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Pawlove: Xanax done, Paxil is next! But when?


Pawlove

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I am a bit hasty in putting that xanax is 'done' since I have one more day on my taper but hey... who's counting?! ME! I am beyond excited that I will have a small break in drawing up liquid poison and putting it in my body 4 times a day to ward off the horrible WD sxs. But feeling empowered and wanting to work towards health I started looking today for help with paxil WD and found this forum! 

 

I am a 68 yo female, married, 2 adult kids, 2 grandkids, 4 rescued doggies, cats TNC. Retired nurse. A lot of physical pain from multiple ortho surgeries including scoliosis surgery with fusion from T2 thru L5 at the age of 45. So pain has been around a while. My drug use started with paxil Rx'd 25+ years ago for mild mood swings pre-menopausal. And I never asked about stopping nor did any of my Drs ever mention it so in my ignorance I popped the pills into my present mess of a situation.

 

I have a very hyper metabolism and after my first surgery knew I could take enough narcotics to drug an elephant and as a small lady, not be sedated at all. Comments were made by medical people... "what do you take at home??" and "why are you awake?". It was embarrassing. Eighteen years ago I broke the fusion, undiagnosed for a long time, and was sent to a pain clinic. Rapidly I was up dosed to 80 mg methadone/day and 30 mg morphine prn. Five years later lyrica was added. Two years ago I was scheduled for another surgery and didn't want to go into it on all those drugs. I did a rapid (no medical support) detox off methadone. As bad as it was, it was a piece of cake compared to things to come. Next, post surgery, I got off lyrica. That was brutal but a few months later, feeling like wonder woman, I stopped my paxil CT. 

 

For the first 2-3 weeks I was OK. Brain zaps, crying jags (that I liked since being numb for so long sucked!) and mood swings but I was good. When the downward spiral started I had no idea it was WD related. I had worked in critical care and never really gave things like ADs any thought. Nausea, vertigo, insomnia, increasing migraines, weakness, fatigue, fluctuating BP, fluctuating heart rate from 38-140s, fainting, increased pain, panic, depression, shortness of breath... I lost 25+ lbs and it was not pretty. When I finally found info about WD from ADs I went immediately back on paxil. I was a mess and my Dr was clueless. But by then I was also on xanax. When the paxil got into my system and the sxs faded away I had a pancreas that no longer worked and a physical addiction to xanax, much to my shock. Four days after stopping the xanax CT I was going down the tubes once again and found benzo buddies and went back on xanax to taper.

 

I started my liquid taper of the xanax in early June and will take the last micro doses tomorrow! When I was on daily methadone for 15 years I had no side effects from anything. Of course I was just swallowing pills and getting no pain relief but sheer terror that perhaps there was some gigantic agony beneath the narcotics kept me returning to the pain clinic. I had the morphine as needed and it did work because I seldom took it. But I knew I did not need the daily methadone. Oddly enough, when I got off that med I suddenly started having side effects from lyrica that I had been taking for 10 years. Plus a new and severe, totally disabling pain. I finally got off lyrica (anyone wanting a hint on that, let me know because an odd trick that I tried worked there that hasn't been successful for any other WD, dog gone it!) and thought I was doing OK. So after stopping a statin I went for the paxil which is where I started this discussion. I am certain that my benzo WD would not have been nearly as hard had I not been through the other stuff, especially the months of paxil WD torment. Poor brain!

 

I do plan to take a break and allow myself to heal before I start the paxil WD but I am anxious to get information and have a plan. For the xanax WD I used a 1:1 alcohol/water taper. It was easy, I didn't have to discard any pills and the mix would last for days and even weeks without a problem. I used 1/2 of the recommended amount of alcohol to make the mix and then diluted the individual doses again with more water so the alcohol was never a problem. I chose to stay on xanax rather than switch to valium for a couple of reasons so I dosed 4 times a day. I would like to know if anyone has ideas about how long to heal between WDs? I still have so much physical pain and do take morphine as needed (never 2 days in a row) if there is a family event. Since detoxing off methadone all narcotics give me a migraine so it's a trade off but I don't want to miss everything with my family and the migraine is hours later so I can plan my pain. Maybe a rationalization? Of course when I do take morphine the benzo WD sxs subside. But on a regular day I am struggling with waves of anorexia, a lot of pain, fatigue, migraines, skin burning, insomnia (I have an Rx for ambien, also on my hit list), some anxiety, mood swings... the stuff everyone mentions. I managed the severity of the sxs but I am far from healed. The thread here about waves and windows was exactly as I feel! When I am bad I think I have always been bad and will always be bad. When I am in a window I think I am "cured" and will never take another pain med and can go all day and do everything. Then zap- I'm down again. Toss in the crazy pancreas mess and I can feel defeated at times. 

 

So that's my story. Since I know healing can take months and years from benzos, how quickly do I think about stressing my body to taper paxil? And should I do a liquid taper or buy a scale? I feel like my control has been very concise and accurate with xanax and shaving bits off a pill seems less so. It isn't an issue for me to discard parts of a paxil dose. The increased awareness of narcotics in general is a good thing, but the downside-  I read so many sad stories of people on BB who had been given benzos for years and were suddenly cut off by the same Dr who no longer wanted to Rx a controlled substance and had no idea about WD. I feared my Dr doing that and hoarded my pills to get through the taper. That won't be a problem with paxil since big pharma and mainstream medicine have a cash cow in SSRIs and in my lifetime that won't change. 

