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Albert: preparing to get off Paxil / paroxetine for good


Albert

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Hello, I a new to the site.  I have been on SSRI antidepressants for going on 18 years.  I was placed on them at around the age of 26 or 27 years old when my Mom passed with cancer.  I have been on 30 mg Paxil ( Paroxetine ) now for several years and have been pretty stable until it recently appears to have quit working.  I started to suffer from extreme panic attacks, excessive thoughts of worry, and other physical symptoms as well.   These have been coming and going for no apparent reason.  I seen my doctor yesterday and she thinks that the Paxil has quit working and also feels that this medication comes with a lot of side effects and would be a good idea to get completely off of the medication.  She placed me on a schedule to start tapering off of the medication and she also prescribed me Buspirone if I start to feel like I need to try something else for the anxiety.  She has worked with several patients when it comes to getting off of Paroxetine and advised that it is different for everyone, but I should be able to get completely off w/in a month.  Then if I haven't started taking the Buspar I can evaluate if medication is even needed.  I would love to be able to get completely off of antidepressants all together and get my life back.  Just wondering what kind of side effects I can expect and also wondering if there is any advise out there to help out.  I do have .25 mg of Xanex on hand in event that I have a panic attack, but I seldom ever take one.  I almost wonder if the Paroxetine have started to make my anxiety worsen.  I would love to get completely off of the medication and get my life back and just be me.   I started my 1st taper yesterday from 30 to 25 and plan to stay there for at least a week. 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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Update:   I have been holding steady.  I have continued forward with splitting my Paroxetine.  I am currently at 10mg at 7:00 am and then 10mg at 2:30pm.   Planning on spreading out by another 15 minu

Hi Albert   A moderator or administrator will contact you soon on completing your medication history and other information, but I can offer some perspective.  I took Paxil for about seven ye

You have made lots of drug and dose changes in the last few months AND had 3 surgeries in the last 6 months or so.   It would probably be better to wait at least 3 months AFTER you have stop

  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Albert.

 

The one-month tapering schedule given to you by your doctor is far faster than what we recommend here.  

 

Some people appear to be able to taper quickly but many, perhaps a majority, can't.  There's no way to tell if you'll be one of the lucky ones, and if you aren't and find yourself in protracted withdrawal, it will be a long haul to get yourself back to homeostasis.  

 

That's why we recommend a harm-reduction rate of taper.  We suggest tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  Some have to taper more slowly.  


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Paroxetine/Paxil:

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

You asked about what side effects to expect.  When you go off a drug, it is not side effects you experience but rather withdrawal symptoms.  These links will give you information about withdrawal so you can make an informed decision about how you want to taper.  

 
 
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  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.

The following was written by Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, who successfully tapered off 40mg of Paxil and is now doing very well:

 

CT and Fast Tapers

(8)

 

I will be blunt.  Unless there is a medical reason such as pregnancy Do Not CT or Fast Taper.  The pain and suffering are just not worth it, and over time you will get off the drugs and recover much faster by doing a slow taper.

 

Many members have indicated that their doctor refuses to renew their prescription as a reason for a CT.  There are just too many resources available for this to be a valid reason.  Any doctor can prescribe these medications. They can be obtained through Urgent Care, the ER/A&E, on line prescription services, to name a few of the sources available. Sometimes they are available directly from the manufacturer. There will be some footwork involved, but it is best to do what needs to be done to maintain your supply, so you can keep control over your situation.  No one is going to do this for you.

 

For this discussion I will define a Cold Turkey (CT) as stopping your drugs overnight from any dose greater than 1mgai. I will also define a Fast Taper as anything faster than the recommended 10% every four weeks.  I would like to point out that that there will be a difference between a Fast Taper of one month and a Fast Taper of a year of more. They both have the same affect on the body, just to a different degree.  Both the CT and the FT follow the same patterns and for ease of writing I will refer to both collectively as CT. 

 

There is very little information about how many people do manage a CT successfully. Which would indicate that not many do. There is however, a lot of discussion about how almost everyone who CTs or Fast Tapers ends up back on some form of psych med within a few months because of a return of “their original condition”.

 

There is a well-established pattern to a CT.  The person stops taking their medication and for the first several days, up to a week, they have a variety of mild symptoms, headaches, nausea and the like.  These symptoms resolve themselves and the person starts to feel better than they have for years. A sense of “wow, I’ve kicked this and not suffered like all those other people, I must be a special case.” pervades their thinking.  There is an off chance that this has happened.  

