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Offline poppadr3w

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My Strattera Journey (Log)
« on: June 28, 2014, 01:04:10 PM »
Hello,

I see a lot of negatives and positives when it comes to reviews for Strattera, so I figured I'd do a kind of log about my progress with the drug. I am currently on Fluoxetine (Prozac) 45mg, Propranolol 10mg 2x/day, and I just started Strattera yesterday(Friday, 6/27) at 18mg. I am around 5'9" and ~180 lbs., just to give an estimate of my stature. I am 25-years-old, soon to be 26, and in good health overall. I frequent the gym 4-6 times per week and take supplements such as L-Arginine, Fish Oil and a vegan protein powder (Rawfusion). I've also dabbled in Maca Root, but I may go back to that soon depending on how the Strattera works.

Day 1
My first day was a work day. I decided it'd be best to test it out on a day where I could have the weekend off right after in case some side effects sneak in or whatever. Next week is only a 4 day week anyway (4th of July), and I figured the sooner I start the quicker I'll feel better (Hopefully).

I got into work at 7AM and started my paperwork, made myself some toast with almond butter and ate some fruit. Around 8:30AM I decided that I'd take the Strattera. Nervous, I threw the Strattera in my mouth and chugged some water. That was it. Done. I waited, but my anxiety didn't. I feel that whenever I take new medication, no matter what it is, I get anxiety from it. I guess it's the unknown that gets to me. Anyway, I get the usual symptoms - chest muscles on my left side tighten, slight shortness of breath, dizzy, yada yada. I sit and do my best to do work on my computer - fun stuff.

Around 9:30 or 10 I started it feeling to kick in. Placebo effect? Maybe. I know this drug doesn't work like Adderall or stimulants, but I felt something. I felt kind of drugged, but not incredibly loopy as if I were wasted. I felt a bit... calmer, and my energy increased. Usually at my lunch time (Around 10AM-12PM) I'll take an hour nap in my car to relax and get some energy. Usually by that time, even though I will only have had been up for... 5-6 hours, I feel drained. This day? I didn't, but I still went to nap because it is an easy way to pass the time.

So I went out to my car, pulled in my secret spot in the shade, cracked the windows and leaned back. I felt a bit more with it by now, like my focus was a bit better. As I laid back I felt more calm, like I had taken a Xanax (I have .25's to take as needed). Soon I felt myself falling asleep, but I was awoken quickly by that falling sensation. My whole body jolted. It's weird, because although it scared me I felt OK. I rolled my eyes and laid back down and got some good nap time in.

I went back into the office at... noonish. I felt a bit more in control then. I also was having some side effects - random intense bouts of nausea. I've gotten nausea from SSRI's before, but this was different. With SSRI's it is a constant nausea, at least in the morning it was for me. With Strattera, it would come in a powerful wave for minutes, then go away for hours. It happened maybe 3-5 times on my first day. I didn't get sick, but I heard that some people do. I never vomit. Never. I have twice in the past ten years, and I fought that vomit back like a champion... But then I threw all up over Kiddy Cove in Splish Splash. Bad times.

Another issue some guys have is urination issues. I had a slight burning sensation, but it wasn't bad enough to quiver in pain. It was just... there. I had no discharge as some guys will mention, but it may be too early to tell. I don't know about the sexual side effects yet, either. But my Psychiatrist told me that taking L-Arginine may help with any issues there when he prescribed me the Prozac, so I take that daily before my workouts (About 4g-5g of powder mixed in orange juice).

Eventually I had to take an hour trip (30 minutes each way). It was my first time actually, truly driving (Nap time was through a parking lot so I don't count that). I felt a bit more attentive at first compared to usual, but as my ride progressed I felt myself falling back into my "auto pilot" ways. It kind of felt like the Strattera was pooping out. I drove fine, despite being a bit dizzy.

After work I got home and watched my daughter in the pool. By this time I am usually crazy tired and want to sleep in the chair... although I fight it since I am watching her in the pool. But yesterday I read a book instead on my Kindle, so that's productivity right there!

I took a nap after that for about a half an hour. I did have trouble falling asleep, but maybe it's because my fiancee was watching TV. Usually it doesn't bug me, but this time my mind was latching onto the story of the program (She was watching Friends). I was picturing in my mind what was happening from the dialogue without even trying. It was actually kind of nice to be able to follow along easily... But nap time was wanted.

I don't want to drag this out too long. But after I went and mowed the lawn. I felt a bit dizzy then, but I got through it. Then I went in the gym, which was fine, but I also started feeling dizzy in there and kind of out of it (We have a gym at my house).

At night I had friends over for a fire. Initially I had said no to drinking, but I decided one light beer would be OK. I felt a bit dizzy by this time, still... But I didn't fall or wobble or anything. It's like my balance was off, but I could coordinate enough to not make it obvious. We played Kan Jam, so I was moving around a lot. By the end of the night I was exhausted and barely talking anymore. I felt like I had nothing else to say, but I also felt kind of out of it. But earlier in the night I did feel that it was easier to talk overall. I didn't feel as much anxiety or pressure, and not too long ago, even around friends, I felt that I needed to pop a Xanax just to feel OK enough to talk to them. It was weird. I had become isolated from everyone except my family and fiancee (And co-workers, because I need my insurance!).

Sleep was awkward. I fell asleep around 1AM and, for some reason, woke up at 5:15AM, went to the bathroom, then laid back down, and I kept falling asleep and waking up. I'd close my eyes and 45 minutes would pass and so on. I felt relatively rested overall, but I feel that it could have been better. This is also another common complain amongst people taking Strattera.

Day 2
Like I said, I woke up with a decent amount of energy, but I felt it could've been more. I ate some toast with almond butter and a banana and took my Strattera around 8:30AM again (I'll try to stay consistent with the times I take it). I felt kind of good, but kind of dizzy and out of it. Nausea struck me a bit later, but it subsided. I felt kind of loopy and I have a feeling of carelessness, like I don't care what others think. I'm not going out of my way to make them think such a thing, but... It's just a feeling that I have. I have had it since I started the Prozac, but I feel that with the Strattera it is a bit boosted.

