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AussieGirl: Hi im back


AussieGirl

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Hi all...Its been a while but I'm back :-) 

 

Bascially I quit paxil at 3.5mgs after a 10% taper a few years back and crashed badly some 8 months later.I reinstated at 10mgs paxil and was lucky it worked for me . I held the 10 mgs  for a whole year before tapering again. Im currenlty  down to 3.5mgs and intend to taper all the way to zero this time.  Since getting below 5mgs I'm getting lots of WD symptoms so thought I would return for a bit of support if that ok.  

 

I reduced to 3.5 mgs from 4 mgs 3 weeks ago now.   Finding this latest drop very tough and wondering  if maybe i should have held at 4mgs even longer.( I held at 5 mgs for 3 months but at 4 mgs just 6weeks.)

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Aussie Girl! How great it is "see" you, too bad it isn't under better circumstances. I followed your story very closely over at PP (I was JessG there). I'm sorry you had to reinstate, but very glad and amazed that it worked for you! I've been on Paxil about the same time as you and updoses just don't seem to work for me any more. Congrats on getting back down to 3.5mg. Since this is a rough dose range for you do you think taking smaller drops might help? Since you've only been on this dose a few weeks you might try updosing to halfway between the drop you are at now and where you were previously, maybe that might offer some relief?

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Aussiegirl,

 

Good idea to come and get more support - who wants to do this alone?  You are probably aware that the last leg of the taper can be the trickiest.  At this stage people tend to do smaller drops with longer holds in between.  It seems to save time in the long run, because there's less risk of destabilising your central-nervous-system etc.

 

Are you taking any supplements?  Fish Oil and Magnesium are recommended here.

 

What symptoms are you getting right now?

 

Welcome (back) to s/a,

KarenB

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 Emeritus

Hi Aussiegirl ,   this will probably be joined with your other thread 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5190-rachelina-in-crisis-and-afraid-ill-never-get-off-paxil/

One thread per customer in this section.

 

If you went from 5mg to 4mg , that's a 20% drop.  What you are experiencing now is quite likely delayed fallout

from that drop.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hello Aussie Girl! I remember you from the other forum. Sorry you are struggling (I am too at the moment). The last 5 mg seems to be the toughest and that is where it is extra important to go slow. I've had so many failed tapers too and always because I didn't realize how slow I really had to be going. Personally I am going to join Songbird and Jess/Ladybug on an ultraslow taper because this just isn't worth it! Anyway I'm very glad to have you with us at SA, you will get tons of great support here.

Trying to get off Paxil since 2007. Was tapering by 0.1 mg every 4-5 weeks. Had awful crash in November 2015 at .5 mg; updosed gradually to 2 mg. 

 

Doing better and tapering again, much slower this time.  2016: Dropped from 2 mg to 1.62 mg.  2017:  1.62 mg to 1.2 mg. 2018: 1.2 mg to .76 mg. 2019: .76 mg to .56 mg. 2020: .56 mg to .33 mg. 2021: .33 mg to .13 mg. CURRENT DOSE: 1/3/22 .12 mg 

 

Started Klonopin in November 2015 to deal with crash. 1/10/16 started milk titration taper from .5 mg. Finished taper 12/6/17. Still take Klonopin for agoraphobia 2 - 3 times a week. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry Aussiegirl , I thought you were Rachelina.    Welcome to SA.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Aussiegirl,

It seems that Paxil below 5mg is very difficult to taper. At least that is my experience currently and others here seem to experience the same.

However I am sure we will achieve this with the support of the SA community!

I hope that you are feeling better by now.

Cheers,

PB

- Paroxetine since more than 10years

- 20mg for the first five year, then 10mg since

- Several attempts to withdraw cold turkey following doctor's advise

- Last attempt in spring 2015 to reduce 10 -> 5 -> 2.5 -> 0mg within 2 months -> Extreme wd problems

- Reinstated with 10mg then down to 5mg again

 

04/01 5mg (tingling and muscle problems)

07/20 5mg (less problems)

08/20 4.95mg (muscle tightness, no more tingling sensations)

12/28 3.27mg (muscle tightness, numb feeling in feet and hands, light tingling sensations

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Hi, I'll be doing a very slow taper too here very soon.. I crashed after a little over a year taper and had to reinstate.

I did 1mg drops every 4-6 weeks (mainly every 4) but a couple of drops I did hold for 8 weeks and I still crashed..

Apparently I didn't hold long enough.so I'll be joining you guys on the very slow taper train too.

