Jump to content
SurvivingAntidepressants.org is temporarily closed to new registrations until 1 March ×

Pieter: 23 years on paxil (20 mg): stopped and hell broke loose


Pieter

Recommended Posts

I am 43 years old. When I was 20 years old I had my first depression. They got me on paxil in October 1993. I was 21 years old then. That helped. The next 21 years following I head no depression or anxiety. 21 years I lived a normal live: married, made a career, sported a lot. During my student period (1994-1997) I was sometimes a heavy drinker.

Occasionally I was dizzy for a couple of weeks, but that always ended. In those years I tried to quit paxil (20 mg) sometimes, but never succeeded because of the brain-zaps (withdrawal) Flash forward to 2014: I worked way to hard (I was manager for about 100 people) and got a burnout. That's where my tinnitus kicked in. I went to a psychiatrist (for the first time since 1993/1994) and he increased my paxil from 20 to 40 mg. Did not help much for the tinnitus and burnout, so I started slowly tapering from 40 to 0 mg over a period of 12 months in 2015. At the end of 2015 I was on 10 mg and went to 0 mg in one week. All hell broke loose: terrible headaches, heavy increase of tinnitus, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, anxiety an I even fainted a couple of times, etc. Was it the 23 years of Paxil that took its toll?

At the end of 2015 I wrote a goodbye suicide note. The withdrawal effects where to heavy especially the tinnitus.
I got hospitalized and at the hospital they gave me clomipramine (anafranil) and sulpiride (dogmatil). The effect was terrible. More tinnitus and double vision.

Only solution was, according to a psychiatrist: back to paxil. So since the beginning of 2016 I am back om 30 mg paxil. With that I take 1mg lorazepam for the tinnitus and 7,5 mg mirtazapine for sleeping. My head feels terrible. It is extremely sensitive, especially for noise. Besides that I have a constant pressure in my head: most of the tome I feel the electricity in my head. This year I started neuro-modulation for my tinnitus and they made a scan (a QEEG) for the pressure in my brain which saw an overpressure in my brain. I am not sure but I think I have a sort of withdrawal discontinuation syndrome.

My marriage ended because of the horrible situation in 2015/2016. Strange thing: I always knew that something would happen. 23 years on paxil took its toll. I am more stable now when I was 1 week off paxil. On the other hand: I have not tried to get off for a longer time and my brain feels so fragile that I cannot work anymore. I am afraid to stop taking paxil again. On the other hand: I want my brain, nerve-system and immune-system to heal. What should I do?

 

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment

Hoi Pieter, welkom op Survingantidepressants.org! Leuk om een landgenoot te treffen en ik hoop dat je veel aan dit forum zult hebben!

I don't know what the best thing to do now, but I moderator will be here shortly and post the most important topics to read about tapering and self-care.
I've been here a few weeks myself, didn't know much about tapering antidepressants (I'm on escitalopram 5mg), but I've learned so much. Much much more than my general doctor knows about using this kind of medication or about weaning off . I didn't actually know about anti-depressants altering the brain. I didn't know that stopping cold turkey is the same as throwing your brain off a cliff!
I've never experienced severe withdrawal symptoms like you describe...that must have been awful and I hope you will heal from this soon!  
Myself...Before starting with medication there were moments when I felt life didn't matter as much anymore, but never I never really thought about suicide in detail. When I realized I was doing that I figured that it must have been coming from withdrawing (way too fast) from the Lexapro.

Edit: You already added a history :D You can post your history with medications in your signature and include details about tapering if you like. 

The only way to let your system heal is to taper very slow. This way the brain -can- heal, but gradually, as you don't want to cause any more harm....

Sterkte!
 

