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GeorgeR: Been off Paxil for 2-3 weeks now, have stomach cramps


GeorgeR

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Hi all,

 

I'm new to this community and I don't know where else to turn to.

 

I was on Paxil (30mg) for over a year mostly for anxiety and secondary for depression.

 

It worked for a little bit (first 6 months or so) then just became the norm and didn't do much for me at all but make me feel numb and uninterested in things.

 

2-3 weeks ago I decided to stop taking it completely (I know...cold turkey is bad) and the first week was a little alright, just felt like I was tunnel visioned big time and didn't know what was going on around me at all and I'd get emotional mood swings. Then came the 2nd/3rd week I don't have the tunnel vision anymore (as of late anyways), but I started getting really bad stomach aches/cramps and rarely an appetite for food at all. I always wake up in the morning everyday since then with a stomach ache and a little bit of nausea along with shivers and just feeling plainly cold.

 

I was wondering if there is anything I can do or take to get my appetite back and stop the cramps/nausea from happening every morning/into the afternoon.

 

I'd ask my doctor but she doesn't really understand this I believe and it's really hard to contact her and takes forever to see her as it is....

 

any help would be appreciated, thanks

 

George~

 

Edit: actually debating to get back on it just to stop this crap -_- but I really dont want to...go back.

Diagnosed with Anxiety 2 years ago, tried a few pills and stuck with paxil (30mg) for a little over a year.

 

Cold Turk-eyed it (yeah I know).

 

I've been on Valium (5mg I believe) before as needed and I'm current taking clonazepam 0.5mg as needed for anxiety.

 

That's about it besides Wellbutrin 150mg I recently been taking for a week or so.

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  • Moderator

Hi George-- welcome to the group.  I am so glad you found us.  Yes, there is something you can take that will help. 30mg of paxil.  What you are feeling is the start of withdrawal syndrome and believe me it will get a lot worse than this.  A CT from 30mg can cause you years of pain, we have several members who can attest to that.  You've only been off for a short time so a reinstatement to your full dose shouldn't be much of an issue.  It will take several weeks to a couple of months for things to normalize again.  Once that happens, then we can set you up with a taper schedule that will get you off the drug with a minimum of difficulty.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

If you would please add a signature block with your drug history, it would really help us to help you.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

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.

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

Hi George,

 

Just wanted to stop by and say welcome.  You've come to the right place for support and information.

 

Of course you don't want to go back on the drug, but your brain has changed.  It's not weakness on our part.  I found these two things helped me to understand what has happened and why reinstatement, followed by a period of stabilising and then a slow 10% taper is recommended here.  Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery & Brain Remodelling.

 

The idea of reinstatement and then tapering is to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum and to allow your brain to change and adapt to receiving less of the drug.

 

You can use your Intro topic to ask questions and as a journal of your progress.

 

CC

FINISH LINE here I come!!!

🏁

Current from 25 September 2021:  Pristiq 0.02mg

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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Hiya George and welcome to SA!

 

I can attest to CT from Paxil being a very bad idea. I did that in 2003 and have had gastrointestinal problems ever since.

 

So I'd recommend taking brassmonkey's advice and reinstating given that you only discontinued so recently. You've still got time to get off this stuff slowly and safely.

A convenient link to my introduction post

 

2003 Paroxetine (20mg I think) daily for 5 months due to extreme anxiety before final exams and stopped cold turkey. From 2003 onwards I have suffered with extreme anxiety, akathisia, severe muscle tension & digestive problems whenever off I'm off anti-depressants.

2007 Clonazepam (unsure of dose) - took approximately 100 tablets to try and self medicate for anxiety.

2007-09 Amitryptyline 10mg - was advised to take this "as and when needed" for anxiety.

April/May 2011 Diazepam 2mg - 2 week course followed by complete inability to sleep upon finishing so started Citalopram 40mg and I was able to sleep again.

Mid 2012 Diazepam 10mg - took approximately 100 tablets.

