FLUOXETINE WITHDRAWAL - beware of incorrect info

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I was on Fluoxetine for around 4 or 5 years and tbh was sick of the strange dreams it gave me nearly every night which themselves didn't exactly set me off with a spring in my step that and the thought that I didn't want to be on it fir the rest of my life so I decided to come of it.

However it was fortunate that I had read article after article on fluoxetine withdrawals online or I'd now be in even a worse state than I am. just skimming a few articles would make you think that with its long half life coming off it should be relatively easy - and for many people it is. However tucked in amongst all the positive stuff you see in the mote learned looking places the very important point that for some people the withdrawals do not even START for 2 months and then can be extremely unpleasant indeed. This is what I experienced. I thought I'd waltzed through the withdrawal with few if any symptoms and followed my GPs advice of 40mg to 20mg for a month and then stop. That was around a couple of months ago. then just Iver a week ago I started to feel very physically ill with the symptoms of what I thought was norovirus however during the time I was confined to the house I also began to be filled with the worst imaginable anxiety and a feeling of utter hopelessness and detachment from the world also the brain pulses ( a better way of describing it than brain zaps for what I felt). it was only the latter that made me think of withdrawals and from that reading the articles that mentioned it can be up to 2 months for fluoxetine withdrawals to start and how unpleasant they can be. Now putting it all together it appears that I am in the midst of a full blown 'bad' withdrawal experience. I do not want to give in and go back on them but I've never felt so low before in nearly 40 years of battles with drink, drugs and the depression and anxiety they triggered and which I then compounded by years if self-medicating with them.i have been clean for some years now but would now like to stay prescribed meds free too. However I also read these fluoxetine withdrawals once started can last for weeks too if you're unlucky. I had this week off work on annual leave although as a locum worker that is unpaid but the idea if returning to a professional front line job in the NHS next week fills me with dread. but as I said I cannot afford to have any more time off.

the main point of this post however aside from wanting to enlighten people to the less mentioned side of fluoxetine withdrawal is the dangers if the amount of incorrect and incomplete information on the Internet and the dangers of this. If it hadn't been to the sheer volume of material I had read about fluoxetine withdrawal plus the pulsing sensations in my head I could well have not linked my current extremely distressing mental state with withdrawal with who knows what result for my personal well-being and future recovery. I'm digging in and trying to ride out the storm but at least I know why I feel like this. However 75% of the stuff I've read online about the subject had left me completely in the dark about the darker side of withdrawal.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    sorry to hear that as fluoxetine is one of the better ones to come off. i was on it for over 10 years but i tapered at my own pace to the point off still having one pill a week. never had any withdrawals.

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    • Posted

      thanks for the reply stewart - yes i think that's the problem that for some the withdrawals are ok for others very bad. I think the long half life equates to a longer gap before any withdrawals at all but when and if they start they can be worse and more long lasting. I'm going to start another thread where I will record these withdrawals I'm the hope that it may help those other unfortunates who experience the withdrawals.

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  • Posted

    This is exactly what I'm experiencing now! waltzed through the first 2 months symptoms free and then the withdrawal symptoms kicked it. I'm so glad I'm not alone in this experience.

    Have your symptoms eased any?

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