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sgsg

sgsg: here I go ... soon

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sgsg

I'm new here, but have been following this forum off and on for over a decade.  I think I'm finally stable enough to try tapering off my current meds.  I've been on some form of ssri for about 25 years.   I've been working with a naturopath for about 5 years to address some other health concerns that have really been supportive to my healing.  I'm entrenched in a wellness program that is also very supportive.  I tried earlier this year to taper off with help of a dr and thought it would work (silly me).  His suggestions for tapering were far too large and quick.  I've read a lot of what has been written here and have prepared myself to go much much slower and realize it could take years.  For this next attempt, the dr proposed a prozac bridge and I went along with it, as I've done something similar before and it worked pretty well.  (Again, silly me).  Prozac makes me very very tired and I do not want to continue it, plus I don't think I need it for the taper, given what I've read here.  I'm in the process of tapering off the Prozac and went from 20mg to 10mg with no problem whatsoever.  However, my jump from 10mg to 5mg was quite disasterous.  I now realize I must go much much slower going forward.  I'm at 10mg Prozac now and will start going down on that next week.  I will eventually attempt tapering off my 75mg effexor, but that will be after prozac taper.  I'm trying to get everything in place for this.  I've printed out symptom logs to keep track of everything daily and will look into the jeweler's scale for my effexor.  Here I go! 🙂

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, sgsg.

 

We need a little more information, please, specifically a few dates.  When did you attempt the Prozac bridge?  When did you drop from 20mg to 10mg?  When did you drop from 10 to 5?  When did you updose from 5mg Prozac to 10mg?  Please add these dates to your drug signature using this link:

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

You said your drop from 10mg to 5mg was disastrous, and I'm assuming your mean you suffered some bad withdrawal symptoms.  

 

 
 

What were the symptoms you experienced, and what are they now?  The reason I'm asking this, and the reason we need to know the dates of your dose changes, is that you have made a lot of large changes in what is likely a short time.  

 

Because of all the changes you made, and because withdrawal symptoms from a too-fast taper can be delayed, it might be wise to delay your planned taper and to hold at 10mg for a few weeks (or more) until you have stabilized from all the changes.  By stabilized, we mean not that you have no withdrawal symptoms but rather than they are tolerable and more or less the same from day to day without big swings in symptoms.

 

Then, once you have stabilized, you can begin a 10% taper of the Prozac.

  

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

This link is specifically about tapering Prozac.

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Once you've added the requested dates to your signature and answered my other questions, we'll be in a better position to help you.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

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sgsg

Thank you for your reply!  I have updated my signature to add more information.

 

As I'm writing and thinking more about this, I realize how careless and hurried I was with the process.  I think I was in a hurry to get off the prozac because I felt it was making me so very tired.  I realize the error in my thought process.  I thought since I had not been on the prozac that long that I could taper quite quickly.  Later I read in SA forum that after you've been on it a month, the changes have already happened and tapering needs to go slower.   I didn't even write down exactly WHEN I went from 20mg to 10mg.   I don't know why going from 20mg to 10mg was relatively uneventful, or if anything detrimental was happening, it must've been mild and I must've attributed it to something else.  Or I was possibly too busy to notice what was going on.   For instance I've been very very very tired this month.  I've been so insanely busy this month that I wasn't quite keeping track of things.  The tiredness could've been from a few things:  1) Busy-ness 2) the Prozac 3) Prozac WD   or maybe a combination of all of them.  I don't know.  But I see what you mean about the WD symptoms being delayed....

 

When I went from 10mg to 5mg, on day 3 after dose change, I had several symptoms: crying spells, worsened mood, low energy, anxiety, irritability, confusion, memory problems.  I was also on my moon cycle, so that could have contributed, though my symptoms are not usually so severe (though they can be). As I mentioned in my signature, it didn't dawn on me that it could be WD until the morning of the 29th.  So I took 2.5mg that morning (I usually take prozac at night)  to help offset the decreased dosage days prior.  I went to work that day and read a bunch on the forums and suddenly a lot more made sense.  I still didn't feel very well that day and ended up leaving work early.  I was still so very tired and confused.  I resumed the 10mg Prozac that night.  Days following were better mentally, though I was still very tired.  Sleeping a lot and taking naps all weekend long.  Right now I feel relatively clear and not to tired.

