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Tami: Hope filles


Tami

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Hi everyone. So excited to be part of this forum. I am currently on 20 mg of Paxil and I'm looking to taper off. Have being on this drug for almost 20 years and am hopeful to live a drug-free life. I have come off once before but it was far too quick and had major discontinuation symptoms such as nausea and insomnia and anxiety. I'm looking for others who have had success in coming off Paxil. Any suggestions on tapering off?

Have been on Paxil for approximately 20 years. Started withdrawing over a two-month period six years ago. Had horrible withdrawal symptoms and came back on 20 mg of Paxil within those two months

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  • KarenB changed the title to Tami: Hope filles
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Welcome Tami,

 

Nice work in getting some information before you begin tapering.  That will save you a lot of trouble. 

 

Firstly you can set things up to ease the upcoming taper.  This includes things like cleaning up your diet, starting Fish oil and Magnesium, and bringing into your life some self-care techniques.  If you would like vitamin B, it is wise to start it before you begin tapering, as it is difficult to add in later without it becoming activating.  You will also want to read Tips for tapering Paxil  and decide which method you want to use for getting the smaller amounts needed. 

 

The second step is to try a 10% reduction. 

We recommend a gentle taper, reducing by no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal.  

 

The troublesome thing with SSRIs is that you can't just flush their effects out of your system.  They change the way your brain works, and that takes much longer to heal.  Tapering too fast puts your brain and Central Nervous System into shock.  It's like yanking a trellis out of a garden instead of gently untangling the plants and slowly removing the wood – it’s too much trauma for the plants/your brain.  (For the source of that simile, plus further discussion, see http://survivinganti...el-your-brain/)

 

So, keeping things simple is your best bet:  Keep it Simple; Keep it Slow; Keep it Stable

 

Please put your drug history in your signature – all drugs/dates/dosages etc. so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately.  Thanks.  (How long ago was your last attempt at tapering - have you stabilised since then?)

 

Have a read of those and then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This can be your journal to record your tapering progress, and to ask questions. With time and good care, you will be able to one day be off this drug. 

 

Welcome to SA,

Karen

 

Edited by KarenB
added white space cause it keeps disappearing!

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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Thank you so much Karen. Your message gave me a lot of Hope. So needed prior to undertaking this journey. It was so traumatizing going through the withdrawal symptoms the first time so I am wanting to walk in a lot more wisdom and hope this time. I have been taking B vitamins off and on for quite a while now. And have also been taking fish oils quite regularly. So many great tips you've offered. Just got a prescription to lower my dose from 20mg to 18 mg. Now to make the leap of starting the process

Have been on Paxil for approximately 20 years. Started withdrawing over a two-month period six years ago. Had horrible withdrawal symptoms and came back on 20 mg of Paxil within those two months

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You're welcome.  People did the same for me when I first came here. 

 

Just remember that you can control a fair amount of what happens in a taper.  If a 10% cut is too much, then next time do a smaller one, and have a nice long hold in between.  Care and not speed is what will get you through! 

 

Do you have a stress-free time coming up when you can take that first step?  It's good to look ahead and see what's going on in your life.  Work the w/d around it.  I sometimes try to avoid reducing when I'm about to get my period. 

 

Karen

x

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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Hi Karen

Thx so much for the tips.  Have u come off paxil?  If so can u tell me a bit of ur story?

The first time I came off I struggled with insomnia and nausea. Do you have any suggestions on how to tackle that?

 

I'm clearing my schedule of things to do to make sure I don't have any stress in my life. Interesting that you mentioned about your period. Any particular reason why?

 

Thanks so much for your time

Tami

Have been on Paxil for approximately 20 years. Started withdrawing over a two-month period six years ago. Had horrible withdrawal symptoms and came back on 20 mg of Paxil within those two months

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm tapering off effexor, over the last two years I've reduced from 150mg to about 104mg.  Going slow is what works for me.  These days my symptoms are very minimal, and sometimes non-existent.  Which is how I like it.  If you want, you can always take a gentler beginning step, like 5%.  I make four weekly 1% cuts, then hold for 3-4 weeks, a method based on the BrassMonkey Slide.

 

The slowness of slow tapers

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

Insomnia - ugh, best avoided by tapering slowly.  Taking magnesium in the evening can help. 

Nausea

 

I try to avoid reducing when I have my period/PMS because they each seem to made the other worse.  Kind of like keeping two stray dogs apart...:P.  We have a thread on PMS and menstrual cycles during w/d if you are interested.   

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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Honestly Karen I can't thank you enough for all of the information you've given me. Was going to go from 20 mg to 18 mg but because of your suggestion I think it's wise to start even slower and do The Brass Monkey slide version. Just know that you are really helping somebody out over in Canada

Grateful.  Tami

Have been on Paxil for approximately 20 years. Started withdrawing over a two-month period six years ago. Had horrible withdrawal symptoms and came back on 20 mg of Paxil within those two months

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Hi Tammi--  welcome to SA. I see that Karen has been taking good care of you. I highly recommend the Brassmonkey Slide Method (gee, I wonder why?)  You still get the enifit of a full 10% taper but the symptoms are greatly reduced by taking it in smaller steps.  I'm so glad you took the time to get information before starting to taper.  Doing it right from the start makes things a whole lot easier.  Best of luck with your journey

 

(((((((((((HUGS)))))))))

 

Brassmonkey

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

Nice decision Tami.  Keep us in the loop!

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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