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arsa: paroxetine withdrawal symptoms


arsa

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40 years old, was put on Paxil 40mg 7 years ago.

 

8 months ago one day I suddenly felt fatigued which didn’t go away after few days of rest, my heart rate dropped below 60 and cardiologist adviced to come off Paxil. A reduction to 30mg restored my heart rate and fatigue after a few days. However same symptoms reappeared 4 months after so my Doc reduced it further to 20mg, same thing happened after 2 months so we reduced again to 10mg and after another 2 months another reduction to 5mg and full stop after a week.(this was 2 months ago end of Sep-18).

 

The psychiatrist put me on 2 times 5ml Diazepam per day.

 

Since the first reduction I suffered insomnia, anxiety, depression which got a lot worse when I fully came of Paxil 2 months ago however 1 month ago things took an uglier turn and I was hit by extreme profound fatigue, jlly legs, muscle weakness and I was rushed to A&E and the blood tests showed hormonal imbalance such as low testosterone and cortisol.

 

Doctors are confused and are coming with scary possible prognosis and want to test me for things like autoimmune diseases or dangerous neurological disorders. My life is falling apart and my psychiatrist is suggesting putting me on Pregabalin as other SSRI’s may induce low heart rate.

 

Question 1- is this extreme fatigue cause of the WD?

 

Question 2- has anyone else experienced hormonal imbalances due to withdrawal? If so will it be restored to normal at some point?

 

Question 3- considering my situation is it wise to stay on Diazepam and allow doctors to start me off on a new antidepressant like Pregabalin or something? 

 

Im alone and desperate with no clue where to go next :(

 

please share any knowledge you have that may help me. 

 

Thank you all, Bless you.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added spacing

ADs:  Total 17 years - 

Paxil 40 mg 5 years.

Switched to fluoxetine 40 mg 2 years( panic & anxiety increased ) 

Switched  to Celexa 40 mg 1year (sudden low heart rate after a year) tested; no cardio issues 

Switched back to Paxil 40 mg due to low HR, fine for 7 years (again sudden low heart rate) 

Too fast taper from 40mg- 0mg  feb 2018  - End Sep 2018 (severe WD symptoms till today)

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to arsa: paroxetine withdrawal symptoms

40 years old, was put on Paxil 40mg 7 years ago. 8 months ago one day I suddenly felt fatigued which didn’t go away after few days of rest, my heart rate dropped below 60 and cardiologist adviced to come off Paxil. A reduction to 30mg restored my heart rate and fatigue after a few days. However same symptoms reappeared 4 months after so my Doc reduced it further to 20mg, same thing happened after 2 months so we reduced again to 10mg and after another 2 months another reduction to 5mg and full stop after a week.(this was 2 months ago end of Sep-18). The psychiatrist put me on 2 times 5ml Diazepam per day. Since the first reduction I suffered insomnia, anxiety, depression which got a lot worse when I fully came of Paxil 2 months ago however 1 month ago things took an uglier turn and I was hit by extreme profound fatigue, jlly legs, muscle weakness and I was rushed to A&E and the blood tests showed hormonal imbalance such as low testosterone and cortisol. Doctors are confused and are coming with scary possible prognosis and want to test me for things like autoimmune diseases or dangerous neurological disorders. My life is falling apart and my psychiatrist is suggesting putting me on Pregabalin as other SSRI’s may induce low heart rate.

Question 1- is this extreme fatigue cause of the WD?

Question 2- has anyone else experienced hormonal imbalances due to withdrawal? If so will it be restored to normal at some point?

Question 3- considering my situation is it wise to stay on Diazepam and allow doctors to start me off on a new antidepressant like Pregabalin or something? 

 

Im alone and desperate with no clue where to go next :(

please share any knowledge you have that may help me. 

 

Thank you all, Bless you.

ADs:  Total 17 years - 

Paxil 40 mg 5 years.

Switched to fluoxetine 40 mg 2 years( panic & anxiety increased ) 

Switched  to Celexa 40 mg 1year (sudden low heart rate after a year) tested; no cardio issues 

Switched back to Paxil 40 mg due to low HR, fine for 7 years (again sudden low heart rate) 

Too fast taper from 40mg- 0mg  feb 2018  - End Sep 2018 (severe WD symptoms till today)

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome,  arsa.

 

How long have you been taking the diazepam? What is your daily drug schedule?

 

What is your heart rate now? Is your cardiac health normal?

 

If I were you, I would not take pregabalin. (It is not an antidepressant, it is a benzo-like seizure drug.) You're taking enough drugs now. Fatigue can be a side effect of benzos such as diazepam. Paradoxically, diazepam can cause insomnia, if you're taking too much or at the wrong time.

 

It sounds to me like you have post-acute withdrawal syndrome from coming off Paxil too fast. Paxil is notorious for withdrawal syndrome.

 

For the time being, I would not focus on the hormonal irregularities.

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

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Thanks for replying.

they put on diazepam the same day we stopped Paxil, 29th of September over 2 months ago.

