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WuGang

Hello,

I am new to this website.

A little about me; I suffer anxiety, panic attacks and was diagnosed depression. Many years ago, when I was around 14-15 years old, I was placed on antidepressants (Seroxat). I was later put on Fluoxetine and Amitriptyline for close to 20 years, I'm now 33. This year I made the decision I didn't want to keep taking these drugs and arranged with my doctor to slowly stop them, one at a time of course. It took a couple of months in total with his instructions. It's now been around 2 months off the Fluoxetine and a month off the Amitriptyline. I have been struggling with the side effects since. On and off sleeping difficulties, wild mood swings, constantly angry and easy to temper, and a really bad temper! Depression. But also, problems with my mind, brain fog, difficulty concentrating. It's really hard to explain, I feel dumber since stopping the meds, I know my mind, know how it works and I can tell it just isn't right. I don't recognize my own mind anymore. I struggle to enjoy anything that I used to, struggle to understand or concentrate on the things I used to like. And to be honest, it's been scaring me, I've been really tempted to go back on the drugs just so that I can be me again.

Still struggle with anxiety and panic attacks.

Anyway, that's a little about my story. 

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Altostrata

Welcome, WuGang.

 

That is a very familiar pattern for withdrawal syndrome.

 

Did you stop taking fluoxetine before you started tapering amitriptyline? Did these symptoms start when you went off fluoxetine, before going off amitriptyline, or when you stopped taking amitriptyline? Did you have any withdrawal symptoms from either drug? When did the symptoms start? Have they changed over the last two months?

 

What is your sleep pattern?

 

Do you have any of either drug left?

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nz11

Welcome WG

 

 

On ‎12‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 12:11 PM, WuGang said:

arranged with my doctor to slowly stop them, one at a time of course. It took a couple of months in total with his instructions

After 20 years on an ssri AND a tricyclic I would like to tell you that a couple of months tapering is far too fast.

Your doctor is clearly unaware of the very serious danger he has put you in. He is clearly uninformed about tapering off psychiatric drugs. This will not be a surprise to anyone on this site.

Many here after long term exposure are taking years to taper off just one drug. But your doctor has taken you off two in a couple of months! After years of exposure both will be extremely difficult to stop. The wdl reactions will be severe. You haven't mentioned crying spells or nausea but I would think if they haven't manifested they soon will. 

 

Please answer Altos questions as soon as possible. 

So glad you found sa

You have a yellow card complaint system in your country please if you feel harmed raise a complaint.

nz11

 

 

 

 

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WuGang

Hello Altostrata,

Yes, I stopped the fluoxetine before stopping the Amitriptyline. I did the drugs 1 at a time. Yes, I got symptoms from stopping the Fluoxetine, lower brain function, mood swings, anger, brain "zaps", emotional. The symptoms didn't start right away, I was taking 3 tablets of Fluoxetine, I think I noticed them when I cut down to 1 tablet, and now obviously on no tablets. The Amitriptyline effected my sleep which seems better now. The brain zaps have eased now. Unfortunately, the rest remains, especially the lower brain activity and anger. 

 

Yes, I have some of the drugs left over.

 

I hope this info helps. 

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WuGang

Hello nz11,

The doctor assured me that Fluoxetine is a really easy drug to come off and doesn't show much lasting effects. I don't think we have that yellow card thing in this country (UK). Not sure how far a complaint will go, little person, going up against a doctor. 

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AliG

3 tablets of fluoexetine? What dose? The more information we have, the more we can help. I think we can be fairly safe in the knowledge that it is indeed a drug that is just as hard to come off as any other. What was your dosing schedule?

 

Please be aware that unfortunately your doctor may not know very much about safe withdrawal or tapering.

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WuGang

AliG 

I was on 20mg of Fluoxetine, 60mg in total. It was 3 tablets every day, preferably in the morning. 

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AliG
9 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Welcome, WuGang.

 

That is a very familiar pattern for withdrawal syndrome.

 

Did you stop taking fluoxetine before you started tapering amitriptyline? Did these symptoms start when you went off fluoxetine, before going off amitriptyline, or when you stopped taking amitriptyline? Did you have any withdrawal symptoms from either drug? When did the symptoms start? Have they changed over the last two months?

