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dunerbug: My fluoxetine nightmare


dunerbug

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This might be long..... I'll give you a little background first. I tried zoloft for about a year after my twins were born for postpartum depression. Went off that without problems and was medication free for 9-10 years. Had occasional ups and downs. (ocd and anxiety) But I managed on own and had lots of happy times.

 

Fast forward to spring summer of 09. I noticed my husband acting distant and secretive. I suspected him carrying on with a certain person. I had little proof though. Mostly it seemed like an inappropriate friendship if anything. This stirred up some extra anxiety. In Nov. 09 things hit the fan as I found out it was a full blown affair and had been for 2 years! I went into a tailspin of anxiety. I was depressed, had a hard time eating, slept a lot and could feel my ocd-anxiety slowly get worse.

 

My husband and I went in to overtime trying to save our marriage. He stopped all contact with that person. We immediately started counseling and began our road to reconstruct our marriage....sounds good, right? No. By Jan. 2010 I still felt bad, sad, anxious and was having some uncomfortable ocd symptoms taking hold. After going back and forth, I decided to go to the doctor and possibly try some medication. At the time a friend of mine was taking prozac (fluoexetine) and said it worked well for her. Since it had a long half life and was an older and more researched one, I decided to give it a try. It worked ok, although I feel it just masked a lot, as I could still feel everything under the surface....if that makes sense?

 

After about 9 months of being on it I tried to go off. I weaned, but I weaned too fast and failed. I went back on it very shortly. But the affects changed. Didn't help as much this time. Still I stayed on it for a little over a year. Until finally deciding that was it. I'd had enough. Started what I thought was a long weaning process. Started to taper in Nov.2011. I was only ever really on 20mg. So if memory serves (which, it doesn't half the time now) I'd cut my pills in thirds? to start. Anyway I believe I'd cut some every month then 2 weeks and so on. I was finally off them by april or may. Can't remember which. Started to notice increased anxiety right away. More compulsions, emotional etc. Then soon the brain zaps. I was resolved to stay off them and really deal with my emotions from the previous two years.

 

By the summer things really began to change. We started gearing up for an out of state move. So admittedly stress was high and it probably wasn't the best time to wean. But I wanted off those pills. Can't really explain it. Just a deep internal need to be off them. Instinctual, maybe? My tiredness was more and more. I was an avid runner and felt my stamina slowly fade. I went to the doctor and explained my symptoms. I told her I was tired all the time. I felt weak and off inside. I told her I weaned off the prozac just a couple months ealier and expressed my desire to deal with things naturally. I did tell her though that what I was feeling felt physical and that I wanted to have a blood panel done. It came back that all I had was anemia and low d3. I thought that's it? But I feel crappy! Needless to say I left her office with a prescription of fluoxetine...you know, just in case. Didn't take it.

 

By this time I was taking a few supplements and trying yoga, calming herbal teas, etc. Things were not improving. Unaware of whats to come.

 

So let's fast forward to post out of state move. It really hits the fan now. The kids and I moved ahead of my husband in order to get settled in and school started.This was aug. The company my husband was moving for was not ready move til oct. So I was alone for two months. My symptoms were gradually getting worse and worse. I decided to find a naturopathic doc to help figure out what was wrong with me. I thought trauma and stress and poor nutrition maybe? This doc really took her time with me. She took a ton of blood and other non traditional tests that show my whole chemistry was off. She told me I had adrenal fatigue and possible hypothyroid even though my test was in the normal range. She put me on tons of supplement and herbs. I've spent almost $2000 dollars with her alone, not including blood work costs. One of the improvements I've seen is a little more energy.

 

In the last 6-8 months I've had what feels like everything I treasure about my life ripped out from under me. I've spent entire days in bed. I've struggled with brain fog, confusion, terrible intrusive thought and feelings about my loved ones, relentless compulsions to combat those thoughts, memory loss, sleep disturbances, muscle aches, low motivation, overwhelmed very easy. Very sensitive to all kinds of substances: food, caffine, sugar, vitamins, medication, etc. I get headaches and suffer a very bad pms. There have been times laying in bed at night when I close my eye I have felt a little brain zap. Hasn't happened recently though.

 

A couple months ago my doc told me that because my anxiety was so high she was afraid it was making my adrenals worse. She gave me a prescription for buspar. She said it was very mild and that I wouldn't have a hard time coming off of it. I was desperate and tried it. By day two I couldn't get out of bed. Everything was magnafied. After day four I stopped taking it. Felt a little better a few days later. All along I suspected the withdrawl from prozac being a culprit. I've tried to find things online to support that case. I wasn't even a fraction this bad when I went on it.

