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Jurges

Jurges: Paxil to Prozac taper

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Jurges

Hello 

I was on 20mg of Paxil for 15 years due to a few panic episodes. I just recently got put on a taper plan using Prozac that I completed. It was a 30 day taper. My last dose of 5mg was a week ago today.  Im struggling mightily with WD. Dizziness, brain fog and fatigue is the most apparent. 

 

How long will this last and is there anything  I can do for to help? Dr said I have to see it through or take a longer taper. 

 

Any insight would be appreciated.

 

thanks 

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ChessieCat

Hi Jurges and welcome to SA,

 

So that we are better able to offer suggestions we need additional information.  Please complete your drug signature and provide the dates and doses of your cross over.  This is the preferred format:

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

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ChessieCat

Hi Jurges,

 

You mentioned in your first post that you "just recently got put on a taper plan using Prozac".

 

Please include the details of this in your signature and provide the dates and doses of your cross over.  It is very important that we have all your drug information so we can make suggestions based on your individual situation.

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Jurges

Duh forgot about that...

I was put on a prozac taper on 10/4/17

I took my last 10 mg  on 10/26

 

i hope this helps

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ChessieCat

It is difficult for us to offer suggestions if we don't have all of the information.

 

Please explain how you changed from Paxil to Prozac including dates and doses and both drugs.

 

Are you off both Paxil and Prozac now?

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snostorm

Greetings im not a mod but I have a similar experience.  15 year paxil user and crashed hard trying to taper.  Was cross tapered to Prozac.  I am slowly tapering Prozac under the guidance of a holistic psychiatrist.  Im gonna say your taper from Prozac is way too fast.  I stabilized for three months before I started tapering Prozac after I bridged.  im down to 25mg Prozac from 40.  Still get symptoms from time to time.   might be a good idea to get back on Prozac and stabilize.  then 10 percent taper. 

 

MOD NOTE:  Please see following post about reinstating

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added Mod Note

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ChessieCat

Snostorm we need more information about exactly how and when Jurges changed for Paxil to Prozac before we can make any suggestions about reinstating either Paxil or Prozac.

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Ali4

More Info needed. So others can try and help. Ali 

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Jurges

Hello all,

 

I was prescribed 20MG of Paxil in 2004 for panic attacks. I'm ready to get off these SSRI's forever! They have helped with my anxiety but other than that it's not doing anything for me. I have tried to get off a few times in the past but the WD symptoms were just too debilitating. 

 

Fast forward to October 4, 2017. I went to see a phyc and he put me on a taper plan using the Prozac method. It is as follows:

 

Stop the Paxil in 2 days completely, then 20MG every day for the next 10 days, 10 MG every day for 10 days, 5MG every other day for 8 days then stop. My last dose was on 10/27/17. The past 2 days 11/2/17 and 11/3/17 have been the worse so far. Dizziness, inability to concentrate, irritable and sensitive to everything, etc... (all your de facto symptoms I'm experiencing)

 

I'm committed to never take Paxil again. I really hope I never have to take a SSRI again... I'm not a depressed person, however, these WD's make me feel like I am.

 

Best to all and thank you! 

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ChessieCat

I am going to ask some questions.  I am numbering them so you can answer them by writing:   Q1:  Answer

 

Q1:  Did you take Paxil and Prozac together?

 

Q2:  Did you stop taking Paxil for 2 days and the start taking Prozac?

 

We are trying to help you but the information you are providing isn't clear enough to be able to do that.  We aren't able to offer suggestions until we know exactly what drug and dose you were taking when.  Because we will be making suggestions which involve your health and well being it is important that you give the information in a way that we can understand it.

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Ali4

Do you know how to fill in your drug signature? I feel confused with where your at, if you could do your signature it would be much appreciated 😃 then the mods and other members can help better. Ali 

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Jurges

Q1 answer: I only took paxil and prozac for 2 days together when I started the taper method.

 

Q2 answer: no. Please see above 

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ChessieCat

EDITED TO ADD:

 

Altostrata has responded at the same time as me.  Alto is the site's owner.  Please see her suggestion in the following post.

 

Even though my thought was to reinstate Paxil (and Alto has suggested reinstating Prozac) my post contains information which is still helpful and relevant so I have not changed what I have posted, just added this additional information. CC

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

________________________________________

 

I have tried to compiled the information from what you have provided (I have worked the dates backwards from the number of days you say you took your doses) and would like you to check this information and correct where necessary.  Where I have typed Paxil (dose?) + Prozac (dose?) please add the doses of each drug.  Once you have amended the following, please put the information in your signature Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.  Thank you.

 

2004 to end Sept 2017 - Paxil 20mg

28 Sept - Paxil (dose?) + Prozac (dose?) for 2 days

30 Sept  - Prozac 20mg for 10 days

10 Oct - 10mg for 10 days

20 Oct to 27 Oct 2017 - 5mg alternate days for 8 days

 

If this information is fairly accurate then your withdrawal symptoms are most likely from Paxil.  However, because you then went on to Prozac it is hard to know if any of your symptoms are start up or side effects or possibly a bad reaction to Prozac.

 

Now that we have the information we can start to work on providing you with information and suggestions.

 

I am assuming that you have not experienced a bad reaction to Prozac.

 

Some members, after getting off their drug cold turkey or too quickly, experience withdrawal symptoms lasting for months and sometimes years.  Some have had to leave work, some have had to move in with relatives and some have become bed bound.

 

The decision to reinstate is yours.  However, I suggest you read the information provided so that you can make an informed decision.

