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lov4k9s

Adverse Reaction To Prozac - Still Recovering

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Posted (edited)

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Hi All~

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:

1. Heartburn

2. Headaches

3. Suicide Ideation (never had before)

4. Intense Anxiety (never had before)

5. Confusion

6. Inability to Concentrate/Inability to Work

7. Akathasia

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

Edited by lov4k9s

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for sharing your devastating story. I hope you continue to heal and that your life finally returns to some sense of normalcy once again. :hearts:

Edited by cookiecrumbs

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Posted

Hi All~

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:

1. Heartburn

2. Headaches

3. Suicide Ideation (never had before)

4. Intense Anxiety (never had before)

5. Confusion

6. Inability to Concentrate/Inability to Work

7. Akathasia

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

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

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Posted

Hi Everyone~

I just wanted to post an update as to my status. Please know that I am only posting to inform, not to scare or influence anyone regarding anti-depressants.

I have now been off of Prozac for 2 months and I am still sufferring from persistant adverse side effects. I have been scouring the internet to learn more about my condition and found the following excerpt from a thread on a different forum which summarizes nicely the theory of why a person that had success with an SSRI would later experience severe adverse reactions when attempting to re-start the same SSRI:

"...when "some" people go cold turkey (or close to cold turkey) off of an ssri, they "sometimes" only have a small window of time before they can go back on an ssri without causing further damage to their withdrawal. for people that this is the case for, this window is usually varies from 2 to 6 weeks. charly groderick and others warn about this. sometimes when a person goes cold turkey, after a certain period of time, the brain sees the ssri as the enemy. this is known as the "kindling effect." this has happened to numerous people on this website. shea took a single dose of lexapro 4 months after her cold turkey withdrawal and went into convulsions and went to the ER. i tried taking zoloft 2 and 1/2 weeks after i went cold turkey and got terrible nosebleeds and migrains so i quit again. after trying to go back on 2 months later, one dose of zoloft thru me into the emergency room with akathesia. several months later, i tried only taking "2 milligrams" of zoloft and guess what happened? my skin started burning and i got akathesia. charly groderick himself quit prozac cold turkey and a couple of months later took a single dose of prozac which also put him in the ER and that is what made him sick for years. rob robinson warns in one of his posts that going back on an ssri can make things much worse once you are in a cold turkey withdrawal. dr. ann blake tracy warns on her website that each time you go back on the ssri tends to be more dangerous and this is possibly why."

lov

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Posted

Hi Everyone~

I just wanted to post an update as to my status. Please know that I am only posting to inform, not to scare or influence anyone regarding anti-depressants.

I have now been off of Prozac for 2 months and I am still sufferring from persistant adverse side effects. I have been scouring the internet to learn more about my condition and found the following excerpt from a thread on a different forum which summarizes nicely the theory of why a person that had success with an SSRI would later experience severe adverse reactions when attempting to re-start the same SSRI:

"...when "some" people go cold turkey (or close to cold turkey) off of an ssri, they "sometimes" only have a small window of time before they can go back on an ssri without causing further damage to their withdrawal. for people that this is the case for, this window is usually varies from 2 to 6 weeks. charly groderick and others warn about this. sometimes when a person goes cold turkey, after a certain period of time, the brain sees the ssri as the enemy. this is known as the "kindling effect." this has happened to numerous people on this website. shea took a single dose of lexapro 4 months after her cold turkey withdrawal and went into convulsions and went to the ER. i tried taking zoloft 2 and 1/2 weeks after i went cold turkey and got terrible nosebleeds and migrains so i quit again. after trying to go back on 2 months later, one dose of zoloft thru me into the emergency room with akathesia. several months later, i tried only taking "2 milligrams" of zoloft and guess what happened? my skin started burning and i got akathesia. charly groderick himself quit prozac cold turkey and a couple of months later took a single dose of prozac which also put him in the ER and that is what made him sick for years. rob robinson warns in one of his posts that going back on an ssri can make things much worse once you are in a cold turkey withdrawal. dr. ann blake tracy warns on her website that each time you go back on the ssri tends to be more dangerous and this is possibly why."

lov

Wow, I will NEVER quit my meds cold turkey now! I take Lexapro 10 mg a day which is a SSRI...so yeah, I will very slowly taper off when it's time to quit! I hope you completely heal from this unfortunate situation!

