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Herewegoagain: 5 week mark


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Third time in my life I tried to come off Paxil.  First time was after 7 years....made it 16 weeks and then BAM - full blown panic attack.  Doctor said to go back on. 

Second time, was at around 12 years - They had a back up in manufacturing that scared me.  I withdrew again and 5 weeks later things got bad and not very functional - so after trying Lexapro and having a bad time with it, I went back on Paxil because it was being offered again. 

Third time I tried was at 23 years because yet another manufacturing glitch.  Withdrawal was easy this time....Very minimal effects and I took my time coming off my 10 mgs.  I hit the five week mark and bam - waves last night - still feeling anxious and now I don't know what to do.   They are manufacturing it again.  

My background is I'm very healthy and very calm and happy life (other than yesterday) due to a situation which caused the anxiety but now I am scared.   So, I guess I'm looking for advice from anyone who has made it passed the five week mark who may have some wisdom to share with me.

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  • Moderator

Hello, Herewegoagain, and welcome to SA.


Are you currently taking Paxil?  If not, you may want to reinstate a very small dose which is the only known way to bring withdrawal symptoms under control.  We recommend starting with a very low dose, as your system is very sensitized from tapering and withdrawal.  You could start with 1mg and slowly increase if symptoms remain unbearable.  Please read:

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic
 It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  

The only alternative to reinstatement is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the rate at which you tapered.
The reason why you may have had difficulty in the past is the rate at which you tapered.   What some people consider a slow taper is actually much more rapid than what we recommend, which is 10% of current dose every 4 weeks.  Some have to taper more slowly.  Withdrawal symptoms are often delayed and catch up with you after what seems to be a symptom-free taper.  If you choose to reinstate, you will need to wait until you stabilize, which can take several months, then taper very slowly off the reinstated dose.


These links explain the important of a slow taper.

There are many members who have made it past the 5 week mark and beyond to get off Paxil.  Google "SurvivingAntidepressants Paxil success stories"  Also look at the thread of one of our moderators, Brassmonkey, who tapered off 40mg Paxil and just celebrated his second anniversary of being off the drug and is doing very well.





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 of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% 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

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% 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 Herewegoagain: 5 week mark

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