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Is It Possible To Get Off Prozac After 15 Years?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 offmeds2011

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:05 PM

I have been taking prozac for over 15 years. I was first put on it when battling an eating disorder. I tried many different Dr.'s and pretty much every single antidepressant there was out there. I was down to 90 pounds and I remember the day the therapist told my parents I should try prozac. My eyes welled with tears as I thought, "I'm not a crazy person!" 15 years later I can't get off. I can't tell you how many times I've tried and the end result ...even after weening off safely....is not wanting to get out of bed. I stop wanting to care care of myself and my dogs and do things that normal every day people should be able to do. I was fine as a kid so why the hell can't I get off this stuff? I don't want to be dependent on meds.... I still deal with the eating disorder but have learned to live with it ...it's more about the depression now. It's like my body is addicted to prozac and I wonder after 15 years....is it at all possible to get off of it and be ok? After I started taking prozac I went through years of using drugs....which I never would have done if I'd never started the s***. I was total anti drug and just became wild and crazy after I started taking prozac. I have since been to rehab twice and am battling a prescription drug problem w/ xanex. I constantly crave downers cuz prozac gives me such anxiety. And I've taken buspar with it for years but I'm just at my wit's end. I want off meds. I haven't even seen that movie "Prozac Nation" but I feel like the star of it because I was ok growing up....had some ed problems and from them on it's been, "medicate, medicate, medicate." And everything I take has some kind of side effect so it seems as though I've been on a cocktail of some sort every day of my life. Last time I went to my Dr. they told me my ocd was so bad that I needed to be on 80mgs... the highest dose! Hello? So I took that for awhile but inside...deep down.... I just know it's not the answer. In my heart I believe there has to be some way to come off of this crazy drug that's promoted like crazy with all the other antidepressants without knowing long term affects. No one ever does a blood test to see if you should take an antidepressant. You just go to the Dr. and tell them you're feeling down and 99% of us walk out with a script. Does anyone else feel like this? Has anyone else been through this? What are you thoughts, opinions, questions, answers or comments? Thank you for taking the time to read my lil blog.

#2 r90

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:32 PM

Hello there offmeds2011,

I first welcome you to DF, which is a great place for support! I first noticed many depression symptoms in your first, of course we're not doctors here, but let me ask you, why do you want to stop taking Prozac (fluoxetine)? Isn't it making you feel way better? As far as I know, SSRIs medications can be taken off at any time (even after a quite long period, of course with respecting withdrawal symptoms that could be triggered), I highly suggest you to seek another doctor opinion, maybe for another medication or maybe for an alternative treatment method, things like therapy or something.

That movie "Prozac Nation" is a pretty good movie, however, I hear that the book is much more awesome!

r90
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#3 BetterOff

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:36 PM

Hello, just wanted to chime in that I dont think the depression was caused by not taking prozac, instead it was depression re-surfacing. Prozac is known as an energizing medication so that could be behind your anxiety, but its a tried and true golden oldie approved by the FDA. Anti-depressants have to be rigoriously tested, and sure there may be some documentary trying to make it out as bad. But its not called the wonder drug for no reason.
Be careful about what you read as remember the prozac scare?? After prozac was out for a while a number of people had did the *s* thing and fingers were pointed at prozac for a long time, but they since have discovered that it was being given to alot of people who were considering the *s* thing and alot of people it pulled back from the brink of those thoughts. But alas, some were beyond help, so the prozac causes *s* things to happen has been debunked and is not accepted now as a cause for people to do the *s* thing.
I personally think that its working on the depression but alas not the anxiety. If the anxiety has surfaced rather recently and you didnt have it before then this could be considered as building up an immunity to the medication and you are right about the number of years that it is not now fully working for you, you may need a switch to a new AD and there are lots on the market so I doubt you have tried them all. I am currently taking trazodone and it works great for anxiety and depression. But there are many out there for you to try that you havent. Please talk to your doctor about if you could be building up an immunity to the med and perhaps another will work for you. But I really do think that depression creeping back in is not due to a withdrawal effect but instead phazing off just allowed your depression to creep back in. Its what happens to alot of people who decide to go it alone, or feel good again after taking an AD and think they can just do without it now that they are feeling good. Its a trap that many newbies to an AD fall into and they quickly learn that depression can be *clinical* in nature, i.e. their brains stop producing enough happy hormones i.e. seratonins and dopeamines and once this happens you can become a lifer needing a boost to keep you up to normal and no depression... If you have clinical depression stopping taking an AD will have depression rear its ugly head in no time i.e. you can feel yourself slipping within a week.