All my life: Occasional panic attacks. 2003: Burnout  2004: intrusion (OCD'ish) / anxiety. Therapies: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, hypnotherapy --> symptoms were manageable (did return once in a while), depression lifted.
2007 - Relapse, started with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Therapist recommended Fevarin (fluvoxamine) 150 mg. Recovery after 3 months and remained stable. Mild side effects.
2009 - Tapered fluvoxamine. No withdrawal symptoms. 2010 - Relapse, same Pure O thought and anxiety.  Started taking 100 mg of fluvoxamine but after 9 weeks no change in symptoms. Did not have any effect on Pure O thought. Switched to Lexapro (escitalopram) 20 mg.  Drug started working within 3 weeks. Mild side effects. Slowly over the years tapered to 5 mg.
2015: Lots of personal issues and setbacks, occasional panic attack. 2016: April started skipping doses; 5mg escitalopram every other day (in hindsight a bad idea)
May: Major relapse, anxiety and intrusion returned. Depression. Increased from 2,5 mg 15 mg in two weeks. Side effects: neuro-emotions
June: Escitalopram has no effect on the frequency of the intrusion...after 4 weeks my general doctor advised me to do a fast taper to 5mg. Withdrawal effects (2/3 weeks): neuro-emotions, lack of focus, crying spells, fatigue, muscle twitches in legs, cortisol spikes just before waking up July: Stable on 5 mg. Depression and intrusion lifted during holiday (lots of sunshine, long walks and relaxing) August: Drop down to 2,5 mg. Withdrawal effects (tinnitus, headagues) are noticeable, but still mild in comparison to the big drop earlier.
22th August: stopped escitalopram completely. Cortisol spikes just before waking up, still OCD (only temporary improvements), WD-depression and WD-neuro emotions.
Update 6 dec: no medication, any withdrawal symptoms not noticable. Taking supplements for intrusive thoughts and overall well being: N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) omega 3 fish oils, zinc, vitamin d, magnesium l-threonate, ginko biloba

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Pieter -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)!
 
I was sorry to read about the tough ride Paxil withdrawal has given you in the last year.  I'm glad that you found the site and hope that you'll find the information helpful.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? As you make changes in your dose, please update your signature so that your history is automatically shows below every post you make. Please put your withdrawal history in signature
 
The symptoms you describe are from withdrawal. Even after only a few weeks on antidepressants like Paxil (an SSRI) your central nervous system (CNS) has adapted to the drug being present.  When the drug is removed or reduced, the CNS adapts to the drugs absence, "rewiring" so to speak.  This rewiring is the source of the symptoms. Read more about withdrawal:
 
Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

What is withdrawal syndrome

With Paxil, the last 10 mg are harder to drop than any previous dose reductions. Going from 10 mg to 0 mg in a week was a major disturbance to your CNS.  It's good to hear that the psychiatrist you saw knew enough to reinstate Paxil. Unfortunately some people continue to experience symptoms after a reinstatement. :(

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 

 

Keeping a written record of your symptoms will be very helpful -- for you to see patterns and progress and for us to help you figure out what is going on if we need to troubleshoot. You could keep a record in a paper notebook with times of your doses and symptoms or use a simple daily checklist that others have find easy to use:

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list


A suggestion: You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread. Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears: select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.

 

Please have a look at the linked topics. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here in your introduction thread in a new post.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Thanks for your words on my topic.

 

Yes, I see many things like mine...

 

Your main problems seem to be tinnitus, electricity, etc...  Mine is awful nausea and dizziness... 

I also have tinnitus, but bearable, seems like a little whistling or windiness, sometimes few minutes, or few hours...

Electric sensation in my head is only sometimes when I move eyes. It was constant when I get totaly off paxil in sept/oct 2015... At this period out of paxil, I also had "electric sound/shock" in my two ears... when moving eyes quickly on left, on right...

 

I'm like you... Lost... I don't know what to do for this hell to stop !!

 

-> The "doctors" also tried on me Dogmatil in 2015 (without any success on my symptoms)... Then now, (3 weeks ago) a doctor prescribed me "anafranil"... He told me to stop Paxil now, and take instead, 75mf of Anafranil... I didn't... Too afraid of what will happen if I do so...

Excuse me for my bad english :)

 

1999-2014 : 20mg Paxil, given for "IBS"...

2014 : Reduction, day 1 20mg, day 2 10mg, day 3, 20mg etc...
End 2014-jan/feb 2015 : Reduction again, 10-5-10-5, then 5mg... Then my life turn to hell.

April 2015 : Re-start at 20mg. Symptoms not stopped...  -  June 2015 : Back to 10mg. Not Better..
Sept 2015 : Stopped. 0 Mg. Awful dizziness etc. Symptoms + weight loss     -  Nov/Dec 2015 : Trial with Escitalopram.  Not better...
Jan to June 2016 : Back to 20mg Paxil. A little better, Regain weight, but awful symptoms still here...

June to sept  : 15 mg Paxil : awful    /  oct to mid nov : 20mg : no improvement
mid nov to mid jan 2017 : Cold turkey paxil to 30Mg Duloxetine : Some little improvements in december
Mid-jan to mid march 17 : cold turkey of everything... SSRI free... : Hell
mid march to may 17 :  few week 20 mg paxil : few days better sometimes...  / mid may to end may 17 : two weeks 10 mg paxil : hell
june to mid-sept 2017 : 5mg prozac : hell
july 2019 to now : SSRI FREE : get worse, then slow improvement

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your words on my topic.

