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Cchange: trying to come off fluoxetine after many years


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Hello there

 

Trying once again to come off fluoxetine - really glad to have found this site......thank you..making sense of a lot of my previous experiences - found it once I'd started to reduce so maybe started with too big an initial drop.  Any advice about how things are

 

Started reducing from 20mg fluoxetine on 18 April 2022 - 16mg

main difficulties, low mood and bizarre dreams, seemed to improve after a few weeks so went to 15mg on 23 May 2022

So 5 weeks on 16mg and 2 and half weeks on 15mg - my mood is pretty low, with some agitation and I feel pretty shaky, some dizziness - wondering if I've come down too quickly.  

At this point no intention of reducing any further until I've had some stability but wondering if I should reinstate at all and if so how much? -

 

it's hard to judge, I'm in a position where I feel I need to be reasonably functional personally and workwise so it's difficult to deal with this level of feeling depressed and reactive (and frankly irritable).  But I don't want to go backwards. My judgment in terms of self care also dips when I feel like this and I can get stuck in thoughts that I should just be able to tough it out.  Previous times when I'd tried to reduce - last time was a few years ago,  I'd got so far (think around the 10mg mark) - my mood would go down and I would then have a prolonged period of depression - thought this was just recurrence - I'm much less sure of this now.  I really want to avoid that happening again though for whatever reason.

 

So wondering if any advice about reinstating at this point?

 

thanks

 

Cchange

1983 tricyclic antidepressant - for a few months

1992 - 2006 - fluoxetine, paroxetine at different times 

2006 - 2010 benzos (tapered off benzos), dihydrocodeine, venlafaxine (sudden stop)

2010 - present fluoxetine usually 20mg per day

2011 unsuccessful attempt to reduce fluoxetine

2013 unsuccessful attempt to reduce

2014-2018 - maybe other attempts to reduce fluoxetine

2018 - 2021 20mg fluoxetine daily

2022 18th April 16 mg; 23 May 15mg fluoxetine

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Cchange: trying to come off fluoxetine after many years

Hello

 

will post a bit more about my history over next week or so with various medications...for now I'm focussed on getting to a point  where what I'm assuming are WD symptoms are manageable...mainly low mood and agitation - it's not just about what's bearable in the present, it's the fear that I will start to spiral down.  And the worry that I don't necessarily make the best decisions when I'm feeling low.

 

So I've decided to go up  from 15mg to 16mg fluoxetine from tomorrow - probably should have done this before....hoping this will be enough to feel as though I have solid ground under my feet for a bit.  

 

Any advice, encouragement would be really welcome.

 

Thank you.

1983 tricyclic antidepressant - for a few months

1992 - 2006 - fluoxetine, paroxetine at different times 

2006 - 2010 benzos (tapered off benzos), dihydrocodeine, venlafaxine (sudden stop)

2010 - present fluoxetine usually 20mg per day

2011 unsuccessful attempt to reduce fluoxetine

2013 unsuccessful attempt to reduce

2014-2018 - maybe other attempts to reduce fluoxetine

2018 - 2021 20mg fluoxetine daily

2022 18th April 16 mg; 23 May 15mg fluoxetine

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

Hi there Cchange and welcome aboard!

 

Great job on getting to your signature and getting it done.   Thank you.

 

On 6/9/2022 at 11:32 AM, Cchange said:

my mood is pretty low, with some agitation and I feel pretty shaky, some dizziness - wondering if I've come down too quickly.  

 

When did you first start to experience these WD(withdrawal) symptoms?

 

Try your best from here on out to keep some sort of calendar going, noting when you make changes, and when or if you note changes in symptoms. 

Here is the list of WD symptoms that members often experience: 

Dr. Glenmullen's symptom list

(and you'll need to click on to the PDF to see the list, sorry as I haven't as yet been able to format the list to just share along with the citation)

 

Great plan to updose tomorrow, back to 16 mg of fluoxetine, and you'll see why when you get a chance to peruse some of the following links to key tapering information.

 
The 10% taper advice is the most harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs that we've found. 
10% off of a starting dose of 20 mg fluoxetine would have been just to 18 mg, rather than the 16 mg which you initiated your taper at.  And then the next taper, after a nice HOLD time of 4 to 6 weeks, would be calculated from that 18 mg dose, and would have brought you to 16.2 mg.
 
^ more about fluoxetine specifically and then in regards to tapering too.
What form of fluoxetine are you working with now and how are you getting your non-standard doses?
 
^ you'll find many more topics here that may answer additional questions you come up with regarding your taper.
 
I think you've got a really good chance at stabilizing with this updose that you have already decided on.
Please keep us updated if you will.
 
My best advice would to be most definitely HOLD at 16 mg of fluoxetine for at least a week, without any further updoses....... and do try to keep some notes and look for when improvement seems to occur.  I'm hopeful that you will start to observe improvement in the next week or two.  With fluoxetine and it's long half life it may take a week or more for the new dose(your updose to 16 mg) to get to a nice steady state where you feel symptom relief.  And then, just continue to HOLD......rather than rush into tapering again right off.  This will give your CNS(central nervous system) a nice chance to recoup. 
 
When we take medications, the CNS  responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made.  The CNS likes stability. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.
 
Further links to some key information that you'll find helpful going forward.
 
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, that can occur when tapering and beyond,  but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system.  

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

I'd wait until you begin to see improvement after your updose and then just start to experiment with one at a time. 

The rule of 3 KI's

 

 

 

Clicking on the underlined passages will link you to all the information topics I'd like you to eventually get familiar with.  I put a * in front of a couple of the links I think you should get familiar with as soon as possible.  And then I bolded a couple of questions I had for you as well.

 

 

This is your introduction/journal page where you have now:
introduced yourself to the community
you can ask questions right here regarding your tapering
give updates
keep a record of your journey off fluoxetine
and interact with other members and staff
 
Again, welcome aboard this ship of surviving and then thriving!  I think you are getting on the right track now, for a nice slow and successful taper.  Chances are it's going to take a bit longer than you'd like but I do think it will be doable, over time, and as you lean on into all the information available.
 
Love, peace, healing, and growth,
moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

 

Edited by manymoretodays
spelling

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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