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BlurredFaith: Fluoxetine Taper


BlurredFaith

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Hi, I’m new here and hoping to start a taper on Fluoxetine shortly. I’m very bad at maths, had a bad taper experience with paroxetine & I have a near 20 year history with SSRIs. I have a couple of questions I hope someone might be able to help me with… 

 

1. Does the below look like a reasonable schedule to aim for, with the dosages correct for a 5% monthly reduction?

2. I have an appointment to discuss this plan with my GP soon. Would it be too close to coming off Quetiapine (25mg, last dose 16 March 2022) to start the Fluoxetine taper on 1 April 2022?

3. I believe Fluoxetine can be prescribed in liquid preparation but I don’t know if it’s possible to syringe such small quantities from this? Is it possible to get syringes with micro dosing measurements?

 

Schedule:

Month 1 - 55mg

Month 2 - 49.5mg

Month 3 - 47.03mg

Month 4 - 44.68mg

Month 5 - 42.45mg

Month 6 - 40.33mg

 

I take high dose magnesium l threonate & high dose omega 3 supplements, as well as multivitamins, b12 & Vitamin D. Also, the contraceptive pill on a continual basis.

 

Thanks so much in advance.

 
 
 
  • December 2021 - 16 Mar 2022, 25mg Quetiapine (diagnosed with insomnia, December 2021)
  • November 2018 - Present, 60mg Fluoxetine (diagnosed with PND, November 2018; diagnosed with PMDD May 2019)
  • August 2018 - October 2018, 40mg Fluoxetine
  • July 2018 - August 2018, 20mg Fluoxetine (late stages pregnancy)
  • January 2016 - June 2018, 40mg Fluoxetine (diagnosed with Tokophobia January 2016)
  • June 2015 - December 2015, 20mg Fluoxetine
  • *2014 - 5 month Paroxetine taper*
  • January 2001 - April 2014, 20-60mg Paroxetine (diagnosed with OCD & Depression 2001)
  • Periodic diazepam, chlorpromazine (none since 2018)
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to BlurredFaith: Fluoxetine Taper
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

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

 

I'm glad that you are carefully planning your future taper, and doing a very conservative 5% per month taper.  I've run the math, and found that your first reduction, from 55 to 49.5, is in fact a 10% drop, instead of a 5% drop.  Here is what I came up with: 

 

Month 1 - 55

Month 2 - 52.25

Month 3 - 49.64

Month 4 - 47.16

Month 5 - 44.8

Month 6 42.56

 

Another option for a very conservative gentle taper is the micro taper.  Here is information about that: 

 

Brass Monkey Slide Method of Micro Tapering

 

On 3/23/2022 at 5:17 AM, BlurredFaith said:

Would it be too close to coming off Quetiapine (25mg, last dose 16 March 2022) to start the Fluoxetine taper on 1 April 2022?

How did your Quetiapine taper go?   Was is a very slow, exponential taper as we suggest on this site?  Did you have withdrawal symptoms?  Please give us more information about this taper.  It would help to know dates and dosages of each quetiapine reduction.  Even if you had an easy, painless taper, I would suggest giving your nervous system a break for a while, to give it a chance to rest and fully recover from the quetiapine taper.  

 

On 3/23/2022 at 5:17 AM, BlurredFaith said:

3. I believe Fluoxetine can be prescribed in liquid preparation but I don’t know if it’s possible to syringe such small quantities from this? Is it possible to get syringes with micro dosing measurements?

Yes, you can easily use a syringe to measure very small amounts of liquid medication.  I'm currently using one to measure only 0.02 ml of liquid Lexapro.  You can get syringes in various sizes.  Mine is the small 1 ml syringe that measures in hundredths of a ml.  Amazon has them.  

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***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 

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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Hello @getofflex,

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to write out this very helpful reply.

 

Thanks too for running the maths and correcting my numbers - it really isn’t my strong point! When the time comes I’ll get some syringes from Amazon. In the meantime I’ll familiarise myself with Brassmonkeys micro taper. I know that I’m in it for the long haul with my fluoxetine taper and I’m prepared for it to take years. Having been on SSRIs since the age of 19 (I’m 39 now) I’m coming to realise my brain hadn’t even fully developed before being so radically altered so I know there’s a lot of neural healing to do.

