Bad side effects a week after increasing to 40mg

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Hi,

I'm looking for some advice as its now the bank holiday so I won't be able to see my doctor for a while.

I've been on fluoxetine 20mgs for 10weeks, having been on it before many times I was beginning to think it wasn't really working at that level for me now, so upon the advice of my doctor I increased to 40mgs a week ago. I felt better almost instantly - which I did actually find a bit strange as it's never had an instant lift for me before, but just hoped it would continue - well yesterday I crashed and the side effects started - really bad anxiety, heart palputations, dry mouth - everything I got when I first started, and now I've just had a very restlesss night's sleep. I really think this dose is too high, and I just can't go through with the side effects again, so I think i'm just going to go back to 20mgs.

So as I've only been on the higher dose for a week would I need to taper down or just go straight back to 20mgs?

Any advice much appreciated, Karen

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21 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    I'm on 20mg of fluoxetine for 14 weeks now and it's been really hard for me I'm struggling every day at around 8 weeks I had my last review and stuck with the 20mg even though I felt my gp wanted me to go upto 40mg I have my next review in over a week and will see what my gp has to say then.

    I stuck with the 20mg from advise from this forum otherwise I wouldn't have gave it as much time, main reason for doing so was because I am petrified of the side effects again and don't want to start over.

    Iv never been on anti depressants before so don't really know what to expect I just thought I would be better by now, I have physcotherapy also what I pay for which my therapist is trying to get to the root cause.

    I literally feel like I don't have a life at the minute and it's been like this for 4 months. I got prescribed the meds for anxiety and depression.

    Just wanted to share my experience so far so you know your not alone.

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    • Posted

      Hey abi, thanks for sharing definitely helps to know I'm not the only one going through this madness! Can definitely relate to pretty much everything you said 🙂, such a rough road..though I've had a better day today, so I'm hoping the intense side effects were actually fairly short lived! And so I'm actually staying on the 40mgs for now, as in my case I've been on 20 mgs on/off 5 years so I feel I need to do something different and as you say I'd rather stick to what is already in my system then go through the whole process again, as I get every side effect going when I start a new med, and I think I can now safely say that upping the dose does not result in the same level of side effects, so if your doctor recommends that then maybe give it a go? Props to you for investing in therapy, I'm trying to sort that out for myself, it's just so expensive and time consuming isn't it? But I think it would be worth it x

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    • Posted

      i had a better day yesterday hopeing this continues for the rest of the bank holiday.

      The main anxiety systems I struggle with is negative thoughts and worries which spiralled out of control and lead me to have a break down.

      It sure is such a rough road, very hard to understand and frustrating I'm trying to understand it all at the minute because they say understanding it can help so been on a website that I found and what someone on here recommended trying to take it all in.

      I was off work then went back full time then was off again so went back part time and iv just got back upto full time again. I find being at work helps me almost makes me feel a bit normal whatever normal is.

      Therapy is quite expensive yes and take a lot of time I have a hour session a week iv been having it since jan so it takes so long.

      Hope you have a good bank holiday

      X

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    • Posted

      Hey abi! Glad to hear you had a better day yesterday, I actually slept pretty well last night, have some background anxiety this morning, will go for a run soon, which usually helps. I'm actually beginning to think that I'm in perimenopause, even thou I'm only 40 (no idea how old you are but apparently othis can begin to affect women from mid thirties!) because I've been having pretty bad night sweats. I experienced this last year and went on oestrogen gel after seeing prof john stud's clinic in London - again not cheap, but it seems to help after a few months I felt brilliant but then I got worried about the dose being too high and reduced my dose as well as coming off the Prozac (stupid!!) but clearly I need more as I don't think the Prozac is to blame for the sweats after this long on it, so I'm going to begin increasing my dose today, hopefully that combined with the increased Prozac will sort me out!

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    • Posted

      I get the really bad sweats when my anxiety is bad. I'm 26.

      I can feel a lurking headache today which usually sends me crashing down but hopefully it will pass soon.

      Feeling quite tired today just been on a dog walk so going to relax for a bit now.

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    • Posted

      Ok so you're definitely not in peri menopause! Though you could still have low oestrogen- I think I have for years, a couple of years ago I had 2 huge cysts removed from my ovaries, which I've since discovered would have always caused low levels, and now with the night sweats - which happen when I'm asleep so not caused by anxiety, I think that is partly what's going on, really don't know why I came off it before, guess I just hate being on meds! I don't even take paracetamol unless I have to, so just need to be easier on my self...really hope you manage to relax and enjoy the day, I'm just out with my 2 boys in the park - they are my main motivation for getting well x

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    • Posted

      I hate being on the meds too and I'm the same I never take pain killers.

      Anxiety and depression are such horrible illnesses this breakdown has really destroyed me and can't believe how long it's taking to recover.

      Just taking every day as it comes at the minute but feeling very down and hopeless.