I napped with my daughter for like 45 minutes and took care of her. We played and such, and that's it so far this day. Right now I am just a bit fatigued, kind of out of it and dizzy, but I hear such symptoms will probably go away as my body gets used to it. I have no plans to increase the 18mg dose as of yet, but I hear that a lot of people titrate too rapidly, so they get wicked side effects. I'd rather take it very, very slow.

I had a small burning sensation while urinating before, but everything else was OK. I also drink a lot of water, so maybe that helps compared to other people that have taken Strattera. That and I sweat a lot of it out from exercise.

I'll try and update this when I can, if anyone wants to read it. I figured it'd give people a timeline of my side effects and progress so they can kind of compare to it.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 06:57:28 PM »
I'll just add new posts as I update. I'll stop if you all or the mods want me to. <_<

Day 2, Part II
Well, I took a nap today for a bit. I wasn't terribly tired, but I felt like I could use one since I felt dizzy. It was probably one of the weirdest napping experiences or my lifetime thus far... Not the dreams. In fact, I don't remember *ANY* part of any dreams, despite napping for over two hours. I do remember, however, verbal dialogue. When I was laying there with my eyes closed and I kind of felt like I was drifting away, I heard people talking, as if they were having conversations within a dream but I was still aware that I was laying on my bed. I don't let these things get to me since I know it is the medicine and I am not crazy... or so I believe. I kept waking up, falling back "asleep," rinse and repeat. When I woke up I felt kind of out of it, but I had a decent amount of energy.

Another thing that happened -- I had a weird falling sensation again. This one wasn't as... I don't know how to explain it. I didn't jolt my whole body, but it was much more powerful. I was laying on my side and all of a sudden it felt like my body was starting to roll forward, even though it wasn't. It was rolling forward and down, like off of the side of the bed, but I was in the middle. My actual body didn't move. Maybe it was part of me "sleeping," but it was still weird.

After that my daughter was home from the library with my sister. We all talked for a bit, and I felt a bit more with the conversation, but I still feel kind of out of it overall. I decided to go in the gym (I do, or try to do, 3 days on, 1 day off for rest, and this was day 3). It went quite well. I felt a bit dizzy, but trudged through it, doing arms and shoulders for about an hour. Now I am sitting here, typing this and drinking a protein shake (yum).

I want to be somewhat explicit in these posts since the male sexual side effects are what many males look into. I know I looked into it... I feel like my libido is down. I should be engaging in some... you know... tonight, so we'll see how it goes. My fiancee understands about the side effects though, so I am not scared as if it were a hook-up or something. I think about being in the mood, but I don't feel it as much. This also happened when I first started the Fluoxetine and it went away. I read that for many others it went away, too. It's just a matter of time.

I had the minor burning sensation when I urinated before. Very minor. I felt like my stream was slightly weaker, but nothing major.

One thing that has been bothering me since last year is my eyes when it comes to computer screens. I feel like after a certain amount of time, especially when it comes to video games, I have to look away. It's a bothersome sensation since I use the computer a lot at work and I game casually. I tried to game today a bit and the dizziness that I sometimes get is still. But I trudged on and played a bit. If I sit closer to the screen by like a foot or two it isn't as bad. But I got my eyes checked last year and they were fine. I did pick-up those special gamer glasses that help filter certain wave lengths of whatever, and they help at times (Placebo?).

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I am completely open.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2014, 01:51:57 PM »
Day 3
I'll include last night in this post.

Last night, for the first time in quite awhile, I went somewhere new "socially." I haven't been to a bar in over a year now (Sadly), nor a place I haven't really been before. It wasn't too long ago that I'd choke up merely walking through the supermarket. So last night my fiancee and I were invited to a small get together. I had never been to the house before, but I was told it was only going to be a handful of people, and I had met the couple before and really liked them. I figured this would be a good stepping stone. I threw some trusty Xanax (.25's) in a small bag and grabbed a bottle of water, just in case. I felt myself getting slightly anxious on the ride there, but once I started interacting with people I actually felt calm and better - a huge difference from before. By this time it was already around 9PM. We played a variation of "life size" beer pong with cans and balls and had some beers. I had less than 2 - it's hard NOT to drink when everyone else is socially. I didn't feel terrible, but by the end of the night I felt a bit anxious (My chest started to bother me) and out of it. I've been drunk plenty of times, and it was kind of like I was on the outer rim of being drunk, but also being just out of it. I know drinking isn't a great idea, so I am working on that. Weekends are hard, especially with the warmer weather coming and me starting to socialize again. :/

Now here is some more explicit stuff - sexual side effects. Please turn away if this bothers you! But males all around want to know! I had said my libido was lower, but man oh man, my soldier is quite as ease - in a bad way. It was like I had started the Prozac again - it was like a wet noodle. It'd variate in... firmness (Trying to keep this as appropriate as possible). Somehow I managed to finish, but the fuse wasn't timed right - retrograde ejaculation. I had read about it on other forums, but I never thought I'd feel it. I want to describe it so other men aren't scared and understand. As the finale was about to come, I felt kind of like a burning sensation and a tightness in my urethra closer to the base and in the middle. I decided that I had fought a long and hard battle already, and I would conquer this mission as I always had. I kept going, despite the discomfort. The first time everything timed pretty close, but the second time there was quite a delay. I "finished" first, and a few seconds later I actually had my male orgasm (That's weird to say). It felt good overall still, but there was still some discomfort. I hear that these side effects - especially impotence - wears off over time within a couple of weeks. I'm willing to give it a shot.

My pros are better concentration (A bit) and more energy. I woke up at 9AM ON MY OWN. Well, I kept waking up earlier (Remember those 5:15 wake-up calls for the bathroom?) and then I'd fall back asleep and so on, but at 9AM my eyes were open for good. I tossed and turned for a couple of minutes before I decided to get up. I still felt kind of out of it and a bit dizzy. I ate some breakfast and took the Strattera. I didn't get anxious about taking it this time, which is a good sign. A bit later I took Propranolol, which I slightly attribute to some tiredness. I had felt some anxiety creeping up (Very minor), so I wanted to catch it before it got worse. My chest starts to bother me when anxiety sets in. It's like an Anxiety Detector.

