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Prince1924

Prince1924: Prozac

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

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.

Edited by scallywag
tags; previous edit Added link and moved to Intros

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KarenB   
KarenB

Welcome Prince1924,

 

I'm glad you are feeling that with the right information and support you'll be able to taper.  The 3KIs is a great place to start.  You might also like to read Tips for Tapering Prozac to get more specific information. 

 

Could you share what happened when you previously tried to stop Prozac?  What was your method, and what symptoms did you get?  We recommend a gentle taper, reducing by no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal.  Please put your withdrawal history in your signature – all drugs/dates/dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately.  Thanks.

 

You may like to try Fish oil and Magnesium which many people useful during withdrawal.   

 

And for some connection to UK members:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6285-great-britain-members-please-check-in-here/

 

Have a read of those and then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This can be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions. 

 

Welcome to SA,

Karen

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SkyBlue   
SkyBlue

Hi Prince, 

 

It's definitely possible to come off, and many many people on this site are doing just that. The 10% (or less!) taper seems to work best for most, and we're all sort of figuring this out as we go.

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your replies and all your support. I have put my withdrawal history in my signature, as requested, so you can get a clearer picture of where I am in my attempts of withdrawal.

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

I'm a bit confused/concerned by what you have written in your signature:

 

"February 2016 - February 2017. Have reduced gradually from 20mg to 13mg daily. Discovered the 10% taper method. However, I'm going a lot slower than that! Ready to go to 10mg daily from June onwards."

 

Are you currently on 13mg and planning on holding at that dose until June and then reducing to 10mg?

 

If so, that is a 23% reduction.  The 10% is to be calculated on the previous dose, not the starting dose.

 

A 10% reduction of 13mg would be 11.7mg

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Hi Platinum star

 

You are correct in thinking I'm planning to reduce from 13mg to 10mg from about June this year. Which perhaps, now that you have pointed out, is quite a big reduction! I appreciate your advice.

 

My problem is that the type of Prozac I am prescribed here in the UK, only comes in powder form and not (I'm assuming in the 'beads' as some people have talked about on this forum). So it's hard to work out how I could take 11.7mg of powder. Hence, I thought I'd just go for the10mg to make it easier. ?!

 

That way, I could just split one half of a capsule into another and that would make 10mg per capsule. That was the logic behind my thinking. (Not really very sensible I know.)

 

But I will make an appointment with my doctor and see if s/he will change my medication to perhaps a liquid, which might make it easier to work out.

 

Thanks. I 'll let you know how it goes with the appointment at the doc's.

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Gridley   
Gridley

I don't know if it's available in Scotland, but the Gemini 20 scale (available in U.S. on Amazon) provides a simple, accurate, inexpensive way to measure your doses.

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

From Post #1 Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

"For very gradual tapering, for example, you can dissolve a 10mg capsule in 10mL of water to make a solution with 1mg Prozac in 1mg of water. To take 1mg Prozac, use an oral syringe to take out 1mL.

Refrigerated, it's supposed to be stable for 14 days.

This can be a very precise way to taper."

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

 

I have been to my GP. Told him I had been reducing my fluoxetine for the past year and that I was now at 13mg daily. Asked if I could have it in liquid form to make it easier to measure out, but he said it was too expensive, and that a liquid form was only prescribed on the NHS for patients who had difficulty swallowing.

 

I also suggested that the symptoms I was experiencing after I stopped in the past might have been due to withdrawal. He pointed out that these would have kicked in very shortly after stopping , say by 2 weeks. So he thinks after 2 months any symptoms of anxiety etc, that I was having, was probably due my depression returning. There is a small part of me that believes him.

 

The atmosphere was getting slightly tense by....

 

He ventured that if I wanted to try and reduce then just do as I was doing for the past year, and see what happens.

 

However, I feel that as I've got as far as reducing to13mg daily with nothing too major happening, then this gives me encouragement. I will continue with my journey of trying to come off these meds.

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mammaP   
mammaP

Hi Prince, your doctor doesn't have a clue! I asked my doctor for liquid effexor and he said the same thing, that it is too expensive and is only for people with difficulty swallowing. I told him that I would happily pay for it myself if he would just write the prescription. 

