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Wwaterboy

Wwaterboy: My family's and my story with Paxil

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Wwaterboy
Posted (edited)

Well, I'm 4 months off Paxil after 15 years on the stuff. I thought I was tapering slow enough, over approximately 6 months by just using a pill cutter, but I still experienced intense withdrawal symptoms: Brain zaps, depersonalization, anxiety/panic. I'd say my current struggles are anhedonia and fear of anxiety attacks, which slightly borders on OCD. I just sort of feel like there is a film between me and the world right now, and I definitely don't have interest in a lot of activities I used to enjoy. When you've had panic/anxiety, I feel like your brain tries to rationalize these feelings and it sort of morphs into OCD. You end up fearing fear and it becomes a vicious loop. For example, I have to drive a lot for work currently, and the thought of being stuck in traffic or having to drive far away from my home (my safe place) is unnerving.

 

My family's history with Paxil is deep and tragic. My sister was on Paxil when she got pregnant and her PCP originally said she would be fine. Second trimester comes around, she goes to her PCP again for a check-up and the PCP stops her cold turkey. The PCP probably looked up this time that the drug is actually a teratogen and made the decision to CT. Well, my sister went into horrible withdrawal and depression. She had the baby, got hit with post-partum in addition to already being in withdrawal, and she eventually took her own life maybe 6 months after having the child. This was after she was churned through the acute mental health system of our fine country, medicating the hell out of her even more and putting her in a locked unit for a short period of time.

 

My brother was also put on Paxil. His PCP or psych doc eventually titrated him up to 40 mg while he was struggling and he was drinking incredible amounts of alcohol and was also suicidal. He eventually went to a Narconon-affiliated (Scientology) treatment facility and stayed there for quite some time. He accredits this program with saving his life. He is 8 years Paxil and alcohol free.

 

So, back to me, I'm now 4 months off Paxil. I had been on the medication for so long, I had to see what life was like without it. As soon as I went completely off, I definitely went into panic mode. I left my stressful hospital job (I'm a nurse) and decided to give home health a try. It is less stressful, but I'm still generally depressed.

 

I also have had a drinking problem and I wanted to see if Paxil contributed to this, as I've read online that some people see a link between Paxil and alcohol abuse. Getting off Paxil has NOT decreased my affinity for alcohol. But at this point, it's a chicken or the egg situation, IMO. Next thing I need to tackle is to see how I feel with alcohol completely cut out of my lifestyle, as I'm well aware it is a depressant.

 

That's my story in a nut shell. I'm happy this forum exists!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Altostrata

Welcome, Ww.

 

Emotional anesthesia is a very common side effect of psychiatric drugs and can persist for some time after you go off them. You'll have to give it time -- "fake it until you make it" is the operable slogan.

 

Since you had acute withdrawal symptoms, you should assume your nervous system is sensitized. You may have strange and unpleasant reactions to psychiatric drugs, neuroactive substances, even supplements and foods. You may find drinking alcohol tips you into severe post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

 

You are in a vulnerable period. You will need to baby your nervous system for many months. Paxil is a particularly treacherous drug to go off.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

 

Let us know how you're doing.

 

 

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Wwaterboy

You think I can reinstate at like a baby flake and feel some relief?

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Wwaterboy

I just took, like, a flake of a pill. Hard to say. Maybe 1 mg. We shall see.

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Wwaterboy

Alright, I'm back on around approximately 2.5 mg using a pill cutter and 20 mg pills. I read the make your own compounding solution somewhere here and I will probably end up doing that. I'm going to go back up to 5 mg. I made it 4 months, quit my stressful hospital job -- moved towns. I had to try. Even though I was in withdrawals I needed a change. I hope 5 mg will help me feel a bit better. The anxiety and depression has been pretty unbearable. Has anyone out there had success with feeling better after being off Paxil for 4ish months and reinstating a low dose 2.5 - 5 mg?

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Wwaterboy

Getting 2.5 mg from a 20 mg pill with a pill cutter is pretty impossible.

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Altostrata

Hi, Ww. I didn't suggest reinstatement because it sounded like you were coping with the symptoms.

 

How have you reacted to your experiment so far?

