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Roxi: Tapering


Roxi

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Tapering 20mg prozac by 5% every 8 weeks after many failed attempts to stop. I am bipolar and sure it is making me hypomanic. Am l on the right track with the taper? Prozac has a long half life and is confused with being easy to come off because of this, which has certainly not been the case for me. I am also getting confused as to whether it is withdrawal or need of them? Here in UK doctors are clueless about anti D withdrawal and basically have people going cold turkey. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Roxi: Tapering
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.

 

On 10/15/2021 at 11:17 AM, Roxi said:

Tapering 20mg prozac by 5% every 8 weeks after many failed attempts to stop.

It's great that you are doing a slow and careful taper.  I can tell you more about safe and effective tapering below.  It is important that we make smaller and smaller decreases as we get down into the lower doses.  Therefore, 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 vertical 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

 

On 10/15/2021 at 11:17 AM, Roxi said:

I am bipolar and sure it is making me hypomanic.

Who told you you were bipolar?  Just FYI, many doctors label their patients as bipolar.  This may or may not be true.  By "it" making me hypomanic, do you mean when you were on the drug, or tapering off the drug made you hypomanic?  These drugs tend to activate the nervous system, and can sometimes lead to false diagnoses of bipolar.  Some people develop mania or hypomania as an adverse reaction to the drugs, or as a withdrawal effect.  Read this:  

 

Bipolar Dx Because of Antidepressant Use and Withdrawal 

 

and 

 

Withdrawal Can Cause Mania and Hypomania

 

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper so slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

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

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

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.  Your 5% taper every 8 weeks is even better, because it is slower.  Are you doing 5% of your original dose, or 5% of your current dose?  We at SA suggest doing a percent of your current dose, so that the reduction becomes exponentially smaller and smaller.  The reasons for this will be clear in the 3rd link below:  

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Prozac

 

SERT Occupancy Studies Show Importance of Exponential Taper

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

What symptoms are you having?  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.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

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, or Tylenol 1000 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, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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On 10/15/2021 at 5:17 PM, Roxi said:

Tapering 20mg prozac by 5% every 8 weeks after many failed attempts to stop. I am bipolar and sure it is making me hypomanic. Am l on the right track with the taper? Prozac has a long half life and is confused with being easy to come off because of this, which has certainly not been the case for me. I am also getting confused as to whether it is withdrawal or need of them? Here in UK doctors are clueless about anti D withdrawal and basically have people going cold turkey. 

Hi, 

I am on the fallowing meds. 

20mg fluoxitine since July 2013 (on and off mostly on) kliovance HRT 1.5mg tablets since January 2020

Lamotrigine 200mg since June 2020. 

 

I have hypomania and depression on this combo which is exasperated when l try to come off! 

 

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  • Moderator

Thanks for the drug history.  I have copied it into your signature, so that it is automatically included with each post.  Can you please give me dates and dosages of each time you reduced the fluoxetine?  If you can't remember the specific date, just say something like "early July" or "third week of September".   If we have specific information about your taper, we can advise you better.  Thank you.

 

6 hours ago, Roxi said:

I have hypomania and depression on this combo which is exasperated when l try to come off! 

This may very well be from tapering too fast.  Our nervous systems tend to get activated when we are tapering off antidepressants.  Depression is a very common symptom of nervous system destabilization from tapering, as well.  You may want to hold on your current dose for a while, and allow your nervous system a chance to heal and recover, and adjust to the lower drug levels.  If you taper too fast, the WD compounds itself and worsens with each reduction, and eventually your system could crash.     

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, or Tylenol 1000 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, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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I have always been on 20mg fluoxetine stopping cold turkey every time l have tried to get off up until now (bearing in mind l was always given the go ahead by my doctor to go ahead by my doctor to this due to its long half life) . I honestly can't remember dates or months it's been a number of times and a lot of  times and l have always ended up in a bad way with memory loss and complete blurrs to times. 

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  • Moderator

If you want our help, then we need some information and cooperation from you.  You said in your first post:

 

On 10/15/2021 at 11:17 AM, Roxi said:

Tapering 20mg prozac by 5% every 8 weeks after many failed attempts to stop. I am bipolar and sure it is making me hypomanic. Am l on the right track with the taper?

How can I know if you are on the right track with your taper, if you won't give me at least approximate dates and dosages of your taper?  Please refer back to my first post for instructions on how to do this.  You must do your part too.  

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, or Tylenol 1000 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, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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