 

I wish I would have dealt with my distress properly without masking it. Here I am....I feel like a prisoner. I went to the "regular" to get a second opinion and bloodwork. She said to consider going back on antidepressants. Two of them!! She recommended celexa and wellbutrin. I keep spinning my wheels to find out what's wrong with me. I think...there has to be something wrong physically to be causing all this upheaval. I know the answer already but is this withdrwal? I'm almost a year post prozac and I feel helpless. I miss who I used to be. I miss the mother I used to be. I miss.....me. I'm afraid that this is it and that I'll never feel right again. My husband and I are strong now. I have a great family. But I feel everyday that I'm clawing my way out of a hole.

Edited by Petu
fixed text

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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I know I said in the last 6-8 months, but it's been a year since I started the wean. It's just that things have been really bad in the last 6-8 months. I just wanted to reiterate. And really, things weren't that great on the med.

I've decided to stop some of my supplements and see how I feel.

I've felt very overloaded by all of the things I was taking and frankly some of it made the anxiety worse.

I haven't improved enough on all the supplements to justify the money spent. If anything...it might have hurt my progress.

 

I wanted to add that I've noticed waves. There will be a week where I'll feel a little bit stronger then BAM! The next week not so much.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome. It does sound like your symptoms are withdrawal related.

 

Food and substance sensitivities are a common denominator.

 

It sounds like you are making wise choices. I'm sure you've learned some things you need to avoid.

 

I'm glad you found us. There's a lot of helpful information in the 'Symptoms and Self-care' section.

 

IMO you made a wise decision by not starting other anti-depressants. You've been off Prozac for a long time and are well into the healing process. The fact that you haven't had the 'zaps' for a while is a good sign.

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Welcome, dunerbug.

 

It does sound like you have withdrawal syndrome from Prozac, and like many of us, all the treatments you've gotten might have made it somewhat worse.

 

You need to focus on treating your nervous system gently and help it stabilize. Withdrawal syndrome resolves in time.

 

What drugs and supplements are you taking now? What time of day do you take them? Do you see any pattern to your symptoms? Please keep notes about them, this will help.

 

....

I went to the doctor and explained my symptoms. I told her I was tired all the time. I felt weak and off inside. I told her I weaned off the prozac just a couple months ealier and expressed my desire to deal with things naturally. I did tell her though that what I was feeling felt physical and that I wanted to have a blood panel done.

It came back that all I had was anemia and low d3. I thought that's it? But I feel crappy! Needless to say I left her office with a prescription of fluoxetine...you know, just in case. Didn't take it.

 

How did you get treated for anemia and low D3?

 

....

This doc really took her time with me. She took a ton of blood and other non traditional tests that show my whole chemistry was off. She told me I had adrenal fatigue and possible hypothyroid even though my test was in the normal range. She put me on tons of supplement and herbs. I've spent almost $2000 dollars with her alone, not including blood work costs. One of the improvements I've seen is a little more energy.

Unfortunately, naturopathic doctors don't know anything more about withdrawal syndrome than any other kind of doctor. It's unlikely you had adrenal fatigue; they diagnose it everywhere. If the supplements she's given you are stimulating, they could make withdrawal symptoms worse.

 

In the last 6-8 months I've had what feels like everything I treasure about my life ripped out from under me.

I've spent entire days in bed. I've struggled with brain fog, confusion, terrible intrusive thought and feelings about my loved ones, relentless compulsions to combat those thoughts, memory loss, sleep disturbances, muscle aches, low motivation, overwhelmed very easy. Very sensitive to all kinds of substances: food, caffine, sugar, vitamins, medication, etc. I get headaches and suffer a very bad pms. There have been times laying in bed at night when I close my eye I have felt a little brain zap. Hasn't happened recently though.

That hypersensitivity is typical of withdrawal syndrome.

 

A couple months ago my doc told me that because my anxiety was so high she was afraid it was making my adrenals worse. She gave me a prescription for buspar. She said it was very mild and that I wouldn't have a hard time coming off of it. I was desperate and tried it. By day two I couldn't get out of bed. Everything was magnafied. After day four I stopped taking it. Felt a little better a few days later.

 

....

