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Go2zero: getting off Wellbutrin and Prozac


Go2zero

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Hello I am a new member on this website, but I have learned a lot here last 2 years finding lots of answers to my questions. Until now I could do without personal advice.

 

But I am having some specific questions now. Hope you can help me. And also hoping I can help others as well with everything I learned by now.

 

First my background:

 

In 1993 at the age of 34, I had a very heavy burnout, which changed my life completely over the following years.

 

In those days it wasn’t sure that it was a burnout (there was not so much known about that as nowadays). It all started with glandular fever and I was extremely tired. The extreme tiredness did not go away and I was becoming somewhat depressed. I visited a psychiatrist for the first time in my life. He said the cause was from my traumatic childhood. He gave me Anafranil (Clomipramine) as an antidepressant and we talked every 2 weeks. The Anafranil was terrible. It did not do anything good for me and the side effects were terrible. So I stopped. Then he gave me Paxil. That was shortly on the market in Holland then. I used it for a few months, and again the side effects were terrible and no positive effects at all. 

 

I decided to stop the medication and I got severe discontinuation effects. My psychiatrist said that was not possible and it would be an illusion between my ears he said. Shortly after the psychiatrist died suddenly and I went from one psychiatrist to another. I did not take any medication anymore. Only talking therapy, which did not bring anything when I look back.

 

I started to find relief on the spiritual and alternative path and that helped me much better than the medical path. Although my burnout problems stayed (extremely tired / lack of energy and somewhat light depressed feelings and anxiety now and then).

 

In 2004 I became a father of a beautiful daughter, but the relationship with her mother was very bad unfortunately. I decided to stay in this relationship because I was afraid of hurting my daughter emotionally when we would split up. Later I learned that this was not the best decision. In 2006 I could not handle the stressful situation at home anymore and I started to develop severe panic attacks.

 

Again I wanted to protect my daughter emotionally and I went again to another psychiatrist who was very specialized in medication. During a period of 6-12 months I was given all kinds of SSRI’s. On nearly all I reacted very badly with severe side effects and hardly or no good results.

 

Then I was given Lexapro (escitalopram) which helped nearly instantly on my panic attacks. The psychiatrist told me that Lexapro would hardly give any side effects and that stopping the medication in future would not give serious problems. 

 

I was so happy that the panic attacks were under control and that I could handle the situation at home better then. But I became even more tired than before, because a side effect of Lexapro. Also my sexual life went almost to zero because of this SSRI. Then the psychiatrist came up with Wellbutrin (bupropion). That could give me more energy and might also solve the sexual problems. The combination of Escitalopram (10mg) and Wellbutrin XR (150 mg) would do the trick, he thought. I was not keen on taking more than 1 medication, but he convinced me that I could stop any moment with Wellbutrin and that it would not give any problem to discontinue. I believed him (unfortunately)

 

After a while I went from 10mg to 5mg Lexapro, which still did the trick, but without less tiredness.

 

After using this combination for 1½ until 2 years, I wanted to quit. I was doing quite OK and did not wanted to use such medication for an extreme long period of time.

 

This is where the roller coaster started….. By then (end of 2009) without having the information I have now about quitting these drugs, unfortunately.

 

I started to have strange feelings and my psychiatrist let me go up and down with dosages of Lexapro between 5 and 10mg, to see what the results would be. Also, he put me on and off the Wellbutrin to see what worked (that was not a problem I was told, since no continuation problems…)

 

End of 2009 I quit completely (Lexapro in some small steps to zero over several weeks and Wellbutrin cold turkey (both according to advice psychiatrist).

 

It went well, but after 3 months I was feeling worse than ever. Panic attacks and terrible feelings that made me wanting to die!

 

My psychiatrist and house doctor both said that I obviously needed the medication and that I should start it again. Which I believed and did.

 

Real relief wasn’t there for a long period. I could not find the balance again. My psychiatrist let me change doses of both drugs to find a new balance.

 

Spring 2011

 

After nearly 1 year looking for the right dosage I found some balance again. Which resulted in 5mg Lexapro and 150 mg Wellbutrin XR.

 

Spring 2012 – end of 2013

 

I tried again to quit medications. This time taking 18 months to quit the 5mg Lexapro in small steps. Later in year decreasing Wellbutrin 150mg every other day (as I was advised….!) and end of 2013 cold turkey with the Wellbutrin (since I was still believing that was without any risk as I was told…)

 

Spring/summer 2014

 

I felt OK for several months without medication and I got suddenly more energy. I woke up much earlier automatically. I really thought I was OK now and also totally off the medication. But suddenly I hardly could not sleep again. Slowly I was feeling worse and worse. And then I developed psychoses at night (which I never had before in my life).

 

My life became a hell! I did not want to start medication again, but my doctor told me I really had to start again. I was feeling so terrible and I was not myself anymore in any way… I had to fight against unknown forces in me that wanted me death. So I started again on medication. First only with Lexapro. Which did not do the trick then and later also Wellbutrin. 

