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  1. Hi 8 am from the UK and was on Prozac for 18years but had been unwell and having physical problems the past few years but tests where all clear. I realised it was the drug that was the problem. I was taken off too quickly and my body went into shock and I have been in protracted withdrawal ever since which is 9months now. Every month I'm getting new symptoms and really struggling with living. I can't tolerate even a pain relieve tablet without a reaction. I have awful lung and chest pain, blurred vision, severe headache which has just started this week and feel like I'm dying. I feel I maybe shouldn't have came of but then maybe it's better to get the poison out of my body. Really need some positive vibes at the moment and if anyone else in UK can help please do as I'm frightened that I'm going to die.
  2. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  3. Hi, everyone! Doing a slow taper off prozac. Been on 20 mg for about 30 years. Have tapered to 10mg will be on that for approx- 3months. I have now the liquid that I will start in 3 weeks on a taper of--8mg for 7 days.then 6mg for 7 days. then 4mg for 7 days. 2mg for 7 days. then 0. Does that sound like a good way? Hope I am doing this correctly. Any comments appreciated. Thanks. Carol
  4. I'm a 27 year old female and I was prescribed to Wellbutrin a year and a half ago. I had never taken any type of psychiatric medication previous to this, and was prescribed to Wellbutrin by a physician that insisted it would help with the depressive symptoms that I was experiencing due to a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). My primary disorder at the time was GAD, and the only reason that I was experiencing depressive symptoms, is because of the change in my demeanor since becoming constantly worried about the possibility of having an anxiety attack in any social situation. The first time that I went to see a general practitioner about my general anxiety disorder, she immediately wrote me a prescription for Prozac, I took the medication a grand total of three days before having a pretty bad car accident while driving my brother to school. I went back to the doctor and she decided that it would be better if I tried going the antidepressant route. At the time I started Wellbutrin I was in my first semester of graduate school and the effects of Wellbutrin were welcome. I was able to concentrate better than ever before, and was getting all A's in school. It went this way for a little over a year, until 3 months ago when I started seeing a return of my panic attacks. I went back to the doctor and she told me that it sounded like I was building up a resistance to the dosage of medication that I was taking. I was taking a once daily immediate release dosage of 75 mg of Wellbutrin at the time and she decided it would be a good idea to up my dosage to 100 mg of sustained release in order to get me back to a base line. I went home with the medication and thought about what the up dosage meant. I had a lot to consider... I didn't want to be dependent on the medication for the rest of my life. Especially since I was taking an antidepressant medication when I didn't even actually have depression. That day I decided that I was going to quit the medication altogether.. without my doctor’s consent… I had NO IDEA how bad of an idea that would turn out to be. Fast forward to a week and a half after trying to quit wellbutrin cold turkey and I was a COMPLETE DISASTER. I was experiencing suicidal ideation (the first time I’d ever had ANY thoughts like this), MAJOR anhedonia, memory issues and extreme fatigue. I went back to my doctor to get help, because I was scared of what I was going to do. Long story short, she ended up putting me on the Wellbutrin SR 100 mg anyways so that I could level out before I started my taper process. I took the 100 mg SR every day for about 2 weeks and was having some really uncomfortable side effects. So I decided it was time for me to start weening myself off of it. I took the 100 mg SR every other day for two weeks and then every two days for another two weeks, so all in all I tapered off of the medication over a month. I know now that this was WAY too fast, but it’s too late for me to try to go back on it for a slower taper. I’m just wondering if anyone else has a similar story to mine, that can tell me what kind of recovery timeline I’m looking at. I’m experiencing some pretty sever anhedonia and memory/concentration issues that present themselves in waves.
  5. Thank you to the creator of this site, what a great resource! I have been through withdrawal many times and I hoping this is it. I was put on Zoloft in college for Generalized Anxiety disorder (20 years ago) and it became impossible to go off of it. I tried many times and always ended up back on because off of the meds, I was very depressed. I was not even depressed like that before I went on Zoloft in the first place. Thankfully, over the years I was able to reduce the amount I needed from 100mg to 50 then 25, and felt ok for a while. A couple of years ago it seemed the Zoloft stopped working and I was switched to Prozac,10mg. Also in the past few years I started talking to therapists, life coaches, going to workshops, reading everything self-help, meditating, etc. About 4 months ago I started doing Crossfit and exercising in some way daily, and meditating almost daily. Kundalini meditation specifically has been helpful. My body told me it is a good time to try again to stop the meds. It has been 6 weeks since my last micro-dose and I am mostly ok, besides for crying spells. It has been difficult to tell what has been from withdrawal and what is hormonal for me because I am already very sensitive and have awful periods. But in the past 2 weeks there has been a lot of sobbing that is more than normal for me. It does not last longer than 10-15 minutes usually but has been daily (sometimes 2x a day) except for today. If I can have ONE good day like today where I felt normal then I believe this is possible, even if it comes back tomorrow! I have also used many supplements before, during and after the taper/ withdrawal, if it is ok I will list them here, maybe others can do their own research on them and see if it might help them. This is all trial and error, after all of the attempts, this combination might be working. I have to add that tapering off of Prozac was much easier for me (physically) than Zoloft. Before starting taper I used supplements from the Road Back Program. This made all the difference in the world for me as far as physical withdrawal symptoms, comparing to previous tapers without it. (I am in no way affiliated with this company or any other company/supplement here) I found out there is an MTFHR gene mutation in my family so made sure all B vitamins were methylated. Thorne makes an excellent one. I use 5htp at night 100mg In the morning on an empty stomach I started taking DLPA. This helps boost dopamine and gives emotional boost for me. For energy and focus (I also have A.D.D.) I use Weyland "focus" pill at times. Lithium Orotate I am still learning about but I started that in the evening recently. (This is a mineral, NOT lithium carbonate.) Niacin 100mg I just want to send everyone going through this a huge hug, and lots of love, I hope I can help contribute in some way, and am grateful to people sharing their stories here, it has been a huge help to me knowing I am not alone (and not crazy lol) I already took the survey as well.
