O2bhappy

O2bhappy: 9 months off Prozac - does it get any better?

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9 months ago today I took my last Prozac and I am still dealing with withdrawal.  I took 15 mg of Fluoxetine for 12 years from PAR pharmaceuticals.  In July 2015 the fluoxetine I received from the pharmacy was from TEVA pharmaceuticals, apparently PAR pharmaceuticals discontinued the tablets I was taking.  Well, my body did not react well to the TEVA brand.  I started having nausea and tremors.  After a couple of days on the TEVA brand I switched to the MYLAN brand but nothing changed. 

 

Realizing my body was not going to handle the change I decided to taper but it seemed pointless because my body was in withdrawal from the PAR pharmaceutical fluoxetine my body was use to taking.  On August 27th 2015 I took my last pill.  From July to November I dealt with nausea and tremors and then all hell broke loose.  On top of the nausea and tremors I developed a bad smell in my nose that only I can smell, internal shaking that is constant, the nausea got much worse, I started having hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and chills.  I also have cried almost every day since November. 

 

In December I had a gastric emptying study done due to the nausea and lack of appetite.  I discovered I now have delayed gastric emptying. To date I have lost 44 pounds from the nausea and not being able to eat. 

 

I have also had a CT scan and an MRI for the tremors and internal shaking.  Those results were normal.  I have seen an ENT for the bad smell in my nose, but they can find nothing wrong. 

 

I have noticed that I am feeling a tiny and I stress tiny bit better but I still have the internal shaking, nausea, bad smell in my nose and crying.  I have read about internal shaking in withdrawal but how long does it go on.  I was put on Prozac for panic attacks and the constant internal shaking is making me feel panicky and anxious.  Does anything help with it?  Has anyone else experienced a bad smell in their nose or heard of anyone having a bad smell in their nose during withdrawal?   

 

Thank you for any advice or help anyone can offer me. 

Edited by scallywag
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Hi, O2bhappy. Welcome to the forum.

 

Nausea and tremors are very common in Prozac withdrawal, especially with a cold turkey. Many people do have tests like you did and the results are normal, but the symptoms slowly diminish over time. So to answer your question - yes, it does get better. It gets a lot better. Just hang in there. 

 

Here are a couple of links to get you started:

 

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

I had a lot of sensitivities to smell earlier on in my tapers, although not nearly as bad as what you're describing. There's a thread on chemical sensitivities that may be helpful:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4821-chemical-sensitivity/

 

I can definitely relate to the internal shaking. Some people find that fish oil and magnesium can help calm the CNS down, so these are good to research. Some people are acutely sensitive to supplements, so start out with a very small dose at first to see how you react. Here is some information:

 

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Please use this thread to list your symptoms, give updates, and ask plenty of questions. You'll find a lot of information and support here from people going through this. 

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Hi O2bhappy. Par pharmaceuticals made fluoxetine at 10 and 20mg, were you alternating these to get your 15mg?

 

Personally I never felt a difference between generics or brand prozac, but perhaps you were sensitive to one of the additives.

 

Sorry you are suffering so much. I guess you stopped abruptly due to your new side effects? I Di occasionally get a kind of nervous shivering that is unrelated to being cold...is that what you are describing? I have found psychotherapy very helpful at helping me cope with overreacting an panicking about withdrawal or side effects.

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Shep- Thank you for sharing the links. I will read them. Thank you for letting me know the internal shaking gets better. I was put on Prozac for panic attacks and the internal shaking is making me feel panicky and anxious.

 

Have you heard of anyone with the bad smell and if so did they recover from it? It is a very frustrating symptom.

 

Sparkle pickle - I would break the 10 mg in half to get 5 mg. So I would take 1 1/2 tablets. I think I am very sensitive to the additives.

 

I stopped the medicine because my body could not adjust to the new generic form and I didn't realize but I was experiencing a lot of side effects on the Prozac. I had very bad headaches and restless leg syndrome. Ever since I stopped Prozac the headaches and restless leg syndrome went away.

 

The internal shaking I feel is like I had 12 cups of coffee. I am in therapy but it doesn't help with the physical symptoms of the internal shaking. I have even tried meditation, but it doesn't help with the shaking.

 

Squirrelly girl - Thank you for the information. I will read the links you posted. The mental aspects of withdrawal are just as bad as the physical. The crying for no reason is getting to me. I use to never cry before Prozac.