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Posted

Sorry to hear about your problems with Prozac. You are not alone.

I had almost exactly the same adverse reaction three years ago.

I spent a lot of time researching what went wrong with me, and the following may help:

Your serotonin system will be in "shock" from the effects of Prozac. The first path to recovery is not to stress the serotonin system any further. Avoid any further use of SSRIs and if you need an anti-depressant, try Mirtazapine.

The best and most immediate treatment for the anxiety are benzodiapines. See your doctor and discuss this with him.

Z drugs ( Zopiclone, Zopiderm ) can induce depression in cases of Prozac adverse reactions. Also, avoid Alphazolam ( Xanax ) for the same reason.

Another drug to avoid is Buspar ( Busparone ), which is a serotonine modulator. It has the unfortunate side-effect of giving clinical depression.

If the benzos don`t damp down the anxiety and panic attacks, try Stelazine ( trifluoperazine ) 1mg.

Prozac molecules tend to bind to fatty tissue and can persist for 2-6 months after you stop taking Prozac. Treat yourself gently and try not to take on any tasks that will cause anxiety.

I found that tyrosine, Vit B6 & B12 all helped.

There is a doctor in England Dr David Healy, who made a special study of the adverse effects of Prozac. Get his book out of the library.

See your shrink and get him to run a neurotransmitter profile. This is a urine test which will show exactly which of your neurotransmitters are abnormal. When you have that information, your medication can be adjusted to optimum.

You may still suffer from insomnia, because of the Prozac shocking and upsetting ( activating ) your body at bed time. Strangly a glass of warm milk really works wonders for quality of sleep.

Work on your nutrition and follow a good balanced diet. No fast food and definatley no Atkins.

Best of luck,

Stuart.

New Zealand.

Hi All~

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:

1. Heartburn

2. Headaches

3. Suicide Ideation (never had before)

4. Intense Anxiety (never had before)

5. Confusion

6. Inability to Concentrate/Inability to Work

7. Akathasia

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

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Posted

Hi to you all,

I posted some observations on this list concerning recovery from an SSRI adverse reaction. This is a special message to all those still suffering: Be assured that recovery does happen. The human body has a wonderful capacity for self repair.

Prozac ( Paxal and the rest ) do not cause brain damage, but can paralyse or disable certain functions -for a while. Fortunately, the effect is temporary. I can`t tell you how long it takes to get better because we are all very individual in our body chemistry.

I am fortunate to be able to be able to look back along the course of the chemical storm that made me so ill. Eventually, it will be only an unpleasant memory ( a bit like a visit to the dentists ). So people, in those moments when you are freaking out, remember that you are going to get better. That much is inevitable.

Sort out your medications and be prepared to ask several doctors until you are satisfied.

Take things slowly and learn to take pleasure in simple acheavments.

-then one day, you will regain that feeling of being happy.

Regards,

Stuart.

Auckland. New Zealand.

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Posted

Hi to you all,

I posted some observations on this list concerning recovery from an SSRI adverse reaction. This is a special message to all those still suffering: Be assured that recovery does happen. The human body has a wonderful capacity for self repair.

Prozac ( Paxal and the rest ) do not cause brain damage, but can paralyse or disable certain functions -for a while. Fortunately, the effect is temporary. I can`t tell you how long it takes to get better because we are all very individual in our body chemistry.

I am fortunate to be able to be able to look back along the course of the chemical storm that made me so ill. Eventually, it will be only an unpleasant memory ( a bit like a visit to the dentists ). So people, in those moments when you are freaking out, remember that you are going to get better. That much is inevitable.

Sort out your medications and be prepared to ask several doctors until you are satisfied.

Take things slowly and learn to take pleasure in simple acheavments.

-then one day, you will regain that feeling of being happy.

Regards,

Stuart.

Auckland. New Zealand.

Well said ....

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Posted

Hi All~

It has been almost 4 months since my last dose of Prozac following a SEVERE adverse reaction to the medication and thought I should post an update.

I want to stress that I was NOT depressed before taking Prozac. I was in a funk after my miscarriage and was looking for a magic bullet to make me feel better. I never should have looked to a powerful drug to solve a normal emotional response to a life occurance. General practitioners hand out anti-depressants without a second thought because they think the drugs are completely safe. Anti-depressants help a lot of people, but they can also cause harm if the body does not respond well to them. My life has been shattered by the aftermath of my adverse reaction to an SSRI.