Good Luck and best wishes and do talk to your doctor about stopping prozac if you think it is pooping out on you and perhaps another med can help. Also yes indeed it will continue to work for you a while longer if you step up the dosage. This is not an uncommon factor, i.e. an increase in the med will have it working for you again, but if the increase doesnt work, then its time to find a new *friend* for another 10 to 15 years.
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#4 Steveab63

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:17 PM

I've been taking prozac for years too. It works, why would I want to quit? We're not talking illegal drug here. Its a chemical to supplement what your brain doesn't make enough of.

Why is everyone so freaked out about taking antidepressants? I'd probably be living under a bridge without mine.
Steve.

#5 jimbow15

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:56 PM

Hi offmeds2011,

Well a lot of people get off different types of ADs , including Prozac after being on them a long time. It is a question of a very very slow tapering, over a long period so that you body gets used to different lower levels of Prozac.

For instance if you drop to a slightly lower dose , you stay on that until you feel relatively OK and stabilize , then another drop stabilize and so forth. You will get typical withdrawal symptoms which can mimic the return of depression and this can be minimized by a slow withdrawal.

Remember you body had grown a tolerance to Prozac over the years and thid applies to every other antidepressants on the market. So you need to stimulate the natural production of the 'happy neurotransmitters' by the serotonin neurogenic cells. This can be achieved by physical exercises (long walks) healthy diet, and possible supplements from a health food store.

I have managed to come off medication several time over the years. However a new bout of depression got me back on and I keep to a maintenance dose of my SSRI now.

Prozac withdrawal will be the same as withdrawing from most other antidepressants . A lot of people (including myself) stay on a maintenance dose of our AD.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow

Edited by jimbow15, 02 February 2011 - 09:58 PM.

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#6 Sheepwoman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:05 PM

I was on Prozac over 14 years. It eventually pooped out and I maxed out at 80mg with no change in my mood. I have chronic depression that will require treatment for the rest of my life. You may be in the same boat with me as I see your depression returned when you tried in the past to come off Prozac. If you're depressed or feeling like you're depressed, make an appointment with your pdoc as you may need a med change. Prozac has a mild anti-axiety property but I see it wasn't enough to handle your anxiety.
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#7 offmeds2011

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:10 PM

Thank you so much for sharing ALL of you. Sheepwoman, if you don't mind - what are you taking now?

I was on Prozac over 14 years. It eventually pooped out and I maxed out at 80mg with no change in my mood. I have chronic depression that will require treatment for the rest of my life. You may be in the same boat with me as I see your depression returned when you tried in the past to come off Prozac. If you're depressed or feeling like you're depressed, make an appointment with your pdoc as you may need a med change. Prozac has a mild anti-axiety property but I see it wasn't enough to handle your anxiety.
Sheepwoman



#8 offmeds2011

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:12 PM

How long did it take you to fully come off of the meds. Just out of curiosity? Thanks!

Hi offmeds2011,

Well a lot of people get off different types of ADs , including Prozac after being on them a long time. It is a question of a very very slow tapering, over a long period so that you body gets used to different lower levels of Prozac.

For instance if you drop to a slightly lower dose , you stay on that until you feel relatively OK and stabilize , then another drop stabilize and so forth. You will get typical withdrawal symptoms which can mimic the return of depression and this can be minimized by a slow withdrawal.

Remember you body had grown a tolerance to Prozac over the years and thid applies to every other antidepressants on the market. So you need to stimulate the natural production of the 'happy neurotransmitters' by the serotonin neurogenic cells. This can be achieved by physical exercises (long walks) healthy diet, and possible supplements from a health food store.

I have managed to come off medication several time over the years. However a new bout of depression got me back on and I keep to a maintenance dose of my SSRI now.

Prozac withdrawal will be the same as withdrawing from most other antidepressants . A lot of people (including myself) stay on a maintenance dose of our AD.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow






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