I had previously spoken to the pharmacist and she had told me that liquid was available, the doses mg/ml, the cost and what to ask the doctor for. I got my prescription  ;) .   It is effexor and I think cymbalta that have beads inside capsules. I currently make iquid from tramadol capsules which is powder and it is very easy to do. I make it up in a medicine bottle and use it for 10 days. There is some left but I throw it punt for a new batch. 

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Hi mammaP, thank you for your reply. I think I will try a different doctor next time I go for an appointment (I always seem to be at the GP these days!) , perhaps then I could ask for my Prozac to come in liquid form.

 

In the meantime I will continue with putting what I think is the right amount into the capsules.

 

I'm looking into buying a digital weigh scale (about £20 on Amazon). I know I need one that weighs out such small amounts as 0.001g.

I think I will find it's quite satisfying doing it this way.

 

On another topic, I have a feeling that antidepressant meds don't really work after women go through the menopause. Wondering if anyone else thinks this? Just that all the side effects I've had over the years , such as feeling sleepy during the day and the dampening down of emotions etc , all seem to have gone now that I'm through the menopause. It's like I've come out a fog or something...

 

Anyway, I'll continue on this interesting journey of trying to come off these psych meds.

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

 

I have recently purchased a Gemini digital weigh scale so I can taper my Prozac accurately .

 

I'm finding that when I weigh out the powder from each capsule its always well over the 20mg mark, usually around 22 or 23 mg.

 

 

Has anyone else noticed this? I've calibrated my scales so don't think it can be that.

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KarenB   
KarenB

Yes, with most drugs, there is filler as well as active drug in each capsule.  So if you have a '20mg' prescription for Prozac, that refers to the active ingredient, not the actual weight of the contents. 

 

In addition, there is always differences from capsule to capsule.  For this reason it's best to get an average weight of about 10 capsules then use this to calculate from.  It's also important to weigh what is left in, rather than what is taken out of each capsule. 

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Hi KarenB

 

I've have taken the average amount of powder in each capsule and it comes to 0.23mg and I know that this equals 0.20mg of fluoxetine.

 

However that means I've been taking a lot less than what I am supposed to be taking, as part of my 10% reduction. Oops!

 

Because what I've been doing is weighing out 81mg of powder each week and putting it into 7 empty capsules, and taking 1 each day. Which means, by my rough calculation, a drop of 20% not 10%. I've been doing this for 2 months now and it's been a bit tough but just about manageable.

 

So, I think I should continue reducing from the wrongly calculated dose ie 81mg weekly now that Ive started.?

 

Any advice on this?

 

Confused.......

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scallywag   
scallywag

Prince, if you'd like assistance with the arithmetic, please post the weight of the contents of one capsule.  To keep things simple, post the reading of the scale, e.g. 2.300 or 0.875.

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KarenB   
KarenB

I would say that if you've been taking that dose for 2 months, and are managing, then yes - continue to take that dose until you are well stabilised.  Then, when you are ready to make your next reduction, calculate to find the accurate 10% of this current dose. 

 

Thanks Scally for honing in on the maths that's needed. 

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

PROZAC 

Since January 2016 I've been slowly reducing my dose.   I've got to 12mg and been staying at 12mg daily of fluoxetine for 9 weeks now and unfortunately am starting to feel a bit down.

 

 Have a lot of other symptoms as well such as one night I never slept until 4am.  I just couldn't sleep and was feeling very agitated; churning around many negative things from my past.  Situations that I had thought I'd long forgotten about.  Having disturbing dreams which are so vivid that when I wake up I initially think they actually happened ! !

 

There are other days when I feel quite balanced and say to myself I can handle this.

 

Each week I weigh out 85mg of powder taken from 3 and a bit capsules and then divide them into 12mg using my wonderful digital weighing machine.  I did try 10mg daily 3 months ago but had to up dose to the 12mg.  Now I'm wondering if 12 mg is too fast a taper also?

 

I know everybody's taper is different, but I'm reluctant to up dose again.  It would seem like I'm increasing my meds instead of decreasing them !!

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

 

 

 

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nz11   
nz11

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

yes there are many who have taken a 'she'll be right approach to taper miscalculations and have triggered serious wdl symptoms.

