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Lb11

Lb11: Effexor and Prozac

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Lb11

Hello, I was started on Effexor 75 mg a year ago for anxiety and OCD. I tried cutting my dose in half 2-3 months ago to 37.5 mg not realizing about withdrawal symptoms. I have never struggled with depression but since changing the dose have been really depressed. 3 weeks ago my doctor added Prozac saying it would help but it doesn’t seem to. I am so frustrated and feel like Effexor has caused me more problems than good. Since I tapered so quickly I don’t know if I should go back up to 75 on Effexor or increase my Prozac or what to do. I feel like my doctors aren’t sure what I should do either as he told me it’s up to me to decide my taper on my own

thanks for your time and help in advance 

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Sassenach

Hello     LB   and welcome to SA.

 

This site is run entirely by volunteer Administrators and Moderators, all have been through or going through withdrawal.

There are no commercial interests or influences  involved .

 

I am sorry you are having such a rough time but you are now in the right place.

 

Unfortunately I am very short of time to do a full intro.

You are suffering W/D (withdrawal symptoms) because of your sudden dose cut.

What symptoms are you currently experiencing?

dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

Please see the links below to explain what is happening to you:

why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

19 hours ago, Lb11 said:

doctor added Prozac

What dose of Prozac did he prescribe?

 

19 hours ago, Lb11 said:

I don’t know if I should go back up to 75 on Effexor

Do not do this under any circumstances.

 

As soon as we recieve the drugs info. we can assess your situation.

In the meantime DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGE TO YOUR CURRENT MEDS please.

Please feel free to browse the site, it is a wealth of info.

Other members threads will give you an insight and the opportunity to share experiences.

 

Again welcome.

 

Sassenach

 

 

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Lb11

I am on 10 mg of Prozac 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Lb.

 

What effects do you feel from Prozac?

 

Prozac and Effexor is not a recommended drug combination.

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Lb11

 Not really any different. I have just had a lot of mood swings and been depressed ever since decreasing Effexor. And the Prozac hasn’t helped or changed anything really either way 

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Lb11
On 10/22/2019 at 1:37 PM, Altostrata said:

Welcome, Lb.

 

What effects do you feel from Prozac?

 

Prozac and Effexor is not a recommended drug combination.

On 10/21/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sassenach said:

Hello     LB   and welcome to SA.

 

This site is run entirely by volunteer Administrators and Moderators, all have been through or going through withdrawal.

There are no commercial interests or influences  involved .

 

I am sorry you are having such a rough time but you are now in the right place.

 

Unfortunately I am very short of time to do a full intro.

You are suffering W/D (withdrawal symptoms) because of your sudden dose cut.

What symptoms are you currently experiencing?

dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

Please see the links below to explain what is happening to you:

why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

What dose of Prozac did he prescribe?

 

Do not do this under any circumstances.

 

As soon as we recieve the drugs info. we can assess your situation.

In the meantime DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGE TO YOUR CURRENT MEDS please.

Please feel free to browse the site, it is a wealth of info.

Other members threads will give you an insight and the opportunity to share experiences.

 

Again welcome.

 

Sassenach

 

 

 

On 10/21/2019 at 2:32 PM, Sassenach said:

Hello     LB   and welcome to SA.

 

This site is run entirely by volunteer Administrators and Moderators, all have been through or going through withdrawal.

There are no commercial interests or influences  involved .

 

I am sorry you are having such a rough time but you are now in the right place.

 

Unfortunately I am very short of time to do a full intro.

You are suffering W/D (withdrawal symptoms) because of your sudden dose cut.

What symptoms are you currently experiencing?

dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

Please see the links below to explain what is happening to you:

why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

What dose of Prozac did he prescribe?

 

Do not do this under any circumstances.

 

As soon as we recieve the drugs info. we can assess your situation.

In the meantime DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGE TO YOUR CURRENT MEDS please.

Please feel free to browse the site, it is a wealth of info.

Other members threads will give you an insight and the opportunity to share experiences.

 

Again welcome.

 

Sassenach

 

 

What do you think I should do?  I am on Prozac 10 mg and venlafaxine 37.5?