  6. I tapered of Prozac in early 2014. I tapered over 4 weeks by taking every other day so basically ct. I had taken Prozac for 17 years for anxiety and depression. It took almost 4 months to get very bad by which time Drs had prescribed me sertraline and citralopram both of which exacerbated things tremendously. I only took a single dose of each. It never occurred to me or Drs to put me back of Prozac and by this time I was too terrified to take anything. The last 3 years have been horrific, losing my husband, my health and my income. I was unable to work for 2 years and now work part time from home which I still struggle with. I'm diagnosed with cfs fibro and severe depression all caused by protracted withdrawal. Iv seen dr Healy a few times and a neuropsychiatrist who both back my cause. I haven't taken a drug in 28 months but am about to start imipramine on their advise. I hope to get some relief from the crippling depression and pain and then hopefully taper off. I know this is a risk but desperate times call for desperate measures. I have terrible tinnutus caused from the destabilising effect of ct Prozac. I also have vertigo and chronic insomnia, especially early morning waking and sleep maintence. I use magnesium glycinate and lactium but Iv not noticed a noticeable difference. I have learned to not panic too much during extreme anxiety, instead of it breaking me completely like in the old days, I open the door and invite the beast in. This also helps with odd flare up of akathesia that was relentless in the beginning. I'm completely amazed at the lack of knowledge from Drs about the dangers of drugs but I have also found at leat 3 who are well very knowledgable. It gives me hope at least that we are not completely alone.
  7. Hey, everyone. Here's my introduction (I hope it's not too long): In 1994, at 19, I suffered panic attacks from being bullied in school and having cognitive errors in my thinking (perfectionism, negative self talk, etc.) My parents took me to a psychiatrist who told me I had a "chemical imbalance in my brain," prescribed me 80 mg of Prozac a day, and kicked me out the door. I received no therapy and from that day forward saw myself as a mental health patient. This diagnosis changed the course of my entire life. My Prozac took six weeks to kick in, and it brought with it a slew of side effects: generalized anxiety, hypervigilance (constant surveying the world and my body for signs of panic), stomach cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome. Like the proverbial boiling frog who doesn't notice the raising temperature, the side effects eased in to my life so slowly I thought they were a part of me and my "chemical imbalance." In essence I had a paradoxical reaction to the drug: it amplified my existing struggles but I had no idea my medication was the source. I was never told this was possible, nor was I told about the danger of trying to come off. The side effects made work outside the home, socializing, and dating extremely difficult because I was always afraid of the next wave of anxiety that would send me racing to the washroom. I watched my friends grow up and have careers, partners, and families, while I tried to buoy what was left of my self-esteem with self-help books and different therapists, none of who ever questioned the drug or the dosage. After two years of cognitive behavioral therapy to untwist the errors in my thinking, I tried coming off the drug under the supervision of my doctor in 2006 but the initial reduction of 20 mg every two weeks proved to be far too steep. When I reached zero I had a few days of bliss, then an absolute mental collapse. I developed akathisia and was unable to sit still and paced relentlessly and lost control of my emotions. I felt completely hollow and cried for no reason, all the while suffering from unspeakable anxiety. My parents debated admitting me to a hospital but was told that the doctors would check my medication levels then ask me to leave as there would be nothing they could do. I went to my psychiatrist who misdiagnosed my condition not as withdrawal but as depression and anxiety that the Prozac had been treating. Desperate not to lose my mind, I restarted the drug and lost another ten years to side effects. Two years ago I lowered my dose from 40 mg to 30 mg. Three days later I was to meet friends for dinner for as long as my anxiety would allow. I braced myself during the meal for the inevitable tsunami of mental anguish but what I felt instead was a mere ripple. I was stunned, then perplexed. When I realized what was happening and that the drug had been the cause, I burst into tears. Instead of racing home after the meal as I so often had in the past, my friends and I went to a movie. Over the past few months I've been easing off Prozac at 5 mg every six weeks. My quality of life improves with each reduction. My hypervigilance and anxiety all but vanished at 20 mg. At 15 mg I have become more social than I have ever been, and at 10 mg I feel like myself again - sort of. I've been on 10 mg of Prozac since May 9th, and I'm also on 50 mg of Seroquel. I want to get off the Prozac completely but I'm going to stay at 10 mg for at least three months until I know I'm stable. Though most of my anxiety is gone, I had a panic attack last week. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday over how much I've missed out on from the medication and cried through the whole thing. Naturally she was concerned that this might be a relapse of depression/anxiety, but I honestly feel better now than I ever did on the higher dose. So...that's me!
  8. Hello, I was hoping someone could give me some advice about some severe symptoms I've been experiencing since switching from Lexapro to Prozac and back again. Here is my story: Diagnosed with OCD and depression at 18. Prescribed 60 mg Prozac which I eventually manage to reduce to 30 mg. Continue taking this dose of Prozac for about 20 years. At the end of last year Prozac seems to have lost its effectiveness so I speak to my doctor about switching to Lexapro which I've heard has less side effects. As instructed by my doctor I reduce my Prozac dose to 20 mg for two weeks, wait 5 days without medication, and then start on 10 mg Lexapro. Soon after starting Lexapro I develop some very unpleasant side-effects, most notably heart palpitations and tinnitus. I speak with the doctor who tells me not to be concerned because the side effects are caused by "anxiety". Against my better judgment I continue taking the Lexapro for a total of 25 days. At this point the palpitations are so bad I have to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I wait two days and then reinstate the Prozac at 40 mg. Things seem to be reasonably okay for about 3 weeks before all hell breaks loose. I wake up in the middle of the night with such extreme palpitations and dizziness that I end up in ER. However, the doctors find nothing wrong with my heart, conclude its anxiety and send me home. Two hellish weeks of palpitation induced insomnia and intermittent akathesia follow. During this time I have a number of medical tests but nothing abnormal shows up in the results. The palpitations are worse when I lie down and though they cause some anxiety I am convinced they are not caused by anxiety. It feels like the part of my nervous system responsible for controlling my heart has been physically damaged in some way. When I try to explain this to my psychiatrist and cardiologist they don't understand. The psychiatrist gives me Valium and the cardiologist gives me a beta blocker. None of these seem to make much difference so I'm given some Ambien to help me sleep. I take the Ambien for about 5 nights before I decide I'd rather deal with the insomnia. Eventually I get some kind of sleep, but it is still very fragmented and the palpitations persist. My chest feels really tight as if my heart is being pushed up against my chest bone and the palpitations are worsened by lying down, eating or feeling cold. I lose my appetite and drop from 78 to 69 kgs in weight. I start filming my sleep so that I can show my doctor what happens. The footage shows me suffering from hypnic jerks and muscle twitching. These jerks are accompanied by electric shock like sensations that wake me up. During the day I am still tortured by this uncomfortable feeling in my chest and the ongoing palpitations. It feels like my heart has a mind of its own and has been knocked out of sync with the rest of my body. The tinnitus (a loud, high-pitched ringing) also continues. After 18 years at the same company I have to take sick leave for the first time. I have been off work for a month now and have no idea when I'll be able to go back. I continue to take 30 mg Prozac because I feel things would be even worse without it. During the day I walk because this seems to help with the palpitations. I've started taking Magnesium L Threonate and krill oil supplements. I desperately want my life back.