 

Thank you ahead of time to anyone who can offer some advice. I look forward to reading and planning and hopefully being support for others on the same journey! 

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Pawlove.

 

I heading out of town in a few minutes but I wanted to get you started.

 

Three months is a good break between tapers.  See how you're feeling though and go by your body.

 

Liquid or pills are equally fine in tapering Paxil.  One of our moderators, Brassmonkey, tapered off 40mg Paxil using the scale with no problems.  At the very low doses the scale is not accurate but by that point you're very low.


The GEMINI-20 Scale

 

Using a digitalscale to measure doses

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

This link is specifically about tapering Paxil, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need:

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every 4 weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Another taper, a little slower but gentler, is this:

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

Edited by manymoretodays
removed white space

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins 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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Hi Gridley!

 

Thank you SO much for the reply! I will have plenty to study while I take my break and I look forward to healing and to planning. It is beyond reassuring to have the support and experience of others to make an informed decision this time. I had never had any side effects from paxil all those years, other than wishing I could cry easier.  I was a very happy., positive person. I was on a roll with the other WDs and decided to see how being off paxil would feel. Now I am hyper sensitive to so much stuff that never caused a problem when I was on all those meds. It was a domino effect. I certainly don't think I would've been better off staying on all those drugs but I know I would be much better off if I had approached the WDs slowly and with knowledge. 

 

Thanks again!

 

Pawlove

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/18343-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Welcome, Pawlove,

 

(Above is a link to the information about how to post your “drug signature.”  I’m not sure it can be done from a phone.  You might need an iPad at least or a laptop/desktop.)

 

Congrats in your Xanax taper!!  I’m very glad to see you coming here in good shape - not in miserable WD — and being aware of the issues!!! Oh, well, I read more carefully.  You are suffering.  I’m so sorry.

 

You are in the right place!  I CT’d, so I can’t help with a taper, but you will find a lot of people here who can.  Best of luck to you!!

 

Yours,

Rosetta

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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Thank you so much for the comment, Rosetta! It feels weird to be told I'm in good shape :) and also to not be thinking taper today. That's not true- I have thought about it a lot but just not taking taper! I am so thankful for SA! I will be lurking in the background while I get in better shape and seeking advice before I start the new taper but it is definitely a great place to start- with info! 

 

How long did it take you to heal after you CT'd? I hate to admit how ignorant I was when I quit paxil and I am just thankful, looking back, that I didn't have a huge kindling issue. A word I had only heard from starting a real wood fire before finding benzo buddies! I was in such a horrible mess that  4 months after stopping and deciding maybe it was all from paxil and  googled stopping paxil and found some horror stories I panicked. I had been on 20 mg of paxil for over 25 years and when I read the stories I immediately took 40 mg! Then the next day I thought maybe I would come out on the other side and not have to take it so I took none. The next day I again took 40 mg! Obviously I had gotten no advice, just dark stories. Thank goodness on day 4 I started back at 20 mg and it was actually pretty fast, all things considered, how quickly the horrible sxs went away. The worst stuff in 2-3 weeks and then gradually the not so bad stuff. But I was so uninformed and will be in a much better place this time. What a trip it is! Thanks for your encouragement!!!

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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A very long time.  I’m still healing, of course, but I can live a fairly normal life.  Mostly, I’m just glad I’m still here to live it, and I feel so much better that I can deal with the symptoms much better.

 

If you want to alert someone to something you wrote type the @ symbol and then the first few letters of the person’s name.  A drop down will appear with a lot of names on it.  Choose the person’s name.  After that the name will be highlighted in your text and the person will get a notification to see your comment. 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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Thank you for the info. I'm not tech savvy so all help along that line is appreciated. I had the best day in months yesterday but today is a struggle again so I know this is a long process. I see you did a lot of tapering in 2016 and 2017 so you have been healing a while. All the physical stuff that benzos can cause has been my biggest shock. But my WD from paxil was so horrible with BP and heart rate issues along with SO much more so I am a little scared of starting paxil again. But I was a bit scared of the benzo WD too so I guess I'm basically a chicken when it comes to wondering what's next. Fear of the unknown is worse than the actual issue most of the time.Not always of course. Some days are bad for all of us and we get to the next one. Yesterday was the first time I've felt like my old self in a long time. Not slogging along. So I am thankful for that window and it gives me hope. 

 

 

@Rosetta

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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I’m glad you had a good day.  Make sure you write it down — all about it do that you can remember it later.  Here’s to many more!

Rosetta

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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Hello,  Welcome to SA!

 

I would highly suggest following the 10% method or even slower. I followed my docs advice and came off in 3 months. It was brutal... I am almost a year Paxil free now! I just had a massive window....so refreshing :):). The last couple days I have had a decent size wave. Just need time to pass and get me through this! 

 

Everyday that passes is one day closer to being healed. 

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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Cocopuffz17, thanks so much for your input! Do you mind my asking why you got off paxil? Once I get the mechanics of the web site figured out I can probably find your story and if you can link me to that it would be great. 

 

Thanks for the welcome!

