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Ugh5000: Prozac Withdrawal Help


Ugh5000

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Ugh5000

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I am very happy to have found this site.  Any help that could be offered would be greatly appreciated.  I hope today is a better day for all of you.

 

I have been taking SSRIs for about 18 years for OCD.  The main drugs I have taken in order are Celexa, Lexapro, and Prozac.

 

I recently came off of Prozac under a Psychiatrist's guidance.  

 

I have been off of Prozac for 5 weeks and 2 days.

 

The withdrawal has been absolutely miserable.

 

I have experienced extreme rage, irritability, brain fog, dizziness, crawling skin, violent thoughts and insomnia.

 

The worst side effects being anger and insomnia.

 

The anger leads to me lashing out and often breaking things or punching myself in the face repeatedly.

 

The insomnia has made coping with all of this even more challenging as I can only seem to sleep about 3 or 4 hrs in the morning before my son and wife wake up.

 

This is the taper I did with my doctor (he assured me this was appropriate and that Prozac was the easiest SSRI to quit):

 

60mg daily was my prescription for the past year.

 

For the first month I was advised to take 40mg.

 

The second month 20mg...

 

And then done.  Drug free.  Yea!  

 

This obviously is not the case.

 

So, after now being off for 5 weeks and two days.  Should I continue to tough it out.  Or should I take a few steps back and start a lower dosage with a slower taper?  I'm not sure what to do.  I'm barely functioning now.  If I knew I only had another week or so I would tough it out...but I'm afraid this could go on for a long time.  Which would make me a pretty horrible husband, father, human being.

 

Any help is much appreciated.  Thank you.

 

Edited by Gridley

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Ugh5000.  As you have learned, doctors know nothing about safe tapering and withdrawal.

 

So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing here is some information on withdrawal.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.   

 

Reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  

 

Reinstatement isn't a guarantee of diminished symptoms for everyone but it's the best tactic available.  You're still in the time period where reinstatement predictably works, up to 3 months after last dose.  It is best to reinstate as soon as possible after withdrawal symptoms occur. We usually suggest a much smaller reinstatement dose than your last dose.  These drugs are strong, and when reinstating it is better to start with a small amount and increase if symptoms remain unbearable. Your system has become sensitized and If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you become unstable.  Then, once you've stabilized on that dosage, which can take several months,  you can begin a 10% per month taper down to zero.   Please read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.

 

If you want to reinstate, I suggest reinstating 1mg Prozac.  If 1mg is enough, it still may take some weeks or months for your nervous system to settle down. You probably will continue to have waves and windows (downs and ups), but symptoms won't be as intense.  Please let us know what you decide to do and keep us updated on how you're feeling.

 

The following link tells how to get the 1mg dose you'll need for your reinstatement.

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium (glycinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.

We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Gridley,

 

Thank you for all the information.

 

I'm reading up on all the links you have sent.

 

I have also reached out to my doc about reinstating a very small dose.

 

Anyone else really want to punch their doctor in the face?

 

Payed a small fortune for **** advice.

 

Apologies I'm constantly angry.

 

I hope everyone has a great day.

 

 

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ugh5000: Prozac Withdrawl Help

Still not sleeping.

 

Still angry all the time.

 

Still punching myself.

 

Liquid prozac arrives tomorrow for reinstatement.

 

Good luck everyone.

 

 

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

Link to post
  • Mentor

@Ugh5000 Sorry to hear about your struggles. I get that you are angry and yes doctors have no clue about tapering. I hope that the reinstatement will help you. It is a long journey for many of us here, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are many success stories in here which I would recommend to read. When I am stuck in a wave I read up on those stories to keep reminding myself that this will all come to an end.

Have faith and be kind to yourself. 
My best wishes to you🙏

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ugh5000: Prozac Withdrawal Help
  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the kind words Hanna.

 

My liquid Prozac has arrived.  

 

However, I haven't touched it.  

 

I didn't reinstate b/c I started feeling better and I thought "****, it's over...I've made it".

 

And then back to hell again.

 

I've now read more...as I only log on when things are unbearable...and I now know about windows and waves.

 

I've already been through a couple of each.

 

Can't decide on reinstating though.  I don't want to touch something that I feel like has already destroyed me.

 

But, I also don't want to miss the opportunity to reinstate as I'm currently just over two months since my last dose..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

Link to post

Should I reinstate or not?  I'm torn.

 

Withdrawal is tearing me apart and affecting my relationship with my wife and son (negatively of course), but the idea of battling this withdrawal all over again at a later point is terrifying to. 

 

And maybe it will end soon...

 

Or maybe it won't and I will miss any chance at successfully reinstating.

 

Maybe I should just keep going.  I'm 2 months and 5 days out from a fast taper now.  My brain is so foggy which makes this even harder.

 

I have the liquid Prozac now, but I'm so angry at Prozac and my experiences with psychiatrists that I don't want to touch it.  But, maybe I need to?

 

If I were to reinstate at a low dose and stabilize.  Then begin tapering again would the withdrawal symptoms be less because the dose would be lesser?

 

I know these questions are impossible to answer.  But, I can decide and don't know who else to ask.

 

What it if I try the 1mg reinstatement and it doesn't help do I then have to slow taper off 1mg?  That seems impossible.

 

Any advice is welcome and would be considered.  Thanks for reading.

 

Be well.

 

 

 

 

 

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

Link to post
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Ugh5000 said:

 

If I were to reinstate at a low dose and stabilize.  Then begin tapering again would the withdrawal symptoms be less because the dose would be lesser?

The withdrawal symptoms would be less because you would be tapering off the 1mg very slowly, no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks, as opposed to what was basically a cold turkey the last time.  Tapering at 10% will not be difficult to do with the liquid.

 

.

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

After much deliberation I decided to re-instate.

 

When I set out to stop SSRIs I never set out to suffer or have a negative impact on my family.  I even told my doctor as such.

 

However, he gave me **** advice and insurance that everything would be ok.  So, I kept riding it out.  But, nothing was improving and everyone around me was starting to really worry about me.

 

So,  I reinstated Prozac yesterday at .8mg.  As the goal is to get of the drugs, but be able to function.  I went with .8mg instead of 1mg as .8 was easier to consistently pull with the syringe I have.  I'm going to set out to get a better syringe and the special top for my liquid today.  I'm a bit upset as I thought I could manage without the special top for the first couple days, but today I fear I gave myself a little more than yesterday.  Trying to go easy on myself.  It's hard.

 

Good luck everyone.

 

 

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

Link to post

Maybe it's a window, but I'm already feeling more stable after reinstating only .8 mg after 2 months and a week or so of no meds.  We'll see...

2003–2008 Celexa and lexapro...various dosages
2008 Fast tapered myself as I was abroad and running out of meds.  Horrible withdrawal.
2008-2019 Lexapro 40mg
2019-2020 Prozac 60mg - wanted to see if I could get more relief with a different drug if not I wanted to stop meds
Feb 2020 decided Prozac was no better start taper (I paid $450 for this advice) 40mg for 1 month, 20 for 1 month, 0

Mar 25 last time I took anything

Currently: Extreme anger, sleeplessness (restless legs, spasms), confusion, obsessive imagery, violent thoughts

Link to post
  • Moderator
56 minutes ago, Ugh5000 said:

I'm already feeling more stable after reinstating only .8 mg

That's great, Ugh5000.  Sometimes the effects of reinstatement are fast.  It take a little more than a week for the reinstatement to reach full state in your system, and you should slowly feel better over that time.  Then it can take weeks or even months for things to settle down.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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