  9. Just began seeing alternative medicine practitioner (DO/Psychologist) in the hopes of finding natural products to replace meds with. Several specialty blood tests taken; waiting for lab results. Cannot see that doc again for 2 months. Need something to help the withdrawal process in the meantime. Don't trust long term psychiatrist. Next appt. on 8/19. Took early retirement in October. Attending classes. Finals this week. Husband laid off in June. I hope to return to work soon. Lots of stress and anxiety. Lost 2nd flash drive last week since May. Lost 2 pairs of prescription glasses this year. Home very cluttered. Very little motivation. Can't think straight. Lost and confused. What forum would be best to post in?
  10. 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.
  11. Introduction Hi everyone. I have been lurking here since last year but decided to start my thread as my waves are getting more frequent. I am trying to stabilize at 20mg of generic Prozac (fluoxetine) daily, and have been taking it for 6 months. I thought stabilization was finally happening in January this year but waves are now weekly. I am here to see if anyone can shed light on why my horrible waves are more frequent now. I've read “The windows and waves pattern of recovery” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/). Maybe I'm missing something? I'm not feeling very bright since WD hit me! Wave and window frequency Stabilization seemed to work right away and my intense waves were about every 14 to 21 days (3 to 4 weeks). Last month and this month, waves have increased frequency to about every week and last 2 to 5 days, with a window inbetween. Currently working on a graph based on my daily notes to visualize my stabilization journey. WD waves This is how I recall them now but I will update this description when I consult my notes next during a window. A headache and dizziness accompany a vice-like tightness around my head. I then get intensely irritable, depressed, and quite sleepy. I then get akathisia, mostly in the legs. I have tried pushing through it but I find it very hard to concentrate on anything and I just can’t bring myself to talk or interact with anyone. Any conversation or touch terrifies me and I just have to dismiss myself and apologize to whoever is around me at the time and hope they don’t take my sudden departure personally. I then go to sleep. When I wake, I feel better but the wave is still there. I tend to get better over the next day or two, only for the cycle to repeat as mentioned above. Aside from sleeping the only relief I get, for but a moment, is when my rescue cat comes home and deigns to grace me with her presence on the bed next to me or in my chair. This WD has meant that I can no longer keep many commitments, I can only work on a casual basis (i.e. I put in a few hours a day in a window), and my relationships have become skeletal. My life is slowly falling apart and I am now dependent on my partner. She is understanding of my withdrawal, having been on SSRIs herself but luckily avoided a protracted WD. Sadly though, I just feel so guilty and frustrated at how I am now a slave to this window and wave cycle, and largely a useless partner. Windows (something positive) I am myself: productive, fairly positive, happy, thoughtful of others, and able to tackle my anxiety properly. I still live in fear of waves but I am learning to try not to ruminate on them. I feel a willingness to connect with people. I am starting to put too much pressure on myself to do everything during a window and that is leading to problems. To be fair to myself though, my waves are iatrogenic and I must forgive myself for feeling wretched, even during a window, because SSRI withdrawal is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and it has ruined my life. Why are my waves more frequent? I will share some of my hypotheses below regarding why my waves are more frequent. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know, I’d love to hear them. I’ve learned so much from SA already. As mentioned in my signature I am working on compiling all the daily data I have into a graph so I can get a better picture of my stabilization journey (and what proceeded it). I don’t know when that will happen as my windows are now spent doing all the things I put off in my waves and just improving my loosening grip on the good things in life. I know though that I have to finish this data processing as soon as I can in case the waves merge into one big, long one. 1. My SSRI history during the last two years is peppered with ignorant tapering attempts, maybe it is catching up with me? 2. The optimist inside me is hoping that the frequency is increasing because it could be a pattern that occurs prior to a period of flatter frequencies (perhaps the ebbs and flows of homeostasis). I am perhaps just fantasizing but I imagine that if the frequency increases so much, like in a radio wave, the peaks and troughs (waves and windows) will be indistinguishable, which could be what homeostasis looks like. I am laughing at this hypothesis as I can see I am desperate for some good news XD 3. Maybe my reinstatement/stabilization dose was a little too low (considering I was on 40mg daily for the longest time) and I am catching up with the WD that it would have caused in recent months. If this is the case, I can’t see any benefit in updosing now anyway. Sure, it could always get worse but I think it would definitely get worse if I start guessing at an updose level. I could be wrong. 4. Some of my family wish to visit me later this month for a few days. I haven’t seen them in years. They planned it during one of my windows in December and I felt positive about it all. I also felt optimistic that given about 6 months of trying to stabilize, my waves would be a thing of the past, or a rarer occasion. I tried to get them to postpone but they can’t change their plans without losing all their money. I don’t want them to stop their holiday for me but as the reason for travelling is to see me, I have warned them that I may be in bed, only able to talk to them for a few minutes. I hope I have a window when they are here but I think I’ve had a huge amount of stress about the visit because I just don’t need the guilt I will undoubtedly feel when I am only able to see them for a few minutes. In other words, perhaps stressors and other factors in my life are making waves more frequent. My expectations for stabilization and my tapering plan I didn’t expect stabilization to take this long but after reading “After reinstating or updosing how long to stabilize” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4244-after-reinstating-or-updosing-how-long-to-stabilize/?hl=%2Bhow+%2Blong+%2Bstabilize) I