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Sally3

Sally3: Prozac and Klonopin

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Sally3

LINK reinstating-after-two-years-sally3

 

I have a question about tapering... I have been on Prozac for 20 years...and also Klonopin for 17 years. I have been off the Klonopin (.125) for 21 months now. Last August I started tapering the Prozac - 1 mg per month. I am down to 10 mg right now and am wondering if you think that is a reasonable taper schedule? I just don't know.

I have the little plastic 10 ml withdrawal tubes (duh - can't remember the name of them).... and that is what I have been using. I work myself up to 3 ml each month as 3 ml equals 1 mg. and that is how I have done it for the last 10 months. Any suggestions or changes that anyone could give me. I am feeling pretty badly - I do get a day break from time to time where I feel normal. I don't know how much the K w/d is still affecting me - I know it can take two years or more to get through the benzo w/d....

Any thoughts or suggestions would be so much appreciated. Thank you

Sally3

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Sally3

Hello all - I am glad to be here and hope that I can add something to this forum. Right now, though I just have questions. I never knew that a/ds were so dangerous. I've been taking Prozac for 20 years due to neck pain which caused depression. Later on, I started taking Klonopin due to anxiety over a heart operation. No one ever warned me about the danger of either drug.

17 years later I was given Neurontin for some back pain and that's when all Hell broke loose...I stopped taking the Neurontin because it made me depressed and I immediately started with withdrawal. I didn't know that's what it was, I thought I was having a nervous breakdown...so off to the hospital I went. Big Mistake. They c/t meoff the Neurontin, upped my small dose of .125K to 1.5 K and put me on Tegretol and upped my dose of Prozac too.

I left there after 3 days - stopped the Tegretol but stayed on the higher dose of K and Prozac. The doctor told me to stop the Klonopin in 3 weeks and so I did. Oh what a mistake. I have been suffering ever since.

I have lived through a horrific benzo w/d and it has been 21 months now. Last August I started to taper off the Prozac...a doctor told me to stop it in 3 months...but I continued to taper and am now down from 20 mg to 10 in 10 months. I came to this site because I am wondering if the long-term w/d that I am still suffering is still from the Klonopin or could the tapering down of the Prozac be causing or adding to this w/d issue. I am so miserable and need some kind of relief.

I thought Prozac was a fairly benign drug...oh how naive I was....any thoughts of suggestions would be so much appreciated...I desperately want to be off all the drugs. I was told by a friend in the UK who is a counsellor on the Benzo Helpline there that I should not try to taper off the Prozac until I was totally healed from the K....but after a year of being off the Klonopin, I felt like I should try it...what do any of you think about that idea?

Would it be advisable to reinstate on the Prozac and then taper off even more slowly. I do feel that 1 mg per month is fairly slow - any other thoughts?

Thank you all so much for listening..

Sally3

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Altostrata

Welcome, Sally. Thank you for joining us. I merged your two topics, since they asked similar questions.

 

See Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

How do you feel each time you make a 1mg decrease in the Prozac?

 

What are your symptoms now? Did your benzo withdrawal symptoms diminish before you started tapering Prozac?

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Sally3

Thank you for responding. No my benzo w/d sx did not diminish before I started tapering the Prozac.

How do I feel when I taper the 1 mg Prozac each month...well I do it so gradually over the month that I feel miserable every day. However maybe once a week I will get a window (good day where I feel normal) and so I thought if the Prozac was causing me issues, I wouldn't ever get a window...

Would it be better if I just stayed at one amount...and did not taper a little bit every day...that might make more sense - because then I could stabilize...right? I jsut don't know if what I am dealing with is still Benzo w/d or if the Prozac is affecting me as well....

Thanks again

Sally3

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Sally3

Sorry - I forgot to list my symptoms now - mostly anxiety and shaking which starts upon awakening in the morning and usually will go on all day...feel nervous inside all the time; depression comes and goes but low level is always there; sometimes adrenaline surges; burning feet; foggy head; head pressure.

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Altostrata

I don't think I understand how you are tapering. Prozac liquid from the pharmacy contains 4mg in 1mL (20mg/5mL).

 

If you're using a 10mL oral syringe, are you going down by one tick at a time? Mine is divided into 5 ticks per milliliter, or .2mL = .8mg Prozac.

 

Did you dilute the liquid or make your own?

 

If your symptoms have continued from your benzo withdrawal, more changes in medication are putting additional stress on your nervous system. How do you feel about holding for maybe a couple of months to see if your symptoms reduce somewhat?