After breakfast I played with my daughter for a couple of hours (She's 5). Usually I feel annoyed to a degree and don't feel like engaging in playtime. I'd usually sit on my phone and let her watch TV or play by herself and join her once in awhile, but today I actually played with her for hours. We played tag, soccer, she rode her bike in the backyard, we played with a board game and the cat, and so on. I feel a bit more human, but I also feel that I have a ways to go.

By now I'd want to take a nap usually (Almost 2PM), and I kind of do, but not nearly as bad as I usually would. Usually I'd be passed out on the couch, but I feel that I can push myself a bit more to stay awake.

Thus far I've taken, supplement-wise, the L-Arginine only. I'm hoping that helps with certain side effects... or at least accelerates the speed in which is goes away.

The only Cons I can think of so far, and these are all popular from what I've read: Dizziness, Nausea (Randomly, but I've been getting it less since the first day), Sexual Side Effects (Retrograde Ejaculation, ED, Burning Sensation) and some burning during urination and a slightly weaker stream. Nothing TERRIBLE, but some guys feel that with the sexual side effects only for a couple of days that they can't handle it. I've been through this and I have a loving, caring and understanding partner, so I feel that I'll be fine.

From the Fluoxetine I still have muscle twitches (They started before I started taking Strattera). They aren't as prevalent, but still there. I am going to talk to my Psychiatrist about lowering it down to 40mg and maybe increasing the Strattera to 25mg or 40mg.

With my birthday coming up in July, I was hoping to be able to drink and whatnot, but I'll guess I'll have to wait and see what happens.

If anyone has any questions or the mods want me to stop this "log," just let me know.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2014, 10:12:06 PM »
Day 3, Part II
I ended up going to the beach (About an hour away) with my fiancee and a friend. I didn't drive there, but I drove to my friend's house. Driving still feels weird. It's like I am driving buzzed or something. I get to where I have to go, but I feel that my coordination is slightly off. Hopefully this resolves itself, otherwise it can be a real deal breaker since a lot of my job (And life in general) revolves around operating a motor vehicle.

I've also been getting some weird head sensations. Not headaches, but weird feelings. It kind of feels like when your arm falls asleep, but it's in my head and not as extreme. A lite version of that. Then when I take my Fluoxetine (45mg) at around 7PM or so, it probably exacerbates the drowsiness or "buzzed" feeling that I have. I don't trip over my feet or anything, but I feel that I am off a bit.

Urination-wise, I feel my stream is a bit weaker. I've had no seminal discharge while urinating (yet) like others have stated. But at the conclusion of my urination, there is a bit more urine and it doesn't go too far.

Overall, though, my concentration seems a bit better. The pros and the cons are about even, I guess. Since I know that side effects can come and go with time, I'll stick with it for a bit longer. At least a couple of weeks. I went over this with my fiancee who is happy that I am open with her. She understands, and I told her that these side effects generally can/do go away. If not, I have an appointment on 7/7 with my Psychiatrist. I think by that time I'll have been on it for... a week and a halfish, which is a decent amount of time in my opinion to gauge how I feel on one dosage.

My writing feels a bit better, but my eyes still aren't all great. I have that feeling where I still have to look away while looking at a screen - primarily video games - for too long. I may just start wearing those glasses at all times for all screens lol. Literally, all I do is stare at screens most of my day.

Otherwise, my fatigue is still there but not nearly as bad. I didn't even take a nap today, although there were points where I kind of wanted to. I trudged through them and eventually would try and walk around, play with my daughter, eat something or drink some juice. I'm still taking L-Arginine and Fish Oil -- no Maca Root... yet.

Since my sleep has been "off," I've decided to take 5mg of Melatonin tonight. It usually knocks me out within an hour or less. But I have work tomorrow so I want some deep sleep, not the waking up after a few hours and then falling back asleep and rinse and repeat.

If anyone has questions, no matter how explicit, I'm open since I'd want to know certain things as well. Don't be afraid to ask.
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Offline insights

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 01:25:51 AM »
Then when I take my Fluoxetine (45mg) at around 7PM or so, it probably exacerbates the drowsiness or "buzzed" feeling that I have. I don't trip over my feet or anything, but I feel that I am off a bit.

I'm not sure the med is causing this. Fluoxetine has such a long half-life that plasma levels barely change throughout the day once they reach a steady-state which usually occurs within 4-5 weeks of a dose change. I guess it's possible that you're reacting to something else in the pill, or maybe a temporary increase in one of the four enantiomers that make up the active chemical which are metabolized at different rates, but I suspect it is mostly mind over matter. Which doesn't mean it is an less real, just that maybe you need to respond to it differently.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 12:11:01 PM »
Then when I take my Fluoxetine (45mg) at around 7PM or so, it probably exacerbates the drowsiness or "buzzed" feeling that I have. I don't trip over my feet or anything, but I feel that I am off a bit.

I'm not sure the med is causing this. Fluoxetine has such a long half-life that plasma levels barely change throughout the day once they reach a steady-state which usually occurs within 4-5 weeks of a dose change. I guess it's possible that you're reacting to something else in the pill, or maybe a temporary increase in one of the four enantiomers that make up the active chemical which are metabolized at different rates, but I suspect it is mostly mind over matter. Which doesn't mean it is an less real, just that maybe you need to respond to it differently.

Ian

Could the Strattera cause the dizziness/drowsiness in general? I feel kind of out of it still. My chest has been aching today (This happens generally when I have anxiety -- it's like my weak point).

I have no idea what an enantiomer is...

And I know we all have unique chemical make-ups, so I figured we'd all respond differently. That's why I am writing this "log" for others to see my journey so they may relate in some facet(s).

