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SheRa: Paxil Withdrawal

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Hello everyone,


I'm new here from Montreal, Canada. I'm almost 40 years old, had been taking Paxil 20mg for almost 7 years, for general anxiety. Started withdrawal from Paxil couple months ago. Doctor prescribed 10mg to take in alternance with 20mg for the first month. Now I'm at 10mg everyday. Next month will be 10mg and none in alternance. And the month after that nothing.


Couple years ago I had started withdrawal, but waaayyy to fast, and it did not go well at all (suicidal toughts, etc.)


Now with my doctor it's going pretty well, but I have side effects such as dizzyness, hot flashes, nervousness.


Are these side effects normal? Will they pass enventually?


Thank you! Talk to you soon!

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Hi PW,


SA does not recommend alternating doses or skipping days to withdrawal,you could be headed for alot of suffering...I know.


a mod. should be along shortly to advise you.


I'm glad you found this site,you'll get plenty of good advice here.



went on Prozac 1994-99,60mg.poopout ct  back on 2001-2002,prozac weekly 2002,not working,Effexor 75 mg.?2003-mar.2004 gaining weight 8wk. taper,wellbutrin 150 mg.mar. -may 2004 ctmedfree til july 2005 back to Prozac gaining weight again,back on wellbutrin jan.2006150-300 mg.bad constipation.also was taking aygestin(hormone)perimenopausal irregular bleeding.back on Prozac around sept,?2006,hysterectomy jan30.2007(adenomyosis)off&on Prozac til 2009,citalopram about 1 mo, April 2010 no effect,Effexor again may -mar, 2011.ct,Prozac aug,-dec, 2011 &sept-nov 2012,paroxetine oct,23 2013-may 4 2014 20 mgs.tapered 6 wks.-failed RI in Oct.2014-in protracted WD.started 10 mgs. Fluoxetine May 25 2021 .Stopped fluoxetine May 2022 at 5 mgs.

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Hi SheRa  -  great to see you! I was on 20mg of paxil as well for, I'd don't remember, maybe 8 years and also was recommended the 20mg to 10mg alternate dose approach to withdrawal (as are many people here). Can genuinely say that that is outrageous and a really quick way to lead to horrible withdrawal. So yes, sadly those effects you feel are all totally normal when we stop our drugs suddenly, but not at all necessary :)


A moderator will come and give you lots of helpful links and recommend a way back to stability then to a nice safe withdrawal from our 'special friend' paxil xxxmollyn


Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)


I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Hi SheRa

Welcome to sa.

Your post caught my attention cos i too was trapped on paxil.

I tapered in the same manner in which you are tapering.

Unlike you i didnt find online truth until i was drug free and in hell.


Please i beg you not to taper by alternating doses anymore and if i were you i would refrain from tapering for several months until the brain adjusts to this new dose level.

What are you doing differently now that you didnt do last time? Or are you tapering the same way as previously?


Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed so even if you were to put the brakes on at 10mg, there is no guarantee that it will prevent a distressing withdrawal rollercoaster still.


The symptoms you are experiencing are exactly how it started for me too.

It then got progressively worse and worse leaving me basically nonfunctional.

Crying spells, uncontrollable restlessness and emotional and psychological distress, diarrhea and vomiting and an overwhelming  desire to kill myself soon became the daily norm. The mornings were traumatizing. It took all my strength plus some to survive it. It took 2 years just to become manageable.

It doesnt have to be this way for you.


Do i think it will be any different for you ....well I have no doubt this is where it is heading for you too if you continue on with your (doctors?) tapering plan.


If you continue alternating doses you will be playing ping pong with your brain.


The safest way that is giving people a chance to get free of these drugs is a slow taper, we are talking 10% of previous dose per every 4 weeks. You can read about it here.

Please also read the rule of the 3ks.

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)


Of course its up to you what you choose to do ...many decide that this info is for everyone else except them only to come back later in a complete mess. Seeking help from a doctor will result in a drug cocktail being prescribed and intelligence insulting name calling (when i sought answers i was told i had an underlying depression...i immediately replied that is not correct and was referred and then the name calling took on a whole new level of blatant silliness (BS) ).

Your doctor is misinformed regarding the true potent brain altering ability of these chemicals and tapering safely.


 When people join they do a drug sig which appears below our posts. Are you able to do one.

It would be very helpful for the moderators and others who can then see your context at a glance. 



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

SheRa -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).

You've got some great suggestions already from the direstraits, MollyN, and nz11. Alternating doses isn't as severe as skipping days would be, but it's not the most gentle, least harmful way to discontinue Paxil and other SSRI medications. Doctors suggest this because they are "spellbound" by the doses available. We strongly urge people to take the same dose every day at close to the same time, and to reduce by no more than 10% once per month. You can either make the non-standard doses on your own (weighing the tablet/capsule/powder or making a liquid) or get a prescription for compounded doses.

nz11 posted a link to our topic on Paxil. In the first post there, you'll find a discussion about Paxil and links to the techniques people have used to taper off it.

If you decide you want to do a do-it-yourself 10% taper, please read Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Also, as nz11 suggested, please post your medication and withdrawal history in a posting signature that will appear below each of your posts.

Create a posting signature

Link to signature settings page


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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