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SteadFast: How to wean off Prozac after taking only 3+ weeks


SteadFast

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Hi friends,

I've been taking Prozac fluoxetine 20mg capsules for 3+ weeks, hoping it would help with sleep but instead it's made my sleep much worse. I've been holding out wondering if it would improve but it doesn't seem to be, and it's made my already bad chronic fatigue to move from housebound to bedbound, which is awful. 

 

Can I just drop Prozac cold turkey after this short a period or what should I do? Thank you so much!

Zoloft 50mg for 30 days, Apr-May2021, taper at half dose over 5 days (no effect)

Prozac 20mg for 23 days, Oct2021 to present (no positive effect?)

Melatonin 3mg Mar-May2021, Sept-Oct2021

Bisoprolol 1.25mg for 10 years+ 

Warfarin 6mg for artificial heart valve

Ventolin and Flovent rarely as needed (only 2-3 times in all of 2021)

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  • Kiasofia changed the title to SteadFast: How to wean off Prozac after taking only 3+ weeks
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs. You have come to the right place. Is this the very first time you have been on Prozac?  Have you ever been on any psychiatric meds before?  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

 

At this point, I would not suggest a cold turkey. It takes a month for your brain to become dependent upon Prozac, and you have been on it almost a month, so your brain has probably already begun to be dependent on Prozac.  I may suggest a fast taper for you, depending on your past with psych drugs.  In the meantime, here are some links to read.  

 

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, which we will hopefully prevent by helping you get off this properly.  

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Normally, when a person has been on the drug a month or longer, we suggest a very slow, gradual 10% exponential taper:  

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

 

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

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

We look forward to hearing from you again soon.  You will receive more specific tapering advice when we know more about your drug history.  

 

 

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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Thanks for the reply, getofflex! I've tried to add a signature with drug history, so hopefully that will appear. This is my first time on Prozac. I tried Zoloft in April but it didn't do anything. My psychiatrist recommended that I cross taper to Effexor but after reading about the horrible discontinuation, I wasn't willing to continue. So I took Zoloft at half dose (25mg) for 2 days, took Effexor for 2 days (can't remember dose), then took one more half dose of Zoloft. The discontinuation was really unpleasant but maybe just for a week. I resolved that I wouldn't try any antidepressant except Prozac after that, since it has longer half life and supposedly easier discontinuation.

 

It doesn't seem like I could do 10% reduction of Prozac easily. I might or might not be able to get a prescription (not sure yet) from my psychiatrist for 10mg tablets that I could split in half, but that would only allow me to decrease by 25% easily. 

 

If I can't get 10mg tablets, my only options seem to be cold turkey or do every other day 20mg capsules. I've read here that you don't recommend on and off dosing, but would that still be better than cold turkey?

 

Thanks so much for your advice!

Zoloft 50mg for 30 days, Apr-May2021, taper at half dose over 5 days (no effect)

Prozac 20mg for 23 days, Oct2021 to present (no positive effect?)

Melatonin 3mg Mar-May2021, Sept-Oct2021

Bisoprolol 1.25mg for 10 years+ 

Warfarin 6mg for artificial heart valve

Ventolin and Flovent rarely as needed (only 2-3 times in all of 2021)

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Because you were on Zoloft previously, and had some unpleasant symptoms from fast tapering off that, and now you have been on Prozac almost a month, I'll suggest a very fast taper.  I'm afraid that doing a slower taper would just cause you to become dependent upon it.  

 

 

Please do not take your dose very other day.  This can cause an uneven amount of the drug in the bloodstream, and cause worse uncomfortable symptoms.  You can remove some of the powder from the capsule each day to taper.  You can also make a liquid from your capsules.  Here is a thread explaining how to do that: 

 

Tapering and Dosing Prozac

 

Here is what I would do, if it were me:

 

Take 3/4 of a capsule for 4 days. 

Take 1/2 of a capsule for 4 days.

Take 1/4 of a capsule for 4 days. 

 

You may have to deal with some unpleasant symptoms, like you did getting off of the Zoloft.  Let us know what happens.  

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

 

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Please disregard my previous advice about how to taper.  This advice is from one of our well seasoned senior mods Brass Monkey:  

 

If you've been on the drug 1 to 2 week, do a cold turkey.  

If you have been on it Two to six weeks fast taper, 20 to 25% every two week in a linear fashion.  

 

So here is your taper schedule: 

Weeks 1 & 2: Prozac 15 mg 

Weeks 3 & 4: Prozac 10 mg

Weeks 5 & 6: Prozac 5 mg

Weeks 7 and following Prozac 0 mg.  

 

Please let us know how it goes.  If things get out of hand (bad symptoms), you can make smaller reductions, and/or take more time between reductions.   

 

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

Link to comment

Thank you so much! I'll see how it goes!

Zoloft 50mg for 30 days, Apr-May2021, taper at half dose over 5 days (no effect)

Prozac 20mg for 23 days, Oct2021 to present (no positive effect?)

Melatonin 3mg Mar-May2021, Sept-Oct2021

Bisoprolol 1.25mg for 10 years+ 

Warfarin 6mg for artificial heart valve

Ventolin and Flovent rarely as needed (only 2-3 times in all of 2021)

Link to comment
  • Moderator

@SteadFastI want to make sure you read my most recent post, with a better tapering schedule.  The first one I gave you may have been too fast.  I see you replied right about the same time I was posting your updated taper.   If you develop withdrawal symptoms, it is very important to stop reducing, and hold until you stabilize. 

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

Link to comment

Thanks for checking with me. Yes, I did see the 2nd post with the longer tapering schedule.

Zoloft 50mg for 30 days, Apr-May2021, taper at half dose over 5 days (no effect)

Prozac 20mg for 23 days, Oct2021 to present (no positive effect?)

Melatonin 3mg Mar-May2021, Sept-Oct2021

Bisoprolol 1.25mg for 10 years+ 

Warfarin 6mg for artificial heart valve

Ventolin and Flovent rarely as needed (only 2-3 times in all of 2021)

Link to comment

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