 

If you go back to your doctor he might put you back onto Paxil at too high a dose, or might try another drug or a combination of drugs.  SA recommends reinstating the drug (in your case Paxil) at a small dose and increasing it slowly if you don't feel improvement.

 

Because you have been off Paxil for about 30 days, and your last Paxil dose was 20mg you could try reinstating a small dose of 5mg.  Please do not go back on 20mg because it might be too much.  It is better to start with a small dose and gradually increase (by 1mg) than to start too high.  The sooner you reinstate the more chance there is of it being successful.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full dose in the blood and a few more for it to register in the brain.  You may feel some improvement within the first day or two.  It is better to stay on this dose for about 10-14 days and Keep Notes on Paper and Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress so that you can see improvement which you may not feel.

 

It is important to take the same dose, at about the same time, on a DAILY BASIS.  Do not skip days.

 

The idea of reinstatement isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.  Once you are stable, which may take 3-4 months (you need to listen to your body, not the calendar) you could then do SA's recommended taper of no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow your brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

My own experience was reducing my Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg and I experiencing extreme cog fog for 3 weeks.  At the end of this time I was unable to type.  Because I a professional typist I knew that something was very wrong.  I had joined SA a few days prior to this and they had suggested increasing my Pristiq.  When I couldn't type I too extra Pristiq and after about 4 hours my head was clearing and I was able to type again.  I have since been tapering following SA's recommendations, with only minimal withdrawal symptoms, and am now down to 17mg.  As my dose got lower I started feeling my emotions returning.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms (see Post #1)

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added Edit Note

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Altostrata

Jurges, after you dropped the Paxil, how did you feel?

 

Do you have any Prozac left?

 

I think snostorm might be correct. If you felt okay while taking Prozac, I were you, I might consider taking 5mg Prozac every day for some months, see if that works. Do not skip doses!

 

Stabilize, then taper very slowly off the Prozac.

 

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Jurges

Thank you all so much!  

 

I didn't feel too much different when I started which I was pleased and surprised with. I did have some pleasant affects with Prozac but certainly felt my body attempt to get accustomed to the Prozac (aches, pains, nausea, etc). It was such a small amount of time I don't think my body ever got is sequence with it.

 

I do have more Prozac left but feel like I should try to see it through and see how I feel in a couple weeks. If I go back on it I feel like I'm going to end up at square one again. The biggest issue I have is dizziness off and on all day, headaches and fatigue. I hoping this will get better and subside. 

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Altostrata

Those are typical withdrawal symptoms.

 

If they get worse, please consider reinstating perhaps 2mg Prozac. A little bit can help, while 10mg might be too much at this point, with your nervous system fragile from the drug changes.

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Jurges

I'm going to reinstate Prozac 5mg to help with these WD's. I can't handle the spaciness and dizziness. My Dr said it only comes in 10MG and to take every other day because of the long half live. I hope I feel somewhat back to normal soon. 

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baroquep

HI Jurges, please whatever you do, please don't alternate your dose, it is not good for the central nervous system contrary to what some doctors think.  It is important to take a consistent dose (I.e., 5mg) at the same time every day.  I can't stress the importance of doing this enough. The theory of Prozac having a long half-life  doesn't protect you against withdrawal symptoms, especially seeing as your CNS is already experiencing distress.  Alternating doses will further destabilize your already sensitized central nervous system and just make things worse.  

 

Please consider reviewing the link on reinstatement so you know what to expect over the coming weeks.  It would also be a good idea to keep  track of your daily symptom pattern so you can follow your progress and/or alert you should you run into any trouble.  Please keep us posted as to how you are doing.

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Jurges

Should I go to 10MG / day? The capsule i have is powder and very difficult to split up

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baroquep

I wouldn't recommend starting at 10mg, as Alto mentioned above, it may be too high a dose for your central nervous system to manage.  Please see the links I've attached below to give you an idea of alternate methods for weighing, liquid preparations etc.  

 

 

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Jurges

Thanks much! 

Take Prozac morning or night?

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baroquep

You should take it at the same time as you normally took it and try and take it at the same time everyday if possible.  Here are a few more links that I think you'll find helpful.  Remember It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full dose in the blood and a few more for it to register in the brain.  You may feel some improvement within the first day or two.  It is better to stay on this dose for about 10-14 days before making any further changes (unless of course you have a bad reaction).  Please let us know how you are doing.  

 

What to Expect in Reinstatement (James Heaney article)
Stabilising After a Reduction (or Reinstatement) - What Does That Mean?

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

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Jurges

Well I started back on 10MG of Prozac. Already feel irritated and brain dead. Ugh 

ill have to see this through. 

 

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AliG
On 11/7/2017 at 6:15 AM, Altostrata said:

Those are typical withdrawal symptoms.

 

If they get worse, please consider reinstating perhaps 2mg Prozac. A little bit can help, while 10mg might be too much at this point, with your nervous system fragile from the drug changes.

 

Jurges. I'm not sure if I understand why you reinstated 10 mg when the advice you were given was that maybe you could try 2mg. A higher dose could be too much for your system, at this time.You are in a highly destabilized state so we usually find that starting with a very small reinstatement is much less likely to cause you harm. This is a harm reduction approach.

 

How many doses have you taken?  If it's only one, then I would think about making the next, back down to 2 mg as there is less risk involved at this dose.

 

Please keep notes on your symptoms over the next week and let us know how you are doing.

Ali

Edited by AliG
added information

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