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I am having a tough day today. How do you handle feeling sick all the time? I know I have only been dealing with these symptoms since July 2015 but some days are certainly harder then others. Like my username O2bhappy, I just want to be back to my happy self before the medicine.

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Distraction works the best for me. Do you like to watch movies, listen to music, play video games?

 

I also am learning about mindfulness meditation. I found that mindfulness not only was a great distraction from my withdrawal pain, it's turned into my best coping technique and it's something I'll take with me to use for the rest of my life.

 

So maybe you can pick out one or two non-drug coping techniques and see if it will help with your symptoms plus give you a way of passing the time:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Sending healing vibes your way. I hope you are back to your happy self again too. I do like your username. :)

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Shep - I have tried distraction, like watching movies but I find my mind wonders.  I look at the people in the movies and think how lucky they are because they are not going through withdrawal.  I know that the people in the movies are probably dealing with their own thing, but that is where my mind takes me.  I do like video games, but haven't played them in awhile.  Guess I should dust off the WII and start playing. 

 

I have downloaded some apps and done meditation, but I have not been doing it everyday.  Guess I should make that a priority. 

 

The things that are bothering me the most are the internal shaking, nausea, smell in my nose and the crying.  I cry for no reason, is this normal in withdrawal? 

 

Thanks for the healing vibes.  I greatly appreciate them.

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I am 9 months off effexor and suffer lots of different symptoms, all you can do is suck it up. It is horrible but it will get better, the windows and waves model gives me hope, that in time my brain will recover, in the mean time all I can do is accept this is the way it is. Fish oils and mindfulness help me, I hope you feel better soon, 

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It may be time to consider Acceptance:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3533-acceptance/

 

The sooner members come to Acceptance, the sooner they get on with getting better.  It is very common in withdrawal for the mind to go wandering, obsessing on withdrawal and the situation we find ourselves in, mourning our healthier self, anger at being in this situation, on and on. But all of that is stressful, and stress delays healing.  It's like the stages of grief.  The sooner you come to Acceptance, though, the sooner you will find yourself feeling better, and the better you will handle the next wave after a window.

 

dowdaller is a nice example - thank you for your input, dowdaller!

 

Crying for no reason is very normal in WD.

 

SG

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Dowdaller - I do my best to suck it up but lately it has seemed harder.  I am struggling with accepting that this is how it is going to be.  Thank you for the fish oil suggestion.  I will start taking it.  I have done some mindfulness but haven't done it on a regular basis. 

 

SquirrellyGirl - I will read the link you shared on acceptance.  My mind has done everything you listed.  All I seem to do is dwell on the feelings that I am having.  I am trying to get out of my head and start living my life but that is hard to do some days.  

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I know it is hard.  More withdrawal trickery.  The first step is simply noticing that you are engaging in those thoughts, not trying to change them necessarily, but just bringing your Awareness to them.  Tell yourself "there's withdrawal playing its tricks again, but I don't have to play."  If that is all you do, it is a start!  

 

SG

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SG

 

I like your suggestions of telling myself this is the withdrawal playing tricks on me. I will work on incorporating that into my thought process.

 

My biggest challenge is telling myself this is withdrawal when I am experience numerous physical symptoms. Early on in WD I experience nausea. I ended up at the gastroenterologist because I was losing weight. They discovered I had delayed gastric emptying. I was put on Nexium for four months, I tapered off that medicine. Then I was on Zantac for a week. I was doing well but all the sudden my nausea is back and I am very discouraged. I believe going off the Prozac is what started all my stomach problems because it started when my generic version changed. I am having a hard time allowing the nausea when all I want is for it to go away.

 

It is also hard to allow the smell in my nose. I get upset when it is really bad.

 

I have an easier time accepting the constant crying and the internal shaking.

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I wake up every morning feeling sad and weepy.  I cry every day.  I hardly ever cried before going on Prozac.  Does this get better? Any suggestions on what helps during the crying spells? 

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SG -

 

Thank you for sharing the link.  I am still struggling with the crying.  I haven't found anything that helps with the crying.  I just endure it.  I wish there was something that would help.  Getting desperate.

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Will the happiness I once had ever return?

