Alcohol made prozac stop working, what do i do?

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I am 21 years old, i started taking Fluoxetine when i was 16. I had been taking 20 mg of Fluoxetine unti about 4 months ago. I had begun drinking on a regular basis and after a month of drinking i was very tired all day, had bad anxiety, had brain zaps or brain shivers whenever i tried to go to sleep. So i stopped drinking and saw my primary doctor and he switched me to zoloft, which after 4 weeks of racing thoughts, anxiety, insomnia and shaking i then switched to celexa for two weeks and it just made me feel nauseous, then to lexapro and that i felt cloudy on, if that makes sense. and no i saw a psychiatrist who told me to go back to prozac and i took 10 mg for two weeks and on thanksgiving i went up to 20mg and i had unbearable anxiety for 4 days and then was told to go back down to 10mg for another two weeks and now im getting the brain zaps again when i try to sleep and they have prescribed me buspirone and im at that point where i dont know what to do anymore and i would appreciate anybody who has gone through this and had something help them to write me. Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi Greg, you're a bit young to be going through this, bless.  From what you're saying, you've now curbed your alchohol intake and have, basically, restarted the Prozac.  I suspect you're back on the long adjustment road that we all go travel when we start...  I can identify exactly with what you're describing - total crap, eh?  But I don't think we have a short cut here, it's just that l-o-n-g road to adjustment - it's a matter of months, not weeks...

    Sorry, Greg, stay strong - and stay connected on this website, eh?

    Anne x 

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I really appreciate the response and support. I just wanted to make sure what I was taking was the right thing to take. But it sounds like it is. Just have to play the waiting game..

      Thank you

      Greg

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  • Posted

    Hi Greg

    I agree with Anne, I suspect you're back at the start of the long road of adjusting to medication again.

    You should stick with one medication, as switching them as you've done hasn't probably helped with things.  You're feeling side effects, and these can take weeks and weeks to settle, and then after that sometimes more weeks to let things adjust.  You can't hurry these meds - there's no quick fix.  Best thing is to stick with the meds you're on now and give them time - lots of time.

    My 21 years old son is also on these meds - started last year.  He had a pretty rough time on them and reckon it took a good 6 months to feel well.  He's now recovered.

    Please try not to worry about the time it takes - it may seem long, but when you eventually look back it'll seem a short time.  The worst of the side effects should last 2-4 weeks maybe?  You should persevere though, however long it takes.  You will get there.

    My son also takes Mirtazapine, which helped him through the worst, which he is beginning to reduce now.  Speak to your doctor and see if he can prescribe something that will help take the edge off it to start with.

    Do you have support at home or from anyone?  You can always post here as there's many people who'll support you through this.

    Yes .... best to avoid drinking.

    Keep in touch xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply and support as well. And I agree, I think the constant change of meds has increased it and I hope with time my body will readjust to the Prozac it's just a long bumpy road. I haven't drank alcohol, chewed tobacco, or had caffeine in 4 months. So I completely agree. If I would have known all this would have happened I would have never had one beer. But I will ask my doc about the mirtazapine and see what he says. Thank you for your reply again it helps.

      Thank you

      Greg

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    • Posted

      We find these things out too late sometimes ....... if ever you do feel like again when you've taken the meds and recovered, just think that it may be something you've done or taken that's upset the balance.

      One thing to remember too, is that recovery can come in patches too - well for a while then low, then we'll maybe for weeks then low.  That's normal and will even out eventually.  Some people mistake this for their meds not working and either change them or up the dose making them feel worse.

      Best of luck, and hope the journey won't be too long for you.  Take care and keep posting.

      K x

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  • Posted

    Hi Greg, did you actually stop taking the Prozac four months ago and then had the symptoms, or did you have the symptoms first and thought it was due to drinking?  I'm a little confused. If the worst symptoms happened after you stopped, you did a cold turkey quit, which is absolutely NOT recommended with psych drugs!  What you experienced after that was withdrawal symptoms from Prozac, which your doctors then tried to remedy with trying all the other drugs, further destabilizing your system.  What a horrible ride!  When in withdrawal from one SSRI, no other drug will stop the WD.  It is indeed best that Prozac was reinstated.

    What is bad is that the doctors keep chasing the withdrawal symptoms with more drugs, and that only destabilizes your system even more.  

    See, everyone thinks that the drugs only work while in the system, and when the drug is removed then everything should go back to normal once it is out of your system.  What really happens is that the drug creates a new imbalance in neurotransmitters and such, to which the brain responds by actually physically remodeling, taking the drug's action into account.  So, in the case of SSRIs, the body adds more serotonin receptors to try to bring balance back to the level of serotonin outside the cells.  When the drug is removed, that remodeling is still in place, and the new imbalance from too much serotonin being resorbed causes withdrawal symptoms.  It takes a long time for the system to remodel back to the new level, pruning back receptors.  Add the action of other psych meds while all this chaos is going on, and you are only causing the system more imbalance and "confusion."

    You are the patient and we are taught that the doctor knows best, but unfortunately in the pych profession, the doctors don't seem to take all of this into account and respond to the patient's suffering with yet another drug.  You do NOT want to be poly-drugged, chasing withdrawal or side effect symtoms with yet another drug!  

    I would recommend educating yourself about how all of this works and then taking control of your destiny.  You ultimately have a choice about what to put in your body.

    Also, there is much you can do to learn about how to deal with anxiety and depression without drugs.  I'm including some links that can be helpful:

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/anxiety-help-489005?page=0&order=Oldest#main-reply

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/withdrawing-from-antidepressants-and-benzos-safely-485891?page=0&order=Oldest#1809368

    I'm not telling you to get off your drugs, but you have been victim to much too destabilizing drug changes, and before more of that happens it would be helpful for you to take control through learning what is going on.  Sometimes that's the best thing we can do,  that we have to advocate for ourselves.

    Good luck!

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