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Fizz: Prozac cold turkey withdrawal


Fizz

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Hi, I am new here today, would really appreciate some help and advice. Am in protracted withdrawal since 2010 after virtual cold turkey from 20 years Prozac. Attempted to reinstate months after with awful adverse reaction, also was tried a few days on Sertraline with another reaction then months after GP prescribed Lorazapam for a short while and I became much worse! Have really slowly been getting better, still all the symptoms waxing and waning( can't sleep, inner vibrations, palpitations, restless, anxiety, etc etc). Have a real scare now as because of recent severe problems with monthly cycle, I need to try HRT to correct the problem. So worried as I am sensitive to alot of foods and don't tolerate meds. Have been med free for 28 months now. Was improving, now symptoms are well revved! Would love some replies....

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HRT may or may not help and it could make things worse...it's not a nice place to be, no doubt.

 

The hormonal stuff for me diminishes over time (I too have been ill for a very long time and still am while getting better at a glacial pace) I do trust at this point that as I continue to improve and support my body in the natural ways I do (diet, yoga, meditation, etc) that the hormonal stuff too will continue to ease up.

 

I'm sorry I don't have a better or more reassuring response for you. Perhaps others will add something more helpful. We all do have different experiences, certainly.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Wow, thanks GiaK for replying so fast! I really need a lot of support at the moment, it's hard trying to be positive but I'm really trying! Don't know if I'm gonna hav to give the HRT a go even at small dose, not wishing to go into too much gory detail, but thought I was gonna die of blood loss on 3 occasions lately..... Have real med phobia now tho, and I had been doing well till all this happened.... Pushing through really blurred vision, DR an vibrations today. Don't feel I've got the strength to go thru another bad period(literally) , my whole body was shaking an it went on nearly 4 weeks! Yet I know hormones may rev symptoms. I have been on healthy diet, doing relaxation, trying to keep away from stress etc. This episode has thrown me, have 3 kids to be looking after too!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Fizz,

 

Welcome! I'm glad you've found us. You will get lots of support, here, and the site is full of information.

 

Please browse the Symptoms and Self-Care threads.

 

I'm afraid I don't have anything to add to what Gia told you. Thankfully, I weaned off the HRT before I went on anti-depressants. I had a complete hysterectomy several years ago and had to take HRT for a while after. I weaned myself off it, not knowing what I was doing but was successful.

 

There are some here that are on HRT, maybe they will have more input.

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Hi Fizz. I am on HRT and have mixed feelings about it.

 

Has your doctor checked for and ruled out other possible causes for the heavy bleeding (endometriosis, uterine fibroids, PCOS, etc.)? Has he/she tested your hormone levels to see if they are in fact low? I wouldn't do anything without answers to those questions first, preferably handled by a good GYN, not your GP.

 

If you do decide to take HRT, insist on biodentical estrogen and/or progesterone. Not Premarin, Prempro, etc. -- they are made from the urine of pregnant horses.

 

As I sputtered into menopause two years ago, my cycle became shorter and shorter and finally I bled continuously for almost 6 months, so I hear ya on the hemorrhaging. I ended up with iron-deficiency anemia that was difficult to correct. The HRT did not stop the bleeding for me, and I finally ended up having a hysterectomy. (Best move ever. I am thrilled to be well and truly done with a lifetime of menstrual misery.)

 

Overall I think HRT has been helpful during my tapering and withdrawal from multiple psych drugs. Please note that they too must be gradually tapered if and when one goes off them, a fact that many doctors seem unaware of.

 

This site is an excellent source of info on all aspects HRT.

