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Gedona: My Paroxetine journey so far …


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Posted (edited)

Hi, 

I’m really glad that I find this forum. Reading it really helps me to calm down, which I am grateful for. 

You can say that I want to share my story for my own revision of it as well as for maybe someone who is struggling and have similar problems to mine. 
 

I will try to make my story short as possible but like with everything context matters. 
 

I am on Paroxetine for 7 years now. I was diagnosed with OCD (hyperfixation, hyperawareness: heartbeat, blinking and intrusive thoughts and also interlinked with all of this hypochondria) and it was my first visit to psychiatrist - he prescribed me Paroxetine 20 mg 1 tablet per day. 
In April 2023 I decided to went to therapy with psychologist having in mind this idea of quitting paroxetine. 

In January 2024 I decided to quit Paroxetine. Context and reason why my sound stupid but: I was taking paroxetine and smoking weed for a year now. Doctor told me to: quit smoking or quit paroxetine cause they do have weird interactions. So I decided to quit paroxetine. Ofc I did it with consulting my doctor first.
Plan was to:

- first 3 weeks start by taking 3/4 tablet 

- after this time to temper to half a tablet a day

- and currently I’m on half a tablet every other day. 
 

First 3 weeks with 3/4 tablet were okay. Nothing really changed. 
And in February with half a tablet everyday was ok but I did notice some things to manifest - not the brain zaps but a weird feeling of “crawling ants” on my scalp and forehead (it appeared after I take vitamin B complex for neuralgia). After this I prolonged taking half a tablet everyday cause I was scared of withdrawal and other symptoms that may occur. This weird sensations was for about a week or so, then in 2nd half of March - I get sick - prob Covid or flu like illness: fever, cough etc. - and I was very tired after that illness but I explained myself that it was due to prior sickness - in that time I accidentally dislocated my disk - nothing serious but my back really hurt for 3 weeks - I went to doctor, he gave me some medication for back pain - back pain disappeared after I move weirdly on my couch and heard the “crank” noise. 
Everything seems to be normal for like a week. 
After that issue was resolved I went to be taking half a tablet every other day. 
To keep it short let’s just say that I knew it will be hard to quit Paroxetine after 7 years but not this hard. Before taking paroxetine I did pay more attention to my body: weird sensations and hyperawareness of certain parts of my body and it came back. 
Now with previously experienced topic (before I have had been on paroxetine ) which is peeing - after peeing I almost immediately what to go pee again. 
I did not at that time connect it with any sort of withdrawal or anything so I went to do some labs. Everything came back normal. I went to urologist as well, to check my prostate - everything is normal. 
This sensation is persistent until I have “my hands full” if I have some tasks really absorbing it does not exist, which only confirms that it is psychological. 

 

Even right now, writing my story absorbed me this much that I don’t feel any discomfort. 

With this peeing sensation also came some muscles tension around buttocks area - like someone would squeeze or just feeling of tension around my prostate. Awful sensation - don’t recommend. 
 

context: I am smoking weed daily for a year now. It helps me calm down and reduce stress. I did had some problem with THC and paroxetine but it was resolved by itself after sometime - like depression episodes but nothing of this magnitude like physical sensations coming from my psyche. 
 

Right now, I feel terrible - as the world is coming apart. I do had some windows of stability but they don’t last for long. Sometimes I feel like this stability came from nowhere which only push me towards thinking that maybe something is wrong with me physically - that create more stress and more fixations. 
 

Even tho it is really hard I am trying and willing to push though. I was 7 years on this and I would love to close that chapter in my life. 
As it stands right now: it is personally the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I feel like my nervous system is on fire and because I spend a lot of time thinking what can be wrong with me - it’s just really exhausting. 
 

I did get in touch with psychiatrist, who told me that tempering with paroxetine dosage can manifest that way (psyche-soma sensations) and that’s paroxetine due to its fast working, it’s hard to get off and prescribed me some new meds but I decided to try pushing through even tho it’s tough and do not take the new meds - I’m also worried what new symptoms can new drug bring - even tho it’s supposed to help me get off of paroxetine and after that temper a new drug which supposedly it’s easier to get rid off. 
 

I am not perfect and I know that smoking THC and tempering with paroxetine it’s not the best idea but it helps me manage this even if it’s little. 
 

So that’s about it as of right now. I will try to post what happens next on this hell of a rollercoaster. 
 

if anyone want to bring some insight or maybe share some tips and tricks how to deal with this - I would be forever grateful for. 
 

As for someone who read it all and myself - if you are at the bottom the only way is up ⬆️.

Me trying to convince myself think positively

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

2017 - start on paroxetine gradually 2 first weeks half a tablet then a whole tablet 20 mg

2018 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2019 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2020 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2021 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2022 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2023 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2024 - start to taper paroxetine 20 mg

          January: 3/4 of tablet daily

          February & March: half a tablet daily 

          2nd half of April: half a tablet every other day.

          15th May: 1/4 a tablet everyday

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  • Administrator

Welcome @Gedona

 

So the moderators can best help you, please complete your drug signature by following these instructions. Adding a signature ensures your drug history appears at the bottom of every post, making it more efficient for those trying to assist. 

 

This link should go directly to your own signature: Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

16 hours ago, Gedona said:

Plan was to:

- first 3 weeks start by taking 3/4 tablet 

- after this time to temper to half a tablet a day

- and currently I’m on half a tablet every other day. 

 

When it comes to tapering of ADs, VERY slow is the way to go: Why taper by 10% of my dosage? The reductions should get smaller and smaller each month, for example: 10mg, 9mg, 8.1mg, 7.3mg etc. Importantly, if you develop unpleasant side effects from tapering, halt the taper, give yourself time to settle, and once stable, taper more slowly and by smaller amounts moving forward.

 

Never skip doses to taper. Once you provide your drug signature, someone will give you some guidance on the dose to take each and every day.

 

16 hours ago, Gedona said:

Right now, I feel terrible - as the world is coming apart.

 

Following the tapering plan you have been given, I'd expect your WD symptoms would be exactly as you've described. Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

Whilst we wait to see your drug signature, here are a few helpful links for you to digest:

 

Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

Emotional Spirals

 

Non-drug coping strategies

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but two that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. Add one at a time and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Avoid alcohol. 

 

Don't change the manufacturer of your AD.

 

This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE Introduction topic.  Your own Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions and the place to journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story. 

 

Finally, I'm sure you know this comment is coming, but please do not smoke cannabis. It will just make things worse as you try to stabilise.

 

Once again, welcome to S.A.

 

Emonda

 

 

 

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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  • Emonda changed the title to Gedona: My Paroxetine journey so far …

Hi, @Emonda thank you so much for all the links and encouraging words. 
 

I have updated my signature. 
 

I as well start to acknowledge the fact that maybe it’s better to stop smoking until I get some stabilization and also I can say that in my experience of tampering with THC - THC has helped calm my mind but I got worse somatic symptoms - cramps, muscle tension and other sensations. 

 

Right now more then anything I am just really fatigued as I was once before after my first exams on university ( I didn’t take any AD at that time) it comes and goes which is really scary at times - I need to constantly remind myself that I have done the labs month ago and everything is fine except compromised nervous system. 

Meditation and progressive relaxation helps for some time. 
 

I will buy today magnesium and omega 3 acids. They can only help me go through this 😊 and I’m familiar with them anyways. 
 

But I do have some questions:

Is it worth to push yourself through this and reduce paroxetine to zero or maybe trying coming back to original dose to get stabilized and try again ? 
Cause I can barely function but I can function.


I speak with my psychiatrist today and she encouraged me to push myself if I am determined to get off paroxetine and don’t add any new drugs. 

 
 

 

2017 - start on paroxetine gradually 2 first weeks half a tablet then a whole tablet 20 mg

2018 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2019 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2020 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2021 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2022 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2023 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2024 - start to taper paroxetine 20 mg

          January: 3/4 of tablet daily

          February & March: half a tablet daily 

          2nd half of April: half a tablet every other day.

          15th May: 1/4 a tablet everyday

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Small update: after 24 h without smoking THC. I feel much better - most of somatic sensations is gone. 
 

I took magnesium and omega 3-6-9 complex. 
 

The only thing that is persistent are: muscles tension - bearable but annoying and overall fatigue. 

2017 - start on paroxetine gradually 2 first weeks half a tablet then a whole tablet 20 mg

2018 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2019 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2020 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2021 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2022 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2023 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2024 - start to taper paroxetine 20 mg

          January: 3/4 of tablet daily

          February & March: half a tablet daily 

          2nd half of April: half a tablet every other day.

          15th May: 1/4 a tablet everyday

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Hi!

 

A word of caution about THC: it does cause withdrawal. WD from THC usually start about a month or two after you stop. You can expect insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, etc.

I'm saying this just to be sure that it doesn't take you by surprise. I've been there.

 

If you feel better after not taking THC for 24h, it's likely because you have become very sensitive to it.

 

This happen to a lot of us when tapering too fast. We become sensitive to all sort of drugs and supplements.

If you decide to try the new meds that your GP gave you, I'd suggest that you do it at a super low dose to test if you tolerate it.

 

Right now, stability is what you need. If you can take 1/4 of a tab per day instead of 1/2 every other day, it might help giving you some stability.

Skipping days is not something that is recommended around here! You might want to wait for the opinion of someone with more experience than me on this.

 

Also for now, I'd hold the dose and not decrease further until you have stabilized.

 

Emonda also mentionned it but I'll double down: Avoid alcool at all cost. It can cause setbacks and instability when in acute / protracted withdrawal.

 

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 2.5mg, Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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Hi, @Tweed9674 thank you so much for your advice. 

I am aware of THC withdrawal but thanks again so much for pointing it out - otherwise I would just forget and did not connect it with anything :)  - even tho it’s obvious. 

 

As I am right now I will try stick to paroxetine but I do get comfort from just having a new drug on the side if the things would get worst - doctor prescribed me Setraline. 

 

I can definitely try doing 1/4 of tablet everyday. Doesn’t hurt to try 😊
And ofc I would not taper anymore before getting some stabilization therefore I asked my doctor for additional box of paroxetine so I could slow my tamper even more if needed - or just make it longer and slower. 
 

I’m not much of a drinker - I rarely drink alcohol. So no problem with that :). 
 

And once again thank you for advice! :) It really, really helps :) 

2017 - start on paroxetine gradually 2 first weeks half a tablet then a whole tablet 20 mg

2018 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2019 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2020 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2021 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2022 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2023 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2024 - start to taper paroxetine 20 mg

          January: 3/4 of tablet daily

          February & March: half a tablet daily 

          2nd half of April: half a tablet every other day.

          15th May: 1/4 a tablet everyday

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  • Administrator
On 5/13/2024 at 9:44 PM, Gedona said:

Is it worth to push yourself through this and reduce paroxetine to zero or maybe trying coming back to original dose to get stabilized and try again ? 
Cause I can barely function but I can function.

 

I wouldn't try to push to 0mg. You need to stabilise and then taper very, very slowly.

 

17 hours ago, Tweed9674 said:

If you can take 1/4 of a tab per day instead of 1/2 every other day, it might help giving you some stability.

Skipping days is not something that is recommended around here!

 

So you've been taking 1/2 a tablet every second day? You want to take the same dose each and every day. Half a tablet every second day...maybe 1/4 tablet daily could be the place to try and stabilise....thanks @Tweed9674 for jumping in.

 

You need to be very accurate with the dose. Near enough is not good enough. People achieve accuracy by using a digital scaleblet to weigh the tablet.

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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  • Administrator

You should have a read of this:

 

 

 

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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Hi @Emonda, thanks for advice 😊 
 

I wouldn’t even try to push myself to zero paroxetine cause I generally feel awful.

What I meant is - is it worth going through this “agony” with decreased dosage or maybe come back to original dose - 1 tablet per day 20 mg and after getting some stabilization try tampering more controllably and slowly.
 

My doctor told me to go with half a tablet every other day but I don’t think it’s working for me - today I will go with 1/4 of tablet + vitamin B complex (has previously before AD help me this similar symptoms), magnesium and omega 3-6-9 complex. 
 

As of todays symptoms: nausea, lack of appetite, panic attacks, crying and this weird sensations of weakness in my upper body as I was fainting - but not in my head more like shoulders, forearms, upper back, all went weak(it just lasts a few minutes but it does scare me). 
 

Additionally I went to get my Tsh level checked - due to panic attacks and symptoms, that after I read some stuff here i know that they are symptoms of withdrawal but wanted to rule that out - I’m trying to search for an illness that would explain everything what’s going on with me right now - even tho i know my labs were done a month ago and everything was fine and the only thing that had changed is the dosage of paroxetine. 

2017 - start on paroxetine gradually 2 first weeks half a tablet then a whole tablet 20 mg

2018 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2019 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2020 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2021 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2022 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2023 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2024 - start to taper paroxetine 20 mg

          January: 3/4 of tablet daily

          February & March: half a tablet daily 

          2nd half of April: half a tablet every other day.

          15th May: 1/4 a tablet everyday

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  • Administrator
10 hours ago, Gedona said:

I wouldn’t even try to push myself to zero paroxetine cause I generally feel awful.

What I meant is - is it worth going through this “agony” with decreased dosage or maybe come back to original dose - 1 tablet per day 20 mg and after getting some stabilization try tampering more controllably and slowly.

 

Ah, misunderstanding...

 

Going back to the original dose in one hit wouldn't be a great idea. Whilst you tolerated that dose initially, jumping back up so quickly can cause issues.

 

Give yourself two weeks of taking the same dose (1/4 tablet) every day at exactly the same time. Make notes each day of how you feel. 

 

When people increase, it's safest to make small increases (max 10%) to see how you respond. Slow and steady in both directions is safest.

 

10 hours ago, Gedona said:

vitamin B

 

People can find it activating. I was fine with it for years until I wasn't. 

 

10 hours ago, Gedona said:

As of todays symptoms: nausea, lack of appetite, panic attacks, crying and this weird sensations of weakness in my upper body as I was fainting - but not in my head more like shoulders, forearms, upper back, all went weak(it just lasts a few minutes but it does scare me). 

 

All typical WD symptoms.

 

 

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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4 minutes ago, Emonda said:

People can find it activating. I was fine with it for years until I wasn't. 

That's an excellent point!

 

@GedonaI don't know if your intention is to reinstate vit B or if you are already taking it?

 

If you want to reinstate it, wait. Make the 1/4 tablet change first and observe how it goes. After that you can decide on the next move.

During WD, it is common to have weird / adverse reaction to things that we have tolerated for years priors.

 

We need to make one change at a time to avoid destabilization AND to know what change cause an issue (if there is an issue).

 

Take care

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 2.5mg, Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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Small update: I do feel way better. Occasion nausea and lack of appetite doesn’t scare me - cause I am a big fella and losing few extra pounds would only be good for me and my health. 
 

Tsh level: normal. 

 

19 hours ago, Emonda said:

All typical WD symptoms.

Thank you so much ❤️. This gave me so much ease in my mind! 
 

19 hours ago, Tweed9674 said:

I don't know if your intention is to reinstate vit B or if you are already taking it?

I have had previously been taken vitamin B complex for this weird sensations of weakness that I describe above and it help me then, so I thought that maybe it can help me now. But today I didn’t take it as I read your post. 
 

And I can say for sure that I have become more sensitive to other substances: caffeine or even energy drink. So I don’t drink them. Thus not taking vitamin B also go with that. 
 

After I have done all the labs and they show that everything is normal - the only thing right now is time and goin slow with my taper

2017 - start on paroxetine gradually 2 first weeks half a tablet then a whole tablet 20 mg

2018 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2019 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2020 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2021 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2022 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2023 - paroxetine 1 tablet daily 20 mg

2024 - start to taper paroxetine 20 mg

          January: 3/4 of tablet daily

          February & March: half a tablet daily 

          2nd half of April: half a tablet every other day.

          15th May: 1/4 a tablet everyday

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3 minutes ago, Gedona said:

Small update: I do feel way better.

This is great news!

 

3 minutes ago, Gedona said:

Tsh level: normal. 

Good! What can be explained by withdrawal is usually... withdrawal. But at least you don't have to be anxious about it now!

 

6 minutes ago, Gedona said:

I have had previously been taken vitamin B complex for this weird sensations of weakness that I describe above and it help me then, so I thought that maybe it can help me now. But today I didn’t take it as I read your post. 

Maybe it can help, that I don't know. I'd wait a few weeks before trying at fraction of the normal dose just to be sure that it's not an issue!

 

9 minutes ago, Gedona said:

After I have done all the labs and they show that everything is normal - the only thing right now is time and goin slow with my taper

You got this!

 

Cheers

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 2.5mg, Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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