 

Prince i am sorry you are now experiencing what appears to be classic withdrawal symptoms.

As i read through this thread i am struggling to understand what dose you are taking and i sense there may be some confusion at your end on the measuring process. How much is 'a bit' ?

The stakes are high and you cant afford to get this wrong.

You must be able to satisfy yourself that what you are doing is spot on accurate.

If you cant then you need to get someone to cross check what you are doing.

There are people here who can help with the maths if you are unsure.

SW has asked a good question.

Can you confirm the weight of one capsule. ( i assume you have 20mg (active ingredient) capsule. )

Can you confirm the weight of your current dose that is the dose weight as per the reading on the scale.

 

With your history of many failed taper attempts over many years if i were you i would be looking at a much slower taper say 5% or less even.

 

 Have a lot of other symptoms as well such as one night I never slept until 4am.  I just couldn't sleep and was feeling very agitated; churning around many negative things from my past.  Situations that I had thought I'd long forgotten about.  Having disturbing dreams which are so vivid that when I wake up I initially think they actually happened ! !

 

imo serious wdl symptoms are manifesting.

You may well have to do an updose.

 

wishing you stability

nz11

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat
12 hours ago, Prince1924 said:

 I did try 10mg daily 3 months ago

 

A 10% reduction of a 12mg dose is 10.8mg so attempting to drop from 12mg to 10mg would seem to be too big a reduction.  Many members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go.

 

Here is a discussion about this:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

I think the reason I am struggling to calculate the daily dose is this: -

 

when I tip the powder out onto the scale it reads 0.24mg.   I then try another capsule and it would read  0.23mg. And so on.

Therefore I've taken an average reading of 5 capsules and it equals 0.23mg.  So to me that means 20mg of fluoxetine is in fact 0.23mg (average) on my scale. 

 

 I weigh my 85mg out each week and divide them up into 0.12mg and put them back into a capsule and take one a day.

 

 So if I'm going to fast I'm not sure how much I should up dose ?

 

Many thanks nz11 and ChessieCat for your replies.

 

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

If you able ato tolerate the symptoms then doing a long hold may be all that is needed.

 

The lower your dose the more precise you are going to need to be.

 

Have you considered changed to liquid?  Either DIY or prescription.  Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

From Post #1:

 

"Making your own Prozac liquid
Prozac is one of the few psychiatric medications with a long history of do-it-yourself dilution in water or juice. Mixed in cranberry juice, it's been called "Cranzac."

My own personal preference would be to dilute it with water, to avoid any degradation that might be caused by sugar or acid in the juice. Also, it will be easier to see how well the Prozac is dissolved in water. (There may be particles swirling around, that's the filler in the Prozac capsule that doesn't dissolve.)

Your Prozac solution may be a little bitter -- just swallow it quickly. You might want to chase it with a little fruit juice.For very gradual tapering, for example, you can dissolve a 10mg capsule in 10mL of water to make a solution with 1mg Prozac in 1mg of water. To take 1mg Prozac, use an oral syringe to take out 1mL.

Refrigerated, it's supposed to be stable for 14 days.

This can be a very precise way to taper."

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Thanks CC for your advice about the possibility of changing to a liquid taper.  Especially as the dose gets smaller.  Also for advice on tapering.

 

I am going to updose by 5%. This I think will help with the withdrawal symptoms.  Therefore I'm going from 12.14mg up to 12.75mg as from today and keep to that for 4 weeks. Then take stock.

 

Just wondering if reducing by a micro taper say, 1% every 6 weeks would produce less side effects. ??

 

I find keeping in touch with this website is very re assuring and puts me in control of reducing my reliance of these meds. 

Thanks

?

 

 

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nz11   
nz11

Just wondering if reducing by a micro taper say, 1% every 6 weeks would produce less side effects. ??

 

Well going slower with the taper definitely gives the best chances of minimizing the wdl symptoms. 

Going at that rate for a season is an option but if you continue  at that rate it may take almost 30 years to get to 1mg and then another approx. 26 yrs  to get to 0.1mg

So much for the drugs not being addictive eh!

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Well nz11 thanks for pointing that out.  I think I will need to decrease a lot more than 1% don't you? ! !