Symptoms that have not yet abated:

Ability to concentrate/slowed thinking

Insomnia

Anxiety/depression/Blunted emotions

Anhedonia (the inability to feel, love, pleasure, joy, happiness)

Decreased Appetite

I really thought the adverse side effects I experienced while on the drug would abate w/in a few weeks of discontinuing the drug cold turkey, but it appears that I have a rare case of what is known as protracted withdrawal. Learn more about surviving an adverse reaction at http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/reaction.htm

lov

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Posted

I recently had a bad reaction to Citalopram. I got prescribed it for depression and PTSD:

0-4 weeks: increase in anxiety. nausea, vomitting, sexual dysfunction

week 5: severe anxiety, dysphoria

week 6+ : constant depersonalisation and feelings of unreality. anxiety and depression not at all diminished.

tapered from 20mg to 0 in 8 weeks

After taking my last dose of 2.5mg I had 6 weeks of depersonalisation, physical fatigue, weird panic attacks ( dysphoric spells )

I never wanted to take another D*** SSRI again but for the last 2 weeks the depersonalisation has gone but I have had severe depression and feelings of panic a lot. This became unbearable and so I started prozac last week. I have been on it 3 times in the past for depression and it worked well for me.

Has anyone had any experience of a bad SSRI reaction which they remedied by taking another SSRI? I really really didnt want to have to do this as even during the acute withdrawal with all the depersonalisation and the rest I could cope just about ( I couldnt do a job, but I had some sort of life ), but as I say the last couple of weeks I have met with a scary kind of depression bordering on panic and need something to get me out of this hell.

I'm getting through each day but it's extremely tough. Any advice appreciated.

Take care everyone,

Leo.

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Posted

Hi All~

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:

1. Heartburn

2. Headaches

3. Suicide Ideation (never had before)

4. Intense Anxiety (never had before)

5. Confusion

6. Inability to Concentrate/Inability to Work

7. Akathasia

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

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Posted

Hi Caelyn--

Please let me know how you get on.

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Posted (edited)

Hi again~

I thought it was time that I updated the progress since my adverse reaction........

It has been 7 months since my last dose and there has been minor improvements since my last update, but I am still in "recovery mode" and I feel like I am just suffering and existing instead of living my life.

Symptoms that have not yet abated:

1. Ability to concentrate/slowed thinking - this symptom has really wreaked havoc on my career. I'm a self-employed business advisor and I have had to turn away new clients due to this symptom.

2. Insomnia - I can now fall a sleep more easily most nights, but the sleep is very light and I never feel rested. I still cannot take naps. I used to be a champion sleeper!

3. Anxiety - I NEVER suffered from anxiety before the adverse reaction. My central nervous system is still f'd up.

4. Depression/Anhedonia (the inability to feel, love, pleasure, joy, happiness) - I don't know what in the heck happened to my brain, but I was NEVER depressed before the adverse reaction.

5. Blunted emotions

6. No Appetite - lost 35 pounds and feel really weak.

7. Suicidal Ideation - the suffering has gone on for soooo long I have suicidal thoughts to ease the suffering that is 24/7.

I had NO idea that these drugs could be so devastating to the mind and body. I just blindly trusted my doctors that these drugs were completely safe.

Learn more about surviving an adverse reaction and protracted withdrawal symptoms at http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/reaction.htm

To give you all an idea as to the suffering I have and continue to endure I have inserted the following message I posted on paxilprogress.org a support forum for folks that are trying to withdraw from and suffer adverse reactions from SSRI's~

As you can see from my signature, I sufferred a severe adverse reaction to Prozac. I was on it for 8 weeks then quit ct 7 months ago. Since that time there have been improvements with my physical symptoms, but my emotional symptoms have not yet improved.

I would describe myself as having been a fairly calm, positive, content, and independent person before my severe adverse reaction to Prozac. Yes, I was in a bit of a funk after my miscarriage, but I was by no means depressed. I was still happily working (I'm self employed) and enjoying my favorite hobbies (tennis, reading, decorating the house, and hanging out with my dogs and husband) and making plans for the future. Life is never perfect, but I was enjoying myself for the most part with very few complaints. Then

Edited by lov4k9s

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Posted (edited)

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?

I wanted to comment on the above excerpt from my original post.