      Looking forward to some advice from my gp at my next review.

      X

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    • Posted

      Hey Mate, how was your day today? All we can do is take one day at a time..I felt crap all day today 😕Brain fog and anxiety didn't shift even though I was with my family and friends and should have been relaxed, so frustrating as there was nothing I could do to feel better so I just had to go on auto pilot and act 'normal' for everyone, always have a bad stomach on these days to, feel bloated like something has inflated my stomach, apparently if the stomach gets inflamed then the brain does too which leads to depression...hoping it will ease off this evening and I'll have a few hours relief x

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen,

      My weekend has been ok not amazing but ok so I hope this is the start of me being able to cope with these illnesses and learning how to cope with them.

      Really that's interesting because I have a hiatus hernia and suffer quite bad acid reflux and with my anxiety I feel really sick and be sick, maybe there's some sort of link you never know.

      How are you feeling now?

      X

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    • Posted

      Don't try and expect too much, I think there is a lot of pressure on young people to always feel 'amazing' and that's just not realistic- I was about your age when I first started to realise my 'down spells' and nervousness was actually an illness, I remember the first time I got anti depressants I couldn't believe that there was actually a medicine for what I had as I'd got used to people telling me it was all in my head! Back then I started doing excercise and eating properly to help, which I still try and do, so I often think that if I hadn't suffered from anxiety I'd probably be a lot unhealthier now (pyhsically) so that's something to be grateful for, and I've actually been pretty well for the past decade, but this always seems to come back, and when it does it takes a good few months to go, with this spell being no different, I'm ok today, actually slept really well last night and not too much sweats, woke up feeling pretty down but have just been keeping myself busy with housework this morning and it seems to have lifted a bit, so going to go swimming this afternoon- just got to keep going! X

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    • Posted

      Iv been out into the city shopping for the first time for months and months and actually enjoyed it which is a massive thing because iv not been interested in shopping for so long and I used to go every week!

      I had a breakdown which is why I got prescribed the meds but before that the anxiety started in October and I had a breakdown in January where I had no choice but to go on the meds, I can tell iv always had anxiety but it's never stopped me doing anything but in October the anxiety and depression got triggered by buying a house and moving out of my family home for the first time where I am back now because I can't go up the house I brought. It's a horrible situation because my partner is still at the house on his own.

      I need to start exercising I just want to put weight on first because I lost so much from these illnesses, I was already really slim but I lost over a stone so look dreadful.

      X

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    • Posted

      Hey abi, sounds like things are starting to improve for you, I've had an ok couple of days - 2 weeks on 40mgs now, the past week has been challenging, suffering from anxiety this morning, though the night sweats seem to have stoppped and I'm sleeping better x

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  • Posted

    Stick with the 40mg.. it is normal to feel the side effects again but they will balance out again. Side Effects suck but you know what sucks more? Being depressed and living your life at less than 100% ... so for that reason some side effects are worth pushing thru... short term pain.. long term gain!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for this it's what I needed to hear, I'm 2 weeks at 40mgs now, 10 weeks at 20mgs so 12 in. Total, and I think generally it's been better, though the past week has been hard, quite up and down, have got morning anxiety at the moment, hope it calms down as the day goes on x

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    • Posted

      Yes thanks I'm really trying, just been feeling pretty bad this past week, feel sick this morning and didn't sleep well, but I will go into work and go for a run at lunchtime, just have to get through, what has been your experience? Just need to know there are better times ahead x

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    • Posted

      I switched to Prozac from Cipramil/Celexa back last August after 17 years. I had been on Prozac for a year about 21 years ago and then come off with no meds for 4 years. I started on 10mg for 5 says then 20mg for roughly 8 weeks then 30mg for 10days then up to 40mg which I am still on now. Yes I had side effects with each increase and usually the worst side effects were the 2nd-3rd week agter the increase. Yes I went from insomnia to then being overly tired... also a bit of nausea and anxiety. But it all balanced out in the end and I can tell you now even though life is not always rainbows and roses this medication is not supposed to do that. We are still supposed to be human and have ups and downs but we come out of them a bit quicker than before. I still have some off days but I am also a mid 40's female so expect hormones to be doing that sometimes.

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    • Posted

      you have no idea how much I appreciate this message, I just want to be able to function again and think clearly, and this has given me hope that i am doing the right thing, and that this will work out eventually - so thankyou very much for taking the time out to write me, hope I can check in with you over the coming weeks ? why did you come off the Celexa?
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    • Posted

      No worries.. message any time.

      I came off Celexa as I felt like they were just not working that well anymore... basically I built up a tolerance to them after so long.

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    • Posted

      Yes that is my worry with flu because I've been on and off them for the past few years - though only ever at 20mg, worry that I've built up a tolerance, though I guess if that was the case I wouldn't be getting side effects?? Managed to get through a very stressful day at work pretty well which has made me feel good 😊

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