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Sacam7: tapering Paxil


Sacam7

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Ironically, I started taking paxil for severe depersonalization 20 years ago, and it really helped me.  But now after 20 years of taking paxil, I think it’s finally pooping out because the depersonalization is back with a vengeance. It’s horrible and so hard to explain to people that haven’t experienced it. Mine is 24/7 and doesn’t let up. I want to taper but am terrified I’ll just get worse. I’m also having depression, major anxiety, tremors, fatigue but can’t sleep well, racing thoughts, and much more. An I haven’t even steered tapering yet! Is this what poop out feels like? 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Sacam7.

 

I've brought your situation to the attention of the administrators and other moderators.

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

@Sacam7

 

To start, in order to give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly. Also, if applicable, please include dates and doses if you increased due to the drug appearing to stop working.  Please use the following link and press "save" when you're finished.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Some general questions:   When did your symptoms begin? Can you describe them in more detail?  Has your dose changed over the years?  What time do you take your dose, and do symptoms appear soon afterward?

 

 If you have increased your dose, one or more times, did symptoms improve?  Did they stop improving and, if so, after how long a time?  If you did increase your dose, please give us dates and dose increase.  This should also appear in your drug signature.

 

Once we have this information, we'll be better able to advise you.

 

 

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thank you for the warm welcome. I will work on my signature and history so you all can get a better picture. Might take a bit cuz my brain feels scrambled atm 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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March 2000-20mg paxil for severe anxiety and depersonalization 
april 2000- stopped paxil cuz I felt better

may 2000-anxiety and depersonalization came back so started 20mg

oct. 2000-stopped paxil cuz I felt good again

april 2001-severe anxiety and depersonalization came back so tried to get on paxil again with horrible results. (Increased anxiety/depersonalization, couldn’t sleep, eat etc) Stopped after two days.
sept. 2001-After months and months of 24/7 depersonalization and major anxiety started taking klonopin half of a .5mg tablet three times a day. Helped tremendously 

feb. 2003-weened off klonopin 

July 2003-major anxiety and depersonalization came back hard 24/7

August 2003-started paxil. Pushed through the increased anxiety and started feeling better within 2 weeks. Kept taking it. 
feb. 2005-breakthrough anxiety and depersonalization from not taking paxil every day. Would skip days due to ignorance and feeling fine . Started taking every day again. 
march 2008-Breakthrough symptoms again, up dosed from 20 to 30mg paxil. Got better. 
march 12, 2012-breakthrough symptoms again, added in klonopin half of a .5mg tablet once or twice a day  For about two weeks. Got better. 
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil due to ignorance And feeling good. 
November 2014-started  Feeling irritable and anger so decided to get back on 20mg paxil. By that afternoon I was in full blown panic mode and extreme depersonalization. Worst I e ever felt . Went down to 10mg paxil for a week, still really bad, went down to 5mg, finally started to stabilize, then started working my way back up. 
march 2015- worked my way back up to 20mg paxil and finally stabilized. Stayed on 20mg. Felt better 

feb. 2020- still taking 20 mg paxil everyday. Started getting dizzy spells, anxiety, so upped to 30mg paxil. Made me feel worse anxiety couldn’t handle it so went to 25mg. Stabilized after 2 months

april 2020-anxiety came back now getting depression that I’ve never felt before. Muscle twitches, restless legs loss of appetite. Still on 25mg paxil 

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil stabilized after 2 weeks 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. Feeling terrible again. Deep depression, Muscle twitching, depersonalization, high anxiety, fatigue but restless sleep, no appetite And so on. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 9/1/2020 at 1:52 AM, Sacam7 said:

sept. 2001-After months and months of 24/7 depersonalization and major anxiety started taking klonopin half of a .5mg tablet three times a day. Helped tremendously 

feb. 2003-weened off klonopin 
march 12, 2012-breakthrough symptoms again, added in klonopin half of a .5mg tablet once or twice a day  For about two weeks. Got better. 