 

Yes, I see many things like mine...

 

Your main problems seem to be tinnitus, electricity, etc...  Mine is awful nausea and dizziness... 

 

I also have tinnitus, but bearable, seems like a little whistling or windiness, sometimes few minutes, or few hours...

Electric sensation in my head is only sometimes when I move eyes. It was constant when I get totaly off paxil in sept/oct 2015... At this period out of paxil, I also had "electric sound/shock" in my two ears... when moving eyes quickly on left, on right...

 

I'm like you... Lost... I don't know what to do for this hell to stop !!

 

-> The "doctors" also tried on me Dogmatil in 2015 (without any success on my symptoms)... Then now, (3 weeks ago) a doctor prescribed me "anafranil"... He told me to stop Paxil now, and take instead, 75mf of Anafranil... I didn't... Too afraid of what will happen if I do so...

 

Excuse me for my bad english :)

 

 

Hallo Mark,

 

I understood that the braindamages we have, have to do with the schock our nerve-system got when we stopped taking paxil after using it so long. Now that we are back on paxil some withdrawal-symptoms (dizzyness, tinnitus, headache etc) stayed (?!!!). For me this is a real problem. I can only do 2 things:

- higher my paxil miligrams. I am now on 30

- lower my paxil miligrams to zero (which I am now afraid of).

 

Point is: I have to do something: my serotenine-levels are unballenced because of the whole situation. For you it is the same, I guess. I mean: at the moment I cannot work with these health-problems. As far as your medical-reviews: I know - I almost did everything also: lots of examinations. But they discovered nothing. Only thing I am doubting about is maybe taking pain-killers for the headaches.

 

Anyway, good to here your story and let me know if you have any news. Btw: your ENglish is fine :)

 

Best regards,

Peter

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment

Pieter -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)!

 

I was sorry to read about the tough ride Paxil withdrawal has given you in the last year.  I'm glad that you found the site and hope that you'll find the information helpful.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? As you make changes in your dose, please update your signature so that your history is automatically shows below every post you make. Please put your withdrawal history in signature

 

The symptoms you describe are from withdrawal. Even after only a few weeks on antidepressants like Paxil (an SSRI) your central nervous system (CNS) has adapted to the drug being present.  When the drug is removed or reduced, the CNS adapts to the drugs absence, "rewiring" so to speak.  This rewiring is the source of the symptoms. Read more about withdrawal:

 

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

What is withdrawal syndrome

 

With Paxil, the last 10 mg are harder to drop than any previous dose reductions. Going from 10 mg to 0 mg in a week was a major disturbance to your CNS.  It's good to hear that the psychiatrist you saw knew enough to reinstate Paxil. Unfortunately some people continue to experience symptoms after a reinstatement. :(

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

Keeping a written record of your symptoms will be very helpful -- for you to see patterns and progress and for us to help you figure out what is going on if we need to troubleshoot. You could keep a record in a paper notebook with times of your doses and symptoms or use a simple daily checklist that others have find easy to use:

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list

 

 

A suggestion: You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread. Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears: select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.

 

Please have a look at the linked topics. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here in your introduction thread in a new post.

 

Thank you for your kind reply. I understand and will sort some things out. Point is: because I quitted Paxil after so long my nerve-system some sort of a shock. So now, even when I am on paxil again, the serotenine-levels are unbalanced: result: lots of headaches, dizzyness and tinnitus. It is like my brain is 'fried'... I cannot work with these medical issues. So I can only do 2 things:

- higher the mg (i am on 30 mg now)

- lower the mg

 

Isn't there any option to let my nervesystem heal? A anit-seizure method or something?

 

Thanks again,

Peter

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment

Hoi Pieter, welkom op Survingantidepressants.org! Leuk om een landgenoot te treffen en ik hoop dat je veel aan dit forum zult hebben!

 

I don't know what the best thing to do now, but I moderator will be here shortly and post the most important topics to read about tapering and self-care.

I've been here a few weeks myself, didn't know much about tapering antidepressants (I'm on escitalopram 5mg), but I've learned so much. Much much more than my general doctor knows about using this kind of medication or about weaning off . I didn't actually know about anti-depressants altering the brain. I didn't know that stopping cold turkey is the same as throwing your brain off a cliff!

