Fluoxetine relapse after several years?

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hi all.

i have been on 40mg fluoxetine for a few years now - and whilst it was a massive struggle to start (happy to discuss if anyone wants my story), they eventually kicked in and Ive been perfectly happy and "normal" for the last couple of years.

However, this last week has been a disaster. An unfortunate development at work has had a massive and completely irrational effect on my mental stability. ive even had a couple of panic attacks,. Not on the scale that put me on the Fluoxetine in the first instance, but enough to give me serious cause for concern that this could result in a relapse? Has this happened to anyone else? or is this just the dreaded "overthinking" rearing its ugly head?

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  • Posted

    I just got prescribed Prozac (generic of course)... so I am not expert... WAS on Celexa for a few years with decent results... but:

    I would think that maybe having some alprazolam available... and taken when this anxiety thing reared its ugly head... would get you over the tough spots... maybe ask the Doc for some? many are loath to prescribe ANY benzo or painkiller these strange days...

    If they continue after your issues have passed... maybe time for a switch... GL!

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    • Posted

      thanks for the reply!

      I have since been back to the doc who basically enrolled me on our local authority online CBT course. Apparantly it is very good, but takes 8-12 weeks to complete. certainly the first session was very interesting, will defo be following through the course. im also happy to blog the development of this on here if anyone is interested?

      However, back to my current situation. The doc has suggested I try and stick it out for another couple of weeks, as the fluoxetine has always worked well for me in the past, it is a relatively safe drug and is very effective at what it does. Increasing the dose from 40 to 60 is likely to have lttle effect other than put me through another phase of adjustment side effects - and we all know how bad those are.

      Apparantly suddenly stopping working is very rare, but relapses can be quite common (around 30%)

      Some of us just need to accept we will be on these meds for life (which i have no issue with whatsoever if they work).

      It wasnt till after id left it occured to me he never actually said what the relapse meant? WILL the fluoxetine start working again (am assuming so as he said give it another couple of weeks?) or has anyone experienced a total relapse and had to change meds? How did this work out for you?

      im at the end of week two of this phase, dont feel any better whatsoever - but defo no worse either. Im hoping this is a sign that its bottomed out and going to come good again.

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    • Posted

      Well... I have read that sometimes, SSRI's do "peter out" after years... I have read many examples on this site... but I guess increasing your dose is a logical move... as maybe would be switching to a different SSRI... I had some success with Celexa... and maybe the newer versions of SSRI's last longer? Not sure, but my Primary Doc has been on Lexapro for 20 years and plans on being on it for life...

      I decided to take a pass on the Prozac... and started 2.5mg Lexapro (generic). I was very conflicted about it, as I do not feel "bad"... but both he and a MD shrink I recently saw felt strongly that I needed to be on SSRIs... perhaps my view of myself is not as accurate as their diagnosis... well... hope it works out... the 2.5 is because I am VERY sensitive to all drugs... so I have to start very slowly or get nasty side effects... I already feel some anxiety building up... a common side effect... I have some Alprazolam if it gets bad...

      After years... I would consider a new SSRI... some even take an old school AD with their SSRI... if you consider it, I would recommend Elavil... gets decent reviews...

      I hope you feel better soon... if not, maybe consider Celexa... I tried many a few years back, Celexa was the easiest to get used to... and fewer side effects.

      GL to you!

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