Jump to content

MissSerene: Looking Forward to Help


MissSerene

Recommended Posts

I'm new, and my screen name is aspirational. If I say I'm serene, maybe I'll start to believe it.

 

Have just started tapering off Prozac after being on it for 18 years for chronic, low-grade depression. I was diagnosed when my late husband was very ill. I have an extensive personal history of childhood neglect and abandonment, and a family history of depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol dependence, and sexual abuse. Fortunately, my mood problem has never rendered me non-functional...my role was always achiever and peacemaker. My twin sister, however, has had severe problems with depression and anxiety and has been on multiple meds for decades. Her quality of life has been profoundly affected by both her mood problems and the meds she has taken for them.

 

I resigned from a high-pressure corporate job in late 2011 and since then have realized, slowly, what a fog my mind has been in, I think due to AD. I have apathy, flat affect, sexual side effects, and others. Recently read Glenmullen's "Prozac Backlash," which details damage that long-term use of SSRI might cause. I feel I've lost myself over the years and desperately want to feel alive again. But have been terrified of stopping the drug due to the problems my twin (and my mother and sister and others) have had all their adult lives.

 

Also, I'm approaching menopause and fear that withdrawal symptoms or possible relapse after drug discontinuation will coincide with unmedicated hormone-related mood swings. I need to start job hunting but want something uncomplicated and routine....nothing like I was doing before. After my wonderful first husband's death, I am remarried to a great guy who is loving, patient, and supportive. Even with these blessings, this process still feels SO scary.

 

I am 51 and otherwise healthy and working hard to heal my "inner landscape" so the world has color again. So glad to be here.

Edited by tezza
Added member name to title

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

After taking for 18 years, I am just starting to taper off 20mg Prozac daily; went down to 15 mg on July 19. Is this too big or small a jump, or does it depend on individual? Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's books say that many people can simply stop taking 20mg and do fine. But my body is sensitive to even small amounts of everyday stuff like coffee, wine, and sugar (and I'm scared of relapse). It took me 18 months to comfortably withdraw from a benzo a year and a half ago. Anybody have experience with tapering off a relatively low dose of Prozac?

 

 

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

I may need correction here, but I think I've read that a 25% initial cut is an option, but be prepared to up dose at the slightest symptom. If you have a symptom that early on, you probably need to go down with just 10% cuts. Also, you need to hold for a minimum of 4 weeks with the first cut of Prozac, maybe even 6, because of its very slow elimination from the body. It takes that long for the change to be registered in the brain/body.

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

Link to comment
  • Member

And we are glad to have you here! There is a wealth of information on this board, lots to digest and get acquainted with. If you have questions and concerns, voice them here in your thread and rest assured the knowledgeable folk here will see and address them.

 

By the way, is that a YUMMY 3 layer cake in your Avatar pic? Dreamy, luscious, (pink!). It does convey serenity!

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment

Meimeiquest: Tx for your reply. I feel worse today than any day since my initial dose cut on 7/19....vivid dreams last night (animals and a dead bird coming back to life), some low-grade dizziness and nausea, ringing in ears, stomach bloating. These are almost identical to withdrawal reactions I had to Klonopin.

 

To get 15 mg, I take a 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp of the liquid...maybe tomorrow I'll add another 1/8 tsp, and stay on the 17.5mg dose for a month before dropping back down to 15 mg.

 

Got excited when I read Dr. Glenmullen's statements that most patients can just stop taking 20mg of Prozac, and that withdrawal symptoms AREN'T worse for people who have been on the drug a long time. Guess it is a very individual thing. I so want to be off this stuff! Thanks again.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

Cymbalta: Isn't that a gorgeous picture? It makes me happy just looking at it!!! It's a Martha Stewart cake. :) Thanks so much for your reply. Will get acquainted with the site.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Member

Martha Stewart, no wonder! Ya just gotta love her when you see a cake like that........

 

And you'll love this site!

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, it's a very individual thing. Of course we don't see the people who come off easily here on this forum (although I have heard they do exist!), so what we usually see here is that people need to taper ADs just like they do benzos. That certainly isn't an unusual situation.

 

Sounds like you understand how to to a slow taper already.

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

Link to comment

I did learn about slow tapers with the Klonopin. But after reading Dr. Glenmullen's book info re: long-term side effects of SSRIs, got anxious to get off faster. But this doesn't seem smart for me...I think patience is the answer. Yesterday, visited pharmacy and got a medicine bottle cap with a hole in top, and an oral syringe that dispenses fractions of MLs. Am grateful to have discovered that method here.

