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RayMoney50: Ray's Paxil Taper


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Hello all,


I came across this site after discovering paxilprogress shut down, and decided to introduce myself.  I was prescribed 40 mg of Paxil in August of 2009 for a very severe panic attack I experienced, which consequently led to general anxiety, and some agoraphobia.  The meds helped quite a bit for a few years, but I noticed about a year and a half ago that they were no longer as effective.  Rather than increasing my dose, I made the decision to begin tapering off the Paxil.  I got my prescription changed to the liquid form, and began 5-10% drops every 6 weeks beginning Feb. 2014.  The road has had its bumps along the way, but I feel much better about the process because of sites like this.

Started 40mg Paxil Aug. 2009

Began 5-10% drops every 6 weeks Feb. 2014

Currently dose:  19.6 mg, liquid Paxil

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Hi all,


I'm new to this site, and not sure if this is the right forum, but here it goes.  I've been doing a fairly slow taper off Paxil (5-10% drops every 6 weeks), and have always been able to stabilize and find some sustained relief.  However, I'm 6 weeks into my current drop, and don't feel much better off than when I first dropped...random bouts of anxiety, and brief panic attacks.  So, I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has had dosage drops where they felt kind of crappy the whole time, with the anxiety/panic creeping back up.  And if so, would you recommend I continue on with my next drop, or wait it out to see if I get some relief?


Thanks in advance.

Started 40mg Paxil Aug. 2009

Began 5-10% drops every 6 weeks Feb. 2014

Currently dose:  19.6 mg, liquid Paxil

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Hi Ray. You found a great site. Lots of support and information. I come here every just to check on people I don't even know. Good luck

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dont worry, you will level out. If you arent already doing so, really focus on living a healthy lifestyle and resting when need be. 

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)


How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Ray. Welcome to SA. It sounds like you know what you're doing and that overall things are going well. I saw your other post. Generally you want to use your introduction thread as your ongoing journal where you will post updates and all things relevant to you and your withdrawal. My guess is a moderator will move your other post to this thread. It will also make it easier for you to keep track of your progress and responses.


I'll respond to your other post here.


Some people, myself included, become more sensitive to drop the lower in dose you go s what your experiencing doesn't sound unusual at all. A moderator will be along shortly to give you more guidance, but from what I've learned by being on this site and my experience I would recommend you hold at your current dose longer until you've stabilized more.


Again, welcome!

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg (with a few stops and starts)

Fall 2012: Returned to 40mg after discontinuing and horrid withdrawal 

Fall 2013: 40mg Fluoxetine, added 150mg Wellbutrin to treat fatigue 

Winter 2014: Attempting to taper both (too fast)

April 2014: 9mg Fluoxetine + 37.5 Wellbutrin 

Summer 2014: 8 mg Fluoxetine + 0 Wellbutrin (way too fast a drop)

Late summer/Early Fall 2014: Debilitating Withdrawal symptoms 

Fall 2014 - Wellbutrin successfully kicked to the curb but…

Oct- Dec 2014: Panicked reinstatement of Fluoxetine ->30mg - held for 5yrs

Jan 2021: taper to 20mg Fluoxetine  then tapering by 1mg every 2-3 months

Fall 2022 - held at 10mg->December 2022: 9mg->Feb 2023: 8mg ->March 2023: brassmonkey slide begins: 7.8mg -> 7.6 -> 7.4->2 week hold (April)->7.2->7mg->6.8->2 week hold->6.6-> 1-month hold ->(June)-6.5->4-week hold-> (July)-6.4 (discontinued brassmonkey slide and slowed taper)-> (Aug)-6.2->(Sept)-6.0->(Oct)-5.9->(Nov)-5.8->(Dec)-5.7->wave!->(Jan)-5.8->(Feb)-6mg and holding.


My 2014 withdrawal experience: https://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/


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  • Moderator Emeritus

 My guess is a moderator will move your other post to this thread. It will also make it easier for you to keep track of your progress and responses.