1. The situational depression I refer to above was actually grief from the break-up of a long term relationship. I went to see a therapist to help me deal with the hearbreak and she asked me the standard 10 questions and diagnosed me as having clinical depression and suggested Prozac. I googled clinical depression and took the online tests and I did indeed meet the clinical depression criteria. I bought the "chemical imbalance" theory hook-line-and sinker. Now I can see that it was complete BS!!!! It is absolutely normal to cry, feel sad, and distracted for over 2 weeks after a long term relationship breaks up! How can the medical profession actually believe that someone feeling symptoms for only 2 weeks is clinically depressed???? Big Pharma influence, perhaps???

2. Looking back I cannot honestly tell you if the Prozac ever helped me because I reconciled with my boyfriend within 2 months of starting the Prozac and we were married by the end of the year. I can tell you with certainty that I felt extremely irritable and aggitated when I discontnued the drug several times ( I wanted off because of the sexual side effects).

3. After 7 months of researching SSRI's I've since learned that the irritability and agitation I felt after the quick weans off of Prozac in the past were actually common withdrawal symptoms. If I had known about the common withdrawal symptoms I never would have restarted the drug. I truly believed at the time that Prozac quelled the irritable aggitated side of me because those symptoms always abated when I restarted the drug. I never actually thought about the fact that I wasn't irritable and aggitated before starting the Prozac. I've since learned that "rebound anxiety" and "rebound depression" are also common withdrawal symptoms and that many people withdrawing from SSRI's mistake the withdrawal symptoms for a relapse of what ever condition was present when they started the drug and often find themselves riding the med merry-go-round or poly-drugged (or both) to "treat" the withdrawal symptoms.

BTW~ I've learned all of this from reading the following books and various websites (I could write a thesis on SSRI's):

Prozac: Panacea or Pandora (by Dr. Ann Blake Tracy)

Your Drug May Be Your Problem (by Dr. Peter Breggin)

The Anti-Depressant Solution (by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen)

Again, please know that I am only posting to inform, not to scare or influence anyone regarding anti-depressants.

lov

Edited by lov4k9s

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Posted (edited)

Me again~

Time for another update to report my recovery progress since my adverse reaction to Prozac 9 months ago........

The recovery during the first 8 months was very, very slow.........like watching grass grow. I'm happy to report that I've noticed significant improvement over the last month.

Symptoms Status:

1. Ability to concentrate/slowed thinking - Much Improved

2. Insomnia - I am sleeping much better now. I still cannot take naps though (and I miss it!).

3. Anxiety - 95% improved! Still experience some when I first wake up.

4. Depression/Anhedonia (the inability to feel, love, pleasure, joy, happiness) - Improving!! I don't know what in the heck happened to my brain, but I was NEVER depressed before the adverse reaction.

5. Blunted emotions - Improving

6. No Appetite - Much improved, but still not hungry during the day.

7. Suicidal Ideation - Gone

8. Cryin Jags - I cried EVERYDAY since this nightmare began. I haven't cried in 5 days. (Before the adverse reaction I only cried a handful of times in my adult life)

lov

Edited by lov4k9s

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Posted (edited)

Reading through some of the posts here I thought I would share my short experience with Paxil.

A couple of months back my psychiatrist thought it would be beneficial to add Paxil 40 mg to my daily dose of Effexor XR 225 mg daily. Within a couple of days I started to experience difficulty swallowing all of my pills. It felt like the Paxil capsules were just stuck within the pyloric sphincter of my stomach. This lead to extreme heart burn, nausea and some emesis.

I continues to take the paxil and supplemented with Zantac for the heartburn. Although I received some relief from the heartburn I went on to develop severe tremors and extreme anxiety like I'd never felt before. A few days of this and I just could not take anymore and just abruptly stopped the Paxil. The anxiety receded relatively quickly within a week or so, but I am still experiencing some issues with the tremors particularly in my legs.

Insomnia, still haven't been able to get into any normal sort of sleep pattern

Exagerated startle reflex. I've never been this bad, I almost hit the roof if I am the least bit startled.

Interested to know if others have experienced these symptoms and how long it took for the tremors to completely dissipate.

Edited by laralee

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These drugs can be very dangerous. I am quite annoyed at my health service for offering types of drugs that can cause this level of disturbance, since anything which is redeemed potentially dangerous in this country is banned (like illegal drug).