 

You recommended staying on the 10mg for a few weeks until things have stabilized.  I was hoping to get another drop in dosage before another crazy month comes around (Oct), but sounds like that might be too ambitious?  I'm hesitant to drop dosage later this month or in Oct. just because things will be so crazy, I don't want to risk another replay of sloppy decisions you've seen above.  In that case, should I just wait until after October to attempt another dosage chance?

 

I'm so glad I found you guys.  I've tried this numerous times and at times it's taken years to recover. I've read that can be common if one goes too fast.  I've been traumatized for years about it that I was so scared to even try again.  I finally feel well enough to try again.  I'm so glad you guys are here to help.  It can be so hard to see objectively when going through it all.  Thank you for helping me to clarify and go back and re-evaluate my course of action! 

 

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Gridley
3 hours ago, sgsg said:

I was hoping to get another drop in dosage before another crazy month comes around (Oct), but sounds like that might be too ambitious? 

 

I would hold where you are and let yourself stabilize.  So, yes, it would be good to wait until after October and then see how you feel, and we can work from there.

 

I've read many, many members write that they regret tapering too fast but have never yet read one complaining about going too slowly.  

 

Sometimes you can "get away with" a faster taper at the high doses (though it's not recommended) but when you get down to the lower doses, it becomes crucial to go slowly.   The graphs in this topic might help to explain the reason for this:

 

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WiggleIt
4 hours ago, sgsg said:

As I'm writing and thinking more about this, I realize how careless and hurried I was with the process.  I think I was in a hurry to get off the prozac because I felt it was making me so very tired.  I realize the error in my thought process.  I thought since I had not been on the prozac that long that I could taper quite quickly.


Dear sgsg,

I agree with Gridley that you should let yourself stabilize, and I also especially want to add that you don't need to be critical of your approach or call yourself "careless."  You're seeking out SA, which is a great forum; you are thinking and asking questions and planning—those are all careful decisions.  For any missteps you may have had in the past, of course you couldn't be expected to know everything!

How long we've been on meds has nothing to do with how fast or slow each individual body is able to taper.

Also, it sounds like you may end up waiting until after October before trying another reduction.  Please know that you don't have to wait until then to write another entry here!  You can communicate with other members, post on your topic, and become part of the community even if you aren't in the middle of actively tapering.

Plus, you can update here how you're doing as you stabilize.

Welcome!

-Wiggle      

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sgsg

Update:  I started 10% taper down on Prozac on 9/19/19, from 10mg to 9mg.  Yesterday it seemed like I had some WD symptoms, annoying but manageable.  I take several supplements and I was fiddling with those to see if I could get by with less.  However, I deemed it unwise to tinker with too many facets at once.  So I will stay at my current dosage of supplements.

 

I know I was advised to wait until after October to start tapering more, but I want off this prozac like yesterday.  It makes me so so so tired, like I'm carrying around 200 lbs of armor on my body.  I have to drink a fair amount of caffeine just to be able to function.  So I've decided to start the taper sooner rather than later.  I can deal with it during my busy month coming up in October.  I will just take off work if I have to.

 

Today is day 7 after dose change and so far, so good.  Manageable.  

 

I think I read that it takes prozac 16 days or so to get out of system.  So maybe I might feel something more at that time?    We'll see.

 

 

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Rhiannon

These charts will explain why going from 20 to 10 can be fairly easy but it gets much harder lower than that. From 20 to 10 you are dropping from something like 80% receptor occupancy to maybe 70-75%. But after that the curve begins to become more steep and as you get to the lower doses even a very small change in dose makes a big change in receptor occupancy. 

 

We all tend to assume that every cut is the same but that is very much NOT the case.

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sgsg

Thank you for that Rhiannon, it's nice to see the science and graphs behind that phenomenon.  

 

I have another question for you @Rhiannon  (and anyone that has insight, really)- I see that you are tapering off several meds concurrently.  I was wondering if it might be too ambitious for me to try to taper off the effexor at the same time as the prozac?  If I did that, would I taper by less, say 5% for each med, or still do 10% for each taper?  I would like to hear your thoughts on multidrug tapering.

 

Thanks!! 

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