 

@Cocopuffz17

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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15 minutes ago, Pawlove said:

Cocopuffz17, thanks so much for your input! Do you mind my asking why you got off paxil? Once I get the mechanics of the web site figured out I can probably find your story and if you can link me to that it would be great. 

 

Thanks for the welcome!

 

@Cocopuffz17

 

You are welcome.

 

I got off paxil as my health continually was getting worse... I had so many tests done on me and they all came back negative, so the doctors had no reasoning for what was happening to my body. About 8 years ago I had a 2 week battle with erythema multiforme, all I got from doctors was that we don't know what causes it. I now know it was caused by poor nutrition and long term use of this medication(it wreaks absolute havoc on the GI tract. I had to take iron supplements for almost 8 years to have energy, now I take none and have way better energy than I did on supplements). Around 4 years ago I lost all my hair on my head, known as alopecia areata. I went into a deeper depression when this happened. Once again doctors told me that they don't know why this happens. I did not take that for an answer. I learned more and more about it and realized from numerous conversations with alot of people who were on long term SSRI's have had autoimmune conditions. I changed my nutrition and noticed really good results. I have almost completely reversed my alopecia in the past year and have had energy that I never knew possible..... and guess what.... the original reasoning I went on medication was for massive panic attacks and they have not came back, so that blows the chemical imbalance theory out to lunch. The emotional blunting I went through on the drug that became "normal" to me after being on it for so long was also a massive relief to feel emotions again. It feels so good to cry after not being able to cry for so long. It feels amazing to feel emotions that I could of very well gone through my whole life with them being blunts as I was told that Paxil would be "vitamin I need daily for the rest of my life". 

 

Here is the link to my alopecia progress. I have kept good pictures of the progress. https://www.alopeciaworld.com/forum/topics/aa-for-3-4-years-partial-au-for-1-2-years-i-have-100-regrowth-on

 

Here is my link to my thread. I do not believe  I went through the reasoning why I came off meds in there, maybe I did. 

 

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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Hi Cocopuffz17,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply with your story! I can't tell you how much it meant to me because it gives strength to my resolve to get off paxil. Your journey is absolutely incredible and I know you must be so proud of where you are now, compared to before. I have such a disdain for medicine now and wish I lived where I could see an ND but it's not an option. It's amazing seeing how you took your health into your own hands and with nutrition and the paxil WD you've made such a turn around. I'm going back and studying the link and the pictures when I finish writing.

 

 My mood swings pre-menopausal that were the reason for my Rx were actually pretty mild. I was working in critical care as a nurse and the frustration with certain Drs was probably one of the biggest issues I was dealing with. I am married and our 2 kids were teens at the time but nothing major was going on there. My sisters-in-law were  both on SSRIs and so were so many people I knew at work. When my GYN offered me the SSRI for the mood swings initially I said no. I got so upset one day at work at a stupid thing a Dr had done that I really thought I was going to say some things that I would be sorry for and I went to the phone, called my GYN and got the Rx. It did take the edge off but as you, I was definitely blunted as far as crying. But happy and overall good for a long time.

 

I won't go into all the ortho surgeries, pain clinic and everything after that other than to say I found I have a very high tolerance for meds and had my pain not caused such fear I would never have allowed myself to get in the mess I was in with 15 years of high dose methadone and prn morphine and also 10 years of lyrica. I feared that underneath all that narcotic junk there might be agony if I stopped. It was beyond stupid and when I would ask at the pain clinic how I knew I was just feeding a physical addiction and not helping my pain at all since I still had a lot of pain, I only got glares. I had no help detoxing off  methadone but had almost finished that process when I had to have a hip replacement. I finished the methadone detox 3 weeks later and after a few weeks I was the best I had been in 15 years, for 2 months. Then I had a sudden onset of severe debilitating pain across the bottom of my buttocks. I did not want to take pain meds and had every test know to medicine. During that time, still in bed, I started having side effects from lyrica never experienced in the past. That taper was brutal and I wonder if even 1 1/2 years later some of my neuro sxs are from that. Once I was clear of that I had been getting numerous prolotherapy injections with mixed results, then platelet injections and finally stem cell injections from first my calf and then hip. All that cost a fortune but I was beyond desperate to not be back on pain meds. 

 

Just before the first stem cell injections I decided to stop paxil to see how I felt. Oh- I had also stopped my statin since it can cause pain. My research on all this was almost nil. I was shooting in the dark and that is my biggest mistake, other than ever getting on all that stuff to start with. I was so sick from the paxil CT and didn't know why. When I went for the 1st stem cell injections I was too weak and nauseated to sit in the waiting room. When they put the oxygen saturation pleth on me it said my heart rate was 38. Being a thin, hyper person my baseline is normally 80s. They checked me and that was correct- HR 30s. My main fear was being sent away and not getting the injections. The MD did IVs and I was there all day. My HR went up but my BP was all over the place. I then fainted a few weeks later. It was downhill from there emotionally and physically. Getting back on paxil did resolve all those issues but my pain was still so bad. I was dx'd with SI joint dysfunction and scheduled for surgery last April but had torn my rotator cuff and couldn't use a walker and cancelled the surgery and I am so glad I did. I don't think it would've helped. I know this is too long and TMI but I wanted to give you some of the story. My BP was very elevated when my pain was severe and by then I had started having some bad GI issues and had lost 25 lbs and my hair was falling out. I could not sleep but was too weak to do anything even when my pain was not severe. So I was given an Rx for xanax and morphine prn which I only had filled twice. My gut pain got so bad I finally had all the GI tests and was finally diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency where my pancreas doesn't make enzymes and I had not been getting all the oil soluble vitamins. It took weeks to feel better and get any energy and by then I had been on xanax for 4 months. So I stopped the xanax and crashed. It took 8 months to taper off the xanax after only 4 months use.

