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Wojova

Wojova: Paxil/paroxetine tapering problems. Continue or bridge with Prozac?

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Wojova

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..

 


Began taking 20mg Paxil in December 2010

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

- 28th November 2016: 18mg

- 26th December 2016: 16mg

- 30th January 2017: 14.4mg

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mammaP

Hi Wojova, welcome to SA. It is good that you did your research and decided to taper safely and it's BRILLIANT that you found a psychiatrist to support you. 

 

We have a topic about the prozac bridge as information but we don't usually recommend it. It is always better if possible to taper the original drug, because often the body will not tolerate a new drug then you have another set of symptoms! Wait for a while to stabilise then you can restart your taper. 

 

You are obvously sensitive to the changes and will be better with a micro taper, I will find some links for you. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2364-the-slowness-of-slow-tapers/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/

 

Thank you for filling out your signature, it is very helpful. 


**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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Mourad

Dear Wojova,

 

Sorry to hear you're having such an extraordinarily hard time.

 

I hope your withdrawal symptoms will ease up soon, and that after a while you can recontinue your taper at a slower rate. Very slow, I guess.

 

Maybe it would help to do things helping your bruised nervous system to recover. No idea what will work for you, because everyone is different. But think of things like walks, naps, taking baths, maybe a magnesium supplement. Things like that. 

 

All my best, Mourad


Paxil/Seroxat/paroxetine 10 mg for over 20 years

Several failed attempts at quitting

Slow tapering since June 2016 using liquid paroxetine

Presently stabilising at 0,15 ml (0,3 mg) because of the worst withdrawal so far

June 2017: tried tapering further to 0,1 ml (0,2 mg) but that backfired badly. Stabilising again at 0,15 ml.

July 15, 2017: down to 0

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brassmonkey

Hi Wojova--  welcome to the group, I'm glad you found us.  It sounds like you've done your homework about tapering and are on the right path.  From your description of how the symptom manifested after each drop it sounds like doing a Brassmonkey Slide would be very helpful.  It would spread the symptoms out over the course of four weeks making them less intense and would add a two week hold to let things have a chance to stabilize before the next drop.  Basically it's a 2.5% drop each week for four weeks and then an additional two week hold.  I've been using it for my entire taper and highly recommend it.  There is a large number of other people here using this method and having good results.


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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Wojova

Thanks for all the advice.

 

I have decided to continue tapering paxil instead of switching to prozac. Instead of reducing 10% each time I will go and try the "Brassmonkey Slide" (which is very similar to the micro tapering, but I like the idea of some 'extra/balance' without tapering once a while). But first I have to get stable. Hopefully this will be somewhere early June.


Began taking 20mg Paxil in December 2010

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

- 28th November 2016: 18mg

- 26th December 2016: 16mg

- 30th January 2017: 14.4mg

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Madeleine

Sounds like a good plan.  I'm still tapering zyprexa but plan on doing the "Brassmonkey Slide" taper with my zoloft. It seems a sensible way to taper.


Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg
Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pw4tjImAJ92OIVyRvZoZYjqxiKMk7wvp-ljiIi1olRo/edit#gid=0

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SkyBlue

I'm so glad you are doing the Brassmonkey slide! It has really helped me a lot. He is a wonderful presence around here. And Brassmonkey himself just got to 0 mg!!


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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Altostrata

@Wojova, how are you doing?


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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