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clarabella79: My Introduction


clarabella79

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Hi everyone, my name's Clare and I'm a 35 year old female with a longstanding dependency on Paroxetine (Seroxat here in the UK). I take 20mg daily, having first been prescribed it in January 1997 as a 17 year old girl.

 

I was prescribed it for depression with anxiety, after having what I would now describe as a breakdown of sorts. I was bullied quite severely between the ages of 12 and 14, which led to what would probably now be diagnosed as PTSD. I spent a lot of time feeling ridiculously socially anxious, which made forming and maintaining friendships very difficult. I still experience problems in this area now.

 

Things weren't great at home, either. My parents (now long since divorced) had a volatile relationship and my dad had a drink problem. I didn't talk to anyone about how I felt (I tried to pretend it wasn't happening to me and instead reinvented myself as a bit of a "too cool for school" grunge chick). Inwardly, I was crumbling, though, and I ended up being referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) when I was 16 for individual psychotherapy and family therapy. Unfortunately, the therapy wasn't of much help to me at the time because I wasn't emotionally mature or open enough to engage with it and it was too short lived.

 

Fast forward a year and I had my "breakdown". In subsequent years, I've described what happened to a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) and he thinks I may have had a hypomanic episode, followed by a depressive episode, brought on by stress. I was studying for 3 A' Levels and hoping to go to university, but I suddenly changed my mind about one of the subjects (History) halfway through the course, dropped it to pick up a Law A' Level instead, withdrew my UCAS application and fell madly and obsessively in love with one of my teachers - a married man 25 years' my senior. Sadly, he eventually reciprocated (after initially rejecting my advances) and the whole situation - without going into too many details - became incredibly messy, emotionally destructive, etc, etc.

 

After 8 months of being on Paroxetine (September 1997), I decided to stop taking it, so I sought guidance from my GP (now retired), who told me it was fine to stop taking it abruptly (Patient Information Leaflets at the time claimed it was "non addictive"). I experienced 4 weeks of moderate 'flu-like symptoms (aching limbs, nausea, dizziness, brain zaps), followed by a return of my original symptoms of depression. Both my GP and I assumed it was because I wasn't ready to stop taking it yet and he suggested I try again in a few months.

 

Lots of things happened in 1998 (both my grandmothers died, my parents split up, my dad started drinking again, I left one job and started another and my 17 year old sister and I ended up at threat of being made homeless), so it wasn't a good time to try to stop my medication again. The following June, however, my sister and I starting buying a house together (a small, cheap 2 bed terrace) and I felt a lot more positive about doing it. Cue another attempt at CTing the meds! Again, I lasted about 4 weeks, but this time the depression and anxiety were so much more intense! I couldn't stop crying, I lost my appetite, had thoughts of suicide, etc, etc. Kudos to my GP for failing to advise me to taper slowly (even the patient info leaflets advised a gradual reduction by mid '99!)

 

At some point later on that year, I tried to taper again by splitting my pills into halves and quarters (with a butter knife of all things!) and spreading my doses out. A friend of mine advised this method as she'd managed to withdraw that way. Again, it didn't work.

 

Just over 2 years later, in early 2002, I tried to do it again using this method. I was in my first year of university at the time, working part time, and I considered myself to be happy and settled. Bizarrely, I was using this method for some months before it all started to go wrong for me. I'm not sure what happened, but I suddenly found myself crying on the Head of the School of English (I studied English Literature at university) because I hadn't done any of my work for semester 2 and I needed to defer my studies. He was amazingly helpful, very sympathetic and sorted it all out for me. 

 

After that, I decided I didn't want to withdraw from my meds until I'd finished university, so I duly spent the next 3 years engrossed in studying, working part time and - I'm ashamed to say - smoking cannabis on a regular basis.