We are all here to support one another in this journey. :-)

 

Been on Paxil since 96”-97”, 40mg tried 3 times to get off and didn’t work, started a very slow taper Jan 2016, have only dropped down by 3 mg.. on 37mg currently.. have very delayed withdrawals. Last drop was in July 2017.. still have waves and windows. 

 

Magnesium 200mg, foilc acid 1 mg, vitamin d3 5000iu, Blood pressure meds-Verapamil & Irbesartan... Smoke cbd flower once in awhile. 

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  • Administrator

Hello, AussieGirl.

 

This might be a good time for a nice long hold. How often have you been reducing your dosage?

 

A reduction from 4mg to 3.5mg is a 12.5% reduction. You may wish to reduce by a much smaller amount from here out, a decrease of 10% or less.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi all. It's great to be back again and getting support .

 

I'm thinking maybe I should return to 5 mgs and Once stable taper at 5 % .

 

I'm petrified of crashing again as when I did last time it was some months off and boy was it disabling .

 

Currently increased general anxiety , dizziness , gut issues , palpitations .

 

It's the emotions bel stuff I'm most concerned about .

 

Thoughts on increasing back to 5 appreciated or should I just stay out at 3.5 and ride this out.

 

I'm still functioning and wishing etc but don't want this to get worse and catch up on me if that makes sense .

 

Alto yes your right had not thought that 4-3.5 is 12.5 %

 

(I'm using compounded liquid five mgs per ml and taking .7 ml currently .)

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Hi all. It's great to be back again and getting support .

 

I'm thinking maybe I should return to 5 mgs and Once stable taper at 5 % .

 

I'm petrified of crashing again as when I did last time it was some months off and boy was it disabling .

 

Currently increased general anxiety , dizziness , gut issues , palpitations .

 

It's the emotions lability stuff I'm most concerned about .

 

Thoughts on increasing back to 5 appreciated or should I just stay out at 3.5 and ride this out.

 

I'm still functioning and witking etc but don't want this to get worse and catch up on me if that makes sense . Every day an effort to manage the anxiety .

 

Alto yes your right had not thought that 4-3.5 is 12.5 %

 

(I'm using compounded liquid five mgs per ml and taking .7 ml currently .)

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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  • Administrator

You might not have to go all the way up to 5mg. 4mg might be enough this time.

 

Your body may be telling you to hold for a while, it's not ready for another adjustment, and maybe to decrease by less than 10%.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks alto . I think I will do that . Go to 4 mgs but hold it quite some time . Will let you know how I go .

 

Like you say after a lengthy hold I think it's 5% drops only for me from now on.

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Alto I held at 5 mgs for 3 months then the next reductions just 6 weeks as felt OK until this last drop .

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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  • Moderator

Hey AussieGirl! 

 

Wow, there's so many Aussies here!  

 

I looked for a previous thread (you said "I'm back!") but couldn't find anything, so welcome back to SA!

 

I think your course of action - to hold at 4 for awhile - is fine.

 

Holding is the magical part of tapering.  Holding is where you control your symptoms, your life, and minimize the problems of reducing the drugs.

 

You got this, go girl!  Oy Oy Oy!

 

Let us know as soon as you get a peep through that window, we'll all be cheering!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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I have heard than tapering is even more difficult when you get to under 5 mg. Congrats on getting as far as you have! That is such a great accomplishment. I agree with holding until things feel better before making another drop if you can but I can totally understand the desire to change dose to see if you can stabilize, that is what happened to me. Hang in there and be very proud of how far you have come!

40 years old and have been on 20 mg of Paxil for the last 19 years. Multiple unsuccessful attempts to quit over the years.01/2015 Was tapering using liquid Paxil. MD has prescribed 1 ml = 2mg taper every two weeks or once withdrawal symptoms at that dose subside. Reduced from 20 to 10 mg using this method and at 10 mg severe withdrawal set in. 1.5 months of pure hell. Found SA, learned what was happening, and reinstated to 20 mg. After a month of severe symptoms recovered with the reinstatement. Fish oil - Multi Vitamin - Pro-biotic, amino-acid/B Vitamin supplement every day. Magnesium as needed.08/09/15 - 18 mg - 09/08/15 - 16.4 mg - 10/10/15 - 15 mg - 01/02/16 - 13.6 mg 02/15/16 - 12.0 mg - Bad symptom flare up 40 days into drop - Dizziness, panic/anxiety, overheating (esp at night), low appetite, headache, insomnia with bizarre dreams, internal shaking. 04/16/16 - 11mg - 7/17/16 - 10 mg holding.....

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  • 5 months later...