 

For most people this time, referred to as the “Honeymoon Period”, ends abruptly after three months.  It’s surprising just how frequently this time period shows up.  For a few it could be shorter, and some take a bit longer, but most frequently things change overnight at the three months mark. Most describe it as “I was fine when I went to bed, but I woke up in H***”, and that’s where they stay for a very long time.

 

Psych drugs work by making physical changes to the body.  The body then requires the presence of those drugs to maintain the changes and to keep functioning.  Remove the drug and the body doesn’t know how to work.  It then starts to scramble to return itself to it’s normal, pre-drug, state.  While that is happening none of the systems in the body can function correctly and we get WD symptoms.  Because the body is in such chaos those symptoms will be very acute.

 

Because the body is in such chaos those symptoms will last for a very long time. In the nervous system alone, there are hundreds of billions of electrical connections that have to be reviewed and repaired.  Throw on top of that the endocrine system, hormonal interactions and a lot of other things, the body doesn’t know what hit it.  Over many months the body takes inventory and starts making the changes it thinks will correct the situation, however, some of those changes will be wrong and have to be done over and re tested.  This is where the familiar pattern of “Waves and Windows” comes from.

 

Like everything else WD there are no statistics on how long recover will take.  But we have a lot of case histories that give us some indication.  The answer is very disheartening. It will take years.  I frequently post about several of my taper buddies that CTed 40mgai of Paxil at the same time I started my taper. Currently it’s been six years, I’m off all my meds and living life at about 95% plus of normal.  They, on the other hand, are still suffering waves that rival their initial acute period.  On the positive side they are also experiencing very nice Windows.  But they are still struggling on a daily basis.  Reading through SA you will find many, many examples of people CTing who are still struggling three to five years later.  In the extreme there are members who report struggling as far out as seven or eight years.

 

There is a strong indication that persistent PSSD is also connected with CT.  PSSD is common in many cases of WD but seems to be more pronounced and harder to recover from for the people who have CTed than for people who have Slow Tapered.  PSSD does eventually correct itself in most cases, although we are looking at a dishearteningly long time-frame of two to five years and in some cases even longer.  There are a number of other factors involved with recovery from PSSD any one of which can cause the recovery time to increase.

 

So, I will conclude by restating my second sentence.  Unless there is a medical reason such as pregnancy Do Not CT or Fast taper.  it

 

Albert, It is of course your decision whether you want to follow your doctor's taper schedule or what we recommend.  If you choose the latter, I suggest you hold  at 25mg for four weeks and then taper by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  Your next dose after four weeks would be 22.5mg.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added link

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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Thank you very much.  This will be very helpful.  I will stay at the 25mg for 1 month.  If I have other questions, is there someone I could ask? 

1.  I am not a daily drinker, but usually will have 3 or 4 beers on the weekend.  Will this cause a problem while I am tapering? 

2.  Should I go ahead and start taking the Busbar?  I was kind of hoping to get completely off of hoping to try and get completely off of Anti-Depressants, but my Dr. mentioned that Busbar has very few side effects in comparison to Paxil and is much easier to get off of when time to taper that drug. 

3.   Is there a way to just cut / measure the existing 30 mg pills that I have.  I have like 150 of them, or do I have to ask my doctor for the liquid form? 

 

Thanks, Albert

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi Albert and welcome,

 

How did you do your first taper from 30 mg of Paxil to 25 mg?  Did you cut a pill/tablet or weigh or use a liquid?  And have you had a chance to read/review some of the basics on tapering yet?  The ones that Gridley provided above.  Those first 2 links should help quite a bit with your tapering.  Each 10% reduction, when tapering is based on the previous dose too. 

I come up with that decrease being a 17% reduction from the 30 mg dose you had been taking. 

To calculate percentage drops, one easy way to do that is:

30(your starting dose) x .90 = 27 mg   Which is a 10% reduction from 30 mg.

Then, if you do okay on the 25 mg reduction, after 4-6 weeks of a HOLD:

25 x .90 = 22.5  This would be your next reduction, based on the 25 mg dose you have been on now, for at least a couple of days.

 

And you did good.  Ask questions right here.

