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Shiva: Tapered off Fluoxetine


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I have now been off meds for 8 months and feel ready to post an introduction.


I took 20mg of Prozac a day for about 25 years. My memory is hazy but I believe they were prescribed because I went to my doctor with constant fatigue that I couldn't shake off. He told me it was depression and that's where it started. I don't believe I suffered with depression, anxiety or panic attacks until I was on Prozac but I certainly have done since.


I decided to try to get off the meds last year as I was generally feeling unwell and unhappy and an acupuncturist who was treating me told me I would never feel well until I had completely changed my diet, removed my coil and stopped taking medication. 


I did research on this site and others. I read some of Kelly Brogan's work on the gut brain connection. I cut out alcohol, sugar, gluten and all processed foods from my diet for 4 months before I began my taper. My GP told me not to follow the 10% a month taper as it wouldn't work for me and would be frustrating, but to do 10% a week and stop tapering at any point that it didn't feel right. I believe I didn't really start to feel the effects of withdrawal until a month or 2 after I had finished tapering; I believe the Fluoxetine was still in my body months after I stopped taking it. Since then my withdrawal symptoms have constantly changed and I have been left feeling very lost.


I have a list of symptoms as long as my arm, but I have absolutely no idea which are caused by withdrawal, which are underlying conditions that the meds might have been hiding and which may be psychosomatic. Many symptoms were with me but less severe before I stopped taking the meds and a few symptoms (the fatigue) were in evidence all those years ago before I was started on the meds. 


I think (hope) I am over the worst of the black depression that hit me a few months ago and left me unable to relate in any way to other human beings or 'normal' life. Happiness of any sort was just a completely foreign concept and I was filled with terrible anger or total despair most of the time. I just sat it out for a few months at home on my own, telling myself that it would pass and one day I would wake up and not think about dying. I am now able to talk to other people a little and aim for a bit more in my life than just survival. 


In the last few months my physical symptoms have been getting worse and I am now in pain constantly and battling exhaustion. I do sleep well at night (as long as I don't drink alcohol or eat sugar) and for that I am immensely grateful. I suffer with shoulder, arm and hand pain, pins and needles in my arms and hands that wakes me up at night, back pain that is steadily worsening.


I still feel very angry much of the time. I believe this is a result of 2 things. Firstly the physical pain making day to day chores hard for me to do and secondly the complete lack of any support to help me deal with coming off these meds. My doctor told me the only support out there is her as my GP. She has done blood tests and tells me I am fine and there is nothing wrong with me except possible carpel tunnel. I have done the mindfulness course as advised. I am now on the waiting list for counselling as I told her, no I do not feel much better now.


Just some of my symptoms that I now have are the following:


Brain fog and poor memory, lack of concentration

Constant arm, hand and back pain

Dizziness and lightheadedness

Fatigue, total lack of energy and muscle fatigue when I try to exercise

A constant fight not to fall asleep in the daytime

A very low basal temperature, inability to keep warm

IBS, food intolerances 

Alcohol and sugar cravings 

Zero libido

Discomfort in my sinuses, drippy nose

Gum disease

Anger issues

Confusion and feelings of not knowing who I am

Anxiety, inability to deal with any sort of pressure



I believe I have leaky gut and Candida, I think I have some sort of issue with my adrenals and hypothyroidism. My doctor is asking whether I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and CFS. My doctor has told me that Prozac will suppress the symptoms of both so I am now worried that having stopped taking it I will just continue to feel worse. I am now on a low dose of Levothyroxine which I don't think has made me feel any different, but I amy stop taking it as I don't want to poison my body with more drugs if there is any chance of getting better.


I have read what other people have been going through who were on other meds and I am immensely glad I was only ever prescribed Prozac and that my dose was never increased.


Feeling very confused and not sure how to go forward. Sitting alone on my hill.






Taking Fluoxetine since early 1990s, for around 25 years. Dose 20mg per day.

Any attempt to stop taking meds in the past has led to me falling down a big black hole.

Started 10% per week taper May 2016, fully off meds by end of July 2016.


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Hi Shiva, welcome to SA. As I was reading your post I felt so much for you and very angry at the acupuncturist, who hasn't a clue aboiut these drugs. It isn't about just getting them out of your system. Your brain has adapted and grown around the drug. It changed the way your body makes and releases the hormones needed and when it is taken away everything is out of tune. Your doctor knows about as much as the acupuncturist, except she did recommend a taper of sorts, only it was ridiculously fast. 


