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PennyLane26 Success Story- Protracted Paxil Withdrawal


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PennyLane26
5 hours ago, johnson said:

Hi Penny, 

 

I just had a question, how did recovery happen for you? Was it gradual over time or did you suddenly wake up one day and instantly feel better? Thanks

Hi Johnson-

  Yes it is absolutely gradual and it is not linear. This means you can feel good for days, weeks, even months and then take a few (or several) steps back and feel crappy again.  You definitely do not wake up one day and all of a sudden feel better.  The process requires a lot of patience and optimism.  Let me know if you have any other questions!

-Started 15 mg Paxil in May of 2013

-Tapered completely off Paxil May of 2014

-Went back on Paxil 10 mg end of September 2014

-Increased to 15 mg of Paxil mid September 2015

- Started weaning off of Paxil January 2016 at approximately 10% and started supplementation of 5htp. 

-End of February 2017, experienced serotonin syndrome quit Paxil and 5htp completely. Prescribed 5 mg of Ambien.

-Mid April 2017, reinstated 1 mg of Paxil

-October 2017, weaned off of Ambien

-November 27, 2017 weaned completely off of Paxil

 

Psych med free since 11/27/17

 

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Hi Pennylane,

 

When you reinstated to 15mg how long did it take you to stabilise?

 

I was tapering but crashed going to 3mg and it’s been 4 months and it’s still waves and windows and no clear windows yet and waves are quite difficult.

 

Thanks for staying in touch as great to see  a recovery story.

20mg Lexapro 2007

10mg Lexapro 2012

Started tapering approx (October 2017) 12 months ago  from 10mg to 9mg then 8 then 7 then 6 then 5 then 4 then 3.

Held for approx 4 to 6 weeks min on each reduction.

Hit severe symptoms (started 7th Nov) after dropping to 3mg. Dropped to 3mg approx 22nd October.

Back to 4mg (7th November) and stabilising. Current symptoms started 23rd November 

Used diazepam (2018) 10mg 10th Nov, 5mg 11th Nov, 2.5mg 12 Nov, 2mg 13th Nov.

Used diazepam 10mg 24th Nov, 7.5 25th Nov and 5mg 26th November.

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PennyLane26

Hi Tom- 

No problem I am happy to help. I wouldn’t exactly call that a reinstatement as I felt pretty much fine for several months leading up to going back on. I am not sure if it was my original anxiety or withdrawals to be honest, but when I did start to get symptoms again 4 months later I freaked out and went running back to Paxil. I wouldn’t recommend going up that high if you’re already down to 3 mg. Once you have started withdrawaling it’s a crap chute on whether or not it will even work. As I’ve stated previously, self care is the number one thing that will help you get through in my opinion. Let me know if you have other questions!

-Started 15 mg Paxil in May of 2013

-Tapered completely off Paxil May of 2014

-Went back on Paxil 10 mg end of September 2014

-Increased to 15 mg of Paxil mid September 2015

- Started weaning off of Paxil January 2016 at approximately 10% and started supplementation of 5htp. 

-End of February 2017, experienced serotonin syndrome quit Paxil and 5htp completely. Prescribed 5 mg of Ambien.

-Mid April 2017, reinstated 1 mg of Paxil

-October 2017, weaned off of Ambien

-November 27, 2017 weaned completely off of Paxil

 

Psych med free since 11/27/17

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

PennyLane, you have given me hope. Thanks for coming back to help those still here. 😊 Did you at times feel just totally overwhelmed and like you couldn't make it to go on another day? It feels like it is the same thing day after day. I have been tapering since last June and it feels like I will never get off and recover. What was the best tool you had at your disposal that helped with patience? Thanks so much 

1992 Given antidessants with Ativan after having anxiety attacks after birth of my first baby.

On Paxil 20 ml. for some time. Then was switched to Ativan and Effexor XR 150 ml for 15 years maybe. Tried coming off many times over the years but wasn't successful nor encouraged.

Tried coming off 3 years ago Effexor XR 150 ml. Tapered over 10 months but not a controlled, responsible process as I was given very poor tapering advice by doctors.

Was off for about 9 months then reinstated to 75ml Effexorxr. Stayed on that dose for a year .Tapered at 10 % every 4 weeks held longer if I felt I was suffering too much .Don't recall very much as a traumatic time. Will have been off as of December 4 for 6 months.

