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Anyone Else Try An Ssri To Help With Withdrawal? Need Side Effects Help.


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#1 krob1

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 08:55 PM

So after a month of valium, I am now freshly on prozac. I have never experienced initial or start up side effects on anxiety medicine since I was initially put on them very young. However, after going off Cymbalta in March, I am dealing with side effects when starting Prozac.

 

I am on day 10. The first week seemed okay. Not much noticeable progress. However, the Prozac causes the Valium's effects to be too strong and overwhelming so I had to stop taking it. 

 

I don't panic as much, which is good. And my anxiety levels are tolerable at certain points throughout the day now. However, I have realllly bad dry mouth and I am crying randomly for no reason. I literally cried at a food commercial that wasn't even sad.

 

I'm getting kind of worried because last night I woke up shaking and anxious at 4 am. Then woke up again at 6 am. However, at 6 am I was not shaking and only slightly anxious. I've been waking up atleast once a night since day 5. I know this side effect will stop, but any opinions on possible guesses for how long until it does?

 

I want to tough this out and be able to stay on this medicine because I feel like I need something right now. 

 

Any Prozac stories anyone cares to share to reassure me? 

 

I'm also worried it won't get better by the time my college classes start up again in 8 days. /: (the optimist in me says I will feel atleast a little better by then)

 

Thanks for reading guys i really just need some support.


#2 krob1

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 08:57 PM

I also had a very very weird dream that woke me up at one point as well. I'm kind of scared to sleep honestly.


#3 TryinginFL

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 09:14 PM

Hi krob!

 

I have read of many who have cross tapered the crap withdrawal with Prozac, however it takes 4-6 weeks for the Prozac to ramp up in your system.  I did not do this, but took the hard road of cold turkey from 60mg to 0 and DO NOT RECOMMEND IT! 

 

What you are describing are typical crapalta withdrawal - hopefully they will start to fade as the Prozac takes over.  Yep, the dreams are so real they can be good or bad - mine were usually good and very enjoyable!

 

Did you go off the C. cold turkey in March?  Since you mention school, I gather that you are quite young which is definitely in your favor.  Usually it is easier and the symptoms are not as severe as in us old farts!

 

The crying is another withdrawal symptom but should fade as time moves on...  I still cry very easily but I am also very sensitive.  I have been off the crap for almost a year now, but still have some sleep issues.  You mention Valium, and I was/am on Alprazolam (Xanax).  The anxiety is gone but I use it mostly for sleep.

 

If you have any other questions, please ask!  The forum is pretty quiet tonite - due to New Year's Eve, I guess, so you get me  -  I am alone and watching the forum!

 

I wish you the best and a Happy New Year! :)

 

Liz


#4 brzghoff

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 10:25 PM

hi krob,

 

never been on prozac, but as with other anti-d's i know that it takes awhile to ramp up - just like TFL mentioned - mayve 4-6 weeks is typical wth most. also, anti-d's typically have side effects that kick in when you start, but then fade within a few weeks. i am not surprised that it enhanced the valium's impact, god idea to drop it if you don't need it.

 

as for the bad dreams, i've been reading a book called "go wild" which is about how our diet, movement (or lack there-of) and sleep habits affect our mental health physical state and immunity. it mentions that bad dreams are historically tied to our brain "working through" problems as we sleep so we are prepared once we're awake!

 

hang tight, i think you'll be okay.

 

Krob and TFL...

 

have a happy new year!


#5 thismoment

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 06:27 AM

Hi Krob

 

The use of benzodiazepines (as needed for anxiety) and regular dosing of SS/SNRIs is pretty common and there's likely nothing to worry about, but here is a little info you should know about.

 

I see you encountered some difficulties mixing Valium (diazepam) and Prozac (fluoxetine). This isn't uncommon, and there is a caution about combining these two drugs. The simultaneous use of these drugs comes with a Moderate warning, which hopefully your physician mentioned in the Informed Consent briefing he or she gave you before prescribing the medications.

 

There are 3 Drug Interaction Classifications; here are the guidelines:

 

1. Major-- Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.

2. Moderate-- Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use only under special circumstances.

3. Minor-- Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interactions risk and/or institute an monitoring plan.

 

If you were taking the Valium daily for a month, some of the Prozac 'start-up side effects' you mention may in fact be diazepam withdrawal. It's hard to know, but be assured that the diazepam withdrawal symptoms are very real and they may persist for a number of weeks. The abrupt stoppage of one med while ramping up another is usually not advised: you never know where you're at-- what's causing what-- and that confused mind state is not helpful.

 

Is your main issue anxiety? As you know all these drugs eventually poop out, and after some period of time you may find you have to boost the dosage to keep the anxiety down, or switch to something else. Time will tell. Do you have a therapist?