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Lynnardgirl

Can some one reply Lb11 she is having a hard time !  She has been waiting for a reply 

thank you

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Lb11
Please read @Altostrata

Hello. I have been taking Effexor 75 mg since 9/2018 for anxiety and then in July 2019 went to 37.5 mg and have felt really depressed. Something I have never suffered from before. My doctor added 10 mg of Prozac 3 weeks ago so now I’m currently on 37.5 mg Effexor and 10 mg Prozac with feelings of depression. I don’t know what to do to stop feeling these horrible withdrawals. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I really need help. Thanks 

 

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Altostrata

Lb, can you explain more about your daily symptom pattern?

 

What do you mean by "mood swings"? What times of day do you take your drugs, at what dosages? Are your symptoms better or worse at certain times of day? How's your sleep?

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Lynnardgirl

LB 11 so glad you found this site 

they are very helpful 

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Lb11
6 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Lb, can you explain more about your daily symptom pattern?

 

What do you mean by "mood swings"? What times of day do you take your drugs, at what dosages? Are your symptoms better or worse at certain times of day? How's your sleep?

 Some times for 3-4 days I feel no depression and then for a day or two at a time I can feel extremely depressed for no reason. I take 10 mg Prozac and 37.5 mg Effexor both in the morning and usually afternoons are worse. But it has made me feel very emotional and depressed and like I said one day I can be fine and the next I will feel very depressed. The only time I have trouble sleeping is if I feel depressed. This all started almost immediately when I cut my Effexor dosage in half. My doctor did not give me any tapering instructions and I didn’t know it was from withdrawls. I do not know how to stop this depression from coming out of no where. 

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Altostrata

Typically, withdrawal symptoms come in The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

It sounds like that is what you are experiencing. Has the frequency of the bad waves increased or decreased since you added Prozac?

 

Nice of your doctor to tell you you're on your own -- at least he didn't lie to you.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

 

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Lb11
9 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Typically, withdrawal symptoms come in The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

It sounds like that is what you are experiencing. Has the frequency of the bad waves increased or decreased since you added Prozac?

 

Nice of your doctor to tell you you're on your own -- at least he didn't lie to you.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

 

Ok I added my drug and withdrawal history in signerature. I would say it may be slightly less time with the frequency of bad waves but it has seemed like when the bad hits it seems more severe. It has seemed 3-4 days good 2 days bad is my trend currently. There has not been a major change since Prozac has been added. 

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Altostrata

Is this a regular 5-day, 2-day cycle or a rough proportion -- 5/2 good to bad days? Do the bad days occur after any particular trigger, maybe late nights or a glass of wine?

 

5/2 in favor of good days is not too bad withdrawal syndrome-wise.

 

Are you taking the kind of Effexor that comes in a capsule filled with small beads?

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Lb11
4 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Is this a regular 5-day, 2-day cycle or a rough proportion -- 5/2 good to bad days? Do the bad days occur after any particular trigger, maybe late nights or a glass of wine?

 

5/2 in favor of good days is not too bad withdrawal syndrome-wise.

 

Are you taking the kind of Effexor that comes in a capsule filled with small beads?

Yes I am taking it filled with small beads. And that’s a rough estimate. Some weeks it definitely is more than two days but the past week it was 5/2. Before then I would probably say it was 4/3 and that’s how it usually is. Some bad days I have drank the night before but usually only one to two drinks max. Sometimes they occur after no drinking as well though. For example last Saturday and Sunday were horrible. And I drank both last Friday and Saturday. This week Friday was kind of bad and yesterday was horrible. I drank a little Friday night but did not Thursday night. And yes I am very thankful that it’s only 4/3 for my windows and waves mostly. But it seems when I am feeling depressed. It does seem like my world is truly crashing down and I will never be better again. I get extremely discouraged and emotional. But I almost never just shut down and just get in bed. I still go to work and make myself do things even if I am suffering very badly because I am trying my best to not let these withdrawal symptoms win. But I makes me feel so miserable and emotional unstable which really freaks me out and makes me feel out of control of my own emotions 

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Erell

Hi Lb11

 

I Would very strongly advise you To not drink alcohol at all. I dont judge  you : during my benzo taper, I used To drink with friends, wanting to have a "normal" life. But now I can tell it messed up my mood, and doesn't worth it!

 

Alcohol Will only mess you up while all your brain need is quiet time. You have good days, please don't spoil them.

 

best wishes!

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Altostrata

I agree with Erell, even a small, very normal amount of alcohol will trigger an upset in a person whose nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal.