Mid 2012 Started Citalopram taper - 5mg reductions every month or two, severe withdrawal symptoms throughout taper.

Apr 2013 Completely off Citalopram and continued to have severe withdrawal.

Oct 2013 Completely fell to pieces mentally and alongside had a whole host of debilitating physical symptoms too. I went to the doctors who performed whole batteries of tests but had no idea what was wrong with me. They tried me on Sertraline and Amitryptyline to which I had terrible reactions which made symptoms worse. Eventually got put on Nortryptyline 25mg, which I tolerated and over 3 months withdrawal symptoms started to abate.

Mid 2014 discovered survivingantidepressants.org and hallelujah! I knew what was wrong with me - slow taper FTW!

Late 2014 & 2015 Reduced Nortryptyline 22.5mg & 20mg respectively in November & December of 2014. In 2015 Tapered Nortryptyline from 20mg to 10 mg in 2mg increments. Withdrawal symptoms with each dose reduction are debilitating but in a much different way to Citalopram.

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Well It's been 3 weeks today now I believe. Should I really be taking it again? I'm on Wellbutrin 150mg now for depression/anxiety instead of paxil (been taking it for the past few days/week).

 

But the problem is now my stomach pains are gone but I have this dang head pain that comes and goes above my right eye on my forehead/top of head that lasts between 10-15 seconds and goes away, then comes back on randomly every so often.

 

Withdrawals since I been off in order

==============================

1) First week felt dizzy and out of it, like I wasn't in reality/unaware of my surroundings

2) Second week stomach pains and loss of appetite

3) Third week (now) I have on and off weird head pain above my right eye on my forehead/top of head

 

I really don't want to see what the fourth week brings if it brings anything at all that is.

 

I'm really hesitant to go back... I mean like will it kill me or something if I don't? serious question o_O

Diagnosed with Anxiety 2 years ago, tried a few pills and stuck with paxil (30mg) for a little over a year.

 

Cold Turk-eyed it (yeah I know).

 

I've been on Valium (5mg I believe) before as needed and I'm current taking clonazepam 0.5mg as needed for anxiety.

 

That's about it besides Wellbutrin 150mg I recently been taking for a week or so.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

George, it's really your choice -- but I would recommend reading the forums and seeing what has happened to people who 

cold-turkeyed off of Paxil. I believe that will help you make your decision. Before coming to this forum, I was cutting Paxil by 50% 

and 25% and it's cost me months of suffering. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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Its always a good idea to check in with sa before you start to swallow new stuff.

Its also great to do a drug sig. It can really help the mods.

 

Brassmonkey gave you excellent advise but it appears you have decided to run with the doctors advice to switch to wellbutron 

That 150mg is equivalent to about 15 mg of paxil.

 

She gave you this not because you have anxiety or depression, although she may think that  ( make no mistake about it ...these kind of words trigger a drug from a doctor ( faster than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest!), no diagnosis needed! but because you are suffering paxil wdl which includes and is not limited to a manifestation giving the appearance of anxiety and depression. As non medical  people they are the only words we can use to describe it. But this it is not.

 

"The lack of difference between one class of antidepressants and another is now a rather frequent finding in antidepressant research." Kirsch

 

Are you aware that the wellbutron will need to be tapered?

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Oh yeah Welcome to the group George sorry you have to go through this.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Okay well I'm not taking wellbutrin anymore either LOL. Thank god it's only been a few days to a week. (havent been taking it every single day)

 

Uh... I really don't want to take Paxil though I'm a tough cookie despite all of this that's been going on inside my body. If it gets any worse I'll definitely get back on the 30mg and wean off of it for sure.

 

How long do I have to make that decision before its too late?

 

Thanks :)

Diagnosed with Anxiety 2 years ago, tried a few pills and stuck with paxil (30mg) for a little over a year.

 

Cold Turk-eyed it (yeah I know).