 

Very slowly I started to feel better with some ups and more downs. Again it took nearly a year before I really felt better and more or less stable (summer 2015). I was taking 5 mg Lexapro and 150 mg Wellbutrin XR then.

 

Beginning of 2016 

 

I decreased doses Lexapro from 5 to 2,5mg. Which went well. Stayed on 150mg Wellbutrin per day

 

November 2016

 

Went down to 1 pill of Wellbutrin  XR 150mg every other day. Stayed on Lexapro 2,5 mg. Went well also.

 

July 2017

 

I went to 1 pill of Wellbutrin  XR 150mg every 3 days. After a week or so I got the alarming feelings again of waking up early with a lot of energy!  To stabilize I went back to 1 Wellbutrin per day (not clever with the knowledge that I have now….)

 

IMPORTANT:

 

This is where I got for the first time the idea that Wellbutrin might play an important role in the discontinuation effects. Until here I really was convinced (told) that Wellbutrin could not give discontinuation problems.

 

November 2017 – February 2018

 

I decreased the dosage of Lexapro in small steps from 2,5 to 0,6mg. And in the same period I went down with Wellbutrin from 150mg to 66mg.  All with little discontinuation problems (or they came months later again perhaps, as often happened when I look back with the knowledge I have now).

 

A problem with weaning off Wellbutrin is that in Europe ONLY the 150mg is on the market. And it is said that these should not be cut. I started to do my own research then as I learned that taking Wellbutrin on alternating days is asking for trouble.

 

I found out that cutting the Wellbutrin XR just changes it to instant release. So I bought myself a scale that can weigh milligrams. I divided my daily dose of Wellbutrin over 4 parts. And that worked.

 

April 2018

 

I went down from 66 to 56 mg Wellbutrin and shortly after I got discontinuation effects.

 

I was advised by one of the “best” professors in Psychiatry in The Netherlands that it might be better to get away from the Wellbutrin first. And to leave the 0,6mg Lexapro during that weaning off. Which I did.

 

Still thinking that getting off Wellbutrin should not be so difficult (when taking a smaller dose daily instead of alternating days), I went down in small steps of maximum 10% as of here.

 

April – August 2018

 

I went down in small steps from 56 mg to 37,5mg Wellbutrin. All the time staying on Lexapro 0,6mg. The steps were never more then 10%. Mostly 1 step down every 3-5 weeks. I had sometimes heavy discontinuation effects which lasted most of the times 2-4 

weeks.

 

Getting under 50mg Wellbutrin per day, the negative effects became worse and worse and were also taking more time to disappear again.

 

After reaching the 37,5mg I had reached a point where I really could not go further down again. I was feeling so terrible. 

 

I was extremely tired, depressed, anxious, negative thoughts (also thoughts of suicide), forgetting things, making lots of mistakes, concentration problems, irritated, no appetite, nausea, hart beating, feeling of burning on the inside skin, blurred vision.

 

This situation remained more or less until March 2019 with several rebounds, so until 7 months after the last dosage change.

 

March 2019 – May 2019

 

I decided now to try to wean of the Lexapro first. So before stopping Wellbutrin. Since stopping Wellbutrin became more and more difficult

 

I went down in small steps from 0,6mg to 0,3mg Lexapro.

 

I also went down in several small steps with Wellbutrin from 37,5 to 35,3mg (with knowledge of now not clever to do both in same period…) But still it was only 6% down divided over several steps and months…

 

After reaching the 0,3mg level of Lexapro it went wrong again. Extreme problems with sleeping. Comparable with the crisis I had in 2014 where I had the psychoses several times at night. 

 

May 2019-December 2019

 

I learned about the Prozac switch. I discussed it with my doctor and he thought it might be a good idea. So I did. 

 

Eventually the problems became worse and worse. I do not know for sure if it had to do with reaching almost the zero point for Lexapro or if it had to do with the small dosage change of Wellbutrin. I guess it had to do with reaching the zero point of Lexapro and then stopping Lexapro completely after the Prozac switch… So maybe it was a sort of “cold turkey” effect om the Lexapro (although only 0,3mg and although the Prozac switch).

 

The sleeping problems were so extreme that I felt that psychoses could come any moment. I tried several sleeping medication, but none helped. In the end I was given Seroquel which helped, at only 12mg per night. I used it only for 4 weeks and weaned it off to zero in another 2 weeks. In the meanwhile I had gone up with the dose of Prozac from 0,6mg (equivalent of 0,3 mg Lexapro when doing the Prozac switch) to 1,2mg Prozac and still 35,3 mg Wellbutrin

 

IMPORTANT:

 

I found information that Wellbutrin slows down the metabolism of SSRI’s. Which means that going down in doses Wellbutrin speeds up the metabolism of the SSRI, which probably has the same effect as lowering the dose of the SSRI.

 

So even if one does not lower the dose of a SSRI, the effect is felt as such after lowering the dose of Wellbutrin….!

 

December 2019 – February 2020

 

I was having a lot of discontinuation problems from December until February 2020. First With lots of rebounds. Slowly some windows were coming, slowly getting longer and more often. End of February I was feeling better again.

