Jump to content
monicaf

Monicaf - Tapering off Prozac after 23 years

Recommended Posts

monicaf

Hard to believe I have been taking Prozac for 23 years.  History of depression, anxiety, and OCD.  First diagnosed at 21, but remember being a sad child.  I started tapering from 20 mg to 10 mg in January 2015.  So far I'm doing pretty good.  The anxiety has ramped up a bit but I'm able to manage it fairly well by using meditation, magnesium, herbs and kefir.  For so long I've been afraid I couldn't cope with life without taking antidepressants.  Then one day I decided being on Prozac for so long was probably not a good thing.  It had lost most of its efficacy many years ago.  I had gone through trials of switching to Zoloft for a short time then back to Prozac in order to recharge the antidepressant effect.  That did work but the improvement didn't last very long.  My hope is to someday be totally off Prozac, even if it takes years.

Share this post


Link to post
peggy

hi Monica!

23 years is a long time on AD's.  This site recommends reductions at 10% of your dose every month.  I see you did a 50% reduction in January - based on my experience (and many others) sometimes you get a delayed withdrawal effect a few months later.  Seeing as you are having some anxiety now, if i was you I would plan to stay on 10mg for a few months to really consolidate this reduction and then start a slow 10% taper after that.  

 

Good luck and welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Addax

Hi Monicaf.

 

Welcome to SA! I'm glad you found this site.

 

I'm tapering off Fluoxetine as well, and after over 25 years.  Congratulations on getting to 10mg!  This is a critical dose you're at and I'm going to suggest you slow way down.  A 50% reduction is quite large, and as peggy mentioned, there tends to be a delay in the onset of withdrawal symptoms, particularly with Prozac/Fluoxetine.  This doesn't mean you'll suddenly fall off a wall, but don't be surprised if you feel a little worse over the next months or so.  Many people report about a 4-6 month delay.  4 months has been my experience, twice.

 

I say that 10mg is a critical dose because at this point your body is likely metabolizing the fluoxetine more quickly, and the plazma level of prozac is droping more rapidly with each reductions, so you could be much more sensitive to drops in your dose.  Are you symptomatic now? What sorts of symptoms are you experiencing?

 

I'm simply a member here.  A moderator will be along shortly to welcome you and help guide you further.  In the meantime it will help them and anyone that comes to your thread if you could create a signature.  Here's a link to how you do that: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Also, as peggy indicated, It's reccomended that you reduce your dose only by 10%, and do so every 5-6 weeks or so.  It varies by person, what they are able to tolerate and severity of symptoms.  Because you're dose is low at this point you might want taper by less than 10% and/or hold for longer.  Here's some guidance on tapering Prozac: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/

 

Again, Welcome to SA!

Share this post


Link to post
dalsaan

Hi monicaf

 

Welcome to SA. You have already been given some great advice and links by Peggy and Addax. This thread is where you can ask questions, seek advice, record what's happening for you etc. We all have a personal thread. It's one per member so you might like to bookmark this page so you can come back to it.

 

I don't want to add too much at this stage. Might I recommend that you read the links provided and then come back here and post any comments, questions, concerns?

 

You have been on Prozac a long time. Other members have too. Our ethos is to support people to come off drugs well rather than quickly. Slow and steady wins the wellness race!

 

Dalsaan

Share this post


Link to post
monicaf

Thanks for your responses.  The side effects I am currently dealing with are mainly irritability and anxiety.  I am also more emotional, but was expecting that because Prozac blunted my emotions.  I am wondering whether I should go back up on the dosage a bit.  I do think the suggestion of slower tapering might be better.  I have tried a few times before to get off Prozac but have not succeeded.  I am hoping that won't be the case this time.  This is the longest I have made it.

Share this post


Link to post
dalsaan

Updosing a bit might be worth thinking about.  A 50% drop is significant and given the experiences of lag time with prozac an updose now might avoid trouble round the corner.   