 

i take 5mg around 10pm and another 5mg about 4 am as I don’t sleep much at all. 

 

The insomnia starte emediatly after the first reduction but has gone worse after the WD.

 

 

My normal resting HR during the day was always around 75. But 6 years after Paxil it had dropped to 55-60 and wouldn’t go up until I reduced the 40mg Paxil down to 30mg. But it dropped again after a few weeks that’s why I came off Paxil so fast.

 

The Heart rate was restored to 75 after a few days of the last Paxil dose, And was stable for a month until I was hit with this extreme fatigue which has just totally ruined me:(  and my HR has now gone a bit low again to around 60( I’m not fit)

but this could be possibly due to my lack of movement. 

 

I agree reed with you on Pregabalin, what’s my next best option? Ride it out? It seems almost impossible right now. Or is there an SSRI that won’t lower my heart rate that I should consider?

 

Should I not be too worried about the hormonal imbalances? 

Thanks 

ADs:  Total 17 years - 

Paxil 40 mg 5 years.

Switched to fluoxetine 40 mg 2 years( panic & anxiety increased ) 

Switched  to Celexa 40 mg 1year (sudden low heart rate after a year) tested; no cardio issues 

Switched back to Paxil 40 mg due to low HR, fine for 7 years (again sudden low heart rate) 

Too fast taper from 40mg- 0mg  feb 2018  - End Sep 2018 (severe WD symptoms till today)

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

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please don't take pregabalin.  diazepam is also notoriously difficult to withdraw from.  the more "healthy" things you can stand to do help a lot.  walking, yoga,  sauna and then ice cold.  in fact cryotherapy could really help.  at least it will alleviate symptoms for a short time.  in my experience there are no drugs.  well,  except for mj.  expensive supplements might relieve your mind but in my experience not your symptoms.  they might be a good idea anyway.  fish oil. 

many years ago given sinequan for depression bad reaction so tiny dose of meleril to balance... quit after a year or so c/t

years pass no drugs

reg doc had me try all of the  a/d bc of upset due to divorce.  couldn't handle any.  took klonopin to sleep .5 mg  2003

taper klonopin

hooked on tramadol accidentally. 2006-2008 husband had migraines and took them like candy. so i became dependent too.  c/t  2008

diagnosis of porphyria after years of symptoms,  then toxic event made me really ill.

 

gabapentin 300mg every 3 hours , 6x day.

propranolol   180 mg  6x / day

since 2012

clonazepam prescribed as 1 mg / day  but beginning to take more to deal with withdrawals and sleeplessness

 

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  • 5 months later...

Dear friends, I’m in a complicated mess and desperate for your advice please🙏🏻😔

I’m now 6 months off Paxil (tapered too quick after 7 years on 40mg) I’m suffering extreme insomnia , fatigue and all my adrenal/hormones are off chart.

Dr put me on 5mg Diazepam twice a day the same day, 6 months ago( I managed to reduce it down to 2.5mg x 2/day)

3 months ago; As time went and no ease of my symptoms ;I became desperate and under the enormous pressure from psychiatrist to”cooperate” in order to sleep; I stupidly accepted to take Mirtazapine 30 mg which hasn’t helped at all, I’m still insomniac and fatigued. They have simply ruined my life. I’ve also lost my job and soon our house due to these debilitating symptoms.

Question: considering I’m still suffering WD badly, should I attempt slowly tapering any of these meds before it’s too late? None, both or in which order? Sorry for the long post. 

Thanks and bless you all

 

Edited by ChessieCat
resized font

ADs:  Total 17 years - 

Paxil 40 mg 5 years.

Switched to fluoxetine 40 mg 2 years( panic & anxiety increased ) 

Switched  to Celexa 40 mg 1year (sudden low heart rate after a year) tested; no cardio issues 

Switched back to Paxil 40 mg due to low HR, fine for 7 years (again sudden low heart rate) 

Too fast taper from 40mg- 0mg  feb 2018  - End Sep 2018 (severe WD symptoms till today)

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, @arsa. I'm sure one of the mods will be around to advise you very soon. They have amassed a huge amount of knowledge and experience, and can help you better understand what's going on. They will likely be asking you a series of questions. Please answer each question fully and to the very best of your ability. They have specific reasons for asking, and how you answer will help them to best help you. Meanwhile, please don't make any dose changes until the mods weigh in.

 

You have certainly come to the right place for safely removing these drugs from your life. I'm very glad you found us. Once again, welcome.

