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Prozac (Fluoxetine) Withdrawal: Symptoms + Duration

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is among the most popular antidepressant medications on the market. It operates as an SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) meaning it prevents the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is thought to help with both depression and anxiety, but it is also prescribed for a number of other conditions.

Although most people end up taking Prozac for a period of time to help them get through a rough patch and/or for major depression, many people do not like the idea of being on a medication for life – so they withdraw from it. Fortunately withdrawal from Prozac is widely regarded as being “easier” than most other major SSRI medications.

Most people seem to have considerably less withdrawal symptoms when quitting Prozac than they do quitting a medication like Paxil or Effexor. Part of the reason that withdrawal from Prozac may be considered relatively easy has to do with the fact that it has a longer half life. I do not mean to undermine the withdrawal from Prozac – as symptoms can still be difficult to deal with.

However, many people actually switch to Prozac to help ease withdrawal symptoms from other medications that have shorter half lives. Most SSRI’s are difficult to come off of – especially if you have been on them for an extended period of time.

Factors that influence Prozac withdrawal:

There are various factors that will influence your withdrawal period from Prozac. If you have been on the medication for years and are taking a relatively high dosage, it may be more difficult to quit than if you were only taking it for a few months. Generally, the longer you are on a medication, the more difficult it will be to quit, but there are other factors that influence withdrawal as well.

1. Time Span

How long have you been taking Prozac (or generic Fluoxetine)? If you have been taking the medication for longer than a year, it is going to be more difficult to come off of than someone who has only taken it for a few months. The time span that you took a drug is always going to influence the withdrawal process.

2. Dosage (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg)

Generally Prozac is prescribed as one of four dosages. The range is from 10 mg all the way up to 60 mg. Someone who is taking just 10 mg is likely going to have an easier time coming off of the medication than someone who had been taking 60 mg.

Time span along with dosage plays a huge role in influencing withdrawal. Someone who takes 60 mg for a period of 5 years is going to struggle more with coming off of the drug than someone who took 20 mg for 8 months. Typically the greater the dosage, the more you will need to focus on a gradual tapering process.

3. Physiology

The phrase “everyone is different” holds true when it comes to medication withdrawal. Although two people may experience the same or similar symptoms, one person may have a more difficult time coping with them. For one individual the dizziness and headaches may cause them to panic and/or lead to “panic attacks.”

For another person experiencing dizziness may bother them, but may not elicit a panic response. Individuals with better familial and social support, healthier habits (e.g. diet and exercise), and more self-awareness will likely have an easier time withdrawing from Prozac.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

It is much easier to quit Prozac cold turkey than other SSRI medications. I have successfully quit this medication cold turkey with no major withdrawal symptoms. Individuals that have been on this medication for a long period of time and/or at a high dosage should still use a tapering method of withdrawal. It is never advised to quit “cold turkey” unless you are on an extremely low dose.

Note: In comparison to most antidepressants, fluoxetine has a long half-life.  In other words, Prozac stays in your system for a longer duration than other drugs after stopping. This is beneficial when it comes to withdrawal because SSRI’s with a short half-life tend to produce the most extreme withdrawal symptoms.

Prozac Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

The withdrawal symptoms that you will experience coming off of Prozac may not be the same as someone else. Everyone has a different reaction to medications as well as how their body responds and readjusts to life without the drug. Some people may experience very minimal withdrawal symptoms, while others may be plagued by seemingly everything on this list.

  • Agitation: Many people report feeling agitated, restless, and irritable while coming off of Prozac. This is a result of how they are feeling without the calming serotonin that was increased while they were on the medication. Now that they are coming off of Prozac, they experience somewhat of a polar opposite to relaxation.
  • Anger: Some people report feeling extremely angry and/or exhibit outbursts of rage while coming off of Prozac. With this medication, it is less common to feel extreme anger than other medications, but some people may get really upset. Very little things can trigger anger because the person withdrawing is going through a lot.
  • Anxiety: Since this medication helps calm a person down by treating both anxiety and depression symptoms, it is no wonder that they experience anxiety while coming off of the medication. Even if the person didn’t have a “chemical” imbalance before taking Prozac, they will have one after coming off of the medication as a result of withdrawal. The serotonin system will eventually reset itself back to homeostasis.
  • Blurred vision: People have reported weird effects from withdrawal on their vision. Some individuals experience blurred vision, while others see “floaters” (or small objects floating in their field of vision). Your vision is likely not affected in any way by the medication, but it may take your brain to readjust and thus recover from the withdrawal-induced vision changes.
  • Confusion: It is common to experience confusion and/or subtle amnesia when withdrawing. Extreme confusion is uncommon, but being slightly confused in addition to slowed cognition is all part of the process.
  • Crying spells: The emotional upheavals that you may experience while coming off of Prozac may feel unbearable. This may result in crying spells as a way to release some of the pain that you are experiencing. Just know that it is normal to cry as a result of the emotion that you are experiencing – it is uncontrollable emotion.
  • Depersonalization: Some individuals report feeling unlike their natural selves during withdrawal. They may feel like they have transformed into a zombie or that their “true self” will never come back. This is called “depersonalization” and is a result of brain chemistry changes and going through major withdrawal. Rest assured that you will eventually return to normal over time.
  • Depression: Feeling depressed while withdrawing from Prozac? This is because you were taking it to treat depression. When you stop taking it, you are going to feel depressed because your brain is no longer inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. Even if you already have depression, withdrawing may make symptoms worse and more extreme.
  • Dizziness: As with all SSRI’s, Prozac withdrawal may result in dizziness and/or vertigo. This is a common symptom that will eventually subside. Try not to freak out – there is not something more extreme wrong with you, it’s just medication withdrawal.
  • Emotional numbing: It is common to feel emotionally numb as a result of withdrawal. This numbing makes some people feel like “zombies” or that they have zero emotions and contributes to depersonalization-like symptoms. This is something that I experienced to a degree with Prozac.
  • Fatigue: You may feel extremely tired or fatigued all day. The lethargy may be so extreme that you may have a difficult time completing various tasks. As weeks pass, you will eventually recover and begin to notice that your energy levels are starting to return to normal.
  • Headaches: You may experience minor or very intense headaches when quitting Prozac. It is not always easy to deal with them, but most of the severe headaches should subside within a couple weeks. The longer you are off the drug, the less severe these typically are.
  • Inability to concentrate: Withdrawal may lead to some people experiencing ADHD-like symptoms. You may not be able to concentrate in school and/or during work projects. It may seem as though no matter how you try, focusing on tasks is a lost cause. Your concentration will eventually return, but it will take time.
  • Insomnia: Some people are unable to fall asleep at night during withdrawal. Although tiredness is extremely common, so is insomnia. People may stay up well into the night just wishing that they could somehow fall asleep. It is the emotional upheavals and anxiety that keeps people awake.
  • Lightheadedness: In addition to dizziness and headaches, many people report feeling lightheaded during withdrawal. This actually may contribute to some people feeling dizzy – just know that it will eventually fix itself.
  • Memory problems: Many individuals have reported having memory problems and/or reduced capacity to remember things upon withdrawal. This is something that I’ve personally experienced and it’s certainly not fun. Do your best to cope with your memory impairment, it will eventually return to normal functioning.
  • Mood swings: One moment you may feel angry and you may quickly transition to feeling sad. The next hour your may feel aggressive and/or extremely anxious. As your brain recalibrates itself, you are going to experience changes in mood. Do your best to cope with whatever you experience.
  • Muscle pain: Many individuals report body aches, muscle weakness, and various muscular pains. These can be difficult to deal with, but know that they are only temporary.
  • Nausea: It is common to experience nausea, and in some cases, flu-like symptoms. The nausea may be extreme enough to trigger vomiting.
  • Night sweats: You may experience profuse sweating while you sleep. This is basically your body’s attempt to restore itself. Prozac affects us not only on a mental level, but also physically.
  • Panic attacks: This medication typically helps people with panic attacks, so when they come off of it, the panic may be way worse than when they initially started the medication. People may freeze up in social situations and/or randomly experience panic. This is a result of the brain being in a hypersensitive state and low serotonin levels.
  • Stomach pain: Feeling stomach cramps and pains is pretty common during the early stages of withdrawal. This is just your body’s way of readjusting to life without the medication.
  • Suicidal thoughts: There are black box warnings on all antidepressants forewarning people about potentially experiencing suicidal thoughts. When you come off of a major antidepressant, it is common to experience suicidal thoughts. Many drug companies may hide this little fact, but having suicidal thoughts and urges during withdrawal is extremely common. Do whatever you can do recognize that these will likely subside in intensity over time.  However, if you are unable to cope with these thoughts, be sure to seek immediate professional help.
  • Tiredness: You may want to sleep all day and just stay in bed. The tiredness may be so extreme that you may think you have something wrong like chronic fatigue syndrome. You do not have chronic fatigue – you are going through withdrawal. It may take a lengthy period of time before you return to normal energy levels.

Prozac Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

There is no clear-cut answer for how long withdrawal from Prozac is going to last. It may take one person a few weeks to feel nearly 100% recovered from the symptoms, while it may take another person several months before they feel 75% recovered. There is no telling how long you are going to experience withdrawal symptoms. I personally barely experienced any withdrawal from Prozac, but it took me over a year to psychologically recover from Paxil withdrawal.

Most people in various discussion forums that have used the medication will suggest that it takes a fairly lengthy period of time, while others may suggest that withdrawal is very short term. It is best to ignore everyone and just realize that withdrawal will eventually come to an end. It may take you considerably longer than other people and in some cases it may take considerably less time than what other people are reporting – each experience is unique.

When coming off any antidepressant, do your best to stay socially involved in the community, interact with family and/or friends, and make sure that you do things to help take your mind off of the symptoms that you are experiencing. Various healthy activities include: exercising, getting sunlight, eating healthy foods, and socializing. Try to not dwell on the symptoms even if they seem overwhelming – they will eventually pass. Stay busy, keep your head up, and realize that time heals all emotional wounds.

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{ 262 comments… add one }
  • Kris Brannick May 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

    Thank you for the insights. I went off Prozac after tapering, in March. It is very helpful to hear from others going through this process. I am interested in any information on ways to help the brain reestablish serotonin. I have found exercise, family support, pets, singing and dancing all help. Positive thinking helps but I also honor my emotions as they come. I was on 20 mg. for 10 years, went to 10 mg for another 5 years. I started having eczema outbreaks that I believed was related to the Prozac. Since I have gone off it the eczema has cleared up. I found this article helpful, thanks.

    • kat June 12, 2016, 12:10 am

      I have been on 60mg of prozac for at least 15 years. I overdosed in Jan 2016. I was put back on 20mg then taken off that nearly two weeks ago because it could not be given with Naproxen. I am now on none. I feel and act like a person possessed. I shout, argue, want to smash thing, feel drunk even though I don’t drink now. I am not me. The quiet withdrawn artist. I feel so suicidal. The doctors are mucking me about.

      I am grabbing at straws here. Am I withdrawing or they put me on longtec PR every 12 hours. I was blaming that. But they said it was oxycodone and I have been on that for five years. I can’t sleep and have been avoiding family because I can’t control myself. I feel I have enough adrenaline to run a marathon and kick the living daylights out of anyone in my way. I am not me. I know that but I don’t know why. Help help help.

      • Laura July 2, 2016, 12:19 am

        Kat, I think that may have been too sudden a stop for you. I’d talk to your doctor about tapering or getting you on another SSRI.

      • Jacquetta July 3, 2016, 4:15 am

        Kat, I’m at the place you were when you posted a few weeks earlier. I was on prozac for a little over three years, first 20 then 30, then 40 mg. It was perfect the first month or so and then slowly stopped working altogether, and I experienced longer and deeper depression than I’d ever endured before.

        Going cold turkey is definitely doable, but like you (I’ve been off it for a little over three weeks now) I have major anger, frustration, yes, shout, argue, but thankfully no suicidal thoughts, at least not yet. I have a ton of adrenaline, too, and honestly it makes me feel SO much more alive when I was on the meds. Prozac made me sleepy, groggy, and I even had blurred vision from it.

        Yes, I love your statement about running a marathon and (angrily?) kicking the daylights out of anyone in my way. It feels kind of good in a way lol. I don’t know. I just hope the withdrawal ends sooner rather than later for us both. I don’t like feeling all this anger. And oh yes, very hard to sleep even when I’ve put in long, physical days. I hope you are doing better since your post. Hang in there.

      • Jenna October 29, 2016, 1:38 am

        I’ve been on Prozac for 10 years and stopped 2 months ago. I’m a freakin wreck. I’m always agitated, cannot sleep for more than a couple hours, everything bugs me and my kids are becoming afraid of making me even slightly mad. Everyone is walking around on eggshells around me. When will I feel normal again or should I just start taking it again? I’m a total pacifist by nature but now want to scream bloody murder at people for the stupidest things. I don’t want to take drugs for the rest of my life but I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to.😩

  • Stephanie June 3, 2014, 3:59 am

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am laying here crying from desperation. It has been nearly 8 weeks since I tapered from Fluoxetine and though I am not relapsing, I have every damn WD side effect. It is a living nightmare. Along with severe tinnitus, which I’ve never had in my life. I am so afraid I will never be normal and have become a useless burden to my sweet family. I fear my brain had been damaged from the mere 20mg I was on for 9 months. This information you have written has helped ease my anxiety a bit, so again thank you.

    • GLOOM June 3, 2014, 2:31 pm

      No doubt Stephanie, I hope you recover ASAP. Some people are more sensitive than others in regards to withdrawal… sounds like you are having a rough time. You’ll bounce back and recover with time, just keep trying your best and things will improve. Best wishes.

      • Danica January 23, 2016, 7:27 am

        Thanks for this! I have been on an off for the past two months with Prozac. As I research I am finding it may be the reason that I don’t have a healthy sex drive. I used to be very well off with my orgasms but now I have been unable to get healthily aroused with my husband. It is rather frustrating to my husband and I. Although he may think it is him that is the problem, I think otherwise. I think it may be my 8 months of usage from prozac. Again, thanks for sharing. It is nice to know that I’m not the only one going through something similar.

        • Alison March 18, 2016, 2:38 pm

          Absolutely no doubt at all about the orgasms – please don’t blame your husband. It’s definitely a price you pay for Prozac, initially at least.

    • Emer July 12, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Hi there, I am feeling right now what you were feeling in your post. Did it pass eventually? Any advice? X

    • Carmen February 19, 2015, 8:12 pm

      I have a lot of the same symptoms you are describing, Stephanie. The tinnitus and light headed feeling I get whenever I turn my head suddenly has been troubling especially when driving. I was on 30-40 mg of fluoxetine for approximately 6 months to help me get through a rough patch. I have found getting out and being of service instead of isolating has helped me immensely. It took time for me to feel better with the medication and I know that it will take time to withdraw. Hope this helps. Hang in there!

    • Matthew October 13, 2015, 6:54 pm

      Hi Steph, I was only on 20mg for around a year and a half. I’ve been taking them every other day for a week and feel rotten. I feel really needy and lonely and also get the tinnitus too. I find I’ve also become very open with people – too open. Sounds strange but just not me.

    • Lyric March 27, 2016, 9:07 pm

      I sincerely wish you the best.

    • Angela November 27, 2016, 8:09 pm

      I feel exactly the same. Good job. We have each other for support. I really feel for my poor husband. He too is going through hell because of me.

  • Anonymous June 23, 2014, 8:06 pm

    Stephanie, I am curious about how you feel now. Have your withdrawal symptoms improved?

    • Stephanie July 24, 2014, 4:16 pm

      Unfortunately no, in some ways I have worsened. I was doing well for 3 weeks but went to the gym and that night the Hell started all over again. I have been in severe withdrawal again for 2 weeks. Im sorry, I wish I had a better report.

      • Tiffany April 30, 2016, 4:23 am

        Stephanie I am sorry to hear that. Things have been bad for me too! Last 3 weeks have been hell! I blow things up way bigger and I have been feeling really unattractive and just bad. I am going on five months without it.

  • Donna July 19, 2014, 11:43 am

    was on 20mg for 4yrs , reduced it over 2mths now prozac free but the tiredness & lathargy is severe .

  • C July 20, 2014, 2:36 pm

    I tapered off 20mg Prozac over 6 weeks, i.e. 5 mg drop per week. I’m at just over 10 weeks post-taper, and the most prominent physical symptoms have been disabling dizziness (sensation of being on a boat or in a strong ocean current), head shocks and lip tingling, muscle aches, tinnitus, insomnia and diarrhea. The dizziness has continued, although the other symptoms are now variable. It’s somewhat comforting to see that others were still symptomatic at 8 weeks, meaning I’m not the only one whose symptoms have gone on for so long. But I wish I’d never taken the stuff and that no one else had to go through this either. I wish I’d been informed BEFOREHAND, and I’m left with regret that I ever took this medication. I’m sticking with melatonin for sleep, a healthy diet and CBT for now. A wise person told me this: “You’re closer to the end (i.e. of the withdrawal) than the beginning, so keep moving forward!” It’s good advice. I’d appreciate hearing from others with long-running withdrawal symptoms who have come out the other side. Hope is helpful!

    • GLOOM July 20, 2014, 6:09 pm

      Hey C, really sorry to hear about those rough symptoms you are experiencing. I think a lot of people wish they would have known before-hand how incredibly crazy withdrawal and lingering withdrawal symptoms can be.

      As each day passes, you are one step closer to overcoming this. It may take another 10 weeks to feel better, but focus on taking things one day at a time. Good call on the melatonin for sleep and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) – both should be very helpful. Wish you nothing but the best and a speedy recovery.

      • tiffany April 22, 2016, 3:53 am

        Hi, stopped taking fluoxetine in January and had been on it for a decade. I have been on a antidepressant medicine for the better part since I was 16, and I’m now 33. I didn’t feel anything for the first 7 weeks, then it just hit me like a ton of bricks!! I started feeling low after getting over a cold.

        Then I started not being able to handle my job and had to cut my schedule. I couldn’t get out and do much just watched a lot of movies. Started crying all the time and feeling very overwhelmed with everything. Every morning I got to work I felt fried and like my center core had been ripped out!

        I am now dealing with poor self image about my weight as I put on some getting off fluoxetine second month in. But what really starts to turn it around for me is to be outside as much as possible! Changes my whole being.

        • Angel April 24, 2016, 10:14 am

          Hi, My experience with coming of fluoxetine has been very similar to Tiffany’s. I have been on the medication for over 10 years. I have come off it once or twice and had to go back on it due to relapsing. I have on it recently for over 4 years and recently stopped taking it.

          Around the week 3 week 4 mark it hit me like a tone of bricks. Endless exhaustion, headaches, dizzy spells, nausea and feeling lightheaded – have been the most extreme symptoms I have experienced, on top of a number of others. It’s been really difficult and exhausting.

          • Tiffany May 1, 2016, 11:40 am

            Hi Angel this is Tiffany – has it got any easier for you? I hope so! I have been off since January and I am still going through it, now it’s May! Just feels like it is not going away.

        • Lisa October 2, 2016, 1:21 pm

          Hi Tiffany, My experience was similar to yours. How have you been since that post and what else did you find helpful (or not helpful)
          thank you. Lisa

    • Michelle January 24, 2016, 8:06 pm

      I’m going through the same thing. Been on fluoxetine for 10 years or longer. Been off for going I’m 4 weeks. And hopefully God’s will, I will never do this again. I hurt so so bad like I have the flu. Body aches, pains, and am a tired mess. Just wanna lay some an sleep all the time. And that is so not like me. Wish these side effects will go away SOON!!!!

      • Karen February 14, 2016, 9:52 pm

        I have muscle spasms so bad in my legs and my hands feel like I have arthritis. I was on Prozac for over two years at 40 mg. Now down to 10 mg every other day. I also feel tired. Started a workout program so I am hoping this helps.

      • tiffany April 24, 2016, 2:17 am

        How are you doing now Michelle with aches and pains, spasms, and tiredness?

    • karen August 5, 2016, 6:38 pm

      My Dr has prescribed antivert for vertigo that I have occasionally. I am taking that and it helps me with the dizziness!

  • linda July 22, 2014, 11:10 pm

    I’Very taken prozac for 30 years 40 mg. I quit for about 3 weeks cold turkey….The only thing that I feel so far is I’ve been sick and now I’m experiencing Allot Of Fatigue….I mean allot can’t seem to get anything done. Mentally I’ve been very good. I have great friends and family around me so that’s a Great plus in my favor. I hope I can continue to quit I’m pretty determined ..wish you all good luck!!

    • TheLovelyJennifer December 12, 2014, 1:01 pm

      I have started seeing a PhD therapist to treat my depression regarding some external events in my life, including my marriage, participating in an auto-pedestrian accident as a pedestrian, reverting back to alcohol after 15 years sobriety and some awful things that happened during the drunk time, and menopause. I decided to stop the PROZAC after 15 years solid on 60mg a day; it seemed to me a band aid to cover the symptoms I needed to learn to fix. My therapist is helping me a lot.

      I am experiencing many effects, but I’m not sure if it is the depression coming out or WD from the pills. Crying, chest hurting (like a heart-ache), feeling lonely with people all around, feeling picked on and criticized and worthless, tired, aches all over (but in addition to the accident and a new discovery of moderate scoliosis, which cause pain by their very nature), sometimes I will stand and stare. I quit the pills in August or September.

      I am going off the Xanax gradually – and am feeling the anxiety well up quicker as well as some of the other WD effects of that one. The therapist is helping through this as well. I also started using a medical grade marijuana, which takes the edge off the aches and pains and also has an immediate calming effect for when I get overly anxious or agitated. It also helps lighten my mood if I’m in a pit of pity or self doubt or brutal reminiscences (flashbacks on a not-so-perfect life).