 

It wasn't until 2007 that I again decided to withdraw, but this time I took the sensible option, spoke to more than 1 GP, conducted some internet based research, and obtained Seroxat liquid (and used a very sharp knife this time for accurately dividing pills across the score line!). I devised a tapering regime, which went 20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10.5-10. Beyond that, I played it by ear. The reduction from 20mg to 10mg took about 4 and a half months and wasn't too much of a challenge. I had some withdrawal effects, but fortunately no head zaps whatsoever and only occasional dizziness and feeling unsteady on my feet. Tiredness, aching, irritability, an occasional headache, hot and cold flushes and nausea were the main symptoms I noticed. After that was a bit more of a challenge (more on that later)

 

The main reason I've decided to withdraw at this point in my life is future motherhood. My partner (Mike) and I would like to start a family and I've decided that I'm not prepared to put my unborn child at an increased risk of congenital heart defects, lung problems or neonatal serotonin syndrome. Realistically, with a gradual taper, holistic measures and a support network in place, I know I can reduce my dose to below 10mg before we even start trying. Ideally, I would like to taper off over a long period (years potentially), but I'm realistic about my chances and both my partner and I have done a cost-benefit analysis (severe depression and anxiety in pregnancy is probably more harmful than a low dose of an antidepressant). The plan is to get a GP appointment and commence withdrawal at the beginning of September (I'm going to a festival during the last weekend in August, so then's not a good time) - all being well.

 

I'm sorry for going on for so long (thanks to anyone who's managed to get this far - lol), but I thought it'd be good to put everything into context before I start my withdrawal log. I'll add my email signature as soon as I begin my withdrawal.

 

Thanks for reading   :)

 

Clare.x       

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Clare, welcome to SA.   I'm sorry to read all of your experiences and traumas, you've been through a

lot! I have to disagree with your CPN about the manic episode though. A reaction to trauma doesn't mean

mental illness in my book, and you had a lot of trauma from a very young age!

 

I'm glad that you found us before starting another taper . 

We recommend a 10% reduction of the current dose with no less than 4 weeks between drops for 

the best taper. This takes a long time but is worth it to get off the drugs with minimal withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Here is the topic for tapering seroxat http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/405-tips-for-tapering-off-paxil-paroxetine/

 

Are you taking any other drugs? prescription or over the counter? 

 

It will help us if you can put a brief outline of your meds history in your signature so it will appear at the

bottom of all your posts and we can see at a glance where you are at.  Here is how to do that. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi mammaP, thanks for having me here at SA :)

 

I'm amazed at the wealth of information on this site (and elsewhere on the 'net) and the size of this community. I blogged about my 2007-8 withdrawal attempt on another site (think it might have been SeroxatMad?) and at the time, I thought the SSRI withdrawal issue was pretty much just confined to coming off Seroxat. Since then, I've spoken to people experiencing problems withdrawing from other psychiatric drugs and realised that it's sadly very widespread :(  

 

I'm not on any other prescription or over the counter drugs, although I have recently started taking Holland & Barrett Omega 3 fish oil capsules ( 3 x 1000mg daily - each capsule contains 300mg active EPA DHA) to promote brain health/healing and a multivitamin with iron. I'm a very active person, who enjoys running, cycling, long walks in the countryside and weight training and I eat a really healthy diet. I have no doubt whatsoever that these things help to keep me on an even keel and made my withdrawal a lot easier the last time around. Other substances wise, I've recently reduced my caffeine intake from 3-4 cups daily, to 1-2. When I withdrew last time around, I cut caffeine out for 5 and a half months, but reintroduced it at low levels (1-2 cups daily) and was fine. I'm also planning on either cutting out alcohol for a while, or making it an occasional, moderate indulgence. I very rarely drink to excess, but I'll miss my real ales if I cut them out altogether, so I might have the occasional half pint or two. 

 

I'm not nervous about beginning another withdrawal because I think the time is right for me (and the people who're important to me). I've been fortunate enough to have been able to reduce to a part time working pattern (my partner works full time - I work part time and do all the cooking, housework and grocery shopping), which means I don't have to cope with too many pressures whilst attempting to withdraw. Last time around, I had a lot of pressure on me because I was working part time and studying for an MA over a 12 month period. This time, I'm going to be kind to myself. I've drawn up a provisional schedule, with 5% dosage reductions every 2 weeks initially (I found this worked for me last time at the higher doses, as it broke me in gently). Depending on how things go, I intend to stay at the same dose for the 4 weeks that cover the early December-early January period so that I can relax and stabilise really well at whatever dose I'm at. After that, I'll review it. As I say, this is very much a provisional idea of how I'd like things to pan out.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to read my introduction and for the advice on the signature and tapering off my drug. I really appreciate it :D

 

Clare.x

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Administrator

Hi Clare,

 

Your exercise and eating habits as well as the fish oil should set you up for success. :) Fish oil can be very calming to the nervous system.

