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Anyone come off SSRIs after a LONG time?

(15 Posts)
nickytwotimes Wed 10-Sep-08 19:42:07

I've been on various kinds since 1991 (!) and made several attempts to come off them, unsuccessfully of course.
I now feel really really ready to come off Sertraline and my GP is happy for me to do so. I am on 150 mg and cut down to 100 mg today.

Any success stories to share? <hopeful>

nickytwotimes Thu 11-Sep-08 19:16:34

Anyone?

francesrivis Thu 11-Sep-08 19:24:46

Hi, I came off seroxat several years ago. Did it very, very slowly as I had had bad experiences with withdrawal before - I got GP to prescribe liquid which made it easier to go down in small increments. Having said that, Seroxat is meant to be the worst of the SSRIs to come off so hopefully you won't get withdrawals. No need to rush it though - I reckon it's a confidence thing too - cut down as and when you feel ready. Best of luck!

francesrivis Thu 11-Sep-08 19:24:48

Hi, I came off seroxat several years ago. Did it very, very slowly as I had had bad experiences with withdrawal before - I got GP to prescribe liquid which made it easier to go down in small increments. Having said that, Seroxat is meant to be the worst of the SSRIs to come off so hopefully you won't get withdrawals. No need to rush it though - I reckon it's a confidence thing too - cut down as and when you feel ready. Best of luck!

nickytwotimes Thu 11-Sep-08 19:28:04

Message withdrawn

SorenLorensen Thu 11-Sep-08 19:28:08

I was on Cipramil for about 4 years after ds2 was born - and I've been off it completely for almost 3 years now (also had two courses of anti-d's after ds1 was born - Imipramine then Prozac, for about a year/18 months each - with a 6 month break in between).

Cipramil was really hard to come off - it took a long, long time (months rather than weeks) of dropping the dose in minute increments. Sometimes I couldn't do it and had to up the dose again. But I got there in the end and I've been (mostly) OK since. I still have periods of being very down, but they are generally fairly short-lived - if I sit tight and wait them out, I start to go 'up' again.

My advice would be take it very, very slowly - go too fast and you may just drop like a stone. And if you feel yourself slipping, up the dose again and leave it for a bit. Very best of luck - it is a fantastic feeling when you know how you are feeling is genuinely you - and nothing to do with any pills you are taking.

nickytwotimes Thu 11-Sep-08 19:29:39

x-posts, Soren.
Yes, I will indeed take it slowly. I'd be delighted if I could do it for Christmas, but am aware it may take longer. Fingers crossed though.

TigerFeet Thu 11-Sep-08 19:32:05

IME it's definitely best to come off them slowly - as SorenLorenson says, months rather than weeks. I cut mine down very gradually and made sure I felt OK on the reduced dose for a week or so before I cut it again. I can't remember exact doses but I cut from full dose to 75%, then to 50% then 25% then finally 25% every other day.

I have now been AD (SSRI) free for nearly 6 months and am feeling well.

Best of luck.

SorenLorensen Thu 11-Sep-08 19:34:18

It took me about two years altogether, I think. I had terrible dizzy spells/light-headedness/feeling utterly spaced out (all of which my GP said were not recognised withdrawal symptoms hmm) By the end I was shaving bits off tablets and taking them every other day. You'll get there in the end.

nickytwotimes Thu 11-Sep-08 19:36:40

Thanks y'all.
Lucky for me, my GP is pretty supportive and I think he will be happy to give me the liquid if I need it.

sarah76 Tue 16-Sep-08 20:57:20

I'm coming off venlafaxine (Efexor) at the moment, got it down to taking about 1/4 of a 37.5 mg tablet, which is the smallest you can get. I was coming down in preparation for getting pregnant, and then got pregnant while on the 37.5 mg dose. I kept cutting down, but miscarried last night (don't think it's related).

I've been on this particular AD for seven years, and was on Paroxetine before that (and Prozac before that). All told I've been on something for half my life (I'm 32 now). I've read a lot about withdrawal symptoms with venlafaxine and the consensus among those trying to get off of it seems to be takes ages, and even a few grains of the stuff can stave off the horrible lightheadedness/dizziness/general anxiety feeling.

I thought of going cold turkey this week since I'm not working until at least Monday, but a little scared that the withdrawal crap won't go away by then. So will continue to crumble bits off the tablets for a while.

castlesintheair Wed 17-Sep-08 14:00:29

I posted a similar question some time ago and it went unanswered. I managed to find out for myself the hard way! I am completely off ADs now and feel great, better than I did before I got ill. One thing you can take is 5HTP which is natural seratonin. You can buy it in health food shops. Thoroughly recommend it for the withdrawal process. Took me 6 months.

sarah76 Fri 26-Sep-08 10:57:28

Just a little update, due to HR and occupational health screwups at my new job, I am not starting till at least next week, possibly later. So I went ahead and quit my 1/4 tablet withdrawal-preventing dose of venlafaxine. This is day 6 with nothing, and I wish I could say I felt great, but I don't. I'm better than I was a few days ago. The dizziness/lightheadedness is just annoying, and I feel shakey and anxious. I'm sure some of it is related to the MC nearly two weeks ago, but this is the only time I've got to go through withdrawal without it affecting my job or a pregnancy.

All I can say is, day 6 is a lot better than days 2-4 were! I feel like at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

bronners Tue 07-Oct-08 00:49:10

Hi all - I have been on Prozac for 10 years and am now coming off it. Yes it is the hardest thing I have done but I believe it is worth it. There is no help anywhere so I have used the internet, books and CD's to help me. The scary thing is that the side effects of coming off it are the same symptoms as why I went on it in the first place but I have learnt that if you get side effects relatively quickly it is not the original symptoms returning - just purely prozac withdrawal. I urge anyone struggling to do this to keep it up. Read articles on why prozac is not good for you, talk to anyone that will listen and take it one day at a time. Everyday I write a diary on all the good points of each day however small. I never write down the bad points and I focus on this when I am having a crap day. The first months are hardest but believe me it gets better. If I can do it after 10 years ANYONE can do it. Go to SELFSTEPS.com and read about it. Their books and CD's have helped me immensely. Once I have got through this I would like to start a support group for people going through this. Exercise is essential as it burns up excess adrenaline in your body, and creates endorphins to make you feel good. Focus on the little things that you love - mine is sitting down with my husband at 6pm and having a glass of wine and watching the news or having a coffee in the backyard on a Saturday morning in my pyjamas and chatting to my husband. Really simple small things are what get you through.
Cheers

sarah76 Fri 10-Oct-08 01:50:16

Just a further update from me and my venlafaxine-less brain. It's getting near 3 weeks I've been off now, and no withdrawal (or anything I can definitely identify as withdrawal) for about a week. I really feel pretty good, considering the miscarriage was 3.5 weeks ago.

It's nice not having to remember that pill every morning. Glad I stuck it out this time and hope it will encourage others to do the same if that's what you want. My advice would be, take at least two weeks off, lock yourself inside your house and prepare to be sitting or lying down most of the time! The very worst of it was over in the first 4-5 days and then it started getting better.

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