      The marijuana’s effects help put me at a point where I can function, and when they wear off I find myself at a starting point again where I can continue to function and focus on LIFE (that keeps going whether I do or not) and getting better without the pharmaceutical band-aids. My problem right now is: explaining to my family that I don’t have an ATTITUDE PROBLEM. I AM JUST TRYING TO GET BETTER. It is sooooooo hard when they don’t understand.

      • Sandee Taylor September 12, 2015, 3:10 am

        I know what you mean and both of my daughters are Drs and should know I need support, not criticism.

    • Jodi January 10, 2016, 4:08 pm

      I quit cold turkey after 30 years also. I have been off for about a month. Really no side effects. Maybe get a bit moody at times but really surprised things are going this well. I hope it stays this way and I never have to be medicated again.

      • janie armstrong May 9, 2016, 5:07 pm

        I also quit Prozac cold turkey about 10 years ago, however about 1 month after that I got severe neck pains so I started taking tramadol. I felt great with tramadol and lost 55 pounds and went from dress size 18 to size 6. I was really excited. I believe the prozac puts the weight on. The sad thing is that in 11 months I went back into severe depression and had to get back on prozac. Now I am back to 165 lbs and I will try to taper off Prozac. I am praying for a miracle. God Bless all of you who are tapering off Prozac and Good Luck!!!

    • Dee May 14, 2016, 11:42 pm

      Hi. How have you progressed with your cold turkey off of Prozac? I cold turkey’d a year ago and like you, didn’t have any symptoms of withdrawal for about a year. A year later I have severe insomnia and depression and anxiety. I’m questioning whether it’s withdrawal or something else. I hope you are doing well.

    • Angela June 9, 2016, 6:55 pm

      Linda, how did this go for you? I’ve been taking 40 mg for about 4 years and 20 mg for several years before that. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of the rare side effects of the drug happening to me and have made the decision to stop taking it. I’m nervous though.

    • Tammi October 14, 2016, 1:39 am

      Linda, How are you doing? I have been on Prozac 40 mg for 26 years. I have just talked to my Doctor about taking me off.

  • Rudy August 2, 2014, 4:34 am

    Hi Linda,
    I’m just curious, what has made you decide to quite after 30 years?
    I’ve been taking Fluoxetine for 24 years. Thank you!

    • Paul June 11, 2015, 2:20 am

      I was on 40 mg first ten years and went up to 60 mg for another ten years. Then same doctor upped it to 80 mg. 3 weeks ago got the flu and drank only water. Wound up in hospital dehydrated. Was there 4 days and never used my Prozac. That was 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. Withdrawals suck but I have wanted off this for years.

      I asked Doctor along time to get me off and was always told “now is not a good time.” When is a good time? Prozac was instrumental in helping me for long time. I will never put it down. Worst symptoms are nausea, insomnia, crying at anytime and Brian Screwing with myself. This to shall pass. -Paul

      • Stephanie Keller February 22, 2016, 2:54 am

        Wow. I am so glad to read all of your comments. I was feeling so alone in this but now realize I am not. I began taking Fluoxetine 3 years ago to help me through a rough situation, I began to have hair loss which only made the stress worth which is ironic because it was the stress that caused the hair loss.

        Anyway, I started at 10mg and a year later felt that it wasn’t doing anything anymore and of course instead of suggesting that I wean off, the dr recommended a dosage increase to 20mg. I bit, thinking she knew best and that it was the solution that made sense. Now 3 years in I am realizing that there’s no reason I can’t “do life” on my own and can’t even remember what the “normal me” feels like anymore.

        My last follow up I told the dr that I wasn’t pleased with the side effects anymore and feel like I should be okay weaning off now and I couldn’t believe her reluctance to agree with me. She doubted my symptoms (I said I was feeling depressed and she dispelled it immediately stating that “Prozac doesn’t cause depression” in a very condescending tone). I didn’t even have a chance to get through the rest of the list I had sitting on my lap because I was so taken aback by her reaction (the others were foggy brain, low libido, weight gain, no interest in activities and depression, or what we decided by the end of the visit was actually ‘lack of/devoid of emotion’).

        I maintained my position and she finally agreed to me weaning off. This too is no picnic. I have been weaning for about a month now and can’t focus on anything, unable to read anything and actually absorb what I read, concentrate on work or continuing education classes I have to take for work. I am a creative person by nature and like to draw and write songs, but all I see is a blank sheet of paper.

        The dizziness, fatigue, lifelessness and feelings of insecurity and hopelessness are unbearable. I am so so hopeful that this will be a short ride, bc I can’t imagine having to go through years of this discomfort. I just want to feel like me again. Like someone above said, it would be nice if the tapering symptoms were disclosed in the beginning and not come as a surprise at the end.

        I wish someone had told me. I may have handled the situation differently 3 years ago. I hope if you are thinking of going on Prozac/fluoxetine that you read this first and inform yourself. Maybe it is right for you, everyone is different. I just wish I had known beforehand. Much luck to all of you – persevere!!

        • Sulyn March 27, 2016, 2:01 pm

          Stephanie, thank you for writing the above – it’s given me some hope. I’ve been on (predominantly) Fluoxetine for 18 years, put onto max dosage, then tried other anti depressants. I am 52 and tapered for 6 months, now been drug free for 1 month. I cry uncontrollably and randomly. I have a constant cold and feel ‘what is the point’ a lit if the time. I have lucid happy moments too, and just want the balance to change so I have more good and less bad. Hindsight is great, I believe the decision to start Fluoxetine was right at the time, but question GPs reticence to help you coming off them. Hope all continues to go well.

  • Mike young August 3, 2014, 6:35 am

    Having been on Prozac for 18.5 years I thought that a lack of review by Doctors hear in the UK after 10 years of support in France, I would come off cold turkey. I have now been off for 8 months. Initial WD was hell, anxiety, irritable, aches and pains all over but on the good side sex drive improved and after 18.5 years sleep came east, perhaps too easy. Now 8 months later i feel tired most of the day and still sleep well. Sex drive has faded, anxiety remains plus tearfulness and recently I have lost all interest in food. I remain short tempered but then perhaps would admit in reality that I have always suffered fools badly. I hope that some of these symptoms will disappear like many of the physical ones I have had since quitting. I was on varying doses over the years but stabilised for 12 years on 20 mg per day plus Xanax for panic attack. All usage ceased 17 jan 2014.

  • Cat August 3, 2014, 2:22 pm

    I was on 20mg for about two years and quit less than a month ago. It was meant to help my bipolarity and anorexia (which it did). Having read this article though (as helpful and great as it was, don’t get me wrong), has left me a little worried over the anorexia part.

    I know it’s probably a silly question, but is there a bigger chance for me to relapse to my anorexic ways by quitting this? I feel strong enough to never fall back into that illness again, but will the withdrawl create unwanted weightloss?

    • C August 3, 2014, 5:22 pm

      Hi Cat!
      I thought I’d weigh in on your question, if it’s okay. I think there’s big difference between full-blown anorexia nervosa and the appetite changes that may or may not accompany Prozac withdrawal. If you’ve done the hard work of conquering anorexia nervosa, then I wouldn’t worry about temporary appetite changes from Prozac withdrawal. Good for you for beating it! Stay the course and do the things that have been working for you up until now. All the best, C.

      • Cat August 8, 2014, 1:42 pm

        Hi again,

        Thanks so much for your answer – it’s very comforting! I managed to pull through the anorexia nervosa, but there’s always been a fear that I might fall right back and it’s a terrifying thought.

        Just a quick thing, though. It’s been on my mind for a few weeks now.
        I don’t think I’ve seen any mentions of period changes on here, but did read a snippet about it elsewhere a while ago about how some women experience random bleedings(?) and irregularities in their period upon quitting Prozac.
        This has been happening to me for weeks now. I just turned 26 (to rule out menopause). One day it’s there, the next it’s not. I finally got what seems to be the real thing a few days ago.
        Do you know anything about this, perhaps?

        Thanks so much again and sorry for the lengthy post!

        Cat

        • C August 8, 2014, 4:40 pm

          Hi Cat,
          So, speaking from experience, anorexia nervosa can mess with your periods big-time! Mine eventually sorted themselves out. I’m not sure how Prozac affects our hormones, but if it does, it will probably normalize like the other things. I’d be checking in with the doctor to see what s/he thinks and whether a blood test is necessary to ensure that the levels are all normal.
          With regards to anorexia and falling back into it, I can say (after many, many years of looking back on it) that once you know certain things, you can’t “un-know” them. That is, if you have gotten to the root of what took you down the route of anorexia nervosa, then you’re well on your way to just moving forward with your life. If you’re not feeling confident, then counselling is way better than medication for getting you there. As crappy as I feel now, I couldn’t ever go back to starving myself. Losing one’s appetite for awhile isn’t the same as wanting to starve oneself (possibly to death). It’s all about self-esteem so take good care of yourself (healthy food, exercise, relaxation, fun, family and friends, etc.), love that body of yours and seek out a great, supportive, knowledgeable therapist if you feel it will help. There are some good ones out there!

  • Katy fanne August 6, 2014, 7:26 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I am having withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing 25+ yes of Prozac use. Have been on 15+ yrs of 80mg of Prozac. I have been completely off now for 1 1/2 months and wondered if I had a new disease! My body feels heavy and slow, my joints hurt, I want to stay in bed, I feel selfish and irritable, disinterested and unmotivated and feel confused and sad! After reading this article I realize that perhaps this is just a somewhat normal response to quitting years of a heavy dosage of Prozac. Thank you for sharing; it will help!

    • Debbie October 1, 2014, 12:45 pm

      So glad to hear that others are having the same symptoms as myself. Joints are aching like never before and tiredness—–wow! Thought it was just the change of seasons. I went cold turkey after 12+ years on 10mg then 20. Been off for about a month and after reading these I am so excited to know that it will go away. I was thinking that my cholesteral meds all of a sudden were messing me up.

  • Rebecca M August 7, 2014, 7:55 am

    I’ve been on and off Prozac for 18 years. Just tapered off a 20mg dose. My temper is frightening, I am tired and lethargic and have what I can only describe as a’whooshy’ head. In the past, I have misinterpreted this as the depression returning. I now know that it’s the effect of withdrawal. Had I known this before, I wouldn’t have gone straight back on to Prozac thinking that I’m one of these people who obviously has depression for life. Why oh why aren’t these things made clear when Doctors prescribe an anti-depressant?

    • Rebekah B March 20, 2016, 1:40 pm

      I’ve been on and off Prozac for 20 years now. The longest I was off, was 5 months. Then back on! I hate it! But it looks like I will have to be on it till science comes up with something better. I get terribly suicidal and can’t take care of myself or my family if I’m not on my med. :(

      • Julie August 10, 2016, 7:43 pm

        Rebekah, I’m so happy to read your comment! I’ve been on 60mg Prozac for 2 years now. Went down to 40mg one week ago trying to wean myself off. I feel like I’m starting to feel side effects already. I don’t know. Wondering if I’m just going to be on these pills until something better comes along because me and life just can’t get along without Prozac!!

  • C August 7, 2014, 3:48 pm

    I just came across a good book on the subject of antidepressant withdrawal called “The Antidepressant Solution” by Joseph Glenmullen, M.D. (clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School). It gives information and guidelines about how to withdraw from these medications safely. I completed my taper awhile ago, but I wish I’d read it before doing so. There may not be a way to eliminate all withdrawal effects, but with information, one can hopefully prevent severe effects and at least be prepared for what may arise. The author suggests a slow, controlled taper –two to four months in length, depending on how on the individual — when tapering off most antidepressants. Because of Prozac’s long half-life, there’s an expectation that the withdrawal shouldn’t be too bad. Clearly, that’s not the case for everyone — including me. I thought it was going to be a breeze! Not so. The dizziness/disequilibrium/boaty-feeling is still intense for me and very debilitating. It’s hard to be hopeful now. I’m just exhausted.

  • bridie August 18, 2014, 12:08 pm

    i have just come off prozac and been experiencing some really bad withdrawal symptons that i thought was the depession coming back been to docs and she advised me to go back on medication. now dont know what to do the withdrawals are very difficult to cope with but want to try and struggle on please give me some words of encouragement that life without prozac is ok if you have been on most of your adult life.

  • Zoe c September 1, 2014, 6:13 pm

    Hi, I have found this column to be very helpful, I have been on prozac for nearly 3 years and am in my fourth week of tapering really slowly off under the guidance of my doctor, who is amazing. I was on 20mg a day and I have to drop Mondays tablet for a month, this has lead me to feel lightheaded, bit tearful but that is passing I think (symptoms seem to pop up again just in less extreme way) headaches nausea although not extreme, think the worst part is the sluggishness in the brain feels like wading through glue, that seems to have lifted this week and now I feel tired instead and even though I know my mind is light, as in pretty balanced considering what it’s going through I can’t seem to want to do anything, usually am very active, but at the moment just doing nothing is appealing and awful all at the same time.

    So through all this and I am sure there is more to come I keep referring back to this column for reassurance, so a big thank you gloom. Tuesday I go down to 10mg for a month, then after that I completely stop taking Tuesday all together, then I start tapering Wednesdays, so I figure all in all it’s going to take me about a year or so to get off prozac, so my question is do you think the withdrawal will last all that time? I have a monthly check up with my doctor so shall ask same question, but am interested in your answer. Many thanks and take care of you. :) Hope this all makes sense because I have not read it back… typically the way I feel at moment I could not be bothered….lol.

    • C September 1, 2014, 7:13 pm

      Hi Zoe,
      I’m not Gloom, but I just read your post and wanted to respond. It seems like an unusual tapering schedule to miss a day here and there rather than just drop the dose but take it everyday. I hope it doesn’t make the withdrawal process more difficult for you. Is there research that shows that it’s a good method? Maybe it’s because Prozac has a longer half-life. In any case, I wish you well. Take care.

      • Zoe c September 2, 2014, 7:58 am

        Hi c

        Thank u for your reply I don’t think I explained the tapering very well so shall try again. I started off not taking Mondays tablet for a month, then after that I stop taking Tuesdays tablet for a month and so on, but I have withdrawal so my doctor has slowed the tapering even more, so today Tuesday instead of dropping the the whole tablet I take 10mg of the liguid form I do this for the next month for the Tuesday tablet after the month I stop taking the liguid form for a month after which I start again tapering the weds. In all this I carry on taking Prozac for the remanding days. This is hard to explain in writing it’s all so I don’t get too many crap withdrawal symptoms. Hope this makes sense! :)

        • C September 2, 2014, 12:26 pm

          Hi Zoe,
          I think I get it!! I was just curious because I recently read a book called “The Antidepressant Solution” by a Harvard professor and psychiatrist named Dr. Joseph Glenmullen. He explains how to taper, and it seems that consistency of dosage is important because the brain has to adapt to the changes. If the dose goes up and down, doesn’t it make things harder? We’re such cyclical beings (e.g. circadian rhythm). Anyway, I really do hope it’s working for you, but check out the book — or at least, the website or Amazon reviews if you’re interested. Slow and steady wins the race, it seems! I wish I’d read it BEFORE I tapered. I would have done it more slowly.
          Best wishes, C

          • Zoe c September 2, 2014, 1:32 pm

            Hi c

            I think it is going to take me over a year to come off so it’s definitely slow, my dose is very gradually going down over a period of a year, not going up and down it hard to explain in writing…..sorry for confusion I agree with my doctor to go slow, less symptoms and like u said gives the brain time to catch up. So far I have had nothing severe, its more unsettling but that’s why I refer back to this post, it reassurance when my thoughts are kicking up in the wrong direction…..as in panic. Would you mind if I ask how you are now? :)

  • C September 2, 2014, 3:25 pm

    Hi Zoe,
    I’m glad to hear you’re going slowly and not having too many symptoms. It’s great that you have a supportive doctor. After 1 1/2 years on 20 mg. Prozac, I did a 6-week taper (20-15-10-5-off), and I had many, many symptoms. The other important detail in my case is that I tapered off a low-dose of diazepam a year ago (after having been prescribed benzos for 6 1/2 years), and was still suffering from disequilibrium/vertigo. The Prozac taper intensified the disequilibrium and now, at 16 weeks post-Prozac taper, I’m still feeling it. Yesterday was a bit better…today’s a bit worse. I find this symptom quite unbearable since it’s gone on so long. It’s debilitating.

    So, thank you for asking, but I’m feeling pretty rough. I really hope to come back to this site one day very soon and say, “It’s over! It stopped!” For now, though, I’m here for the same reasons you are — support, comfort, information. Unlike you, though, I didn’t have a supportive doctor, so I think you’re well ahead of the game. That can make a huge difference. I’ve been told that “it isn’t permanent”, so that’s what I’m hanging onto. Everyone is different when it comes to this stuff, so I’m sure no one can give us the kind of info we really, really want. In the meantime, I’m trying to be hopeful.

    All the best,
    C

    • Zoe c September 2, 2014, 4:08 pm

      Hi c

      Sorry you are in so much discomfort, the dizziness is awfull, I think the only answer we really want is the date of when this all stops! But like you said everyone is different I don’t know what else is coming up or whether that was it, but I know we are on the right track. I guess as Iam no doctor or professional in this matter that you are taking longer to adjust because you have tapered off three different drugs over a relative short period, so think let more time pass and I will look forward to the day which will happen that you post ‘it’s over’ in the mean time do you have any support around you and what sort of lifestyle do you have? I have two children and two dogs and even though when times are like this it’s tough, but they help because they keep you busy and that takes your mind off your suffering, it’s these little breaks that gradual build a stronger mind. And I know you will roll your eyes but patience and trust in yourself that this will all go away. X

      • C September 2, 2014, 6:42 pm

        Thank you for the lovely message, Zoe! You’re right, I’m sure, regarding the other medications and the length of time it’s taking me to improve. What bothers me so much is that I was prescribed Prozac to — possibly — help with the dizziness. Guess what?! Dizziness is the number one withdrawal symptom of SSRIs! Plus, it can affect bone density and lower your sodium levels, neither of which is good for a skinny gal like me. I have such regret!

        Anyway, I’m glad you have kids and dogs and yes, I agree, diversion is excellent. For now, since I’ve got a foot problem that has been exacerbated by the dizziness, I’m pretty stuck. I’m dreaming of getting back on my bicycle and riding back into my active, healthy life…..one day. For now, I’m reading, getting physio, wobbling around (with crutches), listening to music, staying in touch with loved ones and trying to stay positive (although I don’t think I’m succeeding).

        Take care,
        C

        • Zoe c September 2, 2014, 8:56 pm

          Hi c

          Never have regrets, we hav to remember how shit we felt to go on these drug in the first place an how they have helped us get this far, from my experience it created a platform to pull myself up, I don’t regret taking prozac, it probably saved my life.

          I think you are more positive then you realise for when I read your comments you are definitely doing everything right. Like reading, staying in touch, physio for your foot…..your living, it may not be much fun at present but you have to admit you are amazing for not giving up. It takes courage to stop meds and walk alone.

          I had never heard of benzos before, but from abit of research it’s Valium I got prescribe diazepam, my doctor would only prescribe two weeks worth, because of the dependency of these drugs, so maybe it might take your body and mind awhile to adjust, that’s not to say you will have this dizziness throughout, it will hopefully be the only severe symptom you experience, an even if another symptom turns up at least it will take your mind off the dizziness!! We have to search for positives sometimes….:)

          Lets keep going x

          • C September 2, 2014, 9:56 pm

            Darn right! Apparently, there’s only one direction to go and that’s forward. At least, that’s what I’m told!

            I’ve got to say, I’m impressed with your doctor. He limited your benzodiazepine prescription to two weeks,which is exactly what he should have done. Great to hear that! He took good care of you. My 6 1/2-years on the stuff was WAY too long. They are known as “vestibular suppressants”, i.e. they stop your system of balance from doing what it needs to do. Yup. I have tons of literature on the stuff now, but I didn’t know about them at the time that I took them. I wish I’d had your doctor on board! It took a very long time to get the right diagnosis when the dizziness began and finally, it came down to the medications — prescribed medications — as the cause.

            And I’d already been put on Prozac by the time the diagnosis was made. That’s why I have such regret. I should never have taken it. So, the only lesson is: Research your medication before you take it.

            Anyway, here we go…..onwards….forward….

            Take care.
            C

    • Kieren April 3, 2015, 1:35 am

      I have been on citalopram for 6 years after my husband died and tried many times to come off it and decided I was going to have to remain on it for the rest of my life as I couldn’t tolerate coming off it. Experiencing many of the withdrawal symptoms. My Dr. Changed me over to prozac. I had been taking it for about 6 months on only 10 mg. I tapered it for about 3 months then stopped. I started out feeling the best ever then it started to hit me. My husband encouraged me to stay off it.

      I was going to secretly start again but thought I would delay the start, thinking I can start at any time. I became aggressive angry and negative. I noticed it affecting my marriage and I also had mild suicidal thoughts. I verbalized what I was feeling. It was good then but when I was crappy, it triggered my family and things weren’t good. But I hung in there, and I’m pretty sure I’m through it all. YES! I feel great.

      No, not great, not low but happy. Normal, if there is such a thing. That’s it for me… Never again. I’ll find another way to get through stuff if I have to. It’s been a week of total normality… No side affects. It will happen. Well it has for me. But it sure puts one on the brink of wondering if it will ever happen. I hope you can enjoy life as I am now.

