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MikeysMum

MikeysMum: Paxil

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MikeysMum

Hi Everyone. I wish I'd found this site before I began going off Paxil . It's a bit of a blur but I began going off this drug about 18 months ago. My dr at time said just gut down by going to 1/2 dose 1 day a week, then next week halve a dose etc. All was fine, I was doing great until I rushed the last taper because I was feeling great. Had last  10 mg on December 29th last year. 5 or 6 days later severe flu like symptoms, nausea, diarrhoea, anxiety etc. went back to dr who said definitely no connection to coming off Paxil. These symptoms continued with lots of hot sweats, nausea, fear, anxiety. Went back to dr on Feb 12 who suggested I re start Paxil. Took 20 mg on this day. Next morning I collapsed at home. Ended up in hospital with Tachycardia and broken ankle. Cardiologist thought there might be a link between Tachycardia and withdrawal. Home again 2 days later with no recommendations. Anyway symptoms have continued (not as extreme ) but nausea, loose stools, anxiety, fear, tinnitus etc. I don't know what to do. Terrified of re starting Paxil. Don't have a dr who believes that symptoms are withdrawal. Any advice greatly appreciated.  I had been on Paxil for close to 20 years and another AD prior to that.

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ChessieCat

Hi MikeysMum and welcome to SA,

 

What you are experiencing is withdrawal symptoms from having stopped your Paxil too quickly.  SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When the drug is taken away too quickly we can get withdrawal symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to take the same drug that the brain has adapted to.  If you would like to try reinstatement please let us know and we can suggest a dose for you to try.  Please note that will probably suggest a dose that is no more than 5mg.  Please read Post #1 of this topic:   About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Because your brain will have already made some adaptations during the time you have been off the drug, it is better to start with a lower dose than you last took.  It is better to start with a small dose and increase if needed than to risk taking too much.  The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.  You will need to stay as calm and patient as possible and try not to panic.  When we panic we can make bad decisions.  Some members have panicked and increased too much and/or increased too soon and made things much worse.

 

It generally takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  We suggest that you keep daily symptom notes on paper so you can see the effect that reinstatement is having on your symptoms.  It is also helpful to provide us with those notes so we can assess whether you might need to take a tiny bit more.

 

It is also important to take the same dose, every day, at about the same time.  The brain likes consistency.  Do not skip doses to taper.

 

Once you have stabilised after reinstating, which might take several months, then you can taper following SA's protocol.

 

This topic explains how to get the dose you need:  Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

It would be helpful if you could amend your drug signature and try and give more precise information about dates and doses.  If you don't know exact dates, use early, mid, late.

 

Please use 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

 

 

I will provide some more information in the post.  This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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MikeysMum

Thank you so much for your quick response.  Those links are very helpful and I am surrently reading through much of the content on this site. I'm sitting on the fence regarding reinstatement  of Paxil. Just trying to listen to my body and acknowledge that all the awful things I'm experiencing is my nervous system trying to heal. I found the article by apace41 very helpful. I will try and adjust my signature soon.

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Carmie

Hi MikeysMum,

 

I wanted to welcome you to SA as well. Listening to your body is really the best way to go. Once you’re off the meds the only thing that might help is reinstating a little bit, but it doesn’t always work, and a few times it’s made things worse. It has helped a lot of people though, especially if it’s done not long after you’ve come off the meds. Before I knew anything about medications and tapering I updosed once and it worked for me, but it was a week after I tapered too quickly. 

 

You will eventually heal whether you reinstate or not. We all heal no matter what we’ve gone through. I’ve been on and off a myriad of things myself, I’m tapering off Seroquel now. My downward medication and withdrawal journey started with chronic pain. It would be great if we knew when we would heal. Some people heal quickly and others take many years to heal. 

 

The “ Are We There Yet, How Long Is Withdrawal Going To Take” article is really good to have a read of. You may have read it by now. 

 

If you do decide to reinstate please let us know. 

 

Wishing you all all the best in your recovery.💚

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Altostrata

Welcome, mikeys.

 

You had classic withdrawal symptoms and your doctor should have known it. How have your symptoms changed in the last month?

