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Zula: Prolonged withdrawal


Zula

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I am looking for some help, if anyone may have some insight, I would love to hear what you have to say. 

 

I have been on antidepressants for over 20 years. About 8 years ago, I started taking Effexor. Because I was trying to get pregnant about 4.5 years ago, my doctor told me to adjust my medication as low as I could go and feel ok.   The taper was to drop every two weeks. I started at 150, then dropped 37.5 every two weeks until I hit 37.5. I couldn’t take the 37.5, so I ended going back up to 75 about 8 months later. Approximately a year after doing that, I started feeling really terrible. My head started feeling wonky - not brain zaps, but just almost like the feeling that you get when you are in an elevator.

 

I spoke with my doc about it (a new doctor since I moved far away) and she decided to put me on citalopram. The citalopram helped for about 2 months, then the horrible heady feeling came back.

 

I was then changed to Paxil (because it was what I was on before Effexor and it worked well for me- until it didn’t).  Again Paxil took away the heady feeling for about 6-8 weeks, and came back. I made a choice to get off of all antidepressants in hopes that this feeling would go away.

 

The doctor switched me to Prozac for an easier taper.

 

I have now been off of all antidepressants since mid September and I am still having this head/brain feeling. Not to mention that my mood is awful. 

 

I know that was a long complicated story, but I really don’t know what to do any more. I feel like my short term memory is completely gone. I am having brain zaps on top of the heady feeling.

 

I take all the supplements, I was taking CBD, but it was really affecting my memory even more, so I cut it out. It wasn’t really helping anyway. 

 

Should I go on Effexor again and try doing a long taper? Should I try sticking this out? 


I feel like my brain is broken.  


Oh, one last thing- I have had an MRI and all kinds of blood testing, a CT scan, a heart holster - everything is normal 😞

 

Edited by ChessieCat
spaqce

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Zula: Prolonged withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Zula and welcome to SA,

 

So that we can offer suggestions we would like you to create your drug signature.  This will appear below every post you make.  This allows us to see your history at a glance.  Thank you.

 

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:

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

Once we have more specific information we will be better able to offer suggestions.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Approximate dates (as I have a lot of time line memory issues) 

 

•Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

•Paxil 2007-2012 (dose 20mg)

•Effexor 2012-2017 (primary dose 150mg, dropped to 37.5 in 37.5 increments may 2014, increased dose to 75 mg in Jan 2015) 

•Citalopram June 2017-November 2017 (dose ?) 

•Paxil Nov 2017- May 2018 (dose 20mg - tapered slowly to 15mg Jan to May) 

•Prozac May 2018- September 2018 (dose 20mg, then 10mg for two weeks and off) 

 

Supplements 

•Calcium/magnesium 

•omega fish oil

•evening primrose oil

•turmeric

•Vitamin  C

•Vitamin  D (4000 iu) 

•Vitamin  B12  

 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Great job on the drug signature.  The only other information we need are dates where I have put a ? for Paxil and Prozac.

 

I've simplified it a little bit by taking out a few superfluous bits, so you can just add the dates and copy and paste it.  Thank you.

 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  ? Nov 2017- ? May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) 

Prozac:  ? May 2018- ? Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

 

Supplements:  Calcium/magnesium, omega fish oil, evening primrose oil, turmeric, Vitamin  C, Vitamin  D (4000 iu), Vitamin  B12

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

I’m sorry, I truly have no idea of the day of the month that I started any of these medications. 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Okay, that's fine.  What we do need to know is did you stop Paxil and go straight to Prozac or did you do a cross over or cross taper.

 

If you can tell us when you last took Prozac that would be very helpful.  If you don't know the exact date, was it early, mid or late September?

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

I didn’t cross taper from Paxil to Prozac. I stopped (by instruction of my doctor) Paxil at 15mg and went directly onto 20mg Prozac. 

I checked a post I made in a suppprt group to check the exact date I took my last dose of Prozac 10mg) which was September 14th. 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Zula.

 

How did you feel while you were taking 20mg Prozac?

 

How often do you get brain zaps? How has your symptom pattern changed since you went off Prozac?

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I have been taking fish oil and magnesium for a long time. I didn’t feel great on 20mg of Prozac. I felt better when I forgot a dose and I felt better when I dropped to 10mg for two weeks. I also felt better for a few weeks after I stopped completely. But then the brain zaps and the “heady” feeling came back about 2 weeks ago. It is nearly constant. 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone. I just need to know if it’s ill-advised to reinstate Paxil. I stopped taking it this past May -switched to Prozac for an easier taper - then stopped Prozac completely in the middle of September. I reallllly am not doing well. I am having a lot of trouble thinking and remembering things on top of constant anxiety/dread. I don’t want to be talked out of taking antidepressants/anti anxiety meds- I just need to know if it is medically ok to start taking Paxil again. I have a doctors appointment on December 18th, and I know my doctor will be fine with reinstatement, but I need to know if it’s ok to start taking it again after being off since May. 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Q:  How did you feel when you were taking Prozac?

 

I'll ask the other mods for their assistance.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Not very well. I was on 20mg, and when I dropped to 10mg, I felt a bit better. I didn’t feel too bad on Paxil. A heck of a lot better than I do now. 

Zoloft and others that I can’t remember from 1995-2007

Paxil:  2007-2012 (20mg)

Effexor:  2012-2017 (150mg, dropped to 37.5mg in 37.5 increments May 2014, 75 mg Jan 2015) 

Citalopram:  June 2017-Nov 2017 (dose ?) 

Paxil:  Nov 2017- May 2018 (20mg - tapered to 15mg Jan to May) straight switch, no crossover

Prozac:  May 2018- 14 Sept 2018 (20mg, 10mg for two weeks and off) 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hello, Zula.

 

Reinstating the drug or substituting Prozac can reduce withdrawal symptoms. Prozac is preferable to Paxil because it's a little easier to discontinue. If I were you, I might try 1mg Prozac to start, see how it affects you. You'd taper off by miniscule amounts later.

 

Taking 1mg fluoxetine in liquid form is the easiest way to do this. This topic explains how Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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