 

What is your sleep pattern?

 

Do you have any of either drug left?

 

Can you fully answer these questions first?

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WuGang

Hello AliG

 

I answered the questions in an earlier reply but I will again.

 

Yes, I stopped the fluoxetine before tapering with the amitriptyline. Yes, the symptoms started when I came off fluoxetine BEFORE tapering with the amitriptyline. Yes, I have withdrawals from both drugs. The symptoms really started around when I dropped down to 1 tablet (20mg) of fluoxetine. Yes, the symptoms have changed over the last 2 months, I sleep better and the brain zaps are a lot better.

My sleep pattern as mentioned is doing better, I sleep better. I go to bed after 11 pm and fall asleep quickly lately. I wake up after 9 am. Even though I sleep better now, I do feel very tired throughout the day and find it very hard to get out of bed in the morning, hence the lateness of mine getting up.

Yes, I have some of the drugs left, more amitriptyline, very little fluoxetine left.

I hope this answers your questions.

Thanks.

 

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nz11

WuGang are you able to do a drug signature. Drugs , doses and dates.  This is very important. 

 

Oh my goodness you have basically CT off 60 mg of Prozac. plus x?mg of amitrip 

I am extremely concerned for your safety.

Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed and for Prozac due to the long half life and active metabolites that hang around for a while the wdl symptoms can be delayed a bit longer. Two, three four months delay is uncannily common. You may be an exception (I hope your are) but I fear that sometime in the next month or two if not sooner you are going to get slammed. A daily roller-coaster of uncontrollable psychological and emotional distress will become the norm and an overwhelming desire to die. Rest assured its not due to you but the drug wdl. Do you have family support and presence at this time?

 

8 hours ago, WuGang said:

Hello nz11,

The doctor assured me that Fluoxetine is a really easy drug to come off and doesn't show much lasting effects. I don't think we have that yellow card thing in this country (UK). Not sure how far a complaint will go, little person, going up against a doctor. 

Well I'm not a doctor but I couldn't disagree more with him. Time will tell. I wonder what the doctors Plan B is. Labels??

Please look into the yellow card system you have in your country. 

Would you consider taking the time to read

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 

http://theicarusproject.net/resources/publications/harm-reduction-guide-to-coming-off-psychiatric-drugs-and-withdrawal/

 

Tips for tapering off amitriptyline

Please stay in touch by posting regularly here. 

nz11

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WuGang

Hello nz11

 

I hope you don’t mind me asking but this is worrying to me, how do you know this, what experience have you encountered, either first hand or someone you know?

What do you suggest I do, if these drugs are this dangerous, do you suggest I go back on them? What is the danger, withdrawing quickly? Does that increase the risk of anything?

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Altostrata

WuGang, it sounds like your current withdrawal syndrome dates from going off fluoxetine. We see people doing better with a reinstatement of a low dose, such as 2mg fluoxetine. You'd stabilize on that for some months, then taper off by tiny amounts.

 

This topic explains how to titrate fluoxetine Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Doctors are very poorly informed about withdrawal in general.

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WuGang

Hello Altostrata

Can I ask your experience with this? What do you think I should do, go back on the fluoxetine? How much? What about the amitriptyline?  

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WuGang

Altostrata How do I cut a 20mg capsule down to a 2mg capsule and be sure I got it right?

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nz11
4 hours ago, WuGang said:

Hello nz11

 

I hope you don’t mind me asking but this is worrying to me, how do you know this, what experience have you encountered, either first hand or someone you know?

What do you suggest I do, if these drugs are this dangerous, do you suggest I go back on them? What is the danger, withdrawing quickly? Does that increase the risk of anything?

No don't mind you asking me that.

I have no qualifications in this area ... its just a hunch i have really.

But after hanging round this forum and a prior one for over 7 years now i have observed a significant amount of iatrogenic harm.

The danger of withdrawing too quickly is that you run the risk of triggering full blown ssri wdl.

