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looloo75: Direct switch symptoms


looloo75

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Hi everyone, I am new here so not sure what the protocol is or how to use this site properly, so please forgive me if I have posted in the wrong section.

 

I am looking for some advice from anyone that has done a straight switch on SSRI's. My story is that I was a long term paroxetine user (over 20 years) I was relatively ok on my dose of 40mg for anxiety, ocd. For some unknown reason 2 years ago in my infinite wisdom I decided that it was no longer working for me and that I may lose some weight if I switched to another SSRI, so, as I had a brief experience (1 year) with escitalopram several years ago after my doc decided that I should come off paroxetine (which failed and ended up back on paroxetine) I decided that I should give it another go. I was doing fine on 20mg for just over a year and then Nov 2020 I had a severe panic attack and intrusive thoughts along with some gastric issues, I convinced myself that the escitalopram had stopped working or pooped out. So I have talked my GP and asked him to put me back on paroxetine as of Dec 2020. I did a straight switch from 20mg escitalopram, 2 days at 10mg then onto paroxetine 10mg - 3 days then up to 20mg for 7 days and now currently at 30mg. To be honest, I have never felt so ill in my life. I am suffering constant anxiety, don't want to leave the house, suicidal thoughts, fear of going crazy, terrible cortisol spikes in the morning, diarrhea, nausea, lack of appetite (lost over 14lbs), vivid dreams, auditory hallucinations, pounding, skipping heartbeats, ocd thoughts, internal vibrations, shaking and hot flushes. 

 

I suppose my question is, has anybody had this experience with straight switching SSRI's? Is this withdrawal symptoms from escitalopram combined with start up effects of paroxetine? I have spoken to my GP who has prescribed Propanolol for the physical anxiety symptoms or suggested it was my age (46). The beta blockers do stop the shaking, tremors in the morning but I don't really want to keep taking them. I have been on the paroxetine for 5 weeks (3 weeks at 30mg), should I not be feeling better now? Do I need to up the dosage as 40mg paroxetine is equivalent of 20mg Escitalopram. Do I need to give it more time? I am at a loss so any knowledge and advice would be very much appreciated. 

 

I am sorry for prattling on but I am getting desperate for some hope.

Thank you

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
first post, merged from S and SC

Paroxetine - 1997 20mg to 30mg - stable for several years.  2006 - was told to taper off paroxetine and introduce 10mg escitalopram eventually increased to 20mg - stable for roughly a year until I felt they stopped working. 2008 - Back on paroxetine started again at 20mg and increased to 40mg until Feb 2019 - switched back to escitalopram 10mg - 15mg- 20mg for 2 years. Nov 2020 - sudden return of anxiety and intrusive thoughts and terrible gastric problems  Straight switch to from escitalopram to 10mg paroxetine - Dec 2020, very fast taper of escitalopram from 20mg to 10mg for 2 days then straight to paroxetine 10mg 1 week to 20mg to currently 30mg no escitalopram. Past 5 weeks have been hell. I think I suffering withdrawal and startup side effects. Nausea, diarrhea, auditory hallucinations, morning cortisol spikes, vivid dreams, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, agrophobia, internal & external tremors. Currently - 30mg paroxetine & 30mg propanalol, zolpidem or zopiclone at night.

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Hi everyone, I am new here so not sure what the protocol is or how to use this site properly, so please forgive me if I have posted in the wrong section.

 

I am looking for some advice from anyone that has done a straight switch on SSRI's. My story is that I was a long term paroxetine user (over 20 years) I was relatively ok on my dose of 40mg for anxiety, ocd.

 

For some unknown reason 2 years ago in my infinite wisdom I decided that it was no longer working for me and that I may lose some weight if I switched to another SSRI, so, as I had a brief experience (1 year) with escitalopram several years ago after my doc decided that I should come off paroxetine (which failed and ended up back on paroxetine) I decided that I should give it another go.