  • Zoe c September 3, 2014, 7:30 am

    Hi c

    Yes i have definitely got a good doctor, she said that I needed antidepressants but also therapy together, thnk a lot of doctors just hand out these tablets to easy, they just mask the problem, therapy finds it and really helps in changing your thinking process.
    It has been lovely talking to you, I wish you all the best and I believe good comes from all our experiences, it shapes us.
    I will keep checking back so if you ever want to talk I might be able to offer a small piece of comfort.

    Take good care of you

    Zoe x

  • Mary September 6, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Hi , I am a mother of a 27 year old pregnant daughter who is currently four months pregnant for the first time. She was on Prozac for 11 years for OCD. She was on 40 milligrams when she became pregnant. Her Obstetrician told her to go down to 20 for one week and then go down to 10 for one week and then off completely. She was OK for the first 4 weeks but then anxiety and depression grew increasingly worse.

    She told her Obstetrician and he put her on 50 milligrams Zoloft and sent her to a perinatal clinic to be further evaluated. Once there, she was told to discontinue the Zoloft and return to 20 milligrams Prozac. She is now a total emotional wreck. She is fearful for her baby’s health. She is having trouble concentrating, having many daily fits of fear of falling accompanied by inconsolable crying fits. She is totally incapacitated. She is afraid to drive or be alone.

    I and her mother – in law are watching her when her husband works. She can no longer work. All of us are physically taxed. We are at our wit’s end. She is seeing a therapist, but he is doing little to address her condition. The problem appears to be that none of these doctors including her psychiatrist have any knowledge of Prozac withdrawal and it’s symptoms and the problems that arise when discontinuing or changing doses. They are contributing her symptoms to her pregnancy.

    Which I and most women who’ve been pregnant know is not the case. Can any of you share the names of the doctors you are seeing who are informed of SSRI discontinuation? We don’t know what to do. I would call her current obstetrician but because of the hippa law he will not talk to me. Does anyone have any recommendations? I am lost in trying to help her.

    • GLOOM September 7, 2014, 12:15 am

      Hi Mary, this is a very difficult situation and it’s very nice of you to help your daughter make it through this tough time – she will need it. The pregnancy alone is a lot of stress, but coupling that with Prozac withdrawal after being on it for over a decade makes for a very difficult situation.

      Not sure why the doc took her off of Prozac and threw her on Zoloft? Doesn’t really make much sense. Many doctors have zero knowledge of withdrawal symptoms, so to them she will appear to be severely depressed, anxious, etc. Her brain is likely trying to rewire itself to function without the drug and it will take a considerable amount of time for her to heal if she goes through full withdrawal.

      Quitting Prozac after 11 years and going full throttle on the Zoloft likely sent her brain into chaos, a new drug making new changes and having a different impact on mental functioning. What she needs is the help of an elite therapist, and one with some general knowledge about antidepressants. She will likely need to practice some relaxation techniques to lower her arousal and calm her mood swings.

      At this point something like meditation and/or yoga may be beneficial if she’s capable. Otherwise I’d recommend as many therapist sessions as possible. Smart move putting her back on 20 mg of Prozac… given some time she may start to experience slight improvements. She may stabilize by going back up to the 40 mg of Prozac, so that is something to consider.

      Wish you and your daughter nothing but the best of luck through this tough time. Hopefully you are able to figure out something that works. Also does your daughter know that she could be dealing with a withdrawal. Reading about it may help her understand what she’s going through. Best of luck.

      • MARY September 7, 2014, 6:11 am

        Thank you for your concern and ideas. She has read about it, but she can’t deal with what is happening to her head right now. She understands her fears are unsubstantiated, but she cannot stop experiencing them. She has tried breathing therapy with her therapist, but when the fear starts (which is every few waking minutes), she can’t concentrate on the breathing. The only thing that seems to work temporarily is for me to constantly reassure her and talk with her through how her fears have no real basis. It calms her a short time until another irrational fear about her baby’s well-being arises. She is an emotional wreck and physically and psychologically drained. She feels no one understands what’s happening to her because when she tells them they don’t do anything to help her. I asked her therapists how I am suppose to respond to her questions about harm coming to her unborn baby, but he changed the subject and asked me to leave so he could start her breathing therapy. She originally went to him because he said he was well versed in CBT. I’m afraid she is going to have a nervous breakdown and then who knows what they’ll give her to “deal” with her symptoms and what backlash will come from that.

    • Jennifer October 1, 2014, 4:24 pm

      I was on Prozac thru my whole pregnancy. My daughter is now 10. I don’t see any issues and was glad I could stay on it. Just letting you know I did it.

  • C September 7, 2014, 12:18 am

    Hi!
    I’m not familiar with the hippa law since I’m in Canada, but is it possible to seek out other psychiatrists in your area to get another opinion? The book I read on this topic is by a Harvard professor and psychiatrist, i.e. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen — The Antidepressant Solution, but I have no idea if you can get an appointment with him. There must be others there who are knowledgeable. Are there any good teaching hospitals in your area? What about the family doctor….can s/he recommend a good psychiatrist? They’re the best ones to counsel people on these medications. Or if your daughter goes to the emergency department of the hospital, perhaps she can get a referral from there.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t really know how things work there, but I wish you well.

    • MARY September 7, 2014, 5:53 am

      Thank you for your suggestions and concern. I just finished reading Dr. Glenmullen’s book, and emailed his office last week; but have not received a response yet. I am going to contact The University of Wisconsin where the perinatal clinic she went to is located and see if they have any psychiatrist who have dealt with a similar situation.

      • C September 7, 2014, 1:22 pm

        Excellent idea! Teaching hospitals are usually on the leading edge with regards to medical knowledge. In my experience, a good therapist/doctor/counselor can be invaluable and can really turn things around. If your daughter trusts that person, then that can go a long way towards calming some of the irrational fears. It’s good to get solid, fact-based, rational info and CBT is usually helpful for that. But if there’s only breathing therapy and no CBT — which is all about challenging the irrational thoughts — then it doesn’t sound effective to me.

        I’m sure it’s hard for you, as her mother, to be going through this too, but she’s lucky to have someone who obviously cares as much as you do. Yay for moms! Mine’s wonderful too, and I’d say that her solid, consistent love has kept me going through difficult times.

        Best wishes from across the border (and thanks for the “hippa law” info!),
        C

    • MARY September 7, 2014, 6:19 am

      Hippo laws prevent people handling your medical care and information from talking to other medical personnel or individuals about your medical history without your consent.

  • mollie carlson September 7, 2014, 2:26 am

    So, this is kind of off topic. But I want to go off Prozac because I think it is making me fat. I know sounds shallow, but I want to be skinny again.

    • Melissa Hinchon October 14, 2016, 12:37 pm

      Hi Mollie, I totally agree. I was always quite thin. Amazing figure no matter what I ate and drank. Since starting on Lexapro about 8yrs ago and then changing to Prozac as apparently is safer while pregnant. I went from a size 8 to 16. I am now about 2 months+ prozac free. Am feeling great mentally but overly emotional at times. I’m working on shifting this weight and I will. Also attending yoga once a week which I love and is great for relaxing the mind.

  • Zoe September 7, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Hi Mary

    There is an excellent book called self help for your nerves by Claire weeks its for people with anxiety/depression disorders and those who have had a Nervous breakdown, it outlines all the symptoms the person is experiencing and why, plus there is a section for the family members on how to cope and help the person who is unwell. Maybe you could read this first then relay parts to your daughter in small bites, as she is petrified and stuck in a circle of fear, at this point our concentration is zero and we can’t retain anything either, plus we are too scared too hear it anyway……….that was my experience. So I think this book will be very beneficial to Both of you.

    Wishing both all the best

    Zoe x

  • Zoe September 7, 2014, 8:11 pm

    Hi mollie

    You don’t so why you are on prozac or how long for. In previous years I stopped prozac because I thought it was making me fat but the real reason was because I had major issues going on which I did not recognise so did not deal with them, the truth was I had no inner peace and just ate for comfort ( am slim build and a gym bunny) I read on one of blooms blogs that over a period of years your weight can increase when taking antidepressants, but this is lowered with logical methods as in diet/exercise. So while putting on weight makes us feel horrible it’s only temporary until we have corrected our problems. It’s really hard to be honest with yourself regarding how much we eat, so maybe keep a food diary and be honest on it, that might give you some indication if its your food intake/lifestyle or prozac.

    Much luck
    Zoe

  • MARY September 8, 2014, 11:53 am

    Thank you C and Zoe for your kind words and helpful suggestions. My daughter originally went on Paxil then Prozac to relieve OCD. At that time, we were not told about SSRIs causing withdrawal systems. I am contacting the perinatal clinic today and hope they can offer some suggestions. I have been scouring the internet all weekend in hopes of finding a psychiatrist or therapist in my area who deals with antidepressant withdrawal systems but have had absolutely no luck. It seems like this is an issue that many professionals want to tackle let alone talk about. What does one do?

    • C September 8, 2014, 12:35 pm

      I agree, Mary. I think it’s a difficult issue because, in a way, discussing it implies that the doctor and/or medical profession has made an error or caused the problem. I’ve been careful not to ascribe blame to anyone. I just wanted the help they could offer. As you know, the last chapter of Dr. Glenmullen’s book gets into the whole issue of misinformation, or lack of information, from drug companies about SSRI withdrawal. It’s sticky stuff! Anyway, I think you’re doing the right thing. Your daughter needs help, and she deserves it, and it’s hopefully available and accessible very soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her.

      I think prevention is the key, but none of us in this position have had that as an option. It becomes a matter of how best to move forward.

  • Victoria September 13, 2014, 6:30 am

    Thank you so much. This has been so helpful. I read it with tears of relief rolling down my cheeks. I have been on high dose (60mg) for ten years and 20mgs with increases to 40mg sometimes, overall its been 21 years …. more than half my life. I reduced slowly taking 3 months but a week after completely stopping I started to feel really unwell. I have been experiencing most of the symptoms described and was starting to think there was something seriously wrong after two weeks. Reading this article has made me feel that I can get through this and its only temporary. I can’t thank you enough.

    • zoe September 13, 2014, 8:20 pm

      hi Victoria

      so glad you found this site and it has brought you relief, I imagine everyone on here, keeps checking back for reassurance, I know I certainly do and others who I have spoken too. Has you withdrawal been under the guidance of a doctor or have you done this on your own? am asking because what I have found since reading many comments on here, is that a lot of doctors don’t seem to be educated with discontinuation symptoms, but also people tend to just stop their medication (cold turkey) then go through hell, I am in the process of tapering off Prozac, when I do the maths it is going to take over a year to finally come off, this is an agreement between me and my doctor, and even going this slow I am getting withdrawal symptoms. i understand everyone is different in physiology, but it seems like your tapering has not been slow enough, given the dose and time span, anyhow you are where you are, on this courageous journey for a new life, hope this has made sense as i have the zombie feeling for the last few days, and cant quite hit the nail on the head, so to speak…………….:) wishing you much success……………hold in there with the rest of us.

      • C September 13, 2014, 11:05 pm

        I’m offering a bit of support and encouragement as well…..to all! I’m quite a ways out from my last dose of Prozac, yet the disequilibrium/dizziness has continued. I had an appointment with a physiatrist (specializes in rehabilitation medicine) the other day, and surprisingly, she was more knowledgeable on the topic of SSRI withdrawal than the psychiatrist who put me on the meds in the first place! So, yes, I agree that the amount that’s known by various doctors is all over the place. Anyway, this doctor was very supportive and very positive that the symptoms will subside. Because the neurochemicals in the brain have to adapt, it takes whatever length of time it takes. It can’t be pre-determined. I’ve been told that I’m “sensitive” to medications! I know, I know. In this case, it would be great to be an “insensitive” person! ;-)

        I just found out about a study at one of the teaching hospitals here. They’re doing genetic testing to determine which antidepressants work best for an individual. If the genetic testing is accurate and the study is successful, then we can only hope that doctors will have better tools when prescribing such medications. It’s too late for me, but I’m hopeful for others.

      • Jennifer September 18, 2014, 8:10 pm

        I once a few years back went to my doctor to get off this medication and i had been on it at the time, over 10 years she had me getting off it in a few weeks. Needless to say I started to feel horrible and gave up went back on my full dose (60mg). Doctors are not educated is definitely a correct statement. Tell me why the make the big bucks again. I can figure out more on the internet these days than they can tell me. Don’t get me wrong we need doctors and there are good ones out there. Just my experience lately.

        • C September 18, 2014, 8:50 pm

          I totally understand that sentiment, Jennifer! I’ve done a lot of research online — including medical studies and excerpts from medical textbooks — and there’s a lot of excellent information available. I’ve struggled with the same questions as you. I’m just glad that we can access this information now. It puts some of the control back in our hands. I hope that all of this over-prescribing of psychiatric medications will slow down and that people will be given better information BEFORE they agree to take something.

          Are you off the medication now? Or are you planning to do so?

          • Jennifer October 1, 2014, 4:13 pm

            I am on 20mg right now. Im planning on doing this for a month then going to every other day for a month, than twice a week. I’d go to 10mg but I don’t have any but have a ton of 20 and they are capsules so I can’t split them.

      • JennRayne March 17, 2016, 1:39 am

        Thank you. I’m currently starting to taper off of an 80mg a day dose. It’s been a few years. I have taken 60 mg for the past 2 nights. So I’m still on a very high dose. I take clonazapem and medical marijuana – I too never knew of the very scary withdrawal. Having suicidal thoughts (though I know I do not want to die!) and urges but have support. I’ve had them while on this high dose and am scared of myself more than I used to be. I want a family with my boyfriend (for now) and what a huge help this site can be. Thank you.

  • Kate September 15, 2014, 12:59 am

    I’ve been on fluoxetine for around 4 years, 40mgs. I got sick of always getting the refill okayed by my doc so I just stopped taking it. I’ve been off it for 2 months. I’m so glad I’ve read these comments because I do have tinnitus and have had it for a while and I had no idea why. I think I even had it before going off the medicine. I hope it clears up. I feel a little down but not too bad and I do feel tired a lot. This article was so informative to me. Thank you for writing it. I am going to try and stay off the medicine and add exercise to my daily routine and hope that helps.

  • agatha September 15, 2014, 12:34 pm

    I have been on Prozac for 20 years and always wanted to give it up I felt like I was pathetic having to take drugs to be able to function. This year I had to stop taking Prozac as had to take Warfrin. I felt that I was doing quite well and was pleased the way things were going.

    After reading other peoples experiences I felt quite lucky to have got away with withdrawal. I am quite weepy and I know I have been distancing myself from people so as I won’t become a burden or a drudge to them.

    I can see by reading about other peoples experiences that these feelings are part of the withdrawal process. After speaking to my husband this morning we decided to research some herbal remedies to help or even to go back on the prozac and changing the warfrin for another anti-coagulants but reading your letters made me determined to stick with it and try to find other coping mechanisms. I would like to thank you all for your thoughts and experiences and wish you all well.

  • Jennifer September 16, 2014, 7:24 pm

    I have been on Fluoxetine for about 14 years. I started out at 20mg but was prescribed 60mg the past 10 yrs. I would take 40 to 60 mg a day, depending on how I felt. I have decided to try to go off and detox my body. I am prepared to go back if I have to but I think I can handle my issues now. I started only taking 20mg a day and plan on doing this for a month or so, then go to every-other day. and less and less. So far It has been 4 days and I am having dizzyness, Back muscle pain, not being able to concentrate the greatest. Also blurry vision. But that’s it so far. Oh and less of an appetite.

  • Back to Center October 1, 2014, 10:39 am

    Yes- thank you so very much for listing all that you have. This explains so much of what I’m experiencing right now. I can relate my exact symptoms to 90% of those you’ve stated. The physical pain is awful. Having slowly weeded out something else being seriously wrong physically, I can only expect that I am on the down-side of withdrawal. I’ve been off it completely for a couple of weeks after a few years of prescribing. Symptoms are not better at this point but I feel a little better knowing that they should be soon.

  • Jennifer October 1, 2014, 4:20 pm

    It has now been 19 day that I lowered my dose from 60 to 20mg. No more back pain, but remaining issues are, lack of concentration along with not being able to remember simple things. Still blurred vision at times but for now that’s all the symptoms I have. I plan on doing the 20mg for another 16 days then going to taking it every other day for a month. Just wanted to post an update on my withdraws.

  • Goobell October 9, 2014, 11:02 pm

    Why is everyone quitting prozac if it works? Seems kinda dumb to start taking something for depression and it works so you quit. I can understand if it stopped working and then maybe try something else for depression but when you quit an antidepressant then complain you are depressed you sound…well…..stupid. Just sayin’.

    • Jennifer October 11, 2014, 10:38 pm

      I am quitting because I’ve been on it 14 years and my doctor said I’d be on it the rest of my life. I feel better and feel I don’t need it. When I am 100% off then I will decide if I still need it. I have God in my life now and something tells me I’ll be okay without it. And the though of being completely drug free sounds so healthy. Just saying.

    • Cathy April 16, 2015, 2:20 pm

      9 months after my husband passed away I was prescribed Prozac as I was starting to fall apart and was breaking down in tears throughout the day which made going to work very difficult. The Prozac, to my surprise and relief worked almost instantly, I felt so much better and went from crying 2/3 a day to just a couple of times a month, I did however feel guilty about this as it seemed like a betrayal to my husband. I had no side effects at all from the Prozac until the 3rd month, I started to feel very tired, I put this down to anemia as I have had it in the past but a blood test showed my iron was fine.

      Over the next 4 weeks the tiredness got worse to the point that I was sleeping during the day and between 10/12 hours at night, I could hardly keep my eyes open and it was really getting me down, although I have many hobbies I just didn’t have the energy to partake in them, finally after stepping out in front of traffic for the third time in a week due to my zombie like state I decided to stop taking the Prozac. I didn’t see my GP about this as I know you should but I did research how to taper the drug safely but in the end I just stopped taking the pills (20mg) as I couldn’t take the drugged up feeling any longer.

      I have been off of the pills for 7 days now and have felt no side effects, still very tired but I think it’s easing, I’ve read It could take up to a month for the drug to leave your system. If necessary I will find a drug free alternative to treat any of the original symptoms if they return. In conclusion, Prozac worked brilliantly for me in easing my grief, anxiety and (mild) depression, it’s just a shame about the extreme fatigue. Best wishes to all who are trying to deal with emotional problems.

      • Anonymous January 21, 2016, 12:00 pm

        Cathy, how long were you on Prozac 20mg? I have been on 20mg for about 20 months and would like to stop taking them too. I have gained so much weight.

      • Priscilla May 18, 2016, 6:38 pm

        Just curious, did you eventually have any other side effects? I’m reading this comment over a year later. The Prozac for me also worked almost immediately. Although I am very very tired which is concerning so I stopped for 2 days now and I am having some back pain that I never had before.

  • Paloma Arellano October 16, 2014, 12:00 am

    Hi, I’m a 16 year old female, and I had depression and anxiety and started taking prozac when I turned 14, and took it for 9 months. I took 10mg per day, I stopped taking it last year in June, but I don’t feel like my normal self. I have no motivation or energy, like I’m always tired, and I feel like I’ve gotten slow, and I have a bad memory, I can’t focus, and I can’t complete tasks. Like it’s so bad, that I can’t even finish my homework and I don’t know what to do please help.

    • C October 16, 2014, 4:43 pm

      Hey Paloma, have you talked to the doctor who prescribed the medication to you? Did s/he follow you along to see how you were doing? S/he is probably a good person to talk to about these things. Have you tried counseling — for instance, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)? It’s a great tool for helping yourself feel better, and in my experience (and I have a lot), it’s way better to go drug-free, if you can. CBT can help you change the thoughts that might be making you feel bad. And you’ll have it as a tool that you can use during challenging times for the rest of your life.

      If your symptoms are physical — and that’s always a possilibility — then that’s also a good reason to see your doctor. Keep in mind that your body is going through a lot of changes now so that can affect things. But if your current problems are psychological, then counseling is a great step. I’m not a fan of the drugs, since they can have so many side effects — some known, some unknown. Counseling is free of side effects!

      I wish you all the best!
      Take care,
      C

  • Becky October 18, 2014, 3:06 pm

    My husband was taken off prozac cold turkey by his Dr about 8 months ago. Can he still have the withdrawals 8 months later? I’ve had him in ER the past few weeks (3 times). The symptoms listed are what he’s going through.

  • Hope October 29, 2014, 6:02 pm

    I started Prozac about 6 months after my mother was diagnosed with cancer BC I could not stop crying. During her illness and death, my dosage was changed to 60 mgs, daily, and had taken that for over 1 year. I began a 4 month process of tapering off BC I had a severe lack of emotion. I have been off completely 4 weeks. My moods are everywhere, my patience level is almost zero. I have 2 daughters, 8 and 4, a husband, who didn’t want me on the meds, and a full time job. I was doing well the weeks that followed, but now I feel like I could crawl out of my skin, rip someone to shreds, physically and mentally, and I’d like to quit my job and leave my family.

    I do have feel this was 24/7 but this past week has been BRUTAL!! I am trying to adjust to life and accept things as they are but this is tough. The 2 year anniversary of my mother’s death is in 10 days and I am really perplexed as the best way to move forward. I cannot quite life, it is a pretty awesome life, one I do not deserve, but emotionally am stagnant. The doctors want to push more meds, not sure that’s the best thing. I have continued taking Xanax at night and consume a good amount of alcohol, although not daily, but this is truly HELL on earth.

  • C October 30, 2014, 9:03 pm

    Hi, I’m SO sorry to hear what you’re going through. I just wanted to mention that Prozac has a long half-life, so the withdrawal symptoms can pop up a little later than with the other SSRIs. You’re probably right on track. If you can be patient, it will hopefully pass and you’ll bounce back. These medications can have powerful effects. I wish you well. -C

  • J October 30, 2014, 9:24 pm

    I ran out of Fluoxetine at one stage a few months back (I was on 20mg for about 5 years and 40mg for about 3) and couldn’t get myself to the doctors for a prescription. I didn’t realize there would be such extreme side effects, and I ended up passing out in the shower. I was so lucky that I didn’t smack my head into anything sharp.