Hi All. Well here we are and its now May.My update :

 

  • I decided to keep holding at 3.5 mgs and did eventually stabilise , then got to 3 mgs for weeks  but alas things just have got worse and worse despite my super slow taper.  General anxiety 24/7 and severe panic attacks returned and a host of physical symptoms too.
  • I did not want to up dose after all this time. I have been doing meditation and mindfulness which helps to a point.
  • It has reached the stage the last 2-3 weeks I can barely function. Have zero appetite and starting to feel depressed and fearful  that paxil has damaged me permanently and I will never get off it fully.
  • Went to GP 3 weeks ago. She wanted me to up dose to 10mgs paxil or switch to lexapro. I refused both options. She refuses to believe in protracted withdrawal. Have just battled on since then doing as much as I can with CBT/Mindfulness etc.

 

  • Went back to GP three days ago as still not eating, loosing weight, severe panic attacks  and now off on sick leave from work. Hubby came too. He supports my stance on not taking paxil but hes like "... how long will this WD last etc as we need you to function now in a few months or years !!!"

 

  • The Dr again gave myself  and hubby LONG talk. She again said about the lexapro and how it is 4th generation SSRI and longer half life etc (compared to paxil )so better tolerated and thus " easier " to get off and why am I so reluctant o take a medication for my panic disorder etc.  I again said its because this due to taking an SSRI for so long al my symptoms. I believe I can manage my panic disorder med. free once healed totally from years of paxil damage.What im experiencing is protracted WD after 19 years of paxil and trying to get off many years now !

 

  • Got home and hubby insisted I take lexapro  it as I cant' go on this way.  I took 5 mgs that night and last night and have stopped the paxil( was at 3 mgs).I feel spacey but the anxiety is definitely MUCH lower already. To me this shows my issues were WD related as can feel a difference already.
  • My research shows me 5 mgs lexapro is equvianet to 10mgs paxil..is that correct ???

 

  • I feel back to square one. Feel I have been pressured by both GP and hubby to switch against my will. Hubby feels give myself 6 months at 5 mgs lexapro then re taper and it will be more manageable as has longer half life !
  • I'm worried sick im undoing any healing that had taken place by getting down to 3 mgs but agree could not keep going as I was.

 

Has anyone swtiched to lexapro from paxil and successfully got off that way ? It goes against all I believe in, but feel have no choice.

 

All thoughts etc much appreciated.

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Hi all

 

I'm just wondering if anyone has done a paxil to lexapro switch to taper off successfully?

If yes how did it or is it going for you ?

 

 

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi AussieGirl,

 

I've merged your new topic into your original intro topic as it is one topic per member in the introduction thread.  You might want to start that new topic in the Tapering Thread here. Tapering

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I haven't read through this member's topic but found it when I search "paxil lexapro":  philjot-on-lexapro-for-paxil-withdrawal

 

Also here:  tips-for-tapering-off-paxil-paroxetine noticed in post #1:  "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.)"

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Thankyou ChessieCat.

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Aussiegirl! So good to hear from you as I was just wondering how you were the other day. I was JessG/Jmarie at PP. I'm very sorry to hear you are still struggling. Paxil is definitely a beast, but to be blunt: Lexapro is not all that much better. I have been on WD forums for over 10 years now and I have seen people have difficulty with Lex WD too. Just do a search for Lexapro on this site and you will see what I'm talking about. Yes, 5mg of Lexapro is equal to 10mg of Paxil so you have more than doubled the dose you were on which has the potential to cause problems.

 

Did you go straight from 3.5mg to 3mg? If so then that was the issue, not that you can't go under 3mg. Yes, Paxil can be extremely difficult to taper off of and many people find that even 10% a month is too much. You did a 14% drop. I taper about 2% every 6+ weeks and I still have a lot of WD symptoms. Many people find that under 5mg is when it is particularly important to take it slow.

 

I'm glad that you are feeling better. If you think it is best to stay on Lexapro then you might try 2.5mg instead of 5mg. But I'm also an advocate of "better the devil you know, than the devil you don't."

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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Hi Jess. Thanks for the reply . No I did not just drop . I've been doing just 5% reductions . It took a year to go from 5 mgs to 3 mgs and things just got worse and worse .

 

I agree with what you say about lexapro . I share ALL your concerns but my family and GP have left me no choice and I need their support .

 

After just 2 doses of 5 mgs do you think could go to 2.5 tonight ( so equivalent to 5 mgs Paxil ) without too many issues .

 

I'm just so filled with despair as had gone super slow, but I need to function .

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Hi Jess. Thanks for the reply . No I did not just drop . I've been doing just 5% reductions . It took a year to go from 5 mgs to 3 mgs and things just got worse and worse .

