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Redsox31: Any hope of getting off Paxil?


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Hello! I have been on Paxil for 17 or so years. Been on 20mg for most of that time.


I want to come off of this because I would like to start a family.


I tried coming off of it not knowing about the withdrawals and I cut my dose in half to 10mg. I was extremely dizzy for 2 weeks and my doctor told me to stop Paxil and start trintellix. After 3 weeks of the trintellix my anxiety went crazy and I became depressed. Never had depression like that before. I went back on the Paxil 20mg and felt like myself again.


Then I found out about the withdrawals and I read where some people had success of cross tapering to Prozac. I tried doing the cross taper twice and it didn't work.


Went back to 20mg of Paxil and was feeling ok. Then I started having withdrawal symptoms even with the 20mg of Paxil. I increased my dose to 25mg hoping that little increase would help me. I was having a hard time cutting my tablets in half to make the 25mg so I was getting them from a compound pharmacy. I was started to get worse and I figured out that the compounding pharmacy was using a different manufacturer then what I was using for so many years. After I figured that out I started going back to my original Pharmacy and increased my dose to 30mg. After a week of being on the 30mg I was slowly starting to feel better.


I then had to have surgery to have my thyroid removed and I think the anesthesia messed me all up again.


I'm having a lot of anxiety and jitteriness feeling inside. I'm having almost constant dizzy/derealization. The derealization is worse when I'm walking around or driving.


I'm at a loss of what to do. Has anyone been on Paxil for this long and had any success with getting off? I know I have to go slow and I'm willing to do that. Just want some hope form someone who has been on this for as long as me! Thank you

Edited by ChessieCat
Added paragraphs and bolded info

I have been on Paxil for 17 years at 20mg

Recently tried to come off by cutting dose in half to 10mg. Didn't work out

Tried stopping Paxil and was put on trintellix. Didn't work

Put back on Paxil 20mg

The tried cross tapering to Prozac twice. Once with Prozac 20mg and Prozac 10mg

Cross tapering didn't work

Started 20mg Paxil again then after about 3 weeks started having withdrawal symptoms

Increased my dose to 25mg Paxil and still had problems

Now I'm currently taking 30mgnof Paxil

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Welcome RS


Sorry to read of your struggles health issues and that you have had many unsuccessful attempts to get off paxil ..you are not the only one.

There are people here who have got of paxil. Check out moderator Brassmonkeys story and his taper strategy.

I also got off paxil but cluelessly and it left me debilitated for years im still recovering,  so you want to go real slow as per sa advice. When i say slow we are talking several years of careful tapering.


Please spend time reading on this site the mountain of informative gems

Here is one here

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)


You can do this.

So glad you found sa.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Redsox31 -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)


There are several people posting on SA who have taken Paxil for a long time (10+ years) who have successfully removed it from their lives or are tapering off it.


Is your current dose 30 mg?

Are you taking ANY other medications for ANY reason?


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • You don't need to include symptoms or diagnoses other than the initial condition that led to prescribing the first drug.
  • We ask for this information in your signature so that we can see it at a glance. A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
Paxil seems to be a medication that especially requires attentive, slow, gradual tapering. Our experience leads us to suggest that people taper any psychiatric drug ONE at a time and no faster than 10% per month. You can read more about that in this topic:

link: Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Thanks nz11 for providing the link to the Paxil topic.


A slow taper allows for the CNS (central nervous system) to recover while reducing dose. These two resources helped me understand why it was important to taper slowly and what is happening during tapering.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants


You may find some familiar symptoms in these topics:

What is withdrawal syndrome

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list


This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.


I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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

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  • Moderator

Hi RedSox--  Welcome to the group.  Yes, you can get off of the Paxil if you do it right.  I just passed the 24 year mark for taking it and if all goes right I will be drug free in the next few months. Dang!! a moment of clarity 24 years just really sunk in, up 'till now it has just been a number.  Anyway, despite your long use the big thing in your favor is that you haven't really been on any other drugs (that you've mentioned).  The couple of weeks here and there won't make much difference.  Your recent increase in dose to make things stabilize is telling me that you are sliding into tolerance or as we "lovingly"  call it "poopout".  That is a sure indicator that it's time to taper.  Increasing the dose to feel better only works a little and for a short time before it needs to be done again.  And the next time is less effective and for a shorter time. etc.  So in the end the only way out is down, and slowly.


Before we can make any solid suggestions on a taper we really need the details of your use in a signature block, like Scally asked for above.



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

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Thank you all so much for responding. I was starting to lose hope that I will be stuck on this medicine forever and I will feel miserable forever. The only other medicine I currently take is thyroid medicine because I had to have my thyroid removed. I'm taking calcium supplement right now until my calcium level gets back to normal because my parathyroid glands got bruised in surgery. So I am currently on Paxil 30mg, synthroid 125mcg, and calcium supplement.

I have been on Paxil for 17 years at 20mg

Recently tried to come off by cutting dose in half to 10mg. Didn't work out

Tried stopping Paxil and was put on trintellix. Didn't work

Put back on Paxil 20mg

The tried cross tapering to Prozac twice. Once with Prozac 20mg and Prozac 10mg

Cross tapering didn't work

Started 20mg Paxil again then after about 3 weeks started having withdrawal symptoms

Increased my dose to 25mg Paxil and still had problems

Now I'm currently taking 30mgnof Paxil

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