    I’m switching medications now so gradually reduced my dose to 10mg and I have not taken it for 3 days not and I am having the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. I am feverish and constantly shaking, and having lots of intestinal issues as well as fatigue. Hope I don’t pass out again this time. Really scared of it happening again and that I won’t be as lucky next time.

  • Karen November 20, 2014, 5:18 am

    This site has just saved my sanity. I have been on 80mg tapering to 20mg over a 12 month period. I have been on prozac for some years following a breakdown. I decided to go cold turkey and have been so sick since doing so, sweats, flu, tinnitus, dizziness, lightheaded and vomiting. My GP was firm in the belief there are no withdrawal effects from Prozac 20mg and it’s all in my head. I’ve been put back on 20mg at present, but on reading your experiences I now feel more educated and supported for when I am strong enough to attempt withdrawal. Thank you so much.

    • C November 20, 2014, 8:41 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that your GP hasn’t been supportive. There is medical literature that confirms the withdrawal symptoms of SSRIs. It’s NOT all in your head — although the neurotransmitters that are currently trying to normalize themselves are definitely in your head! Just keep up the good work and know that you’ll get better. You can taper slowly from a 20 mg capsule so that your body can adapt to the changes.

      If you can find a compounding pharmacy in your city, and if your doctor is willing to write you a prescription, these pharmacies can make 5 mg capsules. Then you can go from 20 to 15 to 10 to 5. If that’s not possible for some reason, ask your doctor to prescribe 10 mg capsules of Prozac so you can — at the very least — drop it from 20 to 10 before going off. Take it slowly and allow your body to adapt. Take care!

  • Shawn November 27, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Really interesting to read other people’s experiences. I’ve been on Fluoxetine for over 4 years but decided that I wanted to stop taking it. So I did. From 20mg twice a day to nothing overnight. Off for 4 weeks now. Side-effects – bad head aches and feeling tearful, hopefully these will ease off. But the tense feelings I had while taking it have gone so just got to go to the doctors and let them know!

  • MJ December 3, 2014, 12:35 am

    Hi to all, I have found this blog to be very interesting and gives me comfort that I am not alone in this… To make a long story short I have been on some sort of an antidepressant since 1995. .. So almost 20 years. When I was 24 I was all of a sudden hit by the dark cloud and was unable to function…
    I went to a psychiatrist at the recommendation of my primary doctor and he immediately put me on prozac.

    It took about 6 weeks to kick in but gave me my life back. The side effects at the time for me were difficult: Zero sex drive, Insomnia, Etc. After stabilizing on the prozac I felt that the side effects were intolerable and I started experimenting with every SSRI imaginable hoping to get the benefit of the meds without side effects. It has been a wild goose chase ever since. Some good times, some bad. I currently was on Prozac since March 2014 after having been on a multitude of meds.

    I went back on the Prozac because I felt that it was the best drug for depression for me but unfortunately the worst drug for side effects. This summer I was traveling and I started to taper the Prozac and introduce Wellbutrin 150 mg. I had been in 20 mg of Prozac prior to the taper. I did a taper of the prozac over a 6 week period and have now been on zero prozac for about 9 weeks. I am still on Wellbutrin… The last few weeks I have been noticing severe difficulty concentrating and some anxiety. Anger like I want to jump out of my skin… Zero patience etc.

    Today and yesterday it has been extremely difficult to concentrate. I feel like my brain is not flowing. I also am having some issues with my vision and the Prozac at this point should be completely out of my system. I am trying to determine if what I am going through is withdrawal reactions or if it is the depression reappearing. It is very hard to determine this my doctors in New York at 500$ per hour don’t even know. It is a joke. Doctors are trained to write scripts but don’t know what we go through and the severity of these issues.

    I am concerned that perhaps now I don’t have any SSRI in my system and maybe my body is craving it. I really don’t want to go back on the Prozac so I am trying to push through this extremely difficult time. I am not thinking clearly and not functioning well at work. I am trying to get off meds altogether even though in the past I have tried to stop and had depression set in again. I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences to me and if anyone can shed some light on weather there is a light at the end of the tunnel or if the tunnel is a never ending black hole?

    I am hoping to come out on the other end and get through this. But again what concerns me is if it is all withdrawal symptoms or depression reappearing? Thanks so much. If I can help any of you in any way, please let me know. Best regards to all. And I hope that the majority of you all are feeling better. I feel the pain of the ones that are not feeling good. No one can understand what we are going through unless you are actually THERE. Not even family or friends.

    • GLOOM December 3, 2014, 5:59 pm

      Hi MJ, thanks for sharing your experience. Unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer as to whether it is the original depression returning or whether it is depression from going through medication withdrawal… it could (likely) be a combination of both. Since doctors don’t measure brain activation, brain waves, neurotransmitter levels, arousal, etc. prior to taking the meds, during treatment, and after taking them, there’s no way for them to know what is really happening.

      Determining if you are experiencing your original depression vs. withdrawal is completely subjective. Do you feel the same “type” of depressed feeling or has it morphed into a different type of depression since taking the meds? It is really up to you to determine if what you had previously experienced is the same as now or if it has changed… if it has changed, you can likely chalk it up to changes made to your brain by the medications.

      I cannot tell you what you are experiencing, but I can share my personal experience. In my experience with these medications, the original depression may be alleviated by an SSRI, but eventually tolerance is established… going on other SSRIs therefore may be slightly counterproductive and akin to playing pharmacological roulette… we don’t really know what is going on, but are hoping that something works… you get the idea.

      In reality, your serotonin system has become dependent on the SSRIs so that when you withdraw, you will have symptoms, one of which is likely going to be a depression as a result of altered serotonergic functioning or low serotonin… this may be in addition to the resurgence of your original depression. So in essence, you could be experiencing both.

      I can say that you will eventually recover to your pre-medicated state of functioning over time… but it will likely take a significant chunk of time, and the original depression may come back. Wish you nothing but the best, and hope to have addressed your concerns.

    • Nikki December 16, 2014, 5:01 pm

      I agree, you have to know it to help someone. I just stopped taking mine a week ago after over 5 years on it. I feel if I had dealt with the reasons for my depression at the time, I would not have needed it – i.e. – marital issues, grief, stress…You can explore the natural remedies for depression and maybe that will help you. I suggest exercise first and foremost – it has helped me. I wish you all the luck and health. Find a hobby and enjoy your life!

  • Skyler December 3, 2014, 10:24 pm

    My name is Skyler and I am only 16 years old. I have been on Prozac for about 5 months and I am on 30mg. I forgot about my prozac for a few days and I feel like I need to get off of it. I do not want to be on it but my parents think I do because of my attempted suicides. I do not want to be on it and am expiercing WD that are terrible. My suicidal thoughts have came back also I am always very angry, and sometimes confused. Any opinions on what I should do?

    • Nikki December 16, 2014, 4:56 pm

      I think you should seek counseling…not for meds but to deal with the issues that make you feel that way in the first place. Be good to yourself – find a hobby – something to look forward to and enjoy. You are important and special. Don’t give up!

  • Monique December 6, 2014, 12:55 am

    Hi – I’ve been on Fluoxetine for 9 months to deal with Anxiety /Post Natal Depression. Was feeling well 6 months in, so did a slow tapering weaning off. i.e. down from 20mg to 15mg for couple of weeks and continuing to 1/4 tablet (5 mg) – I weaned as I hadn’t any anxiety symptoms for months. And for the past 7 weeks I feel ‘normal’ and just got on with enjoying my life with putting that chapter behind me – then bam, 2 nights ago I had worrying dizziness / lightheadedness then in the morning my anxiety manifested again.

    It cleared by lunchtime and then again today. It was just like anxiety of old. So I wanted to say thanks for this thread as I’m sensing that it is the long half life of fluox that has meant it has been still in my system and finally it is probably being withdrawn. Also explains how the 12 kilos I gained on it hasn’t budged even with increased exercise/ better diet. So I will be kind to myself and have hope that my body will need to readjust again to the decreased serotonin levels. I had that ‘normality’ for some weeks and it felt great! Many thanks again, Monique

  • Nikki December 16, 2014, 4:53 pm

    I have stopped Fluoxetine cold turkey in the last week. I have been on it for over 5 years – can’t even remember how long. Originally went on for severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I decided to stop taking it because I seemed to be in a funk and depressed and felt it was not doing anything for me anymore. Since stopping it, I feel energetic, focused and just generally more excited about things in my life.

    I feel that I was “numb” to the world and that is not how I want to live my life! I have had headaches, but had them before stopping and attribute that to the fact that I need glasses. I have been exercising every day, also, which I highly recommend for stress. I don’t want to medicate my problems, I want to face them head on. Good luck to you all – you can do it!

    • Mel September 2, 2015, 3:48 am

      Hi Nikki, This is the exact reason why I am wanting to go off my prozac. I have been on 40 mg for a little over a year. I take mine at bedtime because if I take them during the day, I’m exhausted. Anyway, lately I have been in a funk, been edgy, no energy and I feel like I have no emotions, and so on. So I’ve decided I want to try getting off prozac. I am 35, and have been on some type of antidepressant or another since I was a teenager.

      At 17 I was on prozac for the first time along with something else. Over the years I have tried different antidepressants and eventually they stop working. I tried welbutrin, that felt like it was starting to work, then I broke out in severe hives from my head to my feet. Had an allergic reaction so the doctor put me on prozac. This was in June of last year, but like I said earlier, this is not working.

      I’m wanting to cry all the time for no reason. Everything in my life is finally great, but I am sad all the time, and that’s the only emotion I have. I hate feeling like I don’t have emotions and I’m glad I found this blog. I will be stopping cold turkey from my prozac. I’m especially glad I saw your post, because I thought I was the only one who felt like they have been in a funk while on this. Wishing you the best of luck :)

  • Sandra December 19, 2014, 10:44 am

    Hi, Have been off Fluoxetine 20mgs for 8 weeks after taking it for 15 years. Am tired all the time and have various symptoms. The worse one for me is the aching muscles and joints. Also the apparent hot flushes (I am 56 and thought they had stopped) are driving me crazy. I just wondered how much longer this will go on?

  • Vee December 20, 2014, 12:18 am

    I’ve been taking Fluoxetine for about three years, up to 70mg daily. But my psychopharmacologist decided that it had pooped out, because of clinical depression. I have BP2. The organic depression started to lift while I was tapering the med, pretty conclusive it had stopped working for me. Nonetheless, I have bad headaches and feel ill with flulike symptoms. It’s been about ten days and maybe I am tapering off too fast. I’m down to 10mg.

  • Laurenlouwho December 22, 2014, 4:57 pm

    I’ve had MDD all of my life, a lot of self harm as a preteen and teenager, not as much as an adult. I’m 26 and feel 100% empty and numb. I have been on Prozac since April of this year, I was on 10mg for 1.5 months and it just seemed to stop then i was on 20mg for about 2 months same thing and have been on 40mg since then. It stopped working also, I went off cold turkey last Wednesday. the depression has become just about as worse as it was before…I haven’t had that bad of anxiety yet but I feel like I just exist again. I still can’t cry…I wasn’t able to on Prozac. It made me indifferent to basically everything. I’m about to switch to Brintellix, has anyone used this before?

  • Lester December 23, 2014, 2:29 am

    My fiancé of 4 years of an amazing relationship stopped Prozac and left me on the 6th day with no reason. Does anyone know what to expect? Could this really be from quitting cold turkey? I do not know what to do.

  • Rita January 16, 2015, 9:59 am

    I’m off the Prozac, as well. I stopped cold turkey about three weeks ago. I have an overwhelming history of childhood sexual abuse and systematic (as the years went by) mental, emotional, financial and physical abuse. (This may sound overly dramatic, but unfortunately this type of abuse occurs all the time in very low-income homes where parents are drug addicts and alcoholics). I’m forty, now. I’ve been taking Prozac and sleep medications for insomnia for about ten years now.

    I slept with a man I can’t stand physically and personality-wise (I don’t know why I did that, other than to confess that in light of the sexual trauma I suffered in the past, sometimes I feel a “need” to be very… objectified. I will stop there. Unfortunately, I got pregnant. I’m a good ol’ statistic, aren’t I? The reason I mention these other issues relates to this thread because of these concerns:

    I am overcome with depression and thoughts of suicide. I struggled with these thoughts WHILE I was on 40mgs of Prozac, over the last year. I feel very trapped in an unhealthy living situation. I’ll stop there, otherwise we’ll be here all day and night. These last three weeks, the suicidal, sickly thoughts have been mounting. I have no other living family members, except for my father. However, he is a veteran and he’s mentally compromised, himself. I love him, but the last thing he is, is a beacon of support.

    I don’t want want a child. Especially not THIS person’s child. But out of some sense of misguided duty, I’d been considering having it. So, I stopped the Prozac cold turkey. A couple of weeks have passed, and life has been close to a living mire/cesspool of monotony, sluggishness, bad depression, hopelessness, fatigue, desperate crying and anxiety. I just wrote this because I have no one else to talk to. No joke. For those of you who read all this… thanks for doing that.

    • debbie February 11, 2015, 11:15 pm

      I Started taking prozac many years ago mainly because of problems resulting from childhood sexual abuse and later physical and mental abuse. I can relate to what you are saying and going through. I recently decided to try to deal with life without meds. I also am trying to truly put my past in the past. I don’t know your situation but maybe the baby will be a change for the better. If you can make any positive changes, even ideas, it will help. If you don’t want this baby, it isn’t against the law to change the situation. It is not for any of us to judge another. Try to do what will make you happy. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Live and love yourself..

    • JennRayne March 17, 2016, 3:28 am

      Thank you for sharing. How are you doing now?

    • Tiffany May 4, 2016, 3:23 am

      Rita I just read your thread and am hoping you are ok? I too have stopped the prozac cold turkey 4 months ago. I wish I would have weaned down properly. I have felt so messed up in my head! It’s been the hardest thing I have gone through!

  • Kris January 18, 2015, 6:15 pm

    I’ve been having awful body aches. My lower back aches so bad and my legs. I’ve been on 20mg. for many years. Quit cold turkey because I didn’t think it was working anymore. Taking two Advil twice a day to relieve aching. It feels like I have a mild flu.

  • Heather January 27, 2015, 10:45 pm

    I have tried many SSRIs over the years. Paxil was the most debilitating to stop. Prozac has been the easiest for me. I don’t have a large amount of physical side effects but I have many psychological side effects. I quit about 2 weeks ago. I was on 20mg for about a year. I am full of rage at times, angry most of the time, very irritable. I have ativan that I have been taking for anxiety with the Prozac.

    I felt I wasn’t benefiting enough to keep taking the Prozac. The Ativan seems more helpful. I am using it to help cope with the withdrawal and it is very helpful with the anger. I have always had mood swings whether on an SSRI or not so I’m not sure if I’m getting back to normal yet or not. It’s been so long since I’ve not been on some type of SSRI that I’m not sure what normal is for me at this point. Prayers for all of you and God bless.

  • shadow January 29, 2015, 8:42 pm

    Hi I was on prozac for 25 years, up to 80mg for the last five years. I am now off it, and going through all the symptoms in a living hell. It has been four months so far. I also have tinnitus, which is getting worse; it has also affected my balance and spatial awareness. Am I stuck with tinnitus for life now? It worries me that I will end up deaf. Has anyone had this and it cleared up?

  • vickyworrell January 30, 2015, 9:06 pm

    I have been on Prozac for about 9 months. Started with 20 mg for a couple of months then upped too 40mg for a couple of months. Then 60mg for 5 months. I quit cold turkey a week ago. It was my thyroid that caused my problems. So far the only thing I have experienced for W/D is fatigue and a constant ringing in my ears. I smoke weed and take meds for thyroid. I think that is what is helping with my W/D being not real bad. All I know is that I am not experiencing extreme W/D. So I will keep doing what I am doing.

  • Val January 30, 2015, 11:38 pm

    Thank you to everyone here for sharing what you’ve been going through. I’m having an “a-ha!” moment here. I’ve been taking Prozac for 17 years mostly 40 mg. I increased to 50 mg. for a few months last year during a rough patch, then decreased back to 40 mg. and after a few more months down to 30 mg. I’ve been having tinnitus for a while now – mostly noticing it at night – now just over the past week I’ve noticed it’s with me almost all the time. I’m really thinking it’s the decreasing the Prozac that has brought it on. UGH! My doctor even recommended I go back up to 40 mg if my anxiety over the tinnitus continues. I can tune it out most of the time, but it makes me anxious when I do get caught up “listening to it.”

    • debbie February 11, 2015, 11:02 pm

      I also have tinnitus. I had a bout with it before and my dr. said the Wellbutrin I was on could be the cause so I stopped taking it and the buzzing ears stopped. Switched to Prozac and have been on it for several years. About 3 months ago I woke up with bad tinnitus again. Decided I had been on anti-depressants long enough and that maybe it would stop if I stopped Prozac. It’s been a week and there hasn’t been a change but I have had many of the w/d effects shared here. Hope that I can stay off meds and all of us can have the tinnitus stop.

  • Sally February 10, 2015, 10:21 pm

    I have been on 20 mg of fluoxetine for the best part of the last 18 years but decided to come off them during 2013. After a year of cutting down 5 mg every three months, I took my last one in February 2014. To start with I felt fine, during the summer months I took my employer for an equal pay grievance which I subsequently won. I would not have even contemplated this when I was on fluoxetine as I didn’t care enough to do something about it.

    One year on and my temper is very short and I snap at everything, especially with my son and daughter who live with me (both adults not small children, I hasten to add, still not nice for them though). I am so tired all the time and I mean deep down bone tired, my brain doesn’t function correctly, which as an engineer isn’t helpful. I feel that I have missed so much of my childrens’ growing up years and this makes me sad. And now severe eczema. Aaaaaargh!

  • Tammy February 19, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Reading all of these stories has been an eye-opener! I have been on antidepressants for the past 18 years and thought I was the only one. When I started taking them I had great results and wished I had found them many years previous. However, now I have come to a point where I think that with the help of a good therapist I can handle things without the meds. Anyway I am only 2 days in to the cold turkey thing and so far the withdrawals are tolerable. But I have a question – I need to get an eye exam for new glasses but am experiencing blurry vision will this affect the results of an eye exam?

    • Diego April 13, 2015, 7:56 pm

      Hello Tammy. I would like to know how you are doing. I hope great. But reading your post I felt concerned that you are quitting cold turkey after 18 years! Everyone is different, but even if you had a low dose, it’s likely to bring you trouble. It’s been almost two months since your post. Very likely you had some symptoms already, I hope not, but please be aware that it can happen as in my case that they come back slowly and getting stronger. If they do please do talk to a good doctor on how to taper slowly. BTW I don’t know what you have, but CBT therapy for example, and maybe others, have the same effect one the brain as SSRIs and even better. I hope you are doing the right therapy and that it will free you from these drugs forever! God bless you.

  • Lawrence Smith February 25, 2015, 3:41 pm

    It was good to read this. Our 13 year old daughter has just been tapered off fluoxitine so that she can be put on another medication and let me tell you, she was one nasty young lady. Very angry, irritable, disrespectful, and had no emotion. It was just like she didn’t care about what she said or did or who she hurt doing it.

  • Kim March 1, 2015, 3:24 pm

    I have just started coming off the Prozac this week. I absolutley hate the idea of medicine so try not to be on it for too long. I have also had experiences with effexor and other type of antidepressants. The withdrawal symptoms I always seem to suffer from is the shaking and the fidgeting problem. I do truly wish withdrawal wasn’t even possible!

  • Kat March 15, 2015, 9:49 am

    So glad I just found this website, was on Prozac at least 10 years, gave up because doctor suspected it was causing urticarial dermatitis, which ended up covering half my body, it has improved dramatically! Gave up gradually over 3 months, it’s been 6 weeks now and my joints and bones have been aching real hard out and I am so tired most of he time and also feeling sick a lot, I thought I had some fatal disease. After reading all the comments I realize it’s WD symptoms yay. I may not be dying after all. Good Luck everyone! Oh also I can’t sleep of course!! Oh and also put on a fair bit of weight…

  • Mel March 25, 2015, 9:40 pm

    Thank you for this article! I’m absolutely terrified that after 11 years on a 10 mg dose and tapering for the last 3 months that now I am going to begin having panic attacks again… I was prescribed Prozac for my cluster panic attacks after having 3 miscarriages. I have since had two children and have changed my lifestyle drastically. I exercise 6 times a week, eat well and sleep as many hours a night as I can.

    I’m so worried that I won’t be able to manage if I begin having panic attacks again and I am scared I’m going to snap at one of my family members… I’m uber b*tchy and tired. For two days I feel like I could barf and go blind as my vision is wonky. Are you sure I’m not staying this way forever? Lol
    I don’t have any support emotionally so I feel very scared and alone. I just wanted to go off the meds to see if I am strong enough to be just me.

    It’s been 20 days and only in the last two days do I feel like I’m losing my mind. Sigh. Why can’t I just get through life like a normal being? So so frustrated.