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O2b:  The sad weepiness is mystifying and challenging. I had the same thing went I went off Effexor in 2004/5, intense crying spells for no apparent reason.  I can't remember how long that wave lasted, but it did end. <<<hugs>>>

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Yes it does get better, I'm sorry you feel so bad, hang I there. It is all temporary, just like a storm. It will pass I promise o2b xx

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Scallywag -

 

Thank you for letting me know that your crying spells did end.  It is a sadness that I have never experienced before. 

 

 

Andalusian -

 

Thank you for reminding me that this is temporary.  It is very hard when you are in the middle of a wave to remind yourself.  I just wish the hurt that I feel inside would go away. 

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 Hi Happy.

 

I wake up every morning feeling sad and weepy.  I cry every day.  I hardly ever cried before going on Prozac.  Does this get better? Any suggestions on what helps during the crying spells? 

 

I used to be crying as I woke up , before I was even conscious. The thing is I didn't know what it was . At least you do . It's a chemical reaction, much like when you add two reagents together you get a " fizz" .  Well , we get a huge " fizz" that's chemical but eventually we lose it . As time goes on , it becomes less until eventually we revert back to NORMAL . 

The hurt will go away. It will all go away as your CNS calms and settles.

You just have to be patient and let it happen .

Alison

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AliG -

 

Thank you for reminding me to be patient, but sometimes that is hard.  I just want to be that happy person I thought I was while on Prozac, but I know that was a drugged me and not the real me. 

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It has been 10 months now that I have been off Prozac.  It is hard to believe how much my body has been through going off the medicine.  I know my body is still going through changes and adjustments but I am hopeful my windows get longer and waves get smaller.  It is very though when you are in the middle of a wave and desperate to feel better again.  I am doing better not getting fused with my thoughts of wanting to feel better during a wave.  I view each day not being on Prozac as a blessing.  I am happy to have found this site, but sad it has to exist because so many people are dealing with withdrawal. 

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I have now been off Prozac for 11 months and have taken a turn for the worse. I am still dealing with nausea, no appetite, internal shaking. My face is now itchy and feels almost numb at times. I don't experience any happiness or joy, I can't remember the last time I laughed. I don't really want to do anything. I am spaced out, can't focus and can't remember anything.

 

I have been dealing with a tremendous amount of stress these past two weeks. My husband found a lump on our 8 year old golden retriever two weeks ago. It was located on her front left leg. After numerous vet appointments she ended up having her leg amputated on July 21st. The biopsy results showed that the tumor was cancer, The prognosis isn't good. I am devasted. I cannot stop crying, I am so depressed. I am scared about losing her. She has been my comfort in everything I have dealt with in w/d. I don't know what to do. I am completely lost. I have even considered finding another AD to go back on just to get rid of this pain.

 

I could really use some support and encouragement.

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Hi, O2bhappy.

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your goldie. I lost my beloved shepherd during my taper, and it was very rough, so I do know what you're going through. I hope your pup is going to be okay.

 

You've invested 11 months on getting off of Prozac, so a reinstatement is very risky. And 11 months is a really long time, especially for withdrawal, so I would be hesitant to bring another drug into the picture. 

 

This kind of stress can certainly make symptoms so much worse. Try to do as much self care as you can, for you and your pup. 

 

Sending healing vibes to you and your dog. 

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02bhappy....so sorry you are feeling so bad.  Have you felt this way since your ct?  I know last September when I stopped prozac at 10 mg I had a few days of brain zaps, hot flashes, irritability then the month of October I felt pretty good...then in November I started having waves and windows....the December the waves started getting worse and in January I crashed.  I was really caught off guard because I was used to withdrawal symptoms popping up with in a couple of days when I had previously gone off of meds like effexor and cymbals with much shorter half lives.  I guess the reason for my delayed withdrawal symptoms is the very long half life of prozac and I am a poor metabolizer.  

 

Did you have a period of time after you quit last year where you felt better?  

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Shep -

 

It has been very difficult.  I know going back on any A/D is not what I want or need to be doing, but I am feeling desperate. 

 

I am so nauseous that I don't know what to do.  I can hardly eat.  I have now lost 55 pounds.  I was diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying and it has made my life a living hell.  I developed this during withdrawal.  I am so depressed because I can hardly eat and when I do it I am so nauseous.  I feel like the Prozac and coming off it has ruined my life.  If the nausea would go away I would be able to handle things better. 