 

My hair has stopped falling out but I have had to go up on the dose of the enzymes twice and have so few answers. The scope showed no pancreatitis, blockages, etc but my gut pain is getting worse and I have no appetite. My best friend from BB has given me hope that as I heal from the benzo WD that my pancreas may resume working again. Your note is the first time I have read any information about issues like GI problems, autoimmune etc from SSRIs. I am once again stunned! My GI Dr gives me no answers about the EPI and there isn't a lot of help on line. He says he doesn't know why my pancreas isn't working, he didn't think I would have to increase my dose a 2nd time but I did and the enzymes cost a small fortune. My first Rx, with insurance, for 22 days worth if I had actually eaten 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, was $1,130! I cried and contacted Canadian Rxs and insurance options.... I just eat 2 times a day now and seldom snack. The cost of the Rx went down each month and I have a new plan that I haven't tried yet but I have no answers. I don't understand why my pancreas is sitting there, looking basically normal and getting a vacation from making enzymes and it hurts! After your note I wonder if the paxil has messed up my entire system! When I had such a horrible WD last time I wondered if I had been on it so long that I had caused a "need" in my brain that I would have to accept. I know- I should've researched but thought I had fried my poor brain and it had no hope of "normal". Your note has given me hope that maybe I can get off the paxil but I know it will have to be slow.

 

Did you do a dry cut or a liquid taper? I will have to look into all those options. I did an alcohol/water taper with xanax. The control was so precise and I used half the recommended alcohol to dissolve my pills and it still lasted for as long as I needed and I didn't detect a loss of potency. Since I got to a tiny dose of xanax and then jumped I have had an increase in headaches and migraines that is not slowing. Daily, all hours of the day and night. I take excedrin and/or imitrex and two weeks ago my BB friend said she had found info about issues with taking imitrex and paxil together. Good grief! I have been having so much trouble with the migraines that I haven't even read the info she sent. Head in the sand! I have taken both imitrex and paxil for decades but since I am having new issues I have tried to limit the imitrex. What a mess these drugs are! 

 

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to be so helpful. I am taking the advice to wait at least 3 months between tapers so I will have time to learn a lot this time before starting. When I started the xanax taper I was having horrible sxs from once again doing a CT and in a bad mental place so I feel really blessed to not be in that situation with this taper. 

 

@Cocopuffz17

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

Link to post

Thanks! I really appreciate it! It is tough to feel proud of it when I am currently in a wave. But yes... when I have windows I am beyond excited and super pumped!!!  Yea, it is unfortunate that I went to doctors for over a decade and never once was my nutrition or AD questioned. I know if I did not change my nutrition I would of not been able to get off of this crap. 

 

Yes, this drug effects serotonin and that is found in abundance in the gut. I didn't realize how constipated I was on paroxetine until I came off of it after 11 years on it and had normal bowel movements. They actually prescribe this medication for IBS to slow down gut motility.....and now that explains why I got constipated as I had normal bowel movements before and got constipated on it. Paxil is a very powerful drug, thus the reason there are so many side effects coming off. There are serotonin receptors everywhere in the body. By far the fatigue,tinnitus and headaches are what have been the most relentless. It is like night and day some days. Everyday that I am in WDs I know it is my body fighting to get back to normal! 

 

I dry cut mine. I was a fast taper and would advise the precise liquid tapering at a slow rate, which you already stated, that's great! Yea, take the taper as slow as your body needs.There is definitely no hurry in this. 

 

@Pawlove

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. 

 

Link to post

I have repeatedly asked for nutrition advice for my EPI from the GI Dr and his office and have gotten nothing but take the enzymes with food. The advice on line is contradictory and no one can tell me a fat free diet would ever be healthy, as some advise. So I'm on my own there, as most of us find ourselves in taking care of our health. No one, in 25 years, ever asked if I still needed the paxil or if I was having side effects from it. And I was totally go-with-the-flow passive. I am sorry you are in a wave. For some reason I thought the comment about the wave was from the July 2, 2019 post and did not realize it was current. I hope things are much better soon of course. 

 

@Cocopuffz17

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

Link to post
3 hours ago, Pawlove said:

I have repeatedly asked for nutrition advice for my EPI from the GI Dr and his office and have gotten nothing but take the enzymes with food. The advice on line is contradictory and no one can tell me a fat free diet would ever be healthy, as some advise. So I'm on my own there, as most of us find ourselves in taking care of our health. No one, in 25 years, ever asked if I still needed the paxil or if I was having side effects from it. And I was totally go-with-the-flow passive. I am sorry you are in a wave. For some reason I thought the comment about the wave was from the July 2, 2019 post and did not realize it was current. I hope things are much better soon of course. 