 

It's best to take consistent dosages. This topic explains how to titrate Paxil Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

A liquid is the best way to take 2.5mg. You can get it by prescription or make your own.

 

For background, read

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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Wwaterboy

Any tips to dissolving Paxil in water? I’m doing OK so far. It’s been hell the last 4 months so the thought of something changing is a nice thought.

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ChessieCat

If you mean tips for measuring your dose, these are the instructions I did for Blandell recently.  If you need help with getting your own dose, please advise the tablet mg you are using and the dose you need and I will work out what you need to do.  If you are dissolving 10mg tablets and only wanting 2.5mg dose, instead of extracting and disposing, you can extract and take your dose and keep the rest in the fridge for a few days.

 

Using a greater amount of water to dissolve your tablet will make it easier for your to get more accurate doses.  I've coloured the font blue for the liquid.

 

So you can understand how the calculations work, if you dissolve your 10mg tablet in 10mL of water each 1mL liquid will contain 1mg of drug.  To get 9mg of drug you would extract and dispose of 1mL and drink the remainder.

 

10mg : 10mL            1mL = 1mg drug     extract and dispose of 1mL for 9mg dose

 

Other quantities of water:

 

10mg : 20mL           1mL = 0.5mg drug     OR     2mL = 1mg drug      extract and dispose of 2mL for 9mg dose

 

10mg : 50mL           1mL = 0.2mg drug     OR     5mL = 1mg drug        extract and dispose of 5mL for 9mg dose

 

10mg : 100mL         1mL = 0.1mg drug    OR     10mL = 1mg drug     extract and dispose of 10mL for 9mg dose

 

If you want to further understand it:

 

to work out what 1mL liquid contains you divide the left figure by the right figure (eg 10/20 = 0.5mg)

 

to work out how much liquid contains 1mg of drug you divide the right figure by the left figure (eg 20/10 = 2mL

 

You need to ensure that you use the same equipment and do everything the same way each time.  It is a good idea to keep notes about what you use and the procedure so that if you ever have a brain freeze, which happens to everyone - even people not tapering.   

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Wwaterboy

 It how do you actually dissolve it fully in the liquid? Just leave it there? Crush it first? Stir it every 5 for an hour? These tabs probably don’t dissolve too well easily.

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Wwaterboy

I’m a nurse. I’ve dissolved things in water. An oral medication like Paxil I think would probably need to be thoroughly crushed before being able to dissolve properly. I also have access to 10 mL syringes easily. And ideally you want a scored plastic led cup.

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Wwaterboy

There’s just a tiny coating on Paxil.

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Wwaterboy

Psych drugs are so fascinating and horrid at the same time. There is certainly a placebo effect. Just taking a tiny sliver of that drug today made me feel better. We know so little of the mind, in my opinion. I’ve restrained people, I’ve zyprexa’ed IM, I’ve haldoled, I’ve geodoned, I’ve given it all to everyone. I lost my sister to Paxil withdrawal. I left the hospital because I couldn’t take what I saw anymore and didn’t believe in it.

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Altostrata

That's not a placebo effect, it's a chemical effect. Withdrawal syndrome leaves your nervous system hypersensitive. A little drug goes a long way.

 

Hang around and you'll learn a lot about drugs here.

 

6 hours ago, Altostrata said:

This topic explains how to titrate Paxil Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine) 

 

Don't worry about the coating, the particles will swirl around in the water. You can get a liquid by prescription, too.

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Wwaterboy

I'm not going anywhere.

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Wwaterboy

And I feel a lot better.  I just took another granule of Paxil. I've worked in hospitals since 2009. I've worked medical/telemetry (heart monitoring with medical issues, and lots of psych -- a dumping ground for hospitals) and emergency department. I got out after quitting Paxil in March of this year. I was truly sick of the unit I was working in a VA hospital, so it's a blessing in disguise, I guess. We overmedicate our vets. But, yes, the CNS absolutely goes into overdrive. I could blather on. Advanced psych is the most difficult thing to deal with in the acute care setting -- second to acute onset dementia, in my opinion. At this point in my career, instead of bombarding your CNS with meds, I say to myself: Why don't I take you on a walk for a while in nature? How about a little Ativan and then a walk? How about listening to some music in your hospital room and talking? How about a hug? What about a F-ING MASSAGE? We're so flawed. We know everything yet we know nothing. I love you're signature quote, Altostrata. It's so true.