I went to the "regular" to get a second opinion and bloodwork. She said to consider going back on antidepressants. Two of them!! She recommended celexa and wellbutrin.

Many of us find that taking psychiatric drugs makes withdrawal symptoms worse. You cannot treat withdrawal syndrome as though it was ordinary anxiety or 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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

At one point I was taking a ton of supplements up to 4 times a day.

 

Most of them are whole food supplements and supposedly easier to absorb. (What she told me)

 

I was taking a muti vit, multi mineral, fish oil, adrenal heral complex, brain calm (with gaba and passionflower) adrenal multi (drenamin), thyroid complex (herbal), calcium, mag, zinc, d3, one for hormonal balance (not herbal, but whole food) iron, I tried 5htp, l-tryptophan, I tried something with st johns wort in it (only a few days, it was an herbal blend for anxiety)I tried wheat germ oil. Oh, and I also tried a desacated thyroid type supplement without the thyroxine in it. Gave me bad anxiety and stopped taking it. I tried iodine and it made things bad.

 

Most of the things I've taken have from standard process. So they were not cheap.

 

I recently cut a bunch of things out and only take stuff in the a.m. And to be honest that's when my energy improved.

I stopped a lot of them due to finances. Also, I just felt overloaded.

I've skipped days, so I'm not taking things everyday.

 

When I take them now it only consists of: multi vit/multi mineral, fish oil, d3, adrenal herbal complex, drenamin, zinc, mag, and sometimes calcium. I'm still anemic, so I should still be taking iron. I'll need to get some more. I know now that I need to cut the herbal stuff because it messes with the nervous system.

 

As you can see I've tried a ton. I feel desperate at times to feel better and have probably made things worse.

 

Should I take any of these? I feel like I've been trying to do all the right things, but it's just backfired.

 

Another thing I forgot to mention on my original post is that my hair is falling out and has thinned quite a bit. That's why I suspected hypothyroid. All my tests except my hair mineral test are showing normal thyroid results.

 

ugh.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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As far as trying meds again....I've learned my lesson.

I will hold out and let my self heal. It's just incredibly difficult to be hopeful.

 

At least now, with the info I've found on withdrawl.....it's like I was in a dark room and found a flashlight.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • Administrator

If I were you, I'd stop taking anything supposed to be for adrenals, such as adrenal herbal complex, drenamin etc.

 

Sublingual vitamin B12 and folic acid are often prescribed for anemia. Try a partial dosage, either could also make symptoms worse. People with withdrawal syndrome are often sensitive to B vitamins.

 

If this doctor diagnosed anemia and didn't treat it -- that's not good.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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I am extremely sensitive to b vitamins. They give me terrible anxiety. Forgot to mention I was on a b complex for a little while. They were a whole food complex, not synthetic.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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My naturopath did treat my anemia but I've run out of them.

 

This new doc. I went to is in a family practice and I was just curious what she would say. I wanted a second opinion in a way. No surprise though that she wanted to medicate me. I kind of humored her and heard her out. But when she started talking about antidepressants like they were magic....I thought "figures" It was like she was reading me an advertisement for wellbutrin. She went on to tell that she put her daughter on them and talked her daughter in law into adding wellubutrin to her zoloft.

 

Man! My brain is mush. I forgot to add a very important symptom. Very low blood pressure to the point of blacking out upon standing sometimes. This has improved. But I notice when I have a dip it acts up again.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • Administrator

When did this very low blood pressure start?

 

To get vitamin B12, you might want to eat liver regularly. If you actually have low B12, you need to attend to it by eating meat.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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It got bad after I weaned. It was at it's worst 4-6 months ago. I continue to have it on and off. I have developed worsening signs of hypoglycemia after weaning. I find that I really have to keep up on eating the right things and often. I make sure I get plenty of protein. That has definitely helped some with the blood pressure.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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When did this very low blood pressure start?

 

To get vitamin B12, you might want to eat liver regularly. If you actually have low B12, you need to attend to it by eating meat.

 

Yes! Eat more protein is key for me right now. I don't mind eating liver. I will have to put that on my grocery list.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • Administrator

Well, it's a good sign that particular autonomic problem (low blood pressure) is better.

 

Make sure you drink plenty of water.

 

Look in our Symptoms and Self-Care forum for suggestions on what else you can do to support healing.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Had an "off" night.

Tossed and turned a lot, vivid dreams, body aches, and brain zaps (little ones, not like the ones I experienced in the beginning) when trying to fall asleep.