You must be psychic Addax.


Welcome Ray,


Many of us struggle as we get lower down or further along in our taper.  This thread provides a scientific explanation as to why - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/


I agree with Addax, a longer hold might be in order.  Your body might be saying I'm a bit over this (aren't we all!)


Out of curiousity was your last drop a 5% or a 10%?   and how much do you move between these two?   Our nervous systems like stability



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks for the welcome and advice everyone. I did 10% drops down to 22 mg, and since then they've been 5% drops.

Started 40mg Paxil Aug. 2009

Began 5-10% drops every 6 weeks Feb. 2014

Currently dose:  19.6 mg, liquid Paxil

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I find that periodically I need longer holds, and this seems to be a fairly common phenomenon. I suspect that some kinds of healing happen faster and other kinds take a bit longer, and sometimes our tapering can get ahead of our ability to do some of the healing that takes longer.


I also find that when I do a longer hold like that, even if it means holding for a few months, so far I always come out of them feeling really good, at a new higher baseline.


Of course I'm not you, but from my experience it sounds like a longer hold might be what your body is asking you for, and it will probably do no harm and might be quite beneficial.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I haven't posted in a couple weeks, so I thought I'd give a brief update. I ended up dropping my dose by 5% yesterday, putting me down to 18.4mg (was at my last dose for 2 months). I really debated staying put for another month or two, but felt I was about as stable as I was going to get. I believe I was beginning poopout before I started my taper, and have found it hard to tell if a longer hold will help, or just make things worse. It's only been 2 days, but so far just some mild anxiety and irritability to report on.


In other news, work has been much more stressful the last couple of weeks. I was recently promoted, and have to be in an hour earlier every day, but I don't adjust well to change. On top of that, my shift just got a new supervisor and he's fairly clueless...which adds to my stress, and further messes with my routine. The stress of work made me really hesitant to drop, but I felt it would be ok being on my last dose for so long.


Well, I believe that's all. Now it's just praying that this drop in dose comes with more windows than the last!

Started 40mg Paxil Aug. 2009

Began 5-10% drops every 6 weeks Feb. 2014

Currently dose:  19.6 mg, liquid Paxil

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for updating RayMoney, it sounds like you are doing ok, taking a conservative approach as the dose gets lower is always a good idea, I believe that when it comes to safely getting off these drugs, one can never go too slowly.  Unless you are getting bad side effects or adverse reactions from the drug, then a longer hold isn't going to make things worse, it will help to reduce withdrawal symptoms by giving your nervous system a longer time in which to 'catch up' with the cut.


I hope work stress eases up soon.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,


My latest drop has been going much better than the last.  The reason for this post however, is to get some feedback from the community.  Yesterday I had a dentist appointment to put in a filling.  A local anaesthetic was used, and I handled the procedure better than expected.  However, when I got home I began to experience an increase in anxiety/panic, and was restless to the point of not being able to focus or concentrate on one task for very long.  I started to mellow out once the anaesthesia wore off, and felt fairly decent by night's end.  Now this morning I find myself more hypersensitive to things.  I've been a chewing tobacco user for quite a while, and always follow up breakfast with a dip and glass of pop (with no ill effects).  But this morning after partaking in my normal routine, my heart began racing even at rest (96+ bpm), and I still feel just a bit off.  I was wondering if this could have anything to do with the anaesthesia that was used yesterday?  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Started 40mg Paxil Aug. 2009

Began 5-10% drops every 6 weeks Feb. 2014

Currently dose:  19.6 mg, liquid Paxil

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My BPM stays over 120 most of the time. 96bpm would be calm for me. Hang in there, Ray.

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

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  • Administrator

People whose nervous systems have been sensitized by withdrawal may have odd reactions to any neuroactive drug.


Please be patient, your nervous system will settle down again. You may wish to postpone further tapering until it does.


Please see our discussions about anesthesia in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum.

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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