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  • 5 months later...
12 hours ago, Mirtazapine said:

Was it hard getting off the Ambien after several months?  I was put on Ambien because of insomnia caused by Remeron withdrawal and would like to get off it and use Melatonin.

It actually wasn’t. I was terrified of trying to get off of it. What I did was really work on sleep hygiene and stopped watching TV, etc several hours before bed and started taking melatonin. I made sure I was really relaxing and calming my body, I also got blue blocking glasses. Then I slowly weaned off the ambien like I did with Paxil. I was cutting off tiny bits every week until I wasn’t taking it anymore. Hope that helps!

-Started 15 mg Paxil in May of 2013

-Tapered completely off Paxil May of 2014

-Went back on Paxil 10 mg end of September 2014

-Increased to 15 mg of Paxil mid September 2015

- Started weaning off of Paxil January 2016 at approximately 10% and started supplementation of 5htp. 

-End of February 2017, experienced serotonin syndrome quit Paxil and 5htp completely. Prescribed 5 mg of Ambien.

-Mid April 2017, reinstated 1 mg of Paxil

-October 2017, weaned off of Ambien

-November 27, 2017 weaned completely off of Paxil

 

Psych med free since 11/27/17

 

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Thank you so much for posting such a detailed description of your journey through this. I am 7 months off and feel better each day, but still get massive fatigue. I agree 100% with you stating that food is the best medicine, it gives the best results. (which is the opposite of western medicine, I asked about nutrition and they always said my diet was "fine"). Personally changing my nutrition is the only reason I know I was able to come off this medication.

 

As for your family and them rolling their eyes. I have the exact same experience. A majority of people won't understand until they go through it. I have had people critique it and they are having numerous health issues and WILL NOT CHANGE their diet. Instead they continue to take more medication and HAVE NEGATIVE results, all because a doctor told them, its always their justification. 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and journey, which is now a success!!!! Awesome! Mindset and nutrition are the best medicine!! 

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

 

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

 

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
 

2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

 

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9 hours ago, Cocopuffz17 said:

Thank you so much for posting such a detailed description of your journey through this. I am 7 months off and feel better each day, but still get massive fatigue. I agree 100% with you stating that food is the best medicine, it gives the best results. (which is the opposite of western medicine, I asked about nutrition and they always said my diet was "fine"). Personally changing my nutrition is the only reason I know I was able to come off this medication.

 

As for your family and them rolling their eyes. I have the exact same experience. A majority of people won't understand until they go through it. I have had people critique it and they are having numerous health issues and WILL NOT CHANGE their diet. Instead they continue to take more medication and HAVE NEGATIVE results, all because a doctor told them, its always their justification. 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and journey, which is now a success!!!! Awesome! Mindset and nutrition are the best medicine!! 

 

You are very welcome! I am coming up on two years off and still struggle with fatigue too. I think w/d really messes with the adrenals in  a lot of people.  Yes, I totally understand. I have tried to help family members or friends by giving nutritional advice and most people won’t listen. It’s hard for a lot of people to own up to the fact that you are ultimately responsible for their own health. It’s easier to blame genes and not address the bad eating, lack of exercise, and the nightly glass of wine. I wish I realized that before Paxil, but I guess sometimes it takes going through hell to make lasting changes.  We will all be better for it in the end!

-Started 15 mg Paxil in May of 2013

-Tapered completely off Paxil May of 2014

-Went back on Paxil 10 mg end of September 2014

-Increased to 15 mg of Paxil mid September 2015

- Started weaning off of Paxil January 2016 at approximately 10% and started supplementation of 5htp. 

-End of February 2017, experienced serotonin syndrome quit Paxil and 5htp completely. Prescribed 5 mg of Ambien.

-Mid April 2017, reinstated 1 mg of Paxil

-October 2017, weaned off of Ambien

-November 27, 2017 weaned completely off of Paxil

 

Psych med free since 11/27/17

 

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18 minutes ago, PennyLane26 said:

It’s hard for a lot of people to own up to the fact that you are ultimately responsible for their own health. It’s easier to blame genes and not address the bad eating, lack of exercise, and the nightly glass of wine. I wish I realized that before Paxil, but I guess sometimes it takes going through hell to make lasting changes.  We will all be better for it in the end!

