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Hello all. First time poster here. I have been a member for over a year but never had the nerve to post. I need help. Quick background: Was put on 20mg paxil and .5mg xanax per day around 2006. The xanax was switched to ativan probably around 2011ish. I quit the paxil and ativan c/t end of October 2020. January 2nd 2021 started having extreme unrelenting brain zaps, anxiety, fear, terror, palpitations, inability to sleep....just wanted to crawl out of my own skin. I had quit drinking January 1st and assumed it was that...but I was not that heavy of a drinker. I now believe this was my first experience of withdrawal. Around the 12th day of experiencing this I took 10mg of paxil out of sheer desperation. A couple of hours later it virtually stopped all of the worst symptoms. My nervous system was taxed. I was shaky...but somewhat alright. It took a month or so to feel myself. I stayed on the 10mg. Plus side...I was no longer taking the ativan. Fastforward to January 2023. I attempted to wean down further to 5mg. This was going fine all the way to September 27th when I stopped altogether...again. I could tell my brain was healing and I had plenty of mild symptoms...but I was ok. February 27th 2024...randomly had my heart rate go up to 140 bpm while sitting watching tv. Went to the ER...everything came back fine. "Must be my anxiety I thought". I should note that prior to meds my ocd/generalized anxiety/occasional panic disorder were not what they became ON the meds...hence my realization that they were doing no good if not increasing issues. Anyway...I felt a bit better but then had a root canal this past Monday March 25th. Within a few hours the unrelenting feelings were back like before (in 2021) but even worse. My heart rate was up around 120bpm or so just walking around...lightheaded, dizzy, odd sensations like sounds seemed too loud etc. This horrible sensation of something that begins in my chest like the worst panic sensations you can imagine. I wanted to jump out of my skin. I couldnt go for walks, my heart rate was scaring me. This has gone on for over a week. I relented and took @ 2.5mg of paxil yesterday and @2.5mg today about 24hr apart. There are other symptoms I was feeling but cant remember right now. Within 2 hours the feeling in the core of my body began to melt. It didnt go completely away but it became maybe 3/4 better. Im scared. Im trying...maybe the wrong way but trying. I want this gone. I want this drug gone. Im just trying to stabilize. I dont want to lose my job. My doctor is having heart tests done but doesnt believe its a heart issue. I also, for years...all of which are during the time from first c/t to now have had a feeling like Im not getting full breaths. Pulmonologist says nothing is wrong with my lungs except I smoke. He did a full pulmonary function test. Im just looking for support...a feeling like I can do this...like Im going to be ok eventually. A comradery with someone or someones who understand. I dont know how to effectively cope. Nothing at all seemed to help in the worst times...and I dont want it back. But...I want this drug gone. I want to heal. I want to move on. Thank you in advance to anyone who reads my story. There's more to it...but this is the most pertinent slice...for now. All help is appreciated.

-Rob

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

2006: paxil-20mg/day

           Xanax-.5mg/day

@2012: xanax switched to ativan .5mg/day

2020: c/t paxil 20mg and ativan .5mg after cutting back over 2-3 week period. Dates unknown but I cut back from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and then stopped October 27th 2020. Ativan was stopped at same time. DONE WITH ATIVAN.

Jan 2, 2021: bad wd (I believe).

Jan 14, 2021: reinstated paxil 20mg

Jan 2023: began tapering again. Do not remember exact timeframe but was down to 10 mg before June 2023. Remaining months until Sept 2023 on and off coming down to 5mg/day.

Sept 27, 2023: c/t off paxil 5mg/day

Feb 2024: not feeling great still but ok. Tachycardia end of Feb.

March 25, 2023: wd after root canal. Constant tachycardia/panic/ anxiety at my very core...unrelenting.

April 2, 2024: reinstated paxil at @ 2.5mg. Taken...begrudgingly to the present. Still tachycardic but the terrifying feeling in my core subsided within 2 hours of first dose at 2.5mg. 

