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Kitkat

Weaning off of Prozac

35 posts in this topic

Posted

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Hey Everyone!

I've only been on Prozac for about one week now, and I already notice improvement. It was prescribed to me for post partum depression, although depression was always haunting me. It just seemed to escalate into a more suicidal frame of mind after I had my baby. About one year ago, I was on Effexor. I can't begin to describe the pure hell I went throgh weaning off of it. I had these strange "zaps", along with countless other withdrawal symptoms. My concern is that if I decide to get off meds completely, will prozac be physically hard to wean off of? I know I will need to taper it, but I'm so scared of the physical symptoms. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon (since I just started), but it would be helpul to know what I'm in for if I decide to go off of it someday. Has anyone ever gotten off of it, and if so what symtoms did you experience? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Jennifer :hearts:

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Posted

How many mg's are you taking currently? I take 20 mg and I weigh about 175 pounds. I talked to my doctor about stopping and he said we will go down to 10 mg a day for two weeks, then stop altogether. In the past when I have gone off Prozac, which is twice before, I didn't notice any significant side effects. I'm happy Prozac seems to have made a difference for you.

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Posted

I have heard of others who had a lot of problems with 'brain zaps' when withdrawing from effexor. Of course, some folks have trouble getting off prozac, or any AD. Personally, I've never had much trouble beyond some minor dizziness until my system adjusted.

It is always a good idea to taper off an AD v-e-r-y slowly. Sometimes you can cut down so gradually that you actually cut the smallest dose of the med into 2, 3 or 4 pieces. Folks who try this generally, if they notice withdrawal problems, increase back to the previous dose for a while, then try gradually reducing again. If you read around in some of the med rooms here you will get lots more info.

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Posted

I tapered off Prozac slowly, and had no problems at all. Effexor was much more difficult.

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Posted

I stupidly listened to a "friend" who told me that prozac was no good for me and that I didn't need it. So from taking 40mg a day for about 6 months, I suddenly stopped it all together. She said "its best to do it that way, get it out of your system as soon as possible". She reckoned it could cause me a brain haemmorage (sorry if I spelt it wrong!) Because I was vulnerable and eager to please her, and because she was older than me, I took notice of her. Needless to say I was in a right state. After a few days I'd scratched my left arm to pieces and was in a deep depression, worse than I had ever been before even taking the prozac. Even when she could see what state I was in, she was still adament that I had done the right thing. My GP disagreed and put me back on 20mg straight away and gave me a bit of a telling off (in a nice way tho!)

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Posted

I hope you're doing well now that you're back on the Prozac.

It's usually much better to taper off meds slowly, and under the care of a doctor. Thanks for sharing your experience.

I wish you well...

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Posted

Hey Everyone,

I really appreciate all of your concern and support, and its nice to know there are others out there who know what I'm going through. Thanks Again!!

Jennifer :hearts:

P.S. Dawdean, I'm on 20mgs

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Posted

KitKat I totally understand how you feel about stopping prozac. My psychiatrist has been planning on weaning me off it and I'm scared to death. She says we will start to lower the dosage in January. I have a nice little speech planned out to explain to her why I need to continue taking the drug, perhaps for the rest of my life. Somehow I don't think she will be swayed, so I'm worried about the new year :hearts:

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Posted

Hi everyone - I have been on Prozac since 1998 and have gone off both ways. I have tapered, and I have cut it off cold turkey. May I suggest the tapering? LOL. I like the idea of going from 20 mg to 10 mg to nothing. You usually don't need to fool around with a 5 mg dose (in my opinion). When I quit cold turkey I still felt normal for about a month. Then the dizziness, brain zaps, completely inappropriate crying ALL THE TIME and ******ous rage started. Needless to say I started right back on and kicked myself for being so stupid. I will never quit cold turkey again.