 

Get stable and stick to the meds as directed if they are working; missing a dose may lead to threshold withdrawal symptoms, and you don't bad feelings when you are studying.

 

The macabre dreams-- yes; I know what it feels like to be afraid to go to sleep-- for me that was a withdrawal issue (it could be diazepam WD rather than fluoxetine ramp-up; just a guess).

 

"I feel like I need something right now." Can you tell me what you mean? 

 

You are going to do fine! A website that has good drug info is drugs.com, and you can search within the site for info.

 

Take care.


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 09:16 AM

I agree with TFL and TM. Benzo withdrawal can be hell by itself and the Prozac hasn't had a chance to begin to help. At least a month or more to kick in. Good luck and hold on tight.


#7 krob1

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 04:29 PM

Thanks for the fast response Liz!

I used the bead method to get off the Cymbalta early last year and was fully off it the end of March.

 

The dreams have gotten worse. Only nightmares now. 

My boyfriend slept over last night and said I was just shaking in my sleep constantly.

 

I also noticed that when I wake up throughout the night I am freezing each time and my body feels very heavy.

 

I'm hoping the nightmares will stop and just end up vivid dreams. I've always had insomnia so that part doesn't bother me at all.

 

I do have small dose melatonin pills I could use, but I don't want them to make the dreams worse.

 

Is overall body pain normal for either the prozac starting up or I guess the valium ending? 

 

My doctor doesn't accept phone calls and told me valium can be stopped whenever. (Obviously I knew better, but it was a small dose so I didn't think it would be physical symptoms as much as mental.)

 

Thanks!


#8 krob1

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 04:37 PM

The doctor didn't mention any interaction warnings. However, with the intensity combined I knew it wasn't a good combination. However, I was sleeping better when I took the valium at night with the prozac before I couldn't tough out the interaction any longer. I still woke up frequently, but didn't have nightmares.

 

Yes, my main issue is anxiety. With that I have some OCD as well. 

 

I'm planning to be on the prozac for a short period of time. I want to get through this semester and see where I stand then. I could use the summer to work out alternate treatments. My other thought was to just wait until the summer after this. I do not have a therapist, but am thinking of trying CBT whenever I want to be medicine free again. The goal is to be without meds as soon as reasonably possible. I just am still on the search for a good doctor to help me with that process in the future.

 

As to feeling like I need something, I know I cannot handle my anxiety right now on my own. I have a lot of neck/back issues and headache and jaw issues that have all caused additional anxiety for me. That is why originally I was on the valium as a temporary fix until the doctors could figure out what was causing my chronic headaches and issues. However, I know it is easy to become dependent on valium, which is why I broke down and agreed to try prozac instead for my anxiety.

 

Thank you for all the information!! I didn't even think that the dreams could be benzo withdrawal. I really hope they are that and not the prozac.


#9 krob1

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 04:43 PM

On the bright side, I do think the Prozac is helping my energy during the day and I have more time periods where my anxiety is at a normal level. 


#10 krob1

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 04:45 PM

As far as side effects, I am very sensitive to cold. I am also shaky. (apparently only feeling shaky not visibly) and i am twitching sometimes. 

I'm assuming these are typical side effects that will die down in time. 

Those are normal with prozac from what i've read, correct?


#11 fishinghat

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 05:16 PM

I just looked at the fda info and they say 3.25% of the people on prozac report tremors or shakeyness.


#12 FiveNotions

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 05:48 PM

And I found a lot of comments about this on various other depression and anxiety discussion forums ... reported by folks who'd just started on fluoxetine (Prozac) ... all of them I read said the symptoms lasted in the range of 1-2 weeks, approx. Only saw one comment from someone who said this had been so bad/continuous that they had stopped taking the med.

 

Also, a number of the comments about these issues were from people who were taking the generic (fluoxetine). So, if you're on the generic, and it continues, you might want to have your doc switch you to the brand to see if that works better. (Yes, there is a difference between the brand and generic of this drug, Cymbalta and all other meds ... the generic mfgrs get the "secret recipe" for the drug itself when it goes off patent, but not the recipe for the actual manufacturing process or the coating on the outside of the tablet or the capsule itself.)


#13 krob1

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 08:04 PM

Thank you on the percentage. Glad to know I'm not the only one. Hopefully that will go away soon.

 

That's awesome to hear!! I'm on day 12 so maybe it won't be much longer of these terrible side effects! :)

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I always assumed the difference between the name brand and generic wasn't enough to have an impact. I'll keep that idea in mind. With my luck, I'll end up with more side effects somehow.

 

Hopefully this will all end soon. I'm having a very rough night. It needs to start improving before I go crazy.