I appreciate the feedback, insights. I do have a question (Just as much for my fiancee as me lol): When do the sexual side effects *GENERALLY* fade away with Strattera? I read a week or two for most people, but these answers are from random forums that I can't really trust. Is there anything I can do/take to help? One guy said that he does a prostate massage (That sounds uncomfortable...) and it helps immensely.

I'm hoping this is just a hump of a day. I know that there will be good and bad days alike, but this morning I felt really sick. I had nausea in the morning, then my chest started aching (Which when it does, I keep trying to stretch and manipulate it, so it may make it worse), I feel dizzy, etc.

I'll write up my log for the day sometime tonight.

Also, I feel that these muscle spasms are getting worse... a bit. It's hitting larger muscles, like my quadriceps and even an abdominal muscle the other day when I was laying down. It jolted my whole body upwards (Not a seizure or anything). Maybe it's anxiety-related in itself, because I tend to realize it more when I am not doing anything (Like laying down or sitting around at work), but my friend who is an Acupuncturist and whom also takes medications and has for awhile said maybe it's the neurons firing off and the body getting used to the medication.

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 06:41:46 PM »
Could the Strattera cause the dizziness/drowsiness in general? I feel kind of out of it still.

Sedation, is a listed Strattera side-effect. Dizziness is too, but it is also one of the most common anxiety symptoms so it might not be the med.

Quote
I have no idea what an enantiomer is

A molecule which contains the same atoms, but arranged slight differently. Most meds contain at least two variations, what are called the 'R' and 'S' forms which are mirror images of each other. In humans the 'S' form is usually the more potent. A good example of this is Celexa (citalopram) where the 'S' form is about 40 times more potent than the 'R' version of the molecule. They've been able to refine the manufacturing technique to isolate the 'S' molecule which is now sold as Lexapro (escitalopram).

Fluoxetine is made up of 4 enantiomers all of which are active to various degrees and produce slightly different effects in the body, however, they are metabolized at different rates, some quite quickly which limits their effects. That difference in break-down and elimination rates is how the body prevents this long half-life drug from building up in the body exponentially, btw. However, when the drug first enters the bloodstream all 4 enantiomers are present in equal amounts and it is possible that one which is normally in low concentrations in the plasma is causing the drowsiness for a while before it's metabolized out of your system. However, my money is still on it being a psychological reaction than a chemical one.

Quote
When do the sexual side effects *GENERALLY* fade away with Strattera?

Unfortunately, this is a 'how long is a piece of string' question which can only be answered with: It depends. Yes, it typically diminishes within a couple of weeks, but it can linger in some.

Quote
One guy said that he does a prostate massage (That sounds uncomfortable...) and it helps immensely.

I can't say I've noticed an improvement after the doc has had a poke around up there checking my prostate.  ::)  It may increase the amount of semen discharged, but I don't know whether this will...um...enliven proceedings. This is something you're going to have to experiment with on your own. Good luck!  :-*

Quote
but my friend who is an Acupuncturist and whom also takes medications and has for awhile said maybe it's the neurons firing off and the body getting used to the medication.

The problem with psyche meds is that the neurotransmitters they act on are not confined to the brain. They are found throughout the body, sometimes in bigger concentration than in the brain, which means other organs are also affected, and sometimes to a considerable degree. The muscles definitely can be affected, some antidepressants are used to treat muscles problems, therefore your friend could be right. However, stress/anxiety/depression can also ve a cause, so you need to be cautious about blaming it all on the meds.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 11:10:56 PM »
Could the Strattera cause the dizziness/drowsiness in general? I feel kind of out of it still.

Sedation, is a listed Strattera side-effect. Dizziness is too, but it is also one of the most common anxiety symptoms so it might not be the med.

Quote
I have no idea what an enantiomer is

A molecule which contains the same atoms, but arranged slight differently. Most meds contain at least two variations, what are called the 'R' and 'S' forms which are mirror images of each other. In humans the 'S' form is usually the more potent. A good example of this is Celexa (citalopram) where the 'S' form is about 40 times more potent than the 'R' version of the molecule. They've been able to refine the manufacturing technique to isolate the 'S' molecule which is now sold as Lexapro (escitalopram).

Fluoxetine is made up of 4 enantiomers all of which are active to various degrees and produce slightly different effects in the body, however, they are metabolized at different rates, some quite quickly which limits their effects. That difference in break-down and elimination rates is how the body prevents this long half-life drug from building up in the body exponentially, btw. However, when the drug first enters the bloodstream all 4 enantiomers are present in equal amounts and it is possible that one which is normally in low concentrations in the plasma is causing the drowsiness for a while before it's metabolized out of your system. However, my money is still on it being a psychological reaction than a chemical one.

Quote
When do the sexual side effects *GENERALLY* fade away with Strattera?

Unfortunately, this is a 'how long is a piece of string' question which can only be answered with: It depends. Yes, it typically diminishes within a couple of weeks, but it can linger in some.

Quote
One guy said that he does a prostate massage (That sounds uncomfortable...) and it helps immensely.

I can't say I've noticed an improvement after the doc has had a poke around up there checking my prostate.  ::)  It may increase the amount of semen discharged, but I don't know whether this will...um...enliven proceedings. This is something you're going to have to experiment with on your own. Good luck!  :-*

Quote
but my friend who is an Acupuncturist and whom also takes medications and has for awhile said maybe it's the neurons firing off and the body getting used to the medication.

The problem with psyche meds is that the neurotransmitters they act on are not confined to the brain. They are found throughout the body, sometimes in bigger concentration than in the brain, which means other organs are also affected, and sometimes to a considerable degree. The muscles definitely can be affected, some antidepressants are used to treat muscles problems, therefore your friend could be right. However, stress/anxiety/depression can also ve a cause, so you need to be cautious about blaming it all on the meds.