 

February - April 2020

 

Decreased Prozac from 1,2 mg to 1,05 mg over several small steps. I thought that after being almost 1 year stable on Wellbutrin I could go down there as well (not clever again…). So I went down from 35,3mg to 34,3mg (just 3%). And some weeks later from 34,3 to 33,3mg.

 

That is where it went probably wrong again…

 

About 10 day after the last dosage lowering of Wellbutrin, I started to feel again effects that almost certainly have to do with the Wellbutrin. But still not fully sure since I am also still on a very low dose of Prozac. That might have effects as well. And then there are the possible effects between both drugs…

 

August 31, 2020

 

Anyhow, It is now 5 months after the last (small) dosage change of Wellbutrin. Still having rebounds from that. I decided that I will remain on the level of the last doses change, i.e. 33,3mg, until I am completely off the Prozac

 

In the meanwhile, I went down extremely slow with the Prozac from 1,05 mg to 0,83mg in steps of only 2-3%. In this current tempo, going down to zero with Prozac, will certainly take me another 6-8 months. If I make that in such a period…..  I am dividing 1 pill of 20 mg in 24 daily dosages. One would think that one could stop by at this low dosage, but I am really afraid of doing so, because all my earlier experiences.

 

Plan and Questions

 

OK, this is a very long background story. But I hope it helps with the advice I am looking for.

 

My plan is to leave the dosage of Wellbutrin on 33,3mg as long as I am taking only the smallest dosage of Prozac. 

 

This because I have found that Wellbutrin is influencing the metabolism of Prozac. And I have read more then once that stopping Wellbutrin can be very difficult when also taking a SSRI. Hopefully it will be easier (as some say) to quit Wellbutrin after having stopped Prozac.

 

After fully stopping Prozac I want to wait for at least 3 months before doing a dosage lowering of Wellbutrin. This because of possible rebounds after stopping Prozac.

 

When I remain stable, I plan to lower the dose of Wellbutrin with only 3%. Then wait for 4 weeks and then another 3%. If that works out OK, maybe a step of 5% and so on.

 

 Questions:

 

1)    What do the moderators think of my plan? Any advice or recommendations?

 

2)    At which dosage level would it be safe to stop completely with Prozac? I was thinking about going down to 0,15mg which is only 1/70 of 1 pill (so 1 pill divided over more then 2 months). But still then I am not sure if that is safe to stop.

 

3)    Is there any experience if it is true that stopping Wellbutrin is easier when one is not taking a SSRI anymore next to it? I hope so, because getting of Wellbutrin seems to be getting more and more difficult at this dosage level I am. And every small step down asks for a heavy recovering period of about 8 months now…

 

Some additive information:

 

I take daily:

 

high doses Fish Oil (3000mg)

Magnesium 100 mg

Sometimes 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety

Sometimes 50mg of L-Theanine when having severe discontinuation effects probably caused by Wellbutrin

Fish oil, magnesium , lavender oil

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font size

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Go2zero: getting off Wellbutrin and Prozac
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Go2Zero.  Thanks for completing your drug signature.

 

I'm not aware of the relative ease in going off Wellbutrin if one isn't also on an SSRI, but that doesn't mean that it isn't the case.  In any event, since you've gotten so low on the Prozac, it makes sense to get off it first and deal with Wellbutrin with a clear playing field of only one drug to deal with.  It's a good idea to wait three months after getting off Prozac before you start the Wellbutrin taper.  Your 3% taper plan also is fine.  You'll just have to see if it's too much.  

 

You're probably aware of our basic recommendation to taper no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Your 3% plan is also fine.  You'll just have to see if it's too much.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

There are two other taper plans that are gentler than the once a month taper and you might want to consider them.  The Brassmonkey slide taper reduces by a small amount each week for 4 weeks followed by a two-week hold.  This taper calls for four 2 1/2% cuts, but you could reduce that to four 1% cuts.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

You may  want to switch to a micro-taper going forward. This is the gentlest way to come off these drugs. 

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

These links are specifically about tapering Prozac and Wellbutrin.

 

Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac)

 

Tips for tapering off buproprion (Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL)

 

The Wellbutrin link is an excellent tutorial on how to get off this drug and contains tips about XR that should be very helpful to you when the time comes to taper Wellbutrin.

 

Regarding your question about jumping to zero from 0.15mg Prozac, that seems a little high.  Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, is currently completing a post on the endgame taper, but I would think in terms of getting into the 0.00s (0.05 or even lower) before jumping to zero. Other suggestions when you get down this low are holding longer than the standard 4 weeks, like 6 weeks, between drops and also possibly holding once even longer to let allow your system to catch up to any residual issues before jumping to zero. 

 

How are you obtaining the tiny doses of Prozac (liquid taper? dry cutting with scale?)?