 

I'm going to have to nap.

 

Ok, so what about coffee?

Is it ok to one cup a day?

I've cut out lots of things but I so love to have a cup of coffee.

Sometimes I'll have green tea in lieu of coffee.

Is this like shooting myself in the foot?

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ok, so what about coffee?

Is it ok to one cup a day?

I've cut out lots of things but I so love to have a cup of coffee.

Sometimes I'll have green tea in lieu of coffee.

Is this like shooting myself in the foot?

Ohhh gosh, afraid my news is not so hot. During the time I had neuro anxiety, I had to give up caffeine, including of course, coffee. And believe me, I'm a Coffee Nut! (chemex filter system with gourmet coffee.. mine is to die for!!).. Dunerbug, with regret, you are best served to forgo the erstwhile bean as long your symptoms are worsened by drinking it. An additional factor, that delicious morning Joe is when the cortisol factor kicks in.. adding to the misery.

 

The positive.. if you taper slowwwly enough, you may be able to tolerate coffee again before you get to zero.. Posted Image

 

PS.. green tea does not have caffeine.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Ok, so what about coffee?

Is it ok to one cup a day?

I've cut out lots of things but I so love to have a cup of coffee.

Sometimes I'll have green tea in lieu of coffee.

Is this like shooting myself in the foot?

Ohhh gosh, afraid my news is not so hot. During the time I had neuro anxiety, I had to give up caffeine, including of course, coffee. And believe me, I'm a Coffee Nut! (chemex filter system with gourmet coffee.. mine is to die for!!).. Dunerbug, with regret, you are best served to forgo the erstwhile bean as long your symptoms are worsened by drinking it. An additional factor, that delicious morning Joe is when the cortisol factor kicks in.. adding to the misery.

 

The positive.. if you taper slowwwly enough, you may be able to tolerate coffee again before you get to zero.. Posted Image

 

PS.. green tea does not have caffeine.

 

Ugh, I was afraid you'd say that.

 

I'm almost a year post med and it has been hellish!

 

I'm not sure how the coffee affects me for the day. But now I'm just gun shy. So many things I've done thinking it was ok or helping (like supplements and herbs) I'm finding may have hurt any progress I could have been making.

 

As it stands, I've cut my coffee addiction down quite a bit. I can easily substitute it for tea now or even skip a day without the real bad caffine headache.

.......I just like it. Wahhhhhhhh. Yes, I'm whining.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Duner, I could tell pretty much immediately there was an improvement post coffee. I weaned off the remainder over a week or two, and the first day at ground zero, I knew it was helpful. Maybe if you try going off entirely, you will have a degree of certainty for the price of several days abstinence.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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I'll try ditching the coffee for a week and see if there's a difference.

 

***making a sad face***

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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Hi Duner,

 

Just read through your thread. Sounds like you've got a lot going, a lot of docs guessing at you. I'm sorry you're dealing with such a frustrating situation.

 

So did your vitamin D level ever normalize? IMO that's important. I don't imagine you get much winter sun on the skin in Idaho.

 

I also recommend eating liver. I prefer organic liver as it is a major detox organ for animals just like us. I get about 1/4 lb of beef liver a week and a bucket of chicken livers from a local rancher at the farmer's market. Beef & lamb liver are high in copper so I only eat 1/4 lb a week.

 

I had the same issue with blood pressure as well.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Hi Dunerbug,

 

Your story struck me because I had a similar thing happen with Prozac... I got off in 2010, and when I had severe withdrawal I got back on - but it didn't have the same effects. It was almost like I was experiencing withdrawal while being back on meds. I spent the last two years changing drugs trying to find a steady state and nothing worked. So there seems to be something to this, when you get off something you can't just get back on and expect it to work the same way.

 

So I'm now in the same situation where I'm trying to withdraw from all drugs (after a decade) and let myself heal. Just like you the days are an immense struggle with panic and depreession / hyper emotionality and other physical symptoms. I also did the holistic doc things to no avail - I suspect they make a lot of money off supplements.

 

One thing I did find that has been the biggest help has been the practice of mindfulness based meditation and stress reduction. I highly recommend this as an approach - like you I try to combat my thoughts and feelings and this only leads to them gaining intensity. It's not easy but learning to be mindful has given me at least some kind of coping mechanism.

 

Good luck to you.