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Wwaterboy

Oh, and advanced psych and acute onset dementia are probably closely related. Maybe medically induced. I don't know.

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Altostrata

Yeah, we know. 🙂

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Wwaterboy

Tonight I'm going to go up to 5 mg. I expect to experience some weird dreams or some anxiety, which always happens when I reinstate Paxil.

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Altostrata

Please don't increase from 2.5mg Paxil at this time. Please be sure to take the same amount at the same time each day.

 

It will take at least 4 days to get to steady state in your bloodstream. Even after that, you might have waves and windows. These should gradually get better over weeks.

 

It's best to reinstate at the lowest effective dosage. Overshooting can cause kindling in a sensitized nervous system.

 

Please let us know how you're doing. Unlike doctors, we're all about monitoring.

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Wwaterboy

Altostrata you are the best. And your last statement is true. However, I have worked with the select few exceptions (hospitalists specifically -- the name of doctors that work the inpatient units) who are exceptional. But still, most are so naïve to these meds and long term consequences.

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ChessieCat
38 minutes ago, Wwaterboy said:

Altostrata you are the best. And your last statement is true.

 

I hope this means that you are following her suggestion and not increasing your dose.  (I'm concerned by your next sentence which starts with However ...)  Even if you find you have to increase, going back to 5mg may be too much.

 

The idea of reinstating/updosing isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a tolerable level.  If you find you do need to increase, it is better to go up by very small amounts than to take too much.  These drugs are strong.  Therapeutic dose is a phrase coined by the pharmaceutical companies.  SA prefers the term lowest effective dose.  You could try increasing by 0.5mg

 

It's important to Keep Notes on Paper so you can see if updosing is working.

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Marmot

Welcome Wwaterboy,

 

I just read your intro post and wanted to let you know that my heart goes out to you and your family. Especially what happened to your sister. I can't imagine the loss for you all including your niece/nephew. Thanks for joining the forum, the mods know a lot, and there are many wonderful people here. I've even run into a couple nurses too.

 

See you around,

Marmot

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Wwaterboy

I have not felt right since DC paxil in March. 18 years being drugged? Everything is fine? It’s not okay. No drug addict takes a pill every day.

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Wwaterboy

That was sarcasm with the no drug addict takes a pill every day. I just took about 2.5 mg again. I will dissolve tomorrow on my day off and use a 10 mL syringe to dose accurately. Thanks guys.

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Wwaterboy

And I thought I already wrote thank you Marmot.

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Wwaterboy

And no, Chessie, that however was not meant in that way.

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Wwaterboy

And Marmot, I'm originally from Connecticut. My parents are/were (my dad passed away) New York. I have a theory that we REALLY know how to drug in the Northeast.

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Wwaterboy

How do you actually get the pills to dissolve in water when making your own compound?

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ChessieCat

There are many existing topics on this site.  I use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

Search:  survivingantidepressants.org liquid

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Wwaterboy

Yup, I went to 5 mg and that was a terrible idea. I didn't sleep this whole night. And I have to work at a new job in about 4 hours. Can't sleep a damn wink. I should have listened.

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Wwaterboy

Terrible idea going up to 5 mg. How did anyone ever get put on 20 mg to start? Absolutely horrible. I'm in the position of not feeling good on the drug and not feeling good off the drug. WTF!?

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Wwaterboy

I just had to leave dinner with a wonderful friend because I'm just too much of a mess. I slept maybe an hour last night. She is such a kind and wonderful person and was understand, even though she hates eating in restaurants alone.

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Wwaterboy

Honestly, I've been drinking heavier than ever to deal with the constant feeling of feeling "weird." It's so terrible.

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ChessieCat

Many members find that drinking alcohol can increase their withdrawal symptoms.  Caffeine can also cause issues.

 

my-drugs-withdrawal-and-alcohol

 

beer

 

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ChessieCat

It's important to learn and use Non-drug techniques to help with the discomfort.

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