This will induce a level of suffering that is very difficult for someone who has never experienced it to understand. It is a suffering that can be long lasting and brutal. It is far better to taper slowly over years because when wdl  happens it can be difficult to find relief from the symptoms.

Because one of the symptoms of ssri wdl is suicidal urges withdrawal can be a life threatening medical emergency.

 

You may not be aware but Altostrata is the owner of this site one who i would say has sacrificially, voluntarily  and generously devoted her life to helping people such as yourself, or put it another way she is the online Mother Teresa for the psychotropic iatrogenically harmed. 

 

Wishing you strength.

nz11

 

 

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WuGang

nz11 Altostrata

 

 

Thank you very much for your help, it is all appreciated.

 

What do you both suggest I should do, wait and see or go back on the meds before triggering a full-blown SSRI withdrawal? How many meds should I go back on, the full dose? I think one of the links said I tablet should be enough. What about the amitriptyline?

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Altostrata
On 12/2/2017 at 2:29 PM, Altostrata said:

WuGang, it sounds like your current withdrawal syndrome dates from going off fluoxetine. We see people doing better with a reinstatement of a low dose, such as 2mg fluoxetine. You'd stabilize on that for some months, then taper off by tiny amounts.

 

This topic explains how to titrate fluoxetine Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Doctors are very poorly informed about withdrawal in general.

 

WuGang, please read the link provided above. It will explain how to make a liquid from the powder in a Prozac capsule.

 

Many people on this site have reinstated a low dose and found relief from withdrawal syndrome, or at least a lessening of symptoms.

 

Please also read

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

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WuGang

Hello,

 

Sorry to bother you but we're really concerned as to what was brought up. If you don't mind me asking, what do you think I should do, call the doctor and arrange to go back onto the fluoxetine on 2mg? It’s been over 2 months now, should I reinstate at this point, and I read about severe hypersensitivity effects after leaving it for too long, what are those effects? Should I be worried about going back on the amitriptyline?

I don’t mean to bother you like this but this is all very new and frightening to me, I thought the danger was behind me. Also, you’re speaking to a bit of a dummy, especially since all the brain fog from stopping these meds.

Thank you very much.

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Gridley
36 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

WuGang, it sounds like your current withdrawal syndrome dates from going off fluoxetine. We see people doing better with a reinstatement of a low dose, such as 2mg fluoxetine. You'd stabilize on that for some months, then taper off by tiny amounts.

 


We can't tell you what to do, but that is sound advice.  Please re-read carefully Alto's previous post and this link.   The link should go a long way to answering your questions.  

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

 

 

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nz11

Wu gang what do you think about doing a drug sig?

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WuGang
5 hours ago, nz11 said:

Wu gang what do you think about doing a drug sig?

nz11  

I don't know what sig is? What is that short for?

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WuGang

Altostratanz11

Just to let you guys know, I’m going to call the doc, get reinstated on fluoxetine. I’m going to see if I can’t get the liquid form from him.

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AliG

We ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug and tapering history ( drug sig) . please follow the directions at the link below:

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

18 hours ago, Altostrata said:

it sounds like your current withdrawal syndrome dates from going off fluoxetine. We see people doing better with a reinstatement of a low dose, such as 2mg fluoxetine. You'd stabilize on that for some months, then taper off by tiny amounts.

 

Many people on this site have reinstated a low dose and found relief from withdrawal syndrome, or at least a lessening of symptoms.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

You can make your own liquid ~ You don't have to necessarily be reliant on a doctor for this ;

Making your own Prozac liquid
Prozac is one of the few psychiatric medications with a long history of do-it-yourself dilution in water or juice. Mixed in cranberry juice, it's been called "Cranzac."
My own personal preference would be to dilute it with water, to avoid any degradation that might be caused by sugar or acid in the juice. Also, it will be easier to see how well the Prozac is dissolved in water. (There may be particles swirling around, that's the filler in the Prozac capsule that doesn't dissolve.)
Your Prozac solution may be a little bitter -- just swallow it quickly. You might want to chase it with a little fruit juice.
For very gradual tapering, for example, you can dissolve a 10mg capsule in 10mL of water to make a solution with 1mg Prozac in 1mg of water. To take 1mg Prozac, use an oral syringe to take out 1mL.
Refrigerated, it's supposed to be stable for 14 days. This can be a very precise way to taper.

