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Codes91: fluoxetine cold turkey, worse wave yet?


codes91

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Hi SA community. Long time lurker here and now I’m looking for input on where to go next with my current situation. I feel Like I’ve reviewed every section of this site — success stories, symptoms and self care, withdrawal dialogues, the list goes on! I do my best to live a healthy life. Eating well, exercise, yoga/meditation, practice gratitude, etc. Very much believe that you have some control and willingness to make changes from within. But… even keeping up with these items, this journey is kicking my ass. 

 

CT withdrawal at the start of April, 10MG Fluoxetine (never again CT!) In the last few months (end of June to the end of August) I’ve definitely had some windows and super grateful for those moments. First it was a few days, then turned into about a window for a week. Followed by a week or two of a wave. Just had my longest run towards the end of August which was a good ten days or so in a window! Since then, overall anxiety and sheer panic, and depression, has stuck around and effecting work life at this stage. Anxiety/panic is worse first thing in the morning and come evening time, it’s better. Aside from those two symptoms, I continue to have muscle/joint pain, odd sensation in my left ear, prickly/itchy feelings on the skin, irritability and feelings of complete fear. Suicide ideation. Twitching sensation around the bladder, brain fog (unable to think clearly, hard to form conversations and underlying dp/dr), intrusive OCD thoughts, waking up around 5-6AM and tough to go back to sleep, akathisia. 

 

Now that my work is being affected at this stage, I went into my dr the other day to discuss looking into being prescribe some kind of “in the moment” assistance. I was prescribe hydroxyzine 50MG (have used in the past), took my first dose this AM — it helped with overall panic/fear sensation and allowed me to relax more. But made me super drowsy (I’ll take half next time to see if I can combat that). At my request I was also prescribe liquid form fluoxetine as I’ve been thinking about maybe reinstating at a very low dosage (1MG)

 

I’ve read the post many times on reinstatement and aware that being this fair out from my last dosage, it may not work. At this point in this journey… honestly, I just want to feel a bit better - even if that may mean reinstating and taper properly. If this is a wave, it’s been the worse yet (but then again, doesn’t each wave feel like the worse?!)

 

So question is… am I just in a very bad wave and my brain is tricking me thinking I’m relapsing? And if this is withdrawal still, what are your thoughts on reinstating and then having to slowly taper down from here?  Appreciate the input! 

 

I’m really hoping to get some relief here very soon. This is just miserable. if helpful, I did mood journaling at the start of this process but paused in the middle of August - happy to share if it’ll be helpful to see some of my entry’s. 
 

Thanks everyone ❤️

Edited by Karma
Name update

2008 - 2012: Lexapro (lower dosage)

2014(?)-2016: Cymbalta 30MG. Slow taper over 3 months or so. 

May 2019 - April 10th 2021: fluoxetine 10MG. Cold turkey, no taper. Last dose April 10th

Today: Magnesium glycinate, am - 50MG

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  • Karma changed the title to Codes91: fluoxetine cold turkey, worse wave yet?
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Welcome, @codes91

 

As you know, we have many people here who have reinstated a low dose of the drug for the same reasons you are considering.

 

Withdrawal symptoms do tend to be inconsistent and constantly changing, but if overall you have seen yours get worse, low-dose reinstatement can be a crutch to stabilization of your nervous system.

 

1mg does not sound like too low a dose. You might even want to test the waters with 0.5mg. 

 

Thanks for your signature. 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.

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  • Moderator

Hello @codes91.

 

Welcome to SA.

Thank you for completing your signature.  

I'm sorry you're experiencing a rough withdrawal from fluoxetine.  As you probably realize, these are typical for many of us in withdrawal from psycho-drugs.  Since you've acquainted yourself with the site. some of these links may be familiar:

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

On 9/19/2021 at 10:52 AM, codes91 said:

I went into my dr the other day to discuss looking into being prescribe some kind of “in the moment” assistance. I was prescribe hydroxyzine 50MG (have used in the past), took my first dose this AM — it helped with overall panic/fear sensation and allowed me to relax more. But made me super drowsy (I’ll take half next time to see if I can combat that). At my request I was also prescribe liquid form fluoxetine as I’ve been thinking about maybe reinstating at a very low dosage (1MG)

Here is a link where you can check if there are interactions between fluoxetine and hydroxyzine

 

Drug Interactions Checker

 

These links may also be useful:

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2002 Oct;22(5):511-5.

Tolerance to daytime sedative effects of H1 antihistamines.

Richardson GS1, Roehrs TA, Rosenthal L, Koshorek G, Roth T.

 

Abstract at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12352276

 

https://www.pharmacist.com/nonprescription-antihistamines-geriatric-considerations

 

Antihistamines for withdrawal insomnia

It sounds like you understand the possible risk of worsening the withdrawal symptoms this far out, vs the possibility of stabilizing current symptoms.  If you decide to try reinstating I recommend you have your doctor read the following links, so that your doctor is on board and knows what's happening for you.  It certainly seems you've done a lot to strengthen and understand your own recovery.  I wish you weren't having to go through the misery that these drugs often cause.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

Tips for Dosing and Tapering Prozac

 

On 9/19/2021 at 10:52 AM, codes91 said:

So question is… am I just in a very bad wave and my brain is tricking me thinking I’m relapsing?

