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RuthS

Hi,  

 

                    I'm new to this website.  I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months.  When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone.  A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued.  She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months.  I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced.  After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep.  

   

             Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses.   Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet.  She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C.  My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program.   Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs.  I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac.  I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. 

 

          Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia.  I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time.  

 

          Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided.

 

Past Medications:

Paxil 25 mg  2010-June 2012

Prozac 20 mg January 2013

Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013

Trazadone  100 mg January 2013

 

Current Medications:

Prozac 8 mg

Trazadone 25 mg

Edited by Altostrata
added screen name to title

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Gridley

Hello, RuthS and welcome to SurvivingAntidepressants.  Congratulations on going off the Wellbutrin and all the progress you've made.

 

We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.  You provided some of this information in your post, but it is helpful to the moderators to have the information in a signature, which will appear below each of your posts.

 

 

 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

 

At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system.  

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. B vitamins can be stimulating (anxiety-causing) to someone withdrawing from psychiatric drugs and are generally not recommended

 

Are you tapering both Trazodone and Prozac now? Generally we advise that you taper only one drug at a time so you can monitor your symptoms and tell if you are tapering too fast.  If you are tapering two drugs at once and you encounter problems, it will be difficult to identify the source.   It is recommended that you taper the more activating drug first, so the more sedating drug can act as a buffer against withdrawal symptoms.  Please see the following link:


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

These links should also be helpful.

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

Tips for tapering off trazodone (Desyrel)

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Ruth.

 

What is the method you're using to taper Prozac?

 

Did you reduce trazodone and Prozac at the same time?

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RuthS

I tried to make a signature according to your guidelines.  I got an automatic message in red font telling me it was not in compliance, but I cannot tell how or why it doesn’t comply.  

 

I am not tapering Trazadone.  I learned the hard way when I tapered in 2016, that I should only reduce one drug at a time.  I am hoping the Trazadone will help the taper of Prozac.  I am familiar with the work of Peter Breggin M.D.  and Joseph Glenmullen M.D. and I know about the 10% rule.  I decided to try an initial 20% reduction of Prozac because I found from previous experience that I have fewer withdrawal symptoms early in the taper and that they get worse near the end (but I did not follow the 10% rule last time).  I intend to follow the 10% rule for the rest of my taper....I just tried the 20% drop as a jump start.

 

 I have been at 8 mg for a few weeks and feel pretty good except for occasional trouble with sleep.  I will stay at 8 mg for a month or so before I reduce the dosage by another 10%.  

 

Thank you you so much for your support and the work you do on this site.  I think it is very important because, in my experience, psychiatrists are pretty useless when it comes to tapering and the withdrawal of antidepressants.  

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Altostrata

You seem to have a good plan. By the way, here we advise that the 10% be calculated on the most recent dose -- the amount of the decrease keeps getting smaller. This gives you a gentle curve off the drug.

 

If I were you, I'd let your sleep recover completely before making the next reduction.

 

Thanks for your kind words.

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RuthS

I have a question.  Is there some place I can find a table of the 10% reduction calculations for liquid Prozac?  I think the equivalent of 8 mg of capsule is 2ML of liquid.  That’s whT I have been taking.  

 

 I think  10% if 8mg is 7.2 mg.  But what does that translate to in the liquid? And then 10% if that and so on.  I’m not good at math.  

 

Thank you you so much for your help.

Ruth

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nz11

If you look in the tapering thread you should find some.

Moderators chessiecat  and scallywag have put a link to one  in their drug sig. 

 

Youre better than you think at maths for you have calculated correctly.

 

You say that you 'think' 8mg is 2ml  

This is something you have to be certain on.

 

But I think you are correct because 20mg of Prozac is known to come in 5ml solution.

This is also consistent with your 8mg : 2ml ratio. So lets lock this in as the base ratio.

 

If  you have a calculator then to find your new dose all you have to do is multiply each side of the ratio by 0.9 (to reduce by 10% you would use a multiplier of 0.9 against the previous dose).