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These drugs can be very dangerous. I am quite annoyed at my health service for offering types of drugs that can cause this level of disturbance, since anything which is redeemed potentially dangerous in this country is banned (like illegal drug).

I couldn't agree more!

Before my adverse reaction I had NO clue that these drugs could be so destructive to the mind and body. What is really scary to me is that most doctors out there don't know all of the risks involved either because the pharmacutical companies play them down. I wish that doctors would reserve these types of drugs as a last resort instead of dispensing them out at a first line of defense for folks experiencing situational depressions (relationship break-up, grief, loss of job, miscarriage, stress etc..).

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I went from being a fully functional relatively happy person that was experiencing a mild funk to an anxious, akathasia ridden, suicidally depressed person within a week of starting the drug.

Statistically speaking I am an extreme case of this drug gone horribly wrong, however, I've learned that statistics don't mean a damm thing to people who are on the wrong side of them.

Edited by lov4k9s

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Hi, I was on Prozac for a few months, and I had a horrible time with it. I was shaky all the time, and then I had the sudden impulse to run in front of an oncoming car, and I decided that was enough. I'm on Zoloft now, and I'm doing much better.

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hi lov4k,

i think i could be going through the same thing. i was on prozac about a year ago and thought it worked great, no terrible side effects. i quit cold turkey and was off of it for a while. i recently decided to go back on it after having problems with ocd. after taking it i felt nothing like i had before on the medicine. i felt really agitated and had low motivation and just felt like sitting around. another scary symptom is that i started feeling really uncoordinated and shaky. i play the piano and im a music major at college and im supposed to give my senior recital in a few months. i have hardly been practicing because the shaking is so bad. I have stopped taking the prozac. i took 20 milligrams for two weeks and then took 40 milligrams for 3 days and the symptoms started getting so bad i had to stop. i have been off for two months now and the symptoms are still bad. ive been searching the internet and just about evey site says the drug should wash out within 4-6 weeks. did it take anybody else this long for the drug to wash out? the only thing i could figure was that the first time i took prozac i had been on a different generic brand. the 40 milligram pills were half blue half white. the brand was PAR. this different brand 40 milligram was white with two orange stripes. brand was Sandoz. lov4k, did you by chance take different generic brands? ive seen people say there is a difference even though they ar supposed to be the same. i feel for you. nine months must have been terrible.

Edited by d a n

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I read all the posts and I

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I forgot to mention, I have taken the half Wellbutrin pill to help me stay awake. Fluoxetine is great - when I am not sleeping , and my parents are complaining a lot about me sleeping too much.

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It

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I found a personal story on the internet that was very similair to mine and thought I would post it here in case there are others out there desperately seeking information on what is happening to them due to an adverse reacations to an SSRI:

This is just another example to hopefully serve as a warning to the

> unwary and/or unprepared.

>

> On Prozac, My Life Took a Drastic Turn for the Worse

>

> I am a Prozac survivor. My name is Jon and I'm a 26 year old who

> suffered a devastating reaction to Prozac. I was put on Prozac in the

> summer of 1994 after receiving the diagnosis of ADD. The doctor

> originally tried me on Ritalin, but it made me feel revved up and

> extremely anxious/nervous. After being put on Prozac my life took a

> drastic turn for the worse. I was only on it for about

>

> 5-10 days, but it literally blew my system to pieces. I quickly was

> launched

>

> into a hell where my nerves literally felt raw. Intense misery was my

> only emotion and was constant, my head had so much tension in it that

> it felt like it was going to explode, I was having hot flashes that

> were unreal, and my memory took a real hit. The depth of my suffering

> is more than I could ever explain with words so I will trust that you

> know exactly what type of hell I'm referring to. To make a long story

> short it took me four years to even begin to be able to feel at all

> like me again. The pain has finally lifted to a point

>

> that I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel. The scars

> are forever, but I'm just thrilled to be coming out. I'm not there

> yet, but very

>

> soon. I think I may be all the way back in another year or so.

>

> Anyway, the person I became after Prozac was just horrible. It

> required every single ounce of my strength to get where I am today.

