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Difficulty coming off Fluoxetine


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#1 Guest_Fiona_*

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:29 PM

Has anyone else found it difficult to come off fluoxetine? I've been on 20mg daily since December 05. My doctor told me that I should drop to 20mg every second day for the month of July, then stop completley.

I did this, but the week after I stopped (after one month of every other day), I felt as bad as I had done when I started.

For Aug and Sept I have taken it upon myself to take 20mg every third day. I have 5 tablets left, being 15 days... then I plan to stop again. I've been really tired the past couple of weeks. Has anyone else experienced this and if so, how did you do it? How did you stop?

Edited by Fiona, 10 September 2006 - 03:32 PM.


#2 oceangirl

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:34 PM

Has anyone else found it difficult to come off fluoxetine? I've been on 20mg daily since December 05. My doctor told me that I should drop to 20mg every second day for the month of July, then stop completley.

I did this, but the week after I stopped (after one month of every other day), I felt as bad as I had done when I started.

For Aug and Sept I have taken it upon myself to take 20mg every third day. I have 5 tablets left, being 15 days... then I plan to stop again. I've been really tired the past couple of weeks. Has anyone else experienced this and if so, how did you do it? How did you stop?

I was taking Prozac for over 5 yrs and when I discontinued them I had my one of my deepest, longest depressions I ever experienced and ended up in the hospital for the 1st time...but of course everyone reacts differently. In my experience, prozac has had the greatest withdrawal and 'rebound' effect compared to other ADs I been on. I've come to accept that I need to be on ADs for the long haul and if I need to switch ADs be cut down gradularly. Unfortunately, it's really trial and error..and lots'o'patience.
Also, I find when I exercise and sleep 8hrs regularly I need a smaller dose whcih helps keep the side-effects to a minimun (expect I somtimes increase the dose pre-pms). I'm taking Lex now. I would swing a bit with Prozac; with the Lexapro I'm a bit blah, but it's better than feeling deeply depressed!!

Good luck, Oceangirl

Edited by oceangirl, 10 September 2006 - 04:36 PM.


#3 bastillenz

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:16 AM

Hi,

That's not a normal method used for discontinuation of medication. Gradual slow reduction is the only way that
the brain and body can adjust to the change. You would find it difficult like that.

You should ask your Dr to taper the dose. 20mgs, 15mgs,10mgs,5mgs reduced at weekly intervals. You may have the capsules if so, tablets or solution can be prescibed for you. It should be to suit you as a patient.

#4 Sheepwoman

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:44 AM

I was on Prozac for 10 years. I reached 80mg the last 6 months of taking it. It was not having the desired effect any longer. I was taken off it abruptly (cold turkey) and had no problems coming off of it. The pdoc did not replace it with another AD but began me on a mood stabilizer. I went through some medium weight depression and levelled off once the rights stabilizer was found.

A lot of people get depression as a rebound effect when coming off of ADs. In most cases, this is normal. However, if you fall back into depression when completely off of an AD, a new assessment by your pdoc should be made. Many people have to take ADs for a long time or forever to maintain an equilibrium with their depression. I am now on 2 ADs since my first hospitalization last year and I'm soing fine. I would suggest you talk with your pdoc regarding your mood if you feel like you are relapsing back into depression.
Sheepwoman :hearts:
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

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#5 Guest_Fiona_*

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 01:30 PM

I don't feel like I'm relapsing. Moreso just a case of "bad days" being there when I try to stop. Not like it was before, no where nearly as bad. But I'm scared I might relapse.

But what's getting me most, is this tiredness. It's 7:33pm and I could quite easily curl up in bed right now, but it's sooooo early :(

#6 fightingback

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 04:58 PM

I don't feel like I'm relapsing. Moreso just a case of "bad days" being there when I try to stop. Not like it was before, no where nearly as bad. But I'm scared I might relapse.

But what's getting me most, is this tiredness. It's 7:33pm and I could quite easily curl up in bed right now, but it's sooooo early :(


Yep, that's what I've found trying to come off fluoxetine (after 2 yrs): profound tiredness & feeling 'dopey' & not quite right. But am so sick of not being able to have an orgasm!!