 

@Cocopuffz17

 

Yea, it’s messed that the docs never think to blame the issue on long term medication use. The view is changing though, which is good. In the future treatment will be more focused on nutrition than on giving medications for absolutely everything. 
 

Thanks these waves are very mild to the down right **** storm I went through for 5-7 months. I will get through it! 
 

Everyday that passes is one day closer to being healed! 

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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  • 7 months later...

I've been away for what feels like forever. And it has been over 8 months. And so much has happened. My mom died in Feb, my daughter and her family moved back here and covid has hit and all that goes with that. In the meantime, my pain was so severe that I was back to taking morphine when it was too awful. I would stay in bed to keep from taking it 2 days in a row and that led to a terrible quality of life. About 6 weeks ago I was finally able to try Low Dose Naltrexone and it has been a miracle. It took about 3 weeks to help and since then I have gotten better and better. I added CBD oil with the LDN every night and I have not been able to function this well in years! I have really been careful with diet so my pancreas doesn't give me too much trouble and I was able, in the last 3 weeks or so, to stop both the morphine and nightly ambien. I had gone from 10 mg of ambien to 2.5 mg and once my pain was controlled I am sleeping fine without it.

 

So.... now I am wanting to get info about stopping paxil. I see everyone says a very slow taper is best. I have no problem with that since my failed CT was so horrible. Do most people use a liquid (is there one?) , melt the pills (water? milk?) or use a scale for dry cuts? I did a water/alcohol micro taper with xanax but don't want to use any alcohol this time. And I am not sure my Dr is going to be agreeable with any plan to get off paxil since I was so sick from wd last time. So if there is a liquid form of generic paxil he may not want to help me. He is basically clueless about wd and your typical big pharma Dr. He would not let me try LDN- I found an on line Dr to do that and wish I had known about her 2 years ago. But we can't go back. So looking forward, if I cut 10% a month off the current dose, or as tolerated- slower is fine- do most people have bad waves with such a slow process? I had some really bad times with both lyrica and xanax. Of course narcotics like methadone and morphine are pretty linear and much easier in so many ways than the ADs, benzos, etc. I'll be 70 in a few months. This may sound nuts but I am measuring the benefits of getting off and wd against the years I may have left, as far as being functional. I feel like many of the sxs I presently have could be R/T paxil- gut, neuro, etc but emotionally I am great. Do I mess with that? The months of wd over the last 2 years have been a blur and I am in a really good place. I guess this sounds all over the place, that I'm talking myself out of trying. That's not the case but I want to have the best quality of life and improve my health by being drug free. No easy way to do that I know. Sheesh! I am talking in circles!!! I may wait until after the holidays to start a paxil taper or cut 10% and hold for a month or 2 and see how it goes. Any advice would be much appreciated. 

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Pawlove: Xanax done, Paxil is next! But when?
  • Mentor

Hi @Pawlove

 

I read your thread about your Xanax taper and just wondered how you were doing now? I just took my last Xanax dose September 18. Having some symptoms but nothing that I can’t manage.

 

I wanted to let you know I’m going to tag Brassmonkey and see if he can help you with your Paxil taper. He is an expert at this and tapered off 40 mg himself. He has a slide method that works really well.

 

Congratulations on getting off your meds. That is wonderful!
 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

 

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Mentor

@brassmonkey

 

I hope you can read this and help her set up tapering on her Paxil. You are the expert at this and I think she would benefit doing the Brassmonkey Slide.

 

Thank you!

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Moderator

Hi pawlove-- congratulations on getting off the all the different drugs. It sounds like you are in a pretty good place now. It would be helpful if you could give some more details on your daily symptom patterns, what happens and when it happens. It helps give us a better picture of how to proceed. We have a large number of members who have lengthy life experience and are having no problem tapering because of it.  In fact they seem to do better over all because of it. I'm not far behind you and fully understand your "preplanning". It's a pretty normal aspect we have to consider. In my view it is so worth it. My ex-doctor still thinks that I'm taking 40mg of paxil, but I've been drug free for over three years now. That's one reason he is now my ex doctor.

 

Paxil has a bad reputation for being a hard drug to taper. We have members on both sides of it, my taper went quite smoothly, while others are struggling. If a person starts from a place of stability and mild symptoms things seem to go more smoothly.  Are you still taking the xanax? If you could fill in a signature block it would really help us keep track of the details.

 

There are several different options for doing a taper. First is to directly reduce the paxil.  This can be done by either dry cutting or liquid. Yes liquid paxil is available but you need a prescription and have to do a cross taper to change from tablets to liquid. Some people can't tolerate the liquid and have to do the dry cut method. We have lots of instructions on both methods.  The second  method is to cross taper from paxil to prozac, stabilize on the prozac and then taper that. They aren't directly replaceable, but are chemically related with the prozac being much easier to taper. We have mixed success with this technique. One of our moderators Erell is just completing the process of switching over.

 

My personal favorite is the Brassmonkey Slide Method. We are having very excellent results with it across the board, with a lot of members using it on different drugs. It involves reducing the drug by 2.5% a week for four weeks and the holding an additional two weeks. This gives a total reduction of 10% every six weeks. It also reduces the symptom load associated with a direct 10% cut, so symptoms are more manageable. Many of our members report very mild symptom loads as they taper.