Ian

Ian, I am terrible at quoting, and my mental capacity is down so I don't feel like even trying right now lol. Thank you for the answers. I believe a lot of it is anxiety, but I believe that the medication is causing is as well. I felt OK just on Fluoxetine. I was fatigued a lot and my focus was down, and I had the muscle spasms, but I wasn't dizzy like this. As for the prostate massage... no comment lol. I don't wanna get into that. I can be explicit, but that's kind of far. <_<  And thanks for teaching me what an enantiomer is. You've said before that my issues seem like depression when I said that I lack motivation, but these other manifestations are killing me, too. I know anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand at many times. I just want to feel normal again. Every day is a battle these days. I wake up and am unsure how my day will go. I can't even go on a vacation, and I am iffy when it comes to going to social events. I feel like it's hindering my life! I wanna live, Ian!

Anyway, as for my "log"... Here is my next entry:

Day 4
Today was the first work day that I've driven to work since I've started the Strattera (My first dose was AT work on Friday). It seemed alright. I was groggy and slightly dizzy, but I didn't feel great. In the morning my mind was cluttered. I could feel it as I roamed around the kitchen putting together my lunch for the day.

When I got to work I felt anxiety arising. Well, it started a bit prior on the ride in. My chest started to bother me again... a LOT. It was/is the worst it has been in quite awhile. My friend says he thinks it's mainly psychological with a splash of physiological, and I pretty much agree since my chest doesn't really hurt or bother me unless I am anxious, even minimally, and then it snowballs. I'll tug and stretch and twist and manipulate my body to try and relieve it, and sometimes it helps, but I think in the long run it makes it worse. Luckily my friend was able to treat me with acupuncture today, which seemed to help.

As for being at work itself, I was groggy and dizzy most of the day. I felt really out of it. I am overly stressed at work because we're short-handed and my boss likes to make people go insane (I work for civil service) for no reason. But that's another matter in itself. I tried to lay down on my break but I couldn't fall asleep. My mind kept going, even though I was tired. I have a bit better focus, but I feel disconnected from reality a bit still. A bit even more so since I've started the Strattera. I am still at 18mg, by the way.

I am having some side effects, still, which is expected. The nausea came on this morning for only a little bit but went away, the dizziness and grogginess as I explained before, lack of motivation and I still have muscle spasms that seem to be worse at times. I think I went over it in my previous post. I'm quite tired now, but I wanted to get my log done.

Another side effect I've been having is this feeling on my head and around my eyes. I may have went over this as well, but it feels like when your hand is asleep, but a lite version of that. It is not constant, but I feel it in my head even right now on the top right a couple of inches above my ear. I also seem to get it around my eyes a lot (Like above and behind them!), and sometimes they feel dry. But the tingling sensation bothers me more so. I really want to get back into gaming, but I can't handle the dizziness and these weird sensations. I used to be able to play video games for hours upon hours, now it's like I get dizzy playing for a few minutes. I have had my eyes checked, too... And the Opthamologist (sp?) said that they are fine.

As for the more explicit side effects, my urination seemed fine for the most part today. A bit of a slower stream but not much if any burning. Sexually, things have gotten a BIT better. Not much. Like... 10%-20% better. There was still the retrograde ejaculation feeling, but it wasn't as intense. It was still out of sync, but it seemed less out of sync than the other day. There was slightly more firmness.

I've decided to try and incorporate Maca Root back in. Even 500mg a day I want to try around lunch with my Fish Oil. I can't find any interactions on it online, but last time I went to my Psychiatrist he went into his database and said it was fine with the Fluoxetine and he prescribed the Strattera while he knows I take it... So, I'll try it.

Alright, I'm dead tired. I'll update tomorrow night.

If anyone has any questions or comments, don't be afraid to add to this post!
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 09:04:52 AM »
Day 5
Sorry for the delay, I was quite busy yesterday!

Yesterday morning I felt pretty good overall. I had some energy and my focus was much better overall. I also had this newer sense of confidence. My boss is quite difficult to deal with, and when she came in I looked her straight in the eyes and had a conversation with her about some issues I had thought of (She's making us do work that's not ours and trying to skimp me and another woman out of our breaks). I didn't feel stressed and felt pretty good for most of the morning into the early afternoon.

Then around noon something happened. I fell off. I felt so out of it, I was so tired. I felt even more out of it than usual. It was like the Strattera pooped out. This happened after I ate my lunch. During lunch I take my Fish Oil and I took 525mg of Maca Root (Which I've taken in the past many times). Then it's like I need a nap. Once again I felt disconnected from the world. On the ride home I felt like I was on auto-pilot again. I made it home safely, but I didn't feel like me. I've said it in the past, but I drive fine, using my blinker when changing lanes and such, but I feel like it's my subconscious doing the driving. Very weird.

My chest started to bother me again. It felt tight, but not nearly as bad as the previous day.

As soon as I got home I was shot. My daughter wasn't home yet (With my sister) so I plopped down on a bed and napped for a bit. Then I woke up to people coming home and went upstairs and napped for a bit longer. I felt a bit refreshed. Then we had dinner and I went in the gym. I had missed a few days of the gym overall over the past week with my hectic schedule, so I pushed myself to go in. I had to. I always push myself to go in.

When I got in the gym everything was slow at first but then picked up as I started my lifts. Leg day - Yay! /sarcasm. But it must be done. So I ended up doing fronit squats and lunges at first. Towards the end of these I am generally pretty tired, but I was completely exhausted at the end, to the point that I was laying on the ground just looking up at the ceiling, drenched in sweat. I had increased the weight slightly, which could be it, but still... Then I did some smaller exercises and burnt out. I was having some reflux (I had ravioli, meatballs and sauce for dinner, which didn't FULLY agree with me) too, which didn't help.

I felt a bit better after some rest, though. I felt a bit out of it, but I did some household chores, gave my daughter a bath and so on.

By night time I had a weird headache. I was getting that feeling where my eyes were oversensitive again. Like I had to look away from the television screen. This never happens when just watching TV. But I am/was pretty stressed over a family issue and trying to get my daughter to sleep.