Started on Zoloft in 2002
Switched to Lexapro in 2005
Switched to Prozac in 2008
Off Prozac abruptly in 2010 (a mistake) - crashed
Lexapro end of 2010 - didn't work
Effexor until 2012 - roller coaster from hell
Back to Prozac November 2012 - one last rise and fall
Quit Prozac 01/13

Reinstated Prozac 5mg 05/13
Trial of 7.5 Remeron for one month 06/13, then off

Off Lamictal 06/13

Quit benzos 06/13

 

Reduced to 4mg Prozac 8/15/13

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Hi Dunerbug.

 

I just read thru your info quickly and your symptoms are very similar to mine over the past year. Very low BP, heart rate, energy, weight, mood, energy. I was hospitalized for heart rate in 30s and cardiac testing at one point. Nothing showed except hypothyroid. Later tests have been confusing, possible adrenal involvement although treatment with hydrocortisone made me much worse, especially early morning mood (when cortisol naturally peaks). I recently noticed that Armour thyroid seemed to be effecting me badly which is counterintuitive.

 

I am backing off on all endocrine treatments to allow my body to stabilize after years on

serotonergics and other drugs which interfere with the HPA axis as well as Ovarian-adrenal-thyroid axis. I am about 20 months post Pristiq and finally gaining energy without use of any drugs (i had taken Vyvanse). Mood is improving somewhat.

 

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but wanted to share my experience and current thinking in case it helps you in any way. Most members here are experiencing severe anxiety which i did also early on. It gave way to exhaustion and immobility a few months after the last dose (too fast taper). Hopefully, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction and will eventually land in a healthy, or at least stable, place.

 

Very glad to hear you've worked through such a difficult personal situation. Stress does challenge adrenal function, but these drugs have serious effects on adrenals (and body,in general). That's the part that few doctors-allopathic or naturopathic- realize or understand.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Thanks dunerbug and Barb

 

Your posts helped me today as its been a rocky AM for me

 

Barb seeing all the doctoring you've done helped me decide to skip Dr today.

DON't want to beg for apt as know they won't GET IT ANYWAY.

 

JUST WORRIED ABOUT B/P

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Hi Duner,

 

Just read through your thread. Sounds like you've got a lot going, a lot of docs guessing at you. I'm sorry you're dealing with such a frustrating situation.

 

So did your vitamin D level ever normalize? IMO that's important. I don't imagine you get much winter sun on the skin in Idaho.

 

I also recommend eating liver. I prefer organic liver as it is a major detox organ for animals just like us. I get about 1/4 lb of beef liver a week and a bucket of chicken livers from a local rancher at the farmer's market. Beef & lamb liver are high in copper so I only eat 1/4 lb a week.

 

I had the same issue with blood pressure as well.

 

Yes, my d3 did normalize after a few months on 10,000 i.u.'s a day.

 

My d3 level when we first checked was 15 and we ended up getting it to 72? I think.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment

Hi Dunerbug.

 

I just read thru your info quickly and your symptoms are very similar to mine over the past year. Very low BP, heart rate, energy, weight, mood, energy. I was hospitalized for heart rate in 30s and cardiac testing at one point. Nothing showed except hypothyroid. Later tests have been confusing, possible adrenal involvement although treatment with hydrocortisone made me much worse, especially early morning mood (when cortisol naturally peaks). I recently noticed that Armour thyroid seemed to be effecting me badly which is counterintuitive.

 

I am backing off on all endocrine treatments to allow my body to stabilize after years on

serotonergics and other drugs which interfere with the HPA axis as well as Ovarian-adrenal-thyroid axis. I am about 20 months post Pristiq and finally gaining energy without use of any drugs (i had taken Vyvanse). Mood is improving somewhat.

 

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but wanted to share my experience and current thinking in case it helps you in any way. Most members here are experiencing severe anxiety which i did also early on. It gave way to exhaustion and immobility a few months after the last dose (too fast taper). Hopefully, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction and will eventually land in a healthy, or at least stable, place.

 

Very glad to hear you've worked through such a difficult personal situation. Stress does challenge adrenal function, but these drugs have serious effects on adrenals (and body,in general). That's the part that few doctors-allopathic or naturopathic- realize or understand.

 

Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry to hear you were struggling with similar issues. It makes me sad to think so many are suffering like this.

 

My Ndoc was very concerned about my blood pressure when she first started treating me. She would check bp while laying, then she'd have me stand up. One time it dropped 20 points when I stood up. She said my pulse was very slow too.