I've never experienced severe withdrawal symptoms like you describe...that must have been awful and I hope you will heal from this soon!  

Myself...Before starting with medication there were moments when I felt life didn't matter as much anymore, but never I never really thought about suicide in detail. When I realized I was doing that I figured that it must have been coming from withdrawing (way too fast) from the Lexapro.

 

Edit: You already added a history :D You can post your history with medications in your signature and include details about tapering if you like. 

 

The only way to let your system heal is to taper very slow. This way the brain -can- heal, but gradually, as you don't want to cause any more harm....

 

Sterkte!

 

Hallo Susanne,

 

Bedankt voor je reactie. I understand and will sort some things out. Point is: because I quitted Paxil after so long my nerve-system some sort of a shock. So now, even when I am on paxil again, the serotenine-levels are unbalanced: result: lots of headaches, dizzyness and tinnitus. It is like my brain is 'fried'... I cannot work with these medical issues. So I can only do 2 things:

- higher the mg (i am on 30 mg now)

- lower the mg

 

Isn't there any option to let my nervesystem heal? A anit-seizure method or something?

 

Thanks again,

Peter

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Pieter-- a belated welcome to the group.  Paxil has a reputation for being one of the hardest AD drugs to get off of. It MUST BE tapered slowly and carefully.  I've read your signature and although it may have seemed slow and careful at the time, your taper in 2015 was much too fast and the final CT from 10mg too abrupt.  This has thrown you into withdrawal syndrome which caused the symptoms that made you  reinstate.  It is going to take several months for the 30mgs to sort things out and stabilize.  During that time you should not change your dose. Definitely do not increase you dose any more. Taking more of the drug will have a very limited positive effect of any and will greatly increase your chances of having an adverse reaction (which you really don't want to go through).

 

As your body stabilizes on your current dose the symptoms you are feeling should reduce and you will become more functional.  Bad symptoms are part and parcel of getting off of these nasty drugs, but by being careful in how we do it it is possible to get off of them and maintain some sort of normal life.  Read through the links Scallywag gave you and ask us a lot of questions. 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to comment

Thanks for your reply Brassmonkey. Point is: Is still have severe damage (withdrawal symptoms): tinnitus and dizzyness, even though i am now om 30 mg paxil for some months. Feels like my brain is 'fried'. Anyway I get more and more afraid there is nothing I can do, Or is there an anti-seizure method/drug? Anything?

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Pieter--  That sounds about right for the symptoms at 30mgs.  Just because we are tapering the drug doesn't mean that the WDsymptoms will go away. Our aim is to keep them tolerable while we reduce the drug. At times those symptoms will be severe, which we call windows and at times the symptoms will calm down is what we call windows.  It's an improvement in the average, overall feeling bad that we are looking for.  This is our baseline, which is referred to as WDnormal.

 

If you've stabilized on the 30mgs, your symptoms are pretty much at the same level most days, then it would be a good idea to start a slow taper. Each time you reduce your dose there will be a short spike in symptom activity that should resolve itself over the course of several weeks.  Then slowly, over the course of the taper your WDnormal will rise and you will start feeling better in general.  It's a long, slow, frustrating process, but it does work.

 

We do not recommend taking other drugs to counteract the effects of WD.  At best they muddy the waters and usually end up causing many more problems than they help.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to comment

Brassmonkey, the WD-symptoms are indeed on the same level. The thing is: I'm having these sympyoms quite long now: almost 8 monts. I am afraid that they sustain - especially because my nerve-system recognizes them every day. Each day goes like this:

- wake up with heavy tinnitus and dizzyness: I take mg lorazepam to become a little bit relaxed

- breakfast and 45 minutes walk with my dog.

- feeling pretty ok, although my head is sensible and heavy.

- sometimes I get a window and feel lighter again. After that: heavy head and body again.

- At night I take 7,5 mg mirtazapine for sleeping in.

 

You said it is maybe better to stop other medications because of the contradictions. I heard paroxetine and mirtazepine can mix pretty bad. 7,5 mg Mirtazepine isn't much. Should I taper this of slowly (if possible)? Of course I will discuss this with my docter.

 

Other question? How are you so sure that, in the end, when you taper slowly the WD-symptoms will go away?