 

Am also telling myself that the taper will be a great opportunity for better self-care in general. Am getting ready to go on family vacation to beach tomorrow, though, where there will be lots of junk food and lots of alcohol. Will keep visiting here for moral support!  

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, MissSerine.  Please note that I moved your topic in Tapering to your Intro because it's about you and your personal withdrawal journey rather than a topic of general interest.

 

A 25% taper is generally not a good idea, especially for someone who's been on antidepressants for years.  You might be interested in reading this general topic on a long, slow taper:

 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dose?

 

You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

Link to comment
  • 5 months later...

I think I've experienced my first real window since beginning taper in July. Though improvement seems to be gone today, I've been clearer and sharper mentally, more awake, and better able to apply myself. Have sort of felt like my 17-year-old brain (the one I've considered the height of my powers, LOL) was still in there...somewhere...under/beyond the fog. Now I have concrete hope that it's possible, no matter how slowly tapering happens and healing proceeds. Yay! And I hope the same for others here.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Very good to hear, MIssSerene.

 

I merged your post her to update your Intro topic. Please bookmark or follow it so you can find it again.

 

What method of tapering are you using?

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

Alto: Tx for moving...I will bookmark. Re: taper, am doing a 5-percent cut every two weeks. Very noticeable w/d symptoms but not debilitating. So excited to have felt significantly mentally clearer for a few days...hopefully a taste of things to come.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

your story is very inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for letting us know ;)

 

and the best of luck with the rest of the journey!

 

bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please keep us posted. I've worked with so many people in more chaotic situations than yours, it's good to hear about a fairly uncomplicated taper. Sounds like it's going well for you. You may need to slow down a bit as you get to the lowest doses, just listen to your body and observe your withdrawal symptoms. Sounds like you're good at that.  Yay!

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

Link to comment
  • Administrator

How long do your withdrawal symptoms last after each cut?

 

You may wish to make smaller cuts every 2 weeks, sounds like 5% may be a little too high.

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

Thanks, Rhi. As scary and uncomfortable as this is after being on fluoxetine for so long, I'm grateful that it's not as complicated as the situations of many here. What a huge relief this short window was. Will try to keep good updates coming.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

Alto: My w/d symptoms are typically lasting until time for the next cut; they become less intense over the two weeks but remain. The tinnitus is there almost every morning....vivid, disturbing dreams (esp. right after a cut)...mild nausea and dizziness. Maybe a 3-percent cut better than 5 percent, every two weeks?

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Administrator

I think you should take a nice, long hold right now, maybe a month or two.

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

Alto: I think I'll do that. As of last Saturday, I'm at about half the dose I started tapering from in July. Desperately want to avoid -- to the extent possible -- long-term trouble or depressive relapse after I'm completely off...have such a family history. Even though my situation isn't very complex since I'm weaning off only one drug (and one with a long half-life, at that), still want to be very careful. Have already been through a lot getting off Klonopin, and so want to look forward to a healthier, steadier existence. I appreciate your experience and input and welcome any other thoughts.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

I want to be off this stuff so badly. Have been on it for so long, on autopilot, and particular side effects have affected my intimate life in ways that make me sad. Was first put on Prozac when dealing with more than a 16-year struggle with my first husband's brain tumor and untimely death. I was lucky enough to find another great guy, who is now my husband, and I so want to be able to give this relationship everything I've got. But don't want to compromise long-term wellness with a rushed taper.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You may actually find that a hold will allow you to experience more of that clarity. As you get to these lower doses you will probably find that the effect of the drug itself will be lessened and most of what you're experiencing that you don't like is due to the withdrawal symptoms, including more subtle ones that you may not even be aware of. A long hold will allow you to see what your baseline actually is at this point. It may be better than you realize. 

 

I know for me most of the problems caused by the AD itself began to lift below 3 mg and now, when I'm not having withdrawal symptoms, I feel like I have my original pre-AD personality back almost all the time.

 

It's worth a try, anyway. You may find that by going very slowly you can minimize withdrawal symptoms, and the actual drug itself won't be as disruptive to your wellbeing at the lower doses, so that actually going slow will be better for your relationship than getting off faster would be.

 

See what happens if you hold for 4-8 weeks.