 

Today is not shaping up well. Keep blacking out a little upon standing and am having a difficult time not wanting to perform compulsions. Ugh. Been laying down most of the day so far. Trying to motivate myself to cook dinner. I can't stand this.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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Thanks dunerbug and Barb

 

Your posts helped me today as its been a rocky AM for me

 

Barb seeing all the doctoring you've done helped me decide to skip Dr today.

DON't want to beg for apt as know they won't GET IT ANYWAY.

 

JUST WORRIED ABOUT B/P

 

You're welcome.

 

I hope you feel better soon.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment

 

 

Very glad to hear you've worked through such a difficult personal situation. Stress does challenge adrenal function, but these drugs have serious effects on adrenals (and body,in general). That's the part that few doctors-allopathic or naturopathic- realize or understand.

 

Yes, no doubt my adrenals were compramised before even going on prozac. Now, the stress of withdrawal....I can't even put into words.

 

I know that when the adrenal glands are stressed that it can in turn affect your thyroid. So I'm hoping that with time that they will settle on their own.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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You got a lot worse after moving? Where did you move to and from where?

 

I find that I feel better/worse often due to what I eat. Do you have unusual reactions to any foods or crave any types of foods?

 

I know what you mean about lacking motivation. And brain fog. My memory stinks too.

 

Hang in there.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Hi Dunerbug,

 

Your story struck me because I had a similar thing happen with Prozac... I got off in 2010, and when I had severe withdrawal I got back on - but it didn't have the same effects. It was almost like I was experiencing withdrawal while being back on meds. I spent the last two years changing drugs trying to find a steady state and nothing worked. So there seems to be something to this, when you get off something you can't just get back on and expect it to work the same way.

 

So I'm now in the same situation where I'm trying to withdraw from all drugs (after a decade) and let myself heal. Just like you the days are an immense struggle with panic and depreession / hyper emotionality and other physical symptoms. I also did the holistic doc things to no avail - I suspect they make a lot of money off supplements.

 

One thing I did find that has been the biggest help has been the practice of mindfulness based meditation and stress reduction. I highly recommend this as an approach - like you I try to combat my thoughts and feelings and this only leads to them gaining intensity. It's not easy but learning to be mindful has given me at least some kind of coping mechanism.

 

Good luck to you.

 

Thank you.

 

I have a friend who practices mindfulness. She's tried to tell me about it and show me things. Honestly, the state I'm sometimes in....I just don't feel like doing anything. But I really should look into that more. I tried yoga and I liked it. I have just continually struggled with motivation.

Before I started this road, I was a runner at least 3 days a week. I held down a part time job and was a pretty active person in general. (ie school activities, friends, family, fun)

 

I have a very difficult time accepting me as I am right now.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment

 

Hi Dunerbug,

 

Your story struck me because I had a similar thing happen with Prozac... I got off in 2010, and when I had severe withdrawal I got back on - but it didn't have the same effects. It was almost like I was experiencing withdrawal while being back on meds. I spent the last two years changing drugs trying to find a steady state and nothing worked. So there seems to be something to this, when you get off something you can't just get back on and expect it to work the same way.

 

So I'm now in the same situation where I'm trying to withdraw from all drugs (after a decade) and let myself heal. Just like you the days are an immense struggle with panic and depreession / hyper emotionality and other physical symptoms. I also did the holistic doc things to no avail - I suspect they make a lot of money off supplements.

 

One thing I did find that has been the biggest help has been the practice of mindfulness based meditation and stress reduction. I highly recommend this as an approach - like you I try to combat my thoughts and feelings and this only leads to them gaining intensity. It's not easy but learning to be mindful has given me at least some kind of coping mechanism.

 

Good luck to you.

 

Thank you.

 

I have a friend who practices mindfulness. She's tried to tell me about it and show me things. Honestly, the state I'm sometimes in....I just don't feel like doing anything. But I really should look into that more. I tried yoga and I liked it. I have just continually struggled with motivation.

Before I started this road, I was a runner at least 3 days a week. I held down a part time job and was a pretty active person in general. (ie school activities, friends, family, fun)

 

I have a very difficult time accepting me as I am right now.

 

I get it and I'm certainly not a pro at being mindful. Accepting myself as I am right now is also hard, although the key words are 'right now' and not forever. Hang in there.