realize it could take a long time, maybe years based on how much damage my ignorant tapering did in the past. When I stabilize (I suppose I have to believe that I will) I plan to do an SA taper, spanning years, with water titration (I have done a few trial runs of it and it’s very easy to get accurate doses this way). I have the syringes ready but it could be a long time before I get to use them! My current plan is to keep plodding along at 20mg until I can get a more stable window and wave frequency. I don’t expect my waves to disappear completely but this increase in frequency means I am questioning things and hope that someone out there may have an idea about what’s happening and what I may expect to happen for the next 6 months. Lifestyle As for my lifestyle, I am healthy, eat well, and exercise most days. I take some supplements but I don’t think they’ve made much of a difference either way. I will list them later when I can manage it but they include B12, magnesium, and fish oil. Sadly, during waves I mostly lie in bed as it provides me some relief. One of the side effects from fluoxetine is sleepiness and lethargy, which I've always had, so that contributes to me lying about a lot. It took so much out of me to write this but I am glad I did it now! Good luck to you all and I wish you the best, regardless of what stage of withdrawal and recovery you are. Kittygiggles
  12. Hi everyone, I'm new here. I figured I needed some support through this journey of exploration. I am currently on - Quetiapine/Seroquel 300 mg XR and 25 IR (used to be 300 XR + 100 IR half a year ago, I've been on it, just like the other meds, for more than three years) - Fluoxetine 40 mg - Dexamfetamine 3dd 10 mg I've been on psychotropic meds for 5 or 6 years now (I'm almost 21). I've been on different meds before this combination. The side-effect have taken it's toll on me (No matter how long I sleep, I wake up tired, tachycardia, tremors, constantly out of breath, I feel like an old lady) When I was prescribed my psych meds I was in a very bad place, I was suicidal. However, I feel like most of the reason I was in a bad place was bc I was living at home. Things weren't going well there, and I've had depressed symptoms and an eating disorder that went unnoticed since I was 13. I've had many diagnosis, it started with adjustment disorder, ADHD and asperger, adjustment disorder changed to depression NOS, then came the borderline and eating disorder diagnosis and now I finally have a diagnosis of PTSD and major depression and ADHD (which I agree with). I was originally given the antipsychotic for my "autism and hypersensitivity". anyway the new psychiatrist just coppied that medicine regime and now I figured I'm done with it. It helped me through **** times, but I've been living in a different place for 2 years now and that allowed me to make some process. The whole tapering of Seroquel isn't going easy though. The first 50 mg (in 25mg per 3 months) gave me pretty bad anxiety. I lowered 25 mg again 4 days ago, I've been able to get the anxiety under control with magnesium (3 times a day, 600 mg in total). Beside the mental discontinuation problems, the first 2 days it made my tachycardia go haywire and my tremors go nuts. It was quite funny, but not if that will happen with every 25 mg decrease. 3 and 4 day I was nauseous, vitamin C, camille tea and lemon juice made it slightly better. Anyway, I'm thinking about lowering and eventually quitting (if possible and healthy for me) my other medication. Also, I wonder if it's best to take 200XR, 50 XR and 25 IR or 200 XR 50 IR and 25IR for example. I'm not sure about what's better. Anyway, I'm gonna keep you guys posted. Ask questions if you feel like it, -E
  13. i've been off 60mg 40mg (see Post #4) of prozac for 2 months after tapering very quickly over 2 months. i took prozac for 20 years. i have really bad headaches most days, something i never used to have before unless i was dehydrated. i have terrible mood swings - i shout at people in the street if they're badly parked, i get road rage when i'm driving, i scream at the kids and my husband. fatigue is a big problem - i can fall asleep at any point during the day and often do. i sleep all night but am still exhausted the next day. i have constant vivid dreams and nightmares. my ocd is creeping back (which is what i was prescribed the prozac for in the first place). i thought i had it under control until my kids told me i needed to stop posting on social media so much as it was dominating my life. i was also alienating people online. i have constant diarrhoea. i cannot stop eating -i'm constantly ravenous, especially for carbs - crisps and potatoes are my downfall and i've put on a stone in weight since stopping. i have lots of pains in my joints and limbs. i did have crawling under my skin, especially in my knees and feet but this seems to have subsided. i'm scared of seeing or talking to people. this has always been a problem for me but it is worse right now. i feel panicked when i think of all the things i have to do - chores to be done round the house, things i need to do with my kids, hospital appointments for my husband (he has an avm in his brain and had a traumatic bleed nearly 4 years ago which has left him with life changing disabilities. i am his full time carer). thankyou for listening if you made it this far. today is a bad day and i keep asking myself why i gave up the pills in the first place? i hoped i would have more energy, feel more emotionally, lose weight etc. but it was only after i stopped that i started to read up on protracted withdrawals. i had no idea it could be so bad to stop the drugs.
  14. I used to take two kind of antidepressants for 2 weeks. Prozac (Fluoxetine 10) and Clomopramine 10. I stopped taking them as soon as I found out they have negative sexual side-effects. It's been 60 days I haven't taken them but my libido is not like it was in the first place before taking them. I am too worried about it. I have been suicidal over it. I have read that it can be a permanent effect which drives me crazy when I think about it. I talked to my doctor but he rudely refused to give me a straight answer since I stopped taking the pills he prescribed me. I talked to other doctors too. They said my libido should have returned in 3 weeks but I can't see any improvements since then. So, my question is, if you have any experience of taking such pills, tell me how long you took them and if your libido returned after stopping taking them or not, if so, how long did you wait till your libido improved completely. Am I suffering from PSSD (Post-SRRI Sexeual Dysfunction)? if so, won't I ever get my libido back? Is there any treatment for this?