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Sally3

Thank you for your response...from what the druggist told me - 3 little milliliter dashes equal 1 mg. So my little plastic thingy (why can't I think of it's name) won't fit all the way down into the bottle....so I pour the liquid into a plastic tablespoon measuring spoon and I withdraw from that. I fill the spoon up to 1/2 tsp (1 tsp = 20 mg) so I am now down to 10 mg so I only fill it up to 1/2 tsp and then withdraw 1 mg (that's 3 little dashes on the siphoning tube). I pour that amount back into the bottle and drink the rest....When I start out with a new milligram at the beginning of the month - I don't do the whole milligram at once - I work my way up one dash at a time...say maybe every 10 days... than will get me to one milligram in 30 days.

Did I explain this correctly? Onemore thing that I hope doesn't complicate this is that I don't do a whole tsp once a day - I have divided my doses up into two doses - AM and PM - so instead of 1/2 tsp once a day - I do 1/4 tsp twice a day and extract my throw away dose each time...2 x a day.

I will be glad to stay and hold for awhile....I did do that for March and April because we were moving and I knew it would be tough but we moved May 2 and soon after I started tapering again. I think perhaps I have gone too fast or have done it wrong somehow. The last three weeks in May weren't too bad (tha may have been due to my holding for March and April....) but these two weeks of JUne have been pretty bad and that may be because I started tapering again....I'm beginning to realize just how powerful this little bitty bit of drug is...

Thank you so much for reading all this and I hope I explained it wellenough to not cause you any confusion...it is a bit tricky dealing with milliliters and milligrams....again thank you. I will wait to hear what you think.

Wait - I just re read your post to me - you said that 4 mg is in 1 ml.. I thought it was 3.4 ml in 1 mg....now I am really confused. If it is 4 mg in 1 ml then I have really screwed up big time....oh gosh - please let me know...thank you!

Sally3

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Sally3

Altostrato...thank you so much for your answer. I am confused as well now...my syringe (finally remembered the word) is a 1 milliliter syringe....it's is longer and thinner than the one on Amazon.... the druggist told me that it takes 3 of those little "ticks" to make one milligram so I draw out the prozac liquid up past the 0.1, 0.2 and then the 0.3 markings or "ticks" and that is 1 mg - is that right? Should I get a 10 ml syringe like the one shown on Amazon...would that be easier. I have used this method for almost a year...I hope I haven't done it wrong...can anybody who knows please help me figure this out....thank you...

Sally3

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Sally3

Also wanted to add the amount that is on the bottle of prozac - it says

Fluoxetine 20 mg/5ml solution...

I hope this helps us figure this out...I did order the syringe from Amazon - will have it in a few days...

Thanks

Sally3

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Altostrata

Please stop your tapering until you figure this out.

 

Does your 1mL syringe look like this http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__2285'>http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__2285 ?

 

Each division on the 1mL syringe is .01mL (10 ticks between .10mL and .20mL) or .02mL (5 ticks between .10mL and .20mL).

 

At 20 mg/5ml (4mg Prozac in 1mL solution)

.01mL = .04mg Prozac

.02mL = .08mg Prozac

 

Your pharmacy should be able to give you 10mL syringes, if that's what you need.

 

You also need a cap to put on the bottle of liquid Prozac. The cap should have a hole in it, the tip of the oral syringe fits into this.

 

If your pharmacist doesn't have a cap, ask for a small medicine bottle with this type of cap. Pour some of your liquid Prozac into it and draw your dosage from the smaller bottle.

 

Here's an illustration of how to draw the medication from the bottle http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__2284'>http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__2284

 

Also see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__21391'>http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__21391

 

In fact, you should read ALL of this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques

 

It seems your pharmacist misinformed you about using the oral syringe. Talk to someone else and get them to show you how to do it.

 

Are you taking 10mg of Prozac every day? If so, are you filling the 1mL syringe up 2 times (8mg) plus .50mL (2mg)?

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Sally3

Alto - thanks so much for all that detailed info - I will not taper till this gets settled...I will go to the pharmacy tomorrow...thank you again...I hope I have not been doing it incorrectly all this time...we will see...no wonder I feel to bad

Sally3

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Sally3

Hello - I think this should be over on the Tapering thread but I will put it here since there is where I started and if you feel it should be moved, please do so.