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Posted

Starbeam,

I'm with you when you said that you're scared to get of the prozac!! A lot of my anxiety comes from the actual physical withdrawal from the medication. Journey you were very helpful on that subject. Cold turkey will not be included in my plans for stopping the prozac. Not only am I worried about the physical withdrawals, it has helped me so much, and I cannot imagine living my life the way it was before!! Granted, it's only been a couple of weeks for me, but I feel like a new person already....not to mention much easier to live with!! It was prescribed to me for post partum depression, but I've always had depression/suicide issues. It just seemed to escalate after I had my baby. The doctor said the medication will be a "temporary" thing, but I hope I have some kind of say in the final decision. Good luck to you Starbeam at your doctor visits!! :hearts:

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Posted

hiya ive been takin prozac for 2 months now for SAD i feel ready to lower my dose now. im currenty taking 20ml a day, is it best to take one every other day or to split the capsul and pur into a drink and drink half the drink a day??

thanks for any help

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Posted

hiya ive been takin prozac for 2 months now for SAD i feel ready to lower my dose now. im currenty taking 20ml a day, is it best to take one every other day or to split the capsul and pur into a drink and drink half the drink a day??

thanks for any help

You should first talk to your doctor about it. But you're lucky you have the liquid, cause you can play around with the doses. I won't tell you what to do here, because I am not a doctor. Is there a way you can go see your doc for advice within the next week or so?

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Posted

Welcome to DF, raverbaby :hearts:

I agree with journey - definitely taper off under the care of a doctor. And let us know how you're doing...

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Posted

Hi raverbaby,

If you feel you can do better on a lover dose of Prozac, confer with your pdoc. Never try to lower doses by yourself. I think 10mg is the lowest dose of Prozac available. Another thing is the medication in a capsule has "time release" ingredients and that is why you should not try to split what is inside.

I was on this med for 9 years and found it to be one of the most effective ADs for me.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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Posted

Hey Everyone!

I've only been on Prozac for about one week now, and I already notice improvement. It was prescribed to me for post partum depression, although depression was always haunting me. It just seemed to escalate into a more suicidal frame of mind after I had my baby. About one year ago, I was on Effexor. I can't begin to describe the pure hell I went throgh weaning off of it. I had these strange "zaps", along with countless other withdrawal symptoms. My concern is that if I decide to get off meds completely, will prozac be physically hard to wean off of? I know I will need to taper it, but I'm so scared of the physical symptoms. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon (since I just started), but it would be helpul to know what I'm in for if I decide to go off of it someday. Has anyone ever gotten off of it, and if so what symtoms did you experience? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Jennifer :hearts:

I was on it from july to the first of august, so about 2 months, 20 mg, and when i stopped cold turkey, nothing happend to me

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Posted

need some help please!! ive been taking 20ml prozac for 3 months now, my doc has agreed i can wean myself off. taking one pill every other day. been doing this for one week now, and im suffering really badly from dizzynes and being sick.

how long will these side effects be there for? i hate being dizzy, im also feeling bit depressed too!

its getting that bad that i want to go back on them..... please help, how long will the dizzynes last for?

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Posted

Raverbaby,

I'm sorry that you are having a rough time with the discontinuation. It is hard to say how long the problem will continue, because everyone is different. You can probably find out more by reading around in old threads here in this room and in some of the other med rooms - many meds cause similar problems for various folks.

Be sure and let your doctor know what is going on. You might ask about cutting back more slowly - like maybe 1 for 2 days, then skip a day, then repeat. Prozac has a longer half life than other SSRIs, so hopefully that would help you through.

Keep in touch and don't give up!!

Karen

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Posted

Hello all, this is my first post. I've been taking fluoxetine for exactly one month now and the drowsy side effect is devastating. I can't take it anymore. All I want to do is sleep. I want to get off the med ASAP. I have three pills left. I want to switch to every other day until these are gone.

If anything this experience has taught me how easy I had it before! I actually had some energy! I have my vacation to Italy on the 31st and I want the meds to be out of my system by then. Is this just crazy talk or does it make sense?

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Posted

andialu,

What you are saying makes sense. I would strongly encourage you to communicate with your doctor about this, though. Perhaps you need a different dose or a whole different med. You wouldn't want to go off and then find yourself out of the country on vacation and hitting a seriously depressed state!

My psychiatrist cut my prozac dose in half, saying that it probably was contributing to my lack of motivation. However, I become suicidal without some sort of SSRI AD, so I do still take the prozac at half my old dose. At the same time, my pdoc started me on a small amount of dexedrine for uplift and energy (saying that some depressives just need that boost) and on lamictal, a mood stabilizer.