  15. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  16. Hi everyone. I am new here, and I am so thankful for this forum. I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice or input into what I am going through with Prozac withdrawal right now. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Here is my history with meds: I am a 29 year old female (well, 30 this month). At age 20, in college, I took 5 mg of Lexapro for a year (prescribed 10 mg, but I am very sensitive to meds, so I broke it in half). I weaned off of it very slowly. I took 2.5 mg for several weeks when weaning off, then half of that for a couple weeks, until I was done. Withdrawal for me was miserable, but thankfully the worst of it only lasted for maybe a week or so (it basically made me psychotically enraged at everyone until I was totally off of it). Once I was off of it, I lost weight quickly, I was sleeping better at night, and my only remaining symptom that lasted about 2 years was just this random facial twitching. Then around age 26, I started experiencing horrible panic attacks several nights a week that left me paralyzed in fear and unable to sleep. The panic was situational—I was faced with making some major life decisions, and I felt really stuck, and very alone and depressed and scared of making the wrong decision. I finally decided to try an AD again to see if it would help me to get over my panic attacks, sleep, and move forward. I tried a low dose of Lexapro again; for a few weeks, it worked well and I slept well, then all of a sudden I began having an adverse reaction—the most horrible anxiety and insomnia you could imagine. It was a living hell. I got off of it quickly and switched to brand-name Prozac 10mg. It worked great! I was sleeping well at night, my panic attacks completely stopped, and I took some huge steps forward. I took it for maybe 9 months or so and weaned off of it very easily. A couple years later, after some stressful life events, I felt I should go back on the Prozac for a period of time since it had helped calm me so much in the past, enough to make some changes and move forward. I felt it was harmless since I had no problems on it before and it was very easy to get off of. This was at the end of May of last year (May 2016). Since I have been so sensitive to meds in the past and could do well on a low dose, I started by breaking the Prozac capsule in half and dissolving it in juice and drinking half for 5mg (I used to do this the first time I took it when I felt I didn’t always quite need the full 10 mg, and it worked very well). Part of me was concerned that I may have an adverse reaction (I can’t remember why I was afraid of this, since I had done well on it before) so I thought it was good to begin with 5 mg for a few days/weeks and see how I did. I began experiencing terrible, terrible anxiety in my stomach, as if my stomach was constantly doing somersaults that never stopped. It was also the beginning of horrible, horrible, nightly insomnia. I figured this was just a normal start-up effect, and that it would soon stop once the Prozac built up enough in my system. 8 weeks later, the anxiety and insomnia were as horrible as ever, so I quit the med. I was literally on it for no longer than about 8 weeks. So I was done with it by the end of July of last year. I have been off of it for about 6 or 7 months now, but the anxiety and insomnia are still as horrible as ever. They never resolved, and I don’t understand why. They did not begin until I began the medicine. It is like my body has been tricked into thinking it is still on the Prozac. I also wonder if those symptoms would have gone away had I built up to a high enough dose of the Prozac (I know 20 mg is the lowest therapeutic dose, and I was only taking 5mg). Do you think my anxiety and insomnia will ever be resolved without meds? Could going back on Prozac, only a higher dose, help me? Why would I have done so well on Prozac years ago, only to do horribly on it this time? And . . . why would I still be having symptoms after being off of it for 7 months, especially when I was only on 5mg for 8 weeks? I am really not sure what to do. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks for any input. I am really at a loss.
  17. I have just read this advice about keeping a withdrawal programme Simple ie 3KIS. Not sure but there doesn't seem to be a support network like this in the UK? Only one I've come across is the Royal College of psychiatrists which is a in the form of a video). I've taken great comfort from all this advice as I makes me feel I can try and come off Prozac one more time.
  18. I'm on day 5 without paxil. I switched it out for 20 mg prozac. I am hoping to drop to 10 mg prozac and stay there for a few months to get acclimated and then taper the prozac. Mostly I'm on here because I was absolutely terrified at how this would go and 2 to see how it has gone for others. It took me 3 rather horrific years to get off 4 mg ativan and I was very afraid I had put myself in the same boat when I started paxil. It turns out tho that what really contributed to the difficulty of the benzo taper were hormonal challenges. Those are finally resolved. So I decided to give getting of paxil a shot. Despite all of the fear, I'm on day 5 without paxil, and while I do have some symptoms it is not like I feared. Thanks for having me Wwwi
  19. Hello everyone! I first started Prozac in the beginning of 2009 to help with social anxiety and public speaking at work. I had to delivery training and couldn't simply face the situation where I'd be in the center of attention. I had had previous failings in this area and couldn't think of screwing up again. Especially, I could lose my job. So, after googling and researching I decided to give fluoxetine a try. As you can see, no doctors were involve and I could only blame myself . I even sourced the pills by ordering from the internet. I started with 20 mg and noticed effects after approx 2-3 weeks. The main thing that I remember was calmness and confidence. With the chemicals fully kicked in, I was so relaxed about the future ordeal that I thought that even if I failed, I’d not care too much. The training went fine though and I had a massive boost of confidence from this fact. The nature of my work, requires me to constantly communicate with people, which had always been hard for me. For this reason I stayed on AD. So that I could function normally and establish myself. I had recently moved to the UK from another country and had to survive. On the other hand I was very cautious, as I had had some past dependency on substances at a tender age, and never exceeded 20mg/day. Also, I never intended to use the pills forever. I just liked how they made me feel in social situations. I had always been a bit shy and fluoxetine helped me to be more relaxed. I continued to take Prozac, but with breaks where I'd be completely off for weeks and even months! I'd go off medication cold turkey (I didn't know about tapering at the time!). And to be honest, I didn't have any major symptoms during years 2010-2013 apart from anxiety (but I'd always been anxious), irritability, anger. No major physical symptoms as far as I could remember. I consider myself to be a person with some self control and I'd try to disregard what happens inside me and try to look normal. Maybe being young(ish) and the fact that I always did some sport help as well? With time as I was becoming more relaxed about my job security and with thoughts that I probably better off AD eventually, my breaks would become longer and longer. And in Jul 2015 I first decided to go off completely. As always, I just stopped cold turkey! Well, I tapered by taking 20 mg every other day for couple of weeks, but I don't think it can be considered tapering in pure sense. WD was probably a bit harder this time with anxiety, irritability, fatigue more pronounced. But I tolerated it fine. I thought maybe I was getting older? No other major physical symptoms. I went back on Prozac again in Feb 2016 because of a new project where I'd need to socialize and communicate. And when work situation calmed down, I went off again in Sep 2016. This time WD a bit harder still. Major symptoms: anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, stress intolerance, anger, insomnia. Surprisingly, insomnia only hit me first in month 7 (still suffering)! This is probably the worst symptom, a torture, when you can't sleep for several nights at a time and then had to function during the day... Thanks a lot for all your attention!
  20. Hi I'm 31 years old I have taken prozac since I was 18 for mild depression. I have not had a relapse in all this time so I'm unsure why I was left of it but I was. For the last 6 years I have taken 20mg every other day so in June last year when I saw my GP and said I wanted to quit she said I could just stop so I did. I was in a very good place in my life new job, I was a very keen sportswoman and in a good relationship. Over the course of the summer I noticed I was getting more stressed but put it down to life without ADs my sleep was also getting worse I would toss and turn for hours unable to settle. In October I started with what I thought was a virus I ached all over could not walk very far felt weak like I had ran a marathon, I also had chest pain and felt very anxious, this got worse and worse until I went to see my gp who said I was having a relapse of my mental illness I pleaded with her saying this felt nothing like my original illness but she would hear nothing of it and gave my prozac again, I took one and within hours I felt ten times worse my jaw clenched shut and I slept maybe 2 hrs in 48 hrs. Since then things have got worse I have a fear I find hard to put into words it is like torture, A simple act of looking up or going to speak fills me with a terror I never new possible. I find it hard to sit for long but soon as I stand I'm exhausted and have to sit again, I have had hrs when things lift slightly but then bang it's back, my sleep is horrendous I manage maybe 3-4 hrs. I wake often in the night unable to move my body but my mind it writhing around in some kind of anxious agony. I have days I know I will die if not from this from myself as I cannot stand to stay like this one more minute. This is not me I'm not a suicidal person I have so much love in my life I have always considered myself extremely lucky. I have read a scary article saying this May be permanent, my rational science mind says this is not possible what evidence is there for this, ssri have only been around 30 ish years so how can they say this is a permanent damage ? But my terrified mind says what if? I have a young son who is being cared for by my parents as I cannot care for him. I no longer get paid from my job as I have been absent so long I'm losing everything yet 1 year ago I was completing in bike races, working and loving my son and family. My dr wants to to try mirtrazapine low dose, I have put this off for 3 months thinking this nightmare will end but It has not. Please someone tell me what to do. I don't want to die I love life.