 

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 April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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

I just found this post. This is exactly what I mean. The combination of Wellbutrin and a SSRI, means that weaning off Wellbutrin also gives the discontinuation effects of going down with the SSRI. Even while staying on the same dosage of the SSRI. So that would mean that it is really better to get off the SSRI first.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post

Thank you Gridley for your reply. I found some new and interesting info via the links you gave me. See the post above as well please.

 

Let's hope I will get easier away from Wellbutrin after I get totally off the Prozac. Since it has been a highway through hell getting down from 66mg to 33mg of Wellbutrin. With heavy rebounds during 8 months after only 2 reductions of 3%. This part of the ride took me 2 1/2 year and still the heavy last part to go. Whereas going down from 150mg to 66mg was almost a piece of cake...

 

For making the tiny dosages of Prozac: I open the capsule and calculate how many mg of the filling I need for 7 days.

 

For example: my current daily dose is 0,83mg. Including filling material that is 9,7 mg

Then I weigh 7 times 9,7mg which is: 68mg. This can easily be weighed on my mg scale.

The 68 mg I divide in 7 more or less even parts of 10mg. Because of the long half time of Prozac tiny differences will be evened out. But in this wy of working I get extremely close to the dose I need.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post

By the way, also important to mention is that special DNA research showed that I metabolize slower on CYP2D6. This enzyme is the main metabolizer of Prozac. So in my case not only Wellbutrin is slowing down the metabolism of Prozac...

 

Wellbutrin is metabolized mainly by CYP2B6. This enzyme is working at normal speed in my case. So Wellbutrin is metabolized in normal speed in my case.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
On 9/1/2020 at 10:13 PM, Gridley said:

 

Regarding your question about jumping to zero from 0.15mg Prozac, that seems a little high.  Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, is currently completing a post on the endgame taper, but I would think in terms of getting into the 0.00s (0.05 or even lower) before jumping to zero. Other suggestions when you get down this low are holding longer than the standard 4 weeks, like 6 weeks, between drops and also possibly holding once even longer to let allow your system to catch up to any residual issues before jumping to zero.

 

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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Hello Gridley, 

 

I have been doing a lot of reading here on SA. I read also about the Brassmonkey Method and also about the Endgame. I am aware that the article on the Endgame wil be revised. But after reading your advice above and reading other articles about the Endgame I got somewhat confused.

 

You say I could start the Endgame of Prozac at a dose of 0,05mg (active ingredient) or even lower. That is only 0,25 % of a 20mg pill of Prozac. Whereas I mean to understand that one could start the endgame (in theory) at 5% of the amount where one started to taper. That would mean at 1mg. I also read 2%, which would mean 0,4mg.  

 

Do you really mean 0,25% (so 0,05mg) or 2,5% (0,5mg) where I could start the endgame (in theory)?

 

I do understand that everybody is reacting different. And that we have to listen to our bodies.

 

But as said, I am confused. What is (in theory) the percentage where one can start the endgame of the dose where one started to taper?

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Go2zero said:

hat is (in theory) the percentage where one can start the endgame of the dose where one started to taper?

 

Mathematics (including percentages) is beyond me, I'm afraid. Advice on that would be best given by Brassmonkey.  The best I can tell you ( and this is what I'm doing) is that it would be good to get to 0.05mg or even 0.0125 before you jump.  Right now I'm holding at 0.1mg for an extra week right now   Then if I'm feeling pretty good I'll go down by 50%to 0.05 and hold there before deciding to jump to zero or going down another 50% to 0.025 or even 0.01 before jumping.

Edited by Gridley

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 April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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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  • Moderator

The Endgame Zone, the dose where it is a good idea to switch to the Endgame Taper, is currently calculated as 5% of your original dose. 

 

original dose in mg X .05 = Endgame Zone

 

The Theoretical Exit Dose, the dose from which you jump to "0", is currently calculated as

 

original dose in mg X 0.000625 = Theoretical Exit Dose

 

The revised version of  "Managing the Endgame Taper" is currently under review and editing.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks for explaining Gridley and Brassmonkey. 

One important thing however is not fully clear to me:

 

What is my original dose? (looking at the info underneath)

 

 

In 2006 – 2010 I started with Lexapro      10mg

Later I switched several times between 7,5mg of 10 mg (because of side effects)

I went on and off shortly several times (with too fast tapering) and in 2015 I stabilized later on 5mg

In 2016 I went from 5mg to 2,5mg

In 2017 I went with tapering from 2,5 to 0,6mg

In 2019 (March-June) I tapered from 0,6 to 0,3mg (tapered too fast then, with knowledge of now)

In 2019 (June) I made switch to Prozac  0,6mg (equivalent to 0,3 mg Lexapro)

Probably because of stopping Lexapro at 0,3 I got extreme discontinuation effects (despite Prozac bridge).

October 2019, I went up with Prozac from 0,6 to 1,2 mg 

February 2020 until now: slowly tapering from 1,2 mg to 0,8mg (at this moment)

 

We should take into account that the equivalent in the Prozac dosage is double from Lexapro. So 10 mg Lexapro is equivalent of 20mg Prozac when making a switch.

 

So when calculating at what point to start the Endgame, what could I consider as my original dose looking at the above? 

