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mrsbop: Insomnia advice and tapering at less than 1mg


mrsbop

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Hi, I'm mrsbop and I'm new to this forum. I'm seeking advise and some reassurance for the horrible range of symptoms I'm experiencing at the moment. I have tapered of fluoxetine over the last year, finished about 5 weeks ago and ever since have been feeling rough. The worst thing is the terrible insomnia every night, often with heart racing and night sweats.

I have been reading round on this site recently and have been trying suggestions like Epsom salt baths, eye mask, lavender oil, ear plugs, Nytol, none of which have had much success. The only time I've had a good nights sleep are on the two occasions that in desperation I've turned to a zopione sleeping pill. That gave me great relief but I know isn't the answer so I'm trying to limit taking them.

Would appreciate any ideas for sleep help, it's hard to keep functioning without it, wondering if people think it ok to take a sleeping pill every 3rd or 4th night just for some relief and sleep until I can get through this or if there another way....

Also longer term looking for advice to taper of this last .6mg, mainly how to be reducing the drops when you've run out of markers on the syringe!

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mrsbop

 

Welcome to SA. Sorry you have had the dreaded insomnia kick in. It's terrible.

 

I think you have gone down too fast and it has caught up to you. 10 percent drops are great but not weekly or even fortnightly. Often there is a bit of a delayed reaction

 

I think you are right to up dose. We generally suggest waiting 5-7 days to see the result of the up dose.

 

Did you have insomnia as you were tapering down?

 

Dalsaan

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

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

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

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

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

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

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

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

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Hi Dalsaan,

Thanks for your reply. I realise now in hindsight I tapered too quickly at the end but I didn't have any withdrawal symptoms until I stopped and then insomnia, etc kicked in big time! It's been 4 weeks now since I reinstated at 0.6mg so I was hoping for some relief by now...not sure what to do next, except be patient I guess!

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I think you might have tapered a bit too quickly even before that last part where you were dropping daily at the end. You have two choices, ride it out or updose higher to see if it addresses your withdrawal. I've had to do that to address extreme insomnia. And if it was me, I would do it in this instance. However it's not guaranteed to work

 

Here is the key thread on reinstatement - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

I recommend you read through that thread before deciding your next move

 

Dalsaan

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

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

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

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

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

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

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

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

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Hi, thanks for the thread Dalsaan,

 

I have read it through and I think I will try to ride it out a bit longer before considering another updose because as you say this is not guaranteed to work.

 

Whenever I have started back on fluoxetine in the past (albeit the full 20mg dose) I have always had a myriad of side effects, including insomnia so I am concerned updosing again might confuse my system and possibly make worse what I'm trying to alleviate...? I don't know.

 

Thanks again for the advise

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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Hi mrsbob,

I've been tapering fluoexetine for two years, from 20mg to 3.8mg.

During this time I've also had chronic insomnia. I understand your

reluctance to rely on sleep drugs. Your brain is trying to adjust to

pulling out on the SSRI so why confuse it with another drug. What

I have found helps is a homeopathic sleep remedy called Calms Forte

made by Hylands. (very old, established homeopathy company)

You can get it online.It's very gentle. I take three tiny pills and it gets me 

 five hours sleep at least.. If I wake up and can't sleep after that I take three more.

They are entirely harmless. I've been taking them for years.

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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Hi Indigo

 

Thanks so much for that advise! It's seems that Calms Forte is not readily available in th UK so I'd never heard of it - have managed to order some from Amazon today though so will try it when it arrives.

 

I sympathise with you about the insomnia, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one going through this, that it is 'normal' in this situation. I'm glad you've found something that helps you.

 

Thanks again!

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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 Glad you ordered Calms Forte. As someone who also is tapering fluoexetine down from 20 mg

to a low dose (3.8mg for me)my tapering was going pretty steady until I got down to about 5mg.

Then withdrawal  symptoms got much harder to deal with. I was shocked. I thought this was going

to be a steady drop dose old, drop dose again thing. Not so. As you get down to a very low dose

it gets way harder and it's best to drop tiny amounts at a time. 

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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I can relate to poor sleep. I'm going to try calmes forte. Glad you spoke positively about it. Hard to go to work when tired all the time.

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Hi indigo

 

It seems like we are on a similar path and I like you thought everything was going well with the tapering until the lower doses. I wasn't expecting this to happen, so I feel your shock too. From reading around it does seem many people find the last bit the hardest so we will have to go extra slow no matter how frustrating it is....we will get there one day!

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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Hi looking for hope55,

 

Sorry you are having trouble sleeping, I really sympathise, I lay awake til 5am last night before getting an hour of sleep and then awake again. It's so hard to function. I hope the Calms Forte may help you

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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Hi mrsbop... insomnia is no fun! Meditation, having a sleep routine and using coping tools for racing heart work for me. My sleep is not perfect, but those three elements seem to keep things reasonably even. It's a lot of work at first remembering to do certain things like close the blinds, not use your computer or smart phone before bed, but it's worth it. 