 

MammaP has given you great advice.  It appears that you plan to do a 5% reduction at 2 week intervals.  I highly recommend that you give yourself a full 4 weeks after your first reduction and monitor your symptoms.  If you find after a few decrements that you do well, then you can consider going a little more quickly.  

 

Unfortunately, if you decrement too rapidly the consequences can be quite destabilizing and that can throw you backward.  What many people have found is that when they rush off they get in trouble and have to up-dose and start all over again.  It is much better to start out more slowly and be successful in the long run.

 

I caution you to only do 5%-10% of your current dose as your reduction.  A 5% to 10% reduction of your original dose will get you into trouble when you get into the lower dosages.  These drugs can have a cumulative effect, meaning that you might not feel withdrawals in the first two weeks, but by the four week mark you could be hit with double withdrawals.

 

We strive to taper off of these drugs with little to no withdrawals so that you can have a productive quality of life while coming off of these drugs.  Brain zaps, tinnitus, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, brain fog, dizziness are all withdrawal symptoms that are telling you that you are going too fast.  Monitor your own symptoms to see what your body is telling you.

 

Welcome to SA.  Please keep posting your progress and your questions. 

 

Karma

 

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg - 11/28/21 - 150 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Hi Karma,

 

Thanks for your response.

 

I'm going to take your advice and leave 4 weeks between dose reductions. I intend to reduce by 10% on 1st September (i.e.: from 20mg to 18mg) and stay there for 4 weeks. Based on my previous attempt at withdrawal, this should give me ample time to stabilise. I only ran into difficulties at the lower doses last time. I was ok until I got to 6mg and then I tapered too fast, during a particularly difficult period in my life. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get off my meds because I was angry with GSK for the lies they'd told to so many innocent people about the safeness and efficacy of their drug. I wanted to be off it, even if it meant starting on another SSRI.

 

After my initial drop, I intend to reduce from 18mg to 17mg. I decided upon a smaller reduction because we'll be entering upon our busiest period at work (I work at a University) and I don't want to put undue pressure on myself. I'm very fortunate in that I've got a good life-work balance (I work part time and attend to all the household duties, including cooking and grocery shopping, whilst my boyfriend works full time) so I therefore have the time to look after my physical as well as my mental health, which I think are essentially just 2 sides of the same coin.

 

After that, I've provisionally decided on a drop from 17mg to 15.5 mg for 4 weeks. My boyfriend and I are going to Faro (Southern Portugal) from 20th-25th October, so that'll give me a bit of a sunshine boost before I make the planned 8.8% (or thereabouts) drop.

 

From there, I'm hoping to drop 1mg (just under 10%) each time to get me down to 10mg. I'm hoping to get there by next March. After that, any reductions will be small and gradual. I don't mind if the process takes years. My focus is on staying mentally and physically healthy for myself and others and developing coping strategies to help manage my condition (I'm under no illusions about the fact I have issues from the past that need properly addressing; I sometimes catastrophise; I overthink things, and I'm naturally a very sensitive person). My boyfriend and I would like to start a family, so I need to strike a balance between being mentally healthy and minimising potential risks to our unborn child. Before I embark on that journey, I want to be stabilised at 10mg and in a position to formulate a care plan with my GP. Pre and postnatal care in the UK is generally very good, so I feel positive about the future.

 

Thanks again for your advice - I really appreciate it. I'm glad I've joined this community. When I get the chance, I'll have a look through some of the other introductions and hopefully I'll be able to offer some words of empathy and encouragement to others.