 

Which ever method you chose it is going to be a fairly long and sometimes frustrating process. All of the moderation staff has or is going through it so we fully understand how you can feel and the different symptoms that will crop up, but we are here to support. This is a lot of information and it refers back to the links that Gridley gave you earlier. They will produce a lot of questions so feel free to  ask away.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

It would be helpful if you could give some more details on your daily symptom patterns, what happens and when it happens. It helps give us a better picture of how to proceed.

 

Please see:

 

Keep Notes on Paper

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

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.

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Thank you so much for the replies. I like the idea of 2.5% cuts and then the hold. I will do the signature and the notes and make a plan. Do the people who do dry cuts use a scale? I will need to order that.

 

To answer the question about xanax- no, I have not had any since my taper ended Jan 20 of this year. I don't know what my sxs are from since I recently stopped ambien and have EPI that messes my system up so much. How much is from Paxil is an unknown. I have some skin burning, fatigue, headaches, random pains like under my ribs, neck, jaws. Headaches are probably my most frequent problem and I had migraines before starting any of the many drugs I was given. I am overall in a good place both emotionally and physically. I have days that are wavy- yesterday was very hard because I had pretty bad abdominal pain and nausea. But the wave days are getting fewer and farther apart. :) 

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

Link to post
PerAsperaAdAstra

Hi @Pawlove! I can wholeheartedly recommend doing the Brassmonkey slide method. I use that method to taper off the Paxil and until now it has been very mild and really manageable. 

I use dry cutting with a scale. Many people here have the Gemini scale, which is a good one I think. There are several useful posts here about the Brassmonkey slide method, using a scale and so on.

 

I wish you the best of luck with tapering. Tapering benzos and then tapering Paxil isn't a small feat!

Antidepressant history

2001 - 2018: Paxil / seroxat (20 mgs), several failed c/t and taper attempts.

2018-September: last failed c/t attempt.

2018-October: reinstated Paxil (30 mgs)

2018-October thru 2019-January: Short-term Oxazepam & Diazepam use. Tapered off very slowly. Jumped 10Jan2019.

 

Brassmonkey Slide Method stats

Started taper in 2020-03-28. Currently in week 1 of slide 9. Down to 12,5912 mgai / 0,1499 mgpw. 58,03% done. 

 

Supplements: C, D, Magnesium, NMN, PQQ+CoQ10

Miscellaneous: low on alcohol (1/2 times/year). No substance abuse. Lower carb diet with cheat days. Wim Hof Method. Buteyko. Calisthenics. Hiking.

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  • Moderator
51 minutes ago, Pawlove said:

I like the idea of 2.5% cuts and then the hold.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins 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

Thank you so much for the link and the info. I will look for a Gemini scale. I had a buddy on the benzo forum who was using a scale and he found that if his batteries got low the weights were not accurate so it scared me. But overall I feel better about dry cutting than I do with trying to make a liquid and have the med dispersed well enough to pull out the right amount without an alcohol base. So... dry cut it is. I had actually tried to find the brass monkey info from another post several days ago and it was no longer available so I am so glad to get the link.

 

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...

Could I be in tolerance to paxil?

 

I am trying to get familiar with the forum and get some input. I sent a PM about this and have located my messages- yay!- and then thought I would see what I can find out here. I have gotten off methadone, morphine, lyrica, xanax and ambien in the last 2 and a half years. I was back on morphine as well until a month or so ago and since starting on low dose naltrexone I have been able to get off the morphine. I stopped ambien at the same time.  I had no side effects from being on high doses of narcotics for over 15 years or lyrica for 10. I knew the narcotics were not helping and I hated taking them so that was where I started. Once off those I had severe sxs from lyrica and had to wd from it. I was so stoked about that and wanted to be drug free so did a CT from paxil that I had been on for over 20 years. It was a nightmare and I didn't even connect the sxs with the paxil for 4 months when I looked it up and reinstated. That was almost 2 years ago. 

 

At the same time I was sick for months with EPI, a pancreas condition where I don't make enzymes and was losing weight, hair falling out, constant diarrhea, gut pain, fainting, weak... rotten sick. And anxious. So xanax was started. After my dx of EPI I tapered off xanax- jumped Jan 20 of this year. But I was still in so much pain  (scoliosis surgery/rods from T2 thru L5, hip replacement, arthritis) and on ambien and back on morphine. After LDN my life has totally turned around as far as pain and being able to be active and off narcotics. But I am still having waves and sxs. Trying to figure out why is hopeless as far as trying to do the same things that seemed to help. But we know it's not linear. Recently some weird sxs have started that I wonder if they could be from tolerance to paxil. I was put on it for really mild mood swings pre-menopause. No one mentioned getting off and I was passive and stayed on it. Why rock the boat, right? Duh! 

