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AmyA Quitting Paxil Cold Turkey


AmyA

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Hi All! My name is Amy. I am so happy to have found this forum. I am 46 years old. I have been on Paxil CR 25mg, since November 2014. I quit Cold Turkey 3 days ago due to side effects including alcohol abuse, loss of emotion, loss of interest in life, generally feeling detached. My withdrawal side effects have been dizziness, vivid dreams, night sweats, crying spells, increased anxiety (I'm still taking Busiperone for anxiety), ringing in my ears. Thus far, it has been manageable.  I'm taking it day by day.  I have not been experiencing any depression but I expect it to return as the Paxil gets out of my system.  I don't know what my next steps will be. I am absolutely terrified to take any other SSRI medications.  Does anyone have any experience with any non-SSRI medications for depression and anxiety.  Thanks!

Paxil CR 25 mg. since November 2014, Busiperone .5 mg since November 2014. Quit Paxil Cold Turkey June 5, 2015, due to severe side effects including alcohol abuse, lack of emotion, loss of interest in life. Withdrawal symptoms dizziness, but not so severe as vertigo; increased anxiety (still taking the Busiperone); extremely vivid dreams; night sweats; crying spells; ringing in my ears.  Thus far it has been tolerable. Taking it day by day.

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Bad idea Amy, terrible idea. I can sympathise with your desperation to get off Paxil ASAP but you'll regret stopping it without tapering responsibly. Withdrawal is so much worse than you can begin to imagine.

 

Please reinstate and get back to your doctor to agree a reasonable schedule for tapering off it properly or alternatively switching to an alternative if that's what you decide to do, even that can be tricky.

 

It's really not worth the risk, honestly.

December 2008 Prescribed 20mg citalopram (celexa) for depression and OCD.July 2013 stopped taking citalopram (celexa). November 2013 reinstated citalopram (celexa) following replapse at 20mg for 4 weeks, 40mg for 4 weeks and tapered off over 4 weeks as my condition had deteriorated. February 2014 started 20mg of fluoxetine (prozac). Didn't tolerate it and stopped 4 weeks later, experienced no withdrawal. May 2014 started 25mg of sertraline (zoloft), increased to 50mg after 1 week. Remained at 50mg for 4 weeks before increasing to 100mg at the request of my psychiatrist despite advising of suicidal ideation for an additional week before stopping. Advised to drop to 50mg for 3 days before withdrawing altogether. I did as advised and horrendous withdrawal ensued. 11th August 2014 commenced escitalopram (lexapro), weaned off end of October 2014. Commenced Clonazepam December 2014 0.5mg twice daily, switched to Diazepam 10mg twice daily with a view to tapering of the benzodiazepine altogether. Tapering schedule presently at a reduction of 1mg of Diazepam every 1-2 weeks depending upon side effects. So far experienced no severe physical side effects except worsening of PGAD symptoms upon reduction which does seem to improve within a few days of doing so. Presently taking no antidepressants however still experiencing mild agitation, severe depression and PGAD which is currently being treated by a physiotherapist.

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Trust me and I'm confident there will be others on the forum who will undoubtedly recommend you do the same.

December 2008 Prescribed 20mg citalopram (celexa) for depression and OCD.July 2013 stopped taking citalopram (celexa). November 2013 reinstated citalopram (celexa) following replapse at 20mg for 4 weeks, 40mg for 4 weeks and tapered off over 4 weeks as my condition had deteriorated. February 2014 started 20mg of fluoxetine (prozac). Didn't tolerate it and stopped 4 weeks later, experienced no withdrawal. May 2014 started 25mg of sertraline (zoloft), increased to 50mg after 1 week. Remained at 50mg for 4 weeks before increasing to 100mg at the request of my psychiatrist despite advising of suicidal ideation for an additional week before stopping. Advised to drop to 50mg for 3 days before withdrawing altogether. I did as advised and horrendous withdrawal ensued. 11th August 2014 commenced escitalopram (lexapro), weaned off end of October 2014. Commenced Clonazepam December 2014 0.5mg twice daily, switched to Diazepam 10mg twice daily with a view to tapering of the benzodiazepine altogether. Tapering schedule presently at a reduction of 1mg of Diazepam every 1-2 weeks depending upon side effects. So far experienced no severe physical side effects except worsening of PGAD symptoms upon reduction which does seem to improve within a few days of doing so. Presently taking no antidepressants however still experiencing mild agitation, severe depression and PGAD which is currently being treated by a physiotherapist.

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Please, please, please! Reinstate the Paxil and do a very slow taper like its advised here. I didn't know anything about the damage these drugs caused and was taken off cold turkey in November of 2011 during my last pregnancy by my obgyn and withdrawal didn't really catch up to me until 9 months after stopping celexa that I took for 10 years. Went on a psych med merry go round for 21 months trying to find relief, nothing worked. Even ended up hospitalized 4 times. Never thought in a million years I would ever end up in a mental health hospital. The things I've been suffering with are things I've never experienced ever in my life. I'm still suffering protracted withdrawal. I have a healthy little boy but I've been robbed of precious time with him, my other kids, family, friends, life in general because I'm sick. Please, I know you hate the side effects but your still in a window where reinstatement will work and then you can do a proper taper. I'm not trying to scare you, rather trying to save you a horrendous withdrawal that may go protracted.

Welcome to the forum, you will get a lot of help and support, wishing you the best????

Spring of 1998 place on birth control pills for irregular bleeding, high testosterone and one ovarian cyst, stayed on until April 2004, told to take hormone holiday, conceived first son 4 months later-VERY BIG SUPRISE, was told wouldn't be able to have childern or would need reproductive doctor to help. Got pregnant again 2006 with second son easily, then was on/off birthcontrol again until October 2011, concieved 3rd son in October 2011(tried many times to get pregant again when 2nd child was close to 2yrs, hormone problems started again after 2nd child, along with thyroid enlargement.

 

Spring of 2001 celexa 10 mgs-rx'd by pcp for complaints of chronic fatigue, irritability and weight gain, stayed on until June 2005, switched to Lexapro 20mgs for PPD, stayed on Lexapro 6-7 months, couldn't afford to see psyh dr. and Lexapro, saw PCP switched back to 20mgs celexa in 2007, remained on until November 2011, was c/t off due to 3rd pregnancy, baby had umbilical cord defect, seemed ok during pregnancy, except for crying jags here and there. Our miracle baby was born July 20th 2012, healthy except with reflux. One month later the anxiety,restlessness,horrible crying, insomnia and the deepest depression ever. That started the psyh drug nightmare-benzo's,antidepressants, sleeping pills, mood stablizers. Nothing help made me worse, doctors just kept changing the meds frequently. 4 mental health hospitalizations, rapid detox off benzos Jan 2013, horrible withdrawal and still suffering withdrawal symptoms NO ONE BELIEVES ME, I feel like ive been on one consistant drug withdrawal for the past 2 years

January 2014 slow titrate up of lexapro to 20 mgs-horrible side effects!!, was just rapidly taper by current pysh off to pursade me to try an MAOI-no way!!! Was told should consider ECT

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Hi dear

 

I agree with what the others have said. I think you should reinstate immediately and then do a slow taper from there. It could save you a world of unimaginable pain and suffering. 

I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Amy,

As others have mentioned, stopping paxil without tapering is not a good idea. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

You are already experiencing withdrawal symptoms and there is a possibility they will get worse and could last for a long time. This is what has happened to me.

 

Reinstatement of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once someone has stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Please read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

In your situation, because you only stopped taking paxil 3 days ago, I would recommend you start taking you full dose again and then learn how to taper properly.  Here is our paxil tapering topic:

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

I'm glad you found us when you did, you are in time to save yourself from a lot of suffering. Please ask any questions here in your thread and let us know what you decide to do.

 

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 all for your advice.  I had a full blown panic attack last night, the worst ever. I ended up calling an ambulance and transported to the hospital. Xanax is managing the anxiety. I have taken your advice and returned to my usual dosage, and attempt tapering.  

Paxil CR 25 mg. since November 2014, Busiperone .5 mg since November 2014. Quit Paxil Cold Turkey June 5, 2015, due to severe side effects including alcohol abuse, lack of emotion, loss of interest in life. Withdrawal symptoms dizziness, but not so severe as vertigo; increased anxiety (still taking the Busiperone); extremely vivid dreams; night sweats; crying spells; ringing in my ears.  Thus far it has been tolerable. Taking it day by day.

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That's bad but good that you've decided to do the sensible thing, don't take the xanax to often if you can avoid it. It's not something you want to become dependent on, that's a whole other battle you want to steer well clear of if you can.

December 2008 Prescribed 20mg citalopram (celexa) for depression and OCD.July 2013 stopped taking citalopram (celexa). November 2013 reinstated citalopram (celexa) following replapse at 20mg for 4 weeks, 40mg for 4 weeks and tapered off over 4 weeks as my condition had deteriorated. February 2014 started 20mg of fluoxetine (prozac). Didn't tolerate it and stopped 4 weeks later, experienced no withdrawal. May 2014 started 25mg of sertraline (zoloft), increased to 50mg after 1 week. Remained at 50mg for 4 weeks before increasing to 100mg at the request of my psychiatrist despite advising of suicidal ideation for an additional week before stopping. Advised to drop to 50mg for 3 days before withdrawing altogether. I did as advised and horrendous withdrawal ensued. 11th August 2014 commenced escitalopram (lexapro), weaned off end of October 2014. Commenced Clonazepam December 2014 0.5mg twice daily, switched to Diazepam 10mg twice daily with a view to tapering of the benzodiazepine altogether. Tapering schedule presently at a reduction of 1mg of Diazepam every 1-2 weeks depending upon side effects. So far experienced no severe physical side effects except worsening of PGAD symptoms upon reduction which does seem to improve within a few days of doing so. Presently taking no antidepressants however still experiencing mild agitation, severe depression and PGAD which is currently being treated by a physiotherapist.

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Amy, sorry to hear that you had a bad panic attack. I'm glad to hear that you started back on your dosage of Paxil. I tried to stop Paxil 25mg cr back in 2008 and I went through hell and had no idea what was going on not did my doctors. I finally figured out by doing research on the net and found out that I had paxil flu. Once I went back on my meds, I was just fine after a few days. It's just not worth it to stop cold turkey. Do the taper as others have said and I hope you will be fine. It's a slow process. I've went from 25 to 12.5 to 10 and varied under 10 for a while. The lowest I got was 2.5mg but I'm now back to 10mg. Hang in there. This site is great. Remember you are not alone.

April 2016 cut .25 in half and took until April 24, 2016 when i stopped.

March 2016 tapered to .25 until April 2016

Feb 2016 tapered to .50 until March 2016

Jan 16 - tapered to .75 until Feb 2016

Updosed to 10mg Mid May until Dec 2015

Updosed to 7.5mg Mid-April to first of May

Dropped to 5mg in February until mid April

Reupped Paxil to 10mg in Sept 2014 until February 2015.

Started with 3/4 of a pill...to half a pill to 1/4 of a pill by January 2014

Mid summer of 2013 started cutting 10mg. Started to tapper off paxil CR in fall of 2012. Went from 25mg - 12.5mg. January 2013 12.5mg - 10mg of regular paxill.

Prescribed paxil CR 25mg in 2008. Tried to quit cold turkey in fall of 2009. Almost killed me. Back on paxil CR 25mg

 

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