Started on Zoloft in 2002
Switched to Lexapro in 2005
Switched to Prozac in 2008
Off Prozac abruptly in 2010 (a mistake) - crashed
Lexapro end of 2010 - didn't work
Effexor until 2012 - roller coaster from hell
Back to Prozac November 2012 - one last rise and fall
Quit Prozac 01/13

Reinstated Prozac 5mg 05/13
Trial of 7.5 Remeron for one month 06/13, then off

Off Lamictal 06/13

Quit benzos 06/13

 

Reduced to 4mg Prozac 8/15/13

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I'm having a bad day.

 

Things are not good. Weak, achy, bp is acting up again, dull headache, and heightened aniety and bad thoughts.

Crap. I feel sad and scared that this is not going to get better. Last week I'd felt some improvement and now.....This happens over and over again. I feel like a hamster in a wheel.

 

Another thing thing that scares me is you don't really hear of too many people having this hard of a time off prozac. That starts a cycle of, "maybe I'm just really messed up", "maybe there's something else wrong with me" It starts doubts about what is really happening inside me. I hate this.

 

You know the dr. I saw for that second opinion? The one that wouldn't even humor the possibility of my thyroid being a contributor to some of this....the one that recommended going on not one, but TWO antidepressants. Well while I was there she gave me a resource for counseling service. I took the paper and said I would look into it. This was, I think last week.

 

She must have given my number to one of the counselors there because he called this a.m. saying he'd heard I was looking for counseling services. I find this strange. Is that standard practice? She just gave them my number without my permission.

 

Anyway I'm sure I'm being paranoid about why she'd do that.

 

I have my poop colored goggles on right now. I'm just tired of feeling terrible.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment

I did take some vitamins today after breakfast.

 

I took a multi, d3 and fish oils.

 

I think I might be ovulating and I know I've become more sensitive to hormonal changes. I have really bad pms now. (though it's never been a walk in the park)

 

Ladies, do you find things are worse during hormonal changes?

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment

I'm having a bad day.

 

Things are not good. Weak, achy, bp is acting up again, dull headache, and heightened aniety and bad thoughts.

Crap. I feel sad and scared that this is not going to get better. Last week I'd felt some improvement and now.....This happens over and over again. I feel like a hamster in a wheel.

 

Another thing thing that scares me is you don't really hear of too many people having this hard of a time off prozac. That starts a cycle of, "maybe I'm just really messed up", "maybe there's something else wrong with me" It starts doubts about what is really happening inside me. I hate this.

 

You know the dr. I saw for that second opinion? The one that wouldn't even humor the possibility of my thyroid being a contributor to some of this....the one that recommended going on not one, but TWO antidepressants. Well while I was there she gave me a resource for counseling service. I took the paper and said I would look into it. This was, I think last week.

 

She must have given my number to one of the counselors there because he called this a.m. saying he'd heard I was looking for counseling services. I find this strange. Is that standard practice? She just gave them my number without my permission.

 

Anyway I'm sure I'm being paranoid about why she'd do that.

 

I have my poop colored goggles on right now. I'm just tired of feeling terrible.

 

I could really use an encouraging word.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi dunerbug,

 

Things will be better one day soon and you'll look back and be able to see where you've come from. You will be stronger afterwards.

 

Things probably are a lot worse with PMS. I had to have a hysterectomy several years ago so I'm thankful I'm not having to deal with that anymore.

 

You are never alone because you have made new friends now to help you through the rough times.

 

Big hug,

 

Tezza

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  • Administrator

dbug, many women report their withdrawal symptoms are worse at certain times in their cycles.

 

Doctors are not well informed about the frequency of Prozac withdrawal syndrome or any other kind of psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome. SSRI withdrawal syndrome was first recognized in Prozac.

 

If your withdrawal symptoms because progressively worse in the month you've been off Prozac, please consider getting the liquid and taking a very low dose.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Also, PMS gets worse during peri/premenopausal years which can start in 30s for some.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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dbug, many women report their withdrawal symptoms are worse at certain times in their cycles.

 

Doctors are not well informed about the frequency of Prozac withdrawal syndrome or any other kind of psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome. SSRI withdrawal syndrome was first recognized in Prozac.

 

If your withdrawal symptoms because progressively worse in the month you've been off Prozac, please consider getting the liquid and taking a very low dose.

 

I've been off of it since april-may of 2012.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to dunerbug: My fluoxetine nightmare

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