OK - I have the equipment now that I need. I have a 10 ml syringe and a cap to fit onto the top of the bottle.

How do I proceed. I am confused about the little ticks on the syringe. This is a 10 milliliter syringe not a 10mg syringe....I have tapered down to 9mg so far - that is 2 milliliters and 3 ticks...am not sure what is the next stop....I have done all this previously with a tsp medicine spoon....not really accurate...

Want to do this right so just give me some direction....thank you!

Sally3

I do appreciate all your help!

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Skyler

Hello - I think this should be over on the Tapering thread but I will put it here since there is where I started and if you feel it should be moved, please do so.

OK - I have the equipment now that I need. I have a 10 ml syringe and a cap to fit onto the top of the bottle.

How do I proceed. I am confused about the little ticks on the syringe. This is a 10 milliliter syringe not a 10mg syringe....I have tapered down to 9mg so far - that is 2 milliliters and 3 ticks...am not sure what is the next stop....I have done all this previously with a tsp medicine spoon....not really accurate...

Want to do this right so just give me some direction....thank you!

Sally3

I do appreciate all your help!

 

Hi Sally.. how many ticks do you have between each ml. There are 10 mls, so the numbers range from 1 to 10 for each. The smaller ticks are not numbered but some syringes have 5 ticks while others have 10. So 3 ticks should be 3 mls, or 6 mls, depending on the number between the ml markings. Most 10ml syringes pharmacists give out for oral syringes have 5 ticks..

 

Syringes are not in mgs, that is the solution.. so it's the number of mls to mgs, and Alto is more up on your dose conversions.

 

Hey... good going. You got rid of the medicine spoon and are on your way! Medicine spoons are notoriously inaccurate and good for cough syrup, antacids, etc. meds that do not require precision. One of my pharmacists (NOT the better one), gave me a spoon, but I had been well coached, and handed it back to him asking for an oral syringe.. he was puzzled and replied that spoons were good enuf for oral dosing.. I insisted on a syringe. Sheesh. Some people just don't process info very well! Posted Image

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Sally3

Thank you for your response...There are 5 ticks between each milliliter...this is so confusing between the milliliters and milligrams - why don't they just make a syringe that measures milligrams - would make it so easy...

Sally3

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Altostrata

Schuyler, dear, your math....!

 

Prozac liquid from the pharmacy contains 4mg in 1mL (20mg/5mL).

Sally, if there are 5 ticks between 1mL and 2mL, each division is .2mL (2/10 mL).

 

At 20 mg/5ml (4mg Prozac in 1mL solution)

.2mL (1 tiny division on 10mL syringe) = .8mg Prozac

.4mL (2 tiny divisions on 10mL syringe) = 1.6mg Prozac

.6mL (3 tiny divisions on 10mL syringe) = 2.4mg Prozac

.8mL (4 tiny divisions on 10mL syringe) = 3.2mg Prozac

1.0mL (5 tiny divisions on 10mL syringe) = 4.0mg Prozac

 

It's not the mg-mL conversion that makes this complicated, it's the 4:1 dilution.

 

You also have a 1mL syringe. Does it have 5 ticks between .1mL and .2mL or 10 ticks?

 

If it is 5 ticks, each division on the 1mL syringe is .02mL.

 

Using the 1mL oral syringe, at 20 mg/5ml (4mg Prozac in 1mL solution)

.01mL = .04mg Prozac

.02mL = .08mg Prozac

 

HOWEVER, if you have had benzo withdrawal symptoms since you tapered a benzo, you may not wish to add additional stress to your nervous system by also tapering Prozac.

 

Why do you need to go off Prozac right now?

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Skyler

Schuyler, dear, your math....!

 

Prozac liquid from the pharmacy contains 4mg in 1mL (20mg/5mL).

Oops, Posted Image. I was deliberately staying away from the math.. only focusing on the number of ticks between the 1 mls markings. Should have edited the offending line out though. My math is fine, had I thought to use it! Duh....

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Sally3

Thanks you for your response - I had not intended to go off the Prozac until I was completely recovered from my Benzo w/d...However last summer I saw a psychiatrist who said that the prozac might have been causing the sx I was having - jitteriness, depression, anxity and that I should try to get off of it.

He however had never heard of any kind of withdrawal sx from getting off a Benzo....how can that be? Well I know it is common - most doctors dont' know anything about benzos. Anyway, so I started going slowly off the Prozac - down a little over 10 mg in 10 months....I am willing to stay where I am right now....