 

Yes, unfortunately it is. I was in that group, it took me hitting rock bottom mentally and a decent amount of physical health issues before I changed. I started by changing my mentality and it was by making no more excuses, everything is my fault, I must fix it. It sure does, but does it feel GREAT to know that there is way better quality of life on the other side (drug free and with better nutrition)

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

 

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

 

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
 

2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

 

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  • 6 months later...
On 9/16/2019 at 7:49 AM, PennyLane26 said:

 

You are very welcome! I am coming up on two years off and still struggle with fatigue too. I think w/d really messes with the adrenals in  a lot of people.  Yes, I totally understand. I have tried to help family members or friends by giving nutritional advice and most people won’t listen. It’s hard for a lot of people to own up to the fact that you are ultimately responsible for their own health. It’s easier to blame genes and not address the bad eating, lack of exercise, and the nightly glass of wine. I wish I realized that before Paxil, but I guess sometimes it takes going through hell to make lasting changes.  We will all be better for it in the end!

Your are so inspiring! There is so much positivity in every word you speak. You really instilling hope is all of us. I'm 6 months off Lexapro, after being on it for one and a half year. At 5 months my withdrawal symtoms hit real bad and I'm still having them in wave pattern with very few days of windows in between. But the thing I notice is, I've lost appetite, so is it wise to force urself to eat? I'm in some frame if mind that tells me, that my body won't accept n digest the food I eat n just reject it and that's why I don't even crave food. I'm kinda neglecting my nutrition intake for the same reason coz I'm loosing hope. Any advise on this will be appreciated.

May 2018: 10mg Lexapro (once a day), and etizolaam 0.5 mg with proponolol 20mg twice a day

July 2018: got completely of etizolaam and proponol by weaning and using only once per day in June

October 2018: tapered Lexapro to 5mg using klonopin 0.25 mg as needed to reduce withdrawal symtoms

December 2018: quit Lexapro 5mg cold turkey and has to reinstate in three weeks used etizolaam to reduce symtoms as needed

March 2019: quit etizolaam 0.5mg cold turkey

September 2019: last does of Lexapro

November 2019: took klonopin 0.25 mg as needed to over come withdrawal symtoms sometimes 0.5mg. maximum dose of 0.75 mg per week

 

 

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PennyLane26
6 hours ago, Sani said:

Your are so inspiring! There is so much positivity in every word you speak. You really instilling hope is all of us. I'm 6 months off Lexapro, after being on it for one and a half year. At 5 months my withdrawal symtoms hit real bad and I'm still having them in wave pattern with very few days of windows in between. But the thing I notice is, I've lost appetite, so is it wise to force urself to eat? I'm in some frame if mind that tells me, that my body won't accept n digest the food I eat n just reject it and that's why I don't even crave food. I'm kinda neglecting my nutrition intake for the same reason coz I'm loosing hope. Any advise on this will be appreciated.

Thank you for your kind words! I am sorry you are having a rough time with your withdrawal. I’m sure it’s not an easy time to be dealing with that on top of everything else going on in the world. I understand what you mean by not having an appetite. Mine goes away too when I have bad anxiety. I would try to eat some really nutritious food if you can. Blood sugar instability and nutrient deficiencies will only make things worse. Ultimately your body will heal itself, but anything you can do to support the process will only aide in your recovery. Let me know if you have any other questions.

 

take care!

-Started 15 mg Paxil in May of 2013

-Tapered completely off Paxil May of 2014

-Went back on Paxil 10 mg end of September 2014

-Increased to 15 mg of Paxil mid September 2015

- Started weaning off of Paxil January 2016 at approximately 10% and started supplementation of 5htp. 

-End of February 2017, experienced serotonin syndrome quit Paxil and 5htp completely. Prescribed 5 mg of Ambien.

-Mid April 2017, reinstated 1 mg of Paxil

-October 2017, weaned off of Ambien

-November 27, 2017 weaned completely off of Paxil

 

Psych med free since 11/27/17

 

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  • 3 months later...

