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Jake64: Switching SSRIs


Jake64

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Hello Everyone, I have been on Paxil or Paroxetine for about 16 years now. I suffered from Panic attacks and not wanting to go anywhere do to being scared. It all started around puberty for me, I wasn't sure what was going on. I thought I was going crazy, about at 20 years old in 2001 or so my Dr. Diagnosed me with Anxiety and Panic attacks and prescribed me SSRI I tried a couple different ones. Im not sure which ones I tried. But I had success with Paxil and was able to cope with life again. I gained about 50LBS my first year on that! I have been okay for the most part but I feel like a lot of other people on Paxil, lack of emotion (zombie mode) Brain zaps, I cant drive for long distances still, I start freaking out. I can still cope but cant live life like I would like to, I still get panic attacks occasionally but have kinda learned to calm my self down. My Doctor recently told me that Paxil is outdated and is what people used when there was nothing else available and he recommended Escitalopram (Lexapro) and he said just start taking this one instead, and quit the paxil cold turkey. I am a little nervous because I'm afraid of the nightmare withdraws everyone talks about, which I think I maybe already experiencing from a Poopout from taking these pills so long. My doctor said not to worry about the withdraws because the paxil and Lexapro are very similar. Which I am not to sure about.
Has anyone had any success with switching off Paxil or Paroxetine?

20 Mg Paxil (Paroxetine) since 2001

30 Mg Paroxetine to Current

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Jake64: Switching SSRIs

Ive been on paroxetine for 17 years, My doctor wants my to quit 30mg of paroxetine and switch to Lexapro. I am afraid of the withdraws this lay cause.. The Paroxetine isn't working like it used to.. He said Lexapro is the newer and improved ssri...

20 Mg Paxil (Paroxetine) since 2001

30 Mg Paroxetine to Current

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jake and welcome to SA,

 

Numbing emotions is what these drugs do.  I found that once my dose got lower I started feeling emotions again.  It wasn't until this happened that I realised how numb I had been for about 25 years.

 

SA is a site for going off psychiatric drugs and we can support you through this process if this is what you want to do.

 

It is generally better to stay on the drug you are currently taking.  If you switch drugs you may get withdrawal symptoms from the old drug together with start up/side effects and possibly even a bad reaction from the new drug.  You won't know what is causing what.
 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks.  This allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug and generally helps to minimise withdrawal symptoms.  Thanks to following SA's recommended taper I have successfully managed to reduce from 100mg Pristiq to 17mg with only minimal and short lived withdrawal symptoms.  It is important to learn and use non drug coping techniques instead of turning to quick fixes in the way of drugs and supplements.  The only 2 supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.

 

We ask all members to complete a drug signature.  Please follow these instructions which is the preferred format and makes it easier for the mods and members to see your history.  Please remember to update it whenever you make a change so that it remains current.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I will provide you with some links:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:


Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator

Hi, Jake64,

 

I have moved your post to Introductions and Updates, where it will be better seen.  This is your thread where you can post questions and updates.

 

We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance without having to go to this original post each time.  Your signature will appear at the bottom of each of your posts.  This helps moderators understand your situation.

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

 

It is very important that you complete this signature so that we may advise you on any crossover you may do.  Quote below should read, "A cold switch from Paxil to Lexapro, as suggested by your neurologist is very risky."

On 5/14/2017 at 2:55 AM, Altostrata said:

Lexapro, such as suggested by your neurologist, is very risky.

 

The risk is elevated by your apparent history of adverse reactions to various psychiatric drugs and recent drug changes, which are wearing on the nervous system.

 

You should also know that milligram for milligram, Lexapro is several times stronger than Paxil. The Lexapro dosage should be reduced accordingly.

 

     
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a couple of topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here and the steps that you can take to minimize your withdrawal.  

