I have been taking Fluoxetine since 2001

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Would like to stop taking Fluoxetine. I am 61 and feel is it really ok for me to stop at this time of my life. Is it worth it?  What are the side effects going to be? feeling very confused

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  • Posted

    Hello Hara,

    I’m sorry I don’t have any direct experience. I’m trying to stabilize on Flu. However I would suggest by starting with a conversation with your doc. I’ve read that you should taper off and not stop suddenly. Many have withdrawal symptoms, but everyone is different.

    I’m sure someone with real experience will post and have good advice for you.

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  • Posted

    what is your reason for wanting to stop taking it? My aunt has been on another anxiety med for 25+ years and has mentioned to me she will not come off because she fears the anxiety will come back. 
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  • Posted

    I wish I had some real advice for you but unfortunately I'm new to this as well and I'm really struggling with the side affects at the moment. I often feel like I will be on meds for the rest of my life as I would be terrified of getting better then stopping taking them and it coming back. My nan takes antidepressants (for depression not anxiety) and she is 75. She tried to Come off them a couple of years ago and it made her quite poorly so she went back on them. I guess all you can do is seek advice from the professionals in this instance as everyone says, everybody is different. I wish you luck with whatever happens and I would say definitely keep posting here as for me the advice and support has been such a great help. Xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Hara

    I was on meds for 16 years and came off successfully, restarted (due to family stress) and came off again with success once more.

    I took Citalopram though, different to Fluoxetine, but an SSRI nonetheless.

    Buy a pill cutter that includes a crusher too.

    The second time I came off meds I did it much slower and didn't have any withdrawal effects at all that time.  The first time I came off I spent around 6 months withdrawing and reduced from 20mg to 10mg, then 5mg then stopped.  I had nausea, headaches and brain zaps (they're just weird little electric type of sensations that ping in your head) and also had an inner shake / tremble.  The nausea was the most annoying.  Anyway, these symptoms hung around for some months and finally eased off and I felt well for a year, before I returned to meds and stayed on them for a year.

    The second time I came off I reduced by 5mg only and did 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 / 1.25 and had to crush the last 2 doses as they were too teeny to cut further.  I stayed on each dose around 2 months each and spent a year withdrawing.  The slower you do it the better it is for your body and symptoms.  

    I've been off meds about 18 months now and am feeling great still.  I now the 5-HTP instead which is bought over the counter (non prescription).  5-HTP is a natural equivalent to a prescribed SSRI, but without the side effects and it works quicker and has no start up / withdrawal time either.

    But do it as slow as you can with minimal reductions - there's no hurry to come off.

    On the other hand, there is no problem staying on meds for life if you wanted to.

    Hope that helps xx.

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