Anne

#7 lizard

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 10:52 PM

Sorry you're dealing with this all-too-common side-effect. Some members have managed well by adding on a low dose of Wellbutrin - it's worth discussing your options with your doc.
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says: "I'll try again tomorrow."
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#8 Guest_Noca_*

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 04:13 PM

I was on 30mgs of prozac for about 7 months and I just stopped cold turkey, no withdrawal whatsoever. But I switched to Lexapro the next day at 20mgs.

#9 Sheepwoman

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 09:09 AM

Coming off ADs and feeling tired is commonplace. You no longer have the "up" feeling from the AD. This will take a period of adjustment to get over. If it really bothers you, talk to your pdoc for an alternative solution.
Sheepwoman :hearts:
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#10 dibrom

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:10 PM

I was depressed for no reason earlier this year and a long time before that. I did manage to get through it without medication but depression found me in other ways a few months later. It's so disapointing I can't live in normality :( I suggest you think about what's bothering you deep down (If you can find a reason) and speak to us about it.

#11 Guest_Fiona_*

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:54 AM

Hi guys,

Well I am now on week 3 without Prozac... and doing fine.

I stopped them the week of my initial post in this thread. I had a very busy week that week, so thought it was perfect opportunity, I had no time to think about not taking meds.

I feel very proud of myself. I know I have a long way to go yet, and the possibilities of going back on meds in the future, but for the now I'm doing good. :D

#12 Sheepwoman

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:59 AM

You sound wonderful, Fiona. Congrats on coming off the Prozac so quickly. Being bust sure helps with depression, too.
Sheepwoman :hearts:
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#13 Guest_Fiona_*

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:46 PM

thank you sheepwoman, it hasn't been easy, but i'm glad i persevered.

#14 Sinkra

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 05:17 PM

Im starting it soon..

#15 chickenlady

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 10:03 AM

[I am trying to come off 20mg Fluoxetine per day. last week I cut 1 capsule out and was crying and panicky for the next 2 days until it kicked in again. I am trying to get the liquid from my doctor so that I can cut it down more slowly but I am sick of the stuff and cant wait to be off them, I want my head back!

#16 lov4k9s

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 07:02 PM

I've weaned off by cutting back from my normal doseage of 20mg/daily to every other day for a week. The next week I took 10mg for a couple of days then to every other day. I had no problems getting off.

The problem I am having now is getting back on. I guess my body chemistry has changed over the years and I am much more sensitive to the med.
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#17 Guest_boo_*

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 04:29 PM

I see this is an old thread, but it is exactly what I am concerned about so I will bring it up...

I am terrified to go off my Prozac because of what I have heard about withdrawal from it. I have been on 40mg for about a year now, and am ready to be done with it. I was taking 60 at one point and when I lowered it to 40 there were no issues, but I am still very concerned about what will happen when I stop it completely. I don't want to run into any great difficulties because my semester will be over in one month and I want it to be as smooth as possible, but I am afraid that the Prozac will mess with me and complicate the end of the semester.

#18 Guest_SarahN_*

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 04:33 PM

Hi Boo,

I have only stopped taking prozac once and did not have any problems, I am back on it at the moment.
if you have been taking it for almost a year, why not take it one more month? it won't make you feel any different now or jeopardize your school.

Are you under control form your GP or a pdoc? What does he/she have to say on this subject?

SN :hearts:

#19 Guest_boo_*

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 04:50 PM

Um, unfortunately I am not taking myself off meds in the most advisable fashion, per say. My counselor at school is aware, but I currently don't have a psychiatrist and my PCP has never been involved in my psychiatric treatment in the least. My psych moved and gave me a few referrals but I never called them, which was not good on my part. I have a months supply left of both meds I am on and one I have already began going down in dosage, which is going fine, at least I think. Oh man, writing this out makes me see how stupid and immature I am being about this :hearts:

#20 Sheepwoman

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:26 AM

There is a thread on Prozac withdrawal at the top of the room. You may want to post your experiences there.

Boo, you really should contact one of the pdocs you were referred to see by your old doc. Coming off medications unsupervised is not a good idea. Since you have a month of school left, you may want to reconsider what you are doing as the lack of medication may cause you to relapse. Please, make a call to one of those pdocs.
Sheepwoman :hearts:
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#21 Guest_boo_*

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 10:49 AM

Ahh, I didn't see the thread up there! Thanks Sheepwoman.