 

If you don't drink alcohol -- not even a little bit -- my guess is you'll stabilize from the Effexor reduction without complications. It could be that adding the Prozac was unnecessary.

 

That leaves you on this Effexor-Prozac combination. Here are your choices:

 

- Effexor can be difficult to taper, doctors often substitute Prozac because it's somewhat easier to taper. (But your doctor forgot to get you off Effexor.)

 

- Generally, doctors should never prescribe an SNRI, such as Effexor, with an SSRI, such as Prozac, the combination can be too stimulating. So taking the two drugs together is probably not a good long-term plan. Besides, you're not seeing any benefit from the combination.

 

- You've been taking Prozac for less than a month, your risk of withdrawal from that is theoretically lower. Theoretically, you could gradually go off Prozac over a few weeks, then taper Effexor more slowly using bead-counting Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

BUT, you might find backing out of Prozac is not that easy, your nervous system has become accustomed to it.

 

- However, you might want to complete the switch to Prozac to go off Effexor, then taper Prozac. Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine) This means a fast taper off Effexor. Again, you may find this difficult even if you're taking Prozac.

 

I cannot predict the best route for you. What you need to do for now is not drink at all or do anything else that will rock the boat for a week, let your nervous system settle down. Keep daily notes of when you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptom pattern in this format Keep daily notes of drug schedule and symptoms to track patterns and progress

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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Lb11
51 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

I agree with Erell, even a small, very normal amount of alcohol will trigger an upset in a person whose nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal.

 

If you don't drink alcohol -- not even a little bit -- my guess is you'll stabilize from the Effexor reduction without complications. It could be that adding the Prozac was unnecessary.

 

That leaves you on this Effexor-Prozac combination. Here are your choices:

 

- Effexor can be difficult to taper, doctors often substitute Prozac because it's somewhat easier to taper. (But your doctor forgot to get you off Effexor.)

 

- Generally, doctors should never prescribe an SNRI, such as Effexor, with an SSRI, such as Prozac, the combination can be too stimulating. So taking the two drugs together is probably not a good long-term plan. Besides, you're not seeing any benefit from the combination.

 

- You've been taking Prozac for less than a month, your risk of withdrawal from that is theoretically lower. Theoretically, you could gradually go off Prozac over a few weeks, then taper Effexor more slowly using bead-counting Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

BUT, you might find backing out of Prozac is not that easy, your nervous system has become accustomed to it.

 

- However, you might want to complete the switch to Prozac to go off Effexor, then taper Prozac. Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine) This means a fast taper off Effexor. Again, you may find this difficult even if you're taking Prozac.

 

I cannot predict the best route for you. What you need to do for now is not drink at all or do anything else that will rock the boat for a week, let your nervous system settle down. Keep daily notes of when you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptom pattern in this format Keep daily notes of drug schedule and symptoms to track patterns and progress

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

Okay I will stop drinking alcohol for the time being. My two concerns are if I get off Prozac or Effexor at the time being what if I become much worse? And also with the withdrawals what if it is still going to get worse before it gets better. I feel so depressed some days and I don’t know if I’m on the up hill yet 

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Altostrata

We can't predict the future. As I've outlined above, you've got some choices. You could even stay on the drug combination. It depends what your goals are.

 

As this is a site for going off drugs, we can counsel you in that, but we cannot help you fine-tune a drug cocktail with the intention of staying on it.

 

As long as you're taking these drugs, you can expect a bad reaction when you drink alcohol. If you should go off them, you still may not be able to drink for a long time, while your nervous system recovers.

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Lb11
17 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

We can't predict the future. As I've outlined above, you've got some choices. You could even stay on the drug combination. It depends what your goals are.

 

As this is a site for going off drugs, we can counsel you in that, but we cannot help you fine-tune a drug cocktail with the intention of staying on it.

 

As long as you're taking these drugs, you can expect a bad reaction when you drink alcohol. If you should go off them, you still may not be able to drink for a long time, while your nervous system recovers.

