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Long term effects of Prozac
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Long term effects of Prozac

Under a doctors supervision, I started taking Effexor in Sept. of 1999 for depression an slowly increased my dosage to 120mg.
In May of 2000, after becoming pregnant I stopped without tapering.  The withrawl effects were very stong and scary and lasted approximately 6 weeks.  But after that time I felt normal again and was able to cope during my pregnancy.  After the birth of muy son, I began Effexor again in Feb.2001.  It did not have the same effect as the first time I took it and I was contemplating quitting again. Then I became pregnant once again in May 2001.  I stopped the Effexor again and had a much more difficult time coping with EVERYTHING.  After suffering with the withdrawls and severe mood swing, temper lash outs, etc.  my doctor asked me to give Prozac a try.  I began Prozac 40mg. in July of 2001, during my pregnancy.  It really helped my temper and mood swings. Although I was very concerned about it's effects on my unborn baby the doctor assured me that it was the safest of all SSRI's because it had been given the most research, which showed no negative effect on unborn children.  My daughter was born very healthy and is a very happy, normal baby girl.  My concern for my children's well being had been the motivation for continuing on the Prozac.  However, over the past 4 months, the irritabily and loss of temper has begun to emerge again.  I began drinking again on the weekends and would awake Saturdays and Sundays like a zomby, when I needed to be at my best for my kids.  So I stopped taking Prozac 5 weeks ago without tapering.  The side effects are there, dizziness, electrical feeling impulses in my brain, irritability, etc.  But, it is not something that I can't handle, so far.  I am determined to control my emotions and myself through natural methods and with God's guidance.  
My questions are the following:
1.  Will these withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms ever go away?  They did after I quit the effexor.  Although my withdrawls from Prozac are not as strong, I am reading about people who still are effected 2 to 3 years after taking it.  
2.  My irritability, dizziness, and light headedness increase tremendously when I have to discipline my children.  I know this is when I need the most self control and really have to watch myself.  But these feeling make it difficult to "care" about how I am acting in front of my children at the time.  What other methods can I use to control these symptoms?
Is this an effect of the Prozac withdrawl (withdrawal)?  Does adrenaline increase the withdrawl (withdrawal) effects?
3.  Is my daughter going to be o.k?  She is very normal and developing normally now.  But I am terrified that maybe I have permenantly damaged her "chemical balance"  by taking the Prozac during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
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First of all, you should be assured that you have not damaged your daughter. The withdrawal symptoms will definetly go away, and the tales of them lasting for years has to be understood better, and your explanation in this note is a good way to do that.

when you discipline your children you have some level of frustration, stress, anger and anxiety.  That is what is causing the symptoms to increase,not the adrenaline..  those are the symptoms of those feelings. Instead of processing these feelings in a  more conscious way, you have these symtpoms.  This tells me that you have a hard time dealing with your anger, and controlling it, and that is what you have to work on on your own or in therapy.  I invite you to try my masteringstress program ( link above) for some online therapeutic help, but if not that, you should work with a counselor about this.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. I can only tell you that my experience on Prozac was that it was much easier to stop taking than the other antidepressants.  It does poop out though and often needs another med with it to sustain it. Hopefully the doctor can help you.  It's possible a mood stabilizer would help, but a psychiatrist would be able to determine that. I hope you feel better soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the insight.  I know I have a problem dealing with my anger, and I thought medication was the answer.  Now I know I have to work on being conscious of my feelings as you advised.  
Knowing that the symptoms will stop at some point gives me hope.  

Thanks to Joyce45.  It helps to hear from others who have been through similar experiences. Good luck to you.

I really appreciate the input.  
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Avatar_n_tn
LONG TERM EFFECTS of SSRIs:

http://www.mercola.com/2000/apr/9/prozac_backlash.htm

Extract:


"Roughly 28 million Americans -- one in every ten -- have taken Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil or a similar antidepressant, yet very few patients are aware of the dangers of these drugs, nor are they aware that better, safer alternatives exist. Now Harvard Medical School's Dr. Joseph Glenmullen documents the ominous long-term side effects associated with these and other serotonin-boosting medications.....

These side effects include neurological disorders, such as disfiguring facial and whole-body tics that can indicate brain damage; sexual dysfunction in up to 60 percent of users; debilitating withdrawal symptoms, including visual hallucinations, electric shock-like sensations in the brain, dizziness, nausea, and anxiety; and a decrease of antidepressant effectiveness in about 35 percent of long-term users. In addition, Dr. Glenmullen's research and riveting case studies shed shocking new light on the direct link between these drugs and suicide and violence...."