#14 FiveNotions

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 11:47 PM

krob, just hang on ... and keep posting here anytime you're having a rough go of it .. night or day .. we all know how "rough" the times can be during this process ... and the rough times fade, gradually ... they don't just "end" ... which is what we all wished they did... we just keep going, one minute, one hour, one day, and we refuse to give up... and, after almost 11 months off the poison, I can assure you ... my life now makes every one of those ugly, rough, hellish moments worth the suffering and struggle ...

What symptoms are you having now, what's causing the "rough"? We've got lots of tricks/remedies to deal with all the various shit that hits ... tell us, and we'll do our best to help ..

#15 krob1

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 06:35 PM

I know they won't just end, but I am really hoping they start showing improvement soon and fast :/ I am very worried with school starting in 4 days. I need to be able to at-least show up.

 

I'm going to start updating daily with side effects/progress so I can track for myself and tell my doctor whenever he can see me again.

 

Recapping.

Week 1: no change. slightly less anxious, probably a placebo.

Day 8-10: dry mouth

Day 11-12: night sweat, nightmares, lots of worry, intense crying, moments of sadness/defeat

 

So today is...day 13. I feel so weird and kind of disconnected from the world. I also feel so tired and my body is heavy. I can barely keep my eyes open. Walking is tiresome.

I am feeling less anxious at times, but when I do feel anxious it is awful.

I am also coming up on my period so I'm sure that is making everything 100 times worse. I'll have to reevaluate the side effects once that's over.

 

I'm also having feelings of tightness/tension in my throat.

 

I am still shaky. My mom even saw it today when I visited her that I was shaky. 

I keep switching between feeling like I can't sit still and like I'm glued to the couch.

 

Now for the bright side, I slept a lot better last night. I woke up multiple times, but I don't think it was from bad dreams. I couldn't remember any of my dreams. So I feel a lot better about the sleep situation :) Honestly, it feels like I'm going to sleep both tonight and all tomorrow(with the random wake ups of course) with how tired I feel. Maybe my body just needs the rest from all it's been through. 

 

I'm really trying to stick with this. I need to get my anxiety under control and I'm hoping prozac will be my answer!


#16 krob1

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 07:01 PM

Day 13 still: started feeling not disoriented at about 7pm. weird. 

 

Any opinions on switching to taking this at night? I'm concerned about dreams more than anything.

 

Thanks again for reading and the support! This site really does help. :)


#17 krob1

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 03:50 PM

skipped day 14, it was really rough to say the least. intense muscle twitches and tremors. I'm guessing this may be a slight valium withdrawal. Had an anxiety attack.

 

 

so today, day 15: woke up sweating and a few times in the night. had a decent amount of morning anxiety. then had a calm period for a few hours. i feel very spacey. anxiety is starting up again right now. trying to stop it and watch a movie. major headache all day as well. 


#18 krob1

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 06:32 PM

day 16: still have a constant headache. i slept better last night. vivid dreams but no nightmares :)

i'm so fatigued and my body is sore, but i think that it is finally having a chance to rest from the anxiety.

hopefully this will improve day by day.

 

i'm not having muscle twitches very much anymore, which is good! they were worrying me. 

i still feel spacey, but i'm assuming that will also go away with time.

 

classes start tomorrow so here's hoping my morning anxiety will take a break for me!


#19 brzghoff

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 07:04 PM

krob

 

hopefully classes will provide a focus that will distract the anxiety, good luck!


#20 thismoment

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 07:27 PM

krob

 

Headache is not uncommon with Prozac, but hopefully it will abate once the drug is fully uploaded-- it takes 4-6 weeks.

 

You've had long-term exposure to antidepressants, and the quality of withdrawal and discontinuation is related to the length of exposure. You will have to be patient and not anticipate an abrupt ending to your symptoms. A 6-month discontinuation of uncomfortable symptoms is not uncommon. But the intensity of symptoms will slow down and become less acute in time.

 

Of course you will have to manage your anxiety, and there are some choices for that outside the SS/SNRI and benzodiazepine world: consider hydroxyzine and clonidine. 

 

Hopefully your classes will be able to draw the focus away from some of the symptoms, but still leave you with the tools for scholarship. I think you will do fine; don't get yourself in a corner by letting things at school slip behind-- as you know, that's a recipe for anxiety.

 

Hang in there. You sound very capable.


#21 krob1

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:15 AM

thank you for the encouragement!

 

I'm not sure what happened, but today I have crazy anxiety. I looked up more information on Prozac and it seems like this is the period (2-3 weeks) where people get crazy anxiety.

I had a panic attack on my way to my first class this morning so it's safe to say I didn't go. I'm hoping to be able to make it to my class at 11, but I'm not sure how likely that is.

 

My doctor won't see me until the 19th, so I'm trying to find a different one that will give me an emergency appointment.

This stuff is making me feel like I'm going crazy and I have a slight ringing in my right ear which I do not want to risk.

I just can't get calm at all.