I had been advised by some people in the know over in the UK to not start to taper the Prozac until I was well from the Benzo w/d...but I was confused by what the doctor had said and so I started to taper. I thought I was doing it slowly enough that it wouldn't cause any problems. Guess I thought wrong - it is hard to know if I am still feeling benzo withdrawal sx or if it is the Prozac. Thanks for your help...I so appreciate it!

Sally3

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Skyler

Thanks you for your response - I had not intended to go off the Prozac until I was completely recovered from my Benzo w/d...However last summer I saw a psychiatrist who said that the prozac might have been causing the sx I was having - jitteriness, depression, anxity and that I should try to get off of it.

He however had never heard of any kind of withdrawal sx from getting off a Benzo....how can that be? Well I know it is common - most doctors dont' know anything about benzos. Anyway, so I started going slowly off the Prozac - down a little over 10 mg in 10 months....I am willing to stay where I am right now....

I had been advised by some people in the know over in the UK to not start to taper the Prozac until I was well from the Benzo w/d...but I was confused by what the doctor had said and so I started to taper. I thought I was doing it slowly enough that it wouldn't cause any problems. Guess I thought wrong - it is hard to know if I am still feeling benzo withdrawal sx or if it is the Prozac. Thanks for your help...I so appreciate it!

Sally3

 

Sally, would you put a short history of your benzo withdrawal in the sig line, followed by same for the AD? Makes it easier on us would be helper types (math not withstanding..) It does not need to be complicated..~S

 

LOL.. when you are thru with the math!! The conversion is 1 to 4 I believe, so multiply by .03 by 4 = .12mg Prozac, .04 x 4 is .16mgs Prozac and .05 x 4 is .20 mgs Prozac. Alto, check this thru? Sally, I had to struggle thru this myself. So simple.. but we use calculators for so much we become mind numb to math! You are having trouble moving the decimal point over one place when you multiply.

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Sally3

I was just trying to follow through on the 1 Milliliter syringe... I am sorry to be so dumb about this math - but could you finish out the equations for me on the 1 milliliter syringe...

.01 ml = .04 mg Prozac

.02 ml = .08 mg Prozac

.03 ml = (is it .16 mg prozac)

.04 ml = (is it .32 mg prozac

.05 ml = (is it .64 mg prozac)

 

I don't know why I can't get this....

Thank you!

Sally3

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Skyler

I was just trying to follow through on the 1 Milliliter syringe... I am sorry to be so dumb about this math - but could you finish out the equations for me on the 1 milliliter syringe...

.01 ml = .04 mg Prozac

.02 ml = .08 mg Prozac

.03 ml = (is it .16 mg prozac)

.04 ml = (is it .32 mg prozac

.05 ml = (is it .64 mg prozac)

 

I don't know why I can't get this....

Thank you!

Sally3

 

Sally.. see my response above.. also

.01 ml = .04 mg Prozac

.02 ml = .08 mg Prozac

.03 ml = .12 mg prozac)

.04 ml = .16 mg prozac

.05 ml = .20 mg prozac)

 

Alto, again check, think this is right. I think Sally is getting confused when she needs to carry the decimal more than one place. As you will may recall, someone else we know was stuck in the same place a coupla mos. back.

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Sally3

Thank you Schuyler for your help and the info....I am waiting to hear from Alto to confirm what you said.

I am not sure how to do the signature line...I will look for theinfo and give it a try...

thanks again

Sally3

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Skyler

Thank you Schuyler for your help and the info....I am waiting to hear from Alto to confirm what you said.

I am not sure how to do the signature line...I will look for theinfo and give it a try...

thanks again

Sally3

 

For the sig... look at the top right of this screen. You will see your name next to an arrow. Click on this, choose Profile from the drop down box. When you go to that screen, you will see an option to edit. Also on the top right.. though not quite so high. When you choose this and go to the screen, you will see an option to the lower left that says sig..

 

LOL.. I know I have the math right, but don't mind the check! That little decimal eluded me at first, oh my!

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Sally3

Thank you Schuyler - I did as you said and think I did it right - but am not sure....

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Sally3

I see it - I did it right...thanks again!