It is possible to reinstate a tiny dose of prozac, just 0.5mg could be enough to help dampen the symptoms. No one, EVER wants to reinstate a drug but it can help. Then you taper very slowly off the small amount. Prozac is available in a liquid to make it easier to get a small dose. Your doctor would prescribe a large dose, probably the same dose you took before, but you could react badly after being off for so long. We finf very small doses are more tolerable and can always be increased in tiny increments if necessary.  You could just sit it out and wait, you will get better in time, but everyone is different and there is no time frame we can put on it. Doctors often diagnose fibro and/or CFS brcause they don't accept withdrawal. 


I will post some links for you so you can research and make a decision. If you decie to ride it ouf we have lots of non drug ways of coping and helping symptoms based on members experiences. We do not recommend any supplements other than magnesium and fish oil because most people benefit from those  and we do not sell or advertise anything. 






Tapering prozac 




What is withdrawal 




Magnesium and fish oil. 





It will help us if you can fill out your signature, just basic info, when you started and stopped prozac plus any other medications or supplenments you take. 

You can find the instructions here.. 



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



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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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


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


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



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Shiva - 


Your doctor was wrong about not having support.

You do have support - all of us here on these forums support you now. We want you to heal, just as we want to be healed. We will love you through this, give advice where we can, and keep you in our prayers.



Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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Hi Shiva,


I was just reading your post and it obviously sounds very similar to what a lot of us are going through, and you are investigating the same things I have done innumerable online searches about- Candida, Leaky Gut, etc.  I am three years into wd and haven't had a lot of luck reducing my symptoms which are about the same as yours except my sleep hasn't been pretty awful the whole three years and within the past year I have developed constant bloating and constipation issues. 


I started looking into parasite infection a few months back and ordered a Wormwood complex supplement online (it's a natural anti parasite herb) and had success for a few days with it.   I expelled a some worms and larva in my bowel movements the first day I took the pills and it cleared up my ibs and food intolerance symptoms overnight.  Before doing this parasite cleanse, I would have huge extended sneezing fits after meals and that would go on for minutes where I would have to blow my nose to clear out the snot and stop myself from sneezing.  this stopped after I took the wormwood pills (it also has cloves and black walnut husk in it) and also I was able to eat wheat again without any real problems.  I had like 3 days worth of bowel movements in a 2 hour span 4 hours after I first took the pills and I ended up losing 5-7 lbs of belly bloating.   My fatigue was also greatly diminished, but after 3 days of the pills, I started developing sore kidneys and wormwood is known to affect the kidneys so I stopped taking the pills. 


the problems I had mostly came back, but it could be something to look into.  you are supposed to take the pills for a week and then stop and restart for another week a month later to kill off whatever wasn't killed the first time around.  I don't think it's necessarily a cure for all things wd, but I was feeling better for a couple days anyways.  some people do have pretty bad adverse reactions to wormwood, so you have to be careful.  other people can tolerate it and see great success with it, but again these people are probably not in wd. anyhow



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


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

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


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

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





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My doctor is asking whether I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and CFS. My doctor has told me that Prozac will suppress the symptoms of both so I am now worried that having stopped taking it I will just continue to feel worse


Hi Shiva,


If it's any reassurance, I have CFS and have been on Prozac, I had CFS for 4 years before the Prozac, was on Prozac for 9 months, now been off it for a year. The Prozac made absolutely no improvement to my CFS symptoms.


My GP also told me that SSRIs can 'treat' CFS and Fibromyalgia, however from what I understand the evidence for this is based on an understanding of CFS as primarily psychological (an idea that has been totally debunked) and people being misdiagnosed with it who were actually suffering from depression seeming to get better while on Prozac.


So I wouldn't worry that you need the Prozac to treat the CFS (obviously I'm not a doctor, just speaking from personal experience).


Hope things improve for you, you'll find this forum a great support, I know I have.





Amitriptyline - 60mg, since 2011

Lyrica - 200mg since 2014

Prozac - 25mg/day 9 months in 2015. 1mg day since 2016.

Promethazine - 25mg, since 17 April 2020

Herbal nytol - since 2018

Alverine Citrate - 120mg twice a day since 2012

5htp - 50mg April 4th-21st. reinstated at 25mg May 27th. Off at 5mg 19th August. Reinstate 2.5mg 26th Aug.


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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Shiva: Tapered off Fluoxetine

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