Fluoxetine (and Mirtazapine) reduction

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Hi everyone

At my peak of taking the above 2 SSRIs, I was on 60mg of Fluox and 30mg of Mirtazapine. As of recently, I am on 40mg of Fluox and 15mg of Mirtaz but most recent, I have been reducing the Fluox by alternating days by going 40mg, 20mg, etc. 

To reduce it further still (having spoken to the doctor about it) I have gone 20 mg, 20mg, 40mg, so the 40mg is on every third day. I have done this for the past 2 weeks...in the past 2 weeks, I have felt particularly anxious \ edgy \ OCD (the latter being the main reason I was on them, but depression was as well).

I just wondered as to whether or not I SHOULD feel anything a) so soon after reduction and b) for what seems like a fairly gradual reduction. The reason I wish to ultimately come off these SSRIs altogether is because I feel they lead to a numbing of my emotions- good for the reasons I was on them perhaps, but I am not able to 'feel' any happiness; I feel numb essentially.

What are other people's experiences with Fluoxetine and Mirtazapine reduction- would it take weeks for any effect to be noticed? I know each persons experiences will be different but wondered if anyone knew at least roughly whether the anxiety I'm feeling now is in line with my most recent reduction, or coincidental?

Thank you

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    It was not until I stopped anti depressants that I realised how they had blunted my emotions, but they did get rid of anxiety and depression

    I took Fluoxetine for a matter of weeks as it was the worse medication I ever took and gave me terrible side effects.  I have been on many anti depressants over 30 years, but 18 months ago I withdrew without any withdrawals and am doing pretty well.

    Yes the emotions came flooding back.  It took me 10 months to withdraw from Venlafaxine.  I think that is probably one of the worse to withdraw from without side effects if you don't do it slowly.  You are feeling withdrawals.  Also depression can also return within a few weeks if you stop and anti depressant.  Sometimes difficult to know if it is depression or withdrawals you are feeling.  Your reduction is very fast and that is why you are getting withdrawals.  Slow down, and let yourself stabilise, and then gradually reduce further. 

    I am not sure what you mean by feeling happiness. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your reply, appreciated. I'm not too sure if my reducaton has been that rapid. I went from 40mg every day last October to 40-20 all the way up until May, so I think that has been okay. Different strokes for different folks though I guess. I know there is no definitive answer, more trial and error I think :-\
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    • Posted

      Yes I agree that was a pretty slow withdrawal.  Sorry I did not know how long it had taken you.  You are doing well and it takes the body quite a time to adjust after stopping anti depressants.

      I do hope you feel better soon and regain that happiness you are looking for.

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  • Posted

    I have been on Fluoxetine before and Mirtazapine as well. 

    The mindnumbing effect is probably the Mirtazapine, not the Fluoxetine. But everybody is different. 

    Fluoxetine has a fairly long washout period (about 2 weeks), so even if you stopped taking Fluoxetine now, you would still benefit from it for quite a few days. 

    Are you planning to switch to different meds? 

    I can tell you that I am feeling myself again since about a week, even though I am taking 4 (!) different medications. 

    I used to be only on Fluoxetine, but it stopped working for me last fall. So after a lot of trial and error I am now on Wellbutrin and Vortioxetine which make me feel totally normal and happy (but not manic) and Clonazepam for a light Anxiety I have. To get back into a healthy sleep rythm I am using 2.5mg Zolpidem. But Imovane could also be an option for you if you need help sleeping. It doesnt make you as drowsy as Zolpidem. Imovane has a half life of about 4 hrs... so you'll be fit the next morning. 

    Hope this helped! 

    All the best!

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  • Posted

    Yeah, withdrawal is different for everyone. I know someone who managed to come off her SSRI by taking a knife and gradually scraping a bit more off the pill each time to reduce the dose very slowly. Trial and error is definitely the way forward. Also doctors are great, but they go by the book, and officially these medications are not supposed to be that hard to come off. Your own observations will be more reliable for you than your doctor's advice in this area. 

    Do be careful, and good luck.


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  • Posted

    Thanks again for the replies

    I'm not intending on going on any others...I've had enough of SSRIs altogether, I want my life back. I stumbled onto a Mirtazapine reduction thread, and it seems that not only as it likely that it is the mirtazapine that is causing the numb issues, but seemingly coming off it sounds absolutely horrendous. :-\

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    • Posted

      Hi I do hope the withdrawal goes smoothly and you get your life and emotions back.  I stopped anti depressants after 30 years, and it is scary, but I am doing pretty well.  I think once the anti depressants get us through the first acute stage, if we are strong, we can manage without.  Taken me many years to get where I am now.

      Good luck.  Take it slowly.  Let us know how you get on.  I never want to go on an anti depressant again. 

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