To calc the next dose after 8mg you simply multiply each side of the base ratio by 0.9 hence

7.2 mg : 1.8 ml [8 x 0.9 : 2 x 0.9 ]

To find the next one simply repeat (multiply the 7.2 and the 1.8 by 0.9) to give:

6.5 mg : 1.6 ml (rounded to 1 decimal place).

See if you can do the next one for yourself. [hint : multiply the 6.5 and the 1.6 by 0.9 ]

 

good luck, you can do it.

nz11

If you have excel you or a family member could easily set up a little spreadsheet with two columns and get excel to calc all the dosages for you using a formula. 

 

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RuthS

Thank you so much.  I can do those calculations!

 

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RuthS

        I’ve been tapering slightly faster than 10% per month.  I have gone from 10 mg (2.5 ml) of liquid Prozac to 1/2 a mg (.1 ml) in six months.

 

         Each time I reduced the dose, I experienced heightened anxiety and insomnia several days later.  The withdrawal symptoms would last for a few days and would pass and the I reduced the dosage again.  

 

      The end appears to be in sight.  I often worried that I would not be able to reduce my dose to almost nothing.  But like I said, I recovered after each reduction. 

 

       I think I’m ready to drop my dose to zero now.  Now I am wondering if this reduction to zero will be different from all the previous reductions because it means I will no longer be consuming any of the drug and my body will, I hope, finally be rid of the nasty drug for good.  

 

      So I’m wondering if there is a different kind of withdrawal that occurs after the drug as been completely stopped.  Or has my body been slowly adjusting or recovering during the gradual taper that the end will be no different from prior reductions.  Any information on this question is much appreciated.

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Madeleine

I think that your body adjusts with each dosage but at the same time people do experience delayed withdrawal that pops up after they are off. Since you tapered off quicker than recommended maybe it might be advisable to hold a bit longer before you drop to zero?  Hopefully someone else will also give you some input... 

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Rosetta

Ruth,

 

Madeline is making a good point.  Post zero is an interesting topic, and there must be a thread on it somewhere.  But the short answer is yes, people who have an uneventful taper can have an unpleasant experience after dropping to zero.  Please wait for a Mod to chime in before taking the leap.  The mod might recommend a bit of a hold for a while before "jumping off."  I see you still have Trazodone on board.  

 

If you don't get an answer and your post moves to the second page on the list, please write "bump" and post again.

 

All the best,

 

Rosetta

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RuthS

Thank you so much.  

How do I bump the thread?

 

I have a question.  Is there some place I can find a table of the 10% reduction calculations for liquid Prozac?  I think the equivalent of 8 mg of capsule is 2ML of liquid.  That’s whT I have been taking.  

 

 I think  10% if 8mg is 7.2 mg.  But what does that translate to in the liquid? And then 10% if that and so on.  I’m not good at math.  

 

Thank you you so much for your help.

Ruth

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RuthS

Thank you for your sound advise.  I’m feeling relatively good.  But I’ll hold the .1ml for awhile and let my body further adjust before making another small reduction.  Any advise on how to measure fractions of .1ml so I can taper that amount in several cuts?  Thanks

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SkyBlue
13 minutes ago, RuthS said:

Thank you for your sound advise.  I’m feeling relatively good.  But I’ll hold the .1ml for awhile and let my body further adjust before making another small reduction.  Any advise on how to measure fractions of .1ml so I can taper that amount in several cuts?  Thanks

 

Hi Ruth, 

I'm so glad to hear you're going to hold for a while. That really is such a blessing. 

 

One idea is to use a microliter syringe. This measures to 1/1000 of a ml, 

or 0.001. 

 

There isn't a lot of info on how to do this, and there don't seem to be many people using the microliter syringe method. But on the last page of this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/235-using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques/?page=5 

I talk about using a microliter syringe to measure out my last 0.25ml (and less) of Paxil.

I've found it a reliable way to measure those tiny, tiny doses.

 

 

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Rosetta

Bump

 

Edit:. Simple as that.  Just write bump and hit post.

