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Prozacboy

Prozacboy: Prozac Taper

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Prozacboy

Hi All,

 

I have been a reader of this site for over two years and wanted to share my story and ask for suggestions / hope. I was put on 10Mg lexapro in fall of 2014 for anxiety and took it for 1.5 years. The drug greatly improved my anxiety and self confidence but destroyed my sex life and caused weight gain. I tapered over 4 weeks at my drs suggestions and suffered through 9 months of fog, depersonalization, confusion and dizziness (Hell). I ended up going back on 10Mg Prozac and immediately stabilized and stayed on for 6 months. I have been trying to taper at 5% increments over weeks but am still having extreme dizziness.  Have tried everything from acupuncture to meditation to diet and exercise, all of which helps but doesn’t “carry the day”. Aside from slow taper and good lifestyle changes, does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks so much. 

Edited by scallywag
update title with member's username

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scallywag

Prozacboy -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

I'm sorry that you're dealing with continuing dizziness that hasn't resolved since you started with Prozac. I just read a post in Andy's (apace)  introduction where he wrote about what he's learning about dizziness and anxiety.  Here's a link to that post.

 

It sounds as if you've got a good handle on the basics; I'll post some links here for quick reference:

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

Symptoms topic on dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, and rocking/swaying sensations

 

Many treatments for dizziness will work when there is a physical cause. Unfortunately when the cause is a destabilized CNS (central nervous system), resolution only comes with stabilization over time.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • 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.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community. I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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Prozacboy

Thank you so much scallywag. That is a very interesting post by aspace41, I have definitely come to appreciate that the cause of my suffering is multifactorial. 

 

I have a question for folks, does it seem reasonable to hope that because I am on a relatively low dose and have been on for a relatively short period of time, that with a very slow taper I can avoid a truly protracted withdrawal case (I suffered for 9 months after coming off lexapro and would love to avoid that experience a second time)?  

 

I have read posts on receptor occupancy by dose and am slightly concerned that 10mg of Prozac maybe ISNT that small and I am going to have to battle similar to someone who was on a much higher amount. 

 

And to everyone who reads this and is going through withdrawal, god bless you for your strength and courage for beating what is a truly trying ordeal. People who haven’t experienced what we have could never imagine what it’s like. Much love. 

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nz11

you are right 10mg is not a low dose.

You wont have so long to taper as someone on a higher dose. 

You should minimize wdl symptoms if you follow the 10% taper rule. 

 

oh yeah forgot to say something....welcome to sa.

 

 

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nz11
On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 2:11 PM, Prozacboy said:

I have been trying to taper at 5% increments over weeks but am still having extreme dizziness

So what dose are you on now if you have been tapering at 5% 

Are you tapering at 5% per week??

Can you clarify this please.

Those links on tapering from SW are a must read.

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Prozacboy

I have been tapering 5% every 3 of weeks, really depending on symptoms and how I feel. Right now I am on ~9.2 mg. But as I bet folks can imagine, it’s hard to have laser precision down to a tenth of a mg, even with liquid. 

 

Do you view an 8-12 month taper as conservative? And one that is likely to minimize protracted withdrawal?

 

 

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nz11

Well I know of a local person not a member of this site but whose parents were pharmacists who took 8 years to taper off paxil.

He had very little if any wdl symptoms. 

 

Your cns will tell you if its too fast.

 

Going at the 10% pace it would take about 27 months to get from 10mg to 0.5 mg. If all goes well. So based on the formula no I would not say 8-12 months is conservative. But based on the CNS then who knows. If you can only manage to taper at 5% then clearly it will take longer.

 

I know of another local who got off his ssri but had bad wdl symptoms but was talked into believing he had a mental illness and the only cure was ECT So he had the ECT and was sent home on venlafaxine at double the usual dose. when I asked him how long was his taper he said 1 year. When I suggested it was far too fast he just couldn't grasp it and told me how he had a MI.  I gave up trying to convince him otherwise.