Side effect-wise, the urination issue seems to be resolved for the most part. Sexually, I am better. Not 100%, and the retrograde ejaculation is still there, but I was actually able to keep it up and engage in relations with my fiancee. I wasn't expecting to be able to, but I gave it a shot. I want to say maybe it was the Maca Root that helped, as I took an extra 500mg capsule with dinner, and that was the only thing different that I've taken lately. Dizziness is still there, but not always as bad. Fatigue is hit or miss. A feeling of not caring is there at times, which is actually nice to a degree. I feel like the Strattera works at times, but I am on a low dose (18mg)... So I guess it poops out quite fast? Today, as I write this, is technically day 6. I'll post later how it goes.

Oh yeah, and my sleep has gotten much better since the initial few days. I don't wake up a handful of times a night. Maybe once or twice at most. Last night I fell asleep at around 11:30 and then I woke up at 6:15 on the dot feeling pretty awake.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 10:01:57 PM »
Day 6
Today was... different. I felt somewhat off in the morning, but I had woken up with a decent amount of energy and mental clarity. By 10:30 I was shot, though. I laid down in my car, despite the heat and humidity and slept a bit, but I didn't dream and it felt more like I just closed my eyes and woke up.

However, I did try something different today. I've been taking 2g of Fish Oil for over a year now. I've also gotten a ton of fatigue right after eating lunch for some reason, and I never thought it could be the fish oil. So today I tried *NOT* taking the Fish Oil. But I did take 525mg of Maca Root. For the rest of the day I felt fine. In fact, I came home and had some energy, ran some errands, went in the gym and had energy and so on. Now it's almost 10PM and I still have energy. I feel slightly out of it, but I didn't feel incredibly groggy. I was pretty surprised, since Fish Oil is known to help give energy and such. So, maybe I had a good day or it is the Fish Oil that is making me groggy. I Google'd it and it happens to some people, but it seems relatively rare. I am going to stop taking it for now, or maybe try taking it at night.

Otherwise, I feel fine right now. Slightly out of it, but that's quite the norm right now. Other side effects are... some nausea randomly, but that's rare now. I always eat before I take it in the morning. I feel like I sweat a bit more. I always have sweat a good amount, but now even the Certain Dri isn't being very effective. It also has been hot out, but still. My urine stream seems a bit weaker, but it's not terrible. Sexually, the effects are still there a bit, but at least I can have sex now. I don't know if that is due to me taking Maca Root at all, though. If you're having trouble, I suggest giving it a shot. You can get it on Amazon.com or at health food stores. Of course, ask your psychiatrist and/or doctors prescribing medication to you first. But when I saw my Psychiatrist, he said it seemed relatively safe.

Well, that's it for now. I am hoping to get the dosage increased next time I see him. I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement still, but I feel like I am on the right track for now.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2014, 12:44:57 AM »
Day 7
The last day of work before my 4 day weekend, I felt terrible... I am writing this now because I didn't get the chance to before, but I felt incredibly out of it most of the day. The morning, for what I can remember, what alright. But I started getting very, very anxious and feeling out of it, so I took my first Xanax (.25) in days. I don't know if it was a good or a bad idea, but it was always my key to temporary freedom before. It made me feel even more out of it and I felt incredibly dizzy. I try to keep my composure, but I feel slow and I feel like other people may be able to tell. I don't know. My feelings fluctuate so much. Sometimes I feel like I am getting better focus, other times I feel worse than before. It's still early on, but still... This has been a long journey altogether. I want to feel better.

At night my fiancee had some... fun time. Sexual side effects are still there. I feel like I can start off alright, but I cannot hold onto it for long and I went limp. I was able to recover a bit to finish, but it was not a great feeling. I feel like maybe the Maca Root is helping me at least get a bit of libido back because psychologically I am all there and am wanting to go, and physically I wasn't able to do nearly as much without the Maca Root.

Driving has been on and off. Sometimes I feel alright, but other times I feel like I am dizzy and on auto-pilot.

I don't remember much else from that day besides the dizziness and out of it feeling... Like I was drugged or something.

Day 8
Today, Friday, is the full completion of a WHOLE week. I feel that the Strattera has its ups and downs.

Last night I had very vivid, awesome dreams. The thing is, I don't remember them for long after waking up. But during them, they're not scary, just much more vivid and in-depth. I actually like it.

I wake up with energy to spare... But I putter out within a matter of a few hours. At 25, this shouldn't happen. I am eating enough. I spent most of the day with my daughter playing. Then I just hit a wall and laid down while she played around me. I couldn't sleep, though. I guess I always fear something will happen to her, although she doesn't go anywhere or anything. She'll usually just lay with me (She's 5).

Then I eventually took a longgggg nap. Like 2 hours long. With the rain hitting my sky light, it was very soothing. I woke up those two hours later feeling kind of dizzy and out of it, but with a bit more energy. When I say "out of it" it is hard to explain. I don't feel... connected to the world, and I don't feel like I am running on all cylinders.

Last weekend I went to a friends house (That "new" social setting" where there was a handful of people) and, for the most part, I felt OK. I got anxious towards the end, but I didn't feel dizzy or anything crazy. I did have two beers that night.

Tonight I was invited to a friends house. I was hesitant. I felt out of it, but I don't want to waste my life. Last year I had terrible anxiety around this time, to the point I stayed in my house and had stomach pains and was hospitalized. I'm going to be 26 and I cannot just take sitting there, so I always seem to battle against my anxiety. I eventually hopped in my car and went. On the ride there I felt the anxiety stirring in my depths of my mind. I pushed it away, but it was winning. I got to a 7-11 to pick up some beer to not go empty-handed, and while in there I felt the dizziness come on HARD. I grabbed a pack of Bud Light and stood in line for what felt like forever. I felt like I was just going to fall over. I've never felt as dizzy as I did this past week. I attribute it to anxiety. I paid and got in my car and felt it go away... slightly. I drove to the house and gave myself a small self-talk.

