Internal shaking--feeling wired--can't sleep--dizzy. Is this fluoxotine withdrawal?

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I've been on fluoxotine for about 12 years 60mg. About 3 months ago I weaned off. It took about 2 weeks to wean off (probably should have done longer). After a couple weeks of being completely off I had some withdrawal symptoms, nothing major and it only lasted a week or so. Then weeks went by and something hit, after about 3 months of being completely off fluoxotine It feels like I drank 50 red bulls all the time, mainly at night.

I toss and turn and my heart pounds. I can't sleep. I feel miserable and helpless. I do not physically shake but I feel like my insides are shaking. I am not to the point where I am so dizzy during the day and nauseous.


Could this be fluoxotine withdrawal? Is that normal the symptoms hit me after 3 months? What else could this be?

All my bloodwork is good--EKG good--blood pressure ok (slightly high)

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  • Posted

    Yes, it is fluoxetine withdrawal!  Many on the withdrawal forum have reported of the internal shaking sensation.  I've even had my eyeballs jump around when my eyes are shut!  You are in protracted withdrawal which isn't recognized by the psych profession since it happens outside of 6 weeks, which is how long they seem to think it should only last. 

    You were on this drug for 12 years - there is no way that your system can adapt back to life without the drug in two weeks!  You are now experiencing the alert system disinhibition that plagues people who cold turkey or go too fast.  This causes anxiety, panic, horrid insomnia and that wired feeling, because your danger alert system has gone haywire, cortisol and adrenaline being triggered for no good reason.

    You are just on the cusp of the time frame for which reinstatement may still help.  The longer you wait the less likely it is to help.  However, reinstatement should be a very small dose, as your nervous system has done some adapting back and you don't want to exceed where it is as because you could trigger an adverse drug reaction or severe side effects.  I would say 10 mg.

    I strongly encourage you to join SurvivingAntidepressants, a peer-support forum for coming off these drugs that has moderators who will advise you; they are far more experienced than any doctor, p-doc included, in the matter of withdrawal.  

    Reinstatement is a harm-reduction approach, geared towards alleviating severe withdrawal symptoms.  Once you have stabilized for a good 4-6 weeks, you can then do a 10% taper, which is advised for all people wanting to come off their psych meds.

    No one can say how long these symptoms will last if you try to push through, as it is very individual.  I can say that healing occurs in a windows and waves pattern, where feeling good can be followed by feeling bad again.  Cold turkey withdrawal can last months and even years.  It really is the more sane approach to reinstate a small amount and taper from there, as withdrawal can cause a lot of suffering and be very scary, complete with severe anxiety, depression and even suicidality.  It is risky stuff.

    You can learn about that here in this thread; see the 10% topic

    I just want to say that it is awesome that you recognized this could be withdrawal, because a lot of people, and doctors, would call it a relapse of anxiety/depression and declare that you obviously need the meds . Well,  you do, but not for that reason!

    I hope to see you over at SA.  My username is SquirrellyGirl, there.  

    • Posted

      Thank you so much! I will definitely check it out! I already am back on a small dose 20mg for almost a week. I still have all the withdrawal symptoms. About how long does it take for the symptoms to subside after being back on a low dose of the drug?
    • Posted

      It takes about our days for the drug to reach a steady level in the blood so give it that long to see if it will help.  If you go to the forum where the 10% topic came from, they can advise you from there.  It would be nice if you didn't have to go higher with your reinstatement.  
    • Posted

      Oh, didn't see the one week part - reinstatement should have helped a bit by now.  I think the SA mods would be able to help you figure out what your next best move is, or isn't - could be just hold there for awhile and see if symptoms calm down.  

      When you go to SA, go to the Intros & Updates forum and read the stickies at the top; they tell you how to create an intro for yourself and fill in your signature block with history of what drugs you'd been on, when they were stopped, how they were stopped, symptoms, etc.  If you post under another forum, you might get missed.


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