    • Helen March 28, 2015, 7:58 pm

      Hi Mel, >>Why can’t I just get through life like a normal being? I know precisely how you feel and often ask myself the same question. It’s probably not much consolation, but I have recently discovered that several of my friends whom I consider to be successful, confident individuals have all been in the same dark place that we find ourselves – you are not alone! -HTH

  • Helen March 27, 2015, 9:42 pm

    Hi, I was on 20mg for 2 years. I decided to come off Prozac just before Christmas because of memory/concentration issues. My doctor advised me to take 1 every other day for 1 week and then stop. I felt great for 2 months and then about 3 weeks ago, chronic generalised anxiety hit me like a sledge hammer. As well as churning stomach (and associated unpleasant side effects), I have terrible insomnia due to the anxiety waking me.

    Sometimes I think I am going mad :-(. I’m hoping that this current anxiety episode is withdrawal symptoms as my body gets used to the serotonin uptake. However, given how wonderful I felt for 2 months after quitting, is it at all likely that this current episode is withdrawal? Shouldn’t I have felt rubbish for the whole time? Any advice will be very greatly appreciated.

    • Bob March 31, 2015, 2:05 pm

      I was on 60mg prozac for 15yrs. I recently withdrew 40mg for two weeks, 20mg for 2 weeks. I have been off completely for 2 months. Mentally I am doing fine but I have been having joint pain sometimes severe,especially after going for walks. I don’t know if this is withdrawal or something else like arthritis. I have had joint pain for a few years but it has increased since stopping prozac. I am seeing a doctor in a few weeks hopefully he can give me some answers.

    • Diego April 13, 2015, 7:27 pm

      I think you’ll be OK, but your doctor is just like mine. He thinks a one week taper is enough. That is useless. You need to take one 20mg pill every other day for at least a few months, or go to 10mg and then after months take that every other day. Give every step a few months. I went from 80 to 20 every other day over 8 years and didn’t feel a thing, but you can do it faster than that, not just as ridiculously fast as your doctor thinks.

    • Dee May 3, 2015, 10:36 am

      Hi there, your story really hit home for me. I cut my Prozac dose in half about 6 weeks ago. I was feeling great for about four and a half weeks. Then all of a sudden massive confusion, anxiety, rage. It has been awful. I did not know what was happening. Because the half life is so long on Prozac it can take a long time before our brain starts to feel the effects of withdrawal. I feel really stupid, am taking the dose I am supposed to until I can talk to my doctor. I was taking the Prozac for anxiety; I had forgotten to take it for a few days, felt great, so thought I will just take one a day instead of two. I hope this makes sense. -Dee

  • Karina April 13, 2015, 12:32 am

    Oh my gosh you guys! I know I’m late to this party, but I can’t begin to tell you what a reassuring “relief” it’s been to read about others’ symptoms of withdrawal. I’m just praying I’ll get back to feeling normal soon. I’ve been off Prozac now for about 6-7 weeks and feel sick ALL the time. I have the tinnitus, eye sensitivities, nausea, incredible fatigue, etc… and I have been teetering on returning to the drug, which I’d finally decided I had to stop after learning it was interacting with another medication that’s helping me with pain (Naproxen).. This has been the most confusing time of my life on top of having 24 hours a day of fogginess and uncertainty. I wish each and every one of us well.

  • Alli April 14, 2015, 4:15 pm

    I recently stopped taking Prozac, and my period has not come. I’m on the pill and I use condoms when I having sex. I’ve looked around and some people do experience menstrual problems during the span of taking Prozac, but does anyone experience this when they come off of it?

    • Rob March 29, 2016, 7:01 pm

      How long did it take for your cycle to return? I know someone taking it and their cycle stopped and they’ve recently quit and it has not returned.

  • Ginger Cheeseman April 24, 2015, 6:12 am

    I’ve taken 20mg of Prozac for 12 yrs and quit cold turkey. My worst side effect has been the feeling of being shocked, as in someone it feels like someone is taking a taser and sending electrical currents through my body. I’m not sure if it’s the Prozac doing it or the depakote. Either way I feel like I’m having mini seizures. Has anyone ever experienced this before?

  • BongoLoid April 30, 2015, 5:37 am

    Wow. Those withdrawal symptoms sound as bad as opiate withdrawal, which I have some experience with. I actually came here because my cat (neutered male) has been on transdermal gel fluoxetine, which was prescribed to stop him from urine marking. The stuff made little difference: he seems as anxious as ever, and the dosing ritual (catching him & holding him still while we swab out his ears with cotton balls & then applying the gel) is not pleasant for him either. Looks like a slow taper will be the best option, I hope he isn’t too miserable!

    • Karen May 2, 2015, 10:46 am

      I’ve been on 20mg flux for too many years now. I started tapering in January. I’m currently down to one every five days and I’m still having bad withdrawals. Tiredness and sore bones are really bad…no energy whatsoever. Feels like chronic fatigue. I will be one happy person when I can cope without them. Also I gained weight while on these and now gaining even more coming off them…would have thought I would be losing it. Life is hell right now and I only hope that tapering has been worth it. Got to hang in there. I feel for you all out there.

  • PF May 2, 2015, 3:08 am

    Very interesting to hear everyone’s experiences. I went off 20 mg Prozac a month ago, which I’ve done before. When I was younger and discontinued SSRIs I would get the brain zaps, but this time it’s just nausea, nausea, nausea every day. Will it ever end? Has anyone else had this as the major withdrawal symptom? Just wondering if it’s withdrawal or possibly something else.

  • EM May 4, 2015, 2:33 am

    I’ll echo every other writer here: what comfort to read that I am not alone in this mess! I was on 40mg/day of fluoxetine for 22 years to deal with severe anxiety and panic attacks. I decided late last year that enough was enough and I needed to take things into my own hands without pharmaceuticals. I still had mild anxiety but no panic attacks in those 20+ years.

    I tapered over a 3 month period and have not taken Prozac since January 2015. So, WD symptoms: weepiness, blurry vision, lack of appetite, obviously increased anxiety, significant digestive issues and irritability. There are moments when I wonder if it’d just be better to get myself back on the *&$% drug and be done with it, but then I remember I’m further along the road than I was a year ago and thanks to all of you, can stick it out. Thanks for this space. May we all find peace…

  • Mary Jo Magaw May 16, 2015, 4:25 am

    I am so glad I read all of your comments. I’ve been on Prozac since 1988. I tried to get off of it, but that did not work for me. I am decreasing from 40 mg to 30 mg and suffering like all of you. Unfortunately, I am not able to get off of it completely. I hate these symptoms, so I may just go back to 40mg. I will talk to my therapist, she’s the best. Good luck everyone.

  • Dee May 20, 2015, 11:45 am

    Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. I made a mistake, cut my Prozac does in half, felt great for about 5 or 6 weeks. Then all the side effects mentioned above started, I thought I was going crazy. The only thing I don’t have is dizziness and ringing in the ears. I did not know what was happening. Then it hit me, the Prozac takes about 5 or 6 weeks to leave the body.

    There is much information out there about how long it takes. Everyone is different, it can take weeks to months. I am going back on the Prozac as I can’t function like this. I never knew it could be helping the pain in my back or muscle spasms. Thank you all again. -Dee

  • elizabeth pultz June 23, 2015, 12:29 pm

    I’ve been off Prozac for about 4 mos now.I’ve experienced many of the withdrawal symptoms discussed here. I went on Prozac after my husband died, at my doctors suggestion, because I couldn’t stop crying (20 mg for 12 years). I stopped taking the prozac because it made sense to me. I have many of the symptoms discussed here such as crying and depression, but the worst is memory loss. Short term, long term, I can’t seem to remember much these days. I have to write everything down and then I forget to look at my notes.

    The memory loss has recently cost me a very good job as a bookkeeper. I’m 67, so I tell everyone I’ve retired. It was a great job and will certainly effect my quality of life. I am exercising, I go for long walks in the preserve near where I live. I’ve started oil painting again, which I love doing and thank God, the withdrawal hasn’t affected that! I’ve gone back to church on Sunday’s and I cry. Please give me hope that these withdrawal symptoms are temporary and will go away!! Promise me!!!

  • Anon June 25, 2015, 9:08 am

    I fully tapered off about a week ago and I feel a lot of these symptoms. I’ve been on this crappy medication for 4 years and it hasn’t helped one bit. In fact, it just made me eat non stop and I become more depressed. I hope Prozac hasn’t permanently damaged certain parts of my brain. I haven’t felt anything like myself for almost 3 years now and I’m feeling worse during withdrawal. ;(

    • Terry April 6, 2016, 1:11 pm

      Omg, Anon! That scares me to death! I’ve been going through the most severe of the withdrawals and its been a year. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Makes me want to pull my hair out, feeling like I’m going mad, but the withdrawals have been doing a great job of having so much anxiety and other stuff, my hair has been thinning out. I went off the meds because it was causing serotonin syndrome, now that I’m off it and having these withdrawals, I don’t know what’s worse. I really wish you well.

  • Sonny H June 30, 2015, 2:33 am

    I have taken Prozac since about 1994… that is 21 years. My dosage has varied between 40 to 80 mg per day. I am in the process of coming off Prozac. I reduced the amount slowly for about a month, down to none about three weeks ago (all this under a docs supervision). I am having a few of the side effects pointed out in this article, but am doing OK. Actually I am enjoying the emotions, which have not been present for most of these years.

    The two most problematic side affects, are headaches and an increase in my blood pressure. The headaches are always there. If my wife and I have sex, when I climax, my head feels like it is going to explode… from the brow over the top of the head as far down the spine as about 1 or 2 vertebrae. The pain is excruciating for about 7 – 10 minutes… then it subsides to a very nagging headache… which has yet to cease.

    My blood pressure has gone up from a normal (non treated) of 132/75 to an average of 175/95. My doc has started treating me for the increase in blood pressure, with amlodipine. I started this about 10 days ago. The average seems to have dropped to about 155/85… but I still have a constant headache… even though it appears to be diminishing. I will be glad when this transition is over… meanwhile, no kissing… which could lead to sex… LOL. Good luck to all in this effort.

  • Jeanne July 3, 2015, 6:03 am

    I’m lying here in the middle of the night miserable, feeling like I have the flu-severe body aches, chills, horrible diarrhea, nausea, stomach and chest pains. I have definitely been irritable and avoiding everyone. I’m so dizzy and tired and find it so hard to concentrate and remember what my boss is telling me to do at my new job. Yikes! I quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago after being on 60 mg for 3 years to help me get through cancer. Seems the withdrawal symptoms are getting worse.

    I got off because the last time I was on it for several years I was never able to lose weight. I found myself happier and the weight fell off last time, though I know many say it makes you lose weight if anything. I also quit “cold turkey” because I became vegan a month ago and realized the gel coating of prozac comes from animal bones and tendons. Yuck! But how much longer with these horrible, bedridden symptoms? I worry about work Monday as these just hit me harder and fast! Sorry so lengthy. Thanks!

  • Annie July 5, 2015, 8:18 pm

    I am currently withdrawing. After the first week I felt really unwell & didn’t know what was happening to me. I had no idea about withdrawal side effects & this article & comments from others really helped. It is easier to cope with all the symptoms now I know what they are. I am finding work a real struggle.

  • Jeanne July 7, 2015, 7:53 pm

    Week 4 withdrawal: I made it through the weekend but now I have the horrible headaches, EXTREME nausea, still diarrhea, total insomnia, extreme fatigue, feverish, body aches. Extreme nausea is my biggest complaint right now. Did break down crying yesterday but only because I want this hell to end! I can hardly take it any more. Has anyone fully recovered from this yet and when does it end? God bless my fellow sufferers. Maybe we should file a lawsuit. This is not normal.

  • Suzanne July 11, 2015, 11:10 am

    I agree with Jeanne that Prozac medication can be disturbing. I cannot accept that the response to this drug, which I took in May 2015 was normal. I was only able to tolerate it for 6 days. A daily dose of 20mg was prescribed for short – term stress due to overwork. Although my GP advised me to persevere if I found it hard to tolerate, I had no inkling that medication designed to help me overcome short – term anxiety could make me feel so unwell. More warning should be given. Like Jeanne, I have thought that the drug company owes me some (albeit token) compensation.

    After the first tablet I could not see to drive. My peripheral vision was opaque silver. I could not sleep, had a constant thirst, headache and diarrhoea. On quitting after 6 days the insomnia persisted for 6 weeks, the headache for 2 weeks and the visual disturbance also for 2 weeks. It beggars belief that one’s life can be put on hold because fluoxetine works well for the majority of patients. If one happens to be in the minority, tough – just bear it but you won’t be able to grin for 6 weeks or so.

  • Maureen Macleod July 19, 2015, 9:38 am

    I have been on low dose Fluoxetine for a couple of years. I decide to go ‘cold turkey’ a month ago. The only withdrawal I have experienced is tiredness, slight headache and forgetfulness, all much less than I was expecting…thank goodness.

    • Anonymous January 21, 2016, 12:14 pm

      Hi Maureen, what dose were you on? I take 20mg, for 2 years. I would like to go cold turkey, did you do ok?

  • Ellen August 13, 2015, 9:08 pm

    Surprised, but reassured to learn that others have developed tinnitus due to withdrawing from antidepressants. I developed tinnitus about 4 weeks ago after trying to restart an antidepressant I had previously taken for 12 years. I never had tinnitus as a side effect of the medication in the 12 years I had taken it; however, after restarting it, and perhaps increasing the dose too quickly, I developed a “hissing” in my left ear.

    The psychiatrist thought it may go away if I lowered the dose and tapered back up more slowly, but that did not work. I have since stopped the medication all together 3 weeks ago, but am still hissing. I read some promising things online, and some discouraging. They say in some cases after antidepressant therapy, it takes a few months for the inner ear and the neurotransmitters to resume normal functioning.

    I sure hope this is the case with me. Or perhaps I damaged my inner ear for good. Has anyone had tinnitus disappear after the withdrawal symptoms went away? Other than the hissing, the only other withdrawal symptom I have is horrible night sweats. Hope we all stop ringing soon!

  • Linsey August 21, 2015, 1:17 pm

    Thank goodness I researched withdrawal symptoms as I was about ready to start taking my fluoxetine again. I was on it for about 5 years at 20mg a day. Every time I have tried to come off I have been unsuccessful as I thought my depression was returning. I stopped cold turkey about 1 month half ago and for the last couple of weeks have been feeling awful, flu like symptoms, headaches, feeling disconnected and sooooooo tired.

    I’m gonna stay off for now and see if my symptoms improve as I don’t feel ‘depressed’ just tired and not like myself at all. I’m just not how much longer the symptoms will last for. What worries me is that if these are the withdrawal symptoms then it’s probably best to get these chemicals out of the body.

  • Lori August 25, 2015, 1:18 am

    Very informative article. It really made me feel much better knowing some of the things I was experience were not my imagination. Thanks.

    • Caro August 28, 2015, 10:09 am

      I have just discovered this website after having a light bulb moment. After waking up and still feeling exhausted, aching, blurry and unable to focus, it hit me that maybe it was connected to giving up 20 mg Prozac 4 months ago, which I had been on for 20 years. So I trawled the internet (thank goodness for the www).

      Maybe it was not a food allergy that was making me feel so lethargic and unable to exercise. Maybe I don’t have IBS. Or loads of other things! After reading all the comments, it sounds like I have typical withdrawal symptoms, which my Doctor never mentioned. But after reading all the posts and feeling as bad as I feel, I am wondering why I should not go back on it.

      I felt happy and healthy on it, but just thought it was time to be on no medications at all except vitamins as life was in a good place. Has anyone gone back on it and feel life has returned to a better place? Possibly I won’t be allowed to post these thoughts as they are not helpful to all of you who are being so brave.

  • K. Mitchell August 26, 2015, 10:35 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I needed to read these words of comfort. I took 10 mg of Prozac for about 6 years then recently went to 20 mg of Prozac for a couple of months. During the 10 mg dosage years, I quit taking it for short periods (breaks were usually a couple of weeks to a few months, cold turkey) in my attempts to try and stop altogether. Prozac seems like a safe anti-depressant so I was never too worried about taking it, but I felt that sometimes I should just stop because I didn’t want to take something for my entire life.

    I stopped cold turkey taking my 20 mg Prozac about 5 weeks ago. My reason was because the hubby and I were talking about having a baby so I wanted to be drug-free. The most notable withdrawal symptoms have been pretty severe: horrible brain zaps that constantly that occur with any action that involves moving my head or eyes rapidly (e.g., driving!); insomnia (I miss sleep!); headaches; weight gain & bloating. Exercising daily and just trying to wear myself out physically helps me feel much better overall, and I know it’ll get better eventually.

    I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks so I’m quite worried about the symptoms not going away or at least lessening before then. I don’t want to cave and start taking the ‘Zac again just so I’m not brain zapping all day long. These zaps affect my speaking and thoughts, and I feel it makes me seem a little mentally challenged at times. I don’t want my supervisors & co-workers to think their working with a more-than-socially-acceptable-crazy-lady!

  • Margaret August 27, 2015, 5:05 pm

    Good discussion. I began taking Prozac 15 years ago when husband was diagnosed with cancer. He doesn’t really want me to stop taking it because it decreased my anxiety and my tinnitus disappeared. However, it has also given me the inability to cry (not in about 10 years) and devoid of any emotion.

    I’ve been tapering the 20 mg dosage, taking 1/2 dose (10mg) every day for 2 weeks, now on my first week of taking 10 mg every other day. I’m not noticing many side effects except diarrhea and slight vision blurring, and the inability to concentrate sometimes. Mood is still good. Will the bad effects from withdrawal come later if I quit even the 10 mg every other day in another week?

  • Jane Madge Hadikin August 31, 2015, 12:30 pm

    I have been on Prozac 20 mg for 15 years. Last year I was on Effexor 300mg and Wellbutrin 300mg. I weaned myself from the Effexor using Prozac as a ladder to withdraw from Effexor. It was tough but I was able to do it. I stopped taking Prozac 20mg 10 days ago and still taking the Wellbutrin. The reason I am trying to get off of the Prozac is because of the profuse sweating I am getting.

    Soaking my hair and my body for no apparent reason is very embarrassing. So as I said it’s been 10 days and am finding myself very teary and exhausted. I have also developed diareah and lack of appetite which I am assuming is anxiety. I am just hoping that this is not all the depression coming back?

  • Dawn September 4, 2015, 2:46 am

    Reading all this at 3.30am having come downstairs to avoid the panic and racing heart beat I suffer from each night on not being able to sleep, then crazy dreams and not being able to wake properly in the morning. Found this site. Wow, it’s been so helpful to discover all these symptoms are withdrawal and not me getting worse. Been on 20mg for many years and increased to 40mg two years ago when my husband suddenly got seriously ill.

    Now I’ve decided that I’d like my libido back! And would like to feel some emotion. Reduced to 20mg cold turkey 6 weeks ago. Then 2 weeks ago suffering from panic, social anxiety and exhaustion, sweats, muscle pain, depression!!!, insomnia and constant fatigue I began to consider that this might be caused by withdrawal. Did some searching online, and decided that enough was enough. I’m now taking 20 mg and 40mg alternate days (is there a 30mg tab?) and feeling more hopeful.

    However, I might also consider reducing my dose no further. This site has been very helpful and I’ll refer to it as my journey continues… Off to try sleeping again!

  • Mags September 5, 2015, 9:51 pm

    Reading these comments have been so reassuring. I am a Nurse in the UK but still struggled to acknowledge the side effects I am experiencing since ceasing Fluoxetine 4 weeks ago. 5 years of yo-yo-ing between Citralapram and for the last 2 on Fluoxetine 40-60mg. Over 10 weeks I decreased from 60 -40-20-10 to nothing. I did not consult my Doctor (because I think I know best). The last 2 weeks I have had increasing muscle ache light headiness and headaches.

    The very worst was that I started to rake meds after my 19 year old sons unexpected death 5 years ago. Last week was the anniversary of his death and I realise I have been NUMB. I couldn’t work out what was wrong with me? What a stupid time to stop the meds! But as others say when is the right time? I am absolutely exhausted and realize I have been feeling detached and isolated. I really could sleep all day and night.

    I was about diagnose myself with early onset diabetes I have felt so unwell! I haven’t discussed it with anyone. I have attempted to offset the side effects with walking. I feel the tears are about to kick in but I won’t be afraid now, thanks to the discussion here I feel preferred and strong enough to get through it. I have had a couple of Shiatsu massages. I have also had really bad jaw and teeth grinding. Really painful. I think the massage and acupressure is helping. Many thanks for sharing, again so reassuring.

  • Hope September 16, 2015, 8:54 pm

    My boyfriend went on 40 mg of Prozac 3 weeks ago and abruptly stopped because of sexual side effects, he now has ringing in his ears and bad headaches. Will the ringing in the ears eventually go away?

  • LC September 26, 2015, 5:39 am

    Love that I can find other people to relate to during this stint in, what I’d like too call, HELL. I began taking 20mg Prozac for anxiety and panic attacks. 2 weeks later, my doctor upped my dose to 40mg. I couldn’t tolerate the 40mg, as it was giving me awful headaches, nausea, dizziness, and an overall numb feeling. So I went back to the 20mg, and felt fairly well on it- it worked beautifully on my anxiety, but I also never felt like myself on it. I dinked around with my dose at times- some days I did take the 40mg, some days I wouldn’t take it at all.

    Finally, after more inconsistency, I quit cold turkey. Now, I was only on the medication for approximately 3 months, but the withdrawal symptoms have been pretty bad- way worse than I felt before I even started the drug. First, it’s the headaches. They’re almost daily and all day. Sometimes it’s on one side, sometimes it feels like there’s a band of pressure squeezing the life out of head, sometimes it’s head and neck pain. It’s awful. I had the “brain zaps,” pretty bad for the first 3 weeks (I’m on week 4), and they’re starting to subside now.