At the house I went in the backyard -- no one is there. Great. I went inside and everyone is stuffed into the dining room playing a game. This makes it worse for me because rather than everyone being spread out so I can say high, it's a higher concentration of people and focus on me initially. I feel like I am going to just break down. I haven't had this sensation in awhile. Since on the meds, I've felt relatively cold and emotionless. But at this time I just felt like I wanted to break down for some reason... But I kept my composure, said my greetings and sat down. After awhile we went outside where my anxiety still was like a whirlwind of anxiety. We played beer pong with water (This is important, so I drink less) and sipped a beer for like... 30 minutes. I babied it like a bottle. I could feel that physically I was off. Throwing the ball, my aim was way off... They were off direction, too shallow or way too deep. Then the anxiety snowballed as I'd butcher my shots. It went like that for awhile, as I played a few games. I didn't feel like talking to anyone or interacting very much at all.

I assume that whole beer got to me and eventually I got a bit better overall. But between then it was terrible. And this wasn't a new place to me, either. At one point my chest got so tight (This happens to me during anxiety attacks or when I have general anxiety). I honestly thought that I was having a heart attack (Logic, right?!). I knew I wasn't, but it felt like I was. Others with anxiety will know how I feel. Every anxiety attack feels like it is the real deal since your mind tells you it is... and making your mind think otherwise is very difficult as your chest tightens and you get a bit dizzy.

I ended up feeling better towards the end of the night, but I wasn't there long to begin with... So... it wasn't a great experience.

The drive home wasn't terrible. At first I felt uncoordinated and dizzy, but it got a bit better the further I drove. I was not, and am not, drunk. I had about 1.5 beers over the course of 3 hours. With water in between to boot. I just can't have driving being hit or miss like this.

Other
Does anyone else have any other insight about these side effects I've been having? The worst is the dizziness and the feeling out of it. The anxiety coming back like it was before is something I anticipated to happen with new medication anyway, but not on a level like this. Jesus. With the Prozac only I could go out at least, but now I feel loopy and drugged when I go out. I see the Psychiatrist on Monday, so I may ask him if I can maybe lower the Prozac or try something else. It's rough right now.

Otherwise, I've had no terrible urination issues. Maybe a bit of a weak stream, but no burning. Sexual side effects I said before... No nausea lately, at least.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2014, 01:35:27 AM »
Does anyone else have any other insight about these side effects I've been having? The worst is the dizziness and the feeling out of it. The anxiety coming back like it was before is something I anticipated to happen with new medication anyway, but not on a level like this.

I suspect the symptoms have more to do with the anxiety, rather than the Strattera directly producing them, though it might be triggering at least some of the additional anxiety.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 11:54:03 PM »
Does anyone else have any other insight about these side effects I've been having? The worst is the dizziness and the feeling out of it. The anxiety coming back like it was before is something I anticipated to happen with new medication anyway, but not on a level like this.

I suspect the symptoms have more to do with the anxiety, rather than the Strattera directly producing them, though it might be triggering at least some of the additional anxiety.

Ian

Anxiety is a killer (Not literally, but you get what I mean!) Thanks again for the reply and taking time out of your day/night to read what I have written.

Day 9
I forgot to mention, the other day when I felt really bad my muscle spasms were bad. Even blinking felt weird.

Anyway, Day 9, which was yesterday. I don't remember anything too out of the ordinary. I went in the gym and such and took the medicine as needed. Some sexual side effects keep coming and going (Erectile Dysfunction), as well as the retrograde ejaculation and out of sync orgasm. It doesn't hurt as much as it did in the beginning, and I can feel the actions (The actual semen coming out and the orgasm), so it's weird. I'm going to keep trying the Maca Root (~1g total per day in two separate doses). I'm still taking L-Arginine, and may look into other alternative herbs since I've tried Viagra and the side effects were terrible, especially the headache. I don't mind sharing such things since I know it's the medications, and I want others to be able to somewhat relate to my personal experiences if it happens to them.

What I do remember is the night. The night prior (Day 8) I had one of the most awful anxiety attacks that lasted hours. It was bad... I've never wanted to break down and cry so bad. I felt weak. I had a window of weakness. It got better throughout that night, at least. Anyway, for the night of Day 9 things went *MUCH* smoother. I decided to take my Fluoxetine at night *AFTER* the activities. I suspect that this had a lot to do with it, and I took a HALF of a .25 of Xanax. About 30 minutes later I was at the house with some minor anxiety, but I brushed it off rather quickly. My coordination was much better, which was seen through playing physical games (Kan Jam, Beer Pong, and so on). I know drinking isn't a rather great idea, but I like to enjoy myself, so I think I had... 3 beers over the span of like 3-4 hours? I think less than that, actually. We also had pizza and stuff. I felt fine on my way home (5-10 minute drive).

Ian, if you see this, what's your advice on some light drinking and/or drinking in general? When I was drinking on the Prozac (And I took Propranolol as well) I felt alright to begin, got drunk relatively fast, and maintained that without a problem. The only issue I had was the next day I had hangovers from Hell. I don't even want to categorize them as "hangovers" because they felt like I was dying. One morning I had a huge anxiety attack and was so dizzy I felt like I couldn't walk straight... I laid in bed all next day waiting for the worst. I toned it down a bit and the next time I drank I drank a bunch of water before bed and took a Xanax when I woke up the next day, which helped stem off most of the incoming anxiety attack.

Day 10
Still trudging through. Sexual side effects are still there, and the dizziness comes and goes but wasn't bad, really. I still get muscle spasms, but it seems to only be when I am sitting around doing nothing or laying in bed. Like before I was laying in bed with my fiancee and my ankle and wrist shook a couple of times. No one else seemed to notice. Even right now, while typing that last sentence, my ankle just jumped slightly. But if I am playing, for example, Kan Jam (Throwing a frisbee) or I am in the gym, I don't seem to have the spasms, or I just don't notice them.

Today was rather slow. Just went in the gym, played some darts, played with my daughter, and went to see my fiancee. She isn't feeling well so we just laid around and another couple came over and we watched TV. Very slow, calm day.

On the way to her house I felt kind of out of it. It seems that I am "with it" for like 5 minutes into the drive and then I engage auto-pilot mode... still. I am hoping that the Strattera helps with this. My focus seems a bit better, but recalling information that I just learned is still a bit difficult. But recalling older information that I learned awhile ago seems slightly easier. I feel less "stupid" and a bit more like me at times, but other times I feel dizzy and anxious. One doctor I asked on Health Tap said that the drug truly starts working at 2-3 weeks, and I know Strattera isn't like Adderall and other stimulants and takes time to work its magic, so I am going to trudge through, still.