 

I agree with what you say about lexapro . I share ALL your concerns but my family and GP have left me no choice and I need their support .

 

After just 2 doses of 5 mgs do you think could go to 2.5 tonight ( so equivalent to 5 mgs Paxil ) without too many issues .

 

I'm just so filled with despair as had gone super slow, but I need to function .

 

Ah, ok. I'm sorry you had such trouble with even 5% reductions. You've been on since 1997 and I've been on since 1998 and that's why I always took a special interest in your journey. It's so freaking hard to get off this drug!

 

I pray that Lexapro IS easier for you to withdraw from, I really do. I seem to recall there was someone on the forums who switched from Paxil to Lexapro and was able to come off that way. I'm not sure I'm allowed to advise you directly on medication (not a moderator) but in my opinion if you've only taken two doses of the 5mg then it shouldn't cause any issues to change it to 2.5mg. They say that it takes 4 days for the drug to reach a steady state level in your blood.

 

I understand the feeling of despair and you are doing what you can to get stable and functioning again. This is just another bump in the road but you will absolutely get past it. ((HUGS))

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi AussieGirl,

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time tapering off Paxil. I never took it, but understand its one of the harder drugs to stop taking. I'm actually in protracted withdrawal from Lexapro, having been on several antidepressants starting about the same time you did.  I had several failed attempts at going CT, but finally managed to stop Lexapro at the end of 2010 after a 2 month 'taper'. But as I wrote, I'm in protracted withdrawal, still, so that was obviously too fast.

 

I don't know if Lexapro really is easier to taper from, but I do know that after long term use, no matter which drug you have taken, some people have to taper ridiculously slowly in order to avoid symptoms and remain functional. By slowly, I mean taking years with cuts in the range of 1% - 5% with long holds in between.

 

I would have liked you to have tried 2.5mg rather than 5mg, it might have been enough, but its impossible to know what effect dropping down now will have. Big changes in drug dose can be just as destabilizing to the nervous system as withdrawal and the more changes that are made, the worse it can get. You will have to decide if its worth the risk of making another change. But if you decide to try, sooner would be better than later, before the higher dose has had a chance to build up.

 

How are you feeling now? You wrote that the anxiety has decreased. If you are able to stabilize on 5mg of Lexapro and become functional again, that may be something to be thankful for.

 

I can't advise you either way, it has to be your decision. But whatever you decide, stabilization may take a while, possibly several weeks to months and you will likely have windows and waves as part of the process. So its important to make a decision soon, and then stick with it, giving yourself at least 2 months to adjust to the change. Of course if you have an immediate, severe adverse reaction, then you need to go back to the previous dose.

 

Please let us know what you decide. I've got my fingers crossed for you that Lexapro will be easier.

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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Petunia thankyou kindly for your response. It is so hard to know what to do for the best. My personal option wold be to "ride the wave out " and allow more healing, but my family are not coping with that as im in such a state so I am forced to look at other options thus the reason the lexapro. I have a few hours before need to take next dose so will let you know if I stick to the 5 mgs or go to the 2.5mgs.

 

I'm petrified enough of the change of med without the dose change but when I found out 5mgs lexapro was equivalent to 10mgs paxil I was more disheartened than ever.

 

I will be sure to give myself a super long break no matter what I decide and then try like you say a micro taper as obviously even 5% with LONG holds just not working for me.

 

Again I appreciate your reply.

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Hello AussieGirl

 

Looks like the change to Lexapro might be the answer - reading all the responses.

 

I wish you luck -

Lee

Zoloft started for 8 years - 150 mg capsules

Started tapering December 3, 2011,

Off Zoloft May 17, 2013

While tapering WDS were tolerable

Off Zoloft debilitating WDS the worst starting around 6 months off

even worse after 18 months off

Now 35 months off - still in a terrible wave for months now.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Aussiegirl, how are you now? Hope you are doing ok. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi Aussie girl, I am surprised to see quite a few Aussies on this forum now.  I think I might remember you from PP and am also very sorry for your current situation. 

 

I was switched to lexapro back in 2009.  I can't remember why I went off it, I will look up my notes and get back to you.  I do know that in the end, I was like Ladybug, and felt it was "better the devil I know (or my body knows) that what you don't know (introducing a new lot of unknown chemicals)

 

My main concern with switching is that it means you have COLD TURKEYED the Paxil.  I am not sure if Lexapro is exactly the same as Paxil chemically, but if it is different and your body has adjusted to Paxil, I wonder if you will still get withdrawal from the Paxil???  I would be very keen to know what the Mods think about this??  I do think you may have been okay if you had gone back up to the 4mg and stabilised there, however I am also very aware of what fear and panic contribute to our decisions and I have made crazy ones also.  The lesson is to learn from them, I guess!

