Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “Prozac

28 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

After 28 days, I have noticed a significant change in my overall mood. I can’t say I am not feeling a little low, but the low is not as bad as it was 28 days ago. I noticed I have been sleeping quite a bit more. I can’t say if that is a symptom of my depression or if I am just feeling a little zonked out. I know when I was on Invega (an antipsychotic) I felt like a complete zombie. While I am no longer on that drug (now on Fanapt, a very low dose), I do feel sort of zombied out, but not as much as I did back then. I still feel emotion and I can still experience some bad lows. However, it looks like the Prozac is doing its job and prevent too many lows. They are still there, but they don’t come as often.

I have found that there are times when I still deal with some pretty bad anxiety so I can’t say that the Prozac is helping as far as that. I have gotten some questions as to other known side effects. To address each one, here is a short list and my experience with them.

 

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out; – I have felt light headed at times, but not enough to pass out. This isn’t unusual for me though. 
  • agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; – I’ve not felt overly agitated. It is normal for me to have hallucinations. I have felt significantly more nausea. Again, nausea is normal for me, but it has been more prevalent since starting Prozac. 
  • headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing (breathing may stop); – I have had some pretty bad headaches, but as with some of the other issues, headaches are normal for me. Same as the others, the headaches have been slightly more intense, but they are manageable so far. 
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling. – I’ve not experienced any of these side effects. 
  • drowsiness, yawning; – It has gotten somewhat significant. I find that I am quite tired a lot of the time, but cannot sleep. I have been using OTC sleep aids sparingly(diphenhydramine). 
  • tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous; – This is normal for me. I have Klonopin to help with meltdowns from anxiety. For reference, I take the Klonopin, on average, twice a week to knock me down. I do not take it daily. 
  • dry mouth, upset stomach, mild nausea; – See above.
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams; – I’ve mentioned my sleep issues. My dreams have almost always been very strange and often lucid so this is not unusual for me. 
  • mild rash; – None so far. 
  • changes in weight or appetite; – I’ve mentioned this before as well. I am seeing what is slowly becoming a significant weight change. I first noticed I wasn’t feeling nearly as hungry about a week or so after starting Prozac. There have been days where I’ve not eaten at all. To avoid any complications, I have started scheduling my meals and setting reminders to eat. When I do eat, I am eating far less and am almost never hungry. I am eating simply so I won’t feel light headed or fatigued. I still enjoy the taste of food so when I do eat, I am usually having something I really like. I have, since my teen years, be really into pastas and high carb foods; a habit I picked up when I used to play tennis. I do have some pastas now, but as I said, I’m not eating nearly as much as I used to. I can think of only a single time in the past 3 weeks where I’ve felt a little hungry and that was at the end of the day when I’d forgotten to eat anything. In the past month, I have dropped about 15 lbs. I was working out quite a bit, but then I hurt my back (have had a bad back for years) so I stopped to let myself heal (this was before I started the Prozac). Even without the workouts, I am still dropping weight. I suspect when I start up again with my workouts, I will drop more weight which is fine with me. I have carried a lot of extra weight most of my adult life so dropping 30-40 lbs will do me some good. 
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; – I’ve not noticed any of these symptoms. 
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat. – I have had a slightly stuffy nose, but I am going to say it’s probably from my allergies. I have common seasonal allergies so that could be the reason why I get a stuffy nose from time to time.

I’ve read studies that have seen an increased proclivity to violence from people taking Prozac. I’ve not experienced anything that would suggest this happening with me. I’ve always been a very passive person though. I have never been the type to go around looking for an argument or a fight. If you have been known as someone with a short temper, make sure you tell your doctor if you find yourself a little more on edge than usual.

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you want my diagnosis for reference, I was formally diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder (depressive type). The medications I am on right now to help with this are Prozac, Fanapt, Klonopin, and Buspar. I also take a few other medications for unrelated health issues such as Zanaflex for migraine, tension, and cluster headaches.

If you have questions, you can comment all you like and I will respond or you can use my contact information if your question is of a personal nature.

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega ...

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega retard tabletta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


21 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

 

It began to feel as if the positives from this medication were starting to creep through. I can’t say I was any more happy that I have been. I’m never really happy. However, I did feel a little less down, especially on days 18-21. It looks like the medication is starting to make an impact on my overall mood which is a good thing. Still, I am seeing side effects from it so I have to address those here.

 

Positives:

 

Overall better mood. My mood is usually pretty low so while this is an improvement, I cannot say I am “all better.” After all, you’re never really “all better.” I find I am thinking less about suicide. It’s still a daily thing, but my mind wasn’t going nearly as far down that road as it sometimes does. I am finding it easier to laugh at things that should be funny. I guess you could say it has started working as far as mood. As far as other issues, well….

