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  1. Hello I am a French girl looking for some help. I have been under medication since I was 15. I had : - Bromazepam - Prazepam - Paroxetine I managed To give up on benzodiazepines by following the rules of Heather Ashton. I live without benzodiazepines since june 2017. I tried To give up on 20mg of Paroxetine in 2017 : too fast (in 3 months). Then I tried a second time in 2018 : 5% every 30 days. But after one month, I went through hell. I tried a third time in 2018 : 3% every 21 days, then 20 days, 19,...16 days. I sas Well during a year, full of hope!!! But last August the 22th, I went back To 10mg ( I was then at 8.41 mg) Since I'm in hell. Now I wonder : can I hope To be better one day ? I hope my English is not too bad.. Have à great day Erell
  2. Hello, I am new here. I really appreciate everyone posting their stories, struggles or successes. It helps me understands what I have been through WAY better. I was on paroxetine(20 mg) for 11 years for social anxiety. I was told by my psychiatrist that it would be "a vitamin I take for the rest of my life". Little did I know it would rob me off all my emotions in life. Over the last 11 years I have had a decent amount of "we dont know why this happens" health conditions. I now look back and blame alot of it on this drug. Since coming off of this drug my health conditions have improved, but some of the withdrawal symptoms kick my butt here and there. Reading the success stories, I know these will get better with time. So I am keeping my nutrition dialed in and my attitude positive. Thanks!
  3. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Miko789: Xanax withdrawal/tapering Hi, I'm new to the forum, I have some questions I want to ask. My doctor prescribed effexor for depression, in 2009. Now I'm free of symptoms and I managed to come off with withdrawal symptoms though. That's with the antidepressant. Now I'm on Risperdal consta from November 2013 and seroxat 10mg. My doctor prescribed with risperdal consta 3,3mg/day long acting injection every two weeks. From February 2015 he lowered the dosage to 25mg/every 2 weeks equals 1,66mg/day. I tried to lower the seroxat 10mg but after 40-45h I have withdrawal symptoms vertigo, dizziness. Is it possible to cut down seroxat? How about the Risperdal consta (long acting injection). Has anyone tapered off completely without withdrawals? I read about the 10% harm reduction procedure to taper off and I'm going to tell my doctor and follow. thanks in advance
  4. ADMIN NOTE This topic is a general discussion of the principle of reinstatement. For case-by-case consideration of what YOU should do, please put your questions in an Introductions topic. Do not put those questions in this topic, because detailed discussion of YOUR particular circumstances will take it off track and make this topic difficult for others to follow. The moderators will move any questions about YOUR particular case to the Introductions forum. Thank you. Also see After Reinstating or Updosing, How Long To Stabilize? Stabilizing after a reduction -- what does that mean? Don't suddenly go off a psychiatric drug assuming that reinstatement is a safety net This is one of the reasons we advocate gradual tapering to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Once the nervous system is destabilized by withdrawal, all bets are off. Humpty Dumpty the egg has fallen off the wall. What is reinstatement? Reinstatement means resuming the drug or its equivalent when withdrawal symptoms appear. According to what medicine knows about psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. All the papers about withdrawal symptoms allude to how symptoms usually resolve after reinstatement. This is considered a hallmark of withdrawal syndrome. Some papers recommend resuming a partial dose of the drug rather than a full dose. See below for discussion. The inserts in all the newer antidepressants and many other psychiatric drugs advise reinstatement if withdrawal symptoms appear. This is all medicine knows about how to treat withdrawal. Unforturnately, we have seen reinstatement does not always work. Tapering carefully to avoid withdrawal symptoms is a much safer approach. Medicine wants to believe withdrawal lasts only a few weeks, but evidence is emerging that's only the acute phase -- post-acute withdrawal syndrome can last many months. What we have learned about reinstatement From what we've learned from patient experience here and other online support sites: Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. The length of this window of opportunity is unknown, it varies according to the individual. Sometimes people can reinstate successfully months after quitting. Others cannot. Often a partial dose will relieve withdrawal symptoms. If, for example, you were taking 20mg Paxil and quit rapidly or cold-turkeyed only a few days ago, 5mg may be enough. After trying the lower dose for a week, you can always increase if you feel you need more. Avoid kindling, start low to see what you need. You can always increase if necessary. If you've been off the drug for a month or more, many people can find some relief from antidepressant withdrawal symptoms by reinstating as little as 0.5mg-5mg. Do not start at a high dose, your nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal and you may make it worse, which is called kindling -- see a fuller explanation below. You may be able to reinstate an equivalent drug. Some drugs are siblings, such as citalopram and escilatopram or venlafaxine and deslavenfaxine. Fluoxetine, which is arguably easier to taper than other SSRIs, maybe be substituted for drugs such as paroxetine or sertraline. If the person has had no prior adverse reaction to the substitute drug, it may work as reinstatement (start low in dosage!). Cold turkey is not a shortcut to a lower dose Additional reasons to reinstate only a partial dose Reinstating at a low dose reduces the risk of severe adverse reactions, such as kindling, in case reinstatement does not work. Experiencing withdrawal may have sensitized you to drugs and a larger dose may cause an outsized adverse reaction. If you had adverse reactions while you were taking the drug, a low dose may not trigger the adverse reactions but still reduce withdrawal symptoms. Adverse reactions tend to be dosage-related: The higher the dose, the worse the reaction. These drugs are vastly more powerful than they need to be; often reinstatement at half dosage AT MOST is sufficient and many people do well with a lot less. You want to be taking only the lowest dose EFFECTIVE to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Your receptors may have adjusted somewhat (upregulated) during the time you were tapering or had withdrawal symptoms. If you can stabilize on a lower dose, you have less to taper when you finally do go off. You can always adjust the dosage upward if you find you need to. After reinstatement, most drugs take about a week to reach full effect. Wait until you see the full effect before you make an increase -- and then make only very gradual increases. How long should you give reinstatement? Unless you have an immediate bad reaction, observe your symptom pattern for about a week to see if the reinstatement is helping. It takes about that long for your body to fully register the addition of most neuroactive drugs. If you have an immediate bad reaction, reduce or stop taking the drug. After reinstatement, stabilizing on the drug varies according to the individual. Relief can be felt immediately, after some weeks, or after some months. A slight immediate improvement is a good sign, this probably will progress as the drug ramps up to steady-state over a week. Improvement often occurs in The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization More is not better! Your system has gotten a shock and may react badly to "normal" amounts of drug. Reinstatement may not immediately eliminate all withdrawal symptoms. It takes time to stabilize, you may still experience waves of symptoms, which usually lessen as time goes on. Give your nervous system time to settle down, be patient after you reinstate, do not leap to increase the dosage. Think in terms of months before you attempt to taper again. Once you feel withdrawal symptoms are reduced after reinstatement, give your nervous system time to stabilize before attempting dosage reduction. Do not attempt to taper again until you feel symptom-free, or at least until your withdrawal symptoms are mild, predicatable, and tolerable. When to discontinue reinstatement If, upon reinstatement, you very soon feel worse, most likely you are sensitized to the drug and need to take a smaller dosage or, possibly, none at all. You will need to track your daily symptom pattern to see if it's the drug causing your symptoms. If so, they generally will be worse shortly after you take the drug. Sometimes reinstatement does not work. The nervous system has taken such a hard hit from withdrawal, it's destabilized beyond whatever effect the drug might have had. You get an adverse reaction from the drug. Look up your drug at drugs.com to identify known adverse reactions. A rash is always a bad sign. Sometimes an adverse reaction can be eliminated by taking a lower dosage. If you have an immediate severe bad reaction, reduce or stop taking the drug Reinstate at what dosage? Sometimes reinstatement not only doesn't work but makes symptoms worse -- this is called kindling. That is why we often suggest very, very low doses -- to reduce this risk. Higher doses can go wrong in much bigger ways. A very low dose is a way to explore the option of reinstatement with less risk. Dosage of reinstatement is always