 

I've been sliding on my routine lately and it has been negatively affecting the quality of my sleep. This is what I try to do each night:

 

Eat a filling dinner meal without a lot of fat in it

For dessert have warm milk and a banana

Not eat within 2 hours of bedtime

Turn off TV, computer, smart phone one hour before bed

Close the blinds (I use light blocking shades)

Epsom salt footbath and do a 10 minute mindfulness meditation at the same time (or longer)

Draw, write or read in a comfortable chair until I feel sleepy

Turn off all the lights and go to sleep

 

If I am unable to go to sleep right away, I don't judge or get upset that I can't sleep. These emotions can cause a surge of hormones and it starts ruminating thoughts. I get up, do some breathing exercises, read, write, draw again until I'm sleepy. 

 

Lather, rinse, repeat until sleep is achieved :)

1999 Prozac with occasional Xanax 

2002 Effexor Xr with occasional Valium

2010 Off Effexor (slow taper)

2010 Prozac rx to help with Effexor withdrawal. Activating, so stopped.

2011 Zoloft rx

2013 Zoloft stops working after a few increases, decide to stop taking it

2013 October last Zoloft dose after a 6-9 month taper

2014 January, April, May, June ER inducing anxiety attacks

2014 June Ativan prescribed as needed. Last taken Nov 2014, but still have pills just in case

 

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Thanks for the advise nervouskitten,

 

Its hard not to get anxious when you don't get to sleep but I realise this is a vicious circle! Your words not to 'judge or get upset that I can't sleep ' are helpful.

 

I will 'lather, rinse, repeat' with some of your tips!

 

Thanks again

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

mrsbop, hey.

 

I just wanted to let you know I modified the title of your thread, simply adding your screen name to it, making it easier for users to find it.

 

It sounds like you are getting some good support here, and I am glad for you. Welcome, and may you soon find relief from your insomnia and other symptoms too.

 

Hang in there!

 

Dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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I hate insomnia. It's hard to work the next day. I keep telling myself this will get better some day. Hang in there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How are you doing mrsbop. Did the Calms Forte arrive yet?

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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Hi indigo

 

The Calms Forte arrived on Thursday and I have taken it the last two nights. Slept a bit on & off on Thirsday night but last night was much better and I slept for a few hours at a time. Will definitely keep taking it for a while. Very grateful to you for suggesting it to me. I hope it is still helpful to you and that you are in a good place at the moment

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

How have you been doing in the past week  Mrs. Bop?

 

My sleep is a bit all over the place too.   Thursday night , up till 5am , Friday night , up till 1:30am.    If  I've been laying there for an hour and still don't feel sleepy , I will

usually get up , turn on the lights , and move around a bit , watch tv.    That's suggested in good "sleep hygiene" recommendations for normal people (lol).

I sometimes find it helps to just start the sleeping routine over a bit later.

Other times , I'll just lay down and remind myself that it doesn't matter if I don't sleep , I should just try and relax.  Let my body rest.  Sleep will come eventually.

 

I'm interested in the Calms Forte too.    I've tried 1.5mg of melatonin a few times , and it's very sedating , but it leaves me more groggy the next morning  :(.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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 Glad to know your getting some sleep. Calms Forte doesn't knock you out like a usual sleeping drug.

 I take three and it will help me sleep four or five hours.  
Then if/when I wake up I take three more.
At least it's not loading my brain cells with more chemicals. 

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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Hi Fresh,

 

Sorry you too are struggling with sleep. I know how frustrating it is when you're doing everything recommended and still it doesn't happen. I have tried all sorts this last 6 weeks, from Nytol, to Epsom salts and the odd prescription sleeping pill just for some relief.

 

This last week I have been drinking Clipper 'Sleep' herbal tea right before I settle and now (thanks to advice from Indigo on here) I am also taking the Calms Forte about half an hour before bed. When I'm awake in the night I'll get up and take the Bach Rescue Remedy for sleep and put lavender oil on my pulse points.

 

I'm trying to keep to a routine of settling down at the same time every night and like you sometimes I'm just lying there trying to relax and let my body rest - usually sleep does come eventually. These last few night have been better for me.

 

Hang in there, I believe it will get better for you too

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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I can relate to sleep problems. Calm forte helps some, but I'll wake up and just can't get back to sleep. I hope someday I feel normal again. I'm always looking for real hope here. Thanks

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Hang in there Lookingforhope

 

I believe one day we will feel normal again. Keep hoping. The body is amazingly created to heal and restore itself, it will just take time and that's the hardest part. What's shocked and saddened me since joining this forum is just how many people out there are suffering. You are not alone. My faith is helping me to cope. I believe in a better future for us!

 

Best wishes

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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  • 1 month later...

Hello

 

I'm after some advice again! Over the last couple of months things have not improved and are getting worse. The insomnia is terrible, nothing seems to help. I have lost a stone in weight ( I was skinny anyway) and all my irritable bowel symptoms have flared up badly and I am struggling to function. The last two nights I have used a sleeping pill. My doctors only suggestion is going up in dose on the fluoxetine. It's been 3 months that I've been on 0.6 mg and I don't know if this will help now...If I don't updose will it eventually get better and how do I cope until it does? I am worried if I updose it could makes things worse.....Also I have no idea what I would updose to....maybe 1mg? Very confused!!