 

I will perhaps try the 5% reduction after 6 weeks.  And then take it from there.

 

I just need to keep a check on thoughts of reliving the past and guilt feelings.  I seem to be able to be guilty and anxious about just anything these days.  I know it's all part of wdl from Prozac and I must try and cope.

 

Keeping busy is one way and not too much caffeine another as it keeps me awake at night.

 

Great support too by listening to James Moore and his weekly podcasts on the Mad in America website.  I recommend it.

 

Kind regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

Not sure if you have seen this topic:  Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

And there is always the Brass Monkey Slide Taper:

 

On 12/12/2016 at 8:08 AM, scallywag said:

In an earlier post in this topic, brassmonkey details how he calculates dosage from pill weight: Link to post.

 

In that post, he also describes his novel approach to tapering: The Brassmonkey Slide comprising 4 weekly dose reductions and a 3 week hold.

#thebrassmonkeyslide for fast search

 

The purpose of this post is to provide a detailed example.

 

Example:

You are currently taking 20 mg of your medication and want to reduce 10% using the slide.

 

Calculations

starting dose = 20 mg

10% reduction = 2 mg

ending dose = 18 mg

4 weekly dose reductions = 2 mg / 4 = 0.5 mg

 

In the six week cycle each week's dose is:

  1. 19.5 mg (20 - 0.5)
  2. 19.0 mg
  3. 18.5 mg
  4. 18.0 mg
  5. 18.0 mg
  6. 18.0 mg
  7. If symptoms are tolerable or non-existent, do another slide from 18 mg to 16.2 mg (10% decrease).
    If symptoms persist and are challenging, hold until they settle.

 

The Google docs online dose calculator spreadsheet (linked in my signature) has a tab, "brassmonkey slide" set up to calculate the slide doses for you.

  • The tabs are along the bottom of the screen.
  • You need to enter your starting dose and the total % reduction, e.g. 10.
  • If you can't see my signature, here's a link to my online dose calculator.

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nz11   
nz11

Prince your wdl difficulties are important for authorities to hear about  would you consider doing the wdl survey.

 

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Hello nz11 .  Yes I have completed the survey.  Thanks.  

 

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

So I thought I'd drop by and let you know how I'm doing on my Prozac withdrawal journey.

 

 Last time in June I decided to continue with my daily 10 mg ( half the dose of the 20mg I've been on for a number of years now.). It's taken me over a year to get to this point.

 

Mood ok but every few days I get a low mood feeling and then the negative thoughts start.  Usually the past events, thinking how sad life is etc.  A real bummer. Then sometimes I get a feeling of euphoria -  a bit like being a child again, feeling excited for no particular reason..  Weird eh?  However it's mostly NOT that.  It's mostly the jumping thoughts.  

 

My 10 mg hold is now on the 6th week.  But I feel I should stay until this up/down feeling steadies out.

 Any thoughts on how I should proceed?

 

These kind of negative thoughts are what made me seek out a doctor's appointment  in the first place.  And the rest is history.....

 

 

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

It's generally better to hold for longer than to reduce to soon and have to updose.  I have done a couple of long holds during my taper, one of 3 months at 50mg of Pristiq (convenient by it was a tablet) and I am just finishing a 7 week hold at 20mg (I had plenty of 20mg compounded capsules left.  Even though I have been tapering at no more than 10% approximately every 4 weeks I wanted to give my brain a chance to catch up if it needed to.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

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Prince1924   
Prince1924

Thanks. CC for the three pieces of information.  I had a look at them. They make sense to me.  I am glad to see that your withdrawal is going well. You are almost there.

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ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

You're welcome.

 

As for being almost there, yes I am in the case of dosage.  As far as how long it will take to get off I've used the Tapering Calculator and I'm going to be at 1mg around November 2019 so I'll most probably be still going well into 2020.  But after the shock of realising that this morning, I've got to look on the bright side and remember how much better I am feeling compared to how I had been.  And here I was when I started tapering hoping to be off by my 60th birthday this November.  That ain't gonna happen. :P   It could have been so much worse if I had found SA - I'd probably still believing the lie about needing them for life. :angry:

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