Should I go back on Fluoxetine?

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Hello,

Am new to the forums, so apologies if this topic has been brought up many times!

I am 30 and have been on 20mg Fluoxetine for around three years (before that, was on Citalopram for about five years). I cut down to 10 mg at the end of last year and completely quit two and a half months ago. Have been feeling very up and down and anxious and moody since then. I also cry a lot and feel pessimistic and generally feel hopeless about the future. There are brief interludes when I feel ok, but mainly I feel flat/anxious

SSRIs worked wonders for me (before them, I was often moody and prone to bouts of depression). I feel that the way I'm feeling now could just be who I am and that scares me. I wonder if there is a happier, SSRI-free me at the end of the tunnel or if I will always need to take SSRIs to feel adjusted and "normal"...

Perhaps from having gone through a similar experience, can anyone advise what I should do - i.e. stick with the withdrawal or reinstate a low dose of Fluoxetine? I should note that I did have some side-effects with SSRIs, such as low libido. I also want to hopefully have kids at some point and not sure I would want to take SSRIs while pregnant.

Thank you for any advice you can give me!

L

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    IMO never quit cold turkey. I tried to quit cold turkey of Zoloft and got so depressed I also committed suicide. I told my wife one night to get me a gun. Was an awful experience. I learned never quit cold turkey. I would reinstate at a low dose then slowly go off
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    • Posted

      A family member quit Zoloft cold turkey and was brought to the brink of suicide.. This is someone that had never previously been remotely suicidal, so that doesn't surprise me. You have to withdraw so carefully... Are you no longer taking it?

      Thank you for your advice. I took a 20mg capsule this morning and will take it every other day and then every three days etc.. Will get off it eventually but slowly!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Im 38 and like u i came off the antidepressants thinking i should be able to manage by now and at time i felt great relative to what i was like. Seemed like best idea. For 4 long yrs i tried to get myself bit more organised,remeber more and speed up and improve my thinking, but ,i just gave up thinking depression has ruined me and i will never function like i used to. I wanted to move to easier lower paid job. I gave up and went to doc really believing i must have been skipping work and trying to get doc to sign me off. They did sign off for a little while and each week i was trying to get extended while on fluroxetine 20mg. As side effects lifted i realised and had lots time to think i realised how bad i was and noticed things i was saying and panics i was getting in and how angry and stressed i was. I honestly hadnt noticed i just thought i had enough and put my reactions down to being tired or hungry or someone else. I was off for months in the end and moved up to 40mg. What a relief! It took a long 3wks to see difference but oh my word! I feel terrific, chatty ,quick and witty again..noticably so. Even Mum had never seem me so bubbly. My doctor told me i should have never come off them because i had a hormone imbalace and stressful job and fsmily which was keeping me at a lower level steadily hence i wasnt getting enough high happy periods.

    The antidepressants have supported me to make some good decisions health family and workwise ..and quickly. The changes im making will mean when im off them i will be going back to a more stable happy setting. Im still taking them and i will not come off them until i have pickef over my life to make stuff drain as little of me as poss. Its so working i cant believe i came off them before. 4 yrs of feeling like i was dragging dead weight when i could have done a couple mths of meds. If ur worried about ur mild mental health you have an issue. You wouldnt be thinking it otherwise. Yes libido dropped off quite a lot more on 40mg but dont actually mind as much as i thought i would. Believe me i would have been thinking of it or acting on it many times a day,so no one more suprised than me of my decision to stay on meds for longer. What i have realised tho is that its still possible to have sex. I might not think about it in same way or get that sustained build up but i can achieve a satisying result and closeness. Your partner needs to be patient and inventive. not all of my usual methods work.

    Ask your doc if you should try another medication type or ...carry on with flurextine and take a medication break of some sort so you can get some baby making activities done. If i could have gone back in time to my younger self i would have told her to carry on until she was 100% sure she didnt need them. If it fixes her take the meds. She wont get a shiny medal to say she conquered depression in 10 hard yrs rather than taking easy option of just 4 mths. Good luck x x

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    • Posted

      I'm hoping soon I feel like you both. I've had a very bad year. Very high stress job has caused me 8 months of panic attacks and severe anxiety on top of high stress. I lost a child this year due to missed carriage and alot more had happend.

      11 weeks ago I woke up lightheaded with alot of light and heat sensitivity. Then came the brain fog, problems swallowing and more and some what memory loss and headaches. I had every test done you can imagine. Scopes, barium swallow,amy blood tests, you name it

      Doctor put me on Prozac and I hated it i will completely sick for 2 weeks straight then I started having breathing problems and suicide thoughts and murder dreams.

      He put me on lexapro after that which I started 4 days ago but so far it's been to early to feel any results.

      I'm hoping with some more time I can feel like you above. Normal and happy again. I really hate this being lightheaded and I hope it eventually goes away.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      You will I know. Your body tells you when to slow down or go ahead. I recommend getting good at reading your own warning signs.