 

If you decide to reinstate, you might try a very small amount, perhaps 1mg Paxil or 1mg Prozac. Prozac may be easier to taper later. Both drugs come in prescription liquid form.

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MikeysMum

Thanks Altostrata and Carmie. In the first 6 weeks after my last 10 mg dose late Dec 2018  (apart from the 20 mg tablet I took on drs advice day before I collapsed on feb 13th) my symptoms were quite acute. Trembling, aches and pains, nausea, diarrhoea, very emotional, despair, sore liver, tinnitus, hot flushes, sweats and what I now know to be Tachycardia . I must say that over the last week my symptoms seem to have stabilised. They are not as extreme. I don't have much appetite most of the time, soft stools, intermittent sleep, feeling depressed and flat but not extreme. Still getting hot flushes but not extreme. I'm just letting my body have its way really. Watching lots of gentle TV which I haven't really done much of before (Golden Girls giving me smiles). After reading on this forum I'm aware that the 3 month mark could be traumatic so I will try and find a dr willing to listen and will re instate minute doses if necessary. My broken ankle is restricting my movements which has given me reason not to have to socialise etc which is great but will appreciate a gentle walk when I'm out of plaster. Seeing cardiologist on Tuesday and hoping he can offer reassurance as he was the only medical person who thought my symptoms could be linked to the AD withdrawal. I'm aware I may still be in honeymoon phase but I can only take each day as it comes. Thanks for your replies. So glad I found this forum albeit a little too late to do this whole WD properly. 

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Carmie

Hi MickeysMum, 

 

Glad to hear that your symptoms aren’t as extreme now.

 

Sending hugs💚

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MikeysMum

Thank you Carmie. I fell in a heap over the last few days re symptoms. Felt very nauseas, extremely tired and quite depressed. However yesterday afternoon I began to feel better, ate a normal dinner and by evening felt almost back to normal. Saw my new medical practitioner again to follow up on blood tests. She's concerned about the gut issues, (nausea, soft stools, lack of appetite). My iron levels are low and she's now ordered a gastroscope and colonoscopy. This dr doesn't want to engage about whether symptoms are WD (previous dr didn't either) so is referring me to a pyschiatrist to discuss. I felt so much worse after see ing this general practitioner today because I began to fear I had something seriously wrong.  However I've just been doing more reading on this site and realise that gut issues, neuro emotions, sweats etc are part and parcel of WD so I feel much better. I'm aware that anxiety could take over  at this point so the more I read the better as it normalises what I'm going through. Still dealing with broken ankle which makes even gentle exercises hard. I will see the psych when I get an appointment and just see what she has to say. I've decided not to re instate at this point but not ruling it out either. I am so very grateful for this forum. Thanks so much to the admins and contributors. It sheds a light on the hell that these drugs can cause when in WD and I'm yet to find a medical professional who will agree or at least acknowledge that this could be a thing. Although the heart specialist didn't rule it out either. Thanks again. I just had some lunch and feeling delighted to actually feel hungry. It's the small things hey xxxx

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ChessieCat
13 minutes ago, MikeysMum said:

I'm aware that anxiety could take over  at this point

 

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through discomfort and tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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Carmie

Hi MickeysMum, 

 

I’m glad you felt delighted in feeling hungry. It really is the small things that brighten our day when going through withdrawals.

 

Yes, all the symptoms you are getting are common in withdrawals. I’ve had all sorts of symptoms that I never knew were withdrawals, until I found this site. I’ve had ear aches, toothaches, burning mouth etc etc. 

 

Wishing you all the best in your healing journey 💚

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MikeysMum

Thanks ChessieCat and Carmie. Ive had a quick look at the resources above and they make sense. I listen to Tara Brach a bit (mediation teacher ) when I can't sleep. I don't think I've ever really had much anxiety . Was originally put on AD for eating disorder and depression. But I guess if my CNS is under so much pressure and chemicals running amok then the physical symptoms in my gut are mimicking anxiety. After feeling so good after eating today I fell deeply in a hole. Severe nausea and dizziness. Can't believe that yesterday afternoon and evening I had begun to feel so normal and now this! Definitely Windows and waves. I've started keeping a record of symptoms. 

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