going to be a guess. Here are some factors contributing to the decision: How long you've been off the drug. If you've just cold-turkeyed 20mg Celexa a few days ago, you might reinstate closer to your original dosage, such as 10mg. (It may not be necessary to go back to 20mg, standard dosages tend to be overly powerful.) Cold turkey is not a shortcut to a lower dose. You might still suffer bad withdrawal symptoms for a long time after reinstating -- or it might not work at all, and you're stuck in severe withdrawal. If your system has been sensitized by going on and off drugs. If you've had withdrawal symptoms for weeks, your nervous system might have become hypersensitive from destabilization. For example, if you had been taking 20mg Celexa, you might wish to try reinstating at a lower dosage, such as 1mg-2mg. It may seem incredible, but these tiny doses are often sufficient to reduce withdrawal symptoms. If you have symptoms of hyper-reactivity or alerting (anxiety, panic, sleeplessness), you may be too sensitive for reinstatement. If you want to try it anyway, you might wish to try reinstating at a very low dosage, such as 0.5m-1mg if you had been taking 20mg Celexa, for example. How long you've been off the drug. If you've been off the drug for many months, reinstatement is less likely to work. If you want to try it anyway, you might wish to try reinstating at a very low dosage, such as 0.1mg if you had been taking 20mg Celexa, for example, or other SSRIs with a standard dosage of 20mg. Other drugs you're taking. Be very careful adding a drug to other drugs. Use the Drug Interactions Checker before even considering this. (Your symptoms may be due to drug-drug interactions.) None of the above are hard-and-fast rules. There are reports of people with prolonged post-withdrawal syndrome who did better taking a drug at full dosage 2 years later. If you want to do this, please consult a doctor, we cannot advise you on it, the doctor is going to have to monitor your reaction to the drug. About benzo reinstatement http://www.benzosupport.org/notes_on_reinstatement.htm ADMIN NOTE: Useful Excerpts from the thread NZ11 in post 74: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/?p=120338 Alto in post 75, additional explanation: http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/?do=findComment&comment=120438 Alto on Hypersensitivity: Reinstatement is more likely to work if done fairly soon after stopping a drug, while the nervous system is still somewhat shaped around the drug that's been removed. The window of opportunity is not definitely a month, and probably varies from individual to individual, but reinstatement is best done sooner rather than later. This makes waiting to see if withdrawal symptoms will go away a difficult choice. If you wait, they may go away or you may miss your chance for effective reinstatement. (Medicine assumes withdrawal symptoms last only a few weeks; it's a sign you're in for a longer period of recovery if your symptoms have not diminished over this amount of time.) A while after discontinuation, the nervous system changes and may no longer accept reinstatement of the drug to repair the withdrawal reaction. It's like a series of dominoes gradually falling over time. Hypersensitivity can set in making reinstatement very difficult, as the nervous system will react in strange ways to the original drug and often other drugs as well. (A combination of Celexa with trazodone and nortriptyline can result in serotonin syndrome in anyone. If one's nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal syndrome, this can cause disastrous adverse effects.) This is why when someone has been off the drug for more than a month, we suggest trying a very low dose. Hypersensitization is so common with withdrawal syndrome, trying a very low dose initially reduces the risk of a severe adverse reaction. And quite frequently, a very low dose will work to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  5. Hi! I will keep this post pretty plain for now, as my WD symptoms (the pains, mainly) make it hard to even use a computer for long. I will also try to make a short "signature" version of my history later today. When I was signing up, I was asked to provide a history of my case. I'm gonna paste it below. So, here goes. ---------------------------------------- All of the following changes/switches were done in 1-2 weeks each (except where otherwise noted). I.e., very quickly (which is bad). - Started Amisulpride 600mg and Escitalopram 30mg in 2014 for OCD. - In 2017 Amisulpride dose became 500mg. A few months after that, I developed tardive dystonia (cervical). - In 2018 autumn switched from Amisulpride to Abilify (about 15mg), to combat the dystonia. Indeed the movements stopped, but I was very sleepy (was taking lots of baclofen too). So I moved back to Amisulpride 500mg. - In 2019 february made another attempt at switching to Abilify (22.5mg). It was successful. But since then, I gradually developed disabling joint pain. - In 2019 (around July) reduced Abilify to 15mg, and nothing much changed. - In 2019 September switched from Escitalopram to Paroxetine (40mg) to combat the joint pain. Got a slight improvement in joint pain. Since the first day of Paroxetine, I began having eye problems. - About 3-4 weeks later I reduced Paroxetine to 20mg and Abilify to 7.5mg. Nothing much changed. - About a week later, I reduced Paroxetine to 15mg and Abilify to 3.75mg. Finally the joint pain was almost gone. - Soon, the joint pain reappeared so I started taking 4x3.75mg Abilify and since then, my joint pain is quite minor. - About 3-4 weeks later I switched (Cold Turkey) back from Paroxetine to Escitalopram (7.5mg) to combat the eye problems. That did not help, and I started getting disabling muscle cramps (in quadriceps). Then I found the "paroxetine withdrawal support" FB group. - About 4 days later, I switched (Cold Turkey) back from Escitalopram to Paroxetine (15mg), because of the cramps and because of what I learned from the FB group. - That didn't reduce the cramps. So I increased Paroxetine back to 20mg, which did help somewhat. - 1-2 weeks later, we're at the present moment (24 Dec 2019). ---------------------------------------- I'll be happy to communicate with you guys in order to help one another in this journey! In Facebook I'm actually afraid to help other people, because Facebook is too addictive with the "likes" and "loves" etc. Especially for lonely people like me. I hope this forum will be different in this regard!
  6. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience/knowledge regarding switching from sertraline to fluoxetine. I'm currently on 25mg of sertraline daily. I've been taking this drug for 11 years on and off and have been trying to taper, but find it very difficult. My doctor has switched me to prozac WITHOUT a crosstaper. (Because fluoxetone has a huge half-life it is easier to taper, which is why he is switching me.)He says to take 20mg of fluoxetine every 2 days and cease taking the sertraline immediately. Information on the web regarding crosstaper from sertraline to fluoxetine states to cease sertraline before starting fluoxetine. This is in contrast to other cross tapers betwenn SSRI's (e.g sertraline to paroxetine etc) which recommend crosstaper. It's all confusing. To make matters worse I start a new job a week on monday. I've ceased the sertraline yesterday and am starting the prozac 20mg every 2 days. Apparently this dose of fluoxetine is roughly equivelant to 25mg sertraline. My question is, will I be ok for my job starting in 10 days? I suffer pretty bad from nerves, so I don't want to walk into the job on the first day on the verge of apanic attack. Also, fluoxetine has a very long half-life and takes a while to build into your system, so I'm worried if this will be enough to combat the sertraline withdrawal.
  7. Hi everyone I was on Paxil 20mg for 19 years- most of which time it worked well (except for some weight gain and bloating). While studying at grad school I started taking Adderall for four years until it developed until a problem and managed to come off it inn July 2017. Went through the PAWs from that which lasted for a long time (and is maybe still ongoing). However, since I came off the Adderall, the Paxil appeared to have stopped working (either than or the PAWs from the Adderall was overriding its effects). So 5 months ago I decided to do the Prozac bridge to see if Prozac would work for me. I did a straight switch to Prozac 20 mg without any tapering and felt some withdrawals and also felt weird most likely from starting on the Prozac as well. While taking Prozac I have been up and down, with good weeks and bad. However, in the last two weeks I have had what seem suspiciously like the 'waves' I hear about on this site. I have felt the worst I have ever felt in my life and it seems very much like SSRI withdrawal to me (I've experienced withdrawals from Paxil several times before when I either ran out or tried to quit). This time symptoms include a sense of impending doom, nausea, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression. It seems unusual to be suddenly hit with withdrawal symptoms 5 months after giving up Paxil and while still taking Prozac right? So my question is- is this some delayed withdrawal to the Paxil I stopped taking 5 months ago or is it some adverse reaction to the Prozac (even though I have had periods of feeling fine on it). I am leaning towards to the possibility of coming off the Prozac and reinstating the Paxil. Even though I was feeling pretty depressed when I was on Paxil last I didn't feel like this now where I basically feel like I'm losing my mind. Any recommendations on what I should do?