 

Sparrow

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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Sparrow and tezza, thanks so much for replying, jus got in from the park, managed to get the kids there today!! Going to have to give this careful thought and maybe try a small doseage, doc has given me the bioidentical one, certainly don't want to make things any worse, was even paranoid about using a hair colour today, it was one from the health store! Feeling comforted now I've joined this site. Xxxxxx

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Oh, am taking liquid iron cos I got v anaemic a little while back, an do have another scan etc lined up, last one was ok thankfully. Just fed up with it all cos I was doing much better up till the last month. Love to you, hope your day has been good, or as good as can be. Xxxx

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Oh, another question please. Have actually had some botox and fillers during all this mess, had saved really hard and went ahead despite heavy anxiety during the process. Great result but any opinions on these procedures in withdrawal, would be grateful. Xxxx

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Fizz, I've merged your botox thread with your personal thread, and moved your smoking thread to the Symptoms and Self-Care forum. Feel free to ask your questions here or if you want create a new topic in another section of the forum. There is only one thread per member in the Introduction and Updates section.

 

Also, I accidentally deleted the name of your thread, and had to make up a new title. Let me know if you'd like it to be named something else.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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K, thank you, struggling a bit with posting procedure, get confused easily! Will do my best to pick it up as I go along, sorry for any mistakes. Having a bad day with worry about recent health scare, nausea and general feeling of precariousness after having been more settled of late. X oh and 4 hrs sleep doesn't help, mind you that is a good night for me. Xx

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No problem at all, I'm just trying to be a good moderator (I'm new to the whole thing).

 

Those bad waves after periods of improvement are really difficult psychologically. I hope you're able to get some sleep and that things get better soon.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Thank u Narcissus, feeling very alone and shellshocked today, memories keep coming up of how well I used to function on the Prozac until I started getting sick and the fact that reinstatement on anything is now out of the question after the horrific reaction each time. There must be a good life after cold turkey eventually, things were improving I know, have been waiting so long. Xxxxx

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hi, just wanted to say hang in there. i have a lot of history with problems with AD drugs,after problems with Seroxat they switched me to Prozac (then another,then another etc.)i was in a mess.

 

i had problems with v v heavy periods,severe anemia - blood count down to 6.5,blood transfusions & a hysterectomy in the end while i was in my 30's.i didn't know these drugs can cause probs with periods until recently.

 

i've had the sensation of internal vibrations from the beginning of all this,for me it feels a bit like the vibrations of a fridge/having your foot against the hoover - (when i've not!)on the inside of my body.it is horrible.

 

post for support,i don't know what i'd have done without the support of people who KNOW what this is really like.

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Hope1, thanks so much for replying! How r u doing at the moment, have your symptoms gradually been easing, I really hope they are. I have the vibrations too, esp when I first wake. My big fear is if I must have an op with meds involved, which I cannot tolerate..... Still haven't tried the hrt, putting it off. How did your op go, please let me know how you are. Are you off meds? Love and hugs. Xxxxxxx

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Just want to show my support.

I have been off prozac now for 1 year. I have had a really rough go of things.

I've had some mild improvements as of recently, mostly having to do with energy level.

At the moment I'm in a sort of "wave" so my glass isn't as full.

 

This recent wave was bought on by my monthly cycle. My periods are getting worse and I'm at a loss as to what to do.

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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Exactly, Dunerbug, hav only been getting one every 3 months and then it lasting over 3 weeks and a crazy amount, has also put me into the worst wave. Can't sleep, sky high anxiety, nausea, exhaustion, vibrating, and so on. So disconcerting when I was settling for a long while :( Is there anyway I can change my intro topic to c/t Prozac and suffering? Just thinking I may get more replies then, really need support badly, my friends and family over here have no idea what this is like. Lots of love to everyone. Xxxx

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Oh, just had a thought, maybe if intro could be changed to Prozac c/t need support please. Sorry, ever so slightly confused today! Doing my best! Xxxxx:)

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Fizz, I have no answers, but I am thinking of you.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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hi fizz, i was v bad for several years then it leveled a bit but i am nowhere near the person i was before i'm sorry to say. the impact of the Tardive Dystonia,Tardive Dyskinesia & Restless legs syndrome has been life changing for me & my husband - we had 2 young children at the time.