    Additionally, I’m getting the night sweats and hot flashes on the regular now too, and tinnitus/ear pain on & off with accompanying jaw pain. Insomnia hasn’t been too terrible, but I also take melatonin. Overall, I generally don’t feel well nor do I feel like myself. I’ve tried to up my supplement intake, and I think that’s helped a little. I definitely feel dejected. I wasn’t on this drug for very long, and I’ve always been very sensitive to medications.

    Man oh man, I wish I never would have touched this stuff. Makes me feel like I’m going crazy, dying, and not wanting to live all at once. I pray hard daily that these symptoms subside, and I can get back to the healthy, active lifestyle I once lived. In retrospect, this sure wasn’t worth it.

    • Matt January 18, 2016, 3:26 pm

      Hi LC, I read your post and have had a similar experience – I was only on prozac for a couple weeks and had a bad reaction. This was about four and a half months ago, and while most of the extreme symptoms have diminished, the constant headaches, general feeling of disconnection from society, and poor sleeping patterns still remain.

      I’m wondering how you’re doing? Has anything improved for you – especially the headaches: have they gotten any better? Also, I’m wondering if you can remember taking any cold medicine while you were on prozac? Thank you so much for sharing.

  • GG October 1, 2015, 6:20 am

    I stopped taking Prozac without tapering off and I fully regret it. I have horrible crying spells, agitation, anger, insomnia sometimes with no sleep for two days in a row. Bearing degrees of headaches hot flashes. And some pretty severe and consistent dizzy spells that I’ve never ever had before. I’m already ADHD so just makes it worse for focusing. My opinion is anybody you wants to go off of Prozac…please taper off because I’m in ultimate hell right now.

  • Hope Bobbitt October 9, 2015, 9:29 pm

    Hi, I was prescribed 10mg of Prozac, which was then upped to 20mg, when I was twelve years old because of severe depression and moderate anxiety. I took it for a year and a half, then one day decided I didn’t need it anymore. I stopped taking it my eighth grade year, cold turkey, because I did not know about tapering off. I was fine for the first month, besides having mood swings.

    Then things got BAD. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. It was like it hurt me emotionally to have to go to school and being around people made me feel even worse. I’d sleep and cry everyday and I felt like a zombie all the time; like I had no emotion but at the same time felt so much pain. It was absolutely terrible. So I started back on my 20mg dosage, and a little over a year later went up to 40mg because my anxiety was worsening.

    I’ve been on 40mg for about 10 months now. I have recently been having these thoughts that I can’t be normal without this medication, and it bothers me a lot. I want to quit, but even with tapering off I don’t think I can handle the withdrawal symptoms. Especially since I don’t know how long they could last. Plus, my life is going okay right now and I don’t want to mess it up, but at the same time I don’t only want to be able to enjoy my life because of a pill. I want to learn to function without medication. I just don’t know if I can do it. Any thoughts?

    • Cin Cin December 9, 2015, 7:09 pm

      Hope, I don’t think you have to be pill-free. If you have something that makes you feel normal, and you have to take it the rest of your life, at least you don’t have the depression and anxiety – which you cannot live with. To me, it’s worth taking the prozac. Hope this helps. Cin Cin

  • J T October 17, 2015, 12:17 pm

    I was put on prozac for a relatively short time, I realized after reading these comments, of 6 months. But I just stopped taking it after that time as my doctor had told me there were no side effects and it could be stopped at any time. The worst one is the “head zinging”, not sure how else to describe it. It’s like electric shocks going through me and stops me in my tracks.

    On top of the side effects I think I got a cold that lasted about a week, complete with severe stomach cramps, vomiting and a terrible headache. Now 3 weeks on I think I have another cold. It’s hard to know where the illness stops and the withdrawal starts! Hopefully it’ll all be over soon. Reading these comments has really helped though, thanks all.

  • jon October 20, 2015, 8:57 pm

    Went of 20mg after about 14 months. Have had a really odd sinus head cold and general laziness that pretty annoying after about two weeks off it. Also a weird foggy feeling. Last night I started weeping almost uncontrollably for no real good reason and I can’t remember the last time I cried. Trying to just laugh at the absurdness. What else can I do…

  • Call me B October 23, 2015, 5:42 am

    Hi all, I have found fellow pioneers on this sight and I am going through the same type of symptoms. One thing that helps my headaches is good fish oil taken daily. As soon as I stop. The head hurts much worse. I too don’t want to be dependent on Prozac. I had severe panic attacks about a year after my mom died. We were very close. I was scared all the time. Prozac saved me.

    Respect it for that. but I fear what I have gotten my brain into. 10 mg helped get me straight but then seemed to cause general anxiety. So I had to take Xanax three times a week. my doctor agreed to put me on liquid 5 mg. I haven’t had Xanax for two years. two years later. Headache, dizzy spells. Ringing ears. I tried to taper more but panic came back. So tapered back to 5 – and holding.

    This may just be my life now. On Prozac and never feeling great but its a lot better to not have panic and a racing pulse that I can’t control. I was very scared that it came back. Also crying and anger with all the negative thoughts… That’s how I knew what my minimum dose was. So I’m ok for now with what this is…. I function, I have a low dose… I get by.

    I’ll think about tapering more later. I was more scared to upset the norm by going through with stopping completely. If anyone has had success with stopping and panic attacks let me know. I’ve been taking it for three years. Hang in there everyone.

  • Lela Tomasello November 2, 2015, 5:46 pm

    I’ve been on 80mg prozac for years. I don’t even know how many years. Thought I would have to take it for the rest of my life. I cut down to 40mg about a month ago and have been off it completely for 3 days. I didn’t know what I was going through was withdrawal. I do know talking to God about everything is helping alot. Not just what I think is permissible but everything. Including the anger, ears ringing, headaches weight gain crying, exhaustion ect… He knows all about it. And will never leave us or forsake us.

    He is helping me get through the withdrawal process. Until I found this site I didn’t know it was withdrawal. I thank God for showing this to me. I was thinking I was a terrible person because of the anger and depression. I’m praying for each one of us. I know He is helping us. Hang in there. One of my favorite scriptures is It came to pass. My mom told me it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. Praise God! It will pass.

  • Marie Kullman November 14, 2015, 3:31 pm

    I was on Prozac for about 6 months. My psychiatrist had me stop taking prozac and then start Lexapro. I had no negative reactions from dropping the Prozac.

  • Steve November 18, 2015, 9:04 pm

    One day I was in prayer and the Lord laid it on my heart to stop taking Prozac. I’m taking 40mg now and have been on and off the drug for over 20 years. I’ve quit cold turkey before and had horrible electric zaps in my body, crying spells, so I always went back on it. Now, though, I am slowly tapering. Instead of taking it everyday I am now taking it every other day.

    When my bottle runs out I will get it refilled and then start taking it once every three days. After that, I will see about stop taking it for good. But for now, so far so good. Also, I take .25ml of xanax and that is helping me a lot with anxiety which is my main problem anyway and I take ambien at night too. I don’t think I need prozac, xanax and ambien. Sounds like overkill to me. With God’s help though I can do this.

  • rg November 19, 2015, 6:15 pm

    I’ve been taking 20mg of fluoxetine (prozac) daily for about 20 years now. It was extremely helpful for years, as I was taking it to treat symptoms of PMDD, which included depression and mood swings. Several times over the years I tried to go off it, but my problems came roaring back within two days. So I continued. Now, I’m going through menopause, and along with those changes (plus a couple of other symptoms related, I suppose, to aging), I’ve been having to take other drugs and vitamins.

    Each one seems to conquer one problem, just to reveal another. I finally decided to step off the merry-go-round. I was nervous due to past experience, but as of about 10 days ago, I’ve been pharma-free. I am experiencing some of the withdrawal symptoms listed above (thank you so much for posting!), including headaches, trouble with visual focusing, lightheadedness and mild dizziness.

    Outside of that, I am delighted to report that the depression seems to be gone. Time alone will tell. THANK YOU to the person who originally posted this, and to all of those who have written about their experiences. It truly helps to understand what’s going on, and that it can be done.

  • Bri November 22, 2015, 4:45 am

    Great post- this was a very encouraging read. I quit Prozac cold turkey after 3 years on 40mg without notifying my doctor. I just thought I’d be ready. I’ve noticed that agitation, anxiety, and extreme lethargy have been part of my every day life, while rage spells, night sweats, and suicidal ideations (that tend to lead to self harm) happen weekly.

    This whole process has been disheartening and defeating. But this article has helped show that this is by no means a fixed state, or a solitary one. I do think I’m going to go back on Prozac or some other antidepressant/anxiety, seeing as my withdrawal was purely self-motivated, with no medical consultation or compelling reason. Does anyone recommend other antidepressants that help with mood management and anxiety? Thanks again. I hope you are all well.

  • Carrie December 7, 2015, 10:56 pm

    I got on Prozac 20 mg about 7 years ago for relief of PMDD. It helps. It is so much easier during my cycle. But, I too feel like I am ready to be done with medications. I tried to quit cold turkey and it was the worst time in my life. The mood swings were horrible. Looking back it was quite scary the way I would fly off the handle. So I got back on them per Drs orders. I recently tried to taper off a week ago. I was doing 20 mg every other day. This past Friday I was so angry and felt so much pulling and pressure on my head. So I went back on them this past Friday. I am so frustrated because I really feel not myself and I hate that I have to get back on Prozac

  • Jenna December 9, 2015, 5:24 pm

    Hey, I’m 15 and just coming off prozac (I took it 6 months, 20mg). I haven’t been able to sleep or eat, or really anything apart from being extremely nauseated, for the past few days. I just tapered down to 10mg four days ago. Is this normal, and does anyone know how I can deal with the symptoms? I know I still have to go to school and such, so does anyone have any tips? Thank you.

  • Cin Cin December 9, 2015, 6:59 pm

    I’m glad I found this blog. I’ve been on Prozac 20mg for 20 years for OCD and it still works for me. In addition, I have been on Xanax for severe panic attacks for 30 years (but have had panic attacks for 47 years). For whatever reason, the doctors don’t want to prescribe these medicines any longer, in particular the xanax. I started on .25mg 3x day in 1985 and at one point moved up to .5 mg 3x a day, but reduced on my own to .25mg 3x a day for the last several years.

    I’m pretty good right now, and I don’t understand why the doctors would change something that is working. Because I have had motor tics all my life, the doctors have finally decided to try some new meds on me to help. The 3 things I have tried thus far were horrific, and I could not take them. First was Gabapentin, then Buspar, and then I can’t remember the name of the 3rd.

    In the meantime, my xanax was reduced to .25mg 2x a day. The doc said he wants to take me off of xanax and prozac, and then just take one drug that will handle everything. I just can’t bear to be a guinea pig on new meds again, and I’m worried about withdrawal of prozac and xanax. I’m doing OK on the .25mg 2x a day Xanax right now. I just wanted to post and get some thoughts. Thank you for listening and responding. Cin Cin

  • JC December 15, 2015, 7:09 am

    I started tapering from 80mg of fluoxetine and 2mg of generic abilify a little over a week ago. I am now on 40 mg of fluoxetine and 2mg of generic abilify. In the course of that time I have I have just had a birthday. On my B-Day I experienced a mood swing of depression. Not sure if the mood swing was from looking forward to everything and then it being over with suddenly, or being on a lower dosage, or a combination of the two. Anyone have any insight on whether this was related to the decreased dosage or just a case of the birthday blues?

  • CC December 16, 2015, 5:23 pm

    Very long post, I apologize! But hopefully this will help some people: After reading through literally every single comment on here, I thought it was time to post my story. A lot of times on these forums, we only see the bad – people at the worst point of withdrawal that they are compelled to share their personal stories online. However, when those people start to feel better we don’t hear these stories. The symptoms have finally lifted so they no longer seek the refuge of sites like these. I am hoping to change that and at least provide some reassurance for some of you.

    My Prozac background:
    I was diagnosed with clinical depression back in March of 2013. After weighing the options of how to best combat depression, I was put on 20mg of Prozac on April 6, 2013. After a few weeks, I felt the dosage was too high. I am VERY sensitive to medication. So on May 30, 2013 I was brought down to 15mg.I was doing great and felt back to my normal self. After a year, in March of 2014, I decided to start the taper. I am a young woman who some day wants to have a child – so I wanted to give myself plenty of time to wash the Prozac out of my system. I went down to 10mg and everything continued to be great. In June 2014, I went down to 5mg. Within days I felt the normal (awful) withdrawal symptoms (panic, dizziness, anxiety, difficulty sleeping – you name it). I had no idea what was going on and thought my original depression was coming back, so I went back up to 10mg and felt better. I waited a year to restart the tapering. In July of 2015, I went down to 7.5mg. Everything was good, no major symptoms. Maybe a little dizziness.

    Current: After speaking with my doctor, we decided I was ready to go down to 5mg. She told me to wait until a week after I ran the NYC marathon (not bragging, just want to give you a reference point that I was very active). In anticipation of the taper, I read The Antidepressant Solution by Dr. Glenmullen– I suggest this book to all of you!

    Dr. Glenmullen has patients rate their symptoms on a scale from 0-10 (0 being no symptoms at all, 10 being severe symptoms that are debilitating).

    Days 1 and 2: no symptoms (score: 0)
    Days 3-10: minor symptoms (slight dizziness) (score:2)
    Days 13- 16: feeling dizziness more, also starting to feel tired with simple activities (walking a few blocks, grocery shopping) (score: 5.5)
    Days 17 – 21: dizziness is awful, nausea, difficulty concentrating, poor coordination, intense dreaming at night, forgetfulness, headaches, can’t even fathom going to the gym (score:7)
    Day 22: my peak. All symptoms listed above, but heightened. I was literally counting down the minutes in the day until I could go home from work and sleep (score: 8)
    Day 23-25: symptoms subside a bit – similar to days 17-21, feeling positive about this – hoping the worst has passed (score: 7)
    Day 26-31: symptoms continue to subside – starting to feel like my old self. I am able to go to the gym without becoming overly tired. (score: 6)
    Day 32-33: symptoms getting a lot better – feeling mostly normal (score: 5)
    Day 34-36: can do normal activities, still get a little tired but symptoms are very manageable (score: 4)
    Day 37-38: still some remaining dizziness but I think it is safe to say the worst is over (Score: 3)

    What I want you all to know is that the symptoms will pass. You just need to give yourself time. If right now is not the right time for you to taper, maybe talk to your doctor about going back to the original dosage and waiting. I also suggest reading The Antidepressant Solution. It is extremely reassuring.

    When researching the symptoms and their duration, remember a few things: (1) Prozac has an incredibly long half life. So while patients who are tapering off Paxil with experience the withdrawal process in days (from feeling nothing day 1, to a peak on day 7, to back to nothing on day 14) – Prozac withdrawal is a matter of weeks, not days. (2) Everyone’s metabolism is different. Prozac withdrawal usually sets in within 2-3 weeks. However, I think I have a somewhat fast metabolism so it wasn’t a surprise that my symptoms started earlier. 2-3 weeks isn’t a hard deadline, you could feel the symptoms earlier or later and it’s all normal. (3) Let people around you know what you are going through. My fiancé read The Antidepressant Solution at the same time as I did, and he has been a great resource whenever I question how I am feeling.

    I still have a long way to go and after this experience I know that I want my final taper from 5mg to 0mg to be excruciatingly slow (I am thinking of slowly reducing the dosage over the course of months – down .5mg at each stage). I just want to avoid the withdrawal symptoms at all costs, and if that means I have to painstakingly count out my dosage each day, I am fine with that.

    You have to do what works for you – there is no right or wrong way – just whatever makes you feel best. You can do it!!

  • Name December 19, 2015, 5:24 am

    After being on Prozac (anywhere from 40 mg to 15) and Trilafon (only 2 mg) for 8 years, I knew that the meds weren’t working and causing depression on top of depression. The first two years, I had a renewed energy for life, had my first adult relationship with a woman, and was overall more confident. After that, the effects wore off, I had passive suicidal thoughts – not wanting to live but not going to hurt myself – and if I tried to make any progress, even with a good and honest therapist the past year, I was unable to because the prozac held me back.

    I also slept anywhere from 12 to 17 hours a day and didn’t feel that energetic even when I was awake, along with weight gain despite not eating any more than usual – went from 150 to 180. Am aware that part of that is the aging process, but part of it was likely also the prozac/trilafon and eating a lot of food the few hours I was awake and not balancing out meals. Two weeks ago, I voluntarily admitted myself to a short-term psych ward where the doctor got me off it cold turkey and put me on neurotin and lamictal.

    The problem is, like all of you, the withdrawal process is hell. I say horrible things to my family, am mad at them and less forgiving of things they’ve done in the past or present, if we argue, I add more fuel to the fire. My belly/stomach area feels like I have an ulcer, my arms and body shake intermittently, I have a complete loss of appetite and only drink health shakes and drink water and ginger ale, I have short term memory loss and a complete inability to concentrate. (Before the withdrawal, I’d read over 10 books this year despite having really bad depression even with the Prozac), and if someone agitates me, it makes me want to hurt myself when before the withdrawal, I’d have thoughts about not wanting to live but with no intent of actually doing anything about it.

    In short, it’s a good thing I got off the prozac – in fact, a woman online who was in the mental health industry warned me about the prozac/trilafon combination 4 years ago – but I can’t help but wonder where I’d be right now if the doctor who prescribed them took me off them when the positive effects wore off. I told him the depressive symptoms I was having and obsessive thoughts/actions, but for whatever reason he didn’t want to change anything. Doctors since have tried to ween me off, but then I’d get as low as 10 mg and my body would crave more.

    It’s torn apart my family, my mom is nearly having a nervous breakdown out of concern, and one side of my family is the type of people who think depression is like a common cold. Ironically enough, a lot of them would benefit from being on anti-depressants, but that’s another story altogether. The other side of the family for the most part feels horrible and is on my side, but I don’t want them seeing me in this condition.

    The good news is it’s only been 2 weeks, and that every doctor I’ve spoken to says that whenever the withdrawal period ends, the neurotin/lamictol combination is perfect for manic depression, and little to no side effects and not at all addictive. In the meantime, life has physically become hell. I’d recommend the movie Clean And Sober with Michael Keaton to anyone who has never seen it. It’s not a very happy movie, but it’s a very accurate portrayal of any kind of drug addiction.

    The only positive things for the moment are:

    1.) My sex drive has leveled out. I’m attracted to women, but not hypersexual like I was before. Let’s say it went from an 11 on the 10 scale, finding mostly anyone that’s a woman sexually attractive, to a 7.

    2.) Eating less junk food has already caused me to lose 5 pounds and if I continue to eat healthy and exercise – everything I eat has little of anything bad for you – I’ll lose my small beer gut and be able to wear the type of clothes I haven’t been able to in several years.

    3.) My family is at least aware that my behavior is a result of the detox and withdrawal and is less abrasive now. It still affects them, but they know I don’t mean anything I say or do.

  • bek December 26, 2015, 1:38 am

    Thank you, this article was very helpful. I am going off of Prozac cold turkey. Been taking 20 mg for around a year to get me through a rough patch. I have been feeling sad, tired, dizzy, and out of it. It’s easiest for me to stay at home as much as possible. It is comforting to know that the symptoms will pass. Good luck to all of you who are going through the same.

  • Melody December 29, 2015, 10:34 pm

    I am a 61 year old woman who started taking Prozac when I was around 40. Over those 20 years I tried to go off of it 3 times. I didn’t make it more than 3 weeks when my depression would manifest itself in suicidal thoughts. I tapered off my 40 mg in mid-August 2015 and seemed to be doing okay until the end of October 2015 when I felt like I had been hit by a truck.

    My doctor diagnosed a trapezius muscle (major muscle in the back) strain. He believed there were a number of factors that could have contributed to the strain but now I am starting to think it’s a withdrawal symptom. I also lost almost all mobility in my neck and could barely move it from side to side. I am still suffering major pain in my back, however I did regain some flexibility in my neck motion.

    I have been to a chiropractor twice and have had numerous massages. One interesting piece of information I have come across is that antidepressants are often prescribed for people with chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. There is also a strong link between depression and muscle aches and pain. I am curious if any of you have experienced severe back and neck pain after withdrawing from Prozac.

    If so, how long did it last? I am tempted to 10 to 20 mg of my left over Prozac to see if the pain goes away. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

  • Name December 30, 2015, 3:59 am

    Update from my last post on December 19 – I don’t really notice much of a difference between not being on Prozac even with the detox just about being over. To think that while the Prozac wasn’t helping, this is just who I am, is a horrible feeling especially considering I likely have several decades left on this earth.

    The big problem with the Prozac was an excessive interest in women romantically and sexually (way past any normal guy level) and also excessive use of the internet in general. Both of those are gone for the time being anyway, but everything else is there and physical symptoms I never had before in my life.

  • Scary World December 31, 2015, 12:18 pm

    I have been on Prozac since 1995. Wanted to get off of it because of suicidal thoughts at times was overwhelming. Taking 40mg for about ten years. Went cold turkey in November and I have had mild panic attacks that I got under control, dizziness, and some confusion. Taking Herbal supplements to help with some of the withdrawal effects. I am hoping that as I adjust I will be doing better. One good thing is I am not overwhelmed with suicidal thoughts anymore.

  • Name January 4, 2016, 9:21 am

    Scary World, it’s been 4 and a half weeks for me since I went cold turkey and switched to new meds, and I agree…the suicidal thoughts for the most part are gone. Even with the mood swings, physical symptoms, and agitation, I’ve managed to accomplish more in the past month than I have in years.

    I never used to think it, but I’m starting to think the healthy eating/herbal/minimal anxiety medication approach is the way to go for people without much bigger issues like psychosis/borderline/histrionic/schizophrenia, etc. Taking a med or med combination that just takes the edge off without any side effects or chance of addiction makes more sense to me than taking an SSRI that at best just gives you the false impression that things are better, and then stops working altogether and makes you want to end your life.