  8. Hi! I use to post occasionally on Paxil Progress under Basil but took a step away in the mist of withdrawal and confusion. I only found out recently the site had gone. I'm not sure what help I can get here but I though I would share this long story and to get it off my chest/help myself in some way. I'm from the UK near Manchester and currently on 25mg of Pregablin/Lyrica. I also take 50mg mirabegron to try calm my bladder but that doesn't seem to do anything. I'll share my story first and how I got to this point but firstly I have so much empathy for people here and others going through this. It has been one of the most cruel and crazy journeys which it seems mostly only people who have experienced it, believe.... Male 36 Good career one child Single MENTAL Current Symptoms: Depression, lack of motivation, no drive or focus This has come on over the last couple of years to where I feel dead inside now Fatigue and brain fog I've had bouts of this in my life but this has been constant for a year now. Sometimes I can't work with it. Frequent urination, genital sensations, pain Major problem the last 18 months and probably made the depression worse. Touch wood I now have days where I'm nearly fine and haven't had pain in nearly a year. Had nearly every medical test going and nothing can be found apart from a small bladder which I doubt is the problem as I would have always had this. I also have the sensation when nothing is in my bladder. Anxiety I've always been this way, not the withdrawal anxiety at the moment (fingers crossed) Story (warning, very long) April 2007 I've always been highly strung and critical but after pushing myself with my final year Uni artwork I developed Repetitive strain injury in my hand which spread to both arms. Nothing structurally wrong was found and I freaked out that my career was over before it started. I was anxious and feeling down, my ex advised I get something to help as she was out of ideas how to help. My doctor had suggested CBT and put me on the list, an emergency doctor after suggested PAXIL/SEROXAT/paroxetine 20MG. If only I knew now how trivial at the time that anxiety and low mood was! August 2007 Paroxetine 20mg, felt it straight away and within one week my mood was up. Arm pain was easier to deal with, started eating again, playing games and doing stuff within a month. I went from an anxious mess to drinking lots, over eating, smoking, occasional drug use, sleeping most of the day, annoying my ex but I felt great. I went form 11.5 stone up to 14, I sweated a lot, sexual dysfunction but indulging in stuff felt amazing. August 2008 Weight gain was starting to annoy me and I had realised my behavior had changed with the medication. At this point I was having periods of no arm pains. I had started missing doses, temporary GP told me to just stop cold turkey. No problems until 3 month later when the arm pains came back full force. December 2008 Arms pains were becoming a major problem so a GP put me back on Paroxetine 20mg. Worked fast and pulled me out of a hole quickly, found a new job and all the naughty behavior came with the meds again. August 2009 I started reducing the medication, I can't remember but it was rapid with no obstruction from the GP. Some brain zaps and strange symptoms but nothing that bad. November 2009 I had noticed through the last 3 months I was highly tense and irritable then the arm pains came back. I was so distraught I couldn't get rid of them without paroxetine. My ex suggested I try St john's wort which did nothing after a few weeks. I stupidly went to the GP on the Friday after stopping the St john's wort on the Thursday and asked for to go back to Paroxetine without telling her I was on the herbal remedy recently. I thought before was bad but now I was entering hell. After 2 days back on Paroxetine I woke up to a panic attack in the night and uncontrollable agitation, felt like my mind had exploded. I couldn't sleep, eat, sit still, stay safe. I had such strong suicidal feelings but no one would believe how I felt. I walked the streets at night sweating, pacing, heart pounding waiting for the doctors to open. I explained at the Emergency room what had happened but the Doctors did nothing. I was obsessed with serotonin syndrome due to st johns wort being taken few days before Paroxetine. I phone the crisis team and they gave me diazepam 2-4mg to take as needed and zopiclone 3.75mg to get me to sleep. They put me to sleep but after 1 hour I was awake again. I was then switched from Paroxetine to 20mg of Citalopram which increased the problems ten fold. I admitted myself to a ward as I couldn't take it anymore. In the ward I was given Clonazepam, zopiclone and the citalopram. I calmed down and slept for the first time in a weeks. I thought things were better but it would appear it was just the clonazepam covering up the issues. I decided to checkout as I spent most of my time playing pool with the young nurses and felt pretty good. When I got home I realised the clonazepam was so addictive after some research so I stopped it. I went back into hell. At this point I was off sick from my dream job I had got 6 months earlier, lost my flat, split from my partner, living back at my mums. Then I also found we had conceived a child in the middle of this madness. Christmas 2009 I saw an emergency Pysch Doctor and she removed me from all medication over a week. Thankfully it lowered all the mental and physical symptoms some what but the my arm pains were on fire and I was very low in mood. January 2010 I was attending a day clinic and the medical practitioners would not listen to my story. Paroxetine had worked before so I was convinced to try again after no luck with propranolol and buspar. Started at 5mg and worked up to 20mg. I wanted to kill myself, I had visions of sticking a blade into my stomach but I pushed through with the symptoms. February 2010 By the end of February I suddenly had a pleasant thought. The paroxetine kicked in big time and I was back to feeling good with all the usual side effects. I did some horrible things over the next few months including taking a drug on my birthday (MDMA). One week after I slipped into some horrible extreme anxious/agitated state which last 2 weeks. April 2010 - August 2010 Within this time I started having the waves of extreme periods of symptoms to then very high mood. Akathesia Extreme anxiety depression Not eating or sleeping Each wave got shorter and good periods got longer. My son was born end of August and my experience I realised I could not mess about anymore. March 2011 I joined Paxil progress and started connecting some dots. Yes I had taken illegal drugs on a few occasions but I saw my symptoms with the Paroxetine in other people's stories. At this time I was still having occasional days of extreme agitation and anxiety. A night out drinking could trigger this off sometimes. I was nearly 16 stone and couldn't care less about things. I decided it was time to taper off. August to November 2011 I had two major waves while tapering, both lasted 2 weeks. November 2012 I had tapered down to 1.25mg with not too many problems. After feeling slightly out of sorts for a week one lunch time the extreme anxiety suddenly turned on and I went into a major crash. December 2012 Crisis team Severe akathesia/anxiety Suicidal ideation Nausea So many symptoms but no arm pains. I updosed to 5mg Paroxetine with no relief. Pysch doctor/mental health team would not listen to the theory of severe withdrawal from Anti depressants. I was diagnosed with severe GAD and told I need to take Pregablin and stop the Paroxetine. I did not want to add anything else and held on till end of January. Tried Propanonol again which did nothing and took occasional Benzos (once a week for a break) Jan 2013 I stopped going to Paxil progress as it made me more anxious. I was being discharged by the crisis team as I refused to take Pregablin. I was suicidal and my body was on fire but I was freezing. I would spend most mornings in despair with my body jerking and pacing with the akathesia and extreme anxiety. I sometimes would feel normal in the evenings. My family was lost what to do and upset. I had been off work 2 months, not seen my son. I had also managed to get an appointment with Dr Healy in Wales but had to wait till April. I decided to take the Lyrica end of Jan. February 2013 The Lyrica had no start up effects for me and I hate saying it did help somewhat. It gave me a window (I think it was that) I was able to get back to work by March. 2 x 150mg Lyrica a day and 5mg Paroxetine. I decided this was my fate for now. I started the pattern of waves and windows, the waves were very intense but I worked through them. April 2013 I saw Dr Healy and he listened. He asked my what I wanted him to do for me and I wasn't sure. He did back up my story and it's on my file. He expressed concern about the Lyrica as the new drug everyone was getting prescribed and to come off it. I tried with his withdrawal plan but I was just too scared with the waves to alter anything. He suggested to stay on the Lyrica and come off the paroxetine when ready. Everything seemed a bit hopeless but I had to keep pushing through these waves which were getting shorter luckily. March 2015 Life had been better and I had done stuff I thought I'd never do. I had been very successful at work. I had a couple of major waves and had tried to get off Lyrica once more but a big wave took me back on it. I decided I would taper off the paroxetine finally. I had to fight with the GP to prescribe me liquid paroxetine. Some GP's had now started confirming the withdrawal of Paroxetine to me and my clinic had stopped prescribing it. February 2016 Tapering using liquid was going fine apart from lack of enjoyment and mood dropping. I then experienced a period of frequent urination which my GP couldn't find a reason. It disappeared... and came back on occasion. I was still on 2x150mg Lyrica/ April 2016 I woke up with tinnitus white noise in one ear randomly and still have it. Nothing could be found to be the cause. April 2017 I finish my paroxetine taper with no problems but at the same time a relationship breaks down and I feel very emotional. This person had helped me through a lot since 2013 and I missed her dearly. I chose to have no more children after this experience so we split. August 2017 With usual perfect timing over just 3 month the withdrawal anxiety started with the akathesia to follow. I was still dealing with the breakdown of my relationship at the same time, life went to sh*t. Very depressed at the same time. Next five months involved in waves: Extreme anxiety Akathesia Depression Nausea Diarrhea Freezing chills GP's would constantly say I need Sertraline, everyone wanted to prescribe me this drug. A GP wrote to a psych doc as I wasn't ill enough to be seen apparently. I don't know why I let them as I knew no one could help but prescribe drugs. Mitrzapine and Promazine was prescribed. I got the