      My hands shake uncontrollably and i get frequent headaches that headache pills didnt touch. I thought i needed glasses or not drinking enough water or needed coffee or peoples isdues were at fault. The headaches are actually caused by tension in my neck muscles when i push self too hard. I learnt quick relaxation techniques to get rid of tension as soon as i feel a twinge. The shaking hands are an over reaction to very very mild stress. I did what my body said and steered clear of mild stress (sometimes being bit selfish) and hey presto my body started to realise it didnt need to overreact to stop me. Slowly i exposed myself to harder situations until i was able to do tasks i needed. I also had to identify tasks which were stressful for no other reason than my poor time mgmt and because the process was stupid or not questioned. Those ones i needed to find a better stressfree solution. Its possible!

      Identify people who just cause stress there are loads of them...get shot of them or put them at arms length. You are more important.

      Time to put u and your loved ones first.

      Also you need to find an activity which allows your brain to freeflow in a focussed direction. I watch movies or box sets back to back or listen to audiobooks or recorded standup comedy. Try making something to completion. (A tiny box to put your paperclips in - make it posh or silly and put it on a shelf where u will see it. It will remind u of something positive)

      Go for a walk, talk, laugh or look at people having fun, listen to new tunes and avoid thoughts which are negative. If you need to cheat somedays...go ahead! smile its ur life! I ticked box for walking by standing outside my front door, or people watch from window in car sat on my drive.

      Im so sorry you both had a miscarriage. When you think how complex or slim chance it is to make a human its amazing anyone does it. The hurt u are feeling is only possible because of the amount you loved the child ...and thats before meeting.

      The brain fog and memory loss will go just keep looking after your well being. It can lift as soon as it disappeared in first place. I was doing something new and exciting and it just became easier and easier.

      To me you come across as kind and friendly, thoughtful, helpful, polite, good at communication and open. I think you are important and worth looking after.

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  • Posted

    I had to quit cold turkey about four and a hlaf months ago and have felt like you describe ever since. I also get terrible physical symptoms - drowsiness, achey limbs, fatigue, headaches, etc. I did some research on the internet and apparently these symptoms take about 6 months or so to dissappear. When I lowered my dose a couple of years ago this happened and it took about that time to clear so I would say try to keep going for now. I know how it feels - I will burst into tears for literally no reason at all and completely out of the blue. I also have periods of feeling ok and much happier than I was. I have a couple of friends who say they felt very emotional for about 6 months after stopping too. At the moment it feels like I will never get over it but I know from my experience of lowering the dose that I will and I would imagine you will too. Try to find a way of carrying this stuff around without identifying with it and remember that it is not just you. And that there are others who are going through similar stuff - you are not alone.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Chochka. I decided to go back on a lowish dose (20 mg every other day) and then going to taper off gradually.. Part of me feels like it's a failure, but I think that's in part to do with my mindset right now! Unfortunately, I don't think it's the right time in my life to deal with the withdrawal (newish job, in between houses etc).. But I'm determined to come off in the next year or so.

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    • Posted

      Don't feel it's a failure. If I could reinstate and then taper I would but I had a bad reaction to them about a year after starting taking them so I had to stop. Do what you need to do - it sounds to me like 20mg every second day is a good choice. I cried all the way to work this morning for no reason whatsoever so I would try it if I could! 

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    • Posted

      I know how that feels.. On Saturday (when I wrote the message) I felt absolutely broken and hopeless and couldn't stop bursting into tears. Now I feel fine again- it's weird how a 10/20mg of Prozac can have that effect. It makes me more determined to stop taking them! Just realise that it's not permanent (as you said to me) and that it will pass! It's all chemical and at least you're getting it out your system..

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    • Posted

      Reading that u cried to work for no reason makes me sad

      Its so draining and exhausting in your head isnt it?

      I hope one day soon you will be walking into work, thinking how lovely the weather is and how light and airy you feel deep inside then smiling to yourself for absolutly no reason at all. It will happen.

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  • Posted

    Hi Louise

    SSRI's work wonders for me too.  I also looked for an alternative and have found something worth trying before you consider restarting restarting a prescription SSRI ;-)

    5-HTP is a natural SSRI and apparently works just as well as Prozac and other prescription SSRI's.  Worth checking out on the internet.

    I've taken this before when I came off Citalopram, as I do need something.  I took them for a year and felt quite well on them.  You can start and stop them any time as there are no nasty side effects as with Flu and Cit etc, though some people do find a few minor things ..... and there's no effect on your libido either.  They also work quicker.

    You must take l-tyrosine with them too - both tablets are bought over the counter at Holland & Barrett (if you're in the UK), and other health food shops too.

    I sadly had to restart Cit 2 years ago when family illness became too stressful for me, but I've been withdrawing from them this last year and am nearly off them and will return to 5-HTP and l-tyrosine soon.

    I can thoroughly recommend them.  

    You must not however take 5-HTP with any prescriptions SSRI's though, as both have a similar action on your body.

    I can message you too with a book recommendation on 5-HTP which I found brilliant.

    K xx

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