I was doing fine on 20mg for just over a year and then Nov 2020 I had a severe panic attack and intrusive thoughts along with some gastric issues, I convinced myself that the escitalopram had stopped working or pooped out. So I have talked my GP and asked him to put me back on paroxetine as of Dec 2020. I did a straight switch from 20mg escitalopram, 2 days at 10mg then onto paroxetine 10mg - 3 days then up to 20mg for 7 days and now currently at 30mg.

 

To be honest, I have never felt so ill in my life. I am suffering constant anxiety, don't want to leave the house, suicidal thoughts, fear of going crazy, terrible cortisol spikes in the morning, diarrhea, nausea, lack of appetite (lost over 14lbs), vivid dreams, auditory hallucinations, pounding, skipping heartbeats, ocd thoughts, internal vibrations, shaking and hot flushes. 

 

I suppose my question is, has anybody had this experience with straight switching SSRI's? Is this withdrawal symptoms from escitalopram combined with start up effects of paroxetine? I have spoken to my GP who has prescribed Propanolol for the physical anxiety symptoms or suggested it was my age (46). The beta blockers do stop the shaking, tremors in the morning but I don't really want to keep taking them. I have been on the paroxetine for 5 weeks (3 weeks at 30mg), should I not be feeling better now? Do I need to up the dosage as 40mg paroxetine is equivalent of 20mg Escitalopram. Do I need to give it more time? I am at a loss so any knowledge and advice would be very much appreciated. 

 

I am sorry for prattling on but I am getting desperate for some hope.

Thank you

 

Edited by manymoretodays
name to title, tags, spacing for readability

Paroxetine - 1997 20mg to 30mg - stable for several years.  2006 - was told to taper off paroxetine and introduce 10mg escitalopram eventually increased to 20mg - stable for roughly a year until I felt they stopped working. 2008 - Back on paroxetine started again at 20mg and increased to 40mg until Feb 2019 - switched back to escitalopram 10mg - 15mg- 20mg for 2 years. Nov 2020 - sudden return of anxiety and intrusive thoughts and terrible gastric problems  Straight switch to from escitalopram to 10mg paroxetine - Dec 2020, very fast taper of escitalopram from 20mg to 10mg for 2 days then straight to paroxetine 10mg 1 week to 20mg to currently 30mg no escitalopram. Past 5 weeks have been hell. I think I suffering withdrawal and startup side effects. Nausea, diarrhea, auditory hallucinations, morning cortisol spikes, vivid dreams, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, agrophobia, internal & external tremors. Currently - 30mg paroxetine & 30mg propanalol, zolpidem or zopiclone at night.

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to looloo75: Direct switch symptoms
  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi looloo-- welcome to SA, I'm so glad you found us and so sorry to hear about your situation. I won't say what I think about your doctor.

 

First off Thing Will Get Better, but it will probably be a pretty bumpy road for a while. Over the last months you have made a number of very large changes in dosage and between drugs. This has really confused your body and is causing the various symptoms you are feeling. Paxil is one of the hardest drugs there is to get off of, we have people do it all the time, but it has to be done slowly and carefully. I took 40mg of paxil for 23 years and finished tapering off of it over four years ago and things are going quite well.

 

As you guessed you are running into WD symptoms and start up symptoms at the same time. This is from all the changes we have mentioned. For right now your body is craving stability, so it would be best not to make any more changes or add any other medications. The 30mg of paxil is a good dose to try and settle in on. I would suggest that you hold where you are right now on all the drugs listed in your signature. There probably are going to be daily fluctuations in your symptoms for the nest several months while your body sorts things out, but they should settle out and stabilize. Once you are stable we can look in to developing a tapering plan to get you off of the drugs for good.

 

Currently we are being swamped with new members, so please bear with us as we try to get back to you as quickly as possible. Also this thread is the place for you to ask questions, keep records and chat with friends. So if you have a question, and I would be surprised if you don't, ask away right here.

 

Again, welcome to the group.

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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