These sound definitely like withdrawal symptoms and not relapsing.

My best to you,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Thanks @Altostrataand @arbor. I'll review some of the links you provided and refresh myself.

 

I figured this was part of the withdrawal symptoms. In the last few days I do feel like some of the fog has cleared but the intense anxiety is still there, comes and goes throughout the day. Certain things trigger it and do my best to accept that and refocus my attention to what's happening. Such a challenge! But I sense I may be on the up and coming into another Window... just the overall weight of being held down is lifting a bit. So I'm grateful for that.

 

What's tough about the underlying anxiety, which is accompanied by intrusive thoughts at times, is me having a diagnose of OCD. I'm continuing to do exposures but even then they are so much harder at times to complete. Just keep telling myself to stick with what I know is an effect method to combat and keep on top of my OCD, but it's hard when your brain is already going a mile a minute and feels like it's brining every single thought front and center. Compared to a day where the thoughts are there but not loud, they come and go and I'm not really engaging -- that's what I call a good day where my brain is at ease :). I think back to pre OCD diagnosis/treatment, I can't remember having THIS amount of intense anxiety, it's different now.

 

I've still yet to decide if I am going to reinstate at a very low dosage, following Altostrata's suggestion of even as low as 0.5mg, or look into ketamine therapy. I've talked twice to the Dr. for one of the clinics I found who would administer ketamine therapy, and explained to him what my symptoms currently are today. He believes it's not withdrawal but could be a side affect of some of the depression I'm going through at the moment. I'm not sure how much I agree, if at all, knowing the waves/windows I've experienced! So challenging -- you have this amazing community online, then a view from a Dr. angle that can majorly contradict each other. I'm someone who is all about trying new things and allowing new opportunities to happen, so am considering trying out six session of the ketamine therapy. Did a bunch of reading around the clinical studies when using it for OCD, so I know what I would be getting myself into and going into it not having unrealistic expectations. It's either Introduce this therapy to see if it's a temporary solution to withdrawal symptoms and overall help with my OCD flare up, or reinstate with fluoxetine.

 

I already appreciate the two responses from both of you! My main question was answered which was around reinstating, and having my info, providing a response on this topic knowing that I am five months our from my last dose. Thanks again, Altostrata! And thanks SA for letting me just get my thoughts out in the open and feeling safe doing so. As others can relate, it's hard to fully engage with family and friends on this when they really have no idea what we're going through. Especially if they've never had to experience this themselves!

 

Until next time.

 

Be well,

Codes91

2008 - 2012: Lexapro (lower dosage)

2014(?)-2016: Cymbalta 30MG. Slow taper over 3 months or so. 

May 2019 - April 10th 2021: fluoxetine 10MG. Cold turkey, no taper. Last dose April 10th

Today: Magnesium glycinate, am - 50MG

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21 hours ago, codes91 said:

I'm continuing to do exposures but even then they are so much harder at times to complete.

 

What do you mean by exposures?

 

Since so few doctors have a clue about withdrawal syndrome and almost universally misdiagnose it as "relapse" of something, it's not at all surprising your doctor thinks you have depresssion.

 

Ketamine is a somewhat questionable treatment for depression, whatever that is (nobody knows).  Withdrawal syndrome is not depression. We have no idea how ketamine will affect your withdrawal syndrome. It's an anesthetic, best case it will give you some relief for a few days.

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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2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

What do you mean by exposures?

It’s a type of CBT therapy for OCD - Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). But that’s neither here or there as I’m aware that this is a place to talk about antidepressant withdrawal!
 

I’m treading very cautiously with that Dr and personally don’t believe his statement. I’ve never really dealt with depression and when I have, it was going on a SSRI or coming off. My diagnosis is OCD/anxiety and have always been very aware of my mental health and what I believe, understanding my body. 
 

The last few days things have definitely turned around - no waking up with extreme panic and most of my physical side affects are super minor or not occurring (such as that odd twitching sensation around my bladder). And overall, feeling the good feels of what life has to offer, along with confidence in who I am and where I’m at. This is a window! 🤗 Now to enjoy it for each moment and appreciate these times.

 

Had a nice window in the middle of August, few weeks, then dropped into a wave and not back into a window. Goodness… how night and day difference they are! Time and patience, time and patience 🙏🏼 

 

Be well,

codes91

 

2008 - 2012: Lexapro (lower dosage)

2014(?)-2016: Cymbalta 30MG. Slow taper over 3 months or so. 

May 2019 - April 10th 2021: fluoxetine 10MG. Cold turkey, no taper. Last dose April 10th

Today: Magnesium glycinate, am - 50MG

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  • Administrator

It's good you have had a window. 

 

If you feel the therapy is beneficial, I'd continue it. But if you feel it's making your symptoms worse, I'd postpone it.

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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