 

Please fill in your signature and read the links ~ we can then go from there ~ please be careful, as your doctor may not be well informed about withdrawal or safe tapering:

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

Ali

 

Edited by AliG
Spacing

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WuGang
2 minutes ago, AliG said:

We ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug and tapering history ( drug sig) . please follow the directions at the link below:

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

Ok I will look into that sure. 

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AliG

Please read this as well ~

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WuGang

AliG

I was on 20mg of fluoxetine per tablet. Might have to contact the doctor to get more as I’m not sure I have enough to do a real slow 10% withdrawal.

Do you recommend the water way or seeing if I can get fluoxetine in liquid form from my doctor?

 

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AliG

WG. It really depends on your doctor. It is up to you to decide what you want to do, but having said that you need the ongoing script, so as to decide what suits you best. In effect, you need to use your doctor to give you exactly what you want. You tell him.

 

Prozac is one of the more easier to convert to liquid. As long as you have the script for 20 mg ~ you should be fine.

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WuGang

Update!

 

Called my doctor, unfortunately, I have to wait until the 19th of December to get to talk to the guy. It's pretty close to Christmas but I should still be able to pick up the fluoxetine before the holidays start, if not I will have to wait until after. Leaves me with a question, should I wait for him, or start self-medicating with the remaining left-over fluoxetine tablets I have, behind his back?  

 

Quick note, side effects have eased up I believe. 

 

I was really relieved to finally stop the medication a couple of months ago and if I’m honest, was a little disappointed to hear the advice that I should go back on them. But having said that, I’m grateful for the advice and people concerned with my health. So thank you, everyone, I will keep you updated on my new progress and I go back on and do the 10% ease off thing.

 

WuGang.

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nz11

I don't think anyone here is telling you what you have to do. 

If people come in  speaking of intolerable uncontrollable wdl symptoms then ri is an option to try. Mods can only go by what you tell them.

Wdl can have good and bad days.  I personally have trouble believing a 2-3 month taper off 60mg Prozac after 20 yrs use is something you can comfortably walk away from.

You have raised a good ethical question. imo, Its your choice which voice you listen to.  

People here have found the way out of this mess is too get informed for themselves and take control of the situation. Doctors are hopelessly ignorant.

Should you decide to then  you can try a ri and going forward simply use the doc to get prescriptions. 

 

All the best with your decisions. 

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WuGang

nz11

 

I appreciate all the advice, I did research the information and it does seem a safer option to go back on them and taper off at 10%.

 

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WuGang

UPDATE!

I got my fluoxetine in liquid form, 20mg/5ml bottle. Can't remember how long to take that amount for, checking the links again. Wish me luck! 

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nz11

Please make sure you measure correctly 

If you intend to take 2mg then you will need to syringe out 0.5ml of liquid. 

Good luck

 

nz11

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WuGang

UPDATE!

 

First of all, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. 

I have been on 0.5ml of liquid fluoxetine since the 20th of December now. Haven't noticed a difference yet. I really hope this is enough to avoid a big crash of withdrawing too fast previously. 

 

Will keep you updated. 

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WuGang

Hello,

 

My apologies if this is the wrong place to post this. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with Sertraline? I was on Fluoxetine for several years and stopped completely last year. However, anxiety is still extremely bad and depression is making a huge comeback. The doc recommended trying Sertraline. After being on meds for so long and now finally being drug-free, I'm very hesitant to go back to being medicated, especially knowing what these drugs can do to your mind and body, not to mention withdrawals, but I am struggling bad, feeling like I'm losing control. 

 

So anyone tried this one? How did you get on? Any experience with alternatives, especially for anxiety?

 

Thank you!

 

God bless!

 

WuGang

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ChessieCat

SA is a site for getting off drugs safely.  Drug shopping is not permitted on SA.

 

If you do wish to try a different drug, these sites may provide you with the information you are seeking.

 

http://DepressionForums.org   or   http://PatientsLikeMe.com.

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