Please help 6 weeks on fluoxetine

Posted , 5 users are following.

I really need some help. I started fluoextine for panic disorder, severe anxiety and depression 6 weeks ago. I did feel some fairly quick relief and was starting to do better. The past few weeks have been really hard and now I feel like I am getting worse. I am so scared as I dont know what to think. Today has been horrific, started with morning anxiety then a crying episode followed by panic, fear and anxiety. I am so exhausted. I really hope this is normal and I am going to get better as I cant take much more. I was previously on zoloft for 5 years which worked well but i came off for 18 months then my mental health went down hill so I started it again but it brought on the panic disorder. So here I am 6 weeks on fluoxetine and feeling dreadful and so scared of it not working. please help

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27 Replies

  • Edited

    Hi Annie

    what dose you are on ?

    Unfortunately, thats the hard part of recovery - ups and downs, 3 steps forward and than 2 steps back. Thats how it works until our brain learns to receive this extra serotonin. What you are going through is normal and it will gets better, trust me, even though it does not feels for you at the moment.

    Give your body time, at least 12 weeks and than review your recovery, compare how you felt and is the progress.

    Its very scary for you right now, i know i was there, but this will pass and you will be happy again

    • Posted

      thank you so much for replying, it means a lot in these desperate times. I am on 20mg. It seems like this usually happens when people up their dose but mine has been consistant so I feel like I shouldnt be feeling this bad after 6 weeks. I cant help but think maybe I am that person who its not going to work for and I will just get worse.

    • Edited

      Hi Annie, hold on tight for the rollercoaster ride! Nataliya has been through the awful side effects, and I'm a bit behind her, started about 4.5 months ago, feeling great now, but oh boy that was probably the hardest thing I've ever done getting on these little green meanies! Your feelings are very similar to mine about then, I started feeling a bit better then it all suddenly went down hill, I was devastated and so disappointed after going through all the sideys, the worst thing was the doubt that they were working and whether I'd get better, knowing the alternative was very bad if they didn't. I think it's important to realise that if you're feeling really crap and have so many side effects now at a pretty early stage, then it's proof the fluox IS working, it just takes a lot longer than the guide or the doctor tells you, give it at least another month please. I'd be more concerned if I didn't feel anything happening tbh. Try to keep eating when you can keep it down, get as much rest too, and fight on through it, we've mostly been through exactly the same thing, but it's different for everyone as you've seen from some of the other posters on here. I'd say you're right in the middle of the fluoxetine side effects, the worst time right now. There's no other way than to keep on going through it, you'll be so relieved and proud later on believe me! it's VERY rare that these meds don't work, after all that's what they are designed to do, we're all made up pretty much the same too, just how we react is different. It's just the body producing serotonin and improving how the brain uses it, but it makes us worse to start with as the brain figures out what the heck is happening! Takes a long time to feel this bad, and it takes time to get better, but I'm really sure you'll get there, with a lot of love and reassurance, which is where we can help. Just post whenever and as often as you want to, we'll try to get back to you asap, and help you get through this ok. Big Hug.

    • Posted

      Thank you so much Phil, I massively appreciate your reply. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. I really do hope youre right but what I am concerned about is whether what I am feeling is side effects or whether its how I was already feeling before starting is breaking through. Like you say the alternative of them not working is very bad as I was in the worst place before this going in to AandE with panic attacks. In a way I would be more relieved to know this is side effects and not my symptoms coming back. Or do you believe they are the same thing as a side effect is symptoms coming back?

      I am talking to a Dr today to say I am concerned about how downhill I am going. I imagine they may offer to up the dose but I didnt want to do that so early.

      Thank you so much again for the support

    • Posted

      I have had the odd moments where I feel a glimmer of hope from a wave of warm feelings so I feel like that could be it starting to work but it hasnt taken the anxiety, depression and panic away so I wonder if thats the best I will get.. Thats my worrying again

    • Posted

      The glimmer is how it starts! In my limited (week 8) experience. Eventually the glimmers will start to join up.

    • Posted

      oh great news so you are starting to feel better? which week did you start to feel confident about it working?

    • Posted

      Week 3, i felt some glimmery days, week 4 the same. Week 5 was not good.

