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Lwill: Need to wean off, have no idea


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Hi, new here, I'm 21.
I need help coming off Prozac, I've been on antidepressants 3 years so need to do it before it gets too far.  I Suffered from anxiety and depression right up through teen years.
Had a baby at 17 and got bad post natal depression, was put on citalopram 40mg. It worked relatively well for a year, then it just stopped working over a period of a few weeks. I started self harming and got badly depressed again and anxious.
My doctor then put me on 30mg of Prozac and I've been on Prozac since (about a 16 months now), but I've had bad episodes and panic attacks a few times since I've been on it. I know I need to come off it, it will make me worse and even 2 days without it and I'm a mess, it's awful. It's like I'm coming off heroin I get agitated and frustrated, I cry constantly and even get sensitive to light and loud noises etc. I have a 4 year old son and need to do it properly in a way I can still cope with motherhood. I'm worried about balancing withdrawal and motherhood.
Can it be done and if so how? Thank you .. !
libby x
Edited by ChessieCat
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Lwill: Need to wean off, have no idea
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Hi Lwill and welcome to SA,


What you are experiencing is withdrawal symptoms from stopping your drug too quickly.  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms  The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to take the drug which your brain has adapted to getting.  Please see Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Because you have only missed 2 days, we would generally suggest going back to the last dose (30mg).  However, you could try taking a lower dose (20mg or 25mg).  The lower the dose you can reinstate the less you will have to taper.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  You will need to keep daily symptom notes to see how this dose is affecting your symptoms.  If after a week or so the symptoms are still unbearable your could increase by a bit more (up to 25mg if you have reinstated at 20mg).  The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a tolerable level.  You might find this topic helpful:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves


This is my experience when I reduced my dose of Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg.  I suffered extreme cog fog for 3 weeks and got to the point where I was unable to type.  Because I've been a typist for 40+ years I realised that something was wrong.  Thankfully I found SA and they suggested increasing my dose.  I took extra Pristiq (I was able to updose to 75mg) and about 4 hours later I was able to type again and the brain fog was lifting.  After stabilising I have been following SA's tapering protocol and have only experienced mild withdrawal symptoms.  Following SA's tapering protocol I am now down to 6mg.


And this is a helpful explanation:


On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.


Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)


One you stabilise which might take a few months you can then taper:


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


We ask all new members to create their drug signature which will appear below every post you make.


Please include the following information.  Please be as accurate as possible about the dates and doses.  Please make it nice simple by following these instructions (NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you).  Please update it whenever you make a change:

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PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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This is my little sister :) I referred her to SA as she is keen to come off Prozac and has been struggling. I've advised her not to mess with the dose as much as possible, and to refer to here for accurate information. Don't forget to read the links admin provided above and fill in your drug signature in your profile (drug history, dose, how long you've been on each etc). Keep posting here if you need to, there's a lot of kind and knowledgeable people on the site. Plus it means you don't have to annoy your big sis with questions lol

2008-2013 - Various meds on and off since age 18 incl. Sertraline, Prozac, Mirtazipine, Abilify. Prescribed for severe OCD.

CT'd several times over these years and reinstated after subsequent psych hospitalisations.

2014-2015 - Clomipramine, quetiapine and Epilum

2015-Jan 2017 - Prozac 40mg (stopped contraceptive pill, most stable period of time)

(Beginning of taper) Jan-October 2017 - Tapered Prozac to zero.

15 Jan 2018 - Reinstated Prozac at 2mg due to acute w/d symptoms

February 2018 - tapered to 1.8mg

May 2018 - reinstated at 5mg due to severe w/d symptoms. 9 month hold, stabilized well at around 6/7 months.

March 2019 - Tapered to 4.9mg

Current supplements: fish oils, probiotic, ashwaganda, colostrum powder, cannabis


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