Last but not least, my birthday is coming up this Friday (7/11), so I am hoping that I can drink a bit then and relax. I'm going to have people over my house since I still haven't been to a bar in over a year... I don't feel socially ready yet. Being at a friend's house is one thing since I know almost everyone there most of the time, but bars around here, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, are incredibly crowded. The last time I went drinking last June (2013) I saw a horrendous fight that me and two friends ended up helping break up, but it was brutal. Some guy was getting kicked in the head while someone else held him down, fists flying, blah blah blah. Main Street here has become filled with bars. It's a big drinking town now. And such an atmosphere isn't good for me, knowing that there may be a fight. Heck, they even found someone dead right in a parking lot off Main Street (Not *TOO* far away from where the bars are located - less than a quarter of a mile) a week or so ago. So, yeah... In time, I guess. Times are scary, and I don't trust many people out there.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 02:11:15 AM »
Anxiety is a killer (Not literally, but you get what I mean!)

No, it literally is a killer. It might not say so on the death certificate, but it often is the real cause of early deaths, not the heart attack, stroke or cancer listed. Which is a great pity because if premature death was correctly attributed to anxiety/depression/stress then maybe people would these more seriously. On a more positive note, those of us with an anxiety disorder often live long lives because the disorders have us (especially the guys) seeing doctors more than usual which means potential problems are often picked up much earlier than is often the case.

Quote
Ian, if you see this, what's your advice on some light drinking and/or drinking in general? When I was drinking on the Prozac (And I took Propranolol as well) I felt alright to begin, got drunk relatively fast, and maintained that without a problem. The only issue I had was the next day I had hangovers from Hell.

I've found that the biggest issue with alcohol and antidepressants is that the combination can be unpredictable. Some days a small drink can turn legs to rubber, on others it would be possible to drink a herd of alcoholic elephants under the table without being greatly affected. On the wider issue of alcohol and anxiety see: The alcohol/anxiety tag team. Basically, occasional moderate drinking and the occasional blow out probably does no harm and may have some benefits, but it can soon become problematic if it goes beyond that.

Quote
My focus seems a bit better, but recalling information that I just learned is still a bit difficult.

This might be the beta blocker. They can inhibit the conversion of short term to long-term memory, which may sometimes be a good thing, but not most of the time. You need to discuss this with your doctor. Switching to one of the water soluble beta-blockers may resolve this while still blocking the adrenaline mediated anxiety effects.

Ian

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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 10:12:03 PM »
I am bad at quoting, so I'll just respond to your answers in a numerical fashion.

1.) Well, that's a downer. I figured that the physical manifestations of anxiety would take some sort of toll, but I hope that it isn't that the case for me. I am trying to minimize my stress as much as possible, I am taking my medication, exercising, and so on, Ian!

2.) I can see what you mean. There was times when I had a beer and I could feel it, and other nights I could drink a bit more before I felt it. Now I am on the Strattera, though. I had a few beers the other night and felt fine, even with a half of a .25 of Xanax I took a bit before. But with my birthday coming up, I want to celebrate a bit... more. Not get obliterated, but get a nice buzz. I talked to my Psychiatrist today (I had an appointment) and he said that drinking on the medicine is "OK". He said having a few beers is OK. What he said to be cautious about is taking Xanax and drinking. I don't plan on doing that... I've done it before and it made me very sick (Although the night itself was a blast!) I am hoping to play some drinking games (One of which is a chugging game), and other slow-paced games. I may take that half of a .25mg like a couple of hours before my party and eat something.

3.) Ugh... I forgot to bring this up! I only take it twice now. I think taking it three times a day made me too tired at times. I told him that I take it in the morning and before I go to bed, and he seemed fine with it. He seems most concerned with gauging my Prozac and Strattera. He also gave me a script for some more Xanax (My "just in case" pill). He said I should stay where I am (18mg Strattera / 45mg of Prozac) and see where I stand in a month when I go back. I do feel a bit better, but it is hit or miss.

Day 11
Still feel out of it at times. Dizzy at times, but not as severe as before. I woke up with a lot of energy and it tapered off throughout the day, but I didn't take a nap, which is an improvement from two weeks ago when I'd nap 2-3 times per day. Do I want? Yeah, but I am not passing out on my couch when I get home. So, that's improvement.

Watched my daughter, played for hours, made some phone calls. I had a vacation day planned today. I go back tomorrow.(BLAH!) But I took off Thursday and Friday, so I just have a two day work week.

One thing that I noticed today is that when reading my daughter some books from the library that I'd be reading fine, then all of a sudden I'd get this weird sensation like I couldn't talk or pronounce a word for a few seconds. Like... paralyzing brain farts. Like my eyes were scanning too fast for my brain and it momentarily stalled. Sometimes it was scary. I am always fearful of getting seizures. I don't know why... I've never had one, but these sensations and muscle spasms are what I figure is the sensations that start such seizures. But insights said that this isn't true, so... I am hoping he's right!

But otherwise today was OK. Driving I was not AS out of it. I still felt some anxiety when I got into the doctor's office. Like I have these tics that I have to do otherwise I'll get very anxious. Like if the Psychiatrist is talking to me for awhile and we're maintaining eye contact, I'll have to scratch or touch my face or fold one of my legs over the other. It's a step in the right direction, though. I feel a bit better. Not 100%, but definitely moving in the right direction. He said he may move me up to 25mg of Strattera, depending on how my body takes to it. He also said that the side effects generally tend to take 2-3 weeks to go away and that most people don't have heavy issues because he starts at lower dosages of all medicines and titrates up slowly. He said this is to minimize side effects, and also because if people start too high on a medication and the side effects are unbearable, they'll give up and not want to try and work with it or ever move up in dosage if it is needed.

Yep, that's it for now. I think I'll keep this log up for... Eh, a month total? That seems fair.
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