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Gemma: Paroxetine to Prozac straight switch, brain zap hell


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Hey there,


Desperate for any advice. I'm trying to get off paroxitine and was advised by my doctor to try Prozac which is then easier to come off. As usual, every doctor I've seen has no clue about the severe withdrawal effects. I was currently on 30mg and was told to reduce to 20mg and then just stop and start taking 20mg paroxitine. It's day 4 and I haven't been able to get out of bed hardly. 


I feel desperately at a loss with no guidance from any medical professional whether this method is right or not. 

Any advice would be really appreciated :) should I up my Prozac dose? 


Thanks for reading 

Edited by baroquep
white space; name update

Been on Paroxitine 30mg for 15 yrs. Reduced from 30mg to 20mg over 3-4 wks. Then straight-switched to Prozac 20mg. On day 5 and Discontinuation Syndrome is at its worst. Please Help! 


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Greetings, Gemma.


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).


I moved your post to the introductions and updates section. Your Introduction topic will be a way for you to introduce yourself to the group. It will be like a journal, so we can all follow and respond to your progress. Members may respond to your topic and give you support and encouragement. This is the busiest section of the forum and your posts will get read by more members here.


You quite right about most doctors not knowing about withdrawal and tapering. The rationale behind your doctor switching you to prozac is that it has a longer half-life than paroxetine and is considered easier to taper off of. However, mosts doctor's tapering schedules are way too fast and will most likely cause you problems no matter what drug you are trying to taper.


Getting the drugs out of your system is only part of the problem. Our brains have become so accustomed to these drugs that our entire brain chemistry has adapted to their presence. It can take a long time to reverse this process.


The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

What is withdrawal syndrome?


When did you drop from 30mg to 20mg paroxetine and how quickly did you do this reduction? 


Finally, could I ask that you create a signature. Your signature contains details about all the drugs you are currently on, it will appear at the bottom of every post and will make it a lot easier for us to provide you with tailored advice and support without having to read through your entire thread.


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature


Kind regards,






Edited by Dan998

2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

Read my success story


I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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  • Dan998 changed the title to Gemma: Paroxetine to Prozac straight switch, brain zap hell

Thank you so much for your response Dan. I have updated my signature as requested and answered your question - I reduced from 30mg to 20mg over 3-4 weeks. Withdrawal was bearable until I switched to Prozac and dropped the paroxitine. I tried to speak to 3 doctors at my practice and none of them had a clue - one of them tried to tell me Paroxitine has a long life just like Prozac and that I should completely stop the paroxitine straight away, wait a month, then start Prozac. I have been bed ridden for 5 days now and I'm scared if I go to doctors they're just not going to advise me right. I'm losing the will to live right now, it's unbearable :( 

Been on Paroxitine 30mg for 15 yrs. Reduced from 30mg to 20mg over 3-4 wks. Then straight-switched to Prozac 20mg. On day 5 and Discontinuation Syndrome is at its worst. Please Help! 


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  • Administrator

Welcome, Gemma.


One method for the Prozac switch is to overlap the Prozac and Paxil for a little while before dropping the Paxil. This gives your nervous system time to get used to the Prozac so it won't miss the Paxil that much. It seems the kindest method. See The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac


Have the withdrawal symptoms changed over the last 5 days, gotten a little better or a little worse?


If no change or worse, you may wish to reinstate 5mg Paxil right away. A small dose might do the trick. See this topic for how to take a small dose of Paxil Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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