 

Clare.x

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You have it all worked out well Clare but in my experience and what I have seen here, I would say

throw away the calender! Sounds like an odd thing to say but listen to your body. If you are fine 4 weeks after a cut

then fine, try another one, but if there are any withdrawal symptoms, hold it until you have been stable for around 3 

weeks before another cut.  You are absolutely right to plan holding at stressful times.  Keep a diary, or log on paper

how you feel every day, on a scale of 1-10, and symptoms if there are any. You will soon get to see if a pattern 

emerges and know if cuts are affecting you.  I hope your taper goes well for you   :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I'm all set to begin my taper next Monday. I went to see one of the GPs at my surgery and he was fairly knowledgeable about Paroxetine. He told me that 80-90% of deliveries he'd seen had resulted in no (apparent) problems for the new born, but was very encouraging and supportive of my choice to taper off the drug. He suggested an initial reduction to 17.5mg, but I was adamant that I wanted to stick with 10% (i.e.: 20mg - 18mg). He's suggested tapering/bridging with/to either Sertraline or Fluoxetine (Prozac) further down the line because they're apparently safer in pregnancy (although no drug is entirely without its risks). From the cursory amount of research I've done, I'd consider Fluoxetine the better of the 2 options because I know a liquid version of that drug exists and the longer half life suggests it might be easier to wean from in the long run. I know my father didn't experience any problems withdrawing from Prozac, so if genetics play any part in how we respond to medication, I might be ok with it.  

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Administrator

None of those drugs are safe in pregnancy. They have the most influence in early trimesters.

 

The only advantage fluoxetine might have is that withdrawal syndrome will be less harsh for your newborn baby, who would have been getting a steady supply of drugs from you that stopped upon birth.

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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Also, visible birth defects aren't the only undesirable effects drugs can cause a fetus:

http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/05/antidepressant-use-during-pregnancy-linked-to-higher-risk-of-autism/

 

This is from 2011, so not even new news. And what other effects that nobody has even looked for yet? It can't be good to take drugs that mess with nerve function during pregnancy--when the fetus's nervous system is actually forming, out of nothing. They find that maternal stress causes permanent neurological and epigenetic effects on the child's nervous system. I can't imagine that a drug that interferes with normal neurotransmitter signaling could possibly be completely benign.

 

So, good for you, planning ahead and taking care of this. Your plan sounds good, although I agree with Petu, don't be too attached to your calendar. Your body is the real expert and guru for this journey. 

 

I think you're being realistic and sensible and you're going to do fine.

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

 

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

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Hi Altrostrata, I realise that none of these drugs are categorically safe for use during pregnancy. That's been my biggest motivating factor by far to get off them. In an ideal world, I'd like to be drug free during pregnancy (and thereafter). If I can cross taper to an equivalent dose of Fluoxetine when I get down to a low dose of Paroxetine, stabilise there, wait a bit and then taper off the Fluoxetine, that's what I'll do. I'd rather be on a very low dose of Fluoxetine (less than 5mg and hopefully as low as 1-2mg), which is a Category C drug than the riskier Paroxetine (Category D drug) before we start trying for a baby.  

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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Hi Rhi, thanks for the encouragement and the link to the news article. I've come across similar news articles in recent weeks whilst I've been doing general research on withdrawal and pregnancy and I have to say, it concerns and angers me greatly that these risks aren't better publicised. Antidepressant use has skyrocketed in the UK over the last 10-15 years so there must be thousands of women taking SSRIs during pregnancy because their GP, midwife, etc, has told them the benefits outweigh the risks. I would never blindly and blithely follow what my doctor tells me because there's such inconsistency amongst GPs. Some have an excellent knowledge of mental health conditions and medications; some, less so. I'm fortunate in that there are several good GPs at the practice I'm registered with who I'm confident I can work with to get me off this drug. 

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Administrator

I agree, clarabella, women who intend to become pregnant are very poorly served by a medical culture that overprescribes antidepressants and then takes a posture of denial about adverse effects.

