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plz help feeling so sick from tapering from my paxil


ericawhite

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Hi erica here I'm 14 and have been taking 60mg of paxil for the last 1 years for severe depression and social anxiety I started at a dose of 30mg for 1 year and last year my doctor increased it to 60mg so I have been on 60mg for 1 year and 30mg for 1 year

 

1 week ago i went to the doctor and asked to come of the medication because I was starting to feel alot better and they told me to take 20 mg instead of my regular 60 mg and ever since then I have been feeling so sick and dizzy and I cant even eat I'm also feeling so depressed and upset and I almost fainted at school today and can hardly function while I do my studies its just so stressing at its almost finals and I cant even focus right at school, Im not sure what to do any advice what really be good thanks so much

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Hi erica, I think you should go back on your original dose (60mg) and wait for a while until you start to feel better. Your doctor will not be able to give you good advice about stopping these medications. It is extremely difficult to stop these drugs so suddenly. The best method for stopping them is to do an ultra slow taper, reducing your dose by a very small amount and then waiting for a few months before reducing any further. This means it can take a few years to come down off the drug, but it is the best method for avoiding negative symptoms and will allow you to remain functional throughout the process. You may be able to get a liquid drug to help you do this, but it is also very possible that your doctor will not listen to you. If this happens you will need to take things into your own hands and do the taper on your own. There is some information on this site about tapering that you should read. I am sure some other members who are more knowledgeable will be able to give you specific advice.

 

Good luck.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Thanks andy :) I made a doctor appointment for in 3 days hopefully ill survive until then. Ifeel like im going to die I hope the withdrawals go away 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Erica,

 

Welcome to SA.  I'm fairly new here too.  The members here are very supportive and helpful.  There is also a lot of really good information on this site.  This intro topic is for you to use to ask questions and use as a type of journal.

 

I'm going to include a list of topic links below, which I suggest you read before going to the doctors.  That way you will hopefully understand what is happening and be able to explain to the doctor why you need to taper by 10%.  I also suggest that you post back on this topic after you have seen your doctor BEFORE you do what he suggests, so members here can assess whether it is an okay way to go.

 

This simple explanation of what the drugs do to your brain is from somewhere else on the site but I'm going to paste it instead of linking it (hopefully it will help you understand the information in the other links):

 

"A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning.

What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry.

For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy non-drugged brain.

So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signalling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along). It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall.

To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodelling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly.

This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay.

When the drug is removed, the remodelling process has to take place in reverse.

SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here.

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain.

I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedalling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system.

Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected."
 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

I've copied and pasted this from the above topic to save you having to read it all.

 

What is known about reinstatement

from my reading and from patient experience as posted on online support sites:

  • According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When you get a chance it is helpful if you can Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

Other members will drop in soon.  It is well worth reading their suggestions so you can decide on what you want to do.

 

CC
 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi again,

 

Here is the link for tapering Paxil written by Altrostrata.  She is the administrator of this site and was on Paxil.

 

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi erica,

I moved your post from the tapering section to start an introduction thread here.

 

How did your doctor appointment go?

 

If you have used your real name for your user name, you may want to change it for privacy reasons, please let us know if you would like to do this.

 

Petunia.

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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  • Moderator

Hi Erica--  Welcome to the group. I'm so glad you found us in time.  60mg of paxil is an insanely high dose, especially for a 14 year old. From that fact and having you drop directly from 60 to 20mgs tells me that your doctor is very ill informed on how these drugs work.  I hope the appointment went well, but I have a good idea that he prescribed some other drugs to help with the symptoms, which is really a bad idea.  It is possible to come off of 60mg safely, I know several people who have done so.  I was on 40mg for 18 years and have been having good success tapering off of it.

 

It is much better to work with only one drug, and best of all to work with the one you have been on, which is why you don't want to add anything else or switch.  For right now I would suggest that you go back on the full dose of 60mg.  It will take a few weeks for what you're feeling to settle down, what we refer to as getting stable.  Once you're stable for a few more weeks, then you could start following our 10% taper plan.  It is the same plan those people I know used and similar to the one I use. 

 

One big thing to remember is that these drugs can make you feel all sorts of weird and scary things, but they are only feelings and sensations and can't actually hurt you, so there is no need to be scared of them.  For the time being I would suggest that you don't read too many of the other members introduction threads as many of them are in a lot different situations than you are and what is happening to them won't apply to you, and could be needlessly upsetting.  For right now you should read through these threads and then ask any questions that you come up with:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Take a deep breath and relax, things are going to be alright.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Erica,

 

So glad you've found this site.  The others have given you good links to read.  If you want to you can also have a look at non-drug techniques for coping with emotional symptoms.  It's my favourite page on this site.  It's also good for learning to manage your original depression and anxiety.  I wish somebody had shown me how when I was younger instead of just offering meds.  Teens have such a lot to cope with, so it's very normal to have anxieties etc.  With the right tools you can be a lot stronger, and one day you won't be a teenager anymore... 

 

I don't know what relationship you have with your parents, but have you thought of getting them to read this stuff?  Perhaps they would be a good advocate for you at the doctor's.  And if not, we are here.

 

You'll get through all this Erica, just read the links and come back here with any questions.  Once you are re-stabilised on your original dose the mods can help you make a gentle tapering plan.  And remember, people are a lot stronger than doctors tend to think we are.

 

Hugs,

KarenB (I have a 13 year old daughter, and it makes me so sad that doctors are prescribing to younger and younger people). 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator

Hi Erica-- I hope you're feeling better today.  KarenB brought up a good point about your parents.  It is very important to have them onboard with this because in the end they have the final say on things.  The more they understand about what is going on the more they can help.  No one who is not going through this can really understand how it feels, but the more they know the more they can help.  It might be a good idea for them to open their own account here so they can learn and ask questions in their own way, and not clutter up your journal and maybe respect your privacy a bit by not peeking.  Just another thing to keep in mind.  It's going to be pretty over whelming for a while with all the new information and the foggy head, but keep asking questions and it will sort its self out.

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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