prescription but never took them thank god. December 2017 Just before Christmas the wave ended and hasn't come back. January 2018 I was so happy I was now 3-4 weeks of a good window. Finally my mood was up and I started living again, still on 300mg Lyrica a day. This was cut short after going to the toilet one day and then urgently needing it again. What followed has pushed me as far as the akathesia and anxiety to nearly ending my life. I never knew needing to urinate could be so torturous. I saw my now regular GP and he prescribed all kinds of medications to try control my frequent urination but nothing worked. By the third week I was experiencing pain in my bladder and strange sensations in my genitals. My life was now even more restricted than before, I 24/7 needed to urinate regardless if I had anything in my bladder. My GP had suspected Lyrica as the culprit but I wasn't ready for rocking that boat yet. August 2018 I had every test done with no problems being found in urology, I managed to get the pain to subside to an acceptable level with stretching. I now started to experience severe fatigue and brain fog, luckily I was off work for the last 4 month but had to go back. December 2018 Fatigue, brain fog, depression increased, frequent urination. Occasional better day of less urinating but life seems pretty hopeless with this never ending nightmare. The sensations in my genitals are unbearable as well and it now seems that anti depressants are the treatment to stop me urinating and for the fatigue haha! January 2019 My refusal to take anti depressants my GP suggests the Lyrica being the problem with urological symptoms. He suggests 1/2 the dose to see if it improves as I'm in such a state. Strangely it seems to work but in waves and windows again with stress seeming to set it off immediately. Today So here I am at 25mg of Lyrica, my urinating seems to go up and down. Just when I feel it might be gone it comes back for a few days intensely. I've not had the strange genital symptoms in months thankfully. I have the worst brain fog and fatigue which occasionally lessens. I'm depressed which I think is due to how long this stuff has been going on. My life is very restricted but I've tried to break free and chose to always push myself even with the symptoms. I mean someone suggested a holiday so I went to South Africa which was absolute hell with the urinating but I still did it. I really want to break free of this and finally enjoy life again. I sometimes fear my brain is permanently broken after this, I've not felt happiness and enjoyment in so long. I'm hoping the Lyrica is the cause of the Fatigue/brain fog/frequent urination and things will get better once I'm off. I didn't follow a 10% taper of Lyrica as I'm desperate to get relief from urinating which seems to improved with the reduction. I've only experienced some withdrawal from 50mg to 25mg with even more fatigue and zombie like state. Jan: 75mg 2 x a day Feb: 75mg a day April: 25mg 2 x a day July: 25mg a day I'm not even sure what I'm asking but I thought I'd share this very long story, good to actually get it all down. Hopefully this story will come to end soon. It seems crazy to go on a medication for low level anxiety/low mood due to essentially stress and go through this! Boris x
  9. Trev90 I have been on 40mg of Paxil for a year and a half. Went on that when I first went to detox for meth addiction. I’m a year and half clean. Everyone is depressed when they first get off drugs. So an antidepressant seemed right at the time. I was only 30 mg when I left treatment and my doctor increased it to 40 mg when I got out because I decided to go off Remeron because it made me too groggy. When I’m not at work I am sleeping. I sleep all weekend and end up feeling guilty about it and feel like I’m not living life to the fullest and missing out on things. It’s also caused me to gain weight which isn’t too much of a deal being the weight looks good on me. But the tiredness all the time and constantly needing a nap got to be too much. So I started cutting my 40s in half about two weeks ago. Took 20mg for 5 nights then took 10mg for three nights then discontinued. It’s been about a week since I took the last dose and I have had terrible vivid nightmares every night I’ve been off of it. I am miserable. I feel super anxious, my skin is oily and I’ve had brain zaps terrible. This is how I felt when I would withdraw from meth but worse. I can’t go through another night like I’ve been doing so I had to take a 20mg tonight to try and get back on it. I wasn’t aware that it was this hard to come off this drug. I want to just get back up to my normal 40mg dose until I can see a doctor and not feel like this anymore. Will I have to be on this medication forever ? How long would I feel like this if I decided to continue on withdrawing ? It’s a scary thought. I’m 29 years old and don’t want to be on an antidepressant. I really feel like I could be happy and mentally stable without an antidepressant but now I feel trapped. Any help would be appreciated. I don’t know what to do from here. I hope I haven’t damaged myself by putting myself through the withdraw for the couple days I’ve been without it. I could possibly deal with it if I was confident this wouldn’t last long.
  10. Hello, I have been on paroxetine for 7 years,have tried many times to go off but unsuccessfully. Finally on 7 th year i lowered my dose from 20 mg to 10 mg. After panic attacked and insomnia appeared on my trip few months later I took 20 mg while I was on a trip and lowered it again on 10 mg.Due to some medical conditions that I suspected that are cause of paroxetine,I lowered the dose to 0 in maybe two months,way too fast. I was okeish for about two months ( I had all of the symptoms of wd but I fought with it ) and I compelety crushed this February . Tinitus and never ending insomnia are the worse. I started to Google and found all the posts about some neurological damage From this drug which made my anxiety worse. Doctor gave me lorazepam to sleep. My question is ,should I go back to 10 mg and taper more slowly? Am I in a risk of neurological damage From tapering too fast ? Is this tinitus permanent? How long wd simptoms approximately last ? I see I am in risk of developing tolerance to lorazepam since I have been using it two weeks for sleep. My doctor's don't know anything since one wants to put me on mirtazapine and other on Prozac. I am so worried and feeling alone in all this.
  11. Prozac bridge update : - crashed badly after a drop from 0.1mg Paroxetine to 0.06mg Paroxetine - updosed Fluoxetine to 7mg a week ago Since the Fluoxetine updose : - symptoms this last 2 weeks have been hard ( anxiety-dread / cortisol rushes / depression-suicidal). - since 3 days : anxiety-dread and agoraphobia are much lower (❤️). Depression/despair/SI are still very hard to bear but I have some moments calmer. + since 3 days, evenings are a bit calmer than the rest of the day. It's like if during the day I'm utterly unable to feel hope, pleasure, colours, but in the evenings I can feel some tiny bits. I'm off work now for a month. Also gonna spend some days to my parents house in order to protect myself from SI surges. During the days I try to fill my mind with beauty and good humour (watching the seaside, watching comedies). I'm not really able to feel beauty or to laugh, but I try to feed my spirit. I also practice mindfullness, but must confess that it is hard to stay in the present when the present is violent. I have moments while I feel tempted with an updose to 8mg Fluoxetine. I dont believe anymore in the imbalance theory, but considering that my body works with SSRI since 10-15 years, I wonder if my violent depressed symptoms come from a lack of serotonin recapture. Or if I'm mistaken and this is just a matter of a destabilised CNS and a much more complex process. In which case, an updose to 8mg could be a mistake because of a risk of kindling. @Altostrata : doest it make sense ? Or does it sound like I'm still too influenced by psychiatry lies ? (no emergency of course, just willing to learn) Everybody, take care ❤️
  12. Dear Altostrata. Thank you for your reply . After I stopped Sertraline in May 2016, I would not say that I fell into extreme withdrawal until about September. I did not have a window after that and was subsequently hospitalised in November and started Mirtazapine at 15mg which I quickly reduced to 7.5 before the end of 2016. Then did a quick taper up till June 2017 where I stopped. There were no windows (maybe very momentarily) in this period. Till February 2018 no windows( maybe again very momentarily) and in a severely bad state. From February 2018 till early summer, things improved ever so slightly, I would not be sure to describe as a window, and obviously there were extreme moments along with slightly less bad. I would say that from about then, the way I felt was slightly less "psychedelic" I have no word which I can describe better, but in essence although the worries and symptoms persisted, I felt a little bit more grounded in the physical world. Then I had very a bad wave that summer which lasted till about September. Then when abroad within one day, from a very bad state, had a little window which then turned into a big window, which carried on for 2 or so months. Essentially in that time October I got back to work and lots of things improved dramatically and was working near full time up till near Christmas when It became too overwhelming and left. In this period I was also coping better with social interactions. In the New year 2019 had declined slighty but managed to get back to working part -time and things were quite stable till the summer where at the beginning I had a bit of a lull but then went abroad for about a month and was very good, until I had a difficult social interaction, which then went completely out of proportion, which really knocked me off course. I persisted like this in the fall and winter of 2019, I was still working sometimes, I was still just about coping. January I went away again and felt a bit better, then since February has been a steady and more recently dramatic decline. I can describe these last few months more in detail if you would like but I will try to reply to the other questions now. I definitely did not have the majority of these symptoms before I started taking paroxetine. Before then I would say I had some paranoia, social and psychological anxiety, and some obsessive thoughts(though I would not describe as OCD as does not even come close to the obessions I have had since). The real shift In my brain, thinking, although had been quite bad on my first time with paroxetine and subsequent withdrawal, was my second withdrawal from paroxetine. Actually I'm not sure (I think) if some of those novel symptoms came when I was still actually on my second period on paroxetine. The first time I quit paroxetine I think I quit because I thought I was feeling better. The second time