 

Thank you for the healing vibes to both myself and my dog.

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downtongirl -

 

I have had some symptoms since my generic changed and I had to come off Prozac.  It had nausea and tremors.  The tremors are gone but the nausea is constant.  I have noticed changes with my symptoms over the past 11 months.  I have had a few windows but they only last a few hours.  This wave that I am currently in is really bad.  The nausea that I have is taking a toll on me physically and mentally.  I can hardly eat.  It is awful.  When I do eat I get filled up very quickly and the nausea slams me.  I pray every day that the nausea goes away and every morning I wake up with the nausea.  I am very frustrated and angry. 

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So sorry that nausea does not sound like fun.  Does ginger ale, 7 up, soda crackers help?  

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Hi, O2b.

 

I'm sorry you're struggling so much with nausea. I had that during my Seroquel taper and I found very strong peppermint tea to be helpful. Others find ginger root to help. 

 

These threads may be helpful: 

 

Gastroparesis and or bloating

 

Digestive problems: Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, GERD

 

 

And you may want to read some of the articles on this wonderful website called Beyond Meds. Here's an article on nutrition issues during psychiatric drug withdrawal:

 

https://beyondmeds.com/gut-health/

 

Many of us find that we have to make major changes in diet in order to get through withdrawal. Because I can't take supplements now, I had to give up being a vegetarian and start eating fish and chicken again to get the Omega 3 and other nutrients I was lacking. So it was a major change. But I think it's helping.

 

So it's definitely worth reading all of the information you can find. 

 

You mention in an earlier post using Zantac for awhile. Are you still using this or any other stomach med? 

 

 

 

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Downtongirl -

 

I haven't found anything that helps with the nausea.  I have tried ginger ale, ginger candy, crystalize ginger, ginger tea, aloe vera juice, crackers and none of it helps me.  Some days I am able to handle the nausea but other days it really brings me down.  I have been dealing with the nausea for over a year. 

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Shep -

 

Thank you for the peppermint tea suggestion.  I will make sure to pick some up.  I have tried a lot of different ginger products and they only take the edge off. 

 

I was on stomach meds for awhile but I am currently off them.  I am going to the gastro doctor in two weeks to talk to them about going on some sort of nausea medicine.  I am also going to see a dietitian at the end of the month.  Hopefully she can help me with my diet and what I can and cannot eat with the delayed gastric emptying.  I have now lost 55 pounds since going off Prozac.  I am concerned that I am not getting enough nutrients with what I am currently eating.  I tried and take Omega 3 but I was getting burses, so I stopped taking them.   I also take a multi-vitamin but I am not sure if that was making my nausea worse. 

 

Thank you for the different links that you provided me.  I read about a few other people developing delayed gastric emptying going off AD.  My gastro doctor did say that this could have been caused because I went off the medicine.  I am hoping and praying that as my body adapts to being off the medicine that my stomach will also heal. 

 

Do you have any suggestions for brain fog or lack of concentration?  I am so forgetful.  I pride myself on having a great memory, but not now.  If I don't write things down I forget them.  Any advice and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

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Hi O2, I'm in a wave too, the worst one since the 4 month crash, and compounded by the fact I've got sciatica that makes me want to scream.

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through a bad wave too. Maybe when we get to the 12 month mark in a couple of weeks we'll hit a window - can but hope hey! Healing thoughts for you and your dog. 

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O2, I am thinking of you and your dog.  I know the stress of having a dog with cancer, have lost two to cancer, hard enough without being in withdrawal.  Lots of hugs for both of you :-)

 

SG

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Hi O2,

 

I've been trying to find something for the nausea also, pepto tablets help also just got told about queasy drops. Just some info. Hope you feel some relief soon.

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keeping hope -

 

Thank you for the healing thoughts for both my dog and myself.

 

I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with sciatica.

 

I hope we both hit a window at 12 months. I am actually looking forward to being able to say I am a year off this medicine, only a few more weeks for that milestone.

 

The waves are not enjoyable, I prefer the waves at the beach. I feel very emotionally vulnerable. I am tired of hearing bad news all the time. I could really use some good news. I have also noticed that I have developed apathy over the past couple of months. Does anything help with it? It is an awful feeling to not really care about anything or want to do anything, I am very happy just staying home and doing nothing and I know that is no way to live.

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