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Newbuy82 2 months into Paxil discontinuation looking for advice


Newbuy82

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Hello everyone, new here.

 

Here's my history with anti depressants. Started on Paxil 25 mg for four years, switched to generic 20 mg another 4 years. Then 10 mg another 4 years. Lastly 5 mg for a week then cold turkey. Currently 2 months off.

 

I started on Paxil to alleviate panic and it has worked extremely well (probably would have killed myself if I didn't start the meds) up until a few months before I stopped taking it. I may have missed a few doses on weekends, may have damaged the medication by storing it in my car, or might be due to the fact that my prescription was filled by multiple generic manufacturers month to month (this really drove me nuts when I was trying to figure out why it wasn't working. I really don't think pharmacies should change head meds suppliers so rapidly to save cost).

 

Either way, I started to feel something was wrong with my meds and something was just different. Shortly after I noticed that I would have a cycle to the day. Wake up anxious, tingly and happy a few hours, depersonalized for a few, then normal for a few hours. Go to bed, repeat cycle. Out of curiosity, got a fresh script, took it and was way too strong had a panic attack and went to the hospital, which they just said take half a tablet from there on out. Didn't really seem to help all too much and I was determined to stop taking the meds so I stopped.

 

Withdrawals were hell thought I was gonna die for a while and I'm very slowly starting to come around. The only thing is I have brain fog and memory problems along with some really odd head sensations from time to time (not brain zaps, those have passed.)

 

I guess I'm a little concerned as i have read that this could take years to fix. I was gonna take lexalpro as I have other family members that take it and it works great for them. got s prescription and couldn't get myself to take it as I was so freaked out by the experiences I was having with Paxil along with being highly phobic of taking medication (part of this was due to being deep in withdrawal at the time). Also, just scared of the startup of the medication and whether it'll be activating or sedating. Would prefer the later. Mentioned this to my doc and they suggested Prozac as it has a slower onset. Still haven't taken that either.

 

What brings me here is that I'm currently going through the waves/windows period and realizing the impact of stopping the medication has had on my system. This has made me more hesitant to start a new antidepressant as I'm afraid of making it worse. Also, my doctor seems to ignore discontinuation symptoms and prescribes new stuff at the same dosage as if you were giving it to a person for the first time. I had some food sensitivity in the earlier stages of withdrawal, lost a ton of weight (135 down to around 120). And began to wonder if I would be more sensitive to serotogenic drugs at this point.

 

I'm not sure if I should reinstate the Paxil low dose to stabilize, start a new ad, or just ride this out at the moment. I've found information online regarding reinstatement, but nothing regarding starting a different antidepressant at this stage of discontinuation and would like to know if anyone here has any experience with this?

 

Sorry for the long read, but any input would be greatly appreciated here. Thanks.

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  • Moderator

Hi Newbuy--  welcome to the group.  We have a ton of good information here.  From what I have seen it would not be a good idea to start on another drug, all it will do is cause more problems, confuse your brain and slow down your recovery.  Don't be concerned that it will take years to recover, yes it will take some time, but with each person being different it is impossible to predict how long it will take, but rest assured it does happen.  If your symptoms are tolerable then I wouldn't suggest reinstating the paxil, but if things get to be too much to bear taking a little bit, say 2mg, can take the edge off.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Newbuy.

 

Paxil is very difficult to go off, and cold turkey is high-risk for withdrawal syndrome off any drug. You may wish to try reinstating a very small amount of Paxil, such as 2mg to start, stabilize, and then taper very slowly off that tiny amount.

 

Or, you may wish to try 2mg Prozac instead. It might be easier to taper off once you stabilize. See

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Paxil and Prozac both come in a liquid for convenient tapering, or you can make your own liquid to take small amounts, see

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

There are no guarantees that either will work to reduce withdrawal syndrome, which can last months or years.

 

If you do not wish to reinstate, see the Symptoms and self-care forum for suggestions about how to deal with symptoms.

 

How's your sleep?

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 brass monkey. When I first started taking these I was probably about 21 (33 now) at the time and had no clue that they could stop working or that there was ever any issues coming off of the meds. I was under the impression keep taking it if it works. Well I guess sometimes we learn the hard way. I guess the biggest issue is that the Paxil gave me an overall feeling of well being along with suppress a certain tightness in my chest (assumed fibromyalgia). It's weird because I can recall earlier events easier now and I always do remember disliking someone pressing on my chest even if it was laying in bed with a woman. That definitely surprised me to see that return even went and got a chest X-ray to make sure it wasn't an issue which it apparently isn't. Also realizing that's all it is helps to deal with it a little better. I'm still curious if anyone here has attempted introducing a new med this far into discontinuation as the fibro thing gets really annoying sometimes. Also, I really want to get back to working and enjoying life again as I haven't really done much in the last 2 months, but I am finally starting to eat/exercise more. Not by much, but it's improvement and I think that is spreading up the process a bit, but who knows these things have their own schedule. On a plus note I do have really good family support right now but even though we disagree on the med issue.