  • SJ January 5, 2016, 5:35 pm

    I would like some advice on withdrawal please. I was on 20 mg prozac for about 5 years and 3 years ago I came off, after a 3 month taper. I started to get a serious ringing in my ears and severe insomnia and then I had a year of anxiety, terrible insomnia and intense anger which got worse and worse. The doctor said that I was obviously depressed and advised me to go back on the prozac, which after a year I did, starting with 40mg as the symptoms were so bad.

    A year later, one year ago, I lowered the dose and started suffering drowsiness and fatigue which lasted 5 months. Then in September I started suffering from the drowsiness and fatigue again and the doctor eventually told me that I needed to come off the prozac as it wasn’t working for me any more. That was about 3 weeks ago. I had a week tapering and then started sertraline.

    Since then the drowsiness has got worse, accompanied by really bad tinnitus. My query is about the year I had with anxiety, anger and insomnia. Could that have been withdrawal from the prozac? It didn’t get any better over the year – if anything it gradually got worse and worse. At the time I suspected that it was withdrawal as every so often my face would go numb, which was one of my symptoms when I first came off prozac but the doctor said that the symptoms had gone on far too long and I was just depressed/anxious again.

    (I had suffered form anxiety for a couple of years previously, which had led to CFS, which was why I had gone on the prozac to begin with.) Could that year have been withdrawal? In which case what do I do now? I can’t go back on prozac as it had started to have a bad effect on me. I’m a bit despairing at the moment – I have recently had to put my PhD on hold because the drowsiness got so bad and I’m dreading the withdrawal if it’s going be as bad as last time.

  • elizabeth January 6, 2016, 12:41 am

    I was on prozac for 12 years. My physician put me on 20m of prozac when I told him that I was crying all the time because my husband died. What a dope I was to listen to him! I was on the drug for 12 years. In Feb 2015, I decided to stop taking the drug. I took a month to withdraw skipping a pill every few days. I have been experiencing memory problems since. I’m praying it’s not Alzheimer’s! (There is no one in my family that has had Alzheimer’s). Has anyone out there experienced memory loss and recovery of memory?

  • Peter January 11, 2016, 5:01 am

    Hi Everyone, I have been on Lovan for 5 years now, I am 21 years old. Just recently I went off them for 2 weeks, not on purpose, but because I got lazy and didn’t go and get them. After being off them for 2 weeks I felt no difference and thought, I will go off them completely. Though unfortunately I made the decision to go back on them in order to *get off them properly*.

    So after the 2 weeks, I went back on them for 6 days and started feeling withdrawals. I told my doctor about all this info and he said that if you could do it for 2 weeks previously, then just stop again forever. So I have stopped now for 5 days and I am actually feeling pretty sh*tty. What I really want to know is, I am going to Thailand on the 27th of January (15 days away) and I want to feel good for my holiday.

    Do I go back on them or stay off them now? And also, PLEASE, someone let me know if they have had a successful story of getting off these things for good – I would love to hear from you so I can restore some faith. Thank you.

  • Sunshine January 14, 2016, 12:18 am

    I lost my son & took 20 mg for about 7 years & tapered to 10 mg. I stopped cold turkey about 2 & 1/2 months ago. The first month & 1/2 not so bad. I have new neighbors who keep me up at night and are noisy. This is making me anxious & sad. I also got laid off work after working over twelve years at the same job. I am so tired of looking for work.

    Trying to stay positive. Feel tired a lot & unable to focus lately. Continue to put my resume out there & socialize with friends. Feel stuck kind of. Guess need to be patient & these withdrawal symptoms will go away.

  • G2 January 14, 2016, 7:42 pm

    I have taken Fluoxetene before and stopped without withdrawls and stayed off for 10+ years. I recently started taking it again to help me cope with Misophonia. It helped but the side effects were like the symptoms of withdrawal that many have posted here. Has anyone else been experiencing this (side effects that are the same as in the list of withdrawal symptoms) while taking the Prozac, or just when stopping it? I’m tapering – stopping it now and I am hoping these side effects will diminish.

  • Rich January 19, 2016, 7:36 pm

    Hi everyone this is a general comment on coming off Prozac. I have been on 20 mg for about 3 years, I tried to come off a couple of times both cold turkey style, it didn’t work out for me as I suffered a lot of the symptoms you have all mentioned. This Christmas break I ran out of tablets and decided to give coming off another go.

    Interestingly this has also coincided with me doing dry January, a first time in 25 years, roughly, I have stayed off the booze. The effect feels miraculous, as 4 weeks in I still have no wild moods, tearfulness and I kind off feel like a fog has lifted. My advice is if you’re drinking and taking tablets, kick them both until you find your feet. It’s very refreshing. I hope it works for you if you read this. Good luck 🍀.

    • Andrew June 30, 2016, 12:26 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Alcohol is my biggest problem and I feel like I have never given the Lovan a proper chance to work. I am currently working my way towards being alcohol free (not forever – just a start towards reducing intake) and hopefully stay off the meds for good.

  • Jerilee January 20, 2016, 7:01 am

    I’ve been taking 20 mg Prozac for 2.5 years. I was originally prescribed Zoloft, up to 300 mg per day. The dosage caused a crash and I’ve tried a couple of others – Lexipro and Citalipram. 3 weeks ago I saw my doc and asked to go up in the dosage of Prozac due to lethargy, fatigue, lack of interest in anything, feeling separate from myself. I went up to 40 mg and within 3 days the tears started then came the anxiety, the constant agitation etc.

    I stopped 3 days ago. The first day I stopped I began to feel better by the evening. My memory is coming back. I’ve actually done things like a little weeding and dishes! These sound small but are a huge improvement over the last many years living on antidepressants. So far no ill effects. I see my doc tomorrow and am loathe to go back on Prozac. I feel normal, clear headed, calm, focused. I don’t want to give this up. Seems like every antidepressant I’ve tried has been an experiment.

    I’ve been on ‘something’ for 24 years. The comments here are very helpful. I’m hoping to be able to stay off the Prozac and take a breather from having these substances in my body. If there is a medication out there that will help I’m willing. So far it’s been the opposite so I’m hoping my body can do well without anything. It’s really nice to feel ‘normal’ for a change.

  • Hope January 27, 2016, 4:01 pm

    Hi I’m curious if stopping Prozac can cause a person to become violent? My boss quits his medication often. It was a pattern he’d become unreasonable, paranoid and meaner than anyone I’ve ever encountered. He’d beg me not to quit and used stopping his medication as an excuse each time. He made threats against my life, he was horribly verbally abusive and not trusting. He’s insult my work, my person and attack every employees shortcomings.

    So like I said, a pattern of quitting his medication was always his excuse for the harsh unacceptable behavior. Oh he’d miss mandatory doctor appointments for refills that would be another reason he’d stop. I became very fearful of him and the erratic behavior. So would this cause these things? Do I need to worry of physical harm?

    • Dan January 29, 2016, 11:07 am

      I’ve been off Prozac completely since 24/12/15. I tapered over 6 months from 20mg to 2.5mg then stopped. I started emptying the contents of a capsule into 10ml of water using one of them little medicine measuring cups, and taking 5ml of the solution, so 10mg of Prozac a day, I would stick to that for awhile and then reduced again to 5mg, then 2.5mg.

      Over the past 6 years I’ve taken Sertraline, Mirtazapine, Citalopram, Lofepramine, Escitalopram, Venlafaxine, and finally Fluoxetine. Any time i’ve tried to quit in the past i’ve lasted a couple of weeks before the withdrawals became that bad I wanted to die. This time has been much easier, slightly irritable and occasional dizziness but nothing I can’t handle, so fingers crossed this is it this time.

      Best advice I can give is do a slow taper, you can do smaller reductions than I did if required. It’s hard when all you want is to be off this rubbish but take your time and your less likely to end up back on it.

  • Heather January 31, 2016, 12:48 pm

    Thank goodness I found this place! I ran out of meds and the last week has been physical hell. I also have a cold and so thought I had flu. I now have meds again, but am wondering if I should take them? I’m not sure how I feel mentally – less foggy but my memory is shot.

    My domestic life is pretty tough but I feel like I’m getting on with it without feeling “depressed” about it. I’m just so very tired and achy. Should I start the meds again on a low dose? Should I just go see the doctor and ask? Even this post is not making an awful lot of sense, I think…

  • Lynda February 7, 2016, 8:03 am

    I have been taking my prozac pretty irregularly for the past year, but I think it’s been about 3 months since I stopped them totally. I didn’t attribute a lot of my symptoms to withdrawal because I wasn’t feeling anxious, but these all make sense. The last couple of weeks I’ve had bad vertigo and thought it was my sinuses, but they checked out fine.

    I guess I’m confused because it’s been 3 months and this new withdrawal symptom just popped up. Wouldn’t it have come up sooner? I had some headaches and stomach problems before but thought they were period related. If the vertigo is a new addition I really want it to go away, 2 weeks is long enough. I just don’t get where it came from, and I’m even starting to feel more spacey/out of it. But these weren’t happening to me a month or 2 ago.

    • Leslie February 8, 2016, 6:51 am

      Hi Lynda, I had the same thing happen. I stopped Prozac (tapered from 20mg) and had a lot of withdrawal symptoms and they escalated at 3 months and developed vertigo, my doctor gave me a med for it and it did not come back. I am currently 5 months w/o Prozac and still having headaches, nausea a few days a week, on/off insomnia, just developed RLS, had back pain for 4-5 days. It seems a different withdrawal symptom rears it’s head after another disappears. I am hoping this will not last a year as some people have talked about on other blogs. FYI – I was on 20mg of Prozac for 2 years.

  • AlisonJoy February 7, 2016, 6:45 pm

    Yes thank God for all of these posts about coming off of Fluoxetine. Coming off of it after being on for about 10 months, first at 20 then 10 mg and 5 mg for the last 2 months. I feel Very Crabby, irritable, lightheaded, short tempered, aggravated, bloated… ugh, not pretty.

    I had been on the drug a few years ago for a few months and the withdrawals were nothing like this. My eyes feel squinty and heavy, like I just want to lay down and rest, again, even though I should be well rested. I know that I am going to keep suffering through these symptoms because I REALLY want to be off of the drug.

    Thanks for everyone’s comments, so GOOD to know I am not alone with this situation. I need to get up and out, take a walk or something but think I may just take a little nap first. Glad it is the weekend and my time is my own, I am going to have to really suck it up when I go to work tomorrow. Peace! AlisonJoy

  • Sarah February 14, 2016, 10:25 pm

    I’m in the process of going off Prozac and replacing it with Wellbutrin. I actually stopped taking Prozac last week before I started Wellbutrin. I was just diagnosed with ADHD and Wellbutrin has been shown to help with that. I’m feeling the yucky withdrawal I usual get from stopping Prozac – I’ve gone off it and replaced it with other antidepressants before – and they’re just like some of you are describing.

    I wonder if the Wellbutrin will curb some of the withdrawal. Does anyone else have experience with replacing one antidepressant for another?

  • Karin February 26, 2016, 11:24 pm

    I was on Prozac 20 years taking 20mg. Weaned myself a few weeks ago by alternating days and then stopping altogether. I feel a lot clearer as if a veil has been lifted and am not aware of any side effects yet…

  • Krystina February 28, 2016, 7:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing everyone! I feel encouraged as I read these and see I’m not alone in this. I started taking fluoxetine in 2011 for a severe eating disorder, OCD and major depression. I saw instant results in my mood and felt like I could actually live life, I did not realize how depressed I truly was. I was 22 at the time and had been diagnosed with childhood OCD and depression, so I had been living life saddened for quite some time.

    Fast forward almost 5 years later and I suddenly stopped taking my medication. I am on 40 mg, doctor maybe wanted me up to 60 mg but I won’t take that much. My husband doesn’t know that I’ve stopped taking it, but I have noticed how irritable I am, how stressed out life is, how overwhelming simple tasks are daily. I also quit smoking about 6 weeks ago after 6 years, and I think maybe that also has a great deal to do with my mood.

    I guess what I am saying is, perhaps for some people it saves their lives. I plan on going back to 20mg and see how that goes. I unfortunately may be someone who needs this for life. I lived my whole childhood with depression, and OCD so I wonder if that is just the chemistry of my brain. I would love to exercise regularly, eat healthier, etc. – which is totally doable.

    With my OCD however, it always turns back into me obsessing about calories or running and I fall back into my eating disorder. I wish all those withdrawing off fluoxetine the best of luck, we ultimately have the say over our bodies, and we know what is best. Thank you all again for sharing! :)

  • Lois March 14, 2016, 7:27 pm

    I stopped taking Prozac a month ago. I have taken this medication off and on since the mid 1980s. Depression has plagued several members of my immediate family, and frankly I was skeptical that a pill could help. Much to my surprise and delight, I felt a dramatic positive effect almost immediately. I thought it was a miracle drug.

    Consequently, and against medical advice, I was sure that I was “cured” and stopped taking the medication after a very short time. Predictably, I crashed and burned a few days later. I repeated this insane cycle a few times with the same result. One alarming side-effect was the rages. I was a shocked by-stander while I watched myself scream at my children, red-faced and demonic.

    My poor kids still have terrible memories of those rages. I didn’t take Prozac for several years, but a few months after the sudden death of my husband in 1995, my doctor prescribed it for me. I confessed my previous experience and he extracted a promise from me that I would not stop taking it for two years. At the end of two years, I again stopped taking it with severe withdrawal symptoms.

    During the ensuing years, my depression problem rose and ebbed periodically. I tried generic Wellbutrin during this time with terrible consequences – constant thoughts of suicide. It was a horrible experience. I really can’t recall how often I stopped and started again taking Prozac. It seems that I was never able to make it for long without some medical intervention for my depression.

    My youngest son was killed in an automobile accident in 2002, and I know for sure that I have not stropped taking up from that time until a month ago. A psychiatrist increased the dosage to 40mg. from 20 mg. when I was in a detox facility for alcohol abuse in 2014. I stopped drinking and after a period of emotional upheaval while I adjusted to life without alcohol, I have slowly but steadily gotten to a point of emotional health and stability that I thought I should stop this medication.

    I took 10mg. every day for a week and had no adverse effect at all. In my ignorance, I did not know about the residual effect of Prozac. After about 3 weeks, I again began to experience the short temper and the surges of anger, along with periods of anxiety, dizziness, insomnia, and restlessness. I have not had periods of serious depression, but surely periods of dissatisfaction, frustration, and a general negative outlook.

    There is a temptation to say, “To hell with it, just take the damn medication” but I hate being addicted to anything. Being free from alcohol addiction and cigarette addiction makes be want to be free from anything that chemically controls my feelings and thinking. At this point, I’m not willing to give up, but it very difficult. I’m almost glad that I live alone. At least no one else has to put up with my crazy moods!

  • Trina March 15, 2016, 11:02 am

    Trying to come off of Prozac after 3 years on 20mg. Was on lexapro for about 3 years after doing figure shows and destroying my internal system and thyroid after dieting hard for 8 months. The depression that hit when gaining normal weight back was terrible. Hence getting on the meds. I quit the lexapro and don’t remember having any side effects and I quit cold turkey.

    I stayed off meds about 2 years, then went back on because I was very short tempered with my family and had bouts of depression and I was over focused. So I’m older now and want to get control without the meds and would like to have a normal sex life again. (So would my husband!) I tried cold turkey but after two weeks I called my doctor and got a lower dosage. So I’ve been taking 10 mg like every other day. We went camping and I didn’t bring my meds with me so I went about four days without. Yesterday was the worst!

    Wanting to cry, depressed, exhausted. I finished work and just laid on the sofa. I shoot on a pool league and I called my friend and told her I was staying home. I have shot pool two days after major knee surgery! With my brace on! I don’t take time off! I broke down and took a pill yesterday, but I still don’t feel right this morning. Very tired, no motivation. I pushed myself to do a simple workout this morning. Please tell me this gets better!

  • Sue March 24, 2016, 10:04 pm

    I have been coming off Flouxotine since November 2015, 4 months to be exact. I am having so many symptoms as I have been on them for 17 years! So far I’ve had mood swings, acid reflux, problems sleeping as my feet feel hot and tingly, and a great deal of pain in my spine, (I honestly thought I had rheumatoid arthritis, it’s been that bad!) I also need to lose weight which isn’t helping me.

    My GP wants to keep giving me medication for all sorts of things, but they appear to either do nothing or make things worse, I am finding it so tough at the moment, I just hope it will subside eventually. I am at present trying a diet that has serotonin in the food I eat, also I find that vitamin B complex helps with my feet and when I feel lethargic, I feel it’s given me a boost and I am taking co-coda mol for my pain.

  • Elle March 29, 2016, 10:02 am

    Hi, everyone. Really happy I came across this site – really sorry to see, though, that there are so many people suffering. In a nutshell I have been on Fluoxetine since July 2015 for depression / anxiety and OCD. I have also been taking Xanax at night since February 2013, gradually reducing the dosage. Since Xmas 2016 my doctor advised I cut the Fluoxetine dosage in half and then attempt taking it every other day.

    This seemed to be working out great, I felt like my old self again, my husband and I want to have a second baby and I badly want to live without drugs. So I quit (both Xanax and Fluoxetine) completely, beginning of March. For the past week I have been experiencing dizziness, congested nose, a weird feeling as if my brain “moves”, blurred vision, nightmares and the worst part is that some of my bad thoughts have been returning…

    I went today to have blood tests because I’m scared there is something very wrong with me and I’m now googling about all kinds of terminal illnesses, or about what my bad dream may mean… This has all been worsened by the fact that my dad had an accident and he is in the hospital. Come to think of it, the dizziness began the day I learned about his accident. I haven’t talked to my doctor (scared he will put me on drugs again).

    I try to stay social, exercise and continue my everyday life, but I’m scared to death. I really hope this will pass soon for all of us. All the best to everyone.

  • granny April 1, 2016, 12:41 pm

    I am sorry to hear the trouble some of you folks are having in withdrawing from Prozac. I would like to say that the drug was a lifesaver for me. I took it for about 15 years and when I decided to get off of it, I followed the Dr’s instructions to taper off.

    I still had some slight confusion, depression and anxiety for a while. It all pretty much leveled out eventually. Considering the benefits I got from it, it was worth it. All medicines have a risk. Sometimes one has to weigh the benefits against the risks to determine if it is the right medication.

    • Margaret April 23, 2016, 10:11 am

      Hi Granny, Can you tell us your taper regimen? It may help some of us trying to come of meds. So glad it worked well for you.

  • Katharine April 3, 2016, 11:41 am

    This has been such a relief to hear. I’ve been on fluoxetine for menopausal symptoms (off label use) for prob 4-5 years. I’ve tried to taper myself without success and now about 3 weeks post zero tablets under direction of my GP. But last few days in particular the fatigue, lethargy has got worse, dizziness, shakes, etc. So I’m pretty relieved to not it’s not me but weaning off and will set some simple time mile posts to see me through. Thanks to everyone for their honesty and their sharing… it’s really helped.

  • Terry April 6, 2016, 1:01 pm

    I thought I’d been loosing my mind! Some Dr’s saying it’s menopause, made me even more crazy! I’ve been going through all these symptoms including tinnitus for just about a year, which started slowly with body sweats. I am to the point of having 3 days of extreme anxiety, (that lasts for hours and hours only to return hours later), agitation, becoming irate and crying, locking myself in my room so no one see’s what I’m going through.

    I even break out in Shingles with so much anxiety or from being intolerant. The next few days are much more tolerable, and another 2 days of exhaustion so bad I don’t leave the house, and stay close to my bed. I thought it was because I was weaning myself of another med for migraines, Fiorinal. Never thought of the Prozac. I even get anxious just thinking what today will be like, or next week, LOL.

    My Dr put me on a low dose of Effexor, hoping it will help with the anxiety and “night sweats”. But will this help or hinder? Having smoked some medicinal weed lately, I think that’s the best bet for me. I just wish I knew when this stops, and having chronic pain from a botched back surgery doesn’t help, LOL.

    Was on Fluoxetine (prozac) for 11+ years, up to 60 mgs. This past year I was at 20mg’s and decreased to 10 mg. Been going through severe WD symptoms (including tinnitus).

  • moody April 14, 2016, 5:59 am

    I’m also in withdrawal after 20 years or so on Prozac/fluoxetine for chronic low grade depression with several Major D’s behind me too. 40 mg and I tapered off. Now about 2 months in with none, but I take 20 mg Adderall for ADHD – for about 2 years only. I feel so bad I thought about going back on the Prozac in fear it is Depression moving in again.

    The thing that is upsetting is the doctors always say to keep ON it, and the symptoms of taking and not taking it are so similar. I have also come across major resistance to doctors admitting there may be a downside to the drug. Anyway, I know myself enough to seek help when needed, so will have to find another one that works. For years it has seemed to be a wonder drug, but the mind fog, the insomnia, the chemical feeling, the auditory hallucinations (sounds like a low nearby marriachi radio sometimes), serious memory problems.

    Now in withdrawal: weepy/crying, very foggy, very achey, very bitchy on a dime, feeling alone/persecuted, up all hours. Also an artist and can’t concentrate. Also having stress skin/hair problems. Lately (before tapering off) been really good. I know it’s chemical, especially after reading these commonalities. Thanks everyone for sharing this. Hope if I stay off this time I can focus without Adderall.