  21. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in the last 14 years. Usually would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off with no problems. The last time I took them (2011), I needed the maximum dose of sertraline (200mg) to get an effect. After a year on it, I felt it was time to stop. The nurse insisted I had to keep taking or risked relapsing into severe depression. I tried several times to bring up the topic to no avail. After about 1.5 years on it, I cut the dose on my own to 150mg and felt ok for 2 weeks. But after I started having a dull headache that lasted hours, dizziness, serious cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. I could not function and needed excessive sleep (12-14 hours/day). Tried increasing it again and the more severe symptoms got better, but the headache and flu-like malaise persisted for at least a week. I consulted with a psychiatrist. We tried effexor and cut on zoloft. Had no withdrawal symptoms, as I was cross-tapering. I was completely off the zoloft. Only took Effexor for about a month on a low dose (never past 150 mg) because it never helped with the symptoms of Atypical Depression I had. When I started tapering down the effexor, I got the dizziness and extreme fatigue again. When I would fall asleep, I found it extremely hard to get up. Literally felt pinned to the bed. Woke up more tired than I went to bed, even after 12 hours of sleep. Woke up dizzy and with a headache. I increased dose again and we're doing a slower taper over 21 days. The starting dose is 37.5mg. I experience dull headache that lasts hours, flu-like malaise, muscle tension, fatigue every day (with the occassional good day of no symptoms and the occassional day of much worse symptoms). I have learned to cope the best I can with these symptoms, but the fatigue gets unbearable at times. I sleep 12 hours at night and still feel tired and even drowsy during the day. I'm in grad school and it's hard and often impossible to study or even make it to class. I was supposed to decrease dose to 25 mg after 10 days on 37.5mg, but since I still have symptoms, I'll ask dr if I can postpone the decreasing... Im also concerned that the increasing apathy Ive had over the last 7 years might be due to antidepressant use. It could also be depression, but if it is SSRI use, its a very scary symptom that is not going away (has not gone away for more than 3 months in over 14 years since I started having depression/taking SSRIs). The only reason I can semi-function today is because I take nuvigil (a stimulant) 3 or 4 times/week. Without that, I can't do homework or clean or shower. Im extremely dysfunctional. I don't rely only on the stimulant though. I use it to give me energy and motivation and alertness that I use to do positive things, which improve my mood and further help with apathy.
  22. Hi all! I am a 28 year old clinical social worker who is currently withdrawing from Lexapro. I work as a medical social worker and spent most of my days helping patients with acute psychiatric and medical issues navigate their daily lives and the health system. As a seemingly experienced practictioner and someone who has battled with mental illness for the better part of 15 years, I thought I was "doing everything right". I went yearssss refusing to go on an SSRI or any medication, leading to my eventually hospitalization in which I still refused any and all medication. Many of us anxious-heavy folks grasp onto "control" to the extent that we would rather suffer immensely than even flirt with the idea of putting foreign chemicals in our bodies. So i suffered, for years. Daily panic attacks, crippling depression, suicidal ideation, agoraphobia. I was eating well, exercising, meditating, going to therapy and nothing was budging. In desperation, I went to my PCP and tried Celexa. Almost immediately I wanted to rip my skin off, I ended up in the ER. Then I tried Zoloft. Same response, skin crawling, vibrating, exhausting anxiety. Back to the ER I went. Retrospectively, I see I was started on doses far too high and should have been given a benzo to assist in the transition, but hindsight is 20/20 and at the time I was an early 20s basket case looking to just get through each hour of the day. These responses prompted me to change providers and go to a psych, as my immediate thought was "I'm bipolar! SSRI's are activating me!!!" as I have a thick family history of bipolarity. By some miracle, I sought out a psych NP with extensive trauma and PTSD experience, was diagnosed with complex PTSD, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and SLOWLY started Lexapro. My psych NP had even consulted with a panic specialist in Boston regarding the slow titration and after about a month, I worked up to 10mg and felt AMAZING. Not euphoric, not happy, but an absents of racing thoughts for the first time in years, SILENCE in my brain, calm in my body. Lexapro saved my life and I am forever grateful for that. So life resumed, I went back to school, got a masters degree, bought a home, got married, and generally did so feeling well. My agoraphobia remained a lingering symptom but I was and am fully aware of the cognitive components so I trudged on with therapy and CBT based treatment. After a few years, the racing thoughts and physical manifestations came back, I bumped up to 20mg and symptoms abated again. Once again, relative stability. But now this past year. My panic reemerged with a vengence. I was meditating, doing CBT, eating well, exercising, getting acupuncture, doing it all "right", even started some EMDR, explored other trauma processing options, the whole she-bang, but still my system was going crazy. My current psychiatrist is also my acupuncturist and is also very cautious to make sweeping med changes. We first got me back into a good acupuncture routine to help with hormones (i also have PCOS). He helped shape my diet, encouraged lifestyle changes, I did it all and still anxiety, panic, vomit. My parasympathetic nervous system was on vacation. So several weeks ago we finally decided to ween off the Lexapro and try Prozax. It was a cross taper that took a month (what I thought was a generous amount of time) but now here I am! Sick as a dog, feeling dissociated, extremely fatigued, nauseous, clouding and generally like ****. I take Alprazolam as a PRN in .5MG and have needed to utilize it daily. I am on Prozac 20mg now and haven't been on Lexapro in 2 weeks. I continue to have the aforementioned symptoms with also the joy of the brain zaps, the sweats, nightmares, and shakiness. As someone in the field, both personally and professionally, I assumed a good cross taper would minimize these symptoms, and that they would dissipate within weeks, yet here I stand a hot-mess. I am grateful to be here sharing my story and look forward to learning more about you all and your own journeys. With solidarity and love
