Changing SSRIs - how long will this last?
June 26, 2009 4:27 AM   Subscribe

You are not a doctor. How long did it take you to adjust to a new SSRI?

YANAD, YANMD. I am under the supervision of a good psychiatrist. I am currently changing over from taking Cymbalta to fluvoxamine (Luvox) and am experiencing the usual side effects (drowsiness, confusion, feeling out of it, a little nausea). I'm seeking anecdotal evidence on how long this is going to last. I know that everyone reacts differently to different drugs, but it sure would help to hear some other experiences.

If you changed from one SSRI to another, I would really like to hear your experience - did you have any side effects? If so, how long did they last?

I have been taking Cymbalta for several years now and any side effects had long since worn off. I'm not sure how long I can deal with these new problems (the drowsiness is really knocking me out, and it's only been three days). Hearing your experience will help me to pace myself.
posted by different to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Switched from Lexapro to Celexa, had some minor side effects re: sleeping, lasted about a week.
Switched from Prozac to Lexapro before that, had major side effects ranging from weight gain to dizziness to near-psychotic episodes. That lasted about 3 weeks. I'm amazed I put up with it.
posted by disclaimer at 5:08 AM on June 26, 2009

i switched from Paxil to Effexor about two years ago. it took me 6 weeks to wean off of Paxil, and i started Effexor immediately after i was off Paxil. the side effects from weaning off Paxil were not horrible, and were gone within 2 weeks (max). i did not experience side effects from Effexor when i started taking it.

recently, my psychiatrist lowered my dose of Effexor in order to start me on Wellbutrin. Effexor (as you may have heard/read) is absolutely horrible for withdrawal/side effects. i weaned off of it very slowly, and have been off of it for about a week now, and i am still experiencing very strong side effects.

hopefully transitioning from Cymbalta to Luvox won't be too hard on your brain or your body!
posted by gursky at 7:18 AM on June 26, 2009

I did Prozac --> Lexapro --> Zoloft --> Effexor --> Prozac

generally about 2 to 4 weeks depending on details
good luck!
posted by supermedusa at 9:20 AM on June 26, 2009

Prozac > Celexa > Cymbalta. I figure it took about 3 weeks to get the effects of each. I weaned off each VERY fast though. Thankfully no side effects other than a little sleep disturbance.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:02 AM on June 26, 2009

There's no definitive answer. It depends on the med and your response. Prozac is known to take 6 weeks or more to take effect. With me, it was a couple of months, with a similarly long taper-down. For me, Effexor took effect almost immediately.

Some of the side effects (decrease in libido and dulling of creativity, for example) don't go away. Again, individual response is all over the map.

Your results will almost certainly vary. I know it's not easy to wait, particularly when you're down, but remind yourself that you've been suffering forever, and you can survive another month while the new med runs its course.
posted by KRS at 12:18 PM on June 26, 2009

KRS: I'm not 'down' or anything like that. Haven't been 'suffering' at all. It's the side effects of the new meds that are the problem, and I'm looking for anecdotes on how long these have lasted for other people.
posted by different at 12:51 PM on June 26, 2009

Stopping using Cymbalta is unpleasant in a similar way to stopping using Effexor. So your symptoms might be the result of that, rather than a result of the new drug.
posted by hattifattener at 3:13 PM on June 26, 2009

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