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 
  •  
Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Jake64: Paxil to Lexapro switch

It was me General practioner that recommended the switch. He said he does tat switch to his clients all the time. and Lexapro is a newer cleaner AD than Paroxetine. I think I am going to call him and let him know I am not doing that switch right now because. I cant afford a withdraw right now. I will see if he can lower my current dosage from 30MG to 25mg or something like that.  I have been doing some research on Lexapro stating it does have less side effects than paroxetine. I am also going to try some of these other things that I hear people taking on these forums. I have tried Fish oil without to much effect.. I will try a magnesium and maybe a probiotic..

Thank You

20 Mg Paxil (Paroxetine) since 2001

30 Mg Paroxetine to Current

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  • Moderator Emeritus

If you are going to make any changes, only make 1 change at a time.  It is recommended not to make a dose reduction at the same time as starting a supplement.  When trying supplements, try 1 at a time and test it with a smaller dose than the recommended amount, for example 1/4.

 

If you are considering other supplements I suggest you check on SA first.  Use a search engine like google and add survivingantidepressants.org to your search.  For example:  survivingantidepressants.org probiotic

 

If you do change your mind and decide to change to Lexapro, please be aware that Lexapro is almost twice as strong as Paxil.

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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I switched from celexa to cymbalta after being on celexa for 10 years, EPIC FAIL I wanted to die, the withdrawal was horrid and something I would never want to live again. Be careful, I hope the best for you and that you don't go through withdrawal. Ali 

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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Thank You Chessie, I have been feeling a lil off lately. I have had been drinking occasionally a couple beers to relax me. but it seems to affect me in the next couple days. I think I am going to stop the drinking and try a healthier diet for a little while I hear the digestive system has a lot to do with it.

Thank You for everything. 

20 Mg Paxil (Paroxetine) since 2001

30 Mg Paroxetine to Current

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I think quitting the alcohol is sensible.

 

From Drug Interactions Checker

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

Moderate

paroxetine food

Applies to: Paxil (paroxetine)

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of PARoxetine such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with PARoxetine.

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

Link to comment
  • 4 years later...
On 11/3/2017 at 10:57 PM, ChessieCat said:

Hi Jake and welcome to SA,

 

Numbing emotions is what these drugs do.  I found that once my dose got lower I started feeling emotions again.  It wasn't until this happened that I realised how numb I had been for about 25 years.

 

SA is a site for going off psychiatric drugs and we can support you through this process if this is what you want to do.

 

It is generally better to stay on the drug you are currently taking.  If you switch drugs you may get withdrawal symptoms from the old drug together with start up/side effects and possibly even a bad reaction from the new drug.  You won't know what is causing what.
 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks.  This allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug and generally helps to minimise withdrawal symptoms.  Thanks to following SA's recommended taper I have successfully managed to reduce from 100mg Pristiq to 17mg with only minimal and short lived withdrawal symptoms.  It is important to learn and use non drug coping techniques instead of turning to quick fixes in the way of drugs and supplements.  The only 2 supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.

 

We ask all members to complete a drug signature.  Please follow these instructions which is the preferred format and makes it easier for the mods and members to see your history.  Please remember to update it whenever you make a change so that it remains current.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I will provide you with some links:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:


Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

Hello jessie 

i can read your recommandation not to switch ssri. 
Unfortunately this is what i did after Paxil poopout and my psy switched for lexapro… 

and yes… i have all symptoms of withdrawals for 9 months…. 
lexapro 4,5mg….of course i am underdosing as i was on 20mg Paxil…. So i wait that my brain recover but will he recover one day ?? 

1999-2002 Seropram 20mg

2002-2004 Paxil 10mg; 2004-2012 Paxil 20mg

2012-2013 Effexor 75mg

2013-2018 Paxil 20mg

2018-2019 Effexor 75mg

2019-2021 Paxil 20mg

2021-present Lexapro 5mg

10-2022 Lexapro 4,5mg + Fish oil + Magnesium 

06-25-2022 Lexapro 4mg + fish oil + Magnesium

 

Prazepam if needed in case of panic attack (none for 3 years)

     
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