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Avatar_n_tn
I am responding to the withdrawal symptoms and long time affects of the use of prozac.  I am a 45 year old female who suffered from anxiety and depressionfor many years.  I tried various classes of antidepressant medications and gained over 50 pounds over a 5 year span.  The last medication I took was prozac.  I started at 10 mg which was initially intolerable and ended up taking 60 mg.  I could not tolerate 60 and went back and forth between 10 and 40mg for about 4 years.  I felt lifeless and eventually wondered if I were benefitting from the medication at all.  I quit the medication (prozac) in November 2002.  Since then I have had flu like symptoms,infections, electric shock feeling in my brain that I can dscrib more as a equilibrium balancing feeling, low energy, tiredness, lack of motivation and initiation, weight gain, muscle aches, bladder problems, a feeling of diabetes like symptoms (with negative testing), desire to sleep uncontrolably, irritability.anxiety, headaches, chest pains, memory loss, intellectual decline, and ageneral feeling of a lack of well being.  I just feel flat!!  It has been 6 weeks since I stopped taking prozac and I cannot foresee being free of these unpleasnt withdrwal symptoms.  I am a healthy individual otherwise and have always maintained a pleasant and liberal state of mind.  I am not rigid and feel that this too will pass.   But when?  Even though I feel uncomfortable I feel better than I did before the prozac and during the prozas therapy.  Perhaps it corrected some physiological or psychological problem associated with my depression.  I feel functional and feel that I am not as detached and displaced as I felt when taking the medication. My Doctor insisted that I contiue to take the prozac indefinitely and in larger doses.  Often you must serve as your own guide and listen to your own body and mind.  I did, and I feel better now, however, absent these side affects and/or withdrwas symptoms that I hope are not permanent, I can survive.  I would never advise anyone to take prozac for any long period of time.  I personally feel that prozac and other antidepressants should be used short term with a definite cut off date.  After some time that I cannot identify, prozac simply stopped working and caused me to decline in my mental health.  I welcome any comments to my comments.  Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Prozac for approximately 9 years.  First at 20 mg, then 40, 60, 80 and now 100mg. since Nov. 2002.  Has anyone else been on Prozac for this long?  Anyone else taking this amount of Prozac?  Seems like a lot to me.  Got me thru the Holidays and now I will ask to lower the dosage again.  I have gained weight, am sleepy and lethargic most of the time and have only so much energy to spare.  Seems to me I am more emotional at this dose although I can't back that up.  Please, I'd like to hear other people's opinions, experiences and any suggestions.  I have asthma (developed this in my early 40's) have hyperlipidemia. Other than that,I am "healthy".  No panic attacks for almost a year.  Too much caffiene will make me have the tremors.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on Prozac for 9 years 20 mg then 40mg over the past few years. It has worked miracles for my depression! NO MORE FUNKS! However the last 2 years I feel like maybe Im tolerant to it. I have mood swings but I am also perimenopausal. I was having some anxiety, especially flying. Sooooo I asked my doctor about increasing the Prozac dose. He said research has shown that no more significant effect was produced by increasing the dose. So I thought I was so clever in suggesting Paxil. Why not treat depression and anxiety in one pill? So I switched over to 40 mg of Paxil. Now today I just found out from another doctor that Paxil has terrible withdrawal side effects. Now Im really anxious! I want off, but I dont know if I can tolerate panic attacks. Id rather be off all of the meds, but it has been so long, I dont know what to expect. I have gained 50 lbs. I cant seem to get off. I never related it to the drugs??? Any suggestions?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am so grateful to find other people talking about side affects after prozac. I started taking prozac around 1986, when it first came out. I just came off of it in December 2002. The dosage I took was usually 80 mgs. a day. The last two years I was taking wellbutrin because the prozac was not cutting it. Right now, I am on no medication. I have found out most of my symptoms are due to trauma. I do not feel depressed. I feel extremely unmotivated, at times I get these episodes of crawling out of my skin, basically I have to shake myself to have the feeling to go away. I have gained over 20 pounds since I have been off of the prozac. I seem to loose my balance a times. I have talked to a few medical professionals but they say after almost 3 months I should have no side effects. I know I am not feeling right. I have no umph! No motivation! On the prozac I was having mood swings. I am more stable now off of medication than I was on, but I just do not feel right.

Thanks! caw2
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am so grateful to find other people talking about side affects after prozac. I started taking prozac around 1986, when it first came out. I just came off of it in December 2002. The dosage I took was usually 80 mgs. a day. The last two years I was taking wellbutrin because the prozac was not cutting it. Right now, I am on no medication. I have found out most of my symptoms are due to trauma. I do not feel depressed. I feel extremely unmotivated, at times I get these episodes of crawling out of my skin, basically I have to shake myself to have the feeling to go away. I have gained over 20 pounds since I have been off of the prozac. I seem to loose my balance a times. I have talked to a few medical professionals but they say after almost 3 months I should have no side effects. I know I am not feeling right. I have no umph! No motivation! On the prozac I was having mood swings. I am more stable now off of medication than I was on, but I just do not feel right.

Thanks! caw2
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