 

Sacam, thank you for providing such specific notes. It's very helpful. Please add to your signature that you were on Klonopin "half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day" from September 2001 - February 2003 and ".5mg tablet once or twice a day" in March 2012 for 2 weeks. 

 

A direct link to your signature is here:

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Is Klonopin the only benzodiazepine you've taken? 

 

Please note these types of abrupt discontinuations of antidepressants and benzos may have set you up for kindling. Please see:

 

KINDLING: What is the kindling phenomenon that occurs with benzodiazepines?

 

So you'll need to be extra protective and nurturing of your nervous system. 

 

You may find some helpful information to handle your symptoms here: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Derealization or Depersonalization (DR and DP)

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Please let us know how you're doing. 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for the reply @Shep I tried to add the klonopin to my signature but I had to make it really short or it wouldn’t let me post it!! I kept having to delete stuff in order for it to let me post it. Yes, klonopin is the only benzo I have ever taken. I’m hanging in there. Hope you’re well 🙏🏽

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
24 minutes ago, Sacam7 said:

I kept having to delete stuff in order for it to let me post it.

 

Thanks for the additional information, Sacam. Are you copying and pasting your signature after writing it out on another program like Word? If so, that may be why it's not letting you post it. The software here can be a bit glitchy with formatting from other programs. I added the benzo information to your signature for you, so you're all set.

 

Are you currently taking any supplements or other medications besides Paxil? If so, please list them. 

 

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, Secam.

 

It looks to me like you have a long history of quitting Paxil repeatedly and getting withdrawal symptoms, which caused you to go back on the drug. Your history also mentions perhaps an enduring habit of occasionally forgetting to take a dose and getting "breakthrough" (interdose withdrawal) symptoms. You also have many instances of going up and down in dosage to chase symptoms.

 

In late 2019 or early 2020, is it possible you accidentally skipped a dose, or took one off-schedule?

 

Quote

Feb. 2020- still taking 20 mg paxil everyday. Started getting dizzy spells, anxiety, so upped to 30mg paxil. Made me feel worse anxiety couldn’t handle it so went to 25mg. Stabilized after 2 months

 

Do you drink alcohol occasionally? Are you taking an occasional benzo or other drugs?

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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No I do it drink alcohol Or take any other drugs. Dizzy spells were every day for over a week before I upped to 30mg. Hence why I think it’s starting to poop out finally. Does pooping feel like withdrawals?

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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Thank you @Shep for helping with my signature. I was posting from my phone, not using word. So I’m not sure what was going on. I don’t take any supplements or any other drugs. Does poop out come in windows and waves like withdrawal? Does poop out have symptoms like withdrawl? 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Administrator

If you skipped a dose, the consequences could well last over a week, particularly when you have a long history of these kinds of drug mishaps. It's harder and harder for your nervous system to recover from accidents.

 

Is it possible you skipped a dose In late 2019 or early 2020, or took any off-schedule? With Paxil, a delay of only a couple of hours could cause interdose withdrawal symptoms. Are your tablets old or have they been subjected to heat?

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata no, they are not old and are not subject to heat. Did you ever experience poop out? 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Do you take Paxil on an inconsistent schedule? How about alcohol?

 

Do these unusual symptoms follow a daily pattern?

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata I don’t drink alcohol. I always take paxil in the morning...usually between 8-9am. As far as symptom patterns, I’m usually more shaky in the morning. Everything else is pretty much all day. I’m having a new symptom which is heart palpitations all day for a month 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Administrator

Do you feel better or worse after you take Paxil in the morning?

 

Do these palpitations occur at any particular times of day? Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right. This can show if your symptoms are adverse effects from one of your drugs.

 

Please put ALL your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php
and copy and paste the results or a link to them in this topic.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 4 months later...

Hello. So I want to start tapering paxil after taking it for 20 years and I have read through all the posts on this topic, but am still confused and want to do it right. I know a 20 mg pill weighs more than 20 mg , so can I just get an average weight of the 20mg pill and decrease by 10% of the weight of the pill every 4-6 weeks? From what I see there is a more complicated calculation that has to be done. Im hoping  not. I don’t think I need to know how many milligrams of paxil I am taking, if I just decrease the WEIGHT of the pill by 10% every 4-6 weeks. Am I wrong?? Please help!! 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Sacam7: tapering Paxil
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sacam7, @Sacam7

I merged your most recent post here, to your Introduction page.  This is helpful as it keeps all your information in one place, and then your progress together too.

How are you doing now? 

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil(paroxetine)

 

On 1/23/2021 at 2:51 PM, Sacam7 said:

Hello. So I want to start tapering paxil after taking it for 20 years and I have read through all the posts on this topic, but am still confused and want to do it right. I know a 20 mg pill weighs more than 20 mg , so can I just get an average weight of the 20mg pill and decrease by 10% of the weight of the pill every 4-6 weeks? From what I see there is a more complicated calculation that has to be done. Im hoping  not. I don’t think I need to know how many milligrams of paxil I am taking, if I just decrease the WEIGHT of the pill by 10% every 4-6 weeks. Am I wrong?? Please help!! 

 

So are you considering using the Gemini20 scale for your weighing?  Or have you already started with weighing out your doses?

 

And yes, good to get an average weight of your pill, by weighing several, and then dividing the weight by the number of pills weighed.

That will be your average weight then for a 20 mg dose strength pill or tablet. 

We often call that 20mgai.  The ai stands for active ingredient so that you don't confuse the dose strength with the weight.

 

You do need to know, or we would like to know, the dose strength of your Paxil that you are taking.  But, yes, if you decrease by weight only, you will be doing a 10% decrease, as well.  So you are not wrong, and it's actually not too difficult to figure out both the weight of a dose, and then the dose strength of a dose too.

 

So good questions.

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

^ this should help and then you'll need to get some gelatin capsules to put your doses in as well.  I think you may have studied this topic a bit, but it should be helpful to have it referenced here as well.

 

And so to work out a 10% decrease from a 20mgai pill/tablet:

20 X .90= 18  and then this would be the dose for a 10% reduction

Then from 18 mgai, you would multiply again:

18 X .90= 16.2 mgai, for the next 10% taper reduction

 

Once you have an average weight calculated, then you can use the same type of calculation, to figure out the weight decrease as well.  There are different ways to do it, and best to find one that you feel most comfortable with.  I think it is important to not only know the weight, but also the dose or dose strength.  In fact we like you to report in dose strenghts, or the mgai versus just the pill weight, which we abbreviate mgpw.

 

Sound confusing at first, but you will catch on.  And we can go over this more, and answer any more questions as they arise too.

 

And of course you can do microtapering, or taper by less than 10%, or even a brassmonkeyslide method, of microtapering, if you'd like.  With the brassmonkeyslide method you decrease by 2.5 % each week, for 4 weeks, so that you have decreased 10% of your previous dosage in a months time, and then HOLD for 2 weeks........recalculate and taper again.

 

And so, plenty to look at, and then think about and decide on.  And Sacam, ask again, if you have questions.........so good to plan out a taper before you begin.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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Thank you so much for your reply. It is overwhelming to me to try to figure this all out. I havent started weighing yet, haven’t even bought a scale. Just thinking about trying to make all these calculations is making my head spin. Is there someone that could be my taper mentor to help me figure out calculations? I would be forever grateful. I’m going to order a scale this week. I’ve read reviews good and bad about Gemini..but seems to be ok for most people. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator

We are always happy to help with the calculations. All the moderators are well versed in them and we always double check each other. Once we get the numbers worked out we can give you some simple formulas to make the rest of your taper easier.

 

Many of us have used the Gemini-20 with great success. There are a good many clones of it available also but you don't really save much with them. If you are going to order one be sure to also get a bag of 1000 size "0" gel caps, they only cost a few dollars and make creating your new doses a lot easier.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sacam7,

That's good, the planning in advance.

Yes, we can help you.  Just @ one of us, when you have a question.  Once you hit the @ key and start to type in a name after, a menu comes up, that you select from.

 

Sometimes other members can be really great to have as buddies too, and many have had to figure out the how tos as well.  We like to keep the pertinent information, out here on the main board, but there is also a PM system.  You'll see that in the upper right hand corner, an envelope icon.

Moderators and administration don't do much in the way of PM interactions, though, here.   We are an internet forum, and so, it's a bit different from some of the other sites.  

You might find another member.  And I just have to preserve and balance my time wisely now.  Self care.  You'll see and learn more about that during this all.  Not selfish, it's just I had to learn some good lessons in this.

 

And then I don't know how it has worked out at the Inner Compass, or TWI, the withdrawal project.  You could google, and then find that site.  I know that initially, they were wanting to try and pair up, or even gather members together from the same locations, to then exchange emails for tapering buddies.

And then there are FB groups as well, specific to certain drugs.  I believe most of them are private groups too.......so that's an option.

 

Or......just see how it goes. 

This is your introduction/journal page where you have now introduced yourself to the community, you can ask questions here regarding your tapering, give updates, and just keep a record of your journey.  This is a good spot to communicate with others too.  And then, when comfortable, perhaps you can support another Paxil or other taperer too. 

 

I did okay, just here, and so thankful for the support, and patience given to me, early on.......and even now.  Wish there was more of it on the ground though.

 

Again, bravo, on a well planned out taper Sacam.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

 

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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  • Mentor

Hello Sacam7 I also  tried to come off Paxil and I went  too fast a few times . I never new it was withdrawals I always thought and was told by drs that is anxiety coming back! I have ended up on lexapro due to not knowing.  I don’t know if you have thought about getting a prescription for liquid Paxil but it simplifies things for me! You could check to see if it is available where you are. Be sure to check several different pharmacies. If you do go this route  Transfer slowly over a month from pill to liquid and hold a month. You are on the rt path! Great planning! Either way you go the moderators will guide you all the way ! Hang in there! 

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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@brassmonkey since I have been on paxil 20 years, I think doing the brass monkey method would be a good idea for me. Can you please help me work out the calculations for a drop from 20 mg? My math is terrible especially in the state of mind that I’m in. I believe paxil is finally pooping out since I am getting withdrawl symptoms the past year without even starting a taper. Tremors, deep depression, anxiety, depersonalization, vivid dreams etc. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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I would be glad to help.

 

After 20 years I would be surprised if the paxil wasn't starting to poopout. What you describe really sounds like it. It took me several years to realize that was what was happening to me. There are two ways out of poopout, either up or down. Increasing your dose would be a short term fix that doesn't work all that well. Decreasing your dose slowly is the best plan. Tapering through poopout can be very frustrating because your body is very confused and it can take a while for it to realize that things are improving. Until it does the symptoms tend to continue as if nothing is happening, so it seems that you are not making any headway when in fact you are. There is a lot of information about tapering through poopout on the site, here is a link to part of an article I wrote that deals with tapering through poopout.  Give it a read, and if you get a chance go through the entire article, https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/23081-are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take/?tab=comments#comment-492496

 

To work out the calculations I will need a couple of pieces of information. 

 

What is the average weight of your tablets? We usually use the average of 10 tablets.

What is the strength of the tablets as listed on the package?

What is the total percentage you wish to reduce by for each cycle? The standard Brassmonkey Slide is 10% and is a good place to start, but we can do other percentages as well. We do not recommend more than 10% though. 

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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@brassmonkeythank so much for your reply and your willingness to help. I am waiting for my scale to come in and as soon as it does I will get back to you with the weight. Once again, thank you. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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I was prescribed paxil for severe depression and anxiety and depersonalization 20 years ago and it worked really well for the most part up until about a year ago. I want to start tapering as I am having what I believe is poop out. (Experiencing withdrawal symptoms while still taking my full dose of 20mg). Are there people that have been successful in managing their depression and anxiety after getting off these meds completely? I feel that paxil brought me out of a deeply dark place many years ago and am scared to think about life without it, even though it’s not working any longer. Thank you for any input. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

  

1 hour ago, Sacam7 said:

I’m trying to wrap my fried brain around all of this. I have read everything at least a few times. Some things I hope can be clarified. I am taking 20 mg of paxil (paroxetine) a day. If I want to make a liquid, can I just do it with my one 20mg pill every day, ingest what I need, and throw out the rest? I see people asking about storing the liquid, but I’m wondering if I can just make it every day from my one pill, and take my reduction. I’m terrible at math and conversion s and all that so I will be asking for a lot of help here (sorry) I’m not sure if it would be easier for me to just crush and weigh. But if someone can help me figure out the making the liquid, that would be so appreciated. Another question, does the brass monkey slide method work well with making your own liquid? How do you do the calculations for a 2.5% drop on a liquid? What is the best ratio for this? Thank you for any answers. I am completely lost and I’m so embarrassed. 

 

Do not be embarrassed.  It can be difficult to get your head around the calculations.

 

Yes, the Brassmonkey slide does work well with making your own liquid.  I'll leave if to @brassmonkey to explain how you make the calculations for that.

 

I hope that the following might help you to understand how to do the calculations.

 

If you put a 20mg tablet of Paxil in 20mL of water each 1mL of liquid will contain 1mg Paxil.

 

20:20   divide both sides by 20

 

1 : 1         1mg Paxil (left hand side of ratio) in 1mL of liquid (right hand side of ratio)

 

To make it easier to measure when you get to measuring amounts that contain decimals you can increase the amount of water you use.

 

20mg tablet in 200mL:

 

20 : 200   divide both sides by 200

 

0.1 : 1     0.1mg Paxil in 1mL liquid

 

OR         divide both sides by 20

 

1 : 10     1mg Paxil in 10mL liquid

 

If you wanted to do more or less water or have a different tablet dose you can use the above examples to make the calculation.

 

And here are examples of using the above to get the dose you need.

 

If you were doing a 10% reduction 20mg x 0.9 = 18mg

 

1 : 1 ratio      multiply both sides by 18

 

18 : 18           take 18mL of liquid

 

1 : 10 ratio   multiply both sides by 18

 

18 : 180mL    take 180mL of liquid

 

The next reduction would be 18mg x 0.9 = 16.2mg

 

1 : 1 ratio      multiply both sides by 16.2

 

16.2 : 16.2    take 16.2mL liquid

 

1 : 10 ratio    multiply both sides by 16.2

 

16.2 : 162    take 162 mL liquid

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator

Liquid paroxetine is available by prescription in the US, and is far easier to use for tapering than weighing powder on the scales.

 

If you are taking 20mg Paxil, probably the best way to taper is to get a prescription for 10mg capsules plus the liquid so you can take an odd amount, such as 18mg (which would be your first 10% reduction), in 1 10mg capsule plus 8mg liquid.

 

The second easiest way to taper is to make your own liquid from the capsules. Again, if you go a prescription for 10mg capsules, you could add to that with your homemade liquid to make the lower doses as you taper down to 10mg.

 

The most difficult way to taper is to weigh the powder and calculate reductions based on weight.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata  @ChessieCat @brassmonkey thank you ALL for taking the time to answer me and be so thorough with your answers. I am so very appreciative of all of you! If I decide to make my own liquid, would it be a good idea at first to split my 20mg tablet in half, use 10mg to make the liquid, and take the other 10mg piece plus whatever additional of the liquid to equal the current dose? Example: if I need to take 19.5mg then I would take 1/2 of a 20 mg tablet and 9.5mg worth of liquid? Hope that question makes sense. I ask because I read on here that it takes some time to adjust to liquid for some people, so maybe that would help ease into the transition. Plus, I have a lot of 20 mg tablets already. I plan on doing the brass monkey slide. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You are very welcome.

 

SA generally suggests doing a cross over when changing form of a drug.  And you do not make any changes at the same time, ie do not reduce whilst doing the cross over).

 

You do each of the following combinations for 3-7 days, or longer if you need to:  3/4 + 1/4, 1/2 + 1/2, 1/4 + 3/4.

 

Because you are staying at 20mg and taking part as tablet and part as liquid it doesn't matter too much if the tablet is not broken exactly because you will be taking all of the tablet.

 

But accuracy will be needed once you start reducing.  If you are using 20mg tablets then it would be easier and more accurate to take the whole dose in liquid.  Once you get 10mg tablets you could take 10mg + liquid to make up the dose you need.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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@ChessieCat ok sounds good. Sorry, another question: I will be doing the brass monkey slide of a 2.5 mg reduction every week so I will be working with decimals straight away. I was thinking of making a 10:100 ratio liquid when I start reducing to make it easier like you said. I wanna make sure I get this right: I’m taking 20mg paxil. I want to reduce 2.5%. I multiply 20 x .975=19.5mg to get the 2.5% reduction total. I take a 10mg tablet and 9.5mg of liquid which would be 95mL ? Am I doing this correctly? The next dose would be 19.0125mg...do I round that to 19.01? Or 19.1? I’m thinking 19.1? The next 2.5% drop comes to 18.6225, do I round that to 18.6? Am I doing this correctly? I’m so sorry for all the questions I just wanna get it right. I’ve been trying to figure this out for hours. Hopefully I’m getting close to getting it right. Thank you so much for all your help. I have about a 5th grade math level and it shows. 😑 my brain is working overtime trying to compute all of this info. 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The hard work has been done:

 

BrassMonkey Slide Online Calculator

 

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Even the decimal places have been included to make it easier.

 

Enter the starting dose of 20mg in Row 5 in Columns B, C and D

 

And 10 in Row 6 in Columns B, C and D

 

For the next reduction you would enter the "end dose" amount.

 

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Than you! Can I do this from my iphone? I do not have a laptop or desktop computer 

Paxil 20mg since 2000 (20 years) 

September 2001 - February 2003 - Klonopin - half of a .5 mg tablet three times a day

March 2012 - Klonopin - .5mg tablet once or twice a day for two weeks
oct. 2014- cold turkey off of 20mg paxil  
November 2014-reinstated paxil 5,10,20mg

June 2020- went down to 22.5mg paxil 

august 2020-went down to 20 mg paxil. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've just looked at it on my smart phone and it asks if you want to use the Google App and when you click on it, it goes to the page to install it.  I did not install it to see if it works.  If you do not get the prompt to use the app, when you go to the spreadsheet there is a pencil/edit icon top right which can be clicked and will also take you to the download app page.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator

Hi Sacam, there is no reason to believe that you will be back to that place from 20 years ago when you come off of the drugs. You have changed a lot since then and there is no indication that depression is part of who you are without drugs so I suspect that once you get off the drugs slowly (pls taper very slowly) you will be a very different person from who you were many years ago. I certainly am! I was on citalopram for 19 years, prescribed for anxiety and since withdrawing (still in the process but had to take a break for a year during which a lot of the WD symptoms got better) I am not the same person from 20 years ago. I do get anxious at times but manage it. I do get sad at times but also manage it. WD amplified all those for a while but as the waves subside things are ok.

 

Nonetheless it might help to work with a good therapist or learn about techniques to manage emotions in the meantime. Some such techniques are listed in these forums. I personally like CBT as it helps me catch myself when I am catastrophizing or using should statements etc. but there are others as well. I did do a course of CBT therapy during WD and it helped.

 

Paxil, from what I hear, is a nasty drug to quit so it will probably get worse before it gets better but if you do it slowly you may be able to get through it easier.

 

I'm wishing you good luck! We're here to support you.

 

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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