#22 Nala

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 12:03 AM

Has anyone else found it difficult to come off fluoxetine? I've been on 20mg daily since December 05. My doctor told me that I should drop to 20mg every second day for the month of July, then stop completley.

I did this, but the week after I stopped (after one month of every other day), I felt as bad as I had done when I started.

For Aug and Sept I have taken it upon myself to take 20mg every third day. I have 5 tablets left, being 15 days... then I plan to stop again. I've been really tired the past couple of weeks. Has anyone else experienced this and if so, how did you do it? How did you stop?



Hi Fiona, I was on 40mg of Fluoxetine for about 8 months and I decided that I had had enough for several reasons. I reduced my dosage from 2 tablets (40mg) a day to 1 tablet (20mg) a day for 2 weeks then I took 1 tablet every second day for 2 weeks and slowly expanded the days between each. I haven't taken anything for over a week now and I feel fantastic and have not had any side effects throughout any of the reductions. I hope this continues to be a positive thing for me but only time will tell. Hopefully this helps you a little. :wwww: :shocked: Nala

Edited by Nala, 18 November 2009 - 12:05 AM.


#23 kristenpa

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:01 PM

I've been on Fluox. for 4 weeks now. The first 2 weeks I was weaning off Lexapro and I had bad withdrawl with the Lexapro. I think all of the AD's have the chance to make us feel really bad when stopping them. Just listen to your body, your mind and your doctor when coming off of one.

Best wishes to you all. :shocked:

#24 soapywaves

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:44 AM

I don't feel like I'm relapsing. Moreso just a case of "bad days" being there when I try to stop. Not like it was before, no where nearly as bad. But I'm scared I might relapse.

But what's getting me most, is this tiredness. It's 7:33pm and I could quite easily curl up in bed right now, but it's sooooo early :(


I am currently weaning off of fluoxetine and am feeling precisely this. I'm still scared of relapsing even though it all worked out for you, Fiona! However, I have been giving into the tiredness and taking naps, thinking my brain needed some more rest, but now my sleep schedule is just totally wacky.


Coming off ADs and feeling tired is commonplace. You no longer have the "up" feeling from the AD. This will take a period of adjustment to get over. If it really bothers you, talk to your pdoc for an alternative solution.
Sheepwoman :shocked:


Reading this was also really helpful! I'm currently a little worried about my sleep troubles, but knowing this I can begin to push myself away from napping...
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your alcohol the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
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#25 Battersea

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:19 AM

I am trying to come off fluoxetine at the moment and really struggling.
I didn't realise the tiredness might be to do with coming off the medication.
I was told to come off:
1 every other day for 2 weeks
1 every 2nd day for 2 weeks
1 every 3rd day for 2 weeks
stop
It didn't work, I felt horrific when I came off and went back on them and now need to try again at some point.
I thought it was just me. I thought it was just that without the drugs I was a horrible person, I didn't realise my issues might be a side effect of coming off the fluoxetine

#26 jwho_02

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:57 PM

I am trying to come off fluoxetine at the moment and really struggling.
I didn't realise the tiredness might be to do with coming off the medication.
I was told to come off:
1 every other day for 2 weeks
1 every 2nd day for 2 weeks
1 every 3rd day for 2 weeks
stop
It didn't work, I felt horrific when I came off and went back on them and now need to try again at some point.
I thought it was just me. I thought it was just that without the drugs I was a horrible person, I didn't realise my issues might be a side effect of coming off the fluoxetine



Hi,
I've tried a similar withdrawal strategy and it didn't work for me either. The most serious side effect I had was sleep-onset insomnia - I literally couldn't fall asleep - had to use Zopiclone intermitently to counter the effects. My sleep returned to normal when I resumed the 20mg a day fluoxetine.

I would strongly recommend a very cautious withdrawal regime. For example, try using the fluid/syrup and take 2.5mg each day (=10mg fluox)....see how you go for a month and then if okay, reduce again by 5mg (across 7 days) and see how you are for the next month and so on. I really would not rush it. If you have symptoms at a particular reduced dosage, increase it slightly and stay on that dose for longer until your body adjusts.

Although a number of research papers show fluoxetine one of the 'easier' SSRIs to come off - I think its nonsense because the studies only focus on a relatively short period e.g 6 weeks. Fluoxetine has a very long half life and I think it takes at least 6-8 weeks for the true effects of withdrawal to reveal themselves....particularly if you've been taking it for a long time.