This, your introduction page, right here, is a great place for you to ask further questions and communicate with moderators as well as other members

1.  We don't recommend, weekend drinking, during WD(withdrawal)  

a little more on this here:  Alcohol and beer

^ this comes from our symptoms and self care forum.  Essentially, alcohol is a psychoactive substance, and as you work on tapering, AND managing, hopefully minimizing WD symptoms.........abstinence should be helpful.  Your system, in general.....has a lot of re-adapting to do.  Why complicate that?

2.  If I were you, I wouldn't start the Buspar.  It's just something else that you would have to taper off of later.  I briefly tried Buspar, while still medicated, without much effect or help with the adverse reactions I experienced from so many drugs prescribed to me.  And I don't know......it might have interfered with any healing at that time.

You can read more, if you'd like here:  Tips for tapering off busipirone(Buspar)  There's some general information there.  And it also might be helpful to you now to begin to inform and educate yourself about drugs commonly prescribed.  A couple sites that I like and use BEFORE taking anything are Drugs.com,  another is Medscape.  Drugs.com also is good for checking drug-drug interactions, which is also always a good idea.  Good to be empowered and a true partner with doctor/prescribers.  Informed, in other words.

3.  Several options exist for tapering Paxil.  See what you think might work for you after reviewing the Tips for tapering paroxetine(Paxil) topic.  The link to that is in Gridley's post to you.  Good to plan ahead, Albert.

 

And then lastly.......sorry so long winded  B)  Please put your withdrawal history in a signature  Just jump to that link, and you'll find more about how to do that.  And ask, if stuck.

 

Welcome again Albert.  Glad you have joined us on your journey to be medication free someday, as safely as possible(harm reduction).

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Thanks for the great reply.  All of this information is very much appreciated.  My doctor initiated my 1st taper of 5 mg.  I had already started that when I found this forum and decided to join so I could get some support.  Over the past month or so, I have started to get very intense spells of uncontrollable thoughts of worry.  I have been able to tame them down with deep breathing and exercise.  The Doctor said that he thinks the Paroxetine has quit working.  I purchased a little scale and a pair of pill cutting scissors and I have been shaving of small portions until I get to the correct weight.  My little scale shows that a standard 30 mg paroxetine pill actually weighs 44mg so I have been cutting them down to 37 grams and I think that calculates out to 25 or 26 mg of Paroxietine.  I plan on doing that for 4 weeks and hope for the best and if all goes well, I will then begin to reduce by another 10% for 3 to 4 weeks.  Tomorrow will be day 5 on my 1st reduction and so far so good.  I am actually feeling pretty good.  However, I also know that often the WD symptoms will not start to occur until week 2 or 3. 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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So far so good.  No major withdraw symptoms as of yet.  Keeping my fingers crossed, hoping I am not just in the Honeymoon stage.  The 5 mg drop may have actually made me feel better, I think that there are so many side effects with this medication that it may have been adding to my anxiety and not really doing anything for me.   I still plan on staying at the 24 mg for 3 to 4 weeks before my next 10 percent drop just to make sure. 

 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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Yesterday still feeling pretty good.  I did seem to have a few episodes of irritability, but still no major signs of w/draw syndrome.  Walked 3 miles in the evening.  Plan on drinking lots of water today.  I have been shaving 30 mg tablets down to aprox 25 mg and hanging there.

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hey Albert,

 

That sounds good, the above.  I think that I spy an error in your signature.......did you mean your first taper was on August 14th, rather than September 14th?  You can go to:

Account Settings and then to signature to update or edit that.

 

Thanks for keeping us updated. 

 

Good that the exercise and breathing exercises are helping, and that you already have some non-drug coping tools that you practice.

 

More, along the lines of non-drug coping with WD symptoms can be found here:  Non- drug techniques to cope

There's a whole indexed list of things in the first post in that link.

And then, you can go the the Symptoms and Self care forum too, just go back to the Home page, and you'll see it, and look at some of the coping that you might find helpful.

 

On 8/18/2019 at 9:19 PM, Albert said:

My little scale shows that a standard 30 mg paroxetine pill actually weighs 44mg so I have been cutting them down to 37 grams and I think that calculates out to 25 or 26 mg of Paroxietine.  I plan on doing that for 4 weeks and hope for the best and if all goes well, I will then begin to reduce by another 10% for 3 to 4 weeks. 