> One of the things that helped me to make it back was an intense

> interest I took in understanding the science or pharmacology behind my

> reaction. I was actually relatively healthy before taking Prozac. I

> had an anxiety condition and ADD. I had never before

>

> suffered from any serious type of depression and certainly had never

> felt ANY of the things that Prozac caused me to feel. My reaction was

> swift and just devastated me. I had to temporarily drop out of college

> and fly home to live

>

> with my family. I saw a battery of psychiatrists who diagnosed me with

> things that I knew I didn't have.

>

> The most devastating part of my reaction occurred about a month after

> the reaction began and a psychiatrist told me that there was no way

> Prozac could

>

> hurt me and that I was probably going to become a full blown schizophrenic.

> I

> was devastated. Especially since I was feeling better than ever before

> taking Prozac and had even gotten into and Ivy league Institution. A

> big goal of mine because I was diagnosed with a learning disability

> early on and school was always a struggle for me. Well I have

> certainly proved her wrong and occasionally give her a phone call to

> remind her that toxic reactions to common medications can and do

> occur.

>

> It was obvious to me from the beginning that Prozac set off my

> reaction and my goal soon became figuring out how it happened. I don't

> have a formal scientific background though my father is a doctor and

> is also a high level executive in the pharmaceutical industry. That

> alone gave me a unique view of this situation. I began to research

> every avenue I could find and read any and all books on the brain.

> Included is your book which I consider to be a top-notch

>

> resource for understanding this reaction.

>

> After four years of intense research, visits with numerous doctors

> including trouble shooters who only deal with toxic reactions I have

> come to a conclusion for what I believe is going on. I have no doubt

> that the reasons behind my reaction involve an extreme sensitivity in

> my serotonin system as almost all

>

> drugs, vitamins, or foods that directly interact with the serotonin

> system give me problems. These includes things like vitamin B6,

> tryptophan, carbohydrates, etc. In addition, I strongly believe that

> my anxiety symptoms prior to Prozac were the result of this

> sensitivity in my serotonin system and that this same sensitivity is

> what predisposed me to having such a bad reaction to Prozac.

>

> Prozac did more than just alter the chemicals in my system as it

> became obvious that my nerves literally felt more sensitive.

> Everything felt so amped up. Extreme firing is a understatement. I

> felt like a million volts of electricity was surging through me and my

> body and mind just couldn't take it.

> Almost everyone agreed that my symptoms were the result of a massive

> downregulation of the 5HT receptors. However, what was never clear was

> how could this cause such terrible symptoms. I may be reaching with

> this theory,

>

> but I think I may be onto something and it's something that you

> mention extensively in your book. The CRF or HPA axis is said to be

> regulated by the

>

> serotonin system. I believe that the massive over stimulation of the

> 5HT system I experienced led to a massive output of CRF into my

> system.

>

> Because of my fathers role in the biotech and pharmaceutical

> industries I've been able to talk with many scientists working with

> CRF anatagonists and every time I review experiments done with animals

> where CRF was injected directly into the brains, I'm shocked to hear

> the side effects that are commonly seen.

> Most of them seem to be very much related to the adrenaline surge that

> takes

>

> place. My massive head pain, burning legs and back, severe anxiety,

> and depression all seem to be related. In addition, I suffered a

> massive loss of

>

> libido which is also characteristic of high levels of CRF. Every time

> I look at research on CRF I am reminded of my own symptoms.

>

> Experts say that my symptoms closely resemble what would be seen if

> you were to inject a sizable quantity of CRF into humans or animals. I

> also developed

>

> severe acid reflux, very low libido, appetite loss, extreme depression

> and horrible levels of anxiety. All symptoms of things that are seen

> when CRF levels are high. The last doctor I saw agreed that my

> symptoms resembled a super-amped version of major depression and a

> horrible level of chronic panic.

> I feel like my body is surging with adrenaline and it really hurts.

>

> I want to give you credit for being the first doctor to ever link

> the Prozac reactions to an overabundance of activity in the HPA axis.

> I truly believe you are correct and just wish there were some way for

> this to be proven. I guess

>

> only extensive scientific studies can accomplish this. Thanks for the

> wonderful research Dr. Tracy. I respect your work very much. And

> thanks for the research and writings you've done on Prozac reactions

> and the stance you have taken.

> I've read everything you've written. You and I know these reactions

> are real.

> The bad news is that others will fall victim to this. I know I'll keep

> getting better with time, but I really don't want to just walk away.

> More people will go through this and it is my duty to at least try to

> make a change.