 

Thanks

Again

 

Peter

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Pieter--  I'm a prime example of the symptoms improving over the course of a slow taper. Five years ago I was taking 40mg of paxil.  I was in severe poopout or tolerance. My long term memory was about 15 seconds, I could barely stand up, I couldn't string two coherent words together when I spoke, just about every symptom there is. For the last five years I have been tapering 10% every six weeks. I won't say I'm back to 100% probably more like 90%, but I'm consistently at that level and not experiencing windows and waves. Once I'm totally off the drugs for a while I see no problem in getting a full recovery.

 

Yes, paroxetine and mirtazepine can mix pretty badly.  Only being on 7.5mg of mirtazpine shouldn't be much of a problem. The big question is, does it actually help you sleep?

 

The description of your symptom pattern indicates that you're pretty stable, so it should be no problem with starting to taper either of the drugs.  You more than likely won't get good advice from your doctor about tapering these drugs.  We have learned over the years that doctors are very ill informed about how these drugs work and how to taper off of them, and can be very resistant to using our methods.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to comment

Hello Pieter, I think the tinnitus and dizzyness dont stay with you forever, I think they will dissapear once you are drug free. I had also tinnitus when I stopped my med, but within three months of discontinuation it went away. I think a lot of drugs is harmful on the nerves in ears and therefore it comes to tinnitus but normally it should resolve when the brain catches up with the changes.

05/2013 Lyrica 100 mg / per day for pain + PGAD resulting from caesarian delivery11/2014 started to taper: 50 mg per day/ for one week then c/tafter one month reinstated at 50 mg /per days of 10 July 2015 drug free-

symptoms OCD

Link to comment

Hello Brassmonkey and Martina23,

 

It is good to hear there is a change that the tinnitus will go away when I am drugfree (because I tried everything for the tinnitus: neuromodulation, neurostimulation, earplugs etc). Brassmonkey, I see that you where on the same page(s) as me: that gives me confidence: also that you where also 20 years on paxil. When did you have the heaviest WD-sympoms? Or was it the combination with alcohol? Anyway: I firs will start to get off the mirtazepine and lorazepam. And than slowly, very slowly tapering.

 

Thanks again for the support,

Pieter

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Pieter--  I was well over a year into my taper before I could really identify WD symptoms being caused by the taper.  Up to that point the symptoms caused by the poopout and the CT from alcohol over shadowed everything.  Once the drinking sorted itself out things started to improve, but it took a long time for the poopout to resolve. By the time I jump off this fall it will be 24 years since I first started taking paxil.  I still haven't grasped the enormity of it all.

 

Be sure to do the  mirtazepine and lorazepam one at a time and slowly and leave several months between them.  Even though they're small doses they have quite a kick to them.

 

My tinnitus has greatly decreased over the course of my taper, and will hopefully go away all together once I'm off.

 

Best of luck, and keep us informed.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I just read your thread Pieter and we are facing some similarities in our circumstances. I just wanted to wish you the best, and let you know I'm following your thread so I can stay updated as you progress through your healing process!

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

Link to comment

I just read your thread Pieter and we are facing some similarities in our circumstances. I just wanted to wish you the best, and let you know I'm following your thread so I can stay updated as you progress through your healing process!

Hello Elbee,

Yeah, read your story also. I wish you a good recovery process also. It is hard at times - but we will get there.

Best wishes,

Pieter

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Hoi Pieter, how are you? And how is your tapering going?

My tinnitus started a few weeks ago, when I dropped from 5 mg Lexapro to 2,5mg. It's mild during daytime, so it's not bothering me as much. It is more present before bedtime, but still I manage to fall a sleep quite fast.
I've been on SSRI's for 6/7 years and never had it as a side effect nor as a with drawal effect from tapering Fevarin (fluvoxamine). So this is a very new thing for me. Remember the woman from the 'Levenseinde kliniek' in Den Haag?
Her tinnitus was for more worse then mine but when I read that I couldn't imagine what it would be like. Now I'm getting a hint of it and it's no fun....that's why I just hope you will recover soon from the WD symptoms and the tinnitus. It must be an enormous energy drainer for you! 