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RuthS

I am down to .1ml of Prozac.  As I previously mentioned, each time I reduced my dose, I felt some mild anxiety and a period of insomnia that passed.  I would hold the dose for a couple of weeks after the withdrawal symptoms had passed before dropping again.  So overall, my taper from 10 mg (2.5 ml) to 1/2 mg or (.1ml) was not too bad.  However, now that I am down to .1ml, I am starting to feel intense anxiety that is not going away.  I learned from reading other posts that as we approach zero, the withdrawal symptoms can get worse.  I am wondering if I should increase my dose a little to get relief and then taper more slowly from there or should I hang on at .1ml, let the symptoms subside and then take the last .1 ml more slowly.  Any advice would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

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ChessieCat
On 6/2/2018 at 3:09 AM, RuthS said:

Any advise on how to measure fractions of .1ml so I can taper that amount in several cuts?

 

You can dilute the drug.  You could add 0.1ml of drug liquid to 10ml water then 1ml diluted solution = 0.01ml of drug.  Remember to do it the same way every time using the same equipment so your doses are consistent.

 

Calculations:

 

10ml liquid : 0.1ml drug

 

divide both sides by 10

 

1ml liquid : 0.01ml drug

 

 

3 hours ago, RuthS said:

I am wondering if I should increase my dose a little to get relief

 

How long have you been taking 0.1ml?

 

The question I ask is are the symptoms bearable.  If the answer is yes then I stay at that dose and ride it out.  If no then I updose by a small amount, not back to the previous dose.

 

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RuthS

Hi.  I need help reaching the end of my taper.  Since last November or December I have been tapering down from 10 mg of Prozac using a liquid preparation.  I am now down to .1ml of liquid prozac which is approximately .5 mg.  Each time I reduced my dose, I experienced some anxiety and insomnia that would pass after a week or so.  It was tolerable.  But since I reduced down to .1ml, I have had the most intense anxiety and insomnia that I have had yet.  I am wondering if I should stay at .1ml for a longer period of time and eventually these symptoms will pass, or should l increase the dose a little to get relief.  I'm afraid I will never get off the drug if I increase the dose.  Sometimes during the thick of withdrawal symptoms I fear they will never go away.  If I persevere and stay at this dosage for a month or two, will the symptoms subside?  I think I just need hope and encouragement to continue.  Thanks.

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Altostrata

Ruth, you can updose a bit if you wish, and hold for a good long while, to let your nervous system get used to the new level.

 

The last little bit at the end can be very difficult, but after your nervous system accommodates, you'll be able to taper again.

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RuthS

Thank you for your  advice.  How much would you increase?  Another .1ml so I’m taking a total of .2ml?  And do you think I should stay there for a couple of months?  Also, I’m experience blood sugar problems that I’m managing with a low carb diet.  Do you know if that might go away once everything settles down?  Thank you so much for your help.

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RuthS

I’ve was at .1ml for about 4 weeks.  I increased to .15 ml to help with the symptoms.  I’ll stay here at least another month I think and then drop very slowly from there.  It’s amazing to me how such a minuscule dose can have such an impact. And my doctor refused to give me a perscription for liquid Prozac!  Ihadto find another doctor to give the perscription.  Unbelievable.

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SkyBlue

Yes, a month at least will be a good idea.

 

Oh, that makes me so mad that he gave you trouble getting the liquid Prozac. I'm glad you got it somewhere else, though. 

7 hours ago, RuthS said:

And my doctor refused to give me a perscription for liquid Prozac!  Ihadto find another doctor to give the perscription.  Unbelievable. 

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RuthS

        I am wondering what recovery looks like after completing a slow taper.  I am currently taking .04 ml of Prozac and I’m close to zero.  I’m afraid of what will happen when I jump to zero.  But I’m also afraid of remaining on Prozac forever, even this tiny amount.  

     

        Does a person continue to feel better and better the longer she is off the drug as long as she takes good care of herself with nutrition, exercise, sleep etc....?

 

         I learned that I have chronic infections (mycoplasma and Epstein Barr virus).  I’m also wondering if my immune system will get stronger so I can fight these infections.  Thanks.

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