 

Your plan sounds reasonable given your circumstances.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 11 at 18mg

 

Well, I'm on the 11th day of my initial 10% reduction in dose and I'm feeling fine. The withdrawal effects I've noticed have been mild to very mild. I haven't even been aware of them whilst I've been at work, which is what I was hoping for and what I experienced last time around. I felt a subtle difference on the first day, which took the form of a feeling of warmth and flushing in the face. A couple of days later, I started with a mild headache and a sensation of a tight band round my head and a feeling of soreness and dryness in the eyes. I can't pinpoint anything more significant than that, really, although I have had a bit of gastrointestinal upset/feeling of bloating today. I'm hoping I'll stabilise in the next few days  -_- I'm off work now till next Wednesday, so I'm planning on spending time with my partner, seeing my family, getting a hair cut, going running and to the gym and doing some Mindful meditation. I find the Mindful body scan really beneficial and it's so relaxing! :lol:

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for the update clarabella, it sounds like you have made a great start. 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your kind words, Petu :)

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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Day 11 at 17mg

 

Well, I'm afraid I went against what was recommended to me and made another reduction in dose 14 days after my initial reduction. My reason for this was simple: I felt fine so I decided to risk it. I'm now 11 days into my second drop in dose (from 18mg to 17mg) and I feel fine. I felt a little bit tired and emotional on Saturday, but that was because I was about to start my period. Since then, I've been fine. I've noticed a mild pain in/around my eyes from time to time, but nothing else. I think I'm going at the right pace for me, but I also think there are other factors that I can credit with making it a bit easier for me. Firstly, I've been taking 3-4 fairly good quality Omega 3 capsules a day, along with eating plenty of oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, chia seeds and milled linseed; secondly, I've been taking a high dose effervescent multivitamin daily and finally, I've been out running and walking regularly, which help tremendously.

 

I'm not sure when I'll make another reduction in dose. I'd originally hoped to drop to a little over 16mg by Monday, but I'll listen to my body over the next few days before I make any sort of decision. Things have gone well so far, but I don't want to tempt fate!

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That all sounds reasonable. Just remember to keep listening to your body and don't make more than a 10 percent drop of the current dose. You may also find that you have to make a longer hold at some point. The thing about cutting doses at a lower dose but more regularly is that it can catch up with you

 

Good luck with it

 

D

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks dalsaan  :)

 

I love your avatar, by the way. I'm a huge, HUGE dog lover, but sadly I don't have one as my boyfriend's dog phobic (he was mauled by a neighbour's dog as a teenager). 

 

 I'm currently holding at 16mg and plan to reduce again next Monday. That'll mean I'll have done 21 days at 16mg, which I think is ample as I haven't experienced much in the way of withdrawal this time. I've had an upper respiratory tract infection for the last 13 days, so anything withdrawal related has paled into insignificance at the side of that. My next reduction will be to 15mg, which I'm again planning to hold at for up 3 weeks. After that, I'm going to try a 10% reduction, which'll bring me down to 13.5mg. Depending on how I feel, I'm hoping to stay at that dose for 4 weeks. So far, things have gone really well, so I'm staying positive about it.

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Administrator

You may wish to get over your upper respiratory tract infection before making any more reductions. Are you taking an antibiotic? That can throw a spanner into the works.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Altostrata,

 

No, I'm fortunate enough to have only required antibiotics twice in the last 22 years. UK GPs are very reluctant to prescribe them to healthy young people, anyway (unlike, say, antidepressants!).

 

My UTI had cleared up by 18th, so I waited till 21st before I dropped to 15mg. My boyfriend and I were away in southern Portugal last week (20th-25th) and I'm not back in work now till 29th Oct, so I'm feeling very well at the moment.

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Administrator

Good to hear!

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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  • 4 weeks later...

Day 10 @ 13.5mg

 

Well, I'm really happy with my progress to date. I didn't think I'd make it this far in such a relatively short space of time. I've decided to slow down now - not just with withdrawal but with life in general. I'd saved a lot of annual leave up, which means I can take a week off next week, a week and a half over Christmas/early January and I'll still have 2 further weeks to use during February and March. I'm purposely not thinking about life beyond March as that's the point at which I'll hopefully begin a cross taper to Fluoxetine (i.e.: my 10mg Paroxetine mark). I've spent too much time rushing around, instead of focusing on the TLC that ought to be accompanying my withdrawal. Apart from the 5-6 days I spent in Faro last month, I haven't taken an extended break from the routine. I haven't even had the chance to read and contribute to any of the other posts on here, which is something I'd really like to do. Consequently, I'm looking forward to 5pm this Friday with something like glee, as it'll give me the chance to do that amongst other things :)