 

All my life: Occasional panic attacks. 2003: Burnout  2004: intrusion (OCD'ish) / anxiety. Therapies: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, hypnotherapy --> symptoms were manageable (did return once in a while), depression lifted.
2007 - Relapse, started with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Therapist recommended Fevarin (fluvoxamine) 150 mg. Recovery after 3 months and remained stable. Mild side effects.
2009 - Tapered fluvoxamine. No withdrawal symptoms. 2010 - Relapse, same Pure O thought and anxiety.  Started taking 100 mg of fluvoxamine but after 9 weeks no change in symptoms. Did not have any effect on Pure O thought. Switched to Lexapro (escitalopram) 20 mg.  Drug started working within 3 weeks. Mild side effects. Slowly over the years tapered to 5 mg.
2015: Lots of personal issues and setbacks, occasional panic attack. 2016: April started skipping doses; 5mg escitalopram every other day (in hindsight a bad idea)
May: Major relapse, anxiety and intrusion returned. Depression. Increased from 2,5 mg 15 mg in two weeks. Side effects: neuro-emotions
June: Escitalopram has no effect on the frequency of the intrusion...after 4 weeks my general doctor advised me to do a fast taper to 5mg. Withdrawal effects (2/3 weeks): neuro-emotions, lack of focus, crying spells, fatigue, muscle twitches in legs, cortisol spikes just before waking up July: Stable on 5 mg. Depression and intrusion lifted during holiday (lots of sunshine, long walks and relaxing) August: Drop down to 2,5 mg. Withdrawal effects (tinnitus, headagues) are noticeable, but still mild in comparison to the big drop earlier.
22th August: stopped escitalopram completely. Cortisol spikes just before waking up, still OCD (only temporary improvements), WD-depression and WD-neuro emotions.
Update 6 dec: no medication, any withdrawal symptoms not noticable. Taking supplements for intrusive thoughts and overall well being: N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) omega 3 fish oils, zinc, vitamin d, magnesium l-threonate, ginko biloba

 

Link to comment

Hoi Pieter, how are you? And how is your tapering going?

 

My tinnitus started a few weeks ago, when I dropped from 5 mg Lexapro to 2,5mg. It's mild during daytime, so it's not bothering me as much. It is more present before bedtime, but still I manage to fall a sleep quite fast.

I've been on SSRI's for 6/7 years and never had it as a side effect nor as a with drawal effect from tapering Fevarin (fluvoxamine). So this is a very new thing for me. Remember the woman from the 'Levenseinde kliniek' in Den Haag?

Her tinnitus was for more worse then mine but when I read that I couldn't imagine what it would be like. Now I'm getting a hint of it and it's no fun....that's why I just hope you will recover soon from the WD symptoms and the tinnitus. It must be an enormous energy drainer for you! 

 

 

 

Hoi Susanne,

Leuk een landgenoot te treffen. When I read your story you are doing the right things: sporting, exercise, keep a positive mind. Regarding to your tinnitus: when is bearable it is ok. Yep it is indeed no fun. With me it was bearable for a long time. Mine started in 2012 when I still was on 20 mg paroxetine (for 20 years). From 2012 till the end of 2014 it was ok. The same as you. Although your energy is lower because the tinnitusattention suck you up in a way. Than I started tapering off the paroxetine slowly. The last part -form 10 to 0 mg- I did in one week (beginning of 2015). That was to fast for my central nerve system. The tinnitus got way louder. And it is still like that. Even when I am back om 30 mg paroxetine.

My head fiels fried because of the damage of the too fast tapering. I cannot work know. I still cant believe the damage done by this fukking pill. I tried everything: form neuromodulation to accupuncture etc. I took the wrong risk. Anyway I am trying now to cope with the WD-effects. The best thing is to start tapering off again. Only more slowly. It is the only way. Yeah the woman about the Levenseindekliniek. Too be honest: I thought about doing that too. I was at my wits end. But I choose life. I exersise, walk with my dog, meditate, try to have some love and romance for the soul etc.

 

Anyway thanks for your kind words. You seem like a honest and nice person. Someone who fights. A good thing. So hang in there.

 

Cheers,

Pieter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1993-2013:  20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). Doing fine

2014:           40 mg Paroxetine. Doing fine.

2015:           Slowly Tapering within 12 months from 40 to 10 mg. Started 1 mg Alprazolam in may 2015.

dec 2015:    From 10 mg to 0 mg in 2 weeks. Bad damages: tinnitus and dizzyness. Hospitalized.

Jan 2016:    Clomipramine and Sulpiride: damages got worse.

Febr 2016    Out of Hospital. Home again and unable to work because of the severe wd-sympoms

March 2016: Back on 30 mg Paroxetine, 1,5 mg Lorazepam (switch from Alprazolam to Lorazepam) and 7,5 mg                   Mirtazepine. Damages are still there. The mirtazepine and Lorazepam are mainly for my tinnitus (but do not work).

Aug 2016     Lowering the Lorazepam from 1,5 mg to 1 mg

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy