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maple25: Tapering off Paxil after almost 30 years


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Started a year long hyperbolic taper of 20 mg Paxil on June 17.

Currently  feeling  good, tried a much too fast taper years ago with didn't go well.

Looking  forward to being off this drug, and wondering  why no doctor ever considered having a conversation with me about  going off!

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome @maple25

 

I'm glad to read you are going to adopt a hyperbolic taper. In terms of time frames, sticking to the maximum 10% per month of your most recent dose will take longer than 12 months. I've been at it for 2.5 years, and I reckon I might be halfway.

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.

4 hours ago, maple25 said:

Currently  feeling  good, tried a much too fast taper years ago with didn't go well.

 

Keep this on hand, reflect on it, and slow down if symptoms flare up: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

4 hours ago, maple25 said:

Looking  forward to being off this drug, and wondering  why no doctor ever considered having a conversation with me about  going off!

 

Agreed to both comments!

 

A few helpful general links:

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

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. 

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, 23 May 1.80mg, 30 May 1.76mg, 8 Jun 1.72mg, 13 Jun 1.66mg, 3 Jul 1.62mg, 10 Jul 1.58mg, 17 Jul 1.54mg

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  • Emonda changed the title to maple25: Tapering off Paxil after almost 30 years

Thanks for  the input! I'll definitely  consider stretching  my taper over a longer  time period. 

My gp at first questioned my long taper. After  I briefly explained my reasoning to her, she surprised me by saying,  "That's reasonable. " She then agreed to prescribe liquid for me 

As a side note, my son in law is currently in medical school and getting an education about this from me, lol!

I am taking magnesium and a few other  supplements for migraine prevention.  My GP had me on Topamax, which made me angry! as well as giving  me unbearable stomach issues. 

"You are very sensitive to medications!" I hear frequently from  my GP.....

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

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  • Administrator

If you change to liquid from a tablet, you should read the 4th post down from Gridley:

Transitioning from pills to liquid

18 hours ago, maple25 said:

After  I briefly explained my reasoning to her, she surprised me by saying,  "That's reasonable. "

Well that's positive!

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, 23 May 1.80mg, 30 May 1.76mg, 8 Jun 1.72mg, 13 Jun 1.66mg, 3 Jul 1.62mg, 10 Jul 1.58mg, 17 Jul 1.54mg

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Thanks for  the reply. Boy oh boy, I hadn't  considered there'd be any issue changing  from solid to liquid! I have 20 mg tablets, I've been halving these to get 10 mg. And using liquid to dose to the proper  amount.  Is this  a bad idea?

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

Link to comment
3 hours ago, maple25 said:

I have 20 mg tablets, I've been halving these to get 10 mg. And using liquid to dose to the proper  amount.  Is this  a bad idea?

Welcome to SA. 

How long have you been using liquid? Since June 17?  Changes in manufacturers can cause issues as well. Transition is better done slowly. 

Eyeballing a dry cut is not accurate enough. You need to use a scale. Many use the Gem 20 found on Amazon, with a pill cutter and a straight edge razor or exacto knife.

The maximum cut in dosage should be 10% from your current dose per every 4 weeks. Many do less than the 10% if withdrawal symptoms appear. So 20 mg then 18mg then 16.2 mg and so on. 

Be patient and kind to yourself. It is a learning curve. ♥️

2016-twice weekly for a couple months-oxazepam 10 mg sleep/ 2020-22-once a week 3.75-7.5 mg for sleep/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/2.7.24-4.34 mg/9.7.24-4.32 mg

8am-probiotics/9am-paroxetine, 200mg mag bisglycinate/ 1000mg Vitamin D/5pm-75 mg DGL/200mg calcium citrate/0.25 mcg melatonin nightly

"... 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 6/27/2024 at 1:49 PM, maple25 said:

and a few other  supplements for migraine prevention.

Hi maple, during withdrawal there may be interactions with such supplements so be careful. 

 

Stretching out like Emonda suggested is very wise. Since your CNS has been on paxil (toughest ssri to taper) for so long 1 year is definitely not doable. We are managing your expectations here from wide experience.

 

Slow and steady is key. Lots of people (at some phase) taper at a range of 1-5% rather then 10%. On this website you find instructions to make your own homemade liquid with water. See link below.

 

  • 456 years old male
  • job in spatial planning
  • into sports, animals and nature
  • Started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety/depression
  • Attempted several times to stop, starting a few years after 2004
  • Found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper guideline
  • Started using liquid paxil in 2015/2016
  • 2018 --> 11.2 mg of paxil
  • 2019-2023 developed severe food- and other sensitivities (anti imflammatory, anti oxidant, food colourings, oils, herbs, chemicals etc.)
  • 12/2023 Had been building up for 4 years to Poop-out/tolerance, introducing brassmonkey slide method 0.1mg/week
  • 26/1/2024 10 mg (journey halfway).
  • 14/7/2024 8.4 mg
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Thank you.  The supplements  are feverfew  and butterbur. Does anyone  have experience  with these? 

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

Link to comment

See below ⬇️

  • 456 years old male
  • job in spatial planning
  • into sports, animals and nature
  • Started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety/depression
  • Attempted several times to stop, starting a few years after 2004
  • Found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper guideline
  • Started using liquid paxil in 2015/2016
  • 2018 --> 11.2 mg of paxil
  • 2019-2023 developed severe food- and other sensitivities (anti imflammatory, anti oxidant, food colourings, oils, herbs, chemicals etc.)
  • 12/2023 Had been building up for 4 years to Poop-out/tolerance, introducing brassmonkey slide method 0.1mg/week
  • 26/1/2024 10 mg (journey halfway).
  • 14/7/2024 8.4 mg
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From what i've read so far you should pay caution. These (among other) medicinal herbs can be quite powerful and their efficacy overlaps ssri since they both impact brain and nerve function. 

 

See for example article below for antidepression and anti-anxiety link:

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/feverfew#pharmacological-uses

 

During wd your CNS will to a certain extent become (more) sensitive to external triggers which is why we advice to minimalise supplements to the necessary. We only recommend magnesium and fish oil. Like lots of things sometimes it's trial and error. And sometimes we just don't have much choice.

 

Have you noticed, since you have been on paxil for a long time, a decrease of its efficacy?

 

Bye Sebas 

  • 456 years old male
  • job in spatial planning
  • into sports, animals and nature
  • Started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety/depression
  • Attempted several times to stop, starting a few years after 2004
  • Found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper guideline
  • Started using liquid paxil in 2015/2016
  • 2018 --> 11.2 mg of paxil
  • 2019-2023 developed severe food- and other sensitivities (anti imflammatory, anti oxidant, food colourings, oils, herbs, chemicals etc.)
  • 12/2023 Had been building up for 4 years to Poop-out/tolerance, introducing brassmonkey slide method 0.1mg/week
  • 26/1/2024 10 mg (journey halfway).
  • 14/7/2024 8.4 mg
Link to comment

@maple25 if you use the search icon on here and put in either herb names you can see that others have used them with mixed results. My daughter, who is not on SSRIs but has migraines, has used feverfew with success but then it started giving side effects. It is a herb that is recommended to be only taken for short periods of time as most are. 

When tapering, things that were fine before can now present issues. Less is always better as Sebas mentioned.

2016-twice weekly for a couple months-oxazepam 10 mg sleep/ 2020-22-once a week 3.75-7.5 mg for sleep/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/2.7.24-4.34 mg/9.7.24-4.32 mg

8am-probiotics/9am-paroxetine, 200mg mag bisglycinate/ 1000mg Vitamin D/5pm-75 mg DGL/200mg calcium citrate/0.25 mcg melatonin nightly

"... 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

Good to know.  Thank you. 

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

Link to comment

Also, I would  say Paxil has remained  effective  for  me.

I also take an eye vitamin my eye doctor recommended.  Any potential  problems  with that?

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

Link to comment
7 hours ago, maple25 said:

Also, I would  say Paxil has remained  effective  for  me.

Why did you try/switch to prozac, celexa wellbutrin before?

 

7 hours ago, maple25 said:

I also take an eye vitamin my eye doctor recommended.  Any potential  problems  with that?

We need name and list of ingredients.

  • 456 years old male
  • job in spatial planning
  • into sports, animals and nature
  • Started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety/depression
  • Attempted several times to stop, starting a few years after 2004
  • Found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper guideline
  • Started using liquid paxil in 2015/2016
  • 2018 --> 11.2 mg of paxil
  • 2019-2023 developed severe food- and other sensitivities (anti imflammatory, anti oxidant, food colourings, oils, herbs, chemicals etc.)
  • 12/2023 Had been building up for 4 years to Poop-out/tolerance, introducing brassmonkey slide method 0.1mg/week
  • 26/1/2024 10 mg (journey halfway).
  • 14/7/2024 8.4 mg
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Forgot to add I tried switching  due to several side effects and weight  gain.

Ingredient  list for my eye vitamins: Eye Health &Lutein 

Vitamin c, e, zinc, copper, gluten and zeaxanthin isomers.

Paxil, 20 mg. 1996- Present.  Started a parabolic taper June 17, over a period of a year.

2010-2011 tried Prozac and Celexa, ultimately went back to Paxil.

2011 Wellbutrin.  Less than 1 month

2019 Wellbutrin.  2 months

Was prescribed Zoloft in 1993.  Took less than 8 weeks. 

Link to comment

Lutein-zeaxanthin produces an antidepressant-like action in the preclinical level, by modulating serotonergic receptors. Sources below ⬇️.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316274212_ANTIDEPRESSANT-LIKE_ACTIVITY_OF_LUTEIN-ZEAXANTHIN_IN_MICE_EVIDENCE_FOR_INVOLVEMENT_OF_MONOAMINERGIC_AND_OPIOID_SYSTEMS

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10045512/

  • 456 years old male
  • job in spatial planning
  • into sports, animals and nature
  • Started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety/depression
  • Attempted several times to stop, starting a few years after 2004
  • Found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper guideline
  • Started using liquid paxil in 2015/2016
  • 2018 --> 11.2 mg of paxil
  • 2019-2023 developed severe food- and other sensitivities (anti imflammatory, anti oxidant, food colourings, oils, herbs, chemicals etc.)
  • 12/2023 Had been building up for 4 years to Poop-out/tolerance, introducing brassmonkey slide method 0.1mg/week
  • 26/1/2024 10 mg (journey halfway).
  • 14/7/2024 8.4 mg
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