Jump to content
Prozachelp

Prozachelp: help with fluoxetine / Prozac

Recommended Posts

Prozachelp

Hey guys, I’ve been on generic version of Prozac for roughly 3 three years, first started at 20mg and after a while got up to 40mg...I didn’t realize what was making me feel tons of brain fog and having short term memory loss. I’ve decided to taper from 40mg to between 32-35mg for a month, and decide from there...I was wondering if I was doing this wrong and heard that alternating dosages is a bad idea? Does that what this means? I used the Gemini-20m scale and the powder of the 40mg roughly came out to 300-305mgs? Does that sound about right ? 

 

I did 35/40 and that gets you 87.5% of a 40mg pill, And I timed the 87.5% by 304, and I got 266mg. I chose 304 because I guess it’s in the middle I don’t know. But because I didn’t have a correct funnel to funnel the certain amount of powder into new gelatin capsules, some of the powder did fully get into each capsule. After I was Done creating the new capsules filled with the roughly amount of powder, I weighed each pill and they were all different weights. The empty gelatin capsule was 90-95 mgs.. was always different on scale but between those numbers. So I took the weight of each new pill I’ve been filling with an frosting tip, like to put names on birthday cakes and stuff...you know. Every single pill out of 30, Came to a weight between 360-330. Only with two of them being in the high fiftys. So I subtracted the 90 from that number and the mean of all 30 pills was 244Mgs, which I guess Is roughly 32mg? 

 

Is this reduction too much? 

 

I sincerely need need help with this, also I’m 20 years old. I love this website and it’s helped me out tons, I’m very scared of withdrawal syndrome.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Hi Prozachelp and welcome to SA,

 

You have certainly come to the right place.

 

Please create a drug signature using the following format.  Keep it simple by following these instructions (NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you):

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

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Skipping days in not recommended.  The brain likes consistency.  Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Prozachelp

Okay, I did. Thanks so much chessiecat. 

 

I just reweighed the Prozac powder on my scale (Gemini 20 one) and the reading is always between 290-300 mgs. I’m guessing it’s a little less because these capsules are kinda hard to get off and I spill a little powder...not much but makes a difference. So I did my calculations based off this amazing website. I want to go down to 35mg for a month from 40mg. 

 

I did the math and got 87.5 from dividing 35 into 40.. which is a 12.5% decrease. 

 

So I took 87.5 and multiplied it by 300 and 290. I got 262.5 for the 300, and 253.7 for the 290. I just calculated both numbers just Incase..because I could never get an accurate reading on the Prozac powder by itself. So I took the 262.5 and the 253.7 (roughly) and guessed that is around 5mgs (roughly) maybe a little less... I proceeded to then weigh the empty gelatin capsules (size 0) and the readings were between 90-95 mg. I began to funnel between 250 - 265 into the gelatin capsules, I’m saying those numbers because i believe some of the powder gets lost within the funnel , missing some , etc. 

 

I really hope I’m doing this right and I’m scared beyond belief of withdrawal syndrome.. I want to minimize that the best I can. Thanks so much I’m really looking forward to some insight. 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
10 hours ago, Prozachelp said:

I really hope I’m doing this right and I’m scared beyond belief of withdrawal syndrome.. I want to minimize that the best I can. Thanks so much I’m really looking forward to some insight. 

 

Making a 12.5% reduction is risky.  It is better to go slower than to risk withdrawal symptoms.  We get withdrawal symptoms when we take the drug away too quickly.  The following analogy might help you to understand:

 

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.

 

 

 

We have some members here that have tried to go too fast and ended up having to updose and hold for longer.  If they had followed the 10% reduction protocol they would have got off their drug faster.  And they probably would have got off with less discomfort from withdrawal symptoms.

 

However, you may be okay making a 12.5% reduction for the first reduction because you are on a high dose.  If you do decide to reduce by 12.5% and you start experiencing unbearable withdrawal symptoms it would be better to updose by a very small amount.  However, it is better NOT to bring on withdrawal symptoms because you may not be able to stabilise or it may take a long time to stabilise.  