So how do you know you are finally DONE with withdrawal?  And were you doing well on Paxil?  If so, why did you choose to go off it?  I went off paxil after 25 years on it.  I was not having any problems while on it, just did not like taking meds and had tried to get off it several times before unsuccessfully.  Took about 8 months to get off, had no withdrawal symptoms during that time, was symptom free for 3 months, and then had a month of awful anxiety (I guess that was what it was....hard to describe the horrendous waves of nasty feelings flowing through my gut and torso) and severe insomnia.  Then all was well for for about 4 months, followed by just 1 week of symptoms.  I felt that maybe I was DONE.  Then came covid19.  I started feeling a knot in my throat, some stomach knots, and a general feeling of tension.  I attributed it to stress from all the fear generated by covid.  But a few weeks ago the old awful waves of horrid anxiety started again; I stayed in denial at first, not wanting to admit that withdrawal might be back.  But it clearly is.   I am just hoping and praying that this episode will pass quickly.  On a bad day I consider going back on meds, but I have apparently "aged out" of being allowed to take Paxil, so would have to try something else.  And who knows if that would work?  Any support would be appreciated.  Thank you!

Paxil, 20 mg. daily for last 20 years

Began tapering October 2018.  Took last dose May 2019.

Xanax .25 mg used rarely, just for insomnia.  Maybe took it once a month (or less) over past 10 years.

Remeron 7.5 mg. started 8/2020

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  • Moderator

@luvkids

I've addressed your question on your thread.

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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  • 4 months later...

Kelly Brogan's book was definitely the most validating fuel for me. It has been three months since my last dose after a year long taper and It has been excruciatingly difficult. I'm still crying most days several times a day and I have debilitating anxiety. I'm in a wave now and feeling like giving up but I don't even know what that means. I don't see myself going back to the meds. I think I'm really afraid that this is just me underneath the meds but I can totally relate to the adrenal exhaustion. If I push myself past the anxietyI will feel a tiny bit of freedom but then I always crash because I've stressed my adrenals. This has been the hardest issue for me on knowing if I should just hunker down and let more time pass or continue to get myself out there. I am doing the diet, the meditation, movement and therapy. I'm also doing some 12-step work. I feel like I'm doing what I can And just physically have to heal. From what I read three months is not that far along and I need to just keep giving it more time. I have moments where I wonder why I'm doing this, I just need a stronger vision that there is healing at the end.I have to admit I feel pretty sad about how hard this is. How many months did it take after your last dose for you to start feeling some light at the end of the tunnel?

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the delayed response I have been traveling. Three months is VERY early and how you are feeling now is NOT who you are. Your body has been put through hell being on those drugs and how you feel now is unfortunately the price you are paying. I did a slow taper too and I think I started feeling better closer to a year off. It sounds like a long time, but in hindsight it really isn’t. It will go by really fast and what you are experiencing now will become a distant memory. It sounds like you’re doing a lot of work to heal,  so just stay the course. It’s hard to not feel like you have to “do” something to fix it. I struggled with that a lot and spent time combing the internet. Just try to stay positive and rest assured that this is not a permanent state of being. That is a fact.

 

sending love and light your way!

-Started 15 mg Paxil in May of 2013

-Tapered completely off Paxil May of 2014

-Went back on Paxil 10 mg end of September 2014

-Increased to 15 mg of Paxil mid September 2015

- Started weaning off of Paxil January 2016 at approximately 10% and started supplementation of 5htp. 

-End of February 2017, experienced serotonin syndrome quit Paxil and 5htp completely. Prescribed 5 mg of Ambien.

-Mid April 2017, reinstated 1 mg of Paxil

-October 2017, weaned off of Ambien

-November 27, 2017 weaned completely off of Paxil

 

Psych med free since 11/27/17

 

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Thank you so much. Your timing was perfect as I lay in bed looking for the courage to face another day. It really helps to hear from you being on the other side of this. The intense fear is so constant. If I string together a good day where I stretch outside of the fear zone I seem to crash the next day. I want to blame it all on my negative anxious thinking but on some level I know that my body is not handling stress at all and a good day (meaning I went somewhere or did something that feels hard) is stressful. In theory if I push past the limitations I am experiencing iit seems it would make me stronger but it is definitely a step forward a step back and inching forward in the big picture. I keep asking the same questions but how long did it take for the intense fear (for me panic) to lift and did you find using some klonopin to be helpful or harmful. I use it about once a week. Am very careful about it. I know it is a controversial topic. Sometimes I wonder if I should let it help a little more. I have never used it regularly. I do know time will be the best healer of all. I'm still having days of intense crying and despair but I just let myself cry because I do know it is triggered by this messed up brain activity. Thank you  again for taking the time to encourage me. I have moments where I wonder why I am doing this and it helps to know that there could be a freedom at the end. 😀💛

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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