 

 Using a digital scale to measure doses

I don't know if you've seen this ^ one, but it should be helpful to you now, too

 

All and all,  sounds like a good plan, so far.

 

Thanks Albert.

All for now.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Thanks for pointing that out my mistake in my signature.  Also thanks again for all of the helpful information.  I have been reading through all of it.  I just hope I do not have any downfalls.  Yesterday I had a couple of episodes of irritability and a couple of very mild panic attacks.  I was able to make it through both by using deep breathing and relaxation.  Today I had a really good day.  Maybe the best day that I have had yet.  Tomorrow will mark the 1st full week at 25 mg.   I have already started to feel more clear headed.  I can't wait for three more weeks and I can drop dosage again.  Just hope I do not go backwards.  Thanks for keeping in touch.  I appreciate it. 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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Still hanging in there at 25 mg paxil.  Aprox 10 days in.  Had anxious day yesterday that has been triggered by change / inconsistency in bowel movement.  Barely slept last night, had to take a Xanex and finally fell asleep around 2:00 AM.  The inconsistent bowel movement has me worried.  It stared a little over a month ago when we lost our dog.  I really struggled with loosing him.  It tore my stomach up and I think the added stress has me all messed up from that.  I have also had both upper and lower back pain and that has been stressing me out as well.  I swear if it is not one thing, it is another.  I had 4 or 5 beers over the weekend and that may not have helped me.  I am going to try to get back into the exercise routine and drinking lots of water again this week and hope to get myself leveled back out.

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
6 hours ago, Albert said:

I had 4 or 5 beers over the weekend and that may not have helped me.

 

alcohol-and-beer

 

6 hours ago, Albert said:

I am going to try to get back into the exercise routine

 

Start out with gentle exercise.  exercise-do-more-do-less-do-nothing-what-worked-for-you

FINISH LINE here I come!!!

🏁

Current from 25 September 2021:  Pristiq 0.02mg

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post

I think that the exercise helps me.  I hope that it helps you as well.  I did have a little better day yesterday.  I am still catching my mind running with thoughts of worry.  Shortly after I worry is when I get the physical symptoms.  However, I can't really say that I have had any serious withdraw symptoms lately. 

 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

Link to post

Topic title:  Status Update

 

Ok, need some advice.   Was on 30 mg of Paroxetine for about 10 years.   About 6 weeks ago, started to get severe panic / anxiety return and was really having trouble shaking it.  About 3 weeks ago, seen the NP and she felt that the Paroxetine had likely quit working.   Decided to just try and taper off.  She set me up w/ a pretty aggressive taper.  After reading more into the WD symptoms, I decided to plan my own taper.  My 1st taper has been from 30 to 25 and I am currently in the middle of week 3.  I plan to start my next taper at week 4 and drop only 10%.   I have had  ups and downs during the 1st three weeks.  I think that dizziness may be a withdraw symptom, but I have been able to manage it.  However, it has still been difficult controlling my thoughts of worry.  The instant that I start to worry, I begin to get physical symptoms.  All of the typical symptoms of panic, but they have been severe.  I can tame them back down with some deep breathing and the occasional .25 mg Xanex.  However, I am having difficulty determining if this is w/draw from the taper, or if this is just returning symptoms of panic and anxiety.   Back when the panic started to return, I also started to experience a change in bowel and bladder function and that is causing me panic as well.  One of the things that causes me the most panic is the difficulty in concentrating.  Is this something that is related to the panic, or w/draw.  Once I get it settled down, my concentration comes back.  Any advise would be very helpful.  Thanks Albert. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi Albert-- Paxil is one of the hardest psych drugs to get off of and has to be handled slowly and carefully.  This first drop you've done is very large and as you can see has been causing some problems.  I would suggest waiting longer than four weeks for things to settle out before doing another drop.  The SA recommended taper of 10% every four weeks is a guideline and starting point,  It very frequently is too much too fast. especially if you wish to keep WD symptoms to a minimum.  All the things that you describe are pretty common WD symptoms.  To try and minimize them I would recommend trying a Brassmonkey Slide.  We have quite a few members using this technique with great success.  For a 10% Brassmonkey Slide you would reduce by 2.5% a week for four weeks and then hold for an additional two weeks.  This gives 10% every six weeks and fairly manageable symptoms.  If you're interested ask about it in your intro thread and we can give you more details.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I am very interested

How are u measuring the Paxil

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

BrassMonkey used a scale (Gemini 20) to weigh his doses for his whole taper.  When he got to the final few tiny doses he weighed the powder and then divided it manually.