 

Neutrals:

 

I am still not feeling hungry. I list this as a neutral because some people want this while others don’t. I don’t mind one way or the other. I was getting tired of always gaining weight with other medications. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you gain 30 pounds. In a way, some medications are self defeating in that way. Sure, it might trick your brain into thinking you are happy, but looking in the mirror brings it all down again. I’ve dropped about 8 pounds since starting the medication so my weight loss isn’t terribly dramatic. I had to stop my usual workouts because of an injury so who knows how much I might have lost if I’d been able to continue my exercise. I am looking to get back into my workouts next week so we’ll see if I drop anymore weight.

 

Negatives:

 

My sleep is still very erratic. I am having to depend on other medications to get at least some sleep. Even then, I am constantly waking up throughout the night; at least 15-25 times a night. I’m not exaggerating. My anxiety isn’t seeing much of a decline from the medication. Just yesterday (day 22) I had a meltdown and had to turn to Klonopin to knock me down. I could feel the anxiety attack coming on, but there was nothing I could do to stop it besides my benzo. After that, I lied down and tried to relax. My body was numb, but my mind was still racing. Still, I managed to fall asleep about 2 hours later, but as I mentioned, I kept waking up.

 

Overall, I think the medication has more positives than negatives. I know Prozac isn’t a catch all. I’ve been down this road before and I know I will probably always have to be on multiple meds to manage my illness. I am glad I stuck with the Prozac though as it is showing some positive results and few negatives. I still find myself creating my own worlds when I leave the house so I can manage to do normal things like visit the grocery store. I still don’t talk to people and I still don’t make eye contact unless she does it for me. I go in, get what I need, and leave. The only place I let go a little is the book store. It’s always so quiet in there and the smell of fresh paper is soothing. I will probably end up going there again very soon.

 

Clonazepam tablets Klonopin 1mg.

Clonazepam tablets Klonopin 1mg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


14 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

 

Here are a few more things I’ve experienced 14 days into taking Prozac.

 

I’m still not feeling hardly any desire to eat. It looks like that side effect isn’t let up at all. As before, I don’t mind it at all as it’s helping me drop some weight. The only issue I am having is making sure I eat enough. Every time I eat I am never hungry. I only do it because I have to. I’ve also found I am less thirsty which goes hand in hand with the hunger thing. I’ve dropped some water weight, but not a huge amount.

 

I cannot say this is from the Prozac as I’ve experienced them before, but I ended up with a massive migraine on Sunday, the 14th day of my prozac intake. It was quite bad. I had all the classic symptoms: upset stomach, nausea, any little noise threw me off, even the dimmest if lights were too much. It was bad. I ended up sleeping through most of it with some help from my Zanaflex. After that, I ended up with a tension headache which wasn’t any more pleasant.

 

My pain threshold is getting smaller. Again, I cannot say that this is necessarily because of the Prozac. For some reason, I have been having major problems with my back lately so I am deal with significantly higher pain levels. I am always usually about a 4 or 5, but lately it is getting up into 6 and 7, occasionally hitting 8 and 9 which is really bad. I do have some Hydrocodone 7.5’s to help with it thankfully. I have an appointment set to see my general practitioner in about a week for my back. I did end up at the ER because of the pain which is where I got the Hydro. It was given as a short term solution.

 

My mood seems to be stabilizing a little. On the Celexa I was previously taking, I was still having really bad mood swings. The prozac seems to be helping a little. I cannot say for certain yet. It might be I am just going through a period where I am in a slightly better mood. I will update this on my next post 21 Days of Prozac.

 

I did have one very strange side effect that I’d not experienced with other SSRI‘s. One night for about three hours, I experienced a very strange sense of euphoria. I’d not taken any of my muscle relaxers or any pain medication. I felt very lightheaded and it almost felt like I was floating above my bed. I couldn’t sleep during this period, but the sensation of lightheadedness was so intense that I dared not get up. I was still in pain, yet I felt free and almost like I was going to break apart into molecules. It was a very odd sensation that I can only attribute to my brain releasing some sort of natural painkiller like a continuous endorphin rush. For a time, I thought maybe I was slipping into psychosis as my hallucinations did increase during that time. They were manageable though and not scary at all. Seeing them actually made me feel at ease.

 

Well, this is my update after 14 days. When 21 days have come, I will give another write up to see if the three week threshold provides any added relief.

 

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac)

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


7 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

For those of you who’ve followed my posts on mental illness, you all may know I’ve been on a few antidepressants. I’ve been on Pristiq which did not agree with me at all. I got some major side effects which caused me to have a massive meltdown so I was taken off. I was then moved onto Celexa and that seemed to work pretty well for a while. I didn’t feel amazing or anything, but I was better able  to manage my mood swings and depressive episodes.

Last summer I went off my meds without telling my doctors. I wanted to try to live without the need of medications. I was also getting some unwanted effects from another drug I was on called Latuda. If you are not familiar with that drug, it is an antipsychotic drug that is used in the treatment of Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective  Disorder, and a few other forms of mental illness.

