Fluoxetine Rollercoaster... please help

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I started 20 mg of fluoxetine 7 days ago and I feel horrible. One moment I'm okay, the next I'm anxious about my health. I don't have much energy on these things and whilst I want to sleep I can't do much but just lay in bed. My concentration is poor so watching TV or a movie doesn't hold my interest. I cannot sleep at night as I wakeup within 2 hours of falling asleep and I wake up every morning panicking with an upset stomach. Is this normal? What are others experiencing on this medication?

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I had some of these same symptoms when I was starting on 20mg of Fluoxetine. I had a hard time sleeping and would typically wake up every two to three hours and then sit in bed panicking for an hour before I got back to sleep. I found that my Ativan prescription really helped me during this time. If you don't have a prescription for Ativan or Xanax, I would suggest talking to your doctor. It can at least help with the sleeping piece. 

    I woke up panicked every morning for about two months before it finally went away. I'm now three and a half months in and I feel amazing. I wouldn't stop just yet - keep going and talk to your doctor about a supplemental panic attack medicine. 

    Best,

    -Melanie

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    • Posted

      Thank you Melanie for responding. I'm sitting here crying because I feel so awful. Did you lose your appetite as well?

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    • Posted

      Hello,

      The side effects are truly awful. I hated my time on them. I had the insomnia, night time sweats / panic attacks. No appetite. Constant sickness, and enhanced panic attacks being the worst! Also weird leg pains and neck / jaw tension. Had restlessness and shakes to.

      I gave up after about 15 days as I couldn't take the sickness and was already worried about my weight loss -15 days of vomiting / d is draining in inself. It took me about a month to get over it before I felt normal again and my appetite / weight started coming back.

      Initially I felt better for getting the tablets out my system but my anxiety and panic has come flooding back with vengeance less than a month later! Gah!

      Looking at starting this whole process again with Sertraline now (although told that's more suited to Anxiety) and not looking forward to the side effects.

      Everyone says give them 3/4 weeks to see how you are. Try and stick it out if you can, especially if it helps in the long run.

      If your no better, go back to your doctor's and keep asking to put your mind at ease. You no your body, so don't suffer especially if your not seeing the benefit.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Thomas. I'm am just so off. I feel a ton worse than I did when I started. I'm going to try and stick it through since this is everyone's experience with this drug. The no appetite thing and losing weight is scary as well and it sends my anxiety in a tailspin because I then think something is medically wrong with me.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I'm so sorry you're going thru this. The side effects are awful. I'm on day 22. Describing it as a roller coaster is completely accurate, that's exactly what it feels like. Most of the worst of my side effects have passed, but I still don't feel well yet. I'm told it takes a good 2-4 weeks for the effects to start to pass, and at least 6 weeks to see a benefit from the meds - so try not to give up! I know it's hard, I've wanted to quit many times but I'm glad I didn't. One thing you could consider is asking your doctor to switch you to 10 mgs for a couple of weeks while your body adjusts. Adding Xanax or clonazepam could also help with the panicking. (But I will add that I tried that, and it made my physical symptoms worse - so just be aware that may happen). Just take each day one at a time and know that every day is one step closer to feeling better. I have found these forums to be a huge source of comfort and support. Good luck to you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jennifer. I'm on my way to the doctor's now and I plan to ask her about getting on an anti anxiety med. I'm looking forward to hopefully feel some relief and maybe a half decent night of rest.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jennifer. I'm trying to stick the course. She explained that it's going to take at least 6 weeks to feel better. So. I'm going to try to stay to it.

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    • Posted

      Try not to get discouraged. I have had every side effect possible - dizziness, nausea, weakness, headache, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, loss of appetite, increased anxiety, rapid heartbeat, upset stomach, blurry vision...I'm probably forgetting some. But there have been definite improvements. The beginning is hard but if we can all tough it out, the benefits from this med are supposed to be really great. Xxx

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    • Posted

      Yes. I forgot to include tremors/shakiness on that list. I've had leg and arm weakness. All of the side effects have come and gone. Just when I think one of them is finally gone, it'll return. But I have found that now when that happens, it doesn't last as long as in the beginning.

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    • Posted

      Thank you I had a nap when I started walking downstairs my legs were weak and I felt shacky all over arms were weak hands were trembling,it's scary.

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    • Posted

      It can definitely be scary. Sometimes my entire body feels shaky, sometimes just my hands will tremble. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. I'm certainly no expert, but I do believe it's a normal part of the process, and should pass soon. Xxx

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    • Posted

      Oh, thank you for saying that. That's sweet. I just know how much this page has helped me and I try to do the same when I can. We're all in the same boat, trying to survive this mess!

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