Sally3

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Skyler

That's better.. GOOD JOB Posted Image

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Altostrata

Sally.. see my response above.. also

.01 ml = .04 mg Prozac

.02 ml = .08 mg Prozac

.03 ml = .12 mg prozac)

.04 ml = .16 mg prozac

.05 ml = .20 mg prozac)

 

Alto, again check, think this is right. I think Sally is getting confused when she needs to carry the decimal more than one place. As you will may recall, someone else we know was stuck in the same place a coupla mos. back.

 

Yes, there are those decimal places.

Sally, does your 1mL syringe have 5 ticks between .10mL and .20mL? If yes, Schuyler's conversion is correct. Each tick brackets a division. There are 5 divisions between .10mL and .20mL, not 3 divisions -- the pharmacist was wrong.

 

How did your symptoms change when you reduced the Prozac?

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Sally3

Yes - my 1 ml syringe has 5 ticks between .10mL and .20 - so I will go by Schuyler's numbers.. Thank you.

I didn't start tapering the Prozac till I was 11 months off of the Klonopin. When I saw the psychiatrist, I was shaking, crying, anxious depressed and that was while still on the Prozac. He decided that those sx could be from being ON the Prozac. I never had any issues with Prozac the whole 17 years I took it.

So since last August while tapering the Prozac 1 mg per month, I have actually gotten better to a certain degree which I attribute to the length of time off the Benzos...I get windows of good days and then am slammed back into the horrible waves of sx again.

Nothing is really different as far as sx go - they are just less intense. My adrenaline surges have lessened, feet burning has lessened, windows seem to be more often but have had some long days of waves as well....and last Monday and Tuesday were two of the worst days I've had in a long time...and I had just started tapering the Prozac approx. 3 weeks before that after having held for two months.

I can't think of anything else to tell you that could possibly be linked to the Prozac withdrawal. We did just move on May 2 and that was quite stressful....that is why I held for two months prior to the move and then started tapering approx. 1 week after moving...

Thank you for your help - I appreciate it so much....I will be glad to hold again for a few months if you think that is wise.

Sally3

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Altostrata

I'm not a doctor, if I were you, I'd hold for a while, maybe a month or two, and journal your symptoms every day so you can tell what's from decreasing the Prozac and what's your baseline condition.

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Sally3

Thank you Altostrato....I intend to hold for at least one month....maybe two.

Can you tell me if people who are tapering an A/D get windows and waves? I thought that the prozac could not really be effecting me in a negative way as I tapered because I was still getting windows .... what are your thoughts on that?

Sally3

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Skyler

Thank you Altostrato....I intend to hold for at least one month....maybe two.

Can you tell me if people who are tapering an A/D get windows and waves? I thought that the prozac could not really be effecting me in a negative way as I tapered because I was still getting windows .... what are your thoughts on that?

Sally3

 

People tapering ADs get windows and waves.. If the withdrawal symptoms you were having got worse after you stopped taking Prozac, they were probably related to withdrawal from the AD. You are wondering if the presence of windows, times when you had no withdrawal symptoms? could mean Prozac was not causing withdrawal.. This is unclear, would you mind restating?

 

Lookin' good Sally.. think you have everything set up so you should start feeling improved soon! Way to go.

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Sally3

Yes that is what I was asking. While going through my Benzo w/d, I did get windows. When I started the Prozac withdrawal about a year later, I continued getting windows. I thought that perhaps if the Prozac w/d was causing me problems, that I would NOT get any windows. I thought the prozac w/d might keep me in a wave the whole time. But if one can also get windows/waves during an a/d w/d then it is hard to say what is causing this long drawn out withdrawal....so I will hold for a month, keep track of my symptoms and then once again commence my taper...thanks for all your help....hate these drugs so much...

Sally3

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Altostrata

No, withdrawal symptoms can be intermittent. If you get them at all, it means your tapering may be too stressful for your nervous system.

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Sally3

You don't think it would be wise for me to updose the Prozac do you? I would rather not...I am hoping to just even out where I am now....Thanks

Sally3

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Altostrata

We got diverted by the syringe discussion. If I were in your position, I would hold on all tapering for at least a month, maybe two, to see what your baseline symptoms are.

 

What you said here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2439-sally3-i-am-new-here/page__view__findpost__p__24420 indicates you are tapering Prozac too fast for your nervous system, which may be sensitized by benzo withdrawal.

 

Don't rush getting off the Prozac, your nervous system needs to stabilize from all the drug changes you've made.

 

If the symptoms that started last time you made a Prozac cut don't go away, you may want to increase the Prozac a bit and stabilize on a slightly higher dosage.

 

You need to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

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