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Chasers: length of Paxil withdrawal symptoms


Chasers

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How long can Paxil withdrawals last?  I have been completely off Paxil for four weeks. I am still having terrible symptoms. I am wondering if I weaned off too fast. My doctor told me to take reduced pills over a six week period. I experienced a fainting episode. My doctor can find no reason for it. Has anyone else ever had this happen?

2004 Started Paxil 10 mg 1 daily 

March 2019 Started a Wellbutrin XL 150mg

March 2019 started tapering Paxil  (too fast and went back on Paxil)

July 2019 started weaning off Paxil again (decreased 1 pill every week until 0)

Off Paxil 

Still on Wellbutrin 

Having withdrawal symptoms 

 

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Chasers: length of Paxil withdrawal symptoms
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Chasers and welcome to SA,

 

Unfortunately most medical professionals do not understand about withdrawal and tapering psychiatric drugs and reduce the drug too quickly which can result in withdrawal symptoms.   Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist   Withdrawal symptoms from going cold turkey or a very fast taper can last for a long time.  CT and Fast Tapers

 

The only known way to reduce the withdrawal symptoms is to take some of the drug that your brain has adapted to.

 

Please do not take the last dose you took.  It might be too much and could make things much worse.  Because it's only been 4 weeks since you stopped the Paxil, there is a very good chance that reinstating a small amount of the drug will be successful.   Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

It will depend on what your original dose of Paxil and your final dose of Paxil were what dose we would suggest you take.  Please advise if you would like to try reinstating and we can suggest a dose to try.  It is better to start with a small amount and increase it by a small amount if needed.

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

This is what happened to me.  I was taking 100mg Pristiq and started taking 50mg.  Over a 2 week period my brain fog got worse and worse and even walking took my full concentration.  It was at this time that I researched and found SA.  A couple of days after joining SA I was unable to type.  I have been a professional typist for 40+ years so I knew something was wrong.  I decided to take extra Pristiq and after only about 4 hours I was able to type again and the brain fog was lifting.  I had a benchmark so I had proof that it was the lack of drug that caused the brain fog and inability to type.  The difference was like night and day.  I also knew that there was no way that this was wishful thinking etc. 

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Mentor
56 minutes ago, Chasers said:

How long can Paxil withdrawals last?  I have been completely off Paxil for four weeks. I am still having terrible symptoms. I am wondering if I weaned off too fast. My doctor told me to take reduced pills over a six week period. I experienced a fainting episode. My doctor can find no reason for it. Has anyone else ever had this happen?

Way too fast. I followed my doctors directions of 3 months and had a TON of symptoms. They are completely in the dark of withdrawals related to these drugs that they prescribe. You are in the right place though. Tons of knowledge on how to do it properly here! 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
17 minutes ago, Chasers said:

Hi Gardengirl , I am trying to wean off of Paxil  10 mg .  I have been on it for over 20 years. I too am having awful symptoms.  How did you reinstate your Paxil?  In small dosages? I want to try to withdraw again but slower next time .

 

I have seen your post to gardengirl asking her about her taper.  From her drug signature you can see that she has done a Prozac bridge and ended up on a benzo.   She has been on lorazapam from Jul 3 so will now be dependent on it (benzos only take about 2 weeks) and now her psych nurse wants to swap her to clonazepam.

 

Quote

BEGIN TAPER- Jun 19, 2019 began 10 mg paroxetine, 10 mg fluoxetine for one week. Jun 26 20 mg fluoxetine, 5 mg paroxetine for one week. Jul 3- Present 20 mg fluoxetine + lorazepam (0.5 mg) as needed up to 2x/day.

 

If you look at the beginning of her drug signature she has been on various ADs:

 

Quote

Sept 1993 Began paroxetine 20 mg primarily for anxiety- worked like a charm. Aug 1995 tapered over 3 weeks before getting pregnant- great at first, crashed at one month. White knuckled it through 2 miscarriages. Spring 1996 (?) Reinstated paroxetine 20 mg. Spring 2008 tapered off paroxetine over 4 months. Summer 2008 crashed horribly, nearly incapacitated by WD; Summer 2008-Summer 2009 tried 4 different ADs, none as effective as paroxetine.  Summer 2009 Reinstated 20 mg paroxetine, not as effective as previously.

 

Your situation is different to gardengirl's.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Thank you for clarifying. I guess What wanted to know would it be better to reinstate this medication for a period of time and try withdrawal again in a few months or stay off and use a different medication?  The only reason I went of Paxil was because of  low libido and weight gain. It was working fine for me other than that. I wanted to try a different medication that didn’t having those side effects. Is there a medication that can treat both anxiety and depression?  The doctor  had me on Paxil for depression and Wellbutrin for depression .  I’m still on Welbutrin.

2004 Started Paxil 10 mg 1 daily 

March 2019 Started a Wellbutrin XL 150mg

March 2019 started tapering Paxil  (too fast and went back on Paxil)

July 2019 started weaning off Paxil again (decreased 1 pill every week until 0)

Off Paxil 

Still on Wellbutrin 

Having withdrawal symptoms 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Chasers! It sounds like you came off your Paxil way too fast.

 

I know this is a lot to take in, but the truth is, there is a LOT that doctors don't really know or understand about what psychiatric drugs do to people. They especially don't know or understand about what happens when you stop taking meds or change them. 

 

You came off the Paxil much faster than is safe for most people and you are having withdrawal. Please take the time to follow the links in ChessieCat's post. They are full of good information and will help you a lot.

 

This is not a website to get advice on what meds to take for different kinds of problems, so I don't think anyone here will be able to answer your question about that. But this is the best resource in the English-speaking world for how to deal with the withdrawal effects of stopping or switching psych meds and how to taper off them successfully. It usually has to be done much, much slower than doctors say.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thanks for responding and the advice’

2004 Started Paxil 10 mg 1 daily 

March 2019 Started a Wellbutrin XL 150mg

March 2019 started tapering Paxil  (too fast and went back on Paxil)

July 2019 started weaning off Paxil again (decreased 1 pill every week until 0)

Off Paxil 

Still on Wellbutrin 

Having withdrawal symptoms 

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Generally it is best to reinstate the same drug that your brain has adapted to.  Starting a new drug may not cover the withdrawal symptoms from the old drug.  You may end up with withdrawal symptoms from the old drug, and/or start up/side effects/adverse reaction to the new drug.  You will not be able to tell what the issues are and will not be able to work out the cause.

 

It sounds like you might believe the chemical imbalance myth.  It was debunked decades ago but many medical professionals still hold to it.   Please read this topic:  again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please

 

 

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.  

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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

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

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 1 year later...
On 8/26/2019 at 7:38 PM, Chasers said:

How long can Paxil withdrawals last?  I have been completely off Paxil for four weeks. I am still having terrible symptoms. I am wondering if I weaned off too fast. My doctor told me to take reduced pills over a six week period. I experienced a fainting episode. My doctor can find no reason for it. Has anyone else ever had this happen?

I fainted last year, it was my tenth year in withdrawal and this weird pinched nerve type thing in my head cut off oxygen or something, i still havent figured out what it was cause im too debilitated to go to a doctors office, but yes ive experienced fainting, twice actually. The first time i slipped into the fireplace (thank god it was not on)....its very scary and i still havent checked it out with doctor

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  • Administrator

You have other health problems, possibly malnutrition, don't you, Ryguy?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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