  23. To reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and post-discontinuation prolonged withdrawal syndrome, as with other psychiatric drugs we recommend reducing Pristiq by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? However, Pristiq is difficult to taper properly as it comes in only 3 dosages: low, average and excessive. Do not alternate doses of Pristiq to taper -- this will cause the levels of this medication in your brain to go up and down and is second only to cold-turkey in causing withdrawal symptoms. AND DON'T COLD-TURKEY EITHER!!!!!!!!! PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE TOPIC BEFORE GOING OFF PRISTIQ. Pristiq is a drug made of Effexor's (venlafaxine) active metabolite, O-desvenlafaxine. Pristiq is to Effexor as Lexapro is to Celexa -- a tweaked and more powerful isomer molecule. In effect, Pristiq is concentrated Effexor. According to Pfizer http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=497, Pristiq is available in extended-release tablets of 25mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg; the most common dosage is 50mg. Unlike Effexor, which is metabolized primarily by liver enzyme P450 CYP2D6, Pristiq is metabolized via conjugation and liver enzyme P450 CYP3A4. It attains peak plasma concentrations in about 7.5 hours. According to this paper, the extended-release formulation releases desvenlafaxine over 24 hours. The mean half-life of desvenlafaxine, without the extended-release monolithic matrix formulation, is around 11 hours. The official prescribing information from the FDA contains this: Pristiq is difficult to taper "at a more gradual rate." The tablets come in only 3 dosages and, officially, they should not be cut up. See http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=2464 In a phone conversation with Pfizer medical information (1-800-438-1985), I learned that the extended-release characteristic is incorporated into the tablet itself (Thank you, oaklily, for this information about the matrix formulation.) Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. This is called a monolithic matrix tablet. (If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. When the tablet is CRUSHED, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability.) According to Pubmed on Desvenlafaxine: "....The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medicine as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in the stool...." There is a description of the similar matrix formulation for quetiapine XR (Seroquel XR) here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1707-tips-for-tapering-off-seroquel-quetiapine/page__view__findpost__p__33069 PROTEST THIS DANGEROUS DRUG Phone Pfizer, Pristiq's manufacturer, to make a complaint: (800) 438-1985 in the US Pfizer has not provided any specific information on how to taper from a dosage of 25mg Pristiq, the lowest available dosage. They may suggest alternating dosages to taper Pristiq. Don't do this -- it's like playing ping-pong with your brain. File a complaint about the difficulty of tapering off Pristiq -- the range of dosages is inadequate. Also complain to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088 Mon–Fri between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. OPTIONS FOR TAPERING PRISTIQ Since medicine knows nothing about tapering Pristiq, the following are all informal suggestions. Try any of them at your own risk. Please let us know how you do by posting in this topic. Cut up Pristiq tablets Despite the warnings not to cut it up, patients have cut up Pristiq tablets to taper. Now that the 25mg tablet is available, cutting it into quarters gives you the option to taper by 6.25mg per step. If you are taking 100mg Pristiq or 50mg Pristiq, you may wish to request part of your prescription be written for 25mg tablets. (For insurance coverage of multiple dosages, your doctor most likely will have to specify taking Pristiq in "divided doses.") Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. If the matrix is sufficiently broken, a Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you cut up the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. From reports on the Web, cutting up tablets does seem to work for some but it makes others ill, possibly because of "dose dumping" (because the matrix is destroyed) when the entire dose is released at once, instead of being gradually released through the matrix formulation. It seems to sometimes cause stomach upset, which may be reduced by taking it with food. You may find you need a precise way to measure your tablet fragments. See Using a digital scale to measure doses As you get down to a low dose, you may wish to switch to Effexor to more precisely control dosage decreases, see below. Crush Pristiq tablets, weigh powder with a digital scale This is similar to cutting up tablets -- Pristiq is a "do not crush" medication, as it is a time-release drug. Conceivably, dividing the dose and taking a measured amount of powder more than once a day, like regular Effexor, may make this method feasible. Crushing the tablet and making sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets. As Pristiq's extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together, when the tablet is crushed, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability. The Pristiq powder becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you pulverize the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. Peer discussion of this method starts here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__27417 Reducing from 100mg Pristiq to 50mg Pristiq Drug switches incur additional risk. Before trying a switch to Effexor or Prozac (fluoxetine) from 100mg Pristiq, it's probably wise to go down to 50mg Pristiq first, if possible. You might use a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to make the first reduction to 93.75mg 2nd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 87.5mg 3rd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 81.25mg 4th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet to go to 75mg 5th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to go to 68.75mg 6th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 62.5mg 7th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 56.25mg 8th reduction: a 50mg tablet If withdrawal symptoms occur, some people have found taking an additional fragment of a tablet can smooth the transition from one dosage to another. Once at 50mg, stabilize for a month at least and consider your plan for the next stage of tapering. Use a combination of Pristiq tablets and Effexor liquid Pristiq cannot be made into a liquid, but its close relative immediate-release Effexor (not Effexor XR) can. You may be able to go off Pristiq by taking part of your dose in lower-dose tablets and part in liquid Effexor, gradually converting to all-liquid Effexor as you get to lower dosages. This may offer a convenient and gradual path off Pristiq. Only regular immediate-release Effexor can be made into a liquid (see Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine) ). As immediate-release Effexor has a short half-life and is usually dosed twice a day, you may wish to take the liquid portion of your dosage later in the day. For example, if you are taking 100mg Pristiq, you may wish to take your daily dose as one 50mg tablet and the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. You can titrate the liquid by 10% of your daily dosage to taper until you get to 50mg. Then you can take a 25mg Pristiq tablet with the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. When you get to 25mg Pristiq, you might switch to splitting the tablet and taking the rest in Effexor liquid and so on until you are taking only liquid Effexor. You will have to request a prescription for Effexor tablets as well as Pristiq from your doctor. Have Pristiq made into smaller dosage capsules by a compounding pharmacy Compounding pharmacies can crush the tablets and put the powder into smaller capsules by weight. Like cutting up tablets or crushing, this destroys the time-release quality, but the compounded method is much more exact. (According to my compounding pharmacy, they can put in a slow-release additive distributing absorption over 8-10 hours. This is not as long as the Pristiq time-release