 

Have your symptoms got worse/better/stayed the same since you dropped down?   and when was that start/mid/end Jan?   If you could fill out your signature with details of drops, doses, dates and symptoms that would be great.   Addax gave you a link on how to do that and we all have examples of a signature you can model yours on

Share this post


Link to post
monicaf

In January 2015 I had reduced my Prozac from 20 mg down to 10 mg -with no tapering.  By the end of March I was having quite a bit of anxiety and irritability, so I increased my dose to around 11 mg and am now feeling much better.  I plan to stay on the 11 mg dose for at least 4 weeks before reducing the dose another 10%.  Then I will adhere to the slow taper of 10% each time.  Hopefully that will allow me to one day be completely off Prozac.  Thanks to the support of this group I think I am finally going to succeed this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

Hi Monica , that's wonderful news that things have settled for you.  

It's amazing what a difference one or two mg's can make!

 

I think you're going to succeed this time too   :) .

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Very good to hear. Please let us know how you're doing.

Share this post


Link to post
monicaf

I hit a wall last week.  Overwhelming depression and fatigue hit out of the blue.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  I had tapered down to 11 mg and things had been fine, other than life's general ups and downs.  I increased my dose to approximately 12 mg and after two days am feeling stable again.  I feel it was a set-back and am questioning whether I am ever going to be able to totally live without Prozac since I have been taking it for so many years.   I'm so glad to be feeling better and hope it continues.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

I'm glad you are feeling better after the small updose, you may need to slow your taper.

 

I joined the new topic you started to your original intro thread, its one introduction/update topic per member.  Please add information and updates about your changing circumstances, and ask questions here.

 

Thanks for finding the original thread CW.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

monica, you may wish to hold here for a bit to let your nervous system settle down, then consider smaller decrements for the next leg of your taper.

Share this post


Link to post
rapunzel2

you have done extreme cuts, no wonder you are getting late onset withdrawal. I have been withdrawing from 40mg prozac for two years, and I'm now at 10,6mg. it takes time. 

 

If I were you, I would wait several months before any new reductions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Aliwill

Hold hold hold. You will stabilize but it may take time. If it's any consolation I've been on Ad's for 12 years total. Firstly Zoloft then Prozac for the last 5. I've successfully tapered to 2mg from 40mg. That has taken me 2.5 years so far.

 

I'm currently holding for a couple of months to really give my CNS some stability before I try to taper the last 2mg and I'm expecting this last taper to take me another 6 months to a year.

 

Someone on this site once told me that holding would become my friend. The holding pattern is as important as the tapering. That certainly has been the case for me.

I'm hoping that this post gives you some hope that it can be done.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
monicaf

Thanks for the support.  I am feeling better and do intend to hold at this level for a few months.  I will use a slow and steady taper thereafter.

Share this post


Link to post
monicaf
On 4/8/2015 at 3:41 PM, monicaf said:

Hard to believe I have been taking Prozac for 23 years.  History of depression, anxiety, and OCD.  First diagnosed at 21, but remember being a sad child.  I started tapering from 20 mg to 10 mg in January 2015.  So far I'm doing pretty good.  The anxiety has ramped up a bit but I'm able to manage it fairly well by using meditation, magnesium, herbs and kefir.  For so long I've been afraid I couldn't cope with life without taking antidepressants.  Then one day I decided being on Prozac for so long was probably not a good thing.  It had lost most of its efficacy many years ago.  I had gone through trials of switching to Zoloft for a short time then back to Prozac in order to recharge the antidepressant effect.  That did work but the improvement didn't last very long.  My hope is to someday be totally off Prozac, even if it takes years.

I'm finally off Prozac!!  I slowly tapered down over several months.  I truly thought it would never happen as I had tried many times before.  What made it possible for me to get off this time was the use of CBD Oil from a reputable company during my taper.  It really helped with the withdrawal symptoms I always experienced during my numerous attempts before.  I want to thank you for the support I have received from the moderators as well as the many posters who shared their stories.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy