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3Shadows: looking for Paxil withdrawal and replacement supportive


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I began my antidepressant journey over 20 years ago. My story is long and complicated but it seems that no matter what I try for anti depressants I always end up back on the paxil. I return to taking the Paxil because I some ways it helps many of my anxiety and depression challenges.  But it comes at a cost also. One is that genetically I can only take it up to 20 mg. Because after 20 mg I end up with side effects from increasing the medication.Also it causes so much weight gain in my stomach that I become very self conscious.  In addition due to not being able to be on an adequate dose and metabolism issues I have midday Paxil withdrawals symptoms everything day.  I have tried the time release tablets but they cause tension, high blood pressure and irritated feelings for side effects. 


I have had genetic testing done for the appropriate antidepressants and Psychiatric medications that my system can tolerate best. But I have yet to find a combination that I can be comfortable with longterm.  I have stuck out the 20 mg of Paxil for about a year and a half now. But the daily withdrawal feelings and the reoccurring depressive episodes are more than draining on my system.


So my goal I have been pondering these past few months has been to speak to my doctor again about trying the bridge to Prozac again, and trying other options yet again. I did do this a couple of years ago to with the Paxil. But I can't stay in the Prozac alone either due to the palpitations and irritation that too causes .My hope is to get off of the Paxil onto the Prozac again and find an alternative(s) that will actually help my depression anxiety and panic without causing the intense weight gain in my stomach.


As soon as I have tried a variety of different antidepressants and also a benzo in the past all with little success. Usually the antidepressant will help the depression or the anxiety but not the other components.  I have anxiety, panick and depression. After several months of trial and error, I begin to feel so bad with anxiety, palpitations, panick and depression that I think that I can deal with the stomach weight that I gain Paxil and opt for it again. I don't really have a problem with gaining some weight I just have a problem with it going to my stomach, thus making it protrude and feel almost like I'm 3 months pregnant. 


Anyway I've been patient and I want to make sure that I do this cautiously because here it is the middle of December, and I'm being hit with seasonal affect disorder too, and my Paxil is not cutting it for depression now and I cannot increase the Paxil because my genetics can not process it in higher doses.


Paxil 20.mgs. 2000,Paxil weaned and last dose 2002, Lorazepam prescribed for Anxiety and Paxil reinstated 2003, Paxil weaned and last dose 2005, Paxil 15 reinstated 2006, Paxil weaned last dose summer 2008, Lorazepam prescribed for Anxiety 2008, Zoloft prescribed fall 2008  for depression, hospitalized right after for major depression. Fall 2008 Lexapro 10mg and .50 Clonazepam., 2014 Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, paxil.ended Clonazepram. Trued mirtazopam and Wellbutrin to augment Paxil.


Presently on 20 mg paxil


Edited by ChessieCat
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  • 3Shadows changed the title to Looking for Paxil withdrawal and Replacement Supportive
  • ChessieCat changed the title to 3Shadows: looking for Paxil withdrawal and replacement supportive
  • Moderator

Dear 3Shadows, 

welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. I am sorry you have been struggling with various mental health issues. 

We are a site that is dedicated to coming off of antidepressants in a safe way. We do not provide advice on which antidepressants or cocktails to choose and how to bridge from one to the other. Genetic tests for antidepressants are not shown to be effective or approved by regulatory agencies. 


Paxil is a very hard drug to come off of and it seems like you are already having trouble with interdose withdrawal symptoms.  It is possible that the times when you have come off of paxil before in order to switch to other drugs you were suffering from withdrawal issues - hence the anxiety. 


We have a topic on bridging with prozac in order to get off of your original drug and maybe it will provide some useful guidance to you. 

You may be able to find better help on other forums that help with continuing antidepressant treatment. You are welcome to stay and learn here of course, we just can't provide you better help. 


Edited by Onmyway
grammatical error

"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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  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

In another part of the forum, you mentioned you were going to try a prozac bridge.  Did you ever do it?  If so, how did it go? 

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  


***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.


Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg


Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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