I did alright for a period of time while off the drugs as I was able to cope with my depression and anxiety. That didn’t last though. I had contemplated going back on meds, but I didn’t want to as I hated some of the unwanted effects. The biggest complaint came from the Latuda. It has a major numbing effect on your emotions. It does have some benefits though. It quieted most of the voices in my head and lessened my visual hallucinations to the point where I had maybe 1-2 a day. Off medication, my hallucinations are quite frequent; visuals come and go although they are not intrusive all the time and the voices aren’t terribly bothersome for the most part. The exception is when I find myself under great stress. In those times, the voices and visual hallucinations can get out of control and that was why I was given the Latuda.

The cons, as I mentioned, was the numbing effect. In a way, I felt almost zombie like. Next to nothing generated any sort of emotional response. I couldn’t really feel much sadness, but I also couldn’t feel joy. I didn’t feel anger. I did sometimes feel frustration, but that was mostly because of the fact that I couldn’t feel anything at all. If all I wanted out of life was to sit in my room and watch game shows, I suppose that would be fine. However, I want something more.

Fast forward several months and my depression is getting quite bad. My hallucinations have returned, but they are manageable for the most part. I revisit my psychiatrist after several months away. He tries to put me back on Celexa, but unfortunately it isn’t working for me after two months. In comes Prozac.

I’d been on the drug previously in 2009, but only for a very short period when I was so lost in my mind I don’t even remember how long I took it. In the years since, I’d educated myself more on mental illness and medications. So much so that I now frequent the Yahoo! answer forums and take on some of the harder questions so I can try to do something positive. Through my research, I read up more on Prozac. I remembered being on it, but as I said I don’t even know if it helped or not. I asked my doctor about it and he said we could definitely try Prozac again to see how it works for me. Here is the deal so far.

I know it’s too early to know if it’s working on my depression. It can take about 3 weeks before I start seeing any positive effects of that nature. What I have noticed though are some side effects after the 7 days I’ve been on it. One…I’m actually feeling worse as far as my mood goes. My anxiety has gotten bad so I’ve had to resort to the Klonopin a couple of times. I’ve been able to manage though. I expected something like this so I was prepared. Another interesting effect that I’d read about and interestingly am getting is a lack of appetite. I actually don’t mind this effect at all. I’ve been exercising a lot the past month to try and improve my moods and also to drop a little weight. I noticed that I wasn’t feeling hungry at all on the 2nd day which wasn’t expected. I thought I wouldn’t get this particular effect till I was seeing the true benefits of the drug. As I said, I don’t mind having a lighter appetite, but I’ve figured out that I have to watch myself though.

Without even realizing it, I went an entire day without eating. I had water which is normal for me, but I never once felt the urge to eat. I didn’t even realize I hadn’t eaten till the next day when I thought about it. I ended up at the grocery store to get some food, but didn’t buy much as I still wasn’t hungry. I started feeling a little light headed though so I went ahead and had a good meal; some grilled chicken, green beans and corn. It wasn’t a very large meal, but boy did it fill me up. I did not eat the rest of the day. The follow day I still wasn’t feeling hungry so I had a big Honeycrisp apple about midday. I also kept with my water and still, I didn’t feel hungry.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that this side effect was pretty significant for me. I’d read about people not getting it and some who say they did. It looks like I’m turning out to be one that’s getting it, but I know I need to be careful.

I often schedule things for me in advance and have a list of things I need to make sure to do every day like take meds, exercise, clean certain parts of the house…you know, everyday chores. I keep the list because I sometimes deal with overwhelming compulsions to do things over and over because I feel I didn’t do them before so I use my check off list as a reminder that I did in fact do them. I am adding eating to this list. I figure as long as I have two decent meals a day along with a snack like an apple (love apples) or an orange, I should be just fine. The only issue is that now I am finding it annoying to eat when I’m not hungry. I’ve started to make my meals smaller, but not too small. I don’t want to push my body into any sort of shock from a sudden diet change.

Beyond that, I’m happy to say that I’m not getting any other significant side effects. Hopefully, I will start to see the true benefits of the drug in a couple of weeks.

If you suffer from depression, it’s important that you talk to your doctor about it. I cannot say that Prozac will work the same for you. Only your doctor should advise you on the types of drugs you should be taking. I guess I should add this in as well: No, I am not being paid to say these things about Prozac. This is just my personal experience with the drug. If you come across some online pharmacy trying to sell you drugs like Prozac or Klonopin, they are scams! Avoid them. Only get a prescription from your family doctor or psychiatrist and fill your medications at a licensed pharmacy like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. Prozac is available in generic form and is very inexpensive, especially from Walmart as a 30 day supply is only $4.

Fluoxetine (Prozac), an SSRI

Fluoxetine (Prozac), an SSRI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)