on the contrary I think I quit because I was getting all these strange symptoms. So at the end of the summer 2010 after having quit paroxetine for the second time I started experience all these terrifying symptoms completely unknown to me. In that period again to use the the word "psychedelic" I was experiencing things which were not actually happening and yet I thought were happening, I mean actually things in the physical world, although there was part of me that realised they were not actually happening. In this period from one instance to the next in about September 2010 I also had this inexplicable symptom which has haunted me ever since, I remember the moment it happened I could not imagine how it could ever go away. This has been one of my constant symptoms for these past ten years yet has taken on many different forms, and I have tried many different ways of dealing with it. When I feel better and it is not so extreme, I "think" I recognise the mechanism which is causing it. I have had no luck describing this to therapist etc, who often assume they understand what I am talking about but not sure. It is kind of a tourettes though I do not think I have ever actually blurted anything out really. For about the first 5 years, I was living with the terror of blurting out, and had my jaw clenched often, which still reamisn to some extent this day, although the last few years, it has been less a fear of actually blurting out but the fact that it is happening in my head. I will finish here about this, I don't think from this I will be able to remotely convey what this symptom is, I reckon I could actually write pages maybe a book just on this thing. Anyway going back on medications did not help any of this, they just numbed a bit so that I could somehow manage to do some things whilst living with this torment. Basically after my second paroxetine withdrawal, none of the medications I took after that ever relieved these symptoms, all the medication did was simply give me some artificial strength to just a bout live with it. In one sense the best year I have had since 2010 was last year (at least up until the end of the summer) and the end of 2018. The thing is I was probably alot for fragile and sensitive and maybe reactive eventually, than I was when I was on medication, but felt alot more "normal", less manic than when on medication. I think my OCD had much improved, although maybe I just found a better way of dealing with it, whatever it is I don't even think I was thinking about the term ocd for about a year or so. The internal "tourettes" is the thing that stilll carried on though constantly through this "good" period although I think I had become quite good a living with it even though was a constant torment and would wear me down. Also I have had serious difficulty in reading, concentrating since 2010, and I do not think it is just a question of concentration, the "tourettes" plays a big role in this. I did manage somehow in some crazy way manage complete a degree and masters on when on the venflaxine and then sertraline, though I can't stress how unbelievably insane It was studying with my brain like that. Whereas the last few years I have had just to accept that I am not so able to read etc. In terms of supplements diet etc. I will try again with the fish oils, I'm not sure why I stopped or haven't taken them. Magnesium I seem to have problems with, I can feel quite strange and unsettled when I take it. I do not take anything else apart from smoke tobacco, which I recognise is not good, but which especially in this instance find very difficult to quit. I hardly ever, nowadays do not drink alcohol. My diet i would say is ok but slightly irregular. I will finish up now, but I quickly describe also the physical symptoms that I have nearly constantly and can be pretty extreme. I basically always have pain in my head, sometimes very severe, It can take on many different forms though, sometimes it breaks out as an extreme headache/migraine, other times it is very strange senasations which feel right in my brain, other times my skull. I could probably go more into detail whith this aswell. Also my ears sort of feel blocked alot of the time, and my jawm is very tense and sometimes painful. Thank you so much for your help Kind regards. Akrontes
  13. Altostrata

    Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

    aka Aropax, Paroxat, Deroxat, Rexetin, Sereupin, Seroxat, Xetanor Paxil and Effexor have long led the list of antidepressants notorious for difficult withdrawal, the others being Zoloft and Luvox. (But this may be because Paxil and Effexor have been very widely prescribed for a long time; Lexapro and Cymbalta are certainly also very difficult to taper.) From the July 2011 Medication Guide from GlaxoSmithKline here (PDF) http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_paxil.pdf From FDA prescribing information at http://www.drugs.com/pro/paxil.html Regular Paxil comes in 10, 20, 30, and 40 mg tablets (also true of generic paroxetine). Paxil CR comes in 12.5, 25, and 37.5 mg tablets. Paxil Oral Suspension (liquid) comes in a concentration of 10 mg/5ml (NOTE: contents to be discarded 1 month after opening - see this post) Reduce by 10% per month to start The 10% rule holds for Paxil, like other psychiatric drugs: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? Cutting up tablets To reduce your dosage, cut regular Paxil tablets up with a pill cutter, available at any drug store. If you get your prescription filled with the 10mg tablets, you may be able to cut them in half or quarters to reduce by 5mg or 2.5mg at a time. Precisely weighing tablet pieces or crushed tablets with an electronic digital scale You may wish to precisely measure your dosage with an electronic scale that measures milligrams. These are available for under $30 US. See Using a digital scale to measure doses Use Paxil liquid to taper (NOTE: Paxil Oral Suspension is stable until expiry date when stored correctly - see this post; Seroxat contents to be discarded 1 month after opening - see this post) This is the easiest and most accurate way to taper Paxil. See FDA prescribing information at http://www.drugs.com/pro/paxil.html In the US, the ordering code for Paxil Oral Suspension (liquid),10 mg/5ml., in 250 ml bottles is NDC 53873-043-00 (GlaxoSmithKline Paxil liquid) https://www.hipaaspace.com/medical_billing/coding/national.drug.codes/53873-043-00 NDC 60505-0402-5 (Apotex generic paroxetine liquid) https://www.hipaaspace.com/medical_billing/coding/national.drug.codes/60505-0402-5 Some people are sensitive to changes in the form of the drug. If you are taking tablets, you may wish to take part of your daily dosage in tablet form and part in liquid for a few days to ease the transition from tablets to liquid. Use oral syringes to taper with the liquid, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/ Make your own liquid You can make your own liquid with water. See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in lower-dose tablets or capsules, gradually converting to all liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another. If your doctor prescribes liquid and tablets or capsules at the same time, most likely, he or she will have to indicate "divided doses" in the prescriptions to get the drugs covered by insurance. Tapering the controlled-release (CR) version of paroxetine or Paxil The half-life of regular paroxetine is estimated at about 20 hours, while paroxetine CR’s half-life is 15 to 20 hours — there’s not much difference. According to FDA Prescribing Information for Paxil CR, which can be found on the insert in the drug packets, The CR matrix formulation slows the dissolving of the tablet slightly, releasing the drug into your system a little more gradually. There is no magic in this matrix. If you cut up the tablet, it may dissolve faster and become regular paroxetine. The change in release rate probably won’t be apparent to most people and if it is, most likely will go away in a few days. So you can cut up the tablet to reduce the dosage. However, to taper at 10% per month (calculated on the most recent dosage), you will want to be more precise in your dosage measurement. This may be accomplished by gradually switching to paroxetine liquid and using an oral syringe to draw small amounts of the drug. For example, if you are taking 20mg paroxetine, your initial 10% reduction would be 2mg, to a dosage of 18mg. You can take 12.5mg paroxetine CR tablets with 5.5mg paroxetine liquid for a total daily dose of 18mg. Your next 10% reduction on 18mg would be 1.8m, for a daily dosage of 16.2mg: 12.5mg paroxetine CR tablets with 3.7mg paroxetine liquid. Your next reductions would be to 14.6mg, then to 13.2mg (always round up to the larger dosage). Your next 10% reduction on 13.2mg will take your dosage below the 12.5mg paroxetine CR tablet. At this point, you might want to 1) start cutting your 12.5mg tablets in half and add liquid to that to constitute your daily dose; 2) switch to 10mg regular paroxetine; add liquid to for your full daily dose; OR 3) switch your entire dose to liquid paroxetine. You cannot make a liquid from paroxetine CR, the matrix formulation will make it gluey. Please be aware than any transition from one form of the drug to another may be a little bumpy but usually works out over a few days. Have a compounding pharmacy make up capsules of smaller paroxetine dosages With a prescription, a compounding pharmacy will accurately weigh small doses and put them into capsules for you. This is usually somewhat expensive. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/page__p__3001#entry3001
  14. Help please. I have been on 20mg Seroxat (Paxil / paroxetine) daily for 17yrs. Originally. Prescribed for anxiety and agoraphobia. In January 2018 to July 2018 I reduced my dose to 10mg daily. In that time only symptoms was mild head aches and few episodes of crying. Didnt feel any anxiety symptoms. From July I levelled at 10mg deciding to give myself a levelled period on 10mg as I was feeling really good. In late October symptoms of weak joints and pins needles and flu symptoms arrived. This went on until late December. I still was on 10mg daily. In the month of January 2019 I felt really better. What ever it was I thought it was passing. In early February 2019 my symptoms returned doubly worse with many other little symptoms. Trouble with sleep, noise sensitivity. Flu, feeling on edge , internal shakes. Brain zaps and tension head aches. and believe slight return of anxiety. At this point I learned about withdrawal syndrome. I am unable to function at this state. Please if anyone can help with a reinstatement question As I have not stopped Seroxat completely and have been at a 10mg dose for 6 months, would my chances of reinstatement be more of Seroxat be more successful? Rather than being off totally. If so would it be better to taper up slowly? Or go in with the full 20mg again? Many thanks for anyones advice.
