It has been a while since I posted here, but I felt it was important to share my story in case my experience sheds some light for new Prozac users experiencing similar reactions and for potential future users to consider before starting up.
Here is my story~
I started on Prozac in 1998 due to a mild situational depression and continued using it on and off for approx. 8 years. Prozac worked well for me during this period and I experienced no start-up side effects and no withdrawal effects upon discontinuation. I stayed on Prozac all of those years, not because I was depressed when off of the med, but because life just seemed easier as I was calmer, less irritable, and less critical of myself and others. So, what the hell? Why not take the med if it made me feel better?
Because the long term side effects of Prozac are unknown I decided to go off the med in 2006. My libido improved and I was more irritable off the meds but those were the only changes I noted.
Thanks to my increased libido I became pregnant and, unfortunately, suffered a miscarriage in Sept 2006. Around Thanksgiving time I noticed I was feeling blue due to the miscarriage and thought that I was maybe going into a depression. My GP put me back on 20mg/daily Prozac and within a week I was started suffering terrible, vile, side-effects in order of occurrence, as follows:
3. Suicide Ideation (never had before)
4. Intense Anxiety (never had before)
6. Inability to Concentrate/Inability to Work
8. Incurable Insomnia (never had before)
9. Stomach pains
10. Agoraphobia (never had before)
11. Memory Loss (never had before)
12. Absolute Loss of Appetite
13. Severe Depression (never had before)
14. Lack of Emotion (never had before)
Needless to say, 3 weeks after starting up I was a basket case and my GP thought that perhaps she should start me at a much lower dose. So I tapered off the drug and seemed to be feeling better about 2-3 weeks later. I decided to stay off the Prozac, but fell into a deep depression about 6 weeks after discontiuation (which I now attribute to a delayed withdrawal from the Prozac). I then started back up at only 5/mg but by week 8 I was a basket case again. It was clear to me that Prozac was no longer my friend and that I had to discontinue use. I tried to switch to Wellbutrin, but that med only exacerbated my symptoms to the point I wanted to admit myself to the hospital.
Prozac really wreaked havoc on my mind and body and I'm still recovering 6 weeks later. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would ever experience this kind of hell in my life. Post discontinuation symptoms continue and include:
1. Sever Loss of Appetite (lost 30lbs)
2. Hypersensitivity to Stimuli
3. Anxiety (Frequent tightness in chest)
4. Depression (PTS from this experience)
5. Brain Numbness/Lack of Emotion/Disconnected (feel dead inside)
6. Inability to Concentrate (starting to recover, I think)
7. Insomnia (I can now fall asleep but only get about 4 hours on a good night)
8. Heartburn - (Symptoms have since subsided)
9. Severe Stomach Aches – (Symptoms have since subsided) However, Unbeknownst to me, serotonin affects the gut. Had I'd known I wouldn't have incurred unnecessary and costly medical procedures (Endoscopy and gallbladder ultrasound).
I have talked with and seen various doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and pharmacists to try to figure out what happened to me. Of course nobody really knows what happened. However, the consensus is that the pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage altered my body/brain chemistry/hormones and that AD's would no longer work for me like it had in the past. I am hopeful that I will fully recover and get back to who I was before starting back up in November of 2006, but have to admit that I sometimes wonder if the Prozac caused irreparable damage to my brain and/or nervous system.
My next course of action is to get my hormones tested to check for imbalances. I really wish I had checked out my hormones last November and had not been so quick to start back up on Prozac. I might have saved myself a 6 month E ticket ride through hell.
I would love to hear back from folks that have experienced adverse side effects from an SSRI to learn how long it took them to recover physically and emotionally.
PS~ I just read my post and found it interesting that my own written words cannot truly desribe the mental anguish and physical torture I endured. If it were it not for my adverse reaction to Prozac I not have the true empathy I now have for those unfortunate soles that suffer from debilitating depression/anxiety.
Edited by lov4k9s, 13 June 2007 - 01:58 PM.