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Cameron001: Prozac taper using alternate days method


Cameron001

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Hi all. I am new to the community.
After taking antidepressants for 4 years, this year my doctor suggested to take Prozac . After 2-3 months I felt awesome and I wanted to stop taking them. My doc suggested to take them on alternate days to taper. Here is how I tapered them after taking first 2 months(20 mg everyday).
3rd month: 10 mg everyday
4th month: 10 mg alternate days(skipping 1 day).
5th month: 10 mg once in 4 days.
6th month: 10mg once in 8 days.
7th month: 5mg once in 16 days.
8th month: 5mg once in a month(August 01, 2021).
I was told Prozac is self tapering hence It would not be a trouble. But after one month anxiety has started finding its way to me.
Is it Withdrawal or a relapse.How long would it take to return to normal.
(Also wanted to know: was the tapering fast or is it ok, or should I continue taking 5mg once in 15days or month)

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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  • getofflex changed the title to Cameron001: Prozac taper using alternate days method.
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  You have come to the right place.  The reason you were having withdrawal in the past is from tapering too fast off your drugs.  It's not your fault - the vast majority of doctors have no idea how to safely taper their patients off their drugs.  We do not recommend skipping doses (taking every other day, etc) to taper off drugs.  This causes an uneven amount of the drug to be in your system from day to day, and tends to cause significant withdrawal symptoms because it confuses your nervous system.  I believe that the anxiety you are now experiencing is likely to be withdrawal from Prozac, and probably also from Venlafaxine.  Are you having any other symptoms?  I will confer with the other mods, and we will suggest a course of action for you.  In the meantime, please read the information below. 

 

Can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Prozac

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Take your time to read it all, and we will back to you.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, @Cameron001

 

6 hours ago, Cameron001 said:

But after one month anxiety has started finding its way to me.

 

Which month (date) did this feeling show up? What does it feel like?

 

What country do you live in?

 

Your taper was the type that often causes withdrawal symptoms. See NEVER SKIP DOSES TO TAPER 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi @Altostrata Thanks for the reply, 

and sorry for the long paragraph.
I started feeling this after August 10th this year.
(previous year in 2020 I have experienced far worse than this, when I tried to taper it myself).
I am worried if something similar happens, then I have to go back to the usual dosage. I don't want to continue this.

Thanks for the link you shared.ūüíô Here is a list about what I am feeling.

1. Mental tasks which were once easy now seem hard.
2. Too much Emotional.
3. Fear of future(like of career). Like if this thing continues to deteriorate my brain, then how would I handle my office work.
4. Recently in 2019 I got rejected in one sided love and , now those harsh memories makes me sad. I have lost belief in love. I have mostly lived single due to my career and education.
5. My libido has diminished and I fear if it continues to be same then how would I live a happy life.

6. It's like some sort of worry that surrounds me now, even when there is none.
7. I even cried 4-5 times in these 30 days.

There are no physical symptoms like brain zaps or flue or body pain,

but these symptoms are much less than the ones that came after I tapered Effexor(Venlafaxine). Venlafaxine created havoc.
Might be it will take some more time from now, to gave me the same bad experience, don't know.

TBH in 2017 I went to doctor for morning headaches and that idiot gave me antidepressants. I was already happy before antidepressants, idk why he prescribed these.

Should I start taking Prozac again in low dosages(1-2 mg)?
We dont have Prozac in liquid form, only tablets of 10mg.

Edited by Cameron001

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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  • Administrator

Have these symptoms gotten better or worse over the last 2 weeks?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata, probably worse, But I am not feeling this all the time. In the morning it's ok, but as evening approaches I start to feel them. 
But one thing is sure, I am losing my motivation.

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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@getofflex, Sure I will write a detailed info about my one year experience.

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

It's up to you. As your symptoms have not started to fade, you might want to reinstate 1mg Prozac, stabilize over some months, and taper off later.

 

This topic explains how to make your own Prozac liquid for titrating. Tips for Tapering Prozac

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please summarize your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata, Ok, I will give it a try for 1 month.
I will wait 5-10 days more and if symptoms gets worse then I will reinstate.
Thank you so much for your support. You are doing a great job. God bless you.

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Thank you. Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

 

On 9/4/2021 at 7:35 PM, Cameron001 said:

After 2-3 months I felt awesome and I wanted to stop taking them.

If you felt great on Prozac, why did you want to stop it ? Maybe the medication was working and you should reinstate to feel great again ?

  • February 2020:¬†LEXAPRO¬†15mg/April¬†: lowered to 10mg/Mai¬†: 7,5mg then 5mg/June 15¬†: lowered to 2,5mg --> major WD living hell)
  • June 19 : back on 5mg/June 23: back on 10mg, major WD gone after a few days¬†/End ofJuly 2020 :¬†feeling amazing
  • September 2020 :¬†Lower to 7,5mg --> Instantly anhedonic
  • December 2020 : Decides to up my dose because I really can't take the anhedonia anymore¬†--> insomnia + vision disturbances + what I think was akathesia. From that failed updose remains a feeling of inner tension (mild aka ?) that I will often feel later on¬†
  • February¬†Started the process of converting my solid dose to a liquid "homemade" dose --> figured out that for me the liquid was way more "powerful" than the solid¬†
  • March 4th :¬†¬†3mg
  • May 26th : 108mL<->¬†2,7mg¬†--> symptoms : high heart rate (120 when just standing), dry mouth and eyes, difficulty sleeping, crying spells, anxiety (whereas anxiety and sadness¬†are completely inexistent on 120mg, it's like there's some sort of¬†passage where under 3mg, feelings come back full force with almost no "transition" from 0 to 100, it's like under 3mg, the zombie/suppression of feelings¬†effect of the med is inefficient, like a threshold)
  • June 3rd : back on 125mL <-> 3,125mg,¬†completely stable again a few days later, no suffering whatsoever, just the anhedonia
  • August 1st : hit with intense panic, cortisol, cannot eat.¬†

If you're happy on your antidepressant, really think twice before taking the decision to stop it. Because even by tapering slowly, it can have long-lasting hellish consequences

 

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  • Administrator

Can you allow people to go off the drugs if they choose to, @Camille?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@CamilleI want to stop them because I was already feeling good before starting antidepressant. I never had depression, anxiety or panic attack. Never had libido issues. These all issues started when I started tapering antidepressants after taking them for a long time. At that time I didn't knew that these meds will cause so much issue on quitting, If I knew I would have never started. btw my doc started these meds as a cure to headaches, what an idiot who does not knows the difference between headaches and depression.
 

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
On 9/5/2021 at 1:24 PM, Altostrata said:

As your symptoms have not started to fade, you might want to reinstate 1mg Prozac, stabilize over some months, and taper off later.

If you do decide to reinstate, be sure and take the 1 mg Prozac each and every day, at the same time of the day.  We don't suggest you ever skip doses.  Please let us know how you are doing.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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  • 2 months later...

Hi @Altostrata @getofflex, 

Hope you guys are doing well.


It's been around 3 months since my last update(didn't took any meds).
In total, I have not taken Prozac from around 4-6 months.
Some days were very bad, some better.


"Can you tell me, why my anxiety/depression symptoms always develop 2-3 months after quitting antidepressant.? I read somewhere they start within a week and lasts 3 to 4 weeks. But there is a very small reduction in my anxiety/depression symptoms after 4-6 months of quitting. "
 

I have noted some differences between withdrawal from Effexor(Dec-2020) and Prozac(August-2021) .

  1. The effects of Effexor were very strong as compared to Prozac.
  2. I am not having extreme anxiety/panic attack as I experienced after quitting Effexor.
  3. Crying spells were more in Effexor.
  4. Fear/catastrophizing was more in Effexor.

Present situation/ symptoms after quitting Prozac:

  1. Insomina/Headaches.
  2. Crying spells(less as compared to Effexor). Mainly crying on past happy moments
  3. PSSD and fear of losing my sexual chemistry. No desires.
  4. Loosing Interest/motivation 
  5. Feeling sad for no reason.
  6. Too much emotional.
  7. Loss of some focus/cognition

Things I did and doing to cope up

  1. Exercise(but my body is not recovering from workout)
  2. Omega3
  3. Ashwagandha(Withania Sominifera)
  4. Saffron(Recently got to know about its antidepressant effects)
  5. Keeping myself busy(job and learning).

I have some questions, please do answer. as I am going to my therapist in some days.

  1. My biggest concern as of now is PSSD. Do you know any medicine that can help recover PSSD or anything that I can ask my doc to prescribe me. Once in past my doc prescribed Wellbutrin(Bupropion) for PSSD, but I didn't took it. What's your view on it, is there any better alternative?
  2. How long can PSSD last.
  3. Is there any other medicine that can overall help recovering my seretonin levels. I really don't want to go back on these meds.
  4. I suspect my adrenal levels are not coming down, I am not feeling relaxed, even after sleep. Do you think I should undergo any medical test for adrenals?
  5. I don't know whether I am healing or not. I am like Numb/Zombie these days. Neither good nor bad feelings. But on some days for 1-2 hrs in the morning I feel good. I mostly feel sad in the evening. Is it normal?.  But definitely there is a very small reduction in anxiety/depression symptoms from one month.
  6. Are these anxiety/depression symptoms part of healing/withdrawal or is it a relapse to worry about?

