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Author Topic: Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety  (Read 305 times)

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Offline Checkpointjc

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Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety
« on: January 12, 2014, 01:09:15 PM »
New to posting to the forums but wanted to share my experience and get your advice.

About six months ago I suffered a severe panic attack as part of a hangover, several years after first experiencing one that sent me to the ER.  Given that i knew what it was I rode out the storm, however they did not go away.  I began to become consumed by the fear of having another one so that it was constantly on my mind. This led to a heightened sense of anxiety that eventually drove me to the ER one weekend.  After getting a checkup and being told I was physically very healthy I was prescribed 25-50mg of Hydroxyzine as needed.  I began focusing on improving my mental outlook, reading about anxiety disorders, got a full physical, and starting making lifestyle changes.  Unfortunately the fear of another attack was not subsiding.   

Last week I went back to my doctor and asked for help.  She asked if there were any unusual stressors in my life, which there aren't any that haven't always been there, and said I had a couple options.  I could take a Beta Blocker to help control the symptoms or Prozac for longer term relief.  I opted to start 10 mg Prozac just to get my mind back on track so that I could focus on improving my life vs. worrying about the next panic attack.

So I'm currently at day 7 and its been a rough ride to say the least.  Previously I was taking the Hydroxyzine for anxiety once a week, I have now taken it three days in a row.  The worst is usually during the night and morning.  As I fall asleep I'm jerked awake as I'm drifting off, which really amps up the anxiety.  Once I do fall asleep I have bizarre dreams and I wake up with my heart racing and panicky thoughts going through my head.  By the time the morning comes I've been rustled awake several times and overall view paniced and with a sense of depersonalization.  I take 25 mg of hydroxyzine and about 30 - 45 minutes later actually feel ok the rest of the day.

My question is if these symptoms are normal?  When can I expect them to subside, or given my anxiety was not nearly this severe prior to taking Prozac should I talk to my doctor about discontinuing and trying something else?  Thanks!
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Offline BuzzBee1

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Re: Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 02:00:22 PM »
Hi checkpoint,

Welcome to the forum.  You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Checkpoint, there are many here who have taken Prozac, so I'm sure you'll find support and advice here.  I haven't taken Prozac, but it took four full weeks for my body to adjust to Lexapro, so be sure to give it some time.

Good luck to you, and again, welcome to AZ.

Buzzy
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 02:33:44 PM »
Hi CP...

I'm sorry to hear about the side effects that you are having, but to ease your mind, the symptoms you are experiencing are perfectly normal.  Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  When starting on a SSRI, serotonin levels are increased, and the body responds through different side effects that include an increase in anxiety, insomnia, and vivid/unpleasant dreams (those that you are experiencing), to name a few.  These side effects normally last about two weeks.  I was recently started on Celexa, another SSRI, and had the same side effects.  I also had profuse sweating, hot and cold flashes/sensations, and loss of appetite.  There was a dramatic decline in my side effects on day 16-17 into my treatment.

Your doctor has started you on a sub-therapeutic dose of Prozac, 10 mg, which is the very best thing to do when treating anxiety/GAD.  She will probably wish to increase it at some point, to a therapeutic dose of at least 20 mg.  If this is the case, you may see a return of side effects, but this is usually short lived.

I know that the first 2-3 weeks is a rough-ride when starting an anti-depressant, but it does get better.  Hang in there.  If I can be of any help, let me know.

The very best to you, CP!...  Chuck
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Offline Checkpointjc

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Re: Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 02:53:49 PM »
Thanks Chuck! Your reassurance is appreciated, after a rough night last night and this morning I took a Hydroxyzine with a nap. I have been feeling better so far today, here is to a good night tonight! I'll keep you posted on the progress.
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 03:40:51 PM »
Hi CP...

Glad that I could be of help.  Glad too the Hydroxyzine is working for you, and that you could feel restful enough to nap.  I use Hydroxyzine as well.  It is not as effective as the benzodiazepines, but it works well for many and is not addictive like the benzos.

I started on my anti-depressant, Celexa, a little over six weeks ago, so if you have any questions while I'm blazing my path, let me know.  And do keep us all posted on how you are doing.

I hope that the Prozac works well for you!...  Chuck :sign0111:
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Offline Kissa

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Re: Day 7 of Fluoxetine for Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 05:17:47 PM »
I am so glad you posted this question. I went to my therapist on Jan 3. She switched all my meds, depression, anxiety and sleeping. It has been a rough ride. She said it would take approx 2 weeks to get to a level built up enough in my body where I will start feeling better. Let me tell you, the last 2.5 weeks have been pure HELL, then you add our current financial issues, it only makes things worse. I'm going to try to stick it out for a full month on the new mix of drugs. If that isn't cutting it, I will call her back and see where we can go from here.

I am having very strange dreams (usually if I dream its about memories, not me acting in a commercial etc) so you are not alone my friend... hope things get better.
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Just because I understand an acknowledge what I am worrying about is silly, doesn't mean I'm able to stop worrying about it.
~One Breath at a Time~

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