 

Unfortunately I only came to this site after going CT on Quetiapine on 16th March. It was prescribed mid December 2021 for insomnia and I took 25mg every evening until 16th March. I’ve seen a resurgence of my insomnia, a few muscle jerks when I go to bed and some anxiety which I can attribute to withdrawal but otherwise I’m okay. It honestly didn’t even occur to me that I should taper it having been on it for such a relatively short period of time (I know better now!) So I guess I’ll hold steady and let my CNS fully settle before starting the fluoxetine taper. I want to be in the best place possible starting that.

 

I’m nervous about the conversation I need to have with my Doctor so I’m trying to familiarise myself with the literature in advance. The last conversation I had with him was at the point of Quetiapine prescription when he said quite confidently there was no risk of building a dependency! I’m also seeing a therapist who most recently was trying to encourage me to increase the dose and used the diabetes and insulin metaphor! So I have my work cut out for me here.

 

Thanks again for your helpful reply.

  • December 2021 - 16 Mar 2022, 25mg Quetiapine (diagnosed with insomnia, December 2021)
  • November 2018 - Present, 60mg Fluoxetine (diagnosed with PND, November 2018; diagnosed with PMDD May 2019)
  • August 2018 - October 2018, 40mg Fluoxetine
  • July 2018 - August 2018, 20mg Fluoxetine (late stages pregnancy)
  • January 2016 - June 2018, 40mg Fluoxetine (diagnosed with Tokophobia January 2016)
  • June 2015 - December 2015, 20mg Fluoxetine
  • *2014 - 5 month Paroxetine taper*
  • January 2001 - April 2014, 20-60mg Paroxetine (diagnosed with OCD & Depression 2001)
  • Periodic diazepam, chlorpromazine (none since 2018)
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Funnily enough, I was just reading about withdrawal symptoms and I’ve also being have night sweats and a few dizzy spells, and am currently battling recurrent sinusitis. I think sometimes it’s difficult for me to recognise the physical symptoms are as important to ‘listen to’ as the emotional ones. (My paroxetine taper/ withdrawal was torturous with both) So definitely time to let things stabilise before starting the fluoxetine taper.

  • December 2021 - 16 Mar 2022, 25mg Quetiapine (diagnosed with insomnia, December 2021)
  • November 2018 - Present, 60mg Fluoxetine (diagnosed with PND, November 2018; diagnosed with PMDD May 2019)
  • August 2018 - October 2018, 40mg Fluoxetine
  • July 2018 - August 2018, 20mg Fluoxetine (late stages pregnancy)
  • January 2016 - June 2018, 40mg Fluoxetine (diagnosed with Tokophobia January 2016)
  • June 2015 - December 2015, 20mg Fluoxetine
  • *2014 - 5 month Paroxetine taper*
  • January 2001 - April 2014, 20-60mg Paroxetine (diagnosed with OCD & Depression 2001)
  • Periodic diazepam, chlorpromazine (none since 2018)
Link to comment
  • Moderator
15 hours ago, BlurredFaith said:

Unfortunately I only came to this site after going CT on Quetiapine on 16th March.

Since it was a CT, I would suggest you give yourself a long break before you start a fluoxetine taper.  If it were me, I would wait at least 6-12 months.  It's good to wait until your nervous system is fully recovered.  The anxiety and insomnia indicate that your nervous system still has some healing it needs to do.  

 

15 hours ago, BlurredFaith said:

I’m nervous about the conversation I need to have with my Doctor so I’m trying to familiarise myself with the literature in advance. The last conversation I had with him was at the point of Quetiapine prescription when he said quite confidently there was no risk of building a dependency! I’m also seeing a therapist who most recently was trying to encourage me to increase the dose and used the diabetes and insulin metaphor! So I have my work cut out for me here.

Ah, this is so typical.  These medical professionals are clueless about the true nature of these drugs, and what they do to people.  That's why this site exists.  

 

 

 

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***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 

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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