 

In terms of withdrawal effects, I've noticed several persistent things: 1) some nights, I've experienced intense night sweats (these have always been a side effect of taking Paroxetine for me though); 2) unilateral tinnitus (right side only), which was a problem for me last time I withdrew. It's mild and is only noticeable when I'm in a very quiet room; 3) tiredness, which I think is partly attributable to withdrawal/drug side effect, partly a result of the time of year (UK winters aren't Siberian/Canadian temperature wise, but they're generally cold/wet/snowy at times, we don't see any sunlight for days at a time and twilight starts around 4:30pm at this time of year) and partly a result of reducing my caffeine intake from 3 cups to 1 cup daily. Other than these, anything else I've experienced has generally only lasted a couple of days and has been mild to very mild.

 

I can't think of anything else at the moment (and sadly, I need to get ready for work!), so I'll leave it there for now. I know I've not really got involved with this forum so far, but I just want to send my well wishes and support to anyone who might be reading this thread. I'm looking forward to getting more involved as time goes on! x

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Administrator

Good to hear, clarab. You may wish to take a nice hold now and let those pesky symptoms settle down.

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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Thanks Altostrata :)

 

Yep, I'm going to do the full 4 weeks at this dose and I'm going to do a smaller cut (approx. 7.5%) next time, which will take me to 12.5mg. As my sister said to me the other day, it's all about taking baby steps. I'll get there eventually.

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to hear it's going well, and your approach still sounds very sensible to me. Good job! I think you'll continue to do fine. Keep us posted.

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

 

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

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Thanks Rhi, will do  :)

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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Well, you know what they say about best laid plans. Somehow, the last week and a half didn't go to plan due to one thing and another. I ended up getting stressed and upset about the politics of family Christmas presents over the weekend. This was mainly because of how much money it's going to cost me buying individual presents for his mum and dad. Apparently, they thought it was "odd" last year when he bought them presents and put both our names on the gift tags to save me money (they didn't know it was to save me money, by the way). I pointed out that it's hardly "odd", given that a] we're a couple and b] they do exactly the same thing presumably, again, to save them money). Apparently, his mum couldn't get her head around it. She assumes that because we both go out to work and they're pensioners (they're not of limited means, by the way, their house is paid for and they have a nearly new car) we should buy them more presents. 

The thing is, I only work 19 hours a week at the moment, so I don't want to spend a fortune. My boyfriend works full time, so naturally brings home more than twice what I do. His parents don't know that I reduced my hours last year because I was finding full time work and looking after the house exhausting. I was leaving the house at 7:30am and not getting in till after 6pm 5 days a week, as well as doing all the cooking, all the laundry, most of the shopping and half the cleaning. We agreed that I'd reduce my hours so I could take full responsibility for the cleaning and shopping, in addition to what I was doing before. I suppose the crux of the matter is that he hasn't told his parents and he ought to.  I've told him to, so fingers crossed he will this time.  

 

Anyway, that aside, I began to stabilise early last week and have felt physically and mentally very well for the last couple of days. I've been weight training and running quite a few times in the last week, including 7 kilometres today, which makes me feel incredible :)  I made a modest reduction in dose yesterday (.5mg) which I wasn't intending on doing for another week, but I was having problems getting an accurate 1.75ml [3.5mg] dose with my 2.5ml syringe (I've ordered some micro syringes - 1ml in 0.1ml increments - so I won't have this problem anymore once they arrive). I feel ok so far and I've got a relaxing long weekend over in Ireland to look forward to (Saturday to Tuesday), so I think I'll be fine. If not, I've got the option to go back up, but I'm hopeful I won't have to. 