 

 

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Prozacboy
7 minutes ago, nz11 said:

Well I know of a local person not a member of this site but whose parents were pharmacists who took 8 years to taper off paxil.

He had very little if any wdl symptoms. 

 

Your cns will tell you if its too fast.

 

Going at the 10% pace it would take about 27 months to get from 10mg to 0.5 mg. If all goes well. So based on the formula no I would not say 8-12 months is conservative. But based on the CNS then who knows. If you can only manage to taper at 5% then clearly it will take longer.

 

I know of another local who got off his ssri but had bad wdl symptoms but was talked into believing he had a mental illness and the only cure was ECT So he had the ECT and was sent home on venlafaxine at double the usual dose. when I asked him how long was his taper he said 1 year. When I suggested it was far too fast he just couldn't grasp it and told me how he had a MI.  I gave up trying to convince him otherwise.

I find this to be deeply disconcerting.  I am a 27 year old, otherwise healthy male and am going to try to have kids in the next 27 months, the prospect of trying to have kids while on this medication is simply unacceptable to me!  Let alone the practical problems the drugs cause in this department, ha!

 

Has anyone had success tapering off a low dose of an SSRI that they had only been on for a short while?  

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Prozacboy
On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 11:34 PM, scallywag said:

I'm sorry that you're dealing with continuing dizziness that hasn't resolved since you started with Prozac. I just read a post in Andy's (apace)  introduction where he wrote about what he's learning about dizziness and anxiety.  Here's a link to that post.

Hi Scallywag, the other thing I forgot to mention about my first Lexapro withdrawal, I got shingles!  Pretty remarkable at age 27 (my doctor even said I should get tested for AIDS!).  

 

I have been thinking a lot about the dizziness link you sent - is it possible that anxiety and chronic stress is playing a big role in my discontinuation?  I have an extremely stressful job and worked to the bone right up until my withdrawal, and am wondering if that chronic stress is harming me.  I so very much appreciate your time and your thoughts. 

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Prozacboy
On ‎1‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 7:27 PM, nz11 said:

Well I know of a local person not a member of this site but whose parents were pharmacists who took 8 years to taper off paxil.

He had very little if any wdl symptoms. 

 

Your cns will tell you if its too fast.

 

Going at the 10% pace it would take about 27 months to get from 10mg to 0.5 mg. If all goes well. So based on the formula no I would not say 8-12 months is conservative. But based on the CNS then who knows. If you can only manage to taper at 5% then clearly it will take longer.

The notion that a one year taper isn't conservative is surprising.  I've been on the drug less than 9 months.  If I tapered over 8 years as this person you mention did, my body surely would become used to the drug much more so during that lengthy taper than it already is, so I don't really think this is a good strategy for me. 

 

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nz11

yeah I hear what you are saying and my friend I think was on paxil for about 10 years then tapered over 8 years.

 

It is true you have only been on Prozac for 9months. However you have had prior psychoactive drug adventures.

Your cns and brain have been chemically assaulted in the past. That means that maybe for you things have changed.

You may have been left with a sensitized system that may not be able to make  changes easily and may have trouble withstanding the next (psychoactive) bullet... sadly our   CNS is not made of graphene.

 

On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 2:11 PM, Prozacboy said:

I have been trying to taper at 5% increments over weeks but am still having extreme dizziness

Okay so what do you reckon  is a good strategy for you? 

Surprise me.

nz11

 

 

 

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Prozacboy
On 1/16/2018 at 1:36 AM, nz11 said:

yeah I hear what you are saying and my friend I think was on paxil for about 10 years then tapered over 8 years.

 

It is true you have only been on Prozac for 9months. However you have had prior psychoactive drug adventures.

Your cns and brain have been chemically assaulted in the past. That means that maybe for you things have changed.

You may have been left with a sensitized system that may not be able to make  changes easily and may have trouble withstanding the next (psychoactive) bullet... sadly our   CNS is not made of graphene.

 

Okay so what do you reckon  is a good strategy for you? 

Surprise me.

nz11

 

 

 

Nz11. You are a wise ass. Not helpful. 

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