 

Officially that would be 10mg Lexapro, but it is already 5 years ago that I took that much. So is that really OK then to consider that as original dose?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
resized font

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • Moderator

You would work with the medication you are currently tapering, which would be the prozac. Because of the bridge in mid taper, we are dealing with a partial dose, which would give an incorrect result to the calculation. Instead we should use the standard therapeutic dose for that medication. You made the bridge using  10mg lexapro being equal to 20mg prozac. So we would do the calculations based on 20mg of prozac.

 

Endgame Zone:  20mg X .05 = 1mg.  You could start your Endgame Taper at a 1mgai dose of prozac.

 

Theoretical Exit Dose:  20mg X .000625 =  0.013mg.  So if everything is going well and you are symptom free you could make the jump to "0" at about 0.013mgai.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks again Brassmonkey,

 

Actually I made the bridge when I was at 0,3mg with Lexapro and I switched then to 0,6mg Prozac. Because of the extreme discontinuation effects of Lexapro after the bridge to Prozac, I increased the dose of Prozac from 0,6 to 1,2 mg. Some months later I started to taper Prozac. Right now I am at 0,8mg Prozac.

 

The standard therapeutic dose of Lexapro is 10 mg. Since 2015 I have not used so much anymore. After 2015 I used 5 mg and then I went to 2,5mg in 2016. In 2017 I went to 0,6mg. Then in 2019 I tapered from 0,6mg to 0,3mg. Then the bridge came.

 

Taking into account the long intervals (in 2015 - 2019) between going down in dose and the fact that it is already 5 years ago that I used the standard therapeutic dose of Lexapro, do you still think it is safe to use the 10mg Lexapro (and 20mg Prozac as equivalent) as dose to calculate the 5% for the Endgame?

 

I would think that the dose of 5 years ago might be too long ago to calculate with. Wouldn't it be better to take a lower dose to calculate with for determining the Endgame starting point?

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • Moderator

The calculations we are using are generalized for the overall population and not geared for a specific individual. As such they are based on the standard therapeutic dose to give a reference point for that specific drug. You've been tapering prozac which has a standard therapeutic dose of 20mg so the calculations are based on that number. These are not hard and fast numbers but rather reference points for where to consider making the change in strategy. The Endgame Zone is based on the point where it can become harder to make accurate measurements of dry cut doses. While the Theoretical Exit Dose is small enough to not cause problems for most people and still large enough to measure fairly easily.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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On 9/9/2020 at 9:36 PM, brassmonkey said:

Theoretical Exit Dose:  20mg X .000625 =  0.013mg.  So if everything is going well and you are symptom free you could make the jump to "0" at about 0.013mgai.

Thanks again for the info Brassmonkey.

 

I understand what you say about the overall population and the standard therapeutic dose. That makes sense.

 

I also understand now that the Endgame has to do with the fact that cutting such low detailed doses is difficult for most of us.

 

With the powder in the Prozac capsule I do manage however also preparing very low dosages. I expect to be able to make quite precise dosages until 0,15 -0,10mgai. Preparing dosages down from there I expect to become a bit more difficult. 

 

But what I wonder,  if it might be a good idea to start the Endgame anyhow. Despite if there is a cutting problem. Because as I understand the Endgame would take around 18 weeks. Whereas my method would take 8 months.

 

In other words, in the Endgame with 18 weeks the countdown to zero goes much faster than with my calculations of going down.

 

Do I understand one could go down much quicker as of the dosage where the Endgame starts? (the 5% of the original dose).

 

I do not understand however how you get from 1 mg Prozac (theoretical dose for starting Endgame) to 0,013mgai   for the last jump

 

If this is done with the described steps of the endgame:

 

25% down  (6weeks hold)      1mg -/- 25% =  0,75mg

 

33% down  (6weeks hold)      75 mg -/- 33% =  0,5025mg

 

50% down (6 weeks hold)      0,5025 -/- 50% = 0,2513 mg    

 

In this way I do not get near the 0,013mgai…   Maybe I did not understand it right….?

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • Moderator

This is where the Endgame Taper gets difficult for the dry cut method. It doesn't end with the 50% cut to 0.2513mg. But rather you cut that last pile into 1/4 and repeat the process, then take the last pile from that series and cut it into 1/4 and repeat the process again. That will give an Exit Dose of 0.015mg, which is close enough to the Theoretical Exit Dose to be workable. All the time you need to be listening to your body and following it's dictates and not pay attention to a time schedule.

 

You might want to consider making a water based liquid from your powder. It would give you a lot better control over your dose strength and the ability to make very refined reductions.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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9 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

That will give an Exit Dose of 0.015mg, which is close enough to the Theoretical Exit Dose to be workable. All the time you need to be listening to your body and following it's dictates and not pay attention to a time schedule.

So do I understand it right that the last cut of 0,015 follows the 50% cut to 0.2513mg?   Probably also with 6 weeks hold in between?

 

Going from 0,2513 to 0,015 seems like a big drop in 1 time. That is a 94% cut. But that is OK as last cut I understand?