 

using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses

 

Brass Monkey Slide

 

His Intro:  ☼-brassmonkey-talking-about-myself

 

His success story:  tao-of-the-brassmonkey

 

FINISH LINE here I come!!!

🏁

Current from 25 September 2021:  Pristiq 0.02mg

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post

When I weigh a 30 MG tablet, they range in weight from 42 ro 44 mg.  So Do you just consider the 10 percent of the 42 to 44 mg as your taper amount?  I guess I thought that the 30 mg tablet would weigh 30 mg.  Thanks again 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi Albert,

Okay.  So you have a 30 mg dose strength tablet.  We'll refer to that as 30 mgai(for milligrams of dose strength)

 

And that weighs an average weight of 43 mg.  We'll refer to that as 43 mgpw(for 43 milligrams of physical weight)

 

On the Gemini 20 then, this would be seen on your read out as 0.043(the average of physical weights)

Are you seeing the 42 mg to 44 mg as .042 to .043 on your Gem20 readout?  Or .420 to .430?

Just asking as the Gem 20 reads out in grams.

 

And yes, you can work out the 10% decrease from weight(mgpw).

current weight(mgpw) X .90 = a 10% decrease

For reporting purposes, we like you to tell us what you are taking in mgai(or dose strength).

current dose strength(mgai) X .90 =  reflects that same change, of 10%   in dose strength

On 9/2/2019 at 8:55 AM, Albert said:

I guess I thought that the 30 mg tablet would weigh 30 mg.

The actual physical weight of the tablet(s) is most often more than the dose strength(mgai).  That's due to fillers and such.  And that is pretty common.

 

So, do you follow, so far?

Don't let the terms confuse you. 

And keep us posted and updated, as you have been doing.  Thank you.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • 8 months later...

Ok, Three back surgeries in last 6 months and I think those are over and I am home free.  However, this last surgery March 9 2020 was pretty large surgery and I had some post opp nerve pain to deal with as well.  About 6 weeks post opp, Dr started me on Cymbalta 30mg and started me on a 2 week taper completely off of 30 mg Paxil (20 years) while I was also tapering off of opioids.  Said Cymbalta would help with nerve pain.  Well a little over 1 week off of Paxil I started to freak out and he quickly upped dose of Cymbalta to 60 mg.  Landed me in ER twice and he quickly discontinued Cymbalta and put me back on 30 mg of Paxil.  In meantime he also stopped my opioid taper.  I am down to 15 mg of Hydro daily and holding there.  I am learning how powerful the Paxil can be.  I was actually hoping to get off the Paxil at some point as I was wondering if it was still really working.  How long might it take me to stabilize?  I need to continue this opioid drop as I have now been on them for three months even thought I have been tapering. If and when I do stabilize and want to start a taper, I plan to do it slowly.  However, after reading some info here on the site, I wonder if I should even try to get off of Paxil?  I would like to, but will I be able to work as I am tapering?  Will it be complete misery!!!!!  Any advice around my situation would be greatly appreciated!!!! 
MY symptoms:  Severe cognitive and concentration dysfunction, pins and needles , stinging going up sides of my head, severe pressure headaches that come and go quickly, nausea, feeling as if I am slightly drunk, locking jaw / grinding teeth, crawling out of my skin, insomnia.  Thanks

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Mentor

Hi Albert

 

A moderator or administrator will contact you soon on completing your medication history and other information, but I can offer some perspective.  I took Paxil for about seven years before tapering off.  It is a miserable drug to wean.  I reduced about 10 percent each time and waited at least a month to reduce; sometimes longer if I didn't feel ready.  When I was taking it, I found Paxil to be of very limited benefit.  I never felt really great and often felt nothing.  I also gained about 20 pounds but had to desire or drive to lose it.  Looking back, I definitely hit tolerance.  