 

I've been on Valium (5mg I believe) before as needed and I'm current taking clonazepam 0.5mg as needed for anxiety.

 

That's about it besides Wellbutrin 150mg I recently been taking for a week or so.

Link to post

George why not fill out the drug sig ?

Had you been taking the 30 mg for the whole year?

People can only go on what you tell us or don't tell us, fill out the drug signature and the moderators may be able to suggest more specific advice.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Nvm I see it, I'll do it

Diagnosed with Anxiety 2 years ago, tried a few pills and stuck with paxil (30mg) for a little over a year.

 

Cold Turk-eyed it (yeah I know).

 

I've been on Valium (5mg I believe) before as needed and I'm current taking clonazepam 0.5mg as needed for anxiety.

 

That's about it besides Wellbutrin 150mg I recently been taking for a week or so.

Link to post
  • Moderator

No, CTWD from 30mg of paxil will not kill you.  But in all honesty, it will make you wish it had. These drugs work by making physical changes to the brain and nervous system.  Once those changes have been made, which only takes about four weeks, the drug is required to maintain them.  If the drug is removed the brain can't function properly and starts throwing every sensation and emotion imaginable and a lot you never thought of at you as it tries to sort itself out.  If the drug is removed slowly in a controlled manner the brain can undo the changes and return to normal function with a minimum of confusion.  It takes a lot longer to undo the changes than it took to make them in the first place.

 

The longer one waits to reinstate the trickier it is to do.  The brain becomes sensitized and reintroducing the drug can cause it even greater confusion then it is already experiencing.  The cut off point for a reinstatement to full dose is generally one to two weeks, after that point the risk of an adverse reaction starts to increase, and an adverse reaction makes the previous WD symptoms look pleasant.  After about four weeks we recommend reinstating a very small dose to try and take the edge off of the symptoms and make the person as comfortable as possible while they try to stabilize.  Starting and stopping other drugs during that time only adds to the confusion the brain is experiencing. 

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.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

No, CTWD from 30mg of paxil will not kill you.  But in all honesty, it will make you wish it had. These drugs work by making physical changes to the brain and nervous system.  Once those changes have been made, which only takes about four weeks, the drug is required to maintain them.  If the drug is removed the brain can't function properly and starts throwing every sensation and emotion imaginable and a lot you never thought of at you as it tries to sort itself out.  If the drug is removed slowly in a controlled manner the brain can undo the changes and return to normal function with a minimum of confusion.  It takes a lot longer to undo the changes than it took to make them in the first place.

 

The longer one waits to reinstate the trickier it is to do.  The brain becomes sensitized and reintroducing the drug can cause it even greater confusion then it is already experiencing.  The cut off point for a reinstatement to full dose is generally one to two weeks, after that point the risk of an adverse reaction starts to increase, and an adverse reaction makes the previous WD symptoms look pleasant.  After about four weeks we recommend reinstating a very small dose to try and take the edge off of the symptoms and make the person as comfortable as possible while they try to stabilize.  Starting and stopping other drugs during that time only adds to the confusion the brain is experiencing. 

That's good, thanks for the information.

 

It's been a month (exactly I believe) since I've been off it, besides random mood swings or getting irritated over little things once in a while I'm doing fantastic. Mood swings are subsiding big time and there's really not much withdrawals left. However, I have been smoking marijuana at least once a week (not sure if that helped or anything but it did relax me). I'm pretty much home free now. Just giving it a little more time.

Diagnosed with Anxiety 2 years ago, tried a few pills and stuck with paxil (30mg) for a little over a year.

 

Cold Turk-eyed it (yeah I know).

 

I've been on Valium (5mg I believe) before as needed and I'm current taking clonazepam 0.5mg as needed for anxiety.

 

That's about it besides Wellbutrin 150mg I recently been taking for a week or so.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's great to hear George. You'll need to get past around 8 months to be sure , but sounds like so far , so good.

 

Best wishes ,

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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