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Glad you are doing well Clarabella, it's good to hear  :) . Try not to worry about what his parents think about

you not buying them more presents. Some people are never happy and always want more, or different, or 

blue, ;)  etc etc.  Do what you can and what you want to do, I'm sure that whatever you buy will be great, 

don't take on their negative thoughts on it. It is from your combined hearts and they will be grateful when

they accept that you two are one, which is what seems to be the issue here.  :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your kind words, mammaP :) It turns out - from probing my partner further about it - that it was just his mum who thought it was odd. His dad didn't bat an eyelid. Mother-in-laws, hey? ;) Anyway, we've done the same thing this year, so she'll just have to get used to it.

 

Things have been very hectic since I got back from Northern Ireland. We landed on the Tuesday evening, went straight back to work the following day and had somebody round to view our house (can't remember if I mentioned that it was for sale on here?) on Saturday morning at 9:30am. By 10:40am, we'd accepted an offer on our property, so we're now in the unenviable position of having to find somewhere to buy really quickly! My mum's offered to let us stay at her house if we can't find anything before the sale completes, so that's good. We'll just need to put a few things into storage. We've booked to view a property tomorrow evening after work, so fingers crossed it's the one for us!

 

With all of that in mind, I'm planning to hold a while with the tapering. Selling a property and Christmas shopping are too of the least relaxing things you can do and I've been rushing around all day like a headless chicken, buying Christmas gifts, speaking to solicitors and estate agents, etc, etc. Christmas should be a fairly relaxed affair (thank goodness!) but I will need to make a start on clearing out and packing boxes. Ah, well...   

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Wow, you've got a lot going on! I agree, this is a great time to hold for a while. It will help you deal with the stress, plus holds, I think, are really good for us for catch-up and healing time, and you've tapered pretty fast (not dangerously fast, just consistently and not extremely slowly). 

 

Good luck with the house finding and moving!

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

 

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

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  • 2 months later...

Well, it's been a while since I last posted and things have moved on for me quite a bit. I've decreased steadily from 12.5mg to 10.5mg over the last 11 weeks and I've sold my house. My partner and I moved out on Tuesday (24th Feb) and we'll be getting the keys to our new home next Monday (2nd March). We're currently staying with my mum and the vast majority of our possessions are in storage. I've coped better than I expected with the stress of packing, moving and handing over lots of money to the estate agent, solicitor, etc. I'm feeling a bit unsettled as I'm effectively homeless at the moment, but I'm looking forward to getting settled in my new home  :)  

 

Apart from a few days of low mood and general tiredness, I haven't experienced any withdrawal effects during the last 2 months. I'm not even certain the period of low mood was due to withdrawal, either. There were one or two niggles with the house sale, so there were a few nights of poor sleep and irritability for my partner and I. I'm surprised I only ended up in tears once during the entire process! Thank goodness it's nearly all over now! 

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, we've been in the new house for almost 2 weeks now and our old house genuinely feels like a distant memory. I thought it'd take longer to settle in, but I only had a couple of nights of interrupted sleep after we moved in, so that's a positive.

I've had a rough few days recently though, which is my body and mind's way of telling me to relax and take stock (and slow down with the rate of withdrawal!). I attended a depression and anxiety self help group this morning (I don't work on a Monday and a Tuesday) and I came away feeling a million times worse! The group isn't structured so it's a bit of a free-for-all and invariably it ends up being a "speaker's corner" for a couple of the more, shall we say, morose group members, who focus on everything that's wrong with the world :wacko: I know life's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I don't see how focusing on the negative - to the exclusion of all things positive - is at all helpful. I don't attend every week but I'm wondering whether I should continue to attend at all. It just feels a bit too much like holding my hand in the fire to me. It's a pity because some of the group members are lovely as well.

Physically, I do feel "slowed up" and tired at times and my immediate, short term memory isn't as sharp as it was, but I've felt like that since I first started the meds, truth be told. I'm optimistic that things will improve, but I'm realistic about the fact that it may take some time. However long it takes, I'm just thankful (and grateful) that I'm not suffering as much as some people have during withdrawal and the subsequent recovery period.x     

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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Hi Clara, I am a fellow Paxil user, currently at 10 mg, and will follow your thread for encouragement. You seem to be doing pretty well which is awesome, I am happy for you! My main symptom right now is just depression (no motivation whatsoever) and like you, I feel thankful that I don't have more debilitating symptoms, but this is no fun either. I wondered if you had experience it during your taper and if so, what helped? I am hoping it will lift but want to be more proactive in moving it along! Thanks in advance for your feedback, take care!