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

Link to comment

Rhi: You are awesome. Was just at grocery store feeling weepy about needing to hold/slow down (midlife hormone shifts are also making me cry about the price of organic produce... o:)) and then got home and read this. So you think it's possible with a hold now to discover current baseline, maybe feel clearer, and that the drug's effects at low dose may diminish? Yipppeee! I'm willing to try it. It's encouraging to hear that your pre-AD self is almost totally back.

 

Was also earlier today practicing the Dialectical Behavior Therapy concepts of distress tolerance and radical acceptance. This doesn't feel good, but I can handle it. Especially with great info and support...Thank you again.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

Glad to be back after busy time adjusting to new part-time job. Am experiencing some new withdrawal symptoms in Prozac taper. While moving from original dose to just under half that (over the past year), had lots of nausea, dizziness, fatigue, etc. Now, I am having muscle twitches, more numerous strange/bad dreams, and most troubling, my mood has changed noticeably...I feel depressed. Is this common? I've heard that latter stages of taper can actually be harder than initial. I am also almost 52 and approaching menopause, so not sure how hormonal fluctuations can add to the picture.

 

Boy, this is hard. Again, glad to be back.    

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome back MissSerene,

 

I moved your post from the Prozac tapering thread as its specifically about your situation.  I'm sorry to hear you are having new symptoms now, when did they start getting worse? Are you still experiencing nausea, dizziness and fatigue?  What dose of Prozac are you on now and how long have you been at that dose?

 

You may need to hold for a while until your symptoms settle down again.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment

Petu: Thanks for reply. I cut down to approximately 10 mg/day on April 16 (as stated in signature)...a 5-percent cut from previous dose. I had held previous dose for several months at Alto's suggestion, to stabilize. 

 

Since last cut, have had constant ringing in ears and off-and-on worsening of mood. Re: mood, have been having on-and-off weepiness and crying spells for almost two years now, I presume perimenopause related, but didn't feel depressed. I now feel kind of flat/who cares/not looking forward to anything, interspersed with fewer crying spells. I also get irritated/angry very easily now. 

 

Though my starting dose wasn't that high, and I've been tapering really slowly, I'm very sensitive to chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Should I wait until ear-ringing calms down and mood improves to make next 5-percent cut? Is there such a thing as going too slowly? Want to be really careful not to create problems for myself. Thanks a lot.   

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

Actually, as Alto had suggested several months ago, maybe a 3-percent cut would be better once current symptoms subside?

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Its difficult to know which symptoms are hormone related and which are withdrawal.  I don't think there is such a thing as going too slow with AD withdrawal, especially if symptoms are persisting, but mood fluctuations could be perimenopause.

 

Congratulations on your successful taper off Klonopin, how long were you taking it for?

 

If I were in your situation, I would continue to hold, or perhaps even try a small updose to see if that helped.  If you felt better after an updose, then you would know if your symptoms were related to Prozac withdrawal, rather than hormonal and you could continue with your taper at a much slower rate. 

 

Lets see what others suggest.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

MissSerene, when one is very sensitive, dosage reductions of 3% are not unreasonable. You may wish to hold for a bit now.

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

Petu and Altostrata: I'm going to hold here for a while longer, and then do a 3-percent cut. Combo of w/d and perimenopause much more challenging than I anticipated.  

 

Petu, I was on Klonopin for a decade or more. My internist recommended against trying to get off, and I did it very, very slowly. It was hard, but so worth it. 

 

The ringing in my ears is constant now....I'm so accustomed to it that I almost can't tell whether it's there or not o:)  Thanks to you both.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • 6 months later...

Have been away from forum for quite a while during adjustment to part-time work and caring for a new puppy. Having anxiety and depression now amid very slow Prozac taper and want to connect again. At times, thinking about and discussing withdrawal -- including being here -- is helpful and positive. Other times, because I tend to ruminate, it leads to distress. Am learning to regulate the latter so I can give and receive support and info without thinking obsessively and getting negative.

 

After a year and a half, I'm down to less than half my 20mg/day original dose of fluoxetine, which I've been on for more than 20 years. Am reducing the dose about 3 percent every few weeks and have done a number of long dose-freezes along the way; my internist suggested this since I'm near menopause and having hormone-related mood issues. I don't know whether to stay on current dose until hormones settle down, or just go ahead and continue taper since I'm feeling lousy anyway....and get it over with!  Having unremitting tinnitus, on-and-off flulike symptoms, sobbing jags, anxiety, low mood, poor appetite and taste changes (even Christmas cookies don't seem appealing). Feel apathetic and just going through motions.

