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SBGny- First Effexor now Prozac-the last month has been brutal


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What a nightmare... Effexor for years at 37.5 from my GP then 18 months ago GP doubled it as my ongoing unemployment triggered deeper depression. Now , I started seeing a psychologist who thought my dose was super low for my "textbook" depression symptoms and sent me to a psychiatrist to alter my medication. He said to taper off Effexor by going back to 37.5 for a week then off completely, all the while starting Prozac 10mg to help. The Prozac hasn't helped at all- actually made me physically worse. I finally pretty much stopped the brain flurries from Effexor withdrawal but the nausea, diarrhea, major headache and overall body stiffness and yawning had completely sidelined me. Now, the doctor left me a message to get off Prozac given how I feel. I've been on 10 mg for 2 1/2 weeks. How do I taper? 5 mg for a week. I want out of the pills. How in the world do I get off these pills that make me feel so bad and yet combat the depression?? This is crazy. Which is the lesser of 2 evils? Which drug do i try next?

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  • Moderator Emeritus



Welcome to the site. Sorry to hear you have had such a difficult time. To be honest, its completely understandable. The way in which you

were advised to taper is brutal and then to compound that with possible adverse effects of Prozac is really difficult.


We advise people to reduce their dose by 10% and hold for a little while between drops to stabalize. That is a lot slower than what you did.


From here, I would recommend that you reinstate your effexor, perhaps at the 37 mg mark and see if that alleviates your symptoms. If it does you

can then taper off using the 10% rule. If it doesn't alleviate your symptoms you might have to go higher until you can find a point that your nervous

system can handle.


There is a lot of info on tapering off Effexor here My link


In regard to the Prozac, I would probably taper at the rate you suggest. Given you havent been on it for long, going off this might be relatively easy and when you are off it you will

be in more of a position to know what you are reacting to - the absence of effexor, rather than the presence of Prozac.


I know that you are likely to be saying I dont want to be on any of them. But, reinstatement will enable your nervous system the opportunity to recover from the shock of a relatively sudden withdrawal and you can then taper appropriately (giving your system a chance to adjust incrementally) Your system is telling you loud and clear that its not coping. We know that Effexor is a harsh drug to come off. There would be very few people who could drop it in the way you were advised to and not have severe withdrawals.


Read the info on this site and dont be afraid to ask questions.



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Hi SBGny


Welcome !


I was once put on Prozac, it was not helpful for me either, it made me anxious and jittery.


The advice is excellent on this site from people who have experienced the effects of AD


I was suffering really bad with WD when I found this site.

I was advised to reinstate, it took a while but I am now stable and on 7mg of seroxat/Paxil


Wishing you relief soon


Debbie x

17 years on seroxat/paxil CT off - thought I was dying luckily found this site. 21st May 2012 12mg seroxat

Stable - Tapered Diazepam slowish.1st June 10mg Seroxat

2nd June 1mg Diazepam.15th June 9mg seroxat

2nd July Changed to 2.5[ml liquid diazepam]2mg=5ml. 16th July 2ml Liquid Diazepam

2nd August 8mg/4ml Seroxat/Paxil 2nd August 1.5 ml Diazepam

18th Aug 2012 1ml Diazepam 1st - 5th Sept 0.5

Diazepam Free!

13th Oct 7mg/3.5ml seroxat - 26 Jan 2013 3.25ml/6.5mg-Mar 3ml-April 2.7ml-May 2.5ml

01/07/14 very slow taper over the last year now on 0.5 ml of liquid Seroxat ......November 14 Seroat Free!!!!!!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forums SBGny, sorry you've been taken off the Effexor so fast, that was pretty brutal, why do doctors do that?

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.


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  • Administrator

Welcome, SB.


You've been off Effexor for 2.5 weeks?


You might be having an adverse effect from the Prozac, or you may be having severe Effexor withdrawal which is not being helped by the Prozac.


If I were in your place, I might decrease the Prozac by 5mg while taking 37.5mg Effexor for a week, then drop the Prozac.


I hope this alleviates your Effexor withdrawal symptoms.


This is a peer support community for going off medications. We can't advise you what drug to take next.


As you can see, one can have worse problems than "depression" when the medications go wrong. I strongly recommend you apply yourself to learn non-drug techniques to deal with your depression.

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

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