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We see our strength in hindsight. Fluoxetine Taper Story.


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lostintranslation

Hi everyone 
I'm 22 years old now. I suffered from bulimia, depression and generalized anxiety since the age of 17 and my family got me help when I was 18 after I failed my medical school exams due to my condition.

 

I was put on several medications ( Alprazolam, Valproate, Lamotrigine, Fluoxetine) during the course of treatment. I come from a lower economic class country where psychiatric treatment is still considered a taboo and people hide it from others, the facilities available are not the best but its a work in progress.

 

Most of the drugs I had to take, they helped me immensely and I had not much trouble tapering valproate, lamotrigine and alprazolam within a year since start of treatment. They helped me get through the second-sit of exams and after I passed I quit the first two within 2 weeks using ( 50-25-0%).

 

Since I am in medical school I was well aware of addictive potential of benzodiazepine's, so I decided to taper alprazolam as well even though it helped my anxiety symptoms. I had panic attacks and palpitations again but I started working myself through therapy and regular exercise and sleep to ease my symptoms.

 

For a regular person these things are a luxury of time, but if you suffer from a mental health problem you must consider a good sleep and exercise a necessity for the rest of your life and fit in other parts of your life with it, not the other way around. 


Around 19, I was only taking fluoxetine (20 mg ) and my symptoms got worse, as I often tried to taper it on my own ( I wanted to be off drugs asap). The doctors upped my dose instead of my concern of getting them off, and told me to take valproate, which I could take if I felt my symptoms weren't manageable as I told him I don't want to be back on meds.

 

For four months I was on 40 mg dosage of fluoxetine and some days were quite bad and 2 years back I would've seen the doctor and he would have most likely upped my dosage again but this time I decided to be patient with myself on bad days, accepting them as part of recovery because on the good days, I didn't need any aid and slowly the ratio of good to bad days was improving.

 

I found this blog and I started the brass monkey taper schedule with 4 weeks hold for fluoxetine, and I was done in 6 months. I had some side effects but with this method they were too mild to be cause a nuisance. I had dizziness, insomnia and weight gain (around 10 kgs) during the process. I am now drug-free for almost a year, and its lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, rest, filling my bucket before I pour from it to others, adequate rest ) that keep me going fresh and happy. 


I had failed attempts at tapering fluoxetine and every time I tried my symptoms became unbearable till I found this forum. I am incredibly grateful to this community and the stories that gave me strength to continue on my journey. To everyone reading this, be patient with yourself and don't compare your journey to others. Listen to your heart when it tells you NO, trust yourself to get through it and you will only see your strength in the hindsight. Love and Prayers.xx 

Edited by manymoretodays
spacing for readability

2017: alprazolam(0.25-2), valproate (75), fluoxetine (20) 
2018: fluoxetine(20)
2019: topiramate, fluoxetine(20-40), valproate (prn)
fluoxetine taper started May from 40 mg , switched directly to 20mg, followed by 10% decrease, 4 weeks hold. 
August 10 mg, September 7 mg and off. 

 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi lostintranslation, @lostintranslation

And thank you so much for coming on, and sharing your story here.

 

And so great that you were able to use the brassmonkeyslide, for your last taper.

 

And it sounds like you are nearly at the one year mark now for being off medications.

 

Would you: Please summarize your withdrawal history in your signature

I think you've got most of it, in your narrative(s) above, but this will just help to see it, at a glance now too.  This is the section that you below others posts.

 

What a wonderful story lostintranslation.  And so happy for your Success, and managing to cope with WD(withdrawal) symptoms in non-drug ways.

I'm sure many here will be inspired, and may want to post to you now.

 

Welcome.

Best,  Love, peace, healing, and growth,

moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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@lostintranslation Thank you for posting this update! It is so good to hear you've made it out the other side. Congrats and all the best to you. 

2005 - Zoloft, 200 mg for childhood anxiety (starting at age 11)

Summer 2015 - Switched to Prozac, 40 mg  

June 2019 - Tapered to 10 mg Prozac, no adverse effects. Held for 1 year. 

June 2020 - Discontinued Prozac. Horrible withdrawal. Did not realize it was withdrawal at first. 

Nov 2020 - Reinstated Prozac 2.5 mg. Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

May 2021 - Prozac 2.0 mg. Still experiencing symptoms - some symptoms have improved, but situational factors have worsened.

August 12 2021 - Prozac 2.25 mg. Partial reinstatement as symptoms had worsened

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Hi @lostintranslation!

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am currently in the middle of tapering off of Fluoxetine and after reading your story, I have hope 💜

Lexapro: 2013 - mid August 2019 (20mgs, to 10 mgs for 1 week then 0mgs)

Zoloft: March 2018 - ? (200mgs - unsure of duration, around 2-4 weeks maybe; down to 100 mgs for 1 month, 50 mgs for 1 month; reinstated 20 mgs Lexapro shortly after)

Wellbutrin: mid August 2019 - mid September 2019 (150 mgs then CT)

Prozac: early October 2019 - 20 mgs  to 40 mgs on 11/24/2019; 30 mgs in July 2020; 20 mgs Sept 2020; 10 mgs October 22 2020; 15 mgs 11/13/2020

 

My intro:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21906-ruuree-my-experience-with-lexapro-withdrawal/

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
PsychologicalSafe15

@lostintranslation Did you get vivid dreams withdrawal ?

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

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lostintranslation

@PsychologicalSafe15 Yes. The dreams in withdrawal were vivid and frightening. I often used to wake up from them paralyzed and panicked. Its been a long time, my dreams are still quite vivid but they're not frightening or bad. 

2017: alprazolam(0.25-2), valproate (75), fluoxetine (20) 
2018: fluoxetine(20)
2019: topiramate, fluoxetine(20-40), valproate (prn)
fluoxetine taper started May from 40 mg , switched directly to 20mg, followed by 10% decrease, 4 weeks hold. 
August 10 mg, September 7 mg and off. 

 

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PsychologicalSafe15

you are drug free for a year and yet you have vivid dreams ?

DO you get them even when you take a nap ?

how is your sleep quality/quantity ?

Oh . Will you mind updating me when it subsides  ?
 

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

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lostintranslation

@PsychologicalSafe15 Yes, its been more than a year.  I dont know if it because of the drug, or something has permanently changed about the way I dream. I never seem to wake up on my own, if not awaken, I continue sleeping in a dream state. REM is longer. Its not a problem anymore because they're not bad dreams. They're just vivid. 
I dont nap much but yes I do have dreams when I nap.
I sleep well, I am rested but I sleep for long hours, as I said I might keep sleeping for a day if Im not woken up. I get about 6-7 hours during the week. 

2017: alprazolam(0.25-2), valproate (75), fluoxetine (20) 
2018: fluoxetine(20)
2019: topiramate, fluoxetine(20-40), valproate (prn)
fluoxetine taper started May from 40 mg , switched directly to 20mg, followed by 10% decrease, 4 weeks hold. 
August 10 mg, September 7 mg and off. 

 

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PsychologicalSafe15

This drug gave me same reactin.. i am very fortunate to find you.

Do you have IBS issue some sort  of accumulation of gas in stomach. After you eat food you stomach gets bigger due to gas getting into stimach after food and later you slowly it is released , stomach becomes smaller ?

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

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PsychologicalSafe15

@lostintranslation I think I have same reaction. How is your IBS and gastro intestian l like issue.? So your sexual function normal ? DO you have some sorts of  premature ejacualtion or semen leakage while sleeping at night ?

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

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