I agree that you probably could cut your prozac down to 1 every other day without much trouble; prozac has a long half-life and will stay in your system a bit longer than another SSRI might. HOWEVER, like I said, there was a reason you started on the prozac. You DO NOT want to have huge problems once the med gets completely out of your system in a couple of weeks to a month or two. I went through that; believe me, you do not want to!!

PLEASE discuss this with your doctor! And let us know how it goes.

Karen

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Posted

Unfortunately my doc is on vacation and will not be back by the time I leave. :hearts:

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Posted

Surely your pdoc has someone covering for him/her? Can you get an appt with someone else? I know there is not a lot of time, but I am concerned that you will be out of the country without proper medical support!

Before your pdoc left for vacation, did s/he only prescribe enough prozac to last you a short time? That seems very odd. I can't imagine s/he would get you started on the med and then leave without following up or giving you at least some refills. It makes no sense to me to just quit the med without discussing it with the doctor!

If you DO have refills available for the prozac, and if you absolutely cannot get in to see a doctor before you leave, I would suggest you continue the prozac. Perhaps go to every other day, as you suggested, but don't just stop the med without medical supervision. Really, of course, you shouldn't make any changes without medical supervision. I am not a doctor at all, so you certainly need to make your own informed choice, but from my experience I'd suggest you don't completely stop the med. Cut back to every other day and see if that helps control the depression while lessening the motivation problems.

But PLEASE do whatever you can to get medical help!!! Whatever happens take very good care of yourself!

Karen

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Posted

Thanks for the advice ados. I'm on day number 2 cold turkey and I feel great! I woke up early this morning, I have some energy. The past month has been an absolute struggle; waking up late all the time, sleeping all weekend. If anything taking this med has contrasted how good my life was before! I know that this may be the calm before the storm but it feels great. :hearts:

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Posted

Hi all. I am new to this forum and have signed up because I would like to stop my use of my ADs. I have been taking prozac for about 6 years. I am currently on 40mg/day but have taken 60-80 for a good part of my treatment. My question is if it has an effect if the capsule is broken and put into a drink. I've heard that certain meds lose some of their qualities if mixed with liquid. Is this the case with Prozac? Thanks!

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Posted

Welcome, LPedante!

I've heard that certain meds lose some of their qualities if mixed with liquid. Is this the case with Prozac?

I couldn't find any info on this, but I'll keep looking; but... I think you're best off talking to your pharmacist. Also, I hope you plan on discontinuing only after discussing this with your doctor, and under his care.

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Posted

Hi everyone - I have been on Prozac since 1998 and have gone off both ways. I have tapered, and I have cut it off cold turkey. May I suggest the tapering? LOL. I like the idea of going from 20 mg to 10 mg to nothing. You usually don't need to fool around with a 5 mg dose (in my opinion). When I quit cold turkey I still felt normal for about a month. Then the dizziness, brain zaps, completely inappropriate crying ALL THE TIME and ******ous rage started. Needless to say I started right back on and kicked myself for being so stupid. I will never quit cold turkey again.

:hearts: Ive just joined..tonight. I joined to hopefully find out about withdrawing from fluoxetine. Ive been on different AD's for 10 years. Mom of 2 teens. Ive been on 20 mg. Fluoxetine for the last 3years and quit gradually 6 weeks ago and have felt just terrible since. Doctor says it could be withdraw effects or a 'virus'. I reply to this as its the closest Ive come to 'seeing something even remotely close to what ive been experiencing since i quit this med. (i dont know how/or if i can post on my own...for help/advice, hence my reply to this) I am dizzy, spacey, tired, cognitively not all there, loss of space and chronological time, incredibly impatient with my kids, feeling extremely OCD...Im on edge, anxious and have felt like crap for 6 weeks! I dont know if Im experiencing all of the above b/c of lack of AD in my system for the first time in 10 years or b/c Ive felt so crappy for so long and im sooooo TIRED of it. Ive always been a super , energetic, fun, happy, person...I can multi task with the best of them...My friends call me the 'plate spinner'. Now Im like a deer in headlights...i dont know what to do...ever. I feel confused most of the time...and very uneasy and agitated...my head feels like its in the clouds...I cant make any decisions..HAS ANYONE OUT THERE EXPERIENCED WHAT I AM EXPERIENCING NOW?!?!?!

Im at my wits end...

stephanie

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