 

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  • Emonda changed the title to Rob9H9: Evil Paxil
  • Moderator

Hello Rob, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

Your first task is to create a drug signature, with the following:

 

  • All current medication you take, the dose you take, when you started the drug, and when you made dose changes
  • All current supplements you take
  • An accurate history of recent drugs, taken in the last 12-24 months
  • Dates for recent should be written as 7 Oct 2023, or Oct 7 2023, or early Oct 2023, or mid Oct 2023
  • A history of drugs taken 24 months ago and beyond - if applicable
  • Dates for historical drugs can simply be listed as start and stop years
  • Please do not use 07/10/23 // 10/07/23 as this is intepreted differently around the world

 

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. See my signature for example of clear and concise information.

 

 

 

This topic is for anything relating to you, and any questions you have. Please do not start another topic.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your CURRENT dose each month, to limit withdrawal symptoms. E.g. 10mg --> 9mg --> 8.1mg --> 7.29mg

 

All the answers you are looking for regarding tapering and antidepressant withdrawal are on this site. Please search around and continue to read as much as you can manage. Use the site search function to search for specific words or phrases, such as drugs or symptoms.

 

Here are a few of the most useful links:

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Micro tapering

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Using a scale to weigh and measure doses

 

We only recommend two supplements. Omega 3 Fish Oil and Magnesium. Both should be introduced separately and increased slowly.

 

Regards

Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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  • Moderator
On 4/4/2024 at 12:03 AM, Rob9H9 said:

.I felt a bit better but then had a root canal this past Monday March 25th

It is likely the adrenaline or such they used during the procedure spiked your already sensitive nervous system. We have other members that have reported issues with the drugs used during dental procedures.

 

On 4/4/2024 at 12:03 AM, Rob9H9 said:

This has gone on for over a week. I relented and took @ 2.5mg of paxil yesterday and @2.5mg today about 24hr apart. There are other symptoms I was feeling but cant remember right now.

If I was you I would take 2.5mg for the foreseeable weeks and months. In order to succesfully taper off you need stability with your nervous system. Paxil is a very challenging drug to taper, for now your focus is on taking the same dose every day and seeing how your symptoms progress in the coming weeks.

 

Regards

Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
On 4/4/2024 at 12:03 AM, Rob9H9 said:

I also, for years...all of which are during the time from first c/t to now have had a feeling like Im not getting full breaths.

Could be air hunger from the cold turkey episode years back. It's a common withdrawal symptom. Could also be exacerbated by your smoking habits.

Edited by Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

I hate to admit it...but Im scared. The tachycardia worries me. I have been in the er twice due to it and the feelings of coarsing adrenaline that come with it. A short walk spikes my hr to 140-150. They do not see anything wrong in blood work or on ekg. Sceduled for echocardiogram and holter monitor but thats 3 weeks out. I havent been able to work since 2 weeks ago. My hr jumps to 120 when I stand up. I have always run a bit high but not like this. Its like my autonomic system is permanently out of wack. My stomach has been horribly upset, periodic spikes in panic and fear, I cant focus, tinnitus is way up, odd sensations, lack of appetite and Ive lost 5 pounds these past two weeks. Im terrified. The 2.5mg has taken away that horrible feeling at my core though...the feeling of the worst anxiety and pressure that was unbearable. 

2006: paxil-20mg/day

           Xanax-.5mg/day

@2012: xanax switched to ativan .5mg/day

2020: c/t paxil 20mg and ativan .5mg after cutting back over 2-3 week period. Dates unknown but I cut back from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and then stopped October 27th 2020. Ativan was stopped at same time. DONE WITH ATIVAN.

Jan 2, 2021: bad wd (I believe).

Jan 14, 2021: reinstated paxil 20mg

Jan 2023: began tapering again. Do not remember exact timeframe but was down to 10 mg before June 2023. Remaining months until Sept 2023 on and off coming down to 5mg/day.

Sept 27, 2023: c/t off paxil 5mg/day

Feb 2024: not feeling great still but ok. Tachycardia end of Feb.

March 25, 2023: wd after root canal. Constant tachycardia/panic/ anxiety at my very core...unrelenting.

April 2, 2024: reinstated paxil at @ 2.5mg. Taken...begrudgingly to the present. Still tachycardic but the terrifying feeling in my core subsided within 2 hours of first dose at 2.5mg. 

 

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I wish I hadn't taken the paxil...but I was desperate. Im so very angry at myself for giving in, but it was an untenable situation. On a side note: I've been seemingly having minor troubles with memory since my first c/t...is this unusual as a wd symptom? I seem to remember seeing some other posts mentioning that?

2006: paxil-20mg/day

           Xanax-.5mg/day

@2012: xanax switched to ativan .5mg/day

2020: c/t paxil 20mg and ativan .5mg after cutting back over 2-3 week period. Dates unknown but I cut back from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and then stopped October 27th 2020. Ativan was stopped at same time. DONE WITH ATIVAN.

Jan 2, 2021: bad wd (I believe).

Jan 14, 2021: reinstated paxil 20mg

Jan 2023: began tapering again. Do not remember exact timeframe but was down to 10 mg before June 2023. Remaining months until Sept 2023 on and off coming down to 5mg/day.

Sept 27, 2023: c/t off paxil 5mg/day

Feb 2024: not feeling great still but ok. Tachycardia end of Feb.

March 25, 2023: wd after root canal. Constant tachycardia/panic/ anxiety at my very core...unrelenting.

April 2, 2024: reinstated paxil at @ 2.5mg. Taken...begrudgingly to the present. Still tachycardic but the terrifying feeling in my core subsided within 2 hours of first dose at 2.5mg. 

 

Link to comment
On 4/4/2024 at 7:10 PM, Erimus said:

It is likely the adrenaline or such they used during the procedure spiked your already sensitive nervous system. We have other members that have reported issues with the drugs used during dental procedures.

 

If I was you I would take 2.5mg for the foreseeable weeks and months. In order to succesfully taper off you need stability with your nervous system. Paxil is a very challenging drug to taper, for now your focus is on taking the same dose every day and seeing how your symptoms progress in the coming weeks.

 

Regards

Erimus

Does my going back on the 2.5mg mean that that 6 months off was all for nothing or did I heal some? Am I back at literal square one? I don't know what to think. Im still feeling wd symptoms, mostly intrusive thoughts and panicky feelings. Alot of it starts in the morning and subsides by bedtime. Tinnitus is up...but the heart rate is the most troubling...contributing to everything else through higher cortisol and my own anxiety about it. Echocardiogram was pushed up to today, so we'll see how that goes and the holter monitor is tomorrow. I suspect they will only show innapropriate tachycardia...but that gets me no where. We'll see. Wish me luck.

2006: paxil-20mg/day

           Xanax-.5mg/day

@2012: xanax switched to ativan .5mg/day

2020: c/t paxil 20mg and ativan .5mg after cutting back over 2-3 week period. Dates unknown but I cut back from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and then stopped October 27th 2020. Ativan was stopped at same time. DONE WITH ATIVAN.

Jan 2, 2021: bad wd (I believe).

Jan 14, 2021: reinstated paxil 20mg

Jan 2023: began tapering again. Do not remember exact timeframe but was down to 10 mg before June 2023. Remaining months until Sept 2023 on and off coming down to 5mg/day.

Sept 27, 2023: c/t off paxil 5mg/day

Feb 2024: not feeling great still but ok. Tachycardia end of Feb.

March 25, 2023: wd after root canal. Constant tachycardia/panic/ anxiety at my very core...unrelenting.

April 2, 2024: reinstated paxil at @ 2.5mg. Taken...begrudgingly to the present. Still tachycardic but the terrifying feeling in my core subsided within 2 hours of first dose at 2.5mg. 

 

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Rob9H9 said:

Does my going back on the 2.5mg mean that that 6 months off was all for nothing or did I heal some? Am I back at literal square one? I don't know what to think.

The nervous system will heal much quicker by re-introducing the drug it was struggling to function without, and then tapering off properly. Just think of it more as easing the burden on your brain and body.

 

5 hours ago, Rob9H9 said:

Alot of it starts in the morning and subsides by bedtime.

This is common, and is to do with hormone levels in the body. Cortisol level is highest at around 5am, which can spike a sensitised nervous system. It reaches it's lowest point in the evening before bed, hence why we often feel better then.

 

Your heart rate will settle down as you stabilise more. Try to be patient and kind with yourself over the coming weeks.

Edited by Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Hi @Rob9H9 Thanks for reaching out. 

I found when I started weighing pills, they all varied a bit in weight. I took about 20 and weighed them collectively, took that figure and divided by 20 to get a consistent mg to start with. For me, the 20 mg pill weighs 236.8 mg. (Each manufacturer is different. Always stick with the same manufacturer. Composition and drug strength varies and will affect a sensitive system.) So that weight meant 5 mg equals 59.2 mg on the scale. I use a pill cutter to divide the pill in 4. From there I use a one sided razor (maybe an exacto knife would work too) to slowly shave off powder to get to 52 mg on the scale, which is where I am at. 

Since you are working with a 10 mg pill, you would take the average weight and divide it in 4 to get the consistent weight for 2.5 mg moving forward. It is definitely a tiny amount to work with. I use tweezers. Since some pills will be less than the consistent weight you might not always get 4 cuts out of a pill. Is your doctor able to write you a prescription for more than you need to compensate for loss? My dr writes my prescription as if I am taking 10 mg.

Have you thought about crossing over to making your own liquid or doing a slow transition over to the manufactured liquid? We can't get the liquid form in Canada. 

Do you keep daily notes? I like to use a spreadsheet of symptoms and rate them 1-10. Have you seen anymore improvement?

20 yr+ Paroxetine/ Dec2018-May 2022 20 mg/ May 2022 30mg/2022.07.28-2022.08.24 30mg to 0mg/ August 24-29 2022 10mg Prozac/2022.11.28-2022.12.04- 5mg Paroxetine/Dec 5&6/22 10mg Paroxetine/ Dec 8&9/22 10mg Prozac/ 2022.12.07 to 2023.07.01 5mg Paroxetine

TAPER 23.07.02-58mgpw/4.9mgai/ 23.07.21-4.8 mg/23.07.28-4.73 mg/23.08.04-4.65 mg/21.09.23-4.58 mg/27.10.23-4.56 mg/5.12.23-4.54 mg/2.1.24-4.52 mg/9.1.24-4.51 mg/17.1.24-4.49 mg/26.1.24-4.47 mg/6.2.24-4.46 mg/19.2.24-4.44mg /4.4.24-4.43mg/28.4.24-4.4mg/5.5.24-4.39 mg/19.5.24-4.36 mg/

8am-probiotics/9am-paroxetine, 200mg mag bisglycinate/ 1000mg Vitamin D/noon-1000 mg algae oil (500mg DHA/10mg EPA/620mg Omega 3)/5pm-75 mg DGL/200mg calcium citrate/8pm-.25 mg melatonin

"... your strength will be in keeping calm..."-Isaiah 30:15

I am not a medical professional just your peer. The suggestions I give are based on personal experience and/or the well documented experience of others.

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On 4/4/2024 at 4:45 PM, Rob9H9 said:

My stomach has been horribly upset, periodic spikes in panic and fear, I cant focus, tinnitus is way up, odd sensations, lack of appetite and Ive lost 5 pounds these past two weeks.

I found taking a chewable ginger tablet and ginger tea helped alot. I still take it daily. I also use chewable DGL tablets to settle the reflux my CT caused. Just 75mg twice a day.

Please avoid all Caffeine if possible - coffee, green tea, black tea, chocolate. You mentioned smoking which also affects the cns- is cutting down an option? Also no alcohol, CBD oil , weed, etc .

Some react to the nitrates in processed sandwich meats and bacon. MSG can also be problematic. 

Have you looked into a free online course for CBT? Also reading Claire Weekes book Hope and Help for Your Nerves had alot of insights for me. Most of all acceptance and kindness to yourself. 💯

20 yr+ Paroxetine/ Dec2018-May 2022 20 mg/ May 2022 30mg/2022.07.28-2022.08.24 30mg to 0mg/ August 24-29 2022 10mg Prozac/2022.11.28-2022.12.04- 5mg Paroxetine/Dec 5&6/22 10mg Paroxetine/ Dec 8&9/22 10mg Prozac/ 2022.12.07 to 2023.07.01 5mg Paroxetine

TAPER 23.07.02-58mgpw/4.9mgai/ 23.07.21-4.8 mg/23.07.28-4.73 mg/23.08.04-4.65 mg/21.09.23-4.58 mg/27.10.23-4.56 mg/5.12.23-4.54 mg/2.1.24-4.52 mg/9.1.24-4.51 mg/17.1.24-4.49 mg/26.1.24-4.47 mg/6.2.24-4.46 mg/19.2.24-4.44mg /4.4.24-4.43mg/28.4.24-4.4mg/5.5.24-4.39 mg/19.5.24-4.36 mg/

8am-probiotics/9am-paroxetine, 200mg mag bisglycinate/ 1000mg Vitamin D/noon-1000 mg algae oil (500mg DHA/10mg EPA/620mg Omega 3)/5pm-75 mg DGL/200mg calcium citrate/8pm-.25 mg melatonin

"... your strength will be in keeping calm..."-Isaiah 30:15

I am not a medical professional just your peer. The suggestions I give are based on personal experience and/or the well documented experience of others.

Link to comment
On 4/4/2024 at 4:45 PM, Rob9H9 said:

My stomach has been horribly upset, periodic spikes in panic and fear, I cant focus, tinnitus is way up, odd sensations, lack of appetite and Ive lost 5 pounds these past two weeks.

I found taking a chewable ginger tablet and ginger tea helped alot. I still take it daily. I also use chewable DGL tablets to settle the reflux my CT caused. Just 75mg twice a day.

Please avoid all Caffeine if possible - coffee, green tea, black tea, chocolate. You mentioned smoking which also affects the cns- is cutting down an option? Also no alcohol, CBD oil , weed, etc .

Some react to the nitrates in processed sandwich meats and bacon. MSG can also be problematic. 

Have you looked into a free online course for CBT? Also reading Claire Weekes book Hope and Help for Your Nerves had alot of insights for me. Most of all acceptance and kindness to yourself. 💯

20 yr+ Paroxetine/ Dec2018-May 2022 20 mg/ May 2022 30mg/2022.07.28-2022.08.24 30mg to 0mg/ August 24-29 2022 10mg Prozac/2022.11.28-2022.12.04- 5mg Paroxetine/Dec 5&6/22 10mg Paroxetine/ Dec 8&9/22 10mg Prozac/ 2022.12.07 to 2023.07.01 5mg Paroxetine

TAPER 23.07.02-58mgpw/4.9mgai/ 23.07.21-4.8 mg/23.07.28-4.73 mg/23.08.04-4.65 mg/21.09.23-4.58 mg/27.10.23-4.56 mg/5.12.23-4.54 mg/2.1.24-4.52 mg/9.1.24-4.51 mg/17.1.24-4.49 mg/26.1.24-4.47 mg/6.2.24-4.46 mg/19.2.24-4.44mg /4.4.24-4.43mg/28.4.24-4.4mg/5.5.24-4.39 mg/19.5.24-4.36 mg/

8am-probiotics/9am-paroxetine, 200mg mag bisglycinate/ 1000mg Vitamin D/noon-1000 mg algae oil (500mg DHA/10mg EPA/620mg Omega 3)/5pm-75 mg DGL/200mg calcium citrate/8pm-.25 mg melatonin

"... your strength will be in keeping calm..."-Isaiah 30:15

I am not a medical professional just your peer. The suggestions I give are based on personal experience and/or the well documented experience of others.

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