 

I have been dizzy, fatigued and vomited earlier this week. I have almost never thrown up in all my nearly 70 years. That didn't concern me as much as the continued spells of being off balance and weak. I feel like I have a pressure cap on my head and have had some random pains and mild skin burning. Also some times of agitation and restless legs at night. About the same time I started having what I will delicately refer to as "hormonal" dreams. Four different nights in the last 2 weeks. I've never taken hormones post-menopause and know this isn't the usual for my age. I'm not complaining about it ( *blush* ) but wonder what in the world is going on with my brain and hormones. Could it be that my body has had a domino thing going on where once one drug was removed the others caused all kinds of issues? It sure seemed that way. I started this note last night and actually feel much better today. Much less weak and dizzy. I haven't been off ambien and morphine long enough to say I've healed from those but if I am in tolerance with paxil I see no reason not to start the taper. I don't even know if that's possible- the tolerance. I read where people say their SSRI no longer helps with anxiety or depression but I had neither of those when I started mine and other than extreme anxiety when I stopped my paxil CT and when I was so sick that has also not been an issue, thank goodness. I have been pretty blessed. Thanks for any input. And sorry about the dreams info- I am married and have a normal .... life :) with a normal husband and the dreams are just plain strange. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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I've gone to the Brassmonkey scale and put in my dose and that I want to do a total reduction of 10%. Is that right? I've never worked with a spread sheet before. As I said- I'm old and tech is not my strong suit. Also, in shopping at Amazon I was looking at scales. I see that the Gemini scale is much more expensive than this one: 

 

 

This one has good reviews but I didn't know if it would do what I need it to do. I can save money somewhere else if it comes down to getting this right.  Thank you for your help! 

 

@brassmonkey

Edited by brassmonkey
Removed Link per OP Request

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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  • Moderator

@Pawlove


 

Yes, the total reduction over 4 weeks is 10% followed by a 2-week hold.

 

I also did the dry-cutting method.

 

I don't know about the other scale.  I used the Gemini, as did Brassmonkey.

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins 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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  • Moderator

That scale should work fine. It doesn't weigh as small a weight as the Gemini-20 (0.006 vs. 0.004) but by the time you get down to that weight you would be changing over to the Endgame Taper method so it wouldn't be a problem.

 

Would you please give a link to the spreadsheet that you are using. There have been some problems reported and I want to make sure it is behaving properly.

 

Yes, you would enter 10% as the desired reduction and the spreadsheet will break it into the proper weekly parts.

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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That sounds good, if the scale will work OK. Here's the spreadsheet link:

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pw4tjImAJ92OIVyRvZoZYjqxiKMk7wvp-ljiIi1olRo/edit#gid=246292188

 

Thanks again! :)

@brassmonkey

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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  • Administrator

Hello, @Pawlove

 

STOP EVERYTHING

 

Tapering with a liquid is far easier and less error-prone than dry-cutting and weighing with a scale. Paroxetine comes in a prescription liquid. Ask your heath plan if it is covered. If not, you can make your own liquid with tablets fairly easily. This is described in Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

To gradually cross over to liquid, you probably will want to take part of your daily dose in tablet form and part in liquid in the initial phase of your taper.

 

Taper by weighing powder or fragments with a scale if you have no other choice.

 

Please let us know if you have more questions.

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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  • Administrator
On 10/10/2020 at 7:04 AM, Pawlove said:

I have been dizzy, fatigued and vomited earlier this week. I have almost never thrown up in all my nearly 70 years. That didn't concern me as much as the continued spells of being off balance and weak. I feel like I have a pressure cap on my head and have had some random pains and mild skin burning. Also some times of agitation and restless legs at night. About the same time I started having what I will delicately refer to as "hormonal" dreams. Four different nights in the last 2 weeks. I've never taken hormones post-menopause and know this isn't the usual for my age. I'm not complaining about it ( *blush* ) but wonder what in the world is going on with my brain and hormones. Could it be that my body has had a domino thing going on where once one drug was removed the others caused all kinds of issues? It sure seemed that way. I started this note last night and actually feel much better today. Much less weak and dizzy. I haven't been off ambien and morphine long enough to say I've healed from those but if I am in tolerance with paxil I see no reason not to start the taper. I don't even know if that's possible- the tolerance. I read where people say their SSRI no longer helps with anxiety or depression but I had neither of those when I started mine and other than extreme anxiety when I stopped my paxil CT and when I was so sick that has also not been an issue, thank goodness.

 

Yes, a series of drug changes can set you up for an odd symptom pattern. This may not be related to Paxil.

 

Did you add any drugs in advance of the vomiting? What is the status of your pancreas condition? Have you discussed the vomiting with your doctors.

 

Please put ALL your current drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php
and copy and paste the results or a link to them in this topic.

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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Hi Altostrata. Thanks for the info. No new meds and I am now on only paxil, enzymes and will take imitrex for migraines when needed but not recently. Oh, and LDN. I didn't mention the vomiting to my dr. I felt like maybe I had a bug but if I did it was mild compared to some I've had. I feel much better. Of course it could've been a wave from benzo wd and having come off ambien as well on 8/16. I have ordered a scale to start a very slow paxil taper. I can't help but wonder if some of my gut sxs are caused by the decades of paxil. My pancreas (EPI) is managed well most of the time with Rx enzymes. They cost a fortune- the first month was over $1000 so I am praying my pancreas will heal as I heal. Who knows? I am very careful with diet as well and had  stopped my statin almost 2 years and had a perfect liver profile recently so all that is good. I am having so many more good days than bad. No dizziness or nausea in days now. :)  