  15. Hi, I was initially put on 37.5 mg paroxetine during a postpartum depressive episode in June 2016. My pdoc suspected the dose to be too high and reduced to 25 mg. I held on 25 mg for almost a year, and then my pdoc and I decided to try a dose reduction to 12.5 mg. I had a few brain zaps, but nothing serious, so I held there for a few months. My pdoc and I decided to drop to 0 mg in October 2017 (by taking 12.5 mg alternate days then zero). Again, only brain zaps were experienced. Four months later, at the beginning of March 2018, severe protracted withdrawal kicked in. I had not discovered this forum, so I immediately jumped to 12.5 mg at the recommendation of a doctor friend, and several days later jumped to 25 mg at the recommendation of my pdoc. When I experienced what I now know is a wave, I thought the paroxetine dose was not high enough, and my pdoc increased it to 37.5 mg. I have been on this dose for May and June, but now I have developed really loud tinnitus, and I suspect that the 37.5 mg dose might be too high. My pdoc supports my reducing to 25 mg. However, I don't want to destabilise my system. I have tried to work out the pharmacokinetics of the controlled release tablets, to see how to 'spread' my reduced dose over 24 hours, but have not found much on the internet. My intuition would be to take my 25 mg controlled release in the morning, along with 5 mg immediate release, so that I would have a peak and then a gradual dose over 24 hours. This would reduce my dose from 37.5 mg over 24 hours to 30 mg over 24 hours. Since I strongly believe that my system is flooded with serotonin, I think that this step won't destabilise me as there is an accumulated 'stash' of serotonin floating around my system. Any advice from the seasoned taperers out there? Thanks for hearing my story, Bee5
  16. Hello Everyone! My name is Tomek, I'm 33 years old and my miserable adventure with antidepressant started 9 years ago in December 2009. My entire history with antidepressants is in my Signature. Suffice to say that I had some experience with withdrawing from many meds especially from SSRI and benzodiazepines. Xanax withdrawal. In 2014 after an accident I was very much addicted to Xanax, taking it every day. During that time I had some very unpleasant incident with this med. On one Sunday I started to feel extremely bad. From very early morning to late night I had many unpleasant symptoms like: extreme sweating (all the time I looked like I've just had a shower), muscle pain, muscle stiffness, tachycardia, extremely dry mouth and problems with my eyesight. I completely stopped taking Xanax at that moment. I was in this terrible state for the next five days. The good thing is that after this incident I practically stopped taking benzos for good. During the last 4 years, I've taken them maybe once per year and even that in very small doses. The bad thing is that since then I still have problems with my eyesight, specifically, my eyes have some strange problem with focusing on objects, like my vision becomes shaky when I try to focus my eyes. To this day I'm still not 100% sure what happened to me. Was it benzo withdrawal like my psychiatrist suggested or something else, for example, serotonin syndrome (I was on Clomipramine and Mirtazapine back then). After this incident for the next 6 months, I had a terrible anxiety almost every day. Anyway, in December 2014 I started taking Paroxetine 30mg (Seroxat) again. Since September 2014 I’m also on Mirtazapine 15mg. From 2015 to 2017 I actually felt pretty well on those meds. Even problems with my eyesight weren't very bothersome, although it never completely healed after the incident with benzos. Paroxetine withdrawal. Finally, at the end of 2017, after 3 years I decided to start withdrawing from those meds. My liver tests weren't very good so that's one of the reasons but not only. My first attempts weren’t really successful as I hesitated between 30mg and 20mg. During January 2018 I went three times between those doses. One of the reasons is that my close friend died during that time. This made me feel very depressed and anxious. I don't know if this was because of changing those doses or because I was very stressed back then but I started to feel physically ill. I was nauseous, weak, I had dizziness and photophobia. After three weeks I started to feel a little better. I decided to tamper the doses very gradually. For two weeks I was reducing from 30mg to 20mg. After that, I stopped reducing and was on 20mg for 2 months. Then again reducing from 20mg to 10mg for 2 weeks. Then 3 months on 10mg and after that reducing to 0mg for 3-4 weeks. I finally stopped taking Paroxetine in August 11th 2018r. Changing the dose slowly from 30mg to 20mg wasn't that bad. However, going from 20mg to 10mg was a whole different story. I had unpleasant brain zaps and was nauseous. The worse part was actually my mental state. I was constantly irritated, even the smallest things could make me feel angry. Never in my life felt something like that. Fortunately, after 2-3 weeks, I started to feel better. Not as good as before changing the dose but I could make through the day without hitting my desk with fists. So somewhere in the middle of July, I decided to finally go for it and try to reduce my dose to 0mg. During it, my photophobia and afterimages increased. On August 11th, 2018 was the first day since more than 3 years that I finally survived the day without Paroxetine. Since then I'm depressed almost every day, especially in the mornings, a few times I had panic attacks during the night and couldn't sleep. I'm still on Mirtazapine so that helped me with sleeping. Then fun fact though is that without Paro I managed to finally go on vacation after 5 years ;-). In the past, I always felt too lazy to go somewhere. Mirtazapine withdrawal. My next plan was to withdraw from Mirtazapine. I started reducing doses from 15 mg to something like 11mg at the end of September. At the end of October, I was on 7.5 mg for almost three weeks. Unfortunately, I started feeling worse, more often had panic attacks and my eyesight went even worse. At the beginning of November, I've returned to 15mg but that didn't help me very much. My eyes still have a problem with focusing and my vision is shaky, I'm experiencing brain zaps although they're not as strong as they were before. At this point, I'm not sure if it is a good idea to withdrawing from Mirtazapine so fast when I've just stopped taking Paroxetine like 3 months ago. On the other hand, I really want to try to get off this med. I apologize for any mistakes in this text due to my poor English.