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

Fluoxetine is Fig 2 here:  https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.ajp.161.5.826

 

Share this post


Link to post
Carmie

Hi Prozachelp, 

 

Please be careful with the percentage you taper by. Like Chessiecat said if you decide to taper by 12.5% the first time because you’re on such a high dose it is up to you, but as she said too it really isn’t a good idea. You may pay for it. I personally can’t taper by more than 5% and others have found 10% too much too, especially with the lower doses. 

 

If you end up tapering too quick you won’t get any further in getting off the meds because you will have to hold longer anyway until the symptoms subside a bit before you can do the next taper. This has happened to me in the past.

 

I’m so sorry you are going through this, it’s quite a struggle but we will get there in the again. 

 

Sending sunshine your way☀️☀️☀️

 

Share this post


Link to post
Prozachelp

Chessiecat and Carmie, Thank you guys so much for helping me understand and being nice to me. You guys have changed my mind about my 12.5% taper. I'm going to do a 10% taper, I know that might be too much but I'm going to try that it.  I totally do believe I should be able to taper to roughly 37 mg for this month. I started my taper Monday (December 17) Going to January 17th. I will report progress on how I feel, and if I feel depressed or having big time brain fog...I'm okay with that lol. I'm just not okay with the flu-like symptoms, brain zaps and other nasty symptoms such as that. Isn't it truly amazing on how our brains work and what these drugs do to us? I'm completely amazed by it. There needs to be more research done about these pills and the withdrawal effects that come from them. If I haven't of found this website I would've been royally screwed. I already know my doctor would of put me down to 20 milligrams of Prozac within the 5 minutes of meeting him saying I want to taper off of this drug. I know this because he prescribed these pills to me within five minutes of talking to me at the age of 16. I do not understand why. I'm very upset with myself and my mother and my doctor, but all I've accepted it. So below will be my journal and calculations.. until the very end of me tapering off this drug.

 

 

BEFORE YOU READ BELOW : 

 

I believe i'm doing this right, if you look down below you will see a roughly 10 % dosage drop from each dosage a month... By me doing this, it will take me nearly or longer than 3 years to fully quit being on prozac. Is this right? Did I do this right? I thought it was quicker to take get off prozac or am I wrong? I quit doing calculations on it after I got to 2020, and the month of june and july. What I am saying, lets say I get down to 10 milligrams, do I have to take off ten percentage each month? So like 9 divided by 10 gets me .9 so 10% of that dosage. The more I go down, the longer it takes to wean off.. does this make sense and is it right? Is my math right? Does it take years to taper off from 40 milligrams of prozac to 0?

 

 

 

I firstly used the gemini-20 scale, bought it off amazon. I weighed everything, the prozac pill which the powder came in, the empty capsules I bought for tapering, and the tapered pills after filled with the custom amount of powder. I don't know why but this scale was giving or taking 5mg's off the powder and the capsules. After weighing about the empty capsules and the prozac capsules filled with powder, the weights came out to:

 

Prozac capsule (Including powder) 375-380 MG (some a smudge above 380)

Empty gelatin capsule 90 MG ( mostly close to 90mg)

Prozac powder (By itself) 300-305mg

 

 

 

(December 17th - January 17th) (End of 2018 going into 2019) Started Monday (17th)on tapered pills but a less dose of 36mg, will now start on 36mg per day. 

 

*By using the calculations above, this is how I got my answers.

 

36(mg) divided by 40 (mg) = 0.9 (90%) times 300, 305 = 270, 275 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule (90,95) = 360, 365 mg for full weight.

 

I believe this will be 36 milligrams or roughly about that. So each one of my pills will weigh 362 milligrams . I will complete this tonight. I will stay on this dosage until January 17th, monitor my symptoms and report them here for this month.

 

Symptoms:  (TBA)

 

 

 

(January 17th - February 17th)

 

33 (mg) divided by 36 (mg)  = 0.91 (91%) times 270, 275 = 247, 252 milligrams of active ingredient. + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule = 342, 347 mg for full weight.

 

I believe this will be 33 milligrams or roughly about that. So, each pill for Jan 17th to Feb 17 will weigh 343 milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(February 17th - March 17th)

 

30 (mg) divided by 33 = 0.9 or (90%) times 247, 252 = 224, 229.5 milligrams of active ingredient. + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule = 315 to 320 milligrams for full weight.