 

My other concern is your family and gp swaying you from where you were.  I honestly believe that you need to be IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN LIFE.  You need to listen to what your body is saying to you.  You will find every person will tell you something different and that can end up being VERY CONFUSING.  If this switch doesn't work out you will have a lot of anger and perhaps hatred to deal with towards those people and that in itself will cause marriage problems and so on.  Just something I hope you will consider seriously.  I strongly believe that the only person that can help you is YOURSELF.  I also STRONGLY suggest that you listen not to family members and gp's with no experience, but people on this forum with many years of experience.

 

All the very best, as you undertake what has to be the most difficult thing anyone on this earth ever has to go through.

1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

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Has anyone swtiched to lexapro from paxil and successfully got off that way ? It goes against all I believe in, but feel have no choice.

 

All thoughts etc much appreciated.

Here is the diary entry for when I was switched to lexapro.  I did not stay on it because of the symptoms I had at the time, but I found out years later that switching a person to another drug causes side effects for that drug, plus withdrawal effects for the drug that has been suddenly stopped.  In hindsight, I can say that those symptoms I thought were side effects, were withdrawal from the paxil.

 

"2009 - The doctor changed me to Lexapro.   Again, I was not told this was an anti-depressant.   I had sick stomach, I was naseaus, the headaches continued and I was very tired and still could not function properly.  I felt like I was trapped in a body, not at all human, just like a robot. I had trouble sleeping, a sore throat, more headaches.  The intense high ringing/siren ears was nerve racking.  The backache returned and the nausea wouldn’t go away.  Then it developed into heartburn and I couldn’t eat again.

 

I still had the tingling legs and vibrations on the inside plus now my heart would beat so strong it disturbed me.  It felt like it was shaking my whole body.  I could not function normally.  Everything was a huge effort.  I began to get spasms in my legs and other muscles began to tighten up, also in my hands and feet.  I felt heavy with no initiative, no desire and everything was just too hard.  I was weak, shaky and teary.  I was fed up.  Stop the merry-go-round and let me off. "

1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

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  • Moderator

Hey AussieGirl - how have you been doing since the switch to Lexapro?

 

Is your restlessness and anxiety better?  Are you a "better person" for your family to deal with?  Did it work?  It has had enough time now - please let us know! 

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi all

 

Well it is now day 9 of stopping the Paxil at 3 mgs and starting lexapro .

 

Initially I felt very spacey and the nausea was horrendous too. I then started getting the zaps and sort of tingling all over that was severe but last seconds . The nausea now much improved but I still have zero appetite .

 

The anxiety has certainly dulled to before I started taking the lexapro but yet to go totally .

 

I have had waves of feeling quite depressed too which I have no doubt is combination of quitting the Paxil ( even if it was only 3 mgs) and the start up of Lexapro . Also periods of severe depersonalisation & fearing I was going crazy .

 

Overall I can see improvement but still long way to go. It's only day 9 though .

 

I am so VERY , VERY grateful for the replies and support .

 

I will keep updating every few days and am very open to further input etc .

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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Grandma D.

 

THANKYOU so much for your post and how you felt when transitioning to lexapro.

 

I could relate to a lot of it which in a strange way was comforting to know what I'm experiencing not unique to me .

*Commenced Paxil 60mgs in 1997.

*Numerous failed tapers.

*Longest time paxil free 8 months.

*Nov.2015 @ 3.5mgs liquid

*March 2016@3mgs Paxil liquid

*19May2016: RELUCTANT Switch to lexapro5mgs due to intolerable protracted WD.

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  • 2 years later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi fellow Aussie Girl, 

 

Just checking in to see how you’ve been doing. Sending hugs🤗

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, ADs and opiates for chronic pain. 

Was cold turkeyed and put on and off lots of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward due to akathisia from WDs. When released I still had severe akathisia n was suicidal. Back to the ward and more meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. Many years of tapering. 

Tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./2019:➡️ March 10=7.25mg ✔️  
April 17=7.0✔️ June 5th=6.75✔️ July 14th=6.50✔️Aug 28=6.25✔️

Oct 10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️                                
 2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April 2=5.40✔️May 29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep 29=4.80✔️
 2021➡️ Jan 31=4.60 mg✔️April 24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov 1=4.10✔️ Nov 21= 4.05✔️ Dec 13= 4mg✔️

  2022➡️Jan 8= 3.95

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

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