 

And after cutting from 0,2513 to 0,015mg, how long should I take the 0,015 mg then before totally stopping?

 

I do understand it is all theory and that I have to listen to my body. And I do! 

 

But I appreciate having at least guidelines. Especially because I have made a lot "mistakes" in my tapering process. Just because I did not have the knowledge then, which is being shared here on SA. As many others I believed the doctors then. And even though I did taper much slower as they advised I came into big trouble. 

 

Thank you so much for helping and advising me! And much appreciation and gratitude for all moderators and contributors here!

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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9 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

You might want to consider making a water based liquid from your powder. It would give you a lot better control over your dose strength and the ability to make very refined reductions.

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

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Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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Thanks ChessieCat, 

 

I will consider to do so later on in the tapering process. Right now I am at 0,8mg and with my special scale and cutting method I still manage to make precise daily dosages. But yes, there mayl come a point where a water based liquid will be useful. I expect to be able to make daily dosages until 0,15mgai. Since the Prozac capsules contain powder, I do not have to cut. And the pill weight it self is 12 times higher then the weight of the active ingredient. So 0,15mgai still weighs 1,8mg.

 

I make dosages for 7 days in one time. So first I weigh the total for 7 days. And then I divide that in equal parts over each day. The extremely tiny differences that may occur then are so small that they should be evened out. Especially taking into account the long half time of Prozac.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • Moderator

To get from your current dose or 0.2513mgai to a Theoretical Exit Dose of 0.013mgi will require nine (9) reductions with the tenth being the final jump to “0”. These reductions are not made according to a timetable but rather by listening to how your body reacts to each reduction. This is not a license to go faster, each reduction needs to be held for four (4) to six (6) weeks. But depending on how you body reacts it may be longer.

 

You would start by initially weighing out your dose of 0.2513mg using the powder from the capsule and using a sharp object, like a razor blade or craft knife, to carefully divide the pile of powder into four (4) equal parts.

 

Reduction 1: take three (3) of the piles

Reduction 2: take two (2) of the piles

Reduction 3: take one (1) of the piles

 

The last pile can be further visually divided in the same manner.  However, the amount of powder is small, so it becomes harder to make equal divisions. Starting with one of the previous piles you, again, use a sharp object, like a razor blade or craft knife, to carefully divide the pile of powder into four (4) equal parts.

 

Reduction 4: take three (3) of the piles

Reduction 5: take two (2) of the piles

Reduction 6: take one (1) of the piles

 

However, you are not done yet. Again, divide that final pile into four (4) equal parts.

 

Reduction 7: take three (3) of the piles

Reduction 8: take two (2) of the piles.

Reduction 9: take one (1) of the piles, This last pile will correspond to a dose of 0.013mg, which is your Theoretical Exit Dose,  but as I said before the Theoretical Exit Dose is flexible, not a hard number.

Reduction 10: Do not take any piles, congratulations you just made the jump to “0”.

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to post

Thanks a lot for explaining Brassmonkey.

 

So I understand right that the Endgame takes much more than the 18 weeks? More like 60-70 weeks as I mean to understand? Again in theory I understand. Because of listening to body.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
  • Moderator

Nine reductions at a minimum of four weeks each would mean 36 weeks at the shortest.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
18 hours ago, Go2zero said:

I will consider to do so later on in the tapering process. Right now I am at 0,8mg and with my special scale and cutting method I still manage to make precise daily dosages. But yes, there mayl come a point where a water based liquid will be useful.

 

Don't forget to factor in a cross over which is gentler on your system.  You do not make a reduction at the same time.  When changing form of a drug we suggest that you do 3/4 old + 1/4 new for a few days (or longer if needed), 1/2 & 1/2 for a few days and the 1/4 + 3/4 for a few days before going to all new.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post
5 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Don't forget to factor in a cross over which is gentler on your system.  You do not make a reduction at the same time.  When changing form of a drug we suggest that you do 3/4 old + 1/4 new for a few days (or longer if needed), 1/2 & 1/2 for a few days and the 1/4 + 3/4 for a few days before going to all new.

 

I do not understand what you mean with your last message.  Do you mean making a switch from one to another drug? That is what I did more than 1 year ago making the Prozac bridge. But now I am for more than 1 year on Prozac. Which I am tapering of in steps of 2,5% - 3% per week. Right now on 0,8mg. Hoping to get to 0 in about a year.

 

And after quitting Prozac (and a 3 month hold at least) I hope to be able to taper the Wellbutrin further down. I am at 33,3mg now, (coming down from 150mg). 

 

But after reaching 66 mg Wellbutrin, each mg further down brings me into a hell which lasts 5-8 months. I really hope I can manage to taper Wellbutrin down more easily after being fully away from the Prozac.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
8 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Nine reductions at a minimum of four weeks each would mean 36 weeks at the shortest.

 

Plus the 18 weeks for the 25, 33 and the 50% reductions, I mean to understand? Which would be then 18+36=54 weeks at the shortest?