 

I also look at it as crazy how I went from commuting 45 minutes to work everyday to quitting my job and not leaving the house by myself in such a short time (mostly due to withdrawals being unpredictable along with some psychological dependence). Also, if I did want to start a new med, now would be the time as I will have family available during the day, whereas, if I wait too long it'll be even harder. Biggest thing is I want to get myself back to where I function on my own again. Also, unsure if medication will be necessary to make that happen. If I would have known then what I know now, I would have taken time for CBT or some other type of therapy while I was medicated and weened off earlier. Thanks again. I'm impressed by the 4 years of tapering and I really hope it works out for you.

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Oh and to answer your question, sleep is slowly improving. Had some hardcore insomnia for a while. I fall asleep ok, just because I'm usually relieved the day is over. But after I fall asleep, I generally wake up a few times and force myself back to bed, but this just started being ok about a week ago. And thanks again for the links. It does appear that if I do go back on something different the dose should be low and take my time working upward. Haven't decided what I'm gonna do yet, but I look forward learning more through the guides here and the experience of others. Thanks again

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  • Administrator

No, in reinstatement, we suggest testing a small dose and, if it works, staying at that dose rather than increasing the dosage, which can cause adverse effects in sensitized nervous systems.

 

If I were you, I would not consider reinstating anything other than Paxil or Prozac.

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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  • Moderator

I found out the hard way that paxil mimics many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  If you read my signature the part of alcohol problem that is referenced was due to self medicating the constant pain throughout my body.  Now that I have tapered way down most of that pain is gone.  There is still plenty of time to learn CBT and that sort of thing, they are always a good thing to know.  Part of wd/recovery is the rebuilding of ones life in a more positive direction.  I have talked on other threads about how we have literally been cleansed by fire and have the rare second chance at life.  Since we are forced into reevaluating a lot of our feelings, emotions and life situations this is a good time to dig deep and try to improve ourselves.  Learning coping skills is a good place to start.  As I mentioned above, there is a ton of information here, just pick a thread and start reading, and don't let the horror stories freak you out.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I was gonna take lexapro as I have other family members that take it and it works great for them.

Welcome Newbuy ...out of concern for anyone on these chemicals and trapped in  an addictive mind numbing kafkaesque anosognosic world i would like to suggest you buy your family members a copy of :

Psychiatric drug withdrawal By P Breggin

 

http://www.amazon.com/Psychiatric-Drug-Withdrawal-Prescribers-Therapists/dp/0826108431/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436941037&sr=1-1&keywords=psychiatric+drug+withdrawal+a+guide+for+prescribers+therapists+patients+and+their+families

 

Its worth every cent and i notice the price has come down since i bought my copy. You may even be able to get it from your local library.

 

Wishing you strength and yeah i also am very impressed with Brass's taper. He is one of several who are writing the taper book.

 

You said "There is still plenty of time to learn CBT and that sort of thing, they are always a good thing to know."

Let me save you some money...............

Cbt says change the thought and we change the feeling.

So

Change, 'this suffering is due to me' to 'this suffering is due to the drug'

Change ' i'm not going to make it ' to 'im going to make it'

Change ' i need to see a doctor about this' to 'i dont need to see a doctor about this ....cos i've got my good mates at sa ' ...!

Change ' i am the worst case scenario ' to ' There are people worse than me'

Change ' I am not happy about what has been done to me' to 'I am going to write a letter of complaint to all possible areas'

Change ' i've got a mental illness' to ' My doctor must have a mental illness to have given me this brain altering poison'

Change ' i am never going to get better' to 'One day i will be better'

Change ' My doctor should try some of his own medicine ' to ...on second thoughts no need to change this one...its a great thought!

Change ' i cant cope with another morning like this' to ' suffering is only for a season'.

Change ' OMG i should have tapered at the 10% rate ' to ' I could have tapered at the 10% rate ..but i didnt because my doctor is a clueless idiot!'

Change ' I need to swallow something for this' to 'hell will freeze over before i swallow anything from a doctor ever again and that includes verbal nonsense'

Change ' My family keep telling me sometimes we need to take a little something to get by' to ' My family are totally clueless about these addictive poisons but i still love them anyway'

Change ' i am going to spend all day in bed in a fetal position crying out for God to take me' to ' I am going to go out for a walk'

Change ' i feel like crap ' to 'I feel like crap but i am going to carry on anyway'

Change ' i cant go on like this' to ' I will keep my head down in the trenches until the coast is clear'

Change ' 5 years is a long time to wait to recover' to 'i will only live one day at a time'

Change ' Holy Jonah this wave looks horrific ' to ' This is one big scary mother wave but im gonna surf this baby right up to the next window'

 

Sorry i couldnt help myself....i get like that sometimes!

cbt may help attempt to replace the broken record but it will not take away the wdl suffering. ( im not a big fan of cbt myself for wdl is what it is ...brutal!, i am a big fan of t-i-m-e).

 

Wishing you strength.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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