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

Link to post

Hi Altostrata. Thanks for the info. No new meds and I am now on only paxil, enzymes and will take imitrex for migraines when needed but not recently. Oh, and LDN. I didn't mention the vomiting to my dr. I felt like maybe I had a bug but if I did it was mild compared to some I've had. I feel much better. Of course it could've been a wave from benzo wd and having come off ambien as well on 8/16. I have ordered a scale to start a very slow paxil taper. I can't help but wonder if some of my gut sxs are caused by the decades of paxil. My pancreas (EPI) is managed well most of the time with Rx enzymes. They cost a fortune- the first month was over $1000 so I am praying my pancreas will heal as I heal. Who knows? I am very careful with diet as well and had  stopped my statin almost 2 years and had a perfect liver profile recently so all that is good. I am having so many more good days than bad. No dizziness or nausea in days now. :)  

 

Well, I thought this was sent but when I tried to reply again it came back.... I didn't see your note about making a liquid before replying here but did look at all the info and will think about making a water mix. I used alcohol/water with my xanax and used half the recommended alcohol. I've become more sensitive to alcohol but will look at the water mix. With the alcohol/water I would make a big batch and use it for days without problem. With the water alone I assume I would make it as I need it? With xanax I was afraid I might not have enough to last to go as slowly as I wanted so I used every drop. My Dr was happy to keep giving me more so that was an unnecessary fear. 

 

@Altostrata 

 

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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1 hour ago, Pawlove said:

Hi Altostrata. Thanks for the info. No new meds and I am now on only paxil, enzymes and will take imitrex for migraines when needed but not recently. Oh, and LDN. I didn't mention the vomiting to my dr. I felt like maybe I had a bug but if I did it was mild compared to some I've had. I feel much better. Of course it could've been a wave from benzo wd and having come off ambien as well on 8/16. I have ordered a scale to start a very slow paxil taper. I can't help but wonder if some of my gut sxs are caused by the decades of paxil. My pancreas (EPI) is managed well most of the time with Rx enzymes. They cost a fortune- the first month was over $1000 so I am praying my pancreas will heal as I heal. Who knows? I am very careful with diet as well and had  stopped my statin almost 2 years and had a perfect liver profile recently so all that is good. I am having so many more good days than bad. No dizziness or nausea in days now. :)  

 

I would say 100% your gut issues are caused by paxil use. I had many issues arise while on paxil that I didn't connect the dots to it being from years of paxil use. I use to have to supplement to just stay awake, was extremely constipated on paxil and had autoimmune conditions arise from being on it. I now have none of those. I credit alot of it to changing my nutrition to being able to get off paxil. You can do it!! Slow and steady wins the race!  

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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Hi @Cocopuffz17! That's exciting that getting off paxil has meant you are so much better, gut-wise. And probably in a ton of other ways too. My gut issues were always more diarrhea. I hope I am not getting some slowing down from the paxil because I would hate to see where I am if I "loosen up". That will not keep me from doing it, tho. I will admit that I haven't even told my husband that I am planning to do this. God bless that saint of a man- he went through hell with me when I did the CT from paxil and also with all this EPI and pain mess that put me in bed for so long. He never complained. He is the easiest going person I know and we have been married 48 years. I don't want him worrying about me crashing again. Now I have a scale ordered but have read the info on using water and may do that. The suggestion about doing part liquid and part pill to start has me a little concerned. That maybe the pill is digested at a different rate if put in water? Is that the reason? If that's the case I will stick to using a scale. 

2003 Methadone 80 mg day /   Morphine 15 mg 3xs day as needed
2008 Lyrica 25 mg 3-4 x day
Sept 2017 self detox off Methadone
April 2018 self detox off Lyrica
Feb. 2019 Xanax 1 mg 2x day as needed
8 months to taper from 4 months use! Jumped 1/20/20 !!!!!!! 
8/22/20 have weaned ambien over the last 6 months from 10 mg to 2.5 mg. Jumped 8/16/2020 

Was taking morphine 30 mg prn for last 2 years. Stopped 8/15/2020 

Started Paxil 20 mg 1995-ish for mild hormonal mood swings and supposedly to help hormonal migraines. Never talked about stopping. Had a horrific CT 2018. Reinstated after 4 months. 

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On 10/13/2020 at 8:00 AM, Pawlove said:

Hi @Cocopuffz17! That's exciting that getting off paxil has meant you are so much better, gut-wise. And probably in a ton of other ways too. My gut issues were always more diarrhea. I hope I am not getting some slowing down from the paxil because I would hate to see where I am if I "loosen up". That will not keep me from doing it, tho. I will admit that I haven't even told my husband that I am planning to do this. God bless that saint of a man- he went through hell with me when I did the CT from paxil and also with all this EPI and pain mess that put me in bed for so long. He never complained. He is the easiest going person I know and we have been married 48 years. I don't want him worrying about me crashing again. Now I have a scale ordered but have read the info on using water and may do that. The suggestion about doing part liquid and part pill to start has me a little concerned. That maybe the pill is digested at a different rate if put in water? Is that the reason? If that's the case I will stick to using a scale. 

 

Yes, I still have challenges when I eat foods that are off my nutrition lifestyle so it is a gentle reminder to get back on track. That is awesome that you have such a strong relationship with your husband and he helped you through all the hard times! I do not have any info on that as I only dry cut my pills at a much higher than recommended rate as I was following my psychiatrist recommendations. 

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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