      Week 6 I began taking 10mg Propranolol once a day. That's when things began to turn round for me. I don't know if you know it? It's a beta blocker that helps with the physical effects of both Anxiety and Fluoxetine. I lost the churning insides, the diarrhoea and the hand tremors which had been making me feel like an invalid and I began to relax.

      I was referred by my GP to a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. I had 4 sessions with her, and they were helpful. I had the last one yesterday. Yesterday I felt great; today I feel a bit "Eek! I'm operating without a safety net!", so a bit wobbly.

      I am really fortunate. I live in retirement flats with an amazing manager. Within that really quite protected atmosphere I've started trying to push beyond my recent comfort zone. I've discovered that I can be brave enough to feel Anxious outside my zone, and then I recover. Knowing that has made the Anxiety less powerful. Sometimes.

      I think reading probably every single thread on here was what convinced me that it would work. All my side effects and wobbles were things people had been having for years, and then recovered. There have been a lot of ploddy days, and days with a glimmer but only just. Once I started the Propranolol there were a lot fewer physical symptoms to worry about and google, and I had the head space to think about other things.

      That's just me, though. Some people get relief much earlier than me, some much later.

      I hope your glimmers join up soon. 😃

    • Posted

      Yes I have also been prescribed propananol but I am scared to take it. I also would prefer to know the true effects of prozac on its own if it works. Do you still take propananol daily and is it something you plan to taper off and just have prozac? thank you

    • Edited

      I am pleased for you that you are feeling stronger

    • Posted

      For four and a bit weeks I didn't take the Propranolol, fearing it would make my sleep even worse than Fluo does, but from the first tablet I was convinced. I wish I'd started sooner.

      I don't see giving up either of them any time soon. Although there was a Thing that triggered this Anxiety onslaught, when I look back I see I'd been sliding into it for a while. So I believe I need the seratonin enabler that is Fluo but I also need the physical calming of the Prop to help with waiting for the Fluo to take hold and keep hold.

  • Edited

    I have just spoken to the doctor and he said there are two options, change to something different or up the dose. He is letting me have a think about it and to be honest I am reluctant for either at this moment. From what I have read from these forums and the facebook prozac group docs are'nt always the expert on these drugs and when faced with this situation all most can do is suggest upping or swapping. Any thoughts on this?

    • Edited


      your anxiety pushing you to look for solution, trying to fix yourself and looking for recovery which is causing even more anxiety. Meds are working , just give it time, recovery is not happening overnight. Stop thinking ifs and whys and whens, i know its almost impossible when you ruled by anxiety. Give at least 12 weeks, dont rush to increase or change.

      Just give it time

  • Posted

    sorry for all the posts, clearly in an anxious state!

    the doc said seeing as it worked a bit in the beginning and then came back shows that it may not be cutting it for me. Dont you think that shows that they are not fully aware as that is what most people on here say is normal?

    • Posted

      Hi Annie, just read your posts sorry was busy at work! I'll reply a bit later, just trying to warm up in a hot bath now! The fluoxetine will start working, got to give it time, are you on 20mgs?

    • Posted

      Ok. Back in the land of the living now, what a day! Sorry for the delay, I know quick responses are important for you right now. Look, the meds are clearly starting to work, your intuition is telling you that, listen to yourself. You have felt something haven't you? You have to be alive to feel something. That will only get better and more frequent, you MUST NOT doubt it, please, keep on going, I implore you. I wish I could just hold you, and reassure you until you get to that sudden point when you know it's working, so I'll do it as virtually as I can. I know deep inside, in the loneliest moments of despair, what it feels like. You must keep on going with the 20mgs for now, they're going to work. You're possibly going to have to go up to 40mgs (same as me to kickstart the effects) at some point, and that's my therapeutic dosage now, about half way to the maximum of about 80mgs, so you're still on a pretty low dose anyway. (I'm sorry Nataliya, but I did go up to 40mgs quicker than you said but it's working!). Look, Anna, you can privately message as well but not sure how to do it. Sometimes it's easier because you can talk about stuff without worrying new posters getting down, because we need to boost them. I think it's pretty private but the moderators should be attentive. Hold on dear girl x

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