Good luck with your withdrawal journey and keep posting!

Best,
Jon
'...and I won't cry for yesterday because there's an ordinary world somehow I have to find.....and as I try to make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive'

#27 enjoythemoment

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:18 AM

so it looks like im going to have some issues going to 5mg since the capsules are only 10mg well i split open a capsule of fluxetine and seems like i can split the power and sqeeze the capsule back on hehehe ill try it and see what happens unless you tell me where to buy 5mg capsules. ill just have to sit there splitting capsules open

#28 jwho_02

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:03 PM

Hi enjoythemoment,
I'd recommend you get the fluoxetine fluid where 5ml=20mg as this will enable you to obtain the dose you need without messing around splitting tablets (so 5mg=1.25ml fluid).

Good luck with your withdrawal journey!

Best,
Jon
'...and I won't cry for yesterday because there's an ordinary world somehow I have to find.....and as I try to make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive'

#29 KJS

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 09:32 AM

I was on fluoxetine for 6 years. I'd had trouble trying to come off it before and when i eventually did manage it it was a very slow process giving myself plenty of time to adjust to each change of dose. I was coming down from 40 mg. Did alternate days 20/40 then down to 20. At first being on 20 caused some of the old symptoms to come back but I found one dose a week of 40 was enough to keep me stable. Once I was down to 20 a day continuously it still took me another 6 months until I stopped taking it completely. Started missing occasional day until I was down to every other day eventually when I was stable on 3 days a week I stopped completely.

I usually found that it was just as I started to think I was coping fine with a new dose (about 4 weeks in) thar I would relapse. Which was frustrating and demoralizing. But my advice would be take it slowly and persevere.

#30 jwho_02

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:51 PM

Hi KJS,
Thanks for sharing your experiences and I so agree with you regarding taking it slowly. It's also good to hear you were able to come off it in 20mg decrements and via missing doses - I'm finding this too hard and feel I will have to come off it a lot more gradually.

So how long have you been completely off it?

Jon
'...and I won't cry for yesterday because there's an ordinary world somehow I have to find.....and as I try to make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive'

#31 KJS

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 06:49 PM

I never knew about the liquid form and was never offered it so I didn't have much choice but to reduce in 20mg decrements. I think that using that as a way to decrease your dose more slowly is a much better option.

I stopped taking it in June last year. So it's been almost 7 months. I think I was lucky as I never got any withdrawal effects when I finally stopped them. In fact I found it great to be rid of all the side effects of the medication - I lost the weight i'd put on with it really easily, was free of digestive problems for the first time in years and felt myself emotionally again!

I'm not cured and this week had to deal with my first bad days since i've been off the medication but I've learnt to live and cope with those days.. I know the time may come in the future when I have to start taking ADs again but for now I'm enjoying being free of them.

Good luck to everyone trying to come off. And hope you are successful!

K.

#32 Patsy

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:10 PM

Hi all,

This is my second time trying to come off of Fluoxetine. Last time I didn't even get to do stop taking one on alternative days (after a month of cutting down to 20mg) as I fell back into depression. I just wanted to run away.

This time, the doc has put me down from 40mg to 20mg a day for two months. It's day two and today I have noticed that I have felt low. It's the panicky feeling inside I find I can't take, the feeling that I'm just not myself. Like I just want to runaway from the feeling.I just felt so anxious tonight.

While taking 40mg a day I felt great, very confident and happy, but I don't want to be on these all my life.

I am going to see how I go for a week, may be I'll do as KJS has done, and take one dose of 40 meg a week?
I'm split in two again now, half of me wants to really try and stay on 20mg a day for now, while the other half wants me to take 40 a day again and not come off them ever.

I feel so weak when it comes to coming off of them. I'm just so scared to fall back into depression.

Edited by Patsy, 15 April 2011 - 04:11 PM.


#33 goodday1

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:03 AM

Hi, I have been on Fluoxetine for about 6 years, I tried to come off a few years ago and felt awful, tearful and bad tempered, but for the last 3 weeks I have taken
1 x 20mg every other day and have felt ok emotionally but physically feel very tired and achy , almost flu type feelings, woolly headed,. Im determined to carry on
as I just want to feel like me again, and Im hoping I dont really need them, time will tell. Anyone else have these symptoms ?
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