 

Woohoo! I will be down to 30mg of prozac, hopefully with minimal withdrawals.

 

I believe this will be about 30 milligrams or roughly that. This will be a 25% reduction. So each one of my pills for this month must weigh 317 milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(March 17th - April 17th)

 

27 (mg) divided by 30 (mg)  = 0.9 (90%) times 224, 229.5 = 201.6, 206.5 milligrams of active ingredient. + the weight of the capsule = 291.5 to 296.5 milligrams for full weight.

 

I believe this will be roughly 27 milligrams.     Each one of my pills this month must weigh 294 milligrams. 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(April 17th - May 17th)

 

24.5 ( mg) divided by 27 (mg)  =  0.9 (90%) times 201.6, 206.5 =  182.9 , 187.9 milligrams of active ingredient. + the weight of the capsule = 272.9 to 277.8 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will be roughly 24.5 milligrams.  Each one of my pills this month must weigh 274  milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

 

(May 17th  - June 17th)

 

22 (mg) divided by 24.5 (mg)  = .89.7 (roughly 90%) times 182.9, 187.9 = 164, 169 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the capsule =  254 to 259 milligrams for full weight.

 

I believe this will be roughly 22 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month must weigh  255 milligrams

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(June 17 - July 17)

 

Wow! Seven months from now I will be at 20 MILLIGRAMS of Prozac!  I will be very happy July 17th of 2019. 

 

20 (mg) divided by 22 (mg) = .9 (90%) times 164, 169 = 149 mg, 154 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule = 239 to 244 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will be roughly 20 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month must weigh 241 milligrams. 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(July 17 - August 17)

 

18 (mg) divided by 20 (mg) = .9 (90%) times 149, 154  = 134, 139 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule = 224 to 229 milligrams for full weight 

 

I believe this will roughly be 18 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month must weight 226 milligrams. 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(August 17 - September 17)

 

16.5 (mg) divided by 18 (mg) = .916 (91.6) times 134, 139, = 122.8, 127.8 milligrams of active ingredient  + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule =  212.8 ,217.8 for full weight.

 

I believe this will be roughly 16.5 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month must weigh  214 milligrams. 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(September 17 - October 17)

 

14.8 (mg) divided by 16.5 (mg) = .896 (90%*) times 122.8, 127.8 = 110, 115 milligrams of active ingredient + the empty weight of a gelatin capsule = 200, 205 milligrams for full weight

 

I believe this will be roughly 14.8 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month must weigh 202 milligrams. 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(October 17 - November 17)

 

13.3 mg divided by 14.8 mg = .896 (90%*) times 110, 115 = 98.8, 103.8 milligrams of active ingredient. + the empty weight of a gelatin capsule = 193.8, 198.8 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will be roughly 13.3 milligrams. Each one of my pills this month must weigh 194 milligrams 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(November 17 - December 17)

 

12 mg divided by 13.3 mg = .9 (90%) times 98.8, 103,8 = 89, 94,  milligrams of active ingredient. + the  weight of empty gelatin capsule = 179 to 184 milligrams for full weight.

 

I believe this will be roughly 12 milligrams. Each one of my pills this month must weigh 182 milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(December 17 - January 17)(Going from 2019 to 2020)

 

10.8 mg divided by 12 mg = .9 (90%) times 89, 94 = 80, 85 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule = 170, 175 milligrams for full weight.

 

I believe this will be roughly 10.8 milligrams. Each one of my pills should weigh  172 milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(January 17 - February 17)

 

Over a year and I will under 10 milligrams. 

 

9.8 mg divided by 10.8 mg = .9 (90%) times 80, 85 = 72.5, 77.5 milligrams of active ingredient. + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule =  162.5, 167.5 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will be roughly under 10 milligrams.  Each one of my pills will have roughly 164mg for this month (Because its between 162 and 167, have to take in account for the give or take of 5mg from the scale)

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

 

(February 17 - March 17th)

 

8.8 mg divided by 9.8 = 89.7 (90*) times 72.5, 77,5 = 65, 70 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of empty gelatin capsule = 155, 160 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will be roughly 8.8 milligrams.  Each one of my pills this month will have roughly 157 milligrams (Because of the scale giving or taking 5mg)

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

(March 17th - April 17th)

 

8 mg divided by 8.8 mg = .9 (90%) times 65, 70 = 59, 64 milligrams of active ingredient.  + the weight of the empty gelatin capsule = 149 milligrams, 154 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will be roughly 8 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month will have roughly 152 milligrams (Scale gives or takes 5mg for the powder)

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

(April 17th - May 17th)

 

7.2 mg divided by 8 mg = 0.9 (90%) times 59, 64 = 53, 58.1 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the empty capsule = 143, 148 milligrams for full weight.