  17. Hello Everybody! In December 2010 (I just turned 21) I started taking Paxil because I was having severe anxiety (Agoraphobia / Emetophobia). After intensive therapy I made a good recovery which allowed me to pick up daily life (the Anxiety is never completely gone, but it no longer has a big impact on my life). I tried to stop twice and twice this failed extremely hard. By then me and my psych/GP thought it was easy and with todays knowledge I can say that the failures were probably due to way to fast withdrawal schedules (first time I halved to 10mg and stopped the week after.. second time I reduced by 2mg each week). Early summer 2016 I was feeling better than ever on every aspect of my life, but in the second half of the summer suddenly I started feeling worse. Fatigued, unmotivated, tingling sensations and a somewhat drugged/absent feeling. Even though I did feel familiar (to Paxil symptoms, which I had a lot the first ~2-3 months when starting Paxil each time) I did not immediately link it to my medication due to no increase in anxiety. However after a thorough checkup (both physically and mentally) without any other possible finding the only remaining hypothesis was the sudden change in how my body responded to the medication. I decided to start tapering of paxil, but this time I would be prepared: I found out about the 5-10% in 3-6 weeks schedules and found a psychiatrist to help me with my tapering. I also switched to liquid Seroxat to make tapering easier. My plan was to start with tapering 10% each 4 weeks and only reduce dosage once I felt mainly stable/good during the last week. The first taper step went good with only minor/innocent side effect. The second step already became a bit heavier especially with the addition of headaches and eye floaters both of which reduced my daily productivity/concentration. However after 5 weeks I felt stable/better and decided to taper again. The first week on my new dosage (14.4mg) went surprisingly well. But after that suddenly everything changed: The anxiety came back in full force. In addition I felt hunted/restless, nauseous, vague/absent (like I'm a spectator in my own life), still had headaches, almost no energy, heart palpitations and sometimes hyperventilating. We are now three months further and I slowly/steadily start feeling better each week but still feel far from stable (more like a house without foundation which could collapse any moment). Besides all I remain positive and hope to feel better in a couple of weeks, but I am uncertain of what to do next: - I could continue tapering Paxil as if nothing happened, but given the insane symptoms I just recovered from I might consider a smaller step of 5%. - An alternative could be, due to the heavy symptoms in a this early stage of tapering to switch to an AD which is famous for being still-horrible-but-slightly-less-horrible-than-parox with regards to tapering and withdrawal symptoms. I found this topic on this site which states this and that Prozac is often used for this. I can not decide what to do.. hopefully this and other topics on this site will help me make this decision..
  18. Hello everybody, first excuse for the english I'm from Germany but hope that everything is understandable. Also sorry that the story is a little longer. I am male 41 years old. In 2003, my doctor prescribed Paroxetine (Paxil) for me. Diagnosis depression. Today I do not believe it anymore. One year later I tried to abruptly stop what went wrong of course, as I approached my doctor he said I should just take it all my life. I thought maybe I was sick and so took the stuff like many others. I have not thought about it for a long time and kept taking it, mostly 20mg some time also 40mg. but the last few years 20mg. Over the years, I had more and more stomach problems, everything was clarified and found nothing in recent years, the stomach problems were getting worse so I weighed only about 60kg at 1.85m height and I finally came to the fact that it must be the paroxetine. So I informed myself on the internet (unfortunately not thoroughly enough) and reduced the paroxetine from August to December 2018 in 4 week intervals 20mg, 10mg, 7,5mg, 5mg, 2,5mg all about without scales. that works good I had in between brainzaps and my stomach problems were not better but otherwise almost no problems. I took my last 2.5mg pill one week before Christmas 2018. About 2 weeks later I could not sleep in some nights, I thought that was over. In the middle of January I could not sleep at all and there was a lot of dizziness. I briefly took zolpidem for a total of maybe 5-7 tablets over two to three weeks. I was only able to sleep for 2-3 hours with zolpidem. Then I researched further and found the German forum they advised me to try again dosing that I did it after 7 weeks. Only 0.25mg then 0.5mg, etc. the dizziness disappeared but the insomnia remained. Then I stupidly continued high doses Gradually to 5mg but the insomnia has remained. then I went to a clinic that increased the paroxetine to 10mg and only prescribed trimipramim 25mg from which I was able to sleep a little bit and then switched to Dominal 40mg after 4 weeks. My sleep did not get much better and it became more and more scary until today. I stayed for 4.5 months on 10mg Paroxetine and 40mg Dominal which I temporarily increased to 60mg in the meantime but also brought no success. In the meantime, I have reduced paroxetine again, my current medication is 8.5mg Paroxetine in the morning and 45mg Dominal in the evening. I am absolutely terrible for 12 months and cannot work. It's changing all the time, but it's still terrible. Although I have physical symptoms such as shaking, freezing, transpire, sore muscles, internal vibration, moving like a robot etc. but the mental are the worst and I do not know how long I can stand it. meanwhile I can sleep mostly 3-6 hours at night it is a bad easy sleep and feels totally different in the old days. I hardly ever have windows, sometimes I feel 50% like in the past. The worst of all is the fear she comes in the morning from 5 o'clock and then increases in the immeasurable I can barely breathe, before 12 o´clock sometimes has to go to the toilet 7 times (in German we say for the big job) but not because of the stomach but out of fear. I curl up in fear and can barely stand upright. it is a feeling to be crushed. and to go crazy. I have to cry in despair because I cannot stand it anymore. I've read a lot about the morning cortisol boost. but in my case, it actually has to be more that feeling and that fear often lasts until the evening and is indescribable. The second thing that worried me a lot and where I have not read in any form is that I have absolutely no peace as soon as I am awake I have no peace anymore I can barely sit, let alone rest or relax my body is always on full power a continuous flight or fight mode without a break for 11 months. and the worst thing ever is sometimes I'm so exhausted that I can barely move then I'm sitting somewhere and then something hard to explain. I fall like in a trance my eyes fall to it the body they go back I sometimes see pictures half open eyes closed like daydreams I often did not know have eyes closed or were they open. 1 second later I do not remember the picture and I see again with my eyes open. I ´ve also have that for 11 Month. and my biggest justified fear is that I'll never get rid of it and get stuck in a Daydream or psychosis. When I consciously close my eyes during the day, my stomach immediately contracts and I get scared. I have read a lot and also posted in the German forum. So now I know a lot about these devil stuff and about cortisol, histamine and also the paroxetine which is probably the worst ssri. Meanwhile, I have a theory why I am in a state of emergency. Of course, when I reduced last year, I was way too fast and my nervous system has gone into the absolute alarm mode. then I dosed in much too late and went up too far again. meanwhile I do not tolerate the Paroxetine anymore and it does not work anymore so I'm still hanging in the withdrawal last year. In addition, I probably have many side effects due to intolerance my body actually does not want the paroxetine anymore. if I reduce now come the next withdrawal symptoms of one and the same drug. and the Dominal does not really help me, at least I do not notice any tiredness even an hour after taking it. my nervous system is just too irritated. I read a part of the story of altostrata at the beginning of the German forum and was shocked since then I cannot get it out of my head and I think what if you feel the same way. Paroxetine and insomnia it's the same thing. It has been a daily struggle for survival for a very long time without being able to find peace or relax. My brain is working 24 hours a day. As soon as I try to find peace and quiet during the day, I get scared as if the mind wants to point me to danger. I often describe the condition as if the mind is separate from the body. I feel this often in exhaustion my body wants to rest and relax but the mind does not allow it. actually I know that there is only one way no doctor in the world and no one else can help me there is only one way I have to get rid of the paroxetine and this is probably only with slow reduce. although I feel so bad and it is a daily struggle for survival. I still have few questions and although can I do anything to make my situation bearable its on the edge of ability to live. If necessary, I take 0.5mg Tavor but only every few weeks and it almost does not work. I have many symptoms but the fear of going crazy and sleep is the worst. So, is this the right way to continue stubbornly every 4-6 weeks to reduce 5% -10%, or do I have to continue pausing to try to achieve stability, but i think i can´t reach that? the second question is I have read in some other threats that Altostrata recommends changing from about 5mg paroxetine to prozac. I never heard that. I was thinking of not taking any other SSRI. so I could write much more but now I come to the end and thank you in advance !! Kind regards Arti
  19. I am sorry, Akrontes. From your history, it appears you might have gone off paroxetine very quickly in 2009. Paroxetine is a very, very difficult drug for withdrawal syndrome. Your history after that is typical of people whose antidepressant withdrawal syndrome was misdiagnosed and treated with a carousel of more drugs and diagnoses. It also appears you had a rather severe adverse reaction to halperidol. Apparently your trials of paroxetine and venlafaxine etc. were not successful, because you went on to sertraline. Probably the dosage of sertraline was too high for your already sensitized nervous system and you "freaked out". Since then, you've had your problems with mirtazapine. We often see that the nervous systems of people who have been on and off drugs and have adverse reactions to drugs become sensitized. Their nervous systems reject drugs at "normal" dosages. Do you have a doctor you trust who can work with you? Please see
  20. My name is Todd and a week ago today things started to go haywire for me. I've been cutting from 20 mg . Total pill weight was 288mg and I got down to 175 mg. I was hospitalized in 2012 from jumping off the way wrong way and learned my lesson. Basically I've bumped up my dose and am taking Ativan as needed right now when things get bad. I'm seeing a counselor and have an appointment for a psychiatrist this month. I've never actually dealt with any psychiatrists other than the one when I was hospitalized in 2012. I'm here just trying to get what I can to get back on track and stave off the fear. Thanks Also I'm not sure how where my signature is located.
