Fluoxetine week 3- struggling.

Posted , 3 users are following.

I've been on fluoxetine just over three weeks and I'm still really struggling with side effects which I have had since I started taking it. Physically I've been having a lot of issues with insomnia/ fatigue, vivid dreams, nausea comes and goes. I've been too tired to do much most of the last three weeks and now I can't get to sleep at all or wake up all night long anxious. Mentally I have not noticed any improvements yet, I've been quite low and demoralised by the medication trial process (its been a few months now of being quite ill from side effects from different SSRIs). I've generally been pretty anxious without any relief. I don't like to take benzos.

My Dr said I need to come off it as soon as possible and try either a SNRI or Pregabalin as things are very unlikely to get better if they haven't yet. I know this is counter to what a lot of people have said on here about things improving much later, at 6 or 8 weeks or even later. That seems a very long time to wait with this level of disruption though. In the past I have ended up giving up on SSRIs because when i'm working its not practical to not be able to sleep or to be a zombie for weeks on end. I've also tried Buspirone, Escitalopram and Sertraline and had a bad experience.

I've been trying to power through with Prozac so far just hoping each day it will somehow get a bit better but it has not yet. My psychiatrist is very determined that I stop it but I am more comfortable with Prozac than the SNRIs/ Pregabalin, I just wish I could get it to work for me. I also feel like I have been through so much with it already if I stop now maybe it would have magically got better at 4 weeks and its a waste. I think I'd find it difficult to wait 3 months for results though if I'm not able to sleep properly or am too fatigued to do anything .

Any advice welcome!

0 likes, 16 replies

16 Replies

  • Edited


    Not sure where to start.. But i think doctor is sending you wrong way, making you jump from medication to medication.. You are not giving your body enough time to settle.. So all you are doing right now trying medications, getting side effects- which is very normal, i had all of them; stopping medications, going through withdrawal effects and jumping again on another medication.. You are not giving your body chance to level up.. I know side effects sometimes horrendous - my anxiety jumped to the roof, depression, nausea, insomnia, night sweats, shaky hands, heart palpation and etc. I though i am going crazy..! I could not work and was in constant fear i will never recover.. But slowly side effects start to subside, i have to be honest it takes long time, but there is a chance to recover.!! My advice, please give more time, push through those side effects, its just your body trying to get used to the medication. It will be a lot of ups and downs but you will see that slowly it is getting better.. I have terrible anxiety every morning that ease up later in evening.. Its not easy but i am trying to push through. If you need help, i am here, i can help you through and support you. We can recover together 😃

    • Posted

      Thanks for your response Nataliya! To clarify, I have tried those medications over the last couple of years. Recently I tried escitalopram, had a lot of side effects and went off it after two weeks to try Prozac. I am trying to hang in I just wish there was some glimmer of improvement because its hard to keep taking something when it is ONLY making you unwell and you don't know if or when it will have any positive effect. Best of luck with your side effects! I hope they clear soon.

    • Edited

      I know the feeling, belive me .. First weeks it is almost impossible to keep taking them and you ready to give up every day.. But than i though, if i give up and try something else there is no guarantee it will be sideeffects free, right ? And i still need to go through the same bad patch.. So i have read a lot of review of people and it seems huge number of people going through same sideeffects and feelings... And it slowly gets better and better.. It is very hard but there is a light in the end of tunnel i believe. Dont give up 😃

    • Posted

      Thanks Nataliya. How long have you been on it now? Are you seeing any benefits or just side effects still? I'm about to hit the 4 week mark and feeling worse than ever unfortunately.

    • Edited


      i am on week 21 on 20 mg. And now i was able to get back to work, side effects almost gone, just have a bit flat feelings.

      Yes i remember those early weekd, weeks 4,5,6 they are the worst.. And you will feel much worse before you will start to feel better.. I thought that night mare will never end, but it did, very slowly, week by week.. Just dont count how days, you have to look at your recovery by weeks.. Just take day by day, i know it is hard, for some reason when those meds level up they make us feel much worse than even before we have started the meds.. But soon you will feel better, most of the people and me as well start to feel a bit better in evenings for few hrs or even minutes.. It is mean meds is working.. But you do need so much patience and support, but you will be fine and you will make to the happy side:) Msg me any time, i know how it feels and i also know that you will get better

    • Posted

      Thanks Nataliya, glad you are feeling better!

    • Posted

      So kind of you to ask! Its been kind of similar to be honest. I have been taking it in the morning and sleeping better but was getting SUCH bad fatigue the last few days that I was basically sleepwalking. I tried to switch it to night time but then I didn't sleep all of last night so I'm back to mornings. A lot of the side effects have got better but the fatigue has been very persistent and debilitating.

      From what I've read sometimes it doesn't go away so I'm a bit worried about trying to stick it out. It's also very impractical to be SO unproductive for months and months. I am almost at week 6 now so I think I want to try to stick it out until then because weeks 4-6 is notionally when there is often some improvement? Not much sign of that so far though.....

      How are you? Are the side effects totally gone now or still feeling flat?

    • Posted

      Hi there 😃. It is awsome that your side effects subsiding, that's how it works , they are one by one going away, and looks like fatigue is one that stays longer for you. For me anxiety was one that stayed longest. now i am feeling very good. I am almost back to myself, feeling happy, laughing and to get here it took me 6 month, but it worked:) I am sure it will work for you, just be patient and keep telling yourself, it is just temporary. What are you taking Fluoxetine for and how much mg ? Try to get Vitamin B, it is very good for energy, get enough sleep, it will pass. Soon you will look back and won't believe it was you. We will get you through ..!! 😃

    • Posted

      How long did it take for it to start "working" for you? Or for all the side effects to go? The full 6 months? That just seems like a really long time. The fatigue bothers me the most, I don't think the anxiety is any worse but its definitely not better yet. Today is the start of week 6 so I hoped it would be....

      I'm still on 10mg because the side effects were so bad initially I didn't want to increase. I'm taking it for anxiety. I take vitamin B12 and D + fish oil, not sure they are helping but can't hurt. Glad to hear you are feeling so much better!

    • Posted

      Hi 😃

      You will start feeling that sometimes you feel just like oldself, even just for a minute, all side effects will slowly disappear, but because it is so slow process we sometimes do not feel the progress. 6 weeks it is still too early, but soon you will feel some glimpses of "normality" - it means meds are working. Your journey will not be all bad, it ups and downs.. Than your ups will get longer and downs are not that intense until they will completely gone. Compare your recovery by weeks, not days and sometimes it is taking longer for some people but it works.

      My recovery was not all 6 month terrible, it was up and down. Dont think about time frame, some people getting better by 8-12 weeks, some need more time because our bodies responding differently to meds. I am not sure about dose tho because i have started on 20mg, but as far as i know, before increasing you should give anough time to the dose to work, at least 12 weeks. And than you can increase, because sometimes increase can increase also side effects, it is like starting all over. So just try to relax and let medication work, i know how hard it is and we are loosing hope and patience but it will get better 😃

    • Posted

      Please keep in touch and be strong 😃

      I am here for you anytime you want to talk

    • Posted

      I appreciate it! I just hope the fatigue goes away somehow soon.

    • Posted

      Yes, it will, just be patient and keep reminding yourself it is just temporary. What is your name and where are you from? 😃

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.