  • Mike Springer April 23, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I was on 20mg of Prozac for about 3 years. Prior to that 2 years on Amitriptyline. It was hell coming off the A. They should not prescribe that drug for anyone. I have been off the Prozac now for about 2 months. I think I’m still having most of the withdrawal symptoms however I will persevere as I want to eliminate all pharmaceuticals from my body.

    I am now trying natural supplements instead. It’s going to take 3/4 more months before the transition is complete and there will be no pharmaceuticals in me. Basically big business is in control of the medical system and if one drug doesn’t work try another, then another, then another! I’m sick of it. You just need to hang in there.

  • Rick April 25, 2016, 2:47 pm

    Hi. First, thanks to all who have written in to this and other sites that help people. Second, I am humbled by the responses here. My story is similar to many. I grew up under intense stress but did not know it. Over fifty years, I kinda wore down and found myself tired, sad, and empty. I was hurled further into that by a struggle with on and off again painkiller dependency, and then the loss of my mother and niece.

    My time finally came to start Prozac just to try it. At first I loved it because it settled me down inside. But then came dreams, sleeplessness, over-sleepiness and general sadness. I should add that I have only been taking ten milligrams daily and only for about 8 months. I am stopping today, cold turkey.

    I want to get back to my old self, but with some behavior modifications, not drugs. I will check back to see if anyone responds to this. I also wish everyone help with the barrage of chemicals being pushed at us all these days. Stay strong, stay natural as possible, and consider a vegan diet. Thank you.

  • Sue April 27, 2016, 12:24 am

    I stopped Prozac three weeks ago. I’m so tired. I convinced myself I have a disease but after reading this sounds like withdrawal. Hoping it doesn’t last long. Absolutely no energy!

  • Jenni April 29, 2016, 10:53 pm

    I think this is an old-ish article but I wanted to post. It’s a great article and I have revisited it a few times since withdrawing from Lovan (Prozac). I am 15 days since last dose and have good and bad days. Very tired and sleepy and joint and body aches. Feet are the worst at the moment. I was prescribed Lovan to help me get off Cymbalta and it worked.

    I’m nearly 2 months since last dose of Cymbalta and have had none of the horrendous withdrawals that I previously suffered from Cymbalta when I tried to withdraw previously. I finally found a great psychiatrist which made a huge difference. Whilst I agree that anti-depressants help a lot of people, the withdrawals are hideous. I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors.

  • Claire May 6, 2016, 7:38 am

    Hi, I have been on Prozac 20mg for about 5 years, I suspect mainly for menopausal madness rather than depression! I decided to come off it because although I have no obvious side effects, I have always struggled with weight and have realized over the last few years I have gradually put on more! I tried to diet (have been up and down for years – but just up at the moment!) but just can’t seem to get into it or lose weight. I had a light bulb moment and suddenly thought it may be the Prozac and did some research on the internet.

    Consequently, I took Prozac every other day for a week or two and then stopped. That was about 5 weeks ago. I would say it has gone quite well but I am on this site researching withdrawal symptoms as I’m having a fuzzy head and occasional breathlessness. I did ponder if it was the start of a heart attack because of my weight but having read the comments above, I feel it may be withdrawal symptoms and I could be getting off lightly!

    Has anyone else had a fuzzy head? Not so much dizzy, just fluffy. I really wish everyone well and it seems so different for each person, thank goodness for threads like this so people know they are not the only ones going through it. I shall plough on and hope that I continue to get off lightly, although it seems that I may not have hit the danger point yet!!

  • Masen May 9, 2016, 7:52 pm

    Hi, I just started weaning on 30 mg of Prozac. I took 20 mg for 3 days, then started taking 10 mg last night. Today I experienced a high temperature. Not quite a fever, but I was warm and my cheeks felt burning hot. My mom said it might be a symptom of weaning off Prozac. Does this sound right? Let me know. Thanks!

  • Annie May 9, 2016, 11:34 pm

    Hi everyone, I have never posted to a message board, but felt compelled to do so. I am a 35 year old female (5 years on 10 mg Prozac – it stopped working and I was reluctant to increase the dosage because I was well aware of the withdrawal symptoms). I have just recently decided I would like to wean off the Prozac after reading The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross, which is an excellent and comprehensive guide book for anyone who suffers from depression and anxiety.

    If you’ve never heard of AMINO ACID THERAPY for depression and anxiety, please do yourselves a favor and look into it. These aminos are safe and inexpensive and can be purchased at Wholefoods or your local health food store. They work to build and direct the neurotransmitters in your brain to produce serotonin and dopamine, among other things. Julia uses them in her clinic to aid clients in withdrawal of their SSRI medications and has great success.

    Just google AMINO ACID THERAPY FOR DEPRESSION and you’ll be amazed at what pops up. People are getting relief of their symptoms within – literally – minutes of their first dose of 5HTP or GABA (just two examples of many helpful amino acid supplements). I have hope for the first time in a long time that there is an alternative to anti-depressants.

    Before I begin the taper, I plan to read ‘The Antidepressant Solution’ to get some additional tips to make the transition a little smoother. Thanks to the previous poster for that tip. God Bless, Annie

  • lisa May 10, 2016, 10:07 am

    I was on 20mg prior to my hysterectomy due to PMDD. I’ve decided to try to go off them feeling that it is time however I started training for a 5k…now I’m wondering if I should what till after. Mentally I feel good but physically I feel like my iron is LOW. Going to get blood work today to rule that out. However it just dawned on me maybe it’s Prozac withdrawal.

  • Donna May 17, 2016, 8:21 am

    Thank you so much for this article… I too seem to have all of the WD symptoms and have been freaking out that something serious was wrong but this has really put my mind at ease knowing this is “normal”. I will look forward positively and looking forward to the side effects going hopefully in the next month or so. Thank you again so nice to have this support. We are all amazing, strong, beautiful people who WILL get through this. :0)

  • Joy May 21, 2016, 3:24 am

    I think tapering prozac is a process which should be carefully handled. I am my self doing it. To ease out the process I do pranayam, yoga, exercise, meditation, creative learning. I also take couple of homeopathic medicines. I took prozac for 5 years. Now alternate days. The taper should be very gradual, slow, systematic.

  • Emma May 24, 2016, 6:37 pm

    I was on 60mg/day for well over 4 years. I quit cold turkey about a month ago, and the withdrawal has been a living nightmare. The anger, sadness, and absolute fatigue are taking over my life. I feel like I’ll never be happy or normal again. I hate the fact that everyone on here has to live through this, but it helps immensely to hear that I’m not alone. Sending hugs and happy thoughts to everyone. Here’s hoping that ‘normal’ happens really soon.

    • Jill June 23, 2016, 2:05 am

      Same here. I’m reading this thread in hopes that I can stop relying on this medication, but it scares me more than anything. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • brenda July 7, 2016, 2:02 am

      Yes praying for Normal!

  • Eli June 2, 2016, 3:03 pm

    It’s been around two weeks that I’ve came off it. But it’s been hard because I’d sleep right after school, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and all last week I’ve been feeling nauseous and just a few days ago I threw up. Is that normal or is that a pregnancy symptom?

  • po June 14, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I have been on Prozac for a couple years and trying to get off of it. I only take 10 mg but still when I miss a couple doses I experience dizziness, zapping, muscle aches, and fatigue. I have a big exam coming up end of July and I have about a month left of the medication and have since moved out of state and do not have a doctor or medical insurance. I am scared to death that this will destroy my ability to pass my exam end of July! Any suggestions??

  • Jo July 2, 2016, 8:05 am

    I’ve been on 20mg Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 8 years now. I went up to 40mg after 5 years and back down to 20mg early last year and experienced no symptoms in dropping back to 20mg. I have now decided to wean myself off them. I am taking a 20mg every second day for the past week and so far… touch wood, the only withdrawal symptom have been a strong frontal headache which I am taking pain killers for… will update next week.

  • Jo July 4, 2016, 8:18 am

    I have been on fluoxetine for 8 years now. I started on 20mg, this was increased to 40mg after a few years but managed to drop back to 20mg last year with no side effects. I have now decided to wean myself off them completely.

    I started last week taking a 20mg every 2nd day. So far my withdrawal symptoms have been a frontal headache, lightheadedness, and low mood, irritability. I so hope these are withdrawal symptoms and not how I am underneath the medication. Will post next week. Thanks.

    • Jo August 8, 2016, 7:32 am

      5 weeks later… It has now been 6 weeks since I started the tapering process. Feeling exhausted, lightheaded, moody, low & sad. Will persevere. Still taking 20mg every 2nd day. Don’t know whether to keep this up for another few months and wait to see if I feel a bit better before coming off completely? Will post next month.

      • Jo August 30, 2016, 7:53 am

        It is now 9 weeks since I began the withdrawal process. Still taking 20mg every 2nd day. Headaches have stopped, mood still low. I am particularly irritable, snappy and moody with muscles aches and pains, prone to crying spells, aches especially in legs and back. Will keep persevering. I dream of the day when I can feel relatively normal again.

        • Chris September 6, 2016, 1:12 pm

          Hi Jo, thank you so much for reporting your progress. I’m in a really similar boat – took 20mg fluoxetine for 8 years, since last we’ve I’ve cut down to every second day. Currently feeling a lot more ups and downs, irritability, minor headaches, EXTREME tiredness, and a bit of nausea as well as trouble sleeping. Fun times :)

        • Cat October 23, 2016, 11:19 pm

          Hi Jo, How are you feeling now? Did you manage to continue to come off the fluoxetine completely? This would help me a great deal as I’m just about to start tapering. Hope you are well.

  • brenda July 7, 2016, 2:00 am

    I was on 60mg Fluoxetine for about a year. I was tired of how it made me feel, tired of paying for it monthly, and tired of not “being in the mood” lol I forgot to take it a couple days a few weeks ago and since I felt fine, I stopped taking it all together. I haven’t felt any withdrawals like some of you, which is a good thing.

    I can actually cry again, which was hard to do and sometimes a girl just has to cry. :) Seriously. I’m going to see my dr. tomorrow and he, I’m sure is going to be very mad at me for stopping cold turkey. But I don’t want to start up again. I want my body back. I hope everyone feels better soon! There has got to be a better way.

  • Eileen Iceman July 21, 2016, 1:08 am

    I have been on amitriptyline for about 35 years, fluoxetine for 20 years, and omeprazole for 15 years. The first two for help with migraines and the omeprazole for heartburn. I am a 68 year old female and although I still get migraines, they are less common and usually last 24 hours rather than 72. I decided I would like to wean myself off all three, and worked out a schedule with my doctor.

    For the last 10 years I have taken 20 mg of amitriptyline, 40 mg of fluoxetine and 40 mg of omeprazole daily. As of June 20, 2016 I no longer take any omeprazole. Around July 4, 2016 I was down to 5 mg of amitriptyline and 10 mg of fluoxetine every other day. I suddenly experienced uncontrollable weeping, panic attacks, anxiety, and horrible joint pain.

    I called my doctor and made an appointment and began taking 10 mg daily of both amitriptyline and fluoxetine immediately. I still have anxiety and panicky feelings and headaches and emotionalism. I am going to continue with the two medications, but wonder if I may need a higher dose.

    Also, does anyone have an opinion about trying to wean off all 3 drugs at once? Will my body adjust to the 10 mg doses and my symptoms improve? Thank you!

  • Peter Low August 10, 2016, 7:26 am

    Hi. I’ve been on Prozac for 12yrs. I forgot to take for a week…just having too much fun during week off. Was on 10mg. So now I get sudden extreme pain in back of my head during exercise. This started 3 days ago. Headaches are debilitating. Could this be related to prozac WD? Going for CT scan tomorrow to check for ???

  • Sabrina August 28, 2016, 3:04 pm

    I have taken 40mg for over 2 years and just went cold turkey. I have bad headaches, dizziness, vertigo, and no sex drive. It really sucks I just want the feeling to go away, but my husband does not understand and just thinks it’s all in my head. It makes me feel like sh-t. Well I’m glad you all have a great support group. I wish you all the best.

  • April September 18, 2016, 6:45 pm

    Has anyone ever had any heart palpitations as part of withdrawal from prozac? I used to have them but haven’t in a while. But now weeks after tapering from 60mg my palpitations are coming back off and on.

  • Randy September 28, 2016, 9:11 pm

    Thanks for this. I been on Prozac for 5 years. Due to some financial issues, going to a doctor has become a bit hard to afford. So I ran out. Been off it for a week now. I do get those brain buzzes which I find kinda fun. Like a glitch in the matrix. I am dizzy and irritable. I was irritable on the pills so that’s no change. I know the feeling of depression and to everyone that is on Prozac or is coming off it, be strong.

    • Peanuts September 29, 2016, 7:06 am

      Be strong… Cold turkey is HARDCORE, take care.

  • G October 1, 2016, 10:11 pm

    I have been on 80 mg every morning for 4 years. My doctor cut me to 40mg last week and I’m not doing well. Besides the violent outbursts, the shaking all the time, feeling confused, tired and can’t remember anything. Most of the other withdrawal symptoms also, I am isolated in my own home by choice and I’m seeing things that just aren’t there. Called my dr. No response. Now what?

  • Penny October 3, 2016, 12:55 pm

    I have been on 80 mg/day of Prozac for the last 4 years. After reading some of the comments, I’m a little apprehensive on tapering down/stop the drug. Has anybody been on this dosage for this many years and how are you doing now? How long did the WD symptoms last? Would appreciate any info you would be willing to share with me.

  • Michael October 4, 2016, 6:08 am

    I had to quit cold turkey. I had researched tapering, but I couldn’t get a syringe to measure out amounts. I’m having bad withdrawal now, with the foggy mind, few memory issues, lightheadedness, dizziness, brain buzzes, body pain (which I had anyway, but it feels worse now), and worse than usual irritability. I’ve always had sleep problems, but now I’m getting nightmares again since I’ve been off Prozac. Also, has anyone else had problems like mild aphasia? It’s like I can’t find the right words often.

  • Jill October 7, 2016, 2:27 pm

    I too just tapered off of fluoxetine 20mg after taking it for 5 years. I weaned off over a period of 8 weeks. The side effects were minimal until I was completely done. Now, 6 weeks later I am irritable, angry, emotional, crying at the drop of a hat for no reason and extremely lightheaded and dizzy all of the time.

    I just pray for the day these symptoms subside because it has been hell. I absolutely will not go back on another SSRI due to symptoms I had while taking fluoxetine and others in the past. It is not worth it to me. Going to see my doctor for follow up in about a week. I really miss feeling blissful all of the time. Now back to reality… :(

  • J October 23, 2016, 1:43 am

    Just reading all of this stuff and it scares me to death. I have been on 40 of fluoxetine for a few years now. I quit cold turkey just under a couple of months ago. I didn’t start to feel the symptoms right off the bat, but I am now in the middle of it. The thing that stands out for me the most that I can not get a hold of is the ANGER!

    Multiple times a day something small will trigger symptoms of anger in me and I feel ready to fight. Not just angry, but literally ready to go. I found myself nearly ripping a guy out of his car for driving like a maniac through my neighborhood. If you knew me, you would understand that I am not a fighter, but a happy go lucky type of person.

    The blow ups are about to cost me my marriage. It is a side of me that my kids have seen that I can not erase. I am considering getting back on the stuff and being a slave to this crap so that I can calm down. Anyone out there understand about the anger part of this? Is this a debilitating thing or can it be overcome without medication?

  • Jessica Albright October 23, 2016, 1:24 pm

    Hello, I’m wondering if anyone else is having severe memory and cognitive issues while withdrawing. I’ve been off for 3 weeks and I only took 10mg for 6 months to try and get off Paxil which was also hell to come off of hence the prozac taper. I’m talking dementia like symptoms. Total lack of concentration. Not being able to plan my day like I used to, forgetting things all the time. Being in a store I’ve been to 100 times and not recognizing the way to get out for a minute. I’m really hoping someone can help because I am freaking out. Thanks!

  • Kristy Seychell October 26, 2016, 7:46 am

    I have been taking fluoxetine for a number of years and I had to quit them to prepare myself for pregnancy. But sometimes I feel horrible :( dizziness, nausea, confused, fatigue and very very hungry!!! Is it just me to feel very hungry or is it one of the withdrawal symptoms?

  • Michael October 26, 2016, 2:06 pm

    Hi, Thanks for this article. It has helped me a great deal. I started Prozac as a way to get off of Duloxetine which was giving side effects of water retention. My Doctor has been a bit useless with their support to me but I had heard Prozac can soften the blow to other anti-depressants with shorter half lives. I only took Prozac for 2 weeks so it’s unlikely I built up a big response to it, 2 weeks off of everything and I feel better… and worse!

    I’m glad I’ve got off of the nightmare that was Duloxetine for me and also Prozac, but I’ve been struggling to concentrate really badly. I’m also trying to give up smoking at the same time and sometimes I feel I may as well take all the meds and smoke! Then I read some really empowering stories here and it’s given me the hope to keep on going. Thank you all.

  • Erin October 27, 2016, 6:44 pm

    I was on a does of 60 mg daily for over 20 years, when I decided it was long-past time for a change, and went off cold turkey. I was surprised that I felt fine for about 8 weeks–didn’t notice anything different at all–but then came crushing fatigue, serious body aches and muscle tension like you would not believe. It’s been a very delayed reaction for me; I am now about 4 weeks into it and hoping it ends very soon before I give in to the temptation to go back on at a lowered dose just to try to ease the pain some. It is not completely debilitating, but very uncomfortable to say the least.

  • Lauren S October 28, 2016, 2:46 pm

    I came off prozac two months ago during a surgical recovery and the stress from going on a family vacation has triggered such extreme agitation, anger, moodiness that my kids and husband are fed up with me after just a week. I despise feeling and acting like this and they think I’m using withdrawal as an excuse.

  • Kerri November 12, 2016, 9:40 pm

    Hi I was taken off 20 mg of Prozac about a month ago after being on it for 4 years. My doc took me off cold turkey and said that deplin (which is just folic acid) would help me. For 3 weeks I have had this horrible joint and muscle pain associated with other withdrawal symptoms. I just wanted to know if this has happened to anyone else.

  • Frank November 21, 2016, 10:05 am

    Over a period of about a month, I tapered off from 20 mg/day to nil. I took the last tablet about 6 weeks ago. For the first few weeks, all was fine. Now, the depression has returned, with severe outbursts of anger, mostly in response to perceived insults and unfair treatment by my family. Also, dizziness and a weird fuzzy feeling behind my eyes if I move the focus of my gaze from side to side.

    I am tempted to go back on the tablets. – not because of the dizziness etc., but because of the mental symptoms. On reading this website, however, I wonder perhaps if I should just wait for them to subside. I should add that I was on the tablets for a long time – perhaps 10-15 years.

    • S November 30, 2016, 9:34 pm

      Hey Frank, I too have tapered off for 1.5 months from 20 mg to 10 mg to nil. I was fine all throughout October but then I was hit with physiological symptoms like sweaty palms, tingling sensations, insomnia, hot flashes, and brain zaps. It’s been a month of going through these symptoms and I’m still struggling even as I type this out.

      I am also tempted to go back on the tablets and taper off on an even slower schedule than how I did initially. However, I keep promising myself that I can push on without any drugs in my system and just suffer through the symptoms until they subside. The only thing that is bothersome is not knowing when the symptoms will disappear.

      It could take a few more days or a few more months. I hope we can recover sooner though. Since you’ve been on the medication for a longer time, it may take more time to withdraw completely. Have you tried talking with your doctor?

  • Zack November 24, 2016, 3:41 am

    I have been on prozac 60mg for at least 6 or 7 years now and I stopped last month. I asked if I needed to wean slowly, as in like months, and my psych said no and had me go down to 40mg for a few days then down to 20mg for a few days. In total it was less than a week before I completely stopped. About a week or so after I stopped, my vision became blurry.

    Fast forward a month, and nothing has improved. Talking to my psych is like talking to a wall. All he says is that “there is no way the prozac is causing blurred vision”. I asked him about prozac withdrawal and he said he has “never ever heard of vision problems with it”. This last month has been pure frustration at dealing with the blurriness and my doctors refusal to acknowledge it. Will it fix if I go back on prozac?

  • Mikey December 2, 2016, 12:48 am

    Currently withdrawing as I type this and feel like death warmed up. I write articles for a side income and currently have the writing ability of a frying pan. Feel dizzy, confused, angry, sad, worthless and for the first time in a long time, feeling it would be better for everyone if I wasn’t around. My spouse and my children are the reasons I am still here. Them and the determined voice in my head telling me to fight through it.

    That determination to do the right thing for my family. I just fear I may lose them because of the way I have been of late. Currently self-medicating with cannabis to help me sleep but don’t think the doctors will help me with anything over the period of time I would need to ease my anxiety. I feel alone, misunderstood and often unwanted. This most probably sounds like a barrage of useless text to some but I feel typing this out may help me a little and hopefully others.

  • Charlie December 3, 2016, 12:23 pm

    I am 79. (Age can affect all this.) I have been on Fluoxetine (Prozac) for about 9 years, and Alprazolam (Xanax) was added about 5 years ago. Counseling when I needed to add Alprazolam, and learning and using all the insight I could, have helped greatly. More counseling, with my wife, helped during a period of very high stress on us both.

    Two and one-half years ago we took steps to reduce stress significantly. Early this year I was ready to taper off. I spent about 5 or 6 months tapering off Alprazolam. I think I am off it now, but have the option of a very small dose as needed. After tapering off Alprazolam I started to cut down on Fluoxetine. I am nearly off it now.

    I try to be attentive to withdrawal effects. I have been through most of the listed effects and one or two others for Alprazolam. My learning is to take it as slowly as needed, feel my way, use all the knowledge and wisdom I can muster, accept support from this who care for me, and be as matter-of-fact about it all as possible.

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