 

we were near the sea today,me on my mobility scooter,i looked down over a wall to the rocks...remembered times before all this i'd have loved to go exploring the rock pools,made me feel a bit sad..then i push it away & took in the view. Serotonin Syndrome was quietly mentioned at 1 point so i hang onto the fact that i'm still here.

 

i was swapped from Seroxat to Prozac,to something else to something else etc etc with no washout periods.i must have had the most awful cocktail of drugs in me.

 

i haven't written lots of the disability - don't want to scare folk,i was told my case is very rare,although we've seen so much more on the web.

 

i was nervous about the hysterctomy - anesthetic drugs,pain control after & my movements. i had a very good surgeon,certain drugs (as we know) can cause/make Dystonia worse so they were avoided,he listened to my concerns . recovery from the op took a long time but i soooo don't miss my horrible periods & blood transfusions.

 

i was prescribed Amitriptyline for Neuropathic pain,i've tried to get off it 3 times in the last 12 mths,each time i experience awful withdrawls.

 

i'm told my disability due to the adverse effects is permanent now,it's been this way for over 10 yrs. i think dr's are still learning about all this. they say some people,like me, may be more prone to developing these Tardive disorders.

 

20 yrs is a long time,don't give up HOPE.x

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Oh, just had a thought, maybe if intro could be changed to Prozac c/t need support please. Sorry, ever so slightly confused today! Doing my best! Xxxxx:)

 

Changed title of topic as requested.

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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Hi Fizz.

 

I don't have much to add to the excellent advice from the others, but strongly agree with Sparrow's advice to have complete hormonal panel as they are all in a delicate balance: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid. SSRIs interfere with all endocrine function, so it's not uncommon for values to be changing for awhile after drug is withdrawn.

 

I was diagnosed with ovarian failure and other endocrine problems since withdrawing from Pristiq after 17+ years on SS/NRIs and other psych meds for what began as mild depression and I'm still not convinced of the diagnoses since they coincided with withdrawal.  Estrogen patch (Vivelle - "natural"?) has helped my energy, mood and neck pain (an unexpected bonus) but I reacted very badly to Prometrium progesterone and am afraid to try other forms. My symptoms were opposite of yours: I had very light periods and amenorrhea.

 

I also reacted VERY badly to hydrocortisone Rx'd for adrenals. I became much more depressed. Alto and GiaK (Beyond Meds blog) have both written about adrenals and withdrawal.

 

I'm sorry I don't have anything more helpful to relate. I wish you the best and look forward to your progress.

 

B

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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Thank you so much to everyone for your support and insight, I am full of gratitude and so impressed to have such a warm welcome. Have extended doc apptment shortly where I shall want to scrutinise those blood results in fine detail before I go ahead on hormones. On a plus note, got kids out and to the park for the whole day today, despite around 2 hrs sleep, d/r, weakness, exhaustion and the rest you know. At the moment it's the feeling of hanging by a thread, fear of dread, after 28 months completely med free, no caffeine, no alcohol, no msg, vits, supplements, etc, etc and now faced with this situation where something has to be done to sort this cycle. Maybe I should just buy a BMX bike :) Have waved an windowed so many times, tiny, tiny improvements, so so slow. Was settling for a few more years of this, just about able to cope, or maybe more years yet to near normality. Cannot do another stint of that crazy blood loss, thought I was gonna die man, apologies to the guys out there! Couldn't walk or move for over a week, just lay and shook....Enough on that for now, it has brought a huge wave on though. Still can't get used to being sick all the time. Doing as much as I can for my 3 kids and partner, push too much and you so know it..... You are all fabulous for showing such support, I'm sorry I haven't had a chance yet to peruse all the intros, will soon.....Hugs and hugs. Xxxx

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Can I ask, I don't have the strength to sit upright an watch tv, have to lie on the sofa to do it, anyone else like this still? And so stiff and rigid, walking like the coat hangers still in the coat, anyone else? Xxxxxx

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Thank you Hope1 darling, off to bed now hope there's not gonna be too many zaps, they've come back lately, you could run the tv off me....got to try an get some sleep, kids karate tomo. At least weather has been warmer here today, find the cold difficult. Hoping everyone gets a good nights rest. Xxxxx

