 

"Damage" from fluoxetine is reversible, we see such recovery occurring slowly over time. So little is known about its effects on endocrine systems etc., no one can tell you if that is reversible. If you have autoimmune hypothyroidism, that can go into remission for that have not been defined.

 

However, if you have other health issues, removing fluoxetine altogether from your drug burden simplifies that somewhat.

 

I can't tell you if accelerating your tapering will have any long-term health benefit. I suspect not. If you are getting withdrawal symptoms when you reduce at 2% per week, you will get them if you reduce at 4% per week.

 

By the way, our tapering protocol recommends a 10% reduction per month on the current dosage, not the original dosage. If you are calculating a 2% reduction per week based on original dosage, you have steepened your taper curve -- which may be why you're having problems. If so, if I were you, I'd stop tapering immediately and let your nervous system settle down.

 

I am wondering if the symptoms you attribute to fluoxetine toxicity might not be symptoms from reducing it too fast. Do they occur in any daily pattern?

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've been following this discussion because of my interest in thyroid disease (my mother had it and my previous dr felt that I was at high risk for it, so I was continually being tested for it- I'm fine. I have several "pre cancerous" thyroid nodules which, it turns out, are extremely common and very rarely turn to cancer and even if they do, thyroid cancer is very easily treated/cured, I believe- except in very rare cases)

 

I don't recall all the sources of that info since I've long ago put the issue to rest in my own mind.

 

However I'm studying the role of diet and the environment on health in general and I keep coming across discussions of endocrine disrupting chemicals,

because rates of disease involving endocrine disorders are apparently skyrocketing; so scientists are trying to figure out why.

 

there doesn't seem to be any clear cut answers, but given the number of articles and studies being done, my  *guess* is that there are a LOT of potential factors involved in thyroid dysfunction....

 

so until more/better info is available, it seems a bit premature perhaps? to be leaning too heavily into blaming the fluoxetine...?

 

a small sample of the links on this subject (note they involve all diff endocrine disorders not just thyroid)

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

 

http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehemerging2/en/

 

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/9-ways-avoid-hormone-disrupting-chemicals

 

Kittygiggles, I'd really hate to see your symptoms get a lot worse from a too fast taper, esp when it may not be necessary.

 

Believe me, I understand wanting to get the drug out of your system as quickly as you can. It just seems like a big risk to take, without, I think, sufficient proof that it's causing you the kind of damage you fear.

 

 

 

 

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

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