  21. As some folks ask me about my Prozac bridge, thought I could write an update : Two weeks ago, I dropped from 0.1mg to 0.06mg Paroxetine. Since two weeks I'm full of symptoms : strong brain fog, some cortisol rushes are back, strong anxiety, feeling electrical, dizziness, body aches, exhaustion, strong DR, doom thinking, some SI,.... with no relief. Strange to think that two weeks ago I had moments while I felt "normal" ! I'm trying to apply somehow the "Endgame taper" advices to my bridge. Not sure if I'm doing well as I don't understand everything (English understanding + strong brain fog and DR). Not sure how it can be adapted to a Prozac bridge. I'm gonna wait a couple weeks and see how it goes. Then I'll drop to 0.03mg and see how it goes. (33%, 50%...100% ?) Not really able to participate on SA these days : I focus all my efforts on trying to be able to work Someone asked me if I could do an assessment of my Prozac bridge : I think it is still too early to make a definitive assessment of my Paxil to Prozac bridge. Do I regret it because of intense symptoms ? No way ! I wasn't doing a fast Paroxetine taper before coming to SA, and even with 3% drops it has always been very hard to taper Paroxetine. So we can assume that maybe I wouldn't have been able to get off Paroxetine without a switch. I try to focus on my bigger goal : being drugfree. But my experience may show that a Prozac bridge may have to be done slower than expected, and that even with Fluoxetine added Paroxetine can still be a stubborn and hard to get off. It is possible that I've been too confident about a "symptom-free bridge" : before bridging, I read many testimonies on French forums, people bridging in two to four weeks without having symptoms ! To be honest, it sometimes feels very unfair to have intense symptoms. On another hand, since 15 years my CNS function with Paroxetine, so it sounds pretty logical that gettinf off doesn't go smoothly. I'm really struggling at the moment, and sometimes loose faith on being able to get off Paroxetine and stabilising on Fluoxetine. But I also know that time does heal everything ❤️ Take care everyone ❤️
  22. Hello dear survivors, well, I've criticised Paxil for being a stubborn, but it looks like I'm a real stubborn too... Before doing my Paxil to Prozac switch, I've read several testimonies written by people (here or on other websites) who did a relatively easy bridge, almost symptomfree. And this is what gave me the strength to try this molecule change : I began my switch almost convinced that once Fluoxetine would ramp up, I would quit Paroxetine relatively quickly and without much symptoms. It is not exactly the case (but still glad to be down to 0.06mg), and everytime I told it here, you (Gridley, Altostrata, Longroadhome,..) told me that I'll probably have to quit Paroxetine very slowly. But I couldn't understand why whereas I had added Fluoxetine in order to substitute. As if 10% rule couldn't apply to my switch situation. As if I had forggot all I've learned thanks to SA testimonies. And instead of accepting the fact that quitting Paroxetine was still difficult for my CNS even if Fluoxetine was added, my mind was rejecting this idea and I kept on saying "but I'm doing a switch, this is not normal, logical". I believe this lack of acceptance also came from fears for my everyday life : I'm afraid of not being able to keep on working with those intense symptoms, and I need my job to stay independent and protect myself. Those around me fully accept the idea that I probably need more drugs because I'm ill, so I can't ask them support or financial help if I had to stop working. Of course this rejection attitude didn't help me And I'm starting to understand that, considering my current symptoms, it may still take many months to quit Paxil. Well, don't know if it's clear, but wanted to apologize for my obstinacy. Let's say it is an obstinacy for life ! Trying to move on the road to acceptance and the grieving process of an easy divorce with Paxil. Felt in love too quickly with a miraculous Fluoxetine saviour My plan now is to wait for stabilisation with 0.06mg Paroxetine, and then do a slower taper of it. Take care ❤️
  23. I would like too greet you all in first place and wish you all best in your life. I'm 26 years old male. I don't want to talk about personal struggles and situations, just about solutions and going forward. I was on 20 Mg paroxetine and 3mg bromazepam. I'm not from USA or western Europe, but I think that is 20 Mg Paxil and 3 Mg Lexotan or Lexotanil for around 6 years. Few times I tried to quit but I didn't know about withdrawal and I used to come back on same medication. I never went up in dose, just maintaining. Before 5 months I decided to go off Paxil. I have been sick, flu like symptoms,tears, fatigue, insomnia, vivid dreams etc. Survived worst part I think, and felt good like never before after suffering a lot. Still have a stomach problems, and alot of symptoms but I'm glad I did stop it. And I don't want to go back on it. Tried to do same with Lexotan, but then my symptoms go very bad. I don't take it daily, only sometimes when I can't stand symptoms like unable to concentrate and bad and random thoughts coming to my head so I can't function properly. In first place why I started taking these two medication is hiatal hernia, part of my stomach coming through diaphragm giving very bad anxiety and symptoms. I can stand withdrawal if I take Lexotan sometimes. I need your advice on what to do. I don't have time to heal at home, I need to go work and life is waiting. I repeat I don't want to go back on ssri, but to function "normal" I need occasionally this benzodiazepine called Lexotan. I don't take 3 Mg, rather 1.5 mg, occasionally. I tried without it also, and I could fight it but at home In nice environment. I appreciate any advices, maybe somebody went through something similar. Now I know I should first stop benzodiazepine, then ssri, but I'm glad I got off Paxil.
  24. Hi, sorry it’s taken a bit for me to get back on this. I had to look back on my journal since it’s been a while and I don’t think about it much anymore. I started the switch by taking 9mg of paroxetine, which is where I had been, and added 5 mg of citalopram. The next day I went to 8.5mg of paroxetine and 5 mg citalopram. I continued to slowly reduce the paroxetine while gradually increasing the citalopram. I was also taking lorazepam as needed through the process, but didn’t take it every day and never more than 1mg/day. I dropped the paroxetine after 2 weeks on citalopram and at that point I was up to 10 mg of citalopram. I was still having a lot of anxiety at that point and decided to increase to 15 mg of citalopram slowly, but it was too much, so slowly went back down to 10mg and held for a little over a month. I increased to 11 mg and started to notice improvement. I continued to slowly increase. I had a lot of ups and downs as I worked my way up to 15 mg over the course of about a month. Started feeling quite a bit better by mid October, not quite 2 months since I started the switch. I would continue to have ups and downs on 15 mg over the next 4 months or so, and decided to increase to 20mg slowly by the end of February. I got up to 20 mg in a month. I was doing much better at that point until June when I hit another wave. I got better, but had another wave at the end of July. I then felt really good till about October 2019 when I started feeling up and down again. I decided to increase to 25 mg slowly and have held there since. I don’t plan to increase anymore, but I also am not ready to start a decrease yet either. I still get some anxiety hear and there, but nothing like before. I pretty much am back to normal and living my life like before I was in withdrawal. I don’t like being on the medication, but for now, it is what I need to do to live my life and be happy.
  25. hi there! I was on lithiu 900mg, paroxetine 60-40g and reboxetine 8g for 17 years. I felt we had a similar history and thought id share y experiences with you. I decided to reduce my paroxetine as i now have a stable life. I went from 40mg to 20 mg on advice of psychiatrist. Suffered severley for 15months. I wasnt the same happy person anymore and struggled to not drink alcohol everyday! After struggling for 15 months with no help from psych i increased my paroxetine by 10 mg to 30mg and i was able to make i contact again and i could smile again! Life was so much easier. After 4 months i decided i still wanted to reduce my meds, so i started reducing my lithium over 2 months. It was so much easier than the paroxetine but i only had mood swings. I didnt want to die and i could still talk to peoole. Its now been 4 months and im feeling rather good. I know im still on paroxetine but i have still reduced 2 medications. And im happy and dont want to drink or hurt myself. You still need to be kind to yourself. Any reduction is good. SSR'I's are suppose to be one of the worst withdrawals. Please contact me if you need support. I probably dont have the answers but i understand. Larissa
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