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NeedMoreHope: Prozac

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NeedMoreHope

Hello SA Community,

  I am new to the site, but have been reading a lot of info here over the past 2 1/2 years.  I am in a bad place...  I was on 20 mg Prozac for many years, and was told by a Dr. in Feb 2018 that I could just "stop it".  Well... I crashed bad.  I didn't know what was happening, and over the next year and half, I was given over 22 different meds (including back on Prozac and numerous AD's, benzos, sleeping pills, BP meds, mood stabilizers, and lastly, an antipsychotic).  I deteriorated more and more and finally decided to get off everything.  I am down to my last 5 mg of Prozac.  I have suffered very much - my biggest symptoms have been horrible insomnia, dark depression, intense anxiety among others.  I haven't had but a couple of days of windows in the past year.  I am just losing hope.  Will I get better?  I am holding at 5 mg for a long time (just reduced 2 weeks ago).  I think I did EVERYTHING wrong....  Thank you. 

Edited by Gridley

20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, NeedMoreHope.  I'm sorry you were given such terrible advice and that you've gone through all you've gone through with these drugs.

Yes, you will get better.  It's going to take some time, but you will heal.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  If you can't remember all of the drugs and doses just do the best you can.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

With so many drugs it's hard to tell what's causing what with your symptoms, but the symptoms you describe are typical of withdrawal.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

You need stability now, no more changes.  I suggest you hold at 5mg for several months, perhaps 6 or 8.  Once you've stabilized, we can talk about slowly tapering off the 5mg Prozac.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

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

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gridley Introduction

 

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

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

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

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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NeedMoreHope

Thank you for hope.  I can't believe how many mistakes were made by all along the way, but I am so grateful for finding this forum.  I will hold and not make any more changes for a long while. I actually had to go from 5.9 to 5 mg two weeks ago because the pharmacy discontinued the capsule I was taking.  My Dr said to do the 10 Mg tablet and cut in half, so that's what I'm currently on.    I think my dilemma was to know if the Prozac is keeping me sick, or if this was just more withdrawal.  Once I crashed, it seemed like every time they tried to reinstate it, I would get so sick.  And once we have had these bad reactions, our desire is to immediately throw these in the trash, but I found out the hard way, you just can't do it that way.... Thank you again for your kind response.  The only way through this briar patch is forward...


20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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Gridley
11 minutes ago, NEEDMOREHOPE said:

can't believe how many mistakes were made by all along the way,

Please don't worry about mistakes made along the way.  All of us, myself included, have made mistakes.  You will be fine.  


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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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Frogie
15 minutes ago, NEEDMOREHOPE said:

I can't believe how many mistakes were made by all along the way,

Don't blame yourself for the mistakes you have made. You have found the right place to taper off this medication. 

I am a true story on big mistakes, but I made it. I made every mistake in the book, but I will officially be off all meds tomight.

You are stronger than you think and you will get through this!

Take care,

Frogie xx


PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!!

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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NeedMoreHope

Is it "normal" to lose your sleep again after a dose reduction?  I was just finally getting about 4-5 hrs pretty consistently, and I made a reduction of 1 mg, and now I've had 3 nights with zero sleep.  It is miserable.  Just wondering why my progress has been wiped out.  I believe this sleeplessness is the worst symptom I've had. 


20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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Gridley
1 hour ago, NEEDMOREHOPE said:

I made a reduction of 1 mg,

When did you make this reduction?  I thought you were holding at 5mg.  What is your current dosage?


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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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NeedMoreHope

I just made it 2 weeks ago - from 5.9 to 5 mg.  I had to because they discontinued the capsule I was taking, and my Dr. said we could use a 10 mg tablet and cut it in half. 

 


20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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Gridley
32 minutes ago, NEEDMOREHOPE said:

I just made it 2 weeks ago

I understand.

2 hours ago, NEEDMOREHOPE said:

Is it "normal" to lose your sleep again after a dose reduction?

Yes, it can be "normal" to have symptoms after a dose reduction, particularly, as in your case, when your system is sensitized from previous dose and drug changes.  

 


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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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NeedMoreHope

Thank you - I know everyone deals with this in some form or another, but man, those nights of no sleep are killers!  Thank you for the reassurance.  I just need to give it time.


20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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NeedMoreHope

Hello,

   Need advice...  I just picked up my refill prescription and noticed that they changed manufacturers for my Prozac - I'm currently on 5 mg - splitting a 10 mg tablet.  Will this have any adverse effects?  I am still struggling from the change about 7 weeks ago from 6 mg to 5 mg.   But my sleep is finally getting better. 


20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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NeedMoreHope

Hello,

   I am getting more discouraged.... I'm right at around 2 months since I reduced from 6 mg to 5 mg of Prozac, the last med that I have to taper in this nearly 3 year nightmare.  This has been the worst reaction I've had in over a year to a dose reduction - I seem to be getting worse, except for my sleep which thankfully is staying steady, even if choppy.  My anxiety and depression are so much worse, and just cycle back and forth and my body is "sizzling".  I've probably only had 1/2 day window in that time period (and I felt great for a few hours!).   I am so scared I will never get better.  Is it expected to have such symptoms and a reaction this far from a dose change? 


20 mg Prozac - 2001-2018

Came off cold turkey in Feb 2018, crashed BAD

Over the next year and a half, given one drug after another when nothing would work (can't remember a lot of this): Back on/off Prozac 20 mg several times; Remeron; Lexapro 20 mg (8 months); Elavil; Seroquel; Effexor, Abilify (short time as I had bad reactions)

Added in several BP meds and hormones along the way here too....

For sleep given: Ativan 2 mg/Ambien/Lunesta/Gabapentin/Klonipin  (none helped)

Last combo was to add 5 mg Zyprexa to the 20 mg Prozac - on this for 5 months

Finally had enough in July 2019; cold turkeyd off 5 mg Zyprexa, and then weaned down from 20 mg Prozac to 5 mg currently

Did not know about withdrawal till the end - not one Dr or Psychiatrist ever mentioned it and they took me on/off things cold turkey

I did EVERYTHING wrong!! 

 

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Erell
On 10/19/2020 at 7:32 PM, NeedMoreHope said:

  I just picked up my refill prescription and noticed that they changed manufacturers for my Prozac 

 

Hello,

 

I'm sorry to read you're struggling.

 

I'm not saying it is the case, but it is possible that a change in manufacturer destabilise your CNS.

You might find this thread interesting :

change-in-drug-manufacturer-or-generic-substituted-for-brand-name-drug/

 

 

20 minutes ago, NeedMoreHope said:

Is it expected to have such symptoms and a reaction this far from a dose change? 

 

Unfortunately, no one can predict how  somebody will react to a drop. 

A drop from 6mg to 5mg is quite high, almost a 17% drop: it is possible that your CNS needs more time to stabilise. 

 

Please see : 

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

 

Plus, a lot of people notice that the lower they get with their doses, the slower they need to taper.

 

Take care ☀️

 

 


2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) 

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (long half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg) because of a big wave. 

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

 

Current medication :

7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020)

1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

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