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Difficulty coming off Fluoxetine

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Posted (edited)

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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

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Posted (edited)

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

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Posted

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.

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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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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 :(

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Posted

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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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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.

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Posted

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

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Posted

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

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Posted

Im starting it soon..

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[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!

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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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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.

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Posted

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:

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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:

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Posted

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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Posted

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

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Posted (edited)

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

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Posted

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:

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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...

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Posted

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

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