2016 - Zoloft 50 mg for klonopin w/d

Approx. Nov 2017 - successful taper of klonopin; Approx. Jan. 2018 - rapid taper Zoloft over 2 wks - no w/d symptoms; May 2018 - Reinstate 50 mg Zoloft per doctor; Aug 2018 - Rapid taper Zoloft over 3-4 weeks - no w/d symptoms for 1 mo.; Late Oct 2018 - pdoc rx'd 5mg lexapro -took for 1 wk; Early Nov 2018 - Reinstate 25 mg Zoloft; updose to 37.5 on Nov 28, 2018; Nov 30 2018 - returned to 25mg Zoloft upon mod. advice; Dec 9 - Dec10 2018 - 12.5mg zoloft liquid+12.5mg zoloft pill; Dec 11 2018 - 25mg zoloft all liquid; Feb 14 2019 - updosed to 26.25 mg liquid; Mar 6 2019 - updosed to 26.88 mg liquid - new symptoms; Mar 13 2019 - back down to 26.25 mg per mod suggestion

Dose Changes: Dec 2 2019 - 5% to 25mg; Jan 14 2020 - 10% to 22.5 (increase in sxs all month); Mar 10-15? 2020,  accidental updose to 25mg; Mar 22 2020 - back down to 22.5mg; Apr 12 2020 - 2.5% to 21.94mg; Apr 19 2020 - 2.5% to 21.375mg (symptom increase); May 17 2020 - 2.5% to 20.625mg; May 24 2020 - 2.5% to 20.1mg - Jun 14 2020 - noticed uptick in symptoms settled 2 days later - July 10 2020 - onset of wave

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14 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

Welcome to SA, @arsa. I'm sure one of the mods will be around to advise you very soon. They have amassed a huge amount of knowledge and experience, and can help you better understand what's going on. They will likely be asking you a series of questions. Please answer each question fully and to the very best of your ability. They have specific reasons for asking, and how you answer will help them to best help you. Meanwhile, please don't make any dose changes until the mods weigh in.

 

You have certainly come to the right place for safely removing these drugs from your life. I'm very glad you found us. Once again, welcome.

Thanks @Dejavu I really hope so. I would appreciate this a lot , I’m desperate to find a way out of this torture. If you only knew how much Ive suffered since the (fast taper) last dose of Paxil 6 months ago. But even more devastating is that the psychiatrist/s did so many things wrong and totally complicated things and ruined me without easing the WD symptoms

1. Too fast taper of Paxil (3 months) after 7 years on 40mg

2. Putting me on diazepam 5mg twice a day for day 1 of the 

3. Introducing Mirtazapine 40mg but I’m only taking 15mg

I’ve lost everything in 6 months I need hope and some advice. Bless you my friend 

ADs:  Total 17 years - 

Paxil 40 mg 5 years.

Switched to fluoxetine 40 mg 2 years( panic & anxiety increased ) 

Switched  to Celexa 40 mg 1year (sudden low heart rate after a year) tested; no cardio issues 

Switched back to Paxil 40 mg due to low HR, fine for 7 years (again sudden low heart rate) 

Too fast taper from 40mg- 0mg  feb 2018  - End Sep 2018 (severe WD symptoms till today)

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Your post has been moved.  This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

Please post daily symptom notes for the next 3 days.  This will allow the mods to assess your situation.  (Example given at bottom of post in blue font).

 

We also need you to create your drug signature so that we can see your drug history at a glance.

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

 

Example of daily symptom notes:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Administrator
Quote

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

@arsa I just copied this from your signature. 

 

You are still no doubt suffering from Paxil withdrawal from 8 months ago, your recent changes with diazepam and mirtazapine have been drastic. 

 

It's possible you may benefit from an updose of the diazepam. Benzodiazepine updoses work best within 2 - 4 weeks of the last reduction, and you are currently in that timeframe. Your reduction from 3 mg X 2 daily down to 2.5 mg X 2 daily was May 12, which is 10 days ago. That was a 16.67% reduction, which is too rapid a reduction.

 

Please go ahead and start your drug and symptoms journal in the format ChessieCat posted. Please also include any supplements you are taking and the number of hours you are sleeping at night. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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@Shep thank you so much for your feedback , I’m so weak an fragile I was giving up hope to get any advice from the forum. I’m so mentally exhausted that even writing a question is a challenge. It’s easy to become pessimistic when everything goes suddenly wrong in life.:(

 

May I please ask, should where should I post my symptoms diary? Just here under the same thread? 

Thank you 

ADs:  Total 17 years - 

Paxil 40 mg 5 years.

Switched to fluoxetine 40 mg 2 years( panic & anxiety increased ) 

Switched  to Celexa 40 mg 1year (sudden low heart rate after a year) tested; no cardio issues 

Switched back to Paxil 40 mg due to low HR, fine for 7 years (again sudden low heart rate) 

Too fast taper from 40mg- 0mg  feb 2018  - End Sep 2018 (severe WD symptoms till today)

Currently:

1. Diazepam:(to help WD symptoms) 5mg x 2 daily Sep 2018, 3mg x 2 daily dec 2018,  

Current from 12 May 2019 2.5 mg x 2 daily (no improvement of WD symptoms)

2. Remeron (Mirtazapine)(to help WD symptoms): 15mg Jan 2019. 30mg Feb 2019,

Current from 3 April 2019 15mg (no improvement of WD symptoms)

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
9 hours ago, arsa said:

May I please ask, should where should I post my symptoms diary? Just here under the same thread? 

Thank you 

 

Yes, just a regular post here in your Intro topic.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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