 

I believe this will be roughly 7.2 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month will have roughly 144 milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

 

(May 17th - June 17th)

 

6.5 mg divided by 7.2 milligrams = .9 (90%) times 53, 58.1 = 47.8, 52.8 milligrams of active ingredient. + the weight of the empty capsule  = 137.8, 142.8 milligrams for full weight. 

 

I believe this will roughly be 6.5 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month will roughly have 139 milligrams. 

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

June 17 - July 17th 

 

5.8 mg divided by 6.5 milligrams = .89 (89%) times 47.8, 52.8 = 42.6, 47.6 milligrams of active ingredient + the weight of the empty capsule = 132.6, 137.6 milligrams of full weight.

 

I believe this will roughly be 5.8 milligrams. Each one of my pills for this month will roughly have 134 milligrams.

 

Symptoms: (TBA)

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font

Share this post


Link to post
Prozachelp
  • Initially, make a 10% reduction and hold there for a MONTH. It can take several weeks for withdrawal symptoms to emerge. Do that again the second month.
  • If you have very minor or no symptoms from these 2 reductions, you can try reducing by 10% (calculated on the last dosage) every 3 weeks. Do that twice. If no problems, reduce by 10% every 2 weeks. Do that twice.
  • If no problems after 4.5 months of very gradual reduction, you may be able to reduce by 10% every week.
  • If significant withdrawal symptoms appear, make smaller cuts or go slower. Listen to your body.

Just read that from the tapering page I guess its trial and error haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Carmie

Hi Prozachelp, 

 

I’m glad you’re going to go down by 10% instead of 12.5%. You probably will be fine with 10%. I was only telling you that I have to go down by 5% to make you see that you have to be careful when you taper and 12.5% seemed too quick to me. Someone may think it’s not much different to 10% but it can make a huge difference where withdrawals are concerned.

 

I’m not great with math and I have trouble focusing due to CFS so someone else may have to look at your calculations, but I can say that it takes a very long time to get off meds. I’m on 7.5mgs of Seroquel and doing the Brassmonkey slide at about 5%, it will take me about another ten years. I will probably tweak the brassmonkey slide though. I’ve managed to get myself down from 300mg to 7.5mg on my own by some miracle. It’s taken many, many years. I don’t even remember how long. 

 

I’ve never used scales so I don’t know much about them either, I started cutting the doses before I knew about tapering. When I got down to the 25mg tablet and learnt more about tapering I started crushing the tablet and water titrating it. 

 

The thing is once on lower doses 5% ends up being teeny tiny, and I won’t be jumping off until I’m down to 0.0 something. That’s why it’s going to take a long time. I am so sensitive as the doctors put me on and off all sorts of things because of chronic pain, as well cold turkeying me. That has messed up my system.

 

Again, I’m very glad you’re taking it slow. 

 

I see you’re scared of withdrawals, it is probably one of the scariest things we will go through, but we can do this. We just have to go slow and steady and find some good coping strategies and distractions. Check out Claire Weekes on YouTube.

 

When I’m in waves I just Distract! Distract! Distract! That’s my motto. It doesn’t get rid of withdrawals but it helps me survive the day. Even if I’m anhedonic at that time I make myself do things anyway. I can be feeling totally numb or the opposite, highly anxious but I do arts and crafts, watch hours of movies and tv series, go out in nature, crank up the music etc etc.

 

We will win this fight one day. Just take it a day at a time, an hour at a time, and if the withdrawals get bad a minute at a time. 

 

Wishing you all the best, sending hugs🤗

 

 

Edited by Carmie

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

LINKS:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)

 

 

On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety. The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Prozachelp

Thank u guys so much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Carmie

Hi Prozachelp, 

 

Just checking in to see how you’re doing. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...