coating, but at least it's something. Check with your compounding pharmacy about this.) In your body, crushed Pristiq is similar to regular immediate-release Effexor, with an 11-hour half-life. You may wish to have your dose compounded to take twice a day. If you are taking 50mg Pristiq, for example, you would have 60 capsules compounded per month. Each capsule would be 1/2 of 45mg (a 10% reduction of 50mg) or 22.5mg. You would take two capsules per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. The next month, you would have 60 capsules compounded, each capsule being 1/2 of 40.5mg (a 10% reduction of 45mg) or 20.25mg. And so forth, for each reduction. If this does not work, you may wish to switch to Effexor XR and use the bead-counting method. Regular Effexor probably wouldn't be an advantage over Pristiq compounded to custom dosages. Switch to Effexor or Effexor XR Note: If you've had an adverse reaction to Effexor before, do NOT switch from Pristiq to Effexor. "Desvenlafaxine (O-desmethylvenlafaxine) is the major active metabolite of venlafaxine." Since the relationship is so close, switching to regular Effexor tablets, which you can cut up or make into a liquid, this may be the best way to taper off Pristiq. Because it has a mean half-life of 5 hours, you'd have to take regular Effexor twice a day. According to FDA Prescribing Information for venlafaxine (Effexor), the usual dose of Effexor is 150mg per day. Like Pristiq, Effexor XR is released gradually and needs to be taken only once a day. Since 150mg Effexor and 50mg Pristiq are both "normal" dosages of their respective drugs, they may be roughly equivalent. (See discussion of Effexor and Pristiq dosage equivalency starting http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__42249 ) You'd have the difficulty of tapering off Effexor or Effexor XR -- themselves notorious for withdrawal difficulties -- but at least you can do that gradually. See Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine). The psychiatrist who writes the 1boringoldman.com blog reports success in switching one patient from Pristiq to Effexor, then tapering Effexor, here (see comments) Another psychiatrist said when he tried this, the switch from Pristiq to Effexor was "seamless." Dr. Stuart Shipko posts here: Advice from a psychiatric pharmacist I have been corresponding with a professor at a prominent US university pharmacy department. Here is his best guess at how to taper Pristiq (he does not want his name published): Then taper off fluoxetine (Prozac). See Tips for Tapering Prozac Advice from Dr. Stephen Stahl, author of the manual Essential Psychopharmacology In his widely read psychopharmacology manual, eminent psychopharmacologist Stephen Stahl advises titration by crushing the tablets and mixing in fruit juice, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__14799 According to our member oaklily, Stahl is wrong. Making a liquid from Pristiq does not work, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__24822 Dr. Stahl intends to correct his book, according to this correspondence 09/15-9/16/13 with him: "Bridging" with Prozac or another antidepressant Any drug change incurs additional risk. A switch to Prozac from Pristiq may not work -- they are very different drugs -- or you might have adverse reactions to Prozac. Prozac is regularly used to "bridge" off Effexor. Given that Pristiq is a cousin of Effexor and Effexor XR, it is possible that one can, similarly, use Prozac to withdraw from Pristiq. Attributed to Joseph Glenmullen, the "bridging" technique is described by a doctor here http://www.bipolarworld.net/Phelps/ph_2005/ph1354.htm Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac: The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac Later, taper off Prozac. At least Prozac comes in a liquid. To do this, consult a doctor knowledgeable about this technique.
  24. For the past 5 years, I had been on Effexor 37.5 mg. While not a huge dose, I realize how extremely difficult it is to taper off of this drug - along with how difficult it was for me to find information about how to taper. I was finally able to do it, and I'm happy to say I'm totally off of Effexor now! So I'm here to share what I did in hopes it can shed some light on this subject... The psychiatrist I had always gone to only offered one method to taper off of Effexor, which was to take one pill every other day, every two days, etc. For those of you reading this, you know that that is next to impossible with the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. I had done some research online about Effexor tapering, and all I could really find in any capacity was in regards to cutting the pills to slowly taper off. So I called my psychiatrist and requested the tablets instead of the capsules I was taking (which proved to be a pain, and took about 2 weeks to finally get). I tried cutting the tablet Effexor 37.5 mg's into halves, fourths, eights, and sixteenths in order to taper instead of taking the pills every other day. This was highly inaccurate, and after 3 months of decreasing by 10% (3.75 mg for me) per month, I realized this was going to take forever to taper off. I had the intense brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, irritability, etc. - all of the symptoms that had motivated me to stay on the medication. I found a new psychiatrist who told me about the Effexor-Prozac bridge. I was skeptical at first because I just wanted to get off of medication completely, but after taking time to think about it, it's NOT worth losing days and nights, time off of work or school, time not being able to be spent with friends and family, just to get off of this horrible medication! Here's what he prescribed me and instructed me to do: Week 1: Take normal dose of Effexor 37.5 mg along with 10 mg Prozac daily Week 2: Take normal dose of Effexor 37.5 mg every other day and 10 mg Prozac daily Week 3: Stop Effexor 37.5 completely (I know, a little intimidating but the symptoms were dramatically less!) and take 10 mg and 5 mg Prozac every other day, daily Week 4 - on: Gradually arrive to 5 mg Prozac daily, then every other day, every two days, every three days, etc. My psychiatrist told me that I could do any of this at my own pace, but to allow at least a week for the Prozac (taken every day) to be in my system. There were some days where I had mild withdrawal symptoms, being a little tired, small brain zaps, a little stomach ache - but nothing that kept me from living my everyday life. Obviously I'm no doctor and can't know anyone else's situation but mine, but I hope this helps just a little!
  25. I'm ******. My signature pretty much sums things up, but leaves out the In-depth details of the journey with this drug. My biggest fear is that I began taking the med as a teenager and while my brain was still developing. I can't help but wonder about the impact Prozac had on my neuro- development and what that means for me now and in the futures he last time I kicked the Prozac habit it lasted 4 months before I finally gave in to the withdrawal symptoms and resumed taking Prozac again. It's so hard to describe how bad it was and what it felt like. The physical symptoms alone were unbelievable. I honestly wasn't sure I'd survive it. Right now there are periods of anxiety and fatigue and irritability, but they are tolerable and slowly abating. When they do I will decrease my dosage again. That's how I'm playing it this time. Decrease, survive withdrawal symptoms till they [mostly] abate, then decrease again... Then on like that. I don't ever want to experience what I did the last time.