>

> The psychiatrist who put me on Prozac gave me two medications that I

> suffered severe adverse reactions to just before he placed me on

> Prozac. He put me on

>

> Ritalin first which made me really anxious and racy feeling. Also

> broke me out in hives. Then he put me on Buspar which made my heart

> pound and made me feel like I was going to pass out. I think this

> should have warned him that my system was just too sensitive and maybe

> someone with experience in treating patients with hyper-sensitive

> reactions to medications should have been called in. He put me on

> Prozac and even after I complained of initial side effects convinced

> me to stay on it. After my reaction he didn't even call my parents

>

> and wrote me off by saying that I was manic.

>

> Yeah right, manic?!! I was down in the dumps and couldn't even get

> out of bed.

> Manic is the last way I'd describe myself. I think the other bad thing

> was that he diagnosed me differently every time he saw me. The first

> time when he put me on Ritalin he said I had ADD. The next time I had

> GAD. And the third time with prozac I had OCD and ADD. I just feel

> like he was very irresponsible with me

>

> and didn't respect that my system was simply too sensitive. He's a

> nice guy so I don't hate him, but he is reckless. He told me that he

> has ADD and I can't

>

> help but wonder if he wasn't paying attention to what was happening with me.

> I

> requested his notes after my reaction and couldn't believe how

> inaccurate they were. He had me down as taking and trying things I

> never took.

>

> Jon

>

> WARNING: Tapering off very, very, SLOWLY-- over months, not just

> weeks, under a qualified physician's supervision -- has proven the

> safest and most effective method of withdrawal from this type of

> medication, thereby giving the body time to readjust its own chemical

> levels.

>

> Thanks to Dr. Ann Blake Tracy for research and technical information.

>

Edited by lov4k9s

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Hi Internet~

Time to post again on my journal thread to update the recovery progress from my adverse reaction to Prozac 13 months ago. I was hoping that I could report that I was fully recovered, but sadly that is not the case (yet). Please know that most people that have experienced an adverse reaction will recover within a matter of weeks after discontinuing this drug.

Status of the most prominent symptoms which I NEVER had in my life prior to the adverse reaction:

1. Ability to concentrate/slowed thinking - Still improving

2. Insomnia - I couldn't sleep AT ALL for months. Now I can usually fall asleep but wake up after 4 hours ~sometimes can get back to sleep, other times not. Sometimes I can sleep through the night.

3. Anxiety - Still experience when I first wake up and very noticable even during the most minor of stressors.

4. Depression - Was SEVERE for 8 months and then began waxing/wanning mild/moderate. (Major motivational problems!)

5. Anhedonia (the inability to feel, love, pleasure, joy, happiness) No improvement since last update. (This is the worst symptom, by far!! This is affecting my marriage)

5. Blunted emotions - No improvement since last update

6. No Appetite - No improvement since last update

7. Suicidal Ideation - The SSRI induced SI is gone. Sometimes the thoughts pop into my head when I am feeling sorry for myself because I think I have brain damage from this drug, but nothing serious.

8. Crying Jags - I've cried almost EVERYDAY since this nightmare began. These come and go now for no apparent reason..it is really strange......it is almost physiological in nature and feels like absurd grief.

9. No libido

10. General overall weirdness that I can't fully describe.......best description I can think of is that I have a slight case of depersonalization/derealization.

Being on the drug and the first 8-10 months after discontinuation felt like what I imagine a horrible acid trip would be like. So, overall things have improved........but incremental versions of hell is still hell.

I recently corresponded with a prominent neuropsychiatrist and he confirmed for me that my symptoms are "common" for folks that suffer through a protracted recovery from an adverse reaction to a SSRI or from withdrawing from a SSRI (especially for folks that cold turkey). Time is the only healer for toxic reaction to an SSRI and that attempting to use another drug would only cause further insult to my damaged system. While the validation was nice, learning there is no antidote was disheartening. I was assured that I would see full recovery, but he could not give me a firm timeline. The general consensus is 18 months to 2 years for full recovery, the same as if I had incurred a traumatic brain injury. Scary, but at least there is some hope. All I can do is have faith that my family and friends will still be there when I wake from this nightmare.

If you would like to learn more about surviving an adverse reaction please PM member for website.

lov

"If I can't be a shining example, then I shall serve as a terrible warning."

Edited by Isabeau
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