Yes I understand. I definitely want to get off the medication. I will try and decide what the plan will be and get back to you. Thank you for your time

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Lb11

Hello I posted in here a long time ago but need advice again. I have been taking Effexor 75 mg since 9/2018 for anxiety and then in July 2019 went to 37.5 mg and have felt really depressed ever since .  I have never suffered from depression before until I changed my dosage. And now it’s most of my days. My doctor added 10 mg of Prozac 10/2019 so now I’m currently on 37.5 mg Effexor and 10 mg Prozac with feelings of depression. I don’t know what to do to stop feeling so depressed. I have not changed any medication since October of last year and sometimes feel some relief. But mostly feel depressed which really scares me because I never struggled with this before until I went from 75 to 37.5 of effexor. Do you think I’m still having withdrawals or what is going on? I would like to go to a doctor and find a way to get relief but I am scared that they will change meds and make me even worse. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I really need help. Thanks 

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ChessieCat
17 minutes ago, Lb11 said:

what is going on?

 

It could possibly be (I personally think that it is highly likely) serotonin syndrome from taking both Effexor and Prozac.  The only way to treat this is to reduce the drugs.  It is best to only reduce one drug at a time.

 

I suggest that you do some online research about serotonin syndrome.  I also suggest that you find a better doctor.  Use these for all the drugs you are currently taking, including alcohol if you are consuming it:

 

https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

 

https://reference.medscape.com/drug-interactionchecker

 

As Alto stated previously:

 

On 10/28/2019 at 5:04 AM, Altostrata said:

We can't predict the future. As I've outlined above, you've got some choices. You could even stay on the drug combination. It depends what your goals are.

 

As this is a site for going off drugs, we can counsel you in that, but we cannot help you fine-tune a drug cocktail with the intention of staying on it.

 

Please let us know when you are ready to taper.  It will be your decision which drug you choose to taper first.  Both drugs are antidepressants, however Effexor is an SNRI and Prozac is long life SSRI.  Do not taper both drugs at the same time.  However you could reduce one drug for a while, hold for a short while and then taper the other drug for a while and hold for a short while, continuing to alternate between the two.  Listen to your body and hold as required.

 

On 10/28/2019 at 4:53 AM, Lb11 said:

Okay I will stop drinking alcohol for the time being.

 

Are you still abstaining from alcohol?  If not, I suggest that you do.

 

 

Here are the tapering topics for your information:

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

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Altostrata

What do you mean by "depression"?

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Lb11

My ultimate goal is to get off medication but I want to get off it safely and that’s how I don’t know how. Is it okay for me to taper off the effexor even if I’m having depression? I just heard before I need to “stabilize” before tapering again and I just want to try to be as safe and cautious as I can. I would love to get off this medication for good though Because I feel like it’s cause me more problems than I began with. And what I mean by depression is just heavy feelings of sadness hit me out of nowhere and can stay for long periods of time. I feel very tired and low energy and just very upset compared to what I used to be. I have a lot less pleasure doing things in life like I used to. Before this medication I would say I was very happy just anxious and never had struggled with an abnormal or prolonged level of sadness like I deal with quite frequently now 

And yes I still drink alcohol occasional. Only one or two drinks when I do 

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Lb11
14 hours ago, Altostrata said:

What do you mean by "depression"?

So do you think I can’t stop feeling depressed since I am taking both together? I am just scared to lower one and feel worse. But do you think it’s is keeping me from stabilizing taking two?

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ChessieCat

Alto and I have both already commented on your drug combination being an issue. 

 

That was back in October last year, 7 months ago!

 

On 10/23/2019 at 4:37 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Prozac and Effexor is not a recommended drug combination.

 

 

Have you done any research as I suggest above?

 

You are taking 2 activating drugs.  It could be that your body is fighting back against this and causing the depression.  People who are taking too much or too many sedating drugs sometimes have the same thing happen except they start feeling more activated.  The body is constantly trying to rebalance (ie establish equilibrium) itself.  When we add drugs it naturally starts to try to return to "factory settings".

 

It is most like the drug combination that you are taking that is causing some/most/all of the issues that you currently experience.

 

The only way to find out if this is the case would be to start reducing one of the drugs.  I've already discussed how you might do this.

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat
23 hours ago, Lb11 said:

 

I feel very tired and low energy and just very upset compared to what I used to be.

 

 

I will tell you about what happened to me.

 

I have experienced mild serotonin syndrome from too high a dose of Pristiq.  Before I reduced my dose I would sleep at least 2 hours most days of the week and still sleep 8-9 hours through the night.  My diastolic blood pressure increased a lot after my dose was increased from 50mg to 100mg (the doctor did not connect it to the increased dose and upped my BP medication).  I had trouble concentrating.  I was sweating a lot even in the middle of winter.  My calf muscles would tighten up whenever I walked even a short distance.  I had very little enthusiasm and could only do the bare minimum.  I felt unsettled, it felt a bit like anxiety but it was different, I felt on edge all the time.  I felt depressed and having a sleep was a reprieve.  I struggled to get through a day for many months and considered suicide.

 

It wasn't until I had reduced my dose and many of the above symptoms lessened or went, that I actually recognised that I had been experiencing them.

 

I've been tapering since October 2015 and about 3 years ago my emotions started to return.  I'm now down to 0.875mg and doing really well. 

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Altostrata
23 hours ago, Lb11 said:

And yes I still drink alcohol occasional. Only one or two drinks when I do 

 

Strongly recommend you stop drinking altogether while taking psychiatric drugs.

 

This feeling you describe is a common effect of antidepressants. We call it emotional anesthesia. You might say it's the way the drugs "work" -- they dull your feelings. Sometimes they make you very sluggish and apathetic. This is not depression, and taking more antidepressants for it doesn't make it better.

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Lb11

Okay I will totally stop drinking. I will start to lower one of the doses. They are definitely not helping both together. I am still trying to decide which drug is better to lower but I will definitely lower one 

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ChessieCat

Please note that it takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full strength in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  It is important to be patient and try and stay as calm as possible.  Worry and anxiety can cause symptoms in the body  which are not related to the reinstatement.  There is a diagram on this page that lists how the body can react when you are anxious.  https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/anxiety.htm

 

Over the next few days you may find that you notice every sensation in your body.  It's important to try and be an impartial observer, to observe without going down the rabbit hole over every little thing you notice.  Observe but don't continue to focus on it.  And yes, we understand that this can be difficult to do.

 

We strongly encouragement members to learn and use non-drug-techniques-to-cope

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Altostrata

Is your Effexor in capsules containing tiny beads? I'd reduce that first.

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Lb11
On 6/9/2020 at 11:48 AM, Altostrata said:

Is your Effexor in capsules containing tiny beads? I'd reduce that first.

Yes I have the tiny beads. Do you think once I start withdrawal the effexor I will get worse than I am now? I know you guys may not know the answer but I am just trying to figure out what to expect. I’m planning to start tapering this week 

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Lb11
On 6/9/2020 at 11:48 AM, Altostrata said:

Is your Effexor in capsules containing tiny beads? I'd reduce that first.

Yes I have the tiny beads. Do you think once I start withdrawal the effexor I will get worse than I am now? I know you guys may not know the answer but I am just trying to figure out what to expect. I’m planning to start tapering this week 

 

okay so I just spoke with a psychiatrist  she told me she does not think I have serotonin syndrome because I would be having tremors, a fever, muscle rigidity and lot of other things and she said it would be extremely rare to have that on such a low dose of both. I would have to be on very high dosages. But she said there are multiple reasons I could be depressed including the withdrawal from Effexor and possible depression from having such bad anxiety as well. She said she thinks we need to bridge since I’m already on Prozac and no bad side effects so raise my Prozac dose to 20 mg and if when I feel better then start a slow taper off the effexor. Once I’m totally off the effexor she wants to taper the Prozac and also recommends me going to therapy and finding coping skills to totally be off meds. What do you guys think? 

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Altostrata

Nobody said anything about serotonin syndrome.

 

On 10/27/2019 at 10:00 AM, Altostrata said:

- Generally, doctors should never prescribe an SNRI, such as Effexor, with an SSRI, such as Prozac, the combination can be too stimulating. So taking the two drugs together is probably not a good long-term plan. Besides, you're not seeing any benefit from the combination.

 

On 6/8/2020 at 7:32 PM, Altostrata said:

This feeling you describe is a common effect of antidepressants. We call it emotional anesthesia. You might say it's the way the drugs "work" -- they dull your feelings. Sometimes they make you very sluggish and apathetic. This is not depression, and taking more antidepressants for it doesn't make it better.

 

The sensation you call "depression" and then enlarge upon it by worrying about it is likely a normal effect of taking antidepressants. Your occasional drinking probably exacerbates the adverse drug effects.

 

This is a site for going off drugs. We do not treat "depression". If you think you need drugs for depression, continue to see that psychiatrist. If you want help reducing or minimizing your drugs, we can answer your questions.

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