 

Thanks for readingūüėä

 


 

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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  • Moderator

Hello @Cameron001, 
 

I would like you complete your drug signature by clicking on this link :¬†Account Settings ‚Äď Create or Edit a signature.
This will allow us to see your history at a glance and understand better your situation.

Please include drugs, doses/dose changes , dates, discontinuations and reinstatements. Also include supplements.

 

5 hours ago, Cameron001 said:

"Can you tell me, why my anxiety/depression symptoms always develop 2-3 months after quitting antidepressant.? I read somewhere they start within a week and lasts 3 to 4 weeks. But there is a very small reduction in my anxiety/depression symptoms after 4-6 months of quitting. "

I don't think anyone can tell you exactly why your withdrawal symptoms start after several months. 
Unfortunately, the withdrawal phenomena of these molecules are little studied, or even not recognized: we don't have enough data/analysis and can only make assumptions.
The phenomenon you describe is not rare: many people on this site have made the same observation and have reported a withdrawal syndrome that starts 2-3 months after stopping the treatment.

 

5 hours ago, Cameron001 said:

 

  1. My biggest concern as of now is PSSD. Do you know any medicine that can help recover PSSD or anything that I can ask my doc to prescribe me. Once in past my doc prescribed Wellbutrin(Bupropion) for PSSD, but I didn't took it. What's your view on it, is there any better alternative?
  2. How long can PSSD last.
  3. Is there any other medicine that can overall help recovering my seretonin levels. I really don't want to go back on these meds.
  4. I suspect my adrenal levels are not coming down, I am not feeling relaxed, even after sleep. Do you think I should undergo any medical test for adrenals?
  5. I don't know whether I am healing or not. I am like Numb/Zombie these days. Neither good nor bad feelings. But on some days for 1-2 hrs in the morning I feel good. I mostly feel sad in the evening. Is it normal?.  But definitely there is a very small reduction in anxiety/depression symptoms from one month.
  6. Are these anxiety/depression symptoms part of healing/withdrawal or is it a relapse to worry about?

1. & 2 & 3. : 

To our knowledge, there is no "cure" for withdrawal symptoms of any kind. 
Thousands of testimonies from people who have gone through these withdrawal phenomena teach us that the best remedy is time: our nervous systems seem to have the capacity to regulate themselves and heal from the chaos induced by these molecules.
We also see that it is often more important to do NOTHING than to introduce new substances that could add fuel to the fire of an already destabilized nervous system.
Unfortunately, nobody can predict how long symptoms will last, but we do know that they tend to fade with time.


If you haven't read these topics yet, I strongly encourage you to do so to help you understand what is going on and will answer many of your questions : 


-> how-psychiatric-drugs-remodel-your-brain
-> are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

-> again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please/

 

4. 

Withdrawal can mimic many medical conditions, and the symptoms you describe are not uncommon.

However, we can only recommend that people carry out the necessary medical examinations when in doubt, and this helps to eliminate other potential causes.
 

5. 

Oh, I hate to say this because I know all too well that it's not what you want to hear and I'm sorry I can't give you a more accurate answer, but unfortunately: no one can predict how long it will take, or how your body will go through the healing process. 
But we do know that these healing processes are taking place and that our bodies are healing and regaining a certain balance.

The fact that you can already see improvements after 4-5 months is a good sign, it will get better¬†‚ėÄÔłŹ

 

6. 
Anxiety and depression are among the most common feelings when it comes to withdrawal symptoms: it's only been 5 months since you went off the meds, chances are you're currently experiencing symptoms.
The best advice we can give to people who are going through withdrawal and willing to live without drugs is to discover, learn, practice non-drug coping skills : you can take a look at our selfcare section and try some tools.

Wishing you the best, take care.

 

Edited by Erell

2006 : 20mg Paxil+Bromazepam. 2008 : cold turkey of both. 2010 : Reinstatement 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam.

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, slow taper to 0mg.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days). 22 Aug 2019 updose to 10mg (was at 8.4mg).

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

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details : topic/21457

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil

Current medication :

* Diazepam  : 0.85mg (15 Aug 2022) / 0.95 mg (24 April 2022) / 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* Prozac : 6.24mg (18 July 22) / 6.44mg (22 May 22) / 6.64mg (4 Nov 21) / 6.72mg (8 oct 21) / 6.8 mg (15 Sept 21)/ 6.88mg (14 Aug 21)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 21)

 

I am not a professional, I don't give medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Thank yo so much @Erell for letting me know that these are just withdrawal symptoms and not relapse. I am really feeling relaxed after knowing it. Hope they reduce in next 2 to 3 months. Btw from around 25 days I am seeing improvements. I hope it continues to improve.