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Please write and tell me how everyone is doing today, wishing the best and hoping symptoms doable. It's nearing 9am hear and the sun is out! Xxxxxx

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Can I ask, I don't have the strength to sit upright an watch tv, have to lie on the sofa to do it, anyone else like this still? And so stiff and rigid, walking like the coat hangers still in the coat, anyone else? Xxxxxx

 

My energy is good but I have a lot of trouble with stiffness and pain in my muscles and connective tissues. Just--coz you asked if anyone else...

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thanks Rhi, may I ask what other symptoms you have? Would like to have your energy, have hardly any and got to pace myself at the moment, have a lovely day. Xxxxxx

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Can I ask, I don't have the strength to sit upright an watch tv, have to lie on the sofa to do it, anyone else like this still? And so stiff and rigid, walking like the coat hangers still in the coat, anyone else? Xxxxxx

 

Fizz,

 

I spend most time in a horizontal position when at home (most of the last 1.5 years). It's a weakness that difficult to describe, not a fatigue or dizziness or feeling I've ever experienced in the past. My heartrate and BP tend to run low and this probably has something to do with it... possibly the body's way to get more blood to head..? Just speculation.

 

Considering the blood you've lost, I'm not at all surprised that you feel this way. Just reading about your day out with family made me tired!

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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Please write and tell me how everyone is doing today, wishing the best and hoping symptoms doable. It's nearing 9am hear and the sun is out! Xxxxxx

 

Hey Fizz.

 

I'm still recovering from my last period. It brought on a wave. Feeling a bit better physically, but anxiety is still a little heightened. For me, my anxiety brings about ocd symptoms and has really become a thorn in my life.

 

I sat out in the sun with my pets a couple days ago and it really helped.

 

Hang in there!

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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Can I ask, I don't have the strength to sit upright an watch tv, have to lie on the sofa to do it, anyone else like this still? And so stiff and rigid, walking like the coat hangers still in the coat, anyone else? Xxxxxx

 

Fizz,

 

I spend most time in a horizontal position when at home (most of the last 1.5 years). It's a weakness that difficult to describe, not a fatigue or dizziness or feeling I've ever experienced in the past. My heartrate and BP tend to run low and this probably has something to do with it... possibly the body's way to get more blood to head..? Just speculation.

 

Considering the blood you've lost, I'm not at all surprised that you feel this way. Just reading about your day out with family made me tired!

 

I relate. It is difficult to put in words. To top it off I am anemic. So when I am on my period....ugh. Last time I tried to take iron for it, I became more anxious. Looks like I'll have try and combat it with foods.

 

Last time I did way too much physically right before my cycle. (yard work) That's one thing about withdrawal....if your body is saying lay down, it's best to listen.

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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duner, just in case you want to give it a go, I take liquid Ferrous Fumerate, 15ml daily mixed in with orange juice, it's just about the gentlest iron supplement you can get, have had no reactions to it and I do with virtually everything normally! It does boost iron levels...., Thanks to everyone for replies and stories, not feeling so alone now. Xxxxxx

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Just wondering if anyone had a really bad night, to keep me company! Virtually an all-nighter, just 20 mins sleep at 4.30. In a bad wave at mo and was stupid enough to think I could attempt the smallest amount of football with family yesterday. Thus followed a night of palpitations, pain, vibrating, etc. lesson learned for the next time. Xxxxx

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry to hear that Fizz. Exercise is a trigger for some people, me included. Feel better.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm so sorry to hear you had such a rough night. Hopefully, tonight will be much better. Usually, if I have one of those nights with so little sleep, it's followed by a better night, so maybe this will be the case for you.

 

Lots of love and hugs

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Thank you Nar and Tezza, just going to try and take it easy tonight, kids picked up and fed, just rather a lot of homework to do, ready to drop now! Xxxxxxxx

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Fizz: Prozac cold turkey withdrawal

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