 

I did work during my taper and withdrawal.  I actually think it helped; I was a manager and responsible to other people, so it forced me out of my own head for nine hours a day.  Going through it seemed like complete hell, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that even during the worst of it, I had good days and really great times with my wife and adolescent son.  Its not all non-stop misery.   My advice would be to adopt and start practicing some CBT or other coping strategies now so you'll be better prepared to handle to symptoms as the arise.  The good news is anyone can recover.  You've come to the right place!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

Wow, thank you for the insight.   That gives me hope that I can get through this.  I do hope a Moderator looks at my case.  Do you happen to feel back to complete normal and much better now that u are off? 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Mentor
1 minute ago, Albert said:

Do you happen to feel back to complete normal and much better now that u are off? 

 

 

Oh yes, absolutely!  But a caveat; you won't be the same person you were before.  And that's a good thing.  I am much more empathetic and thoughtful than I was before I went through withdrawal.  Any major life event changes you; its how you respond that counts.  I still deal with anxiety and OCD but I've come to accept that's just the way I'm made.  I've adopted some management techniques that help me get through the tough times, and I know no matter what they're just feelings and only have the power I allow them 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

How long do u think it will take me to stabilize?  You are very encouraging, you mentioned that you did your taper at 10 percent.  Did u just use a file and little scale as well?  Did u use tablets? 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Mentor

I really can't say how long it'll take you to stabilize, especially since you're dealing with more than one med; it depends when you fell confident enough.  Don't put pressure on yourself to stick to a timeline; its all about readiness and preparation.  Sometimes I'd go a couple months before reducing again.  This a long-term process, but nothing compared to a lifetime off the meds.

 

I used tablets, a pill cutter and a file as appropriate.  I just eyeballed the cut, which in retrospect probably wasn't the smartest method but at the time I didn't know about scales, etc. 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to post

Thanks a bunch for the input 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Albert said:

little scale as well?

Welcome to SA, Albert.

 

Regarding tapering the Paxil, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  You mentioned your need to taper off the opioid, and I wouldn't start a Paxil taper until you've completed that and stabilized.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Paxil, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your 10% taper.  One of the methods is using a scale.  Many members, including myself, used the AWS Gemini scale, available on Amazon.  There are also other methods, including using a liquid, that are discussed in the link.

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, tapered off 40mg of Paxil and is now 3-years Paxil free and doing very well.  Here is his success story.

 

Link to BrassMonkey's success story

 

Here is a link to Brassmonkey's method of tapering, which is a version of the 10% taper.  I'm using this taper method with Lexapro.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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Thanks very much for all of the support.  I really need it now.  Hoping I stabilize soon.  Anyone think it may take longer since I was placed on Cymbalta for 30 days and also just stopped that?  Anyone experiencing very small muscle twitches as a withdrawal as well?   

Is this where I would add my story? I am trying to get used to the site. 

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Mentor
Cocopuffz17

Hey @Albert it is possible to get off paxil and get back to normal or better :) I was on it for 11 years and fast tapered. Do not do it this way. I experienced hell going off this way and would never recommend it. Follow the 10% method and go slower if you body tells you to.  I followed a psychiatrist guided taper of 25% per month for 3 months. It was WAY too fast. But I am doing way better now and able to do things I did not think I was going to be able to do again . 

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!!!! 

2021 - Feb. 12 - 24 months off paroxetine. I have minor challenges now. Tinnitus/Headaches are still around but are reduced by a massive amount. 

 

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  • Mentor
Cocopuffz17
5 minutes ago, Albert said:

Thanks very much for all of the support.  I really need it now.  Hoping I stabilize soon.  Anyone think it may take longer since I was placed on Cymbalta for 30 days and also just stopped that?  Anyone experiencing very small muscle twitches as a withdrawal as well?   

Is this where I would add my story? I am trying to get used to the site. 

Yes, this site has a wealth of information. I was unable to get off through my psychiatrist after 11 years and I am now off after reading and learning what I was going through. I experienced those said muscle twitches and still do to a very slight degree. 

 

Yes, this is your thread. You add whatever you think is necessary to your thread. 

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!!!! 

2021 - Feb. 12 - 24 months off paroxetine. I have minor challenges now. Tinnitus/Headaches are still around but are reduced by a massive amount. 

 

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  • Mentor
5 minutes ago, Albert said:

Anyone experiencing very small muscle twitches as a withdrawal as well?

Hi

 

I can't speak to the mix with Cymbalta but muscle twitches are common in withdrawal.  Its just your hypersensitive CNS struggling to restabilize.  It can be really annoying but isn't permanent .

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • Moderator
15 minutes ago, Albert said:

Anyone think it may take longer since I was placed on Cymbalta for 30 days and also just stopped that?

There's really no way to tell.  But you will stabilize and heal.

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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Thanks for the input.  Once I stabilize and get better, I plan on trying to help others as well.  I just hope I get back to normal ASAP.  I have emergency xanex but have not been taking it because I am still on Hydro.  Anything that will help during this time?  Did anyone get short but chronic bouts of Nausea?  

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator
17 minutes ago, Albert said:

 Anything that will help during this time?

I don't know if they'll help with nausea, but take a look at the links I sent in my first post on magnesium and omegas.  Many find them to be calming.

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Cocopuffz17 said:

Hey @Albert it is possible to get off paxil and get back to normal or better :) I was on it for 11 years and fast tapered. Do not do it this way. I experienced hell going off this way and would never recommend it. Follow the 10% method and go slower if you body tells you to.  I followed a psychiatrist guided taper of 25% per month for 3 months. It was WAY too fast. But I am doing way better now and able to do things I did not think I was going to be able to do again . 

 

1 hour ago, Cocopuffz17 said:

Yes, this site has a wealth of information. I was unable to get off through my psychiatrist after 11 years and I am now off after reading and learning what I was going through. I experienced those said muscle twitches and still do to a very slight degree. 

 

Yes, this is your thread. You add whatever you think is necessary to your thread. 

 

14 minutes ago, Gridley said:

I don't know if they'll help with nausea, but take a look at the links I sent in my first post on magnesium and omegas.  Many find them to be calming.

Thanks, I will get those and give them a try for sure.  

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

Link to post

I have been drinking lots of water.  My Dr actually recommend going back on the Paxil 30 mg ( I did ). Then also staying on 20 mg Cymbalta.  I kind of thought that was a bad idea

Meds: Paroxetine, Hydrocodone, k flex, Xanax, Amatriptline, Gabapentin

1998-Apr 2020 Paroxetine 30mg.  04/20 2-week taper off, 0ff 6 weeks -05/20 reinstated 20mg,  Paroxetine - Cymbalta Cross taper attempt 04/20 - 30mg - Cut CT after 6-7 weeks.   Around 06/19 started Paroxetine taper from 30mg by cutting and eyeballing - By 08/19 symptoms started 09/19 - 04/20 = 3 back surgeries thinking symptoms were spine related.  During that time was on and off opiods after each operation, Gabapentin 300 mg daily for about 6-8 weeks, K flex / Flexeril - once before bedtime 04/19 - 05/20, Xanax as needed for past 3 years - stopped 04/20, ( usually twice per week ), Amatriptline 10mg for aprox 6 weeks = off since aprox 02/20.  Currently Tapered all the way down to 1 mg Hydro daily and 20mg Paroxetine - In severe withdrawals. Was taking .5 Hydro 2 times daily.   Spread it out to 3 then 4 times daily to avoid inter dose withdrawal.   Taking .5 hydroo 4 times daily. - 2mg daily.    Spread Paroxetine to twice daily.  10 mg at 7 am and at 3:00 PM for a total of 20 mg daily.  04/13/2021 Paroxetine 10mg twice daily (total 20mg )  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.  

 

 

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  • Moderator
20 minutes ago, Albert said:

My Dr actually recommend going back on the Paxil 30 mg ( I did ). Then also staying on 20 mg Cymbalta.  I kind of thought that was a bad idea

 

It is very bad idea.  There is a major drug interaction between Paxil and Cymbalta (Duloxetine)..

Interactions between your drugs

Major

Using PARoxetine together with DULoxetine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications

-----------------------

I'm confused about something in your signature: "1st drop = August 14 from 30 to 25"  Does this mean you plan to start tapering Paxil on August 14, with a drop from 30mg to 25mg?  If so, that is faster than we recommend.  Please see the link in my first post to you about tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  A 10% reduction from 30 would put you at 27mg.  The link I gave you, "Tips for tapering off Paxil" tell you how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need.

 

Also in your signature you say: "Plan on doing 10 every 3-4 weeks moving forward"  Does this mean you plan on tapering 10% every 3 to 4 weeks?"  If so, every 3 weeks is too fast.  We recommend every four weeks.   Before I found SA, I tapered Imipramine 10% every three weeks and it caught up with me and caused withdrawal symptoms.

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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 Albert: Major withdrawals landed me in ER / Please help.

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