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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  • 3 months later...

@Altostrata @getofflex @Erell
3 months update.

It has been around 7-8 months since I took last dose.
I am really happy to inform you all that those dark clouds have now gone.
Things have stabilised much now.
There is no constant anxiety/panic that I used to have about future.
There is no constant sadness.
Below is the improvement from withdrawal to now:
1.  Anxiety/Panic-              2/10 to 9/10    :: Excellent improvement
2. Constant sadness-      3/10 to 8/10    :: Excellent improvement

3. PSSD:                            2/10 to 5/10    :: Average Improvement.
4. Sleep:                            6/10 to 6/10    :: There is no change in sleep.
5. Cognition:                     4/10 to 7/10    :: Average improvement.

6. Memory:                       5/10 to 7/10     :: Minor improvement.
8. Fear:                              3/10 to 9/10    :: Excellent improvement,


I am really thankful to you guys for being so supportive always. 
Withdrawal time was really tough. I was tempted to reinstate many times but I controlled and did exercise every day with some meditation. I was like what type of life I am living. Like a Sad Zombie.
For someone who is facing fierce withdrawals. You can switch to Prozac and take a step at time. If it doesn't suits you go back to your original med.
For Prozac, you will start feeling bad as you taper. You will feel worst for months(In my case 8-11 months). But you will get out of it. 
All the best to whole team and God bless you all. Kudos to the teamūüíö.




 

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

ūüēļThis is wonderful news!!! ¬†I‚Äôm thrilled to hear it! ¬†These are the types of posts that make moderating worthwhile. Please keep in touch! ¬†When you‚Äôve been off the drug a year please write a success story to encourage other people. ¬†

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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Here is a bit history: I went to a neurologist for the morning headaches I have. Instead of any other med he prescribed me antidepressants. I didn't knew about the effects of it in long run I keep on taking them but there was no effect on my morning headaches. 
Now after quitting antidepressants I thought this month to start my headache diagnosis again.
Here is a summary about my headache: 

1. Morning headache since 10 years
2. Starts when I wake up in the morning and  some symptoms relieve around 4-5pm.
3. Usually when sleep is less than 8 hrs.
4. Lesser the sleep more is the intensity of headache.
5. The headache is more on right side and behind eyes.

6. Sleep is not restorative.
7. Tired on waking up(Even after 9 hrs of sleep). But there is no headache after 9hr sleep.
 

checkups:
Blood, Sinus, Lungs, heart test: All normal.

I explained everything to the doc yesterday. According to him it is a Poor sleep induced migraine. He suggested 3.75 of Mirtazapine (which is again an antidepressant). I told him that I will not be taking any antidepressants as I have already suffered and was able to quit it recently.
But according to him it's a low dose med(1/4 of 15mg normal dose) which I have to take for 15 days to know whether it's working for morning headache. He said if it doesn't work we will do a LEVEL-1 sleep study.

(He also asked me for vit-D test, iron test and B12 test, and a CT scan also of my brain.)

I am not convinced to take antidepressant again.
Should I give it a try for 15 days?.
Idk how it's withdrawal will be during its tapering.
@Altostrata Need your insights and suggestions on this.

 

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

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  • Administrator

@Cameron001, we don't treat headaches here, but it sounds like yours might be related to the natural morning peak in cortisol and perhaps light sensitivity. See 

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing the morning cortisol spike

 

More about how light stimulation affects our body clocks

 

As for taking an antidepressant for headaches, if you don't want to do that, you can ask for alternatives. Did Prozac help your headaches?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata Thanks

2016: Misinformed by docs to take antidepressant for the morning headaches I have.
2016 to 2018: 50mg Effexor. August 2018: Quit effexor(went into depression for 4-6 months)
December to May 2020: 50 m Effexor.
June to Nov 2020: Tapering - 25 to 12.5 mg Effexor
Nov to Jan 2021:  Extreme withdrawals(felt like I was experiencing real depression).
Jan to March 2021: Prozac 20mg.(Feeling good)
April 2021 to October: 10mg Prozac to 5mg on alternate days
Withdrawal (August 2021 to January 2022.)
Things started to improve in February 2022.
Currently I am not taking any antidepressants. Feeling much better.
Here is the link of how I now feel: Thanks to the teamūüíô

 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Cameron001: Prozac taper using alternate days method

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