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi MrsBop, sorry to see that you are still struggling with insomnia, I am a fellow insomniac  and get very little sleep with no sleep at all some nights. It is exhausting.

 

You could try an updose to see if it helps, it would be better than relying on sleeping pills. Maybe try 1mg, it is worth a shot but if  things worsen stay at 0.6. If there is no change just give it a little time as it takes 4 days for an updose to register. 

**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

 

 

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I've had pretty good luck with melatonin 3mg.(or mcg. not sure) and B12......both sublingual(dissolve under the tongue).  Can repeat as needed too.  Obviously not tonight but......oh well.  I buy locally.

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

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

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

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

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

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

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

 

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I was going to say exactly the same as mammP  . . . and if you get a bad reaction within 24-48 hours , go back down.

 

My sleep has returned to normal , the insomnia was just a stage I was going through following a decrease.

 

I've used melatonin in the past with good result , and found 1.5mg very sedating.  

What you're experiencing is a range of w/d symptoms , not just insomnia , and melatonin won't help with everything.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks for the advise! I have updosed to 1mg this morning so praying it will help, had less than an hours sleep last night so I felt I had to try something

 

Unfortunately melatonin hasn't worked for me. I've tried various sized doses but no luck

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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7 days on the updose of 1mg and no difference. Wondering about updosing again to 1.5 or 2mg....

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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I don't know if there is a way past the insomnia. Seems to come no matter the kind of drug. I think a huge part is just accepting it. I use supplements which only help some people, but I think morning sun, a darkened sleeping room (we covered our window panes with aluminum foil to keep the moonlight out), some gentle exercise, and going to bed and getting up at the same time every day are basic. A very regular schedule helps the brain area that usually is the source of the insomnia. And I agree with Fresh, "starting over" with the whole sleeping process helps sometimes, I also listen to mindless things on the radio to help reduce the boredom and frantic feelings that come with lying in bed for hours.

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,

 

I was wondering what the opinion was on updosing in very very small amounts daily, rather than say a whole milligram at once. For example when using an oral syringe for fluoxetine 0.25ml is equal to 1mg. Would it be gentler on the brain/nervous system to go up in 0.01 increases daily and take 25 days to up the dose by another 1mg for someone who is very sensitive to the drug?

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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Thanks for the advise meimeiquest. Very sorry to hear that you are suffering with insomnia. I wish I could offer you some advice but I have tried pretty much everything with little success

 

I think I will updose again, basically I'm thinking it can't make things any worse and there is the chance it may help

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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It takes at least 4 days for an increase in dosage to register fully in your body. If you are very sensitive, you might want to try a very small amount, say .25mg fluoxetine, and hold at that level for a week -- if you do not have an immediate bad reaction. Then reassess.

 

(Note: .25mg fluoxetine is the amount of drug, not the amount of fluid.)

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Update:

 

I updosed to 1.5mg on 13/5/15 and for 12 days slept MUCH better nearly every night and started to feel a bit better on and off too.

 

Yippie, I thought, a breakthrough but then suddenly these last 3 days I've not been able to sleep again - aargh!!

 

So I've gone from getting 6 hours of blissful sleep to less than an hour the last 3 nights in a row. Very confused and obviously fed up. Anyone any idea what might be going on ....?

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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One of the things about withdrawal I struggle to come to terms with is that it's not rational or linear.

I want to believe "this"  drop in dose I can expect same symptoms as last time I  "this" dropped an equal amount. 

But not so. It's all unpredictable. 

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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Thanks Indigo

 

You are right, I think it's just so unpredictable. I'm so longing for an end to this though that when things improve a little my hopes soar and then when it gets bad again they crash back down!!

 

I think updosing did help so now the question is do I updose more or just stay where I am..? If I keep updosing will it confuse my brain more than staying put? Many days I am tempted to just give up and go back on the full dose but I don't really want to do that having come so far. I just don't want to go on like this!!

Started on fluoxetine (prozac) in 1994 at 20mg dose. Have had 3 previous attempts to get of this drug over the years (1998, 2003, 2013) with agonising symptoms that always ended with me back on the drug thinking I needed it. Since recently learning about withdrawal (and realising that's what I had suffered on previous attempts) I have now been tapering 20mg fluoxetine since January 2014 in 10% drops, firstly monthly, then fortnightly then weekly. Last 0.7mg tapered by about 10% a day and stopped. Withdrawal kicked in within days so

reinstated at 0.6mg on 02/02/15. No relief

5/5/15 updosed to 1mg to try and help terrible insomnia and deteriorating health.

13/5/15 updosed to 1.5mg. Finally stabilised July 2015.

Started reducing again by 10% every 4 weeks in September.

Currently on just less than 1mg

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If I were you in this situation, I'd hold at this dose for several weeks and let your body stabilize. But I have no authority to suggest this other than my own experience of tapering off fluoexetine. The withdrawals can seem endless sometimes while your body is doing it's best adjust. I imagine connections in my brain that have been blocked by the drug, opening up again like buds sprouting along a branch after winter. Imperceptably slowly.

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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