 

Being in the middle of this feels like a slog....after taking a long time to taper off a benzo several years ago, I can't remember the last time I felt really good. My personal experience isn't bearing out statements I've read that getting off Prozac is easy or can be done quickly. Altostrata and others here reminded me a ways back that withdrawal is different for everyone, and unpredictable.

 

I wonder, too, if fear of aging/the harder work of maintaining a middle-aged body is adding to the stress and discouragement. Am trying to look at withdrawal as opportunity for great self-care, but some days it's hard, isn't it?

 

Several bright spots: My job is physical so keeps me moving and fit, and I'm walking puppy twice a day, for nearly an hour at a stretch. My husband is as supportive and patient as a girl could hope for. In fact, he's so steady that I compare myself and my withdrawal to his healthy family background and outlook, and feel "sick." Trying to just be thankful.

 

I need some reminders that this is going to pass, it's not permanent or "just the way I am" forever. I'm not alone. We're in this together.     

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi MissSerene, I've merged your new topic with your original intro thread, it is one topic per person

here in the intro forum so that your history is all in one place. 

I'm sorry that you are feeling so rotten and think that maybe a long hold would be best for you, at least until

spring is here. Everything seems much harder in winter, unless you are in Australia!! 

 

The puppy sounds lovely and pets are known to be beneficial for stress and anxiety so that was a good move.H

Hubby sounds lovely too,  and very loving and supportive which is also good for stress and anxiety, there is nothing 

better than being loved and nurtured during this nightmare.   I think you are right about finding the balance here too,

too much time here can offset the benefits and we all need to step back at times to do some real life stuff.   This is a

safe haven but we need to venture out into the world at times. 

 

This will get better, I can't say when but it will, until it does, hang on to that surfboard and ride those waves with us. We 

will hold you up and help you to stay on top of the waves  :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

Link to comment

MammaP: You are awesome! Thank you so much. Have that surboard in hand now...and am taking it out to walk Puppy! LOL. :)

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

Your story is very inspirational!  I am on an AD and Klonopin and you bring me hope that someday I will be able to get off of these drugs.  I was doing what I thought was a slow taper and got hit with major withdrawal symptoms.  I have since updosed and am trying to get stable but am feeling miserable.  I think you should take it super slow, hold as long as you need to.  The symptoms you describe sound attributable to withdrawal so I would hold until you are feeling better. 

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg I 2021: 7.8 mg - 5.26 mg

2022: 1/5/22: 5.2 mg; 1/12/22: 5.1 mg; 1/19/22: 5.07 mg; 1/26/22: 5.0 mg; 5/1/22: 4.9 mg; 5/8/22: 4.88 mg; 5/15/22: 4.8 mg; 5/22/22: 4.76 mg; 6/5/22: 4.7 mg; 6/12/22: 4.6 mg; 6/19/22: 4.58 mg; 6/26/22: 4.5 mg; 7/10/22: 4.47 mg; 7/17/22: 4.4 mg; 7/24/22: 4.36 mg; 7/31/22: 4.3 mg; 8/21/22: 4.25 mg; 8/28/22: 4.2 mg; 9/4/22: 4.1 mg; 9/11/22: 4.09 mg; 9/25/22: 4.0 mg; 10/2/22: 3.99 mg; 10/9/22: 3.9 mg; 10/16/22: 3.89 mg; 10/30/22: 3.8 mg; 11/6/22: 3.77 mg; 11/13/22: 3.7 mg; 11/21/22: 3.6 mg; 12/5/22: 3.57 mg

 

Link to comment

Is anyone familiar with the herbal menopause supplement called Remifemin (black cohosh), which I started taking recently to help relieve perimenopause symptoms. I also use a small amount of topical natural progesterone cream three weeks out of each month. I know progesterone in large doses can contribute to depression, but my dose is small to moderate. Anyone have experience with either, related to SSRI withdrawal?

 

Also feel I'm experiencing some depersonalization, and it's scary. Didn't think I'd have this symptom with such a slow taper off of a moderate dose of a long half-life drug. And it seems to be intermixed, with no identifiable pattern, with oversensitivity, crying jags, etc. Does it make sense to say you feel moody and weepy one moment and detached/numb the next? Like you're totally not yourself, like an observer?  

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy