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Shar03: help me please. stay put or go back on 20mg


Shar03

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hello

 

ik will stry to make this a short story and really hope there is somebody who can help me out.

i am a 43 year old woman. i took paxil 2 times before in my life and never had a problem tapering.

the last time from 2010 i took paxil 20 mg. last year in januari 2014 i started to taper with help from my docter.

at the end of may 2014 i stopted completly.

within 6 weeks i got sicker and sicker. my docter said to go back on paxil. i did and i am still on 10 mg a day.

but i still feel bad. i dont sleep well. i wake up every morning very early feeling anxious . my body is al nervous.

during the day i start to feel a bit better.

my docter says that my old problem is still there and i should go to 20 mg.

what should i do. could this still be withdrawl signs after more then 8 months?

or should i go back on 20 mg?

my life is a mess because off this. its eating me up inside. my thoughts take the best of me al day.

i keep making myself crazy with al kinds of thoughts

i Always used paxil with great results. but now i am confused if going back on 20mg is the right thing to do.

i am sorry for the bad grammer. i am from holland so if somebody doesnt understand something i wrote, please ask me and i wil try to explain myself better.

i really hope there is somebody outthere that can help me

 

greetings shar03

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum  Shar03, I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling so much. Don't worry about your writing, its fine.  We need a few more details about your situation before we can offer some suggestions.  If you could answer these questions, it would help.

 

How did you taper between January and May 2014? 

What dose did you stop from? 

How long were you medication free before you reinstated with 10mg Paxil. 

What date approximately did you start taking it again. 

When you did reinstate, did you experience any relief from your withdrawal symptoms at all?

And one last question, since you reinstated, have your symptoms got worse, better or stayed about the same.

 

Its quite possible that you are still experiencing withdrawal after 8 months, if you could answer those questions we will have a better idea of what to suggest.

 

Are you taking any other medications?

 

I'm glad you found us and asked for help, you will find a lot of friendly support here.

 

Petunia.

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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hi Petunia

thank you so much for your repley

i will try to answer your questions

my Original dose in january 2014 was 20 mg

i tapered with 5mg every so much weeks until the end of may 2014.

the first few weeks i felt kind off fine. some brainzaps and some nervous feeling in my body.

after 6 weeks i started to get very nervous in my body, didn,t sleep anymore and start to feel anxious again.

so after 6 weeks i was put back on 5 mg and  3 weeks later to  10mg. so i,ve bin off paxil for about 6 weeks.

at first i had to go to al the side effects again but i did feel better some days and still now i dont feel as bad as i did before.

i feel the most bad in the morning. wake up feeling anxious, trembeling and my had makes me crazy with al the thoughts. fysical i think i feel kind of okay.

its not the same every day. there are days that i feel fine but there are days that i feel the anxiety round the corner.

the only other medicine that i take is losec. i have some problems with my stomach and there for i eat very healthy. my bloodsugar is low

i hope i answered your questions enough otherwise please let me know. i have to go to my docter tommorow to talk about going back on 20mg.

one part off me would like to do that becuase this is no life. the fear and thoughts are eating me alive. but what if it don,t work anymore.

i want to say another time that i think the problem is mostly in my own head. fysical i feel kind of fine and in the moments i dont feel anxious my body is oke also. thank you for helping me out

 

shar

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shar , I'm so happy for you that you found this site.

 

It sound like you feel a bit better on the 10mg , but still not well at all.

 

If the goal is to get feeling better quicker , you could go up to 15mg and give that a week, rather than go straight up to 20mg.

The lower the dose you can stabilize on , the better in the long run.

 

The problems you describe sound to me like withdrawal symptoms.    My worst w/d symptoms came around 9 months after I did a too-fast taper from Cymbalta. 

 

More people will come along to offer support or advice.    Have you been on Paxil 10mg Paxil for 6 weeks or 6 months (since July last year?).

 

Best wishes ,    Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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I've bin on 10mg now for 6 months. I always felt good on 20mg. It's like i won't get stable this time. Besides the anxious feeling in my body and had ,i am kind of okay fysical. The most problems i find in the morning. During the day most days i find myself doing better. Me psychiatrist really thinks i am not stable because the dose is to low.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes , it's about what your central nervous system has grown used to.    The anxious feeling in your body sound like akathisia , a restlessness , makes it hard to be still.

 

You've given the 10mg enough time now after 6 months, and it isn't stopping the w/d symptoms from developing.

 

If it were me , I'd try an increase to 15mg and see if that's enough , not jump up directly to 20mg. as your doc suggests.   That's my thoughts.

 

You will get stable , it's a matter of figuring out the quickest way.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Shar you can buy a pill-splitter at pharmacies/chemist shops.   They'll do it.   

If you want to get more technical and accurate, you could buy electronic digital jewellers' scales that weigh down to 0.01 of a gram.   (they cost $13:95 on ebay.com.au).

 

If you read the Tapering section in Symptoms and Self Care you'll get other ideas too.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shar,

Thank you for answering my questions.  It sounds to me like you are still in withdrawal from tapering too fast off paxil.  Reinstating  5mg and then 10mg after 6 weeks and 9 weeks didn't help very much, although it sounds like you have started to feel a little better now.

 

Its difficult to know whether increasing your dose again now, after 6 months, would be helpful or if it would make you feel worse.  We generally suggest making small changes in order to protect a sensitized nervous system from more harm.

 

Many people become very sensitive to drugs and supplements after they've experienced withdrawal symptoms for even a short time. Do not count on taking the big risks you used to take. Make changes slowly.
 
Introducing a drug or supplement or changing a dosage very gradually gives you the ability to sample how it might affect you before you go too far.
 
A big dose or big change probably will cause a worse bad reaction than a very small dose or change. You can injure your nervous system pretty badly with a big change -- it might take you months or years to feel better.

 

Please read through this topic which will explain more about why we suggest making small changes: 

The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

Additional reasons to reinstate (or updose) only a partial dose

Reinstating at a low dose reduces the risk of severe adverse reactions in case reinstatement does not work.

  • Experiencing withdrawal may have sensitized you to drugs and a larger dose will cause an adverse reaction.

  • These drugs are vastly more powerful than they need to be and you want to be taking only the lowest EFFECTIVE dose.

  • Your receptors may have adjusted somewhat (upregulated) during the time you had withdrawal symptoms.

  • If you can stabilize on a lower dose, you have less to taper when you finally do go off.

  • If you had adverse reactions while you were taking the drug, a low dose may not trigger the adverse reactions but still reduce withdrawal symptoms. Adverse reactions tend to be dosage-related: The higher the dose, the worse the reaction.

  • You can always adjust the dosage upward if you find you need to.

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

If I were you, I would try only a small updose of 1mg and give it several weeks to see how you feel.  These topics will give you information about how to change your dose by small amounts:

 

Tips for Tapering off Paxil  

Using a digital scale to measure doses

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Whatever you decide to do, please let us know, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

 

Petunia.

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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Thank you so much for helping me out. The thing that worries me the most is when i look on google for general anxiety disorder. That,s what i have, i find all the symptoms that i experience. It makes me wonder if i still are suffering from withdrawl or that i just are suffering from the original problem. My symptoms are

 

waking up early

feeling anxious in the morning

constant bad thoughts in my had

and in the moments that i feel anxious i trembel, my heart goes fast, i sweat

when the anxious feeling goes away during the day, also the other symptoms go away and i feel kind off normal

 

So my thoughts are that maybe i really am suffering from an anxiety disorder and not withdrawl. I think if i still am in withdrawl the symptoms should be there all day. Or not?

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  • Member

No the symptoms actually wax and wane both in withdrawal and in the state your doctor might have called 'generalized anxiety disorder'. You might want to look at those internet 'definitions' and make a note of how many of them are followed by proposed 'cures' of different kinds of medications. Meds do not 'cure' anything, getting to the root causes and healing them does the most good in learning to lead a long and happy life.

 

Did you read about the 'windows and waves' and 'what is withdrawal syndrome'? Both happen during withdrawal too. Neither are a sign of relapse although the pharmaceutical companies would love for you to believe so. You'll be a customer for life!

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Hi there. What does wax and wane mean. I am from holland and doenst understand everything you wrote. I know that meds doesn't solve anything in the long run. I also have therapy. But ff for now bringing up my dose sound as the best thing to do for me. Would you explain what you mean in you're post. Thank you so much

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wax = get higher, stronger, more pronounced, more insistent, become very noticeable

 

wane = lessen, become less pronounced, settle down, calm down, not as noticeable

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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  • Member

Shar, I am not convinced that increasing your dose is really the best thing to do. Are you thinking that if you increase the dose you will magically feel better, that your symptoms will go away and things will go back the way they were?

 

What are your expectations? What is preventing you from gradually trying to reduce the dose you are now on (according to our 10% method) to see if your body can calm down a bit with less medication in it?

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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The thing is that its difficult for me to know if I'm suffering from withdrawl or just the original problem. I feel so bad that I'm willing to try an updose in the hope its relieves the anxiety. A normal life in this moment is almost impossible. I am a single mom so i have to function some what in a normal way

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  • Member

Shar,

 

I think you need a bit more information (and I think WE need a bit more information about you!) before we encourage or discourage you from doing anything about your medication dose. After you read the links we have given you above, what do you think? Are you still convinced you can find relief in these kinds of drugs? What does 'generalized anxiety disorder' mean to you?

 

Is there anyone (in your family or community) who can give you a hand with child care and household duties while you attempt to figure this out? I have a gut feeling too - I don't think raising your medication is the right way to go. I think a cautious reduction in the dose might be called for. We might get some of the other mods to weigh in on this today and see what they think.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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  • Member

You say you are going back to the doctor tomorrow? He can always prescribe the medication but you do not have to start taking it yet. I think that because you tapered off it too fast your body reacted badly and when you updosed I think it was too high. Your body has not calmed down yet but it has become a bit better as you said above. The increase and decrease of the symptoms (both mental and physical) from morning to evening show your body is attempting to re-regulate itself. I am just afraid throwing more medication at it will upset a delicate balance it is trying to maintain.

 

What do you think?

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Thank you for your repley.s

In this moment i don't know. My mind is going back and forward. It seems that both options are impossible for me. Going up and go to hel got a few weeks to then discover i made it worse sounds like hel. But doing nothing and hope it is withdrawl and will go away on his own seems just as bad

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Shar , you don't need to make a decision right now.

As CW suggests , you can get a prescription at your doctors appt. but decide your course when you feel ready.

There's a tonne to read here - take your time.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes , it's about what your central nervous system has grown used to.    The anxious feeling in your body sound like akathisia , a restlessness , makes it hard to be still.

 

You've given the 10mg enough time now after 6 months, and it isn't stopping the w/d symptoms from developing.

 

If it were me , I'd try an increase to 15mg and see if that's enough , not jump up directly to 20mg. as your doc suggests.   That's my thoughts.

 

You will get stable , it's a matter of figuring out the quickest way.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

 

I haven't read this whole thread yet and it's possible what I'm about to say has already been addressed, and if so I apologize, but I feel the need to comment here.

 

In my experience, "withdrawal" symptoms after six months are not just a sign that a person needs to take more of the drug, especially in cases like this where they have been on and off it several times in the past without incident. I think the symptoms are of underlying autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrine disruption due to the whole history of use and in particular the rapid taper in 2014. 

 

It's very common for people to do well the first time or two that they take and come off a psych med but then the next time they seem to have run out of slack and get hit and can't stabilize. When this happens, it's hard to predict what taking more of the drug will do. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it makes things worse.

 

This being the case I would recommend if you are going to increase your med, instead of jumping up by 50% or 100%, that you get the liquid formulation that will allow smaller increases and just try taking 1-2 mg a day extra for a week or so, and see how your body responds. 

 

There is probably not at this point going to be any kind of easy "fix" that will make you feel better permanently. Your brain has been altered by your past use of these drugs and the trauma of having them put into your chemistry and then yanked out. In this case people usually find that they no longer get straightforward predictable results from taking any psych med, especially long term.

 

So my suggestions would be, to start with, what I suggested above (see if you can get a prescription for a liquid formulation, or learn to make your own, it's not difficult). Also, take your time and begin to educate yourself about these drugs and the long term problems that people run into with them. A good place to start is the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, which has been translated into many languages.

 

Also, please read the following post, which people seem to find helpful in understanding what is happening in their brains in withdrawal and recovery.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning.

What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. 

For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain.

So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along). It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. 

To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. 

This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay.

When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse.

SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. 

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. 

I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long. 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. 

Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected. 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

You say you are going back to the doctor tomorrow? Ha can always prescribe the medication but you do not have to start taking it yet. I think that because you tapered off it too fast your body reacted badly and when you updosed I think it was too high. Your body has not calmed down yet but it has become a bit better as you said above. The increase and decrease of the symptoms (both mental and physical) from morning to evening show your body is attempting to re-regulate itself. I am just afraid throwing more medication at it will upset a delicate balance it is trying to maintain.

 

What do you think?

 

This is more what I think... your body is trying to heal from what the drugs and the too-fast taper have done to it in the past. In this case it is hard to say if you need to take a bit more, take a bit less, or just stay right where you are.

 

I usually advise people who are having this kind of increase in withdrawal symptoms this far out after a taper, to stay right where they are and not change any drugs, and read our Symptoms and Self Care section for non-drug ideas on how to improve how they feel (there is a lot of wisdom in there from years and years of experimentation by many people).

 

Over time if you give the brain enough stability and comfort and care, it will heal and rebalance itself.

 

I do understand that if you are unable to function in your daily life and none of the nondrug suggestions help enough, you might want to try seeing if changing the drug level will help. If you decide to do that, I think (as I said above) that your best bet would be only a very small change and wait and see what it does.

 

Unfortunately there may not be any simple drug fix for you at this point. We often see that over time with these drugs people get to where anything they try, even if it helps at first, things overall just keep getting worse and worse.

 

Also, many of us have this same pattern of increased anxiety in the morning which goes away by evening. We believe this is due to cortisol levels, which are disrupted by these medications and tend to get really wacky in withdrawal. Cortisol is at its highest in the morning and the levels go down through the day and are low at bedtime.

 

I know you are struggling with a lot of decisions to make. I like the suggestion to start by finding out what your options are, if your doctor is open to prescribing you the liquid. 

 

And again, I would say, don't rush to action, take some time to read and learn about your situation. It's possible that the safest choice at this point is to see if you can get through this period of time without altering your brain, just let it be and give it some stability and see if it can find its own way to heal.

 

My heart goes out to you, this is a very difficult thing to deal with, and trying to work and raise children at the same time.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

One more thing then I'll quit filling up your page ;-)

 

I forgot to mention, it is VERY common with antidepressants for people to do okay for a while after quitting, and then sometime out in the future (three months to a year) to have an increase in withdrawal symptoms, especially the mental and psychological withdrawal symptoms. This is so common that I sometimes forget to mention it. 

 

The brain can and will heal and restabilize if you can find a way to get through this time, but it may take a while.

 

It is very common at that point for people to start taking more drugs, with mixed success. Sometimes it helps for a while, sometimes it doesn't help, sometimes it makes things worse. This is the trap that causes people to end up on psych meds for life, usually getting worse and worse as the years go along.

 

You have a lot to think about. Read, learn, take your time. It's your body and your life.

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 for this great explanation of the withdrawal process Rhi. Good to keep in mind.

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, shar.

 

I think the most important question here is: When you you take your 10mg Paxil?

 

If you take it in the morning, do the symptoms start up after you take it?

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

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