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
33 minutes ago, Go2zero said:

I do not understand what you mean with your last message.

 

On 9/11/2020 at 10:36 AM, brassmonkey said:

You might want to consider making a water based liquid from your powder. It would give you a lot better control over your dose strength and the ability to make very refined reductions.

 

I was talking about changing from tablet/capsule/powder to liquid.

 

5 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

When changing form of a drug

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post

OK, now I understand :) 

 

I wasn't aware of the usefulness of making a switch from powder to liquid in this way you describe! Thanks for that. Will surely do so when I am that far in my tapering process.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
  • Moderator

That sounds right, a total of at least 54 weeks. But remember, it's not by the calendar, it's how your body reacts to each reduction that dictates the speed.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to post
17 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

That sounds right, a total of at least 54 weeks. But remember, it's not by the calendar, it's how your body reacts to each reduction that dictates the speed.

 

OK thanks, I've got the full picture for now I think. And yes, my body tells the story in the end... I am fully aware of that after all struggling of the last 3 years.

 

Hope I can stay on the path right now of less extremes in discontinuation effects, with all knowledge and experiences I have gathered...

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
  • 2 months later...

An update and some questions.

 

I tapered the Prozac further down with 2,5 - 3% per week. Resulting in 10% per month. I take 0,61mg per day now. This is 1 pill of 20mg divided over 33 days.    The Wellbutrin is stil at 33,3 mg per day. I will not change that before I am totally of the Prozac. And I will wait then first 4 months before starting further tapering of Wellbutrin. This because of very extreme withdrawal effects before when tapering the Wellbutrin.

 

From September 8 until November 11, I was feeling better then since a very long time. I really had the feeling I was going in the right direction. But then from one day to another I started to have a lot of symptoms that look like withdrawal effects. Sleeping problems, night sweating, anxiety, sadness, headaches. Not all at the same days, but very differing. Right now (18 days later) still having sleep problems, dry mouth and depressed feelings. I have to say that I had some nasty experiences as well in this period. So that might have effect as well. But still it feels like withdrawal.

 

Since November 11 I did not change my dose of Prozac. I guess I should stabilize first and wait until I feel OK again. But I wonder that the withdrawal can be so strong at onze at such a low dose at such slow tapering. 

 

Should I taper even slower? If so I need maybe another 2 years just to get of 1/33 of a normal daily dose. Or could it be that I am so near zero effect of the Prozac at this dose, that I could get easier to zero after this stabilization period. It is such a tiny bit I am taking.... 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
12 minutes ago, Go2zero said:

I have to say that I had some nasty experiences as well in this period. So that might have effect as well. But still it feels like withdrawal.

 

Additional stress can cause withdrawal symptoms to increase / worsen.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post
  • 3 months later...
Go2zero

I would like to give an update and I have a few important questions about how further continuing the tapering process.

 

I am now at a dosage of 0,47 Prozac for 3 weeks. I have been using the Brassmonkey method since May 2020 up to February 19 this year. After every 4-5 weeks I stabilized. Sometimes for 2 weeks and 3 times even 35 days. I needed these longer stabilization periods, because WD effect were getting too extreme. Most important wake up call is having severe problems with sleeping. 

 

For me these sleeping problems are the ultimate alarm that I have to slow down and stabilize!

 

I went down in baby steps, but still, I am having quite some WD problems: 

 

sleeping problems, burning on the inside of my skin, hot or cold, flu like feelings, brain fog, extreme head aches and also migraine (never had that before), tinnitus, flashes in eyes when looking right or left, concentration problems, anxiety, suicidal ideation (getting less and less fortunately), worrying/ruminating, extreme sweating in bed, nausea, dry mouth, pain in joints, backpain, extremely tired, problems with vision.

 

All these effects come and go. Often there are just one or two at the same time. They stay for one or several days and change for other. Some days I feel really OK. This gives hope and I know this all belongs to the recovering process.

 

I did notice however that although I was using the Brassmonkey method, I got quite some WD effects after going down some weeks with these babysteps of 2,5% of the last dose. I was more or less continuously having WD effects. Maybe because of the long half-life of Prozac, I thought. This might give a stacking effect when going down each week a bit, was my theory.

 

So, I decided on February 19 (after a 35-stabilization period) to go down 8% in one time and then stay on that for 3-4 weeks. To see what effect that might have. After 2 days my tinnitus got much more severe. And it stayed that severe until now.

 

Despite of the tinnitus, I felt quite good the first 12 days after the 8% drop! 

 

Then WD kicked in again, with severe headaches, nausea, flu-like feelings, tiredness, anxiety, feeling depressed. Again, not all at the same time.

 

The last 3 days I am having mainly a depressed feeling and feeling very tired. I still sleep quite OK. When I wake up too early, I cannot sleep anymore most of the times. But I still get enough sleep.

 

My question are:

 

1) In how far should I stabilize longer when having (not extreme) WD effects? Or can I continue tapering?