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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Hi Prestorb, nice to meet you :) I'll follow your thread too so that we can hopefully help each other along.

 

I've started to struggle a bit over the course of the last week or so. I've considered upping my dose to 11mg, but I'm going to hold for a few more days first and see how I go. 

My main symptoms at the moment are:

  • tiredness (this has been an issue since I first started tapering. I've been going to bed earlier most nights)
  • irritability
  • a slightly "fluttery" feeling (anxiety? palpitations)
  • low mood (like you, I'm struggling to get motivated or excited about things. However, this isn't a constant feeling, which is the main reason I probably won't increase my dose if I can avoid it)
  • I'm also getting occasional pain in/behind my eyes, which I've had before when I was at higher doses.

 

I'd class all of this as fairly mild compared with what I've experienced in the past. I also seem to feel better as the day wears on, so I suspect it's related to higher cortisol levels during the morning hours. I'm confident that it'll pass given time. I'm not dreading going to work tomorrow or anything like that.

 

I'm not sure whether my approach is the best, but what tends to help me when I'm feeling down is diversion tactics, such as going for a walk or tackling the 'to do' list. I haven't been at work for a couple of days, so I've kept myself busy with tidying our outbuilding, household chores and grocery shopping. I'm going to iron some clothes whilst watching something on Netflix in a minute. It doesn't sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but I'll get a bit of a buzz out of seeing the empty ironing basket when it's all done ^_^ I also practice meditation (not often enough, admittedly!). I did a course on Mindfulness Meditation last year, which explained

the "science" behind meditation. Another thing I'm planning on doing is trying out Magnesium Citrate and Vit B complex supplements at a low dose to see if they help to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. I'll let you know how I get on with them! 

 

Clare.x

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update: I've dropped to 9mg today after my mood and energy levels started to pick up again at the weekend. I'm using a combination of halved 10mg pills and paroxetine liquid.

 

I went to see the GP today after work and she was helpful and positive. It was a different one to the 2 guys I'd seen before. She said I was doing really well and to continue what I was doing (she recommended 10% of the current dose reduction per month without my even mentioning it, which was encouraging!). Unfortunately, she cannot prescribe liquid fluoxetine when I'm already taking liquid paroxetine because it's too expensive for the NHS to permit (she was apologetic) and it's only available in 20mg capsules which apparently shouldn't opened and the contents split (not sure if this is necessarily true?) so I'm going to have to rethink the Prozac taper ...  

1st Sep '14 - reduced to 18mg from 20mg; 15th Sep - 17mg; 29th Sep -16mg; 21st Oct - 15mg; 10th Nov - 13.5mg; 1st Dec - 13mg;

11th Dec - 12.5mg; 5th Jan '15 - 12mg; 20th Jan - 11.5mg; 11th Feb  - 11mg; 26th Feb - 10.5mg; 5th Mar - 10mg; 1st Apr - 9mg; 29th Apr - 8.5mg; 29th May - 8mg; 18th Jun - 7.7mg; 9th July - 7.4mg; 11th Aug - 6.8mg; 2nd Sep - 6.5mg; 12th Sep - 6.3mg; 26th Sep - 6mg; 10th Oct - 5.7mg; 30th Oct - 5.3mg; 28th Nov - 4.8mg; 20th Dec - 4.4mg. 

Medication History:

January 1997: 20mg Paroxetine (Seroxat) daily for depression with anxiety. CT withdrawal attempted 1997 and 1999. Dividing pills withdrawal attempted 2002. Liquid/pill 13 month tapered withdrawal 2007/8. Started to become very ill days after CTing at 2mg. Prescribed other antidepressants (CitalopramMirtazipine) but neither were as effective and had more side effects, so Paroxetine 20mg reinstated June 2008.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Hi, clarabella. Yes, you can make your own liquid from fluoxetine capsules, see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

How did your doctor learn of the 10% method?

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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