 

I think I may have to play it safe and go back on Cymbalta at the lowest dose after being off it since last March :(

If I can't go to my classes this semester my father may actually kill me. He has been zero percent supportive with my mental health since I was little.

Maybe i'll try to get off again in the summer or try to switch to something else then.

 

Side effects starting it back up don't seem likely since it worked for me initially although I'm sure I'll gain back the 10+ pounds..... I hate this crap.

 

:(


#22 fishinghat

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 11:24 AM

I understand Krob1. If the prozac doesn't do the job (takes 6 to 8 weeks to build up to full strength in the system) then the next best ssris are Zoloft or Lexapro. Both have long half lives and take around 4 to 5 weeks to build up in your system.

 

The actions of your father are way too common. It reminds me of what my mother said when I developed anxiety. She said "All you need to do is calm down!"  "Duh!! You think Mom?" "Why didn't I think of that?" sheesh!!

 

Hang in there an good luck with this.


#23 thismoment

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:24 PM

krob

 

You're kind of between a rock and a hard place: benzos have got you spooked, but you need one, or something similar right now. The Prozac could take weeks to affect the anxiety, and it may have no effect, or it could make it worse; there's no way to know. Valium is no more 'addictive' than the SSRI.

 

How many more classes or days can you miss before you feel you are out of the loop in this semester?

 

Get the anxiety down or it will pull your life apart.


#24 krob1

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:37 PM

Finally got a hold of a doctor. They're taking me off prozac asap. Apparently I am not having normal side effects.

 

Got a script for hydroxyzine to take at night. Maybe that'll be my crutch for now. 

 

Made it to class yesterday. Can't make the morning classes because of the prozac anxiety. But if it stops I should be okay.

 

I'm waiting till the last day to drop to decide about school. I might switch to online only for the semester.

 

 

In good news, I got offered an amazing full time job opportunity! Hopefully I can get this all under control and take this job. :)


#25 fishinghat

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:40 PM

Hydroxyzine is a good drug for anxiety and withdrawal symptoms. It does however make people drowsy so that is probably why you are just taking it at night.  I hope things work out.


#26 TryinginFL

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:40 PM

Good news, krob!

 

I certainly hope that this will solve your problem!

 

Congratulations on the job offer - sure hope that you will  be able to take it!! :D


#27 thismoment

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 06:12 PM

krob

 

Hopefully the hydroxyzine will help. You still have a witch's brew of drugs on board that will continue to affect how you feel for a while. After they leave your system, your brain will continue to re-arrange the furniture for some time after the guests have gone. I think you're on the right track, and you can cope.

 

It's impossible to know if the anxiety is from the Prozac.

 

"Maybe that'll be my crutch for now." Careful with the negative self-talk my dear. There are no crutches, there is only quality of life.

 

The full-time job will end your education. Is that okay?


#28 krob1

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 09:02 PM

I only woke up twice last night after taking the hydroxyzine! I had very vivid dreams but no nightmares.

 

I'm going to start CBT soon so I will hopefully be able to get my anxiety under control and eventually switch to just zzzquil or melatonin as a sleep aid down the road. 

 

I'm also looking into starting L-5htp for the next few months while going through the therapy to get back under control of things, but am waiting until I start the therapy and talk about if that would be a good option for me since I seem to react so negatively to SSRIs. (I was switched between a few when I was little as well and had too many side effects).

 

I probably could have worded that better! I don't mean crutch in a bad way. I mean as an aid for my anxiety and sleep for now until I get to the point of being able to control my anxiety without medicine again. I hope to only use it in the short term. Right now I'm starting it every night and then want to work to every other night and then once a week to take the edge off.

 

I will be doing this while talking to my therapist once I start going so they can help me decide when to start spacing out my doses. I know this can cause weight gain and extreme fatigue so I am using a low dose of 5mg. Which surprisingly got me to sleep within 45 minutes! I'm assuming my small stature and sensitivity to medicine is to blame for that, but I'm very happy I can use such a low dose :)

 

As for school, I'll be doing half online and half on campus. And I'm going to an orientation to learn all about the new job opportunity and to see if I can handle it.

 

Things are looking up! :) I'm so glad it was figured out that the prozac was making it worse before I was on it for too long. And now that the valium is out of my system I'm starting to feel like myself again. 

 

Now it's just a matter of controlling the anxiety. But one thing is for sure, I will never break and start cymbalta again!! Even when desperate! 


#29 FiveNotions

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 01:54 AM

BRAVO, krob !!!

 

Now just pace yourself ... don't "out run" how well you're feeling and doing ... savor it, and continue to go slow and steady ... allow the healing to continue ... and continue to do what's helping you to heal ... and give yourself "permission" to have some set-backs and relapses ... it's all part of the process .... you've come such a long way since you first arrived here, it's just wonderful!

 

You are well on the way !  :)





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