 

I notice that even after the 3 periods of 35 days stabilization since may 2020, I still had WD effects. When going down in baby steps after such a stabilization period, WD did not get unbearable, but increased after some weeks again. Then I built in another longer stabilization period. WD effects never disappeared, but became more bearable.

 

Now I notice more or less the same, 12 days after going down 8% and stabilizing for 3 weeks now; WD has increased quite a lot, but is not unbearable. 

 

What is the best way to tell when I can make a next step down again? I do not have the impression that I will become totally free of WD effects soon. Even if I would stabilize for several months. 

 

I do not want to stabilize for unnecessary long periods, since I still have a long way to go probably. And I also want to taper the bupropion (33,3mg) after I am completely off the Prozac.

 

But I am totally aware that going too fast will make things worse and it will take more time in the end.

 

 

2) Will tapering become easier when SERT levels have dropped to lower levels than where I am right now?

 

Serotonin blockage (SERT) is approximately 17% at the dosage where I am at right now (0,47%). The further I go, the less the SERT becomes. Is there a level of SERT known, where WD becomes easier? It would be logic in a way since less and less serotonin receptors are blocked then. So one could think that WD effects become less when reaching the zero point.

 

I do know that logical thinking and theory often do not work in WD country... So may it is just wishful thinking.

 

But if there is information about this, please let me know.

 

Thank you all here for the support!

 

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

Link to post
Go2zero

@brassmonkey

Could you please take a look at my questions in the post above?

Lots of thanks in advance!

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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brassmonkey

It looks like things are going fairly smoothly with the prozac taper. There are going to be some WD symptoms with every reduction, it's just the nature of the process. Seeing that you are still taking the Wellbutrin it is going to be hard to tell what is a WD symptom and what is a side effect from the Wellbutrin. As long as the WD symptoms from the prozac are not debilitating and do stabilize to an even level, I think you can continue to taper it. I would pay close attention to how each reduction is affecting me and make adjustments in the holds and dose size accordingly.  If you are still doing a Brassmonkey Slide maybe switching to 1.25% a week for the reductions.  This will give a total of 5% each reduction cycle, and then extend the hold period as needed, like you are doing.

 

Unfortunately the SERT occupancy is not a good indicator for WD symptoms. If the taper rate moves away from the curve, yes the symptoms will increase But as long as you stay with the curve they should stay fairly constant, but the level of discomfort is determined by each individual and how their body reacts to the reductions. Prozac is one of the mildest drugs for WD symptoms at the lower doses, but even it can still cause problems as the dose decreases.  This is why it is so important to listen to your body with each reduction and react accordingly.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Go2zero
20 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Unfortunately the SERT occupancy is not a good indicator for WD symptoms. If the taper rate moves away from the curve, yes the symptoms will increase But as long as you stay with the curve they should stay fairly constant, but the level of discomfort is determined by each individual and how their body reacts to the reductions. Prozac is one of the mildest drugs for WD symptoms at the lower doses, but even it can still cause problems as the dose decreases.  This is why it is so important to listen to your body with each reduction and react accordingly.

 

@brassmonkey Thank you so much for your explanation and help!

 

One thing is not completely clear to me yet about the % of SERT occupancy vs WD effects. I understand it is important to stay within the curve of SERT occupancy.

 

But what I would like to know if there is a percentage of SERT occupancy where under WD often becomes easier for most of us? For example under 5% or 10% SERT occupancy.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Not really. It seems like a 50/50 situation, about half the people have no problem at the lower doses while about half have symptoms all the way to "0". There does seem to be a correlation between speed of taper and size of reduction though, faster and larger tend to have more problems also people with a lot of reinstatements and updoses tend to have more problems. Keeping ones symptoms minimized and under control through out the taper and taking the time to let things stabilize with each reduction is the best way to reduce symptoms at the end of the taper. Anything that causes instability and increased sensitivity during a taper can cause increased problems at the end. This is one reason we stress going slowly and carefully at all times during a taper. 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Go2zero

@brassmonkey

 

Thank you so much for your information and advice! 

 

I will continue slowly and carefully with the tapering of Prozac. It seems that a 8-10% drop works better on me now than the Brassmonkey Slide tapering. Cannot tell for sure yet. I have been using the Brasmonkey Slide tapering for over a year, but I have the feeling that the small drops every week have a stacking effect because of the long half life of Prozac. I just had short windows now and then, but I was nearly always having (differing) WD effects.

 

Therefor I started last month with 1 bigger  (8-10%) drop per month (after I had stabilized 35 days). Although I was not feeling super when I started the 8% drop, I had a window of 12 days, starting 2 days after that drop of 8%). After that 12 days window I got several WD effects again for 12-14 days. 

 

The day before yesterday I dropped 10% and today it seems that another window has started. 

 

So it seems that bigger drops and longer holds work better for me in the situation where I am now (very low dosage regions). It is also remarkable that I seem to be having windows started,  just 2 days after a drop. Maybe it has to do with the combination of longer half life of Prozac and the effect of the longer holds...

 

Anyhow, I seem to be on the right track. I will carefully listen to my body and adapt if necessary.

 

Thank you !

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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