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Mrbigg: I stopped cold turkey after 4 years of 20mg paxil- advice?


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I know I should have tapered. My paxil pooped out 2 years ago and I was not feeling like myself for a long time. 3 months ago I just quit.


I have fought thru the usual dizziness, and suicidal thoughts. Now in the 3rd month I get a chest gripping anxiety every evening. If something small goes wrong on my day, I start to think I can't handle anything. 


I have tried to think of this anxiety as a teaching tool so I can learn to live a softer life. 


My question is this: should I go back on a small dose of paxil or just keep fighting?

I don't want to go back, but I still need to function for my kids and for my own sanity.

4-5 years of Paxil. I was depressed from death of a student and I was divorced. 2 years ago paxil was doing nothing. I was frustrated, and quit cold turkey June 15, 2015. I have depressive suicidal thoughts to begin, now I have night  sweats, and a gripping anxiety level of about 4 all the time (panic attack is a 9). I have panic attacks every other day, I think I am learning how to move forward a little better with each day- but I am worried.

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Mr. Bigg,


Welcome to S/A.

Someone more qualified should be along to help you.


Meanwhile could you please add to your signature, all your past drugs, present drugs, the amount and duration of each?


Again, welcome


April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0


Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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  • Moderator

Hi MrBigg--  Welcome to the group. I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time.  As you are finding out CT is not the way to get off of these drugs. Going back on a small dose, say 5mg will probably reduce a lot of the symptoms you're feeling.  It will take a while, possibly several months, for things to calm down, but it really is worth a try.  Then once you've been stable for a while we can help work out a taper schedule to get you off with a lot less pain.


What is withdrawal syndrome? 


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)


Thank you for putting your drug history in a signature block, it really helps us to help you.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017


"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I was off Imipramine for about 7 months when I hit a wall of withdrawal symptoms, tried Prozac for a few months (didn't work) and went back on Imipramine after having been off of it for about 10 months-I was OK again in about a week.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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Welcome 'mrbigg'

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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