megb

megb: 3rd time attempt to get off Paxil

89 posts in this topic

"Dont worry the 3-4 years will go really fast."

 

I found that as my dose reduced I started feeling better and tapering has faded into the background.  When I was doing my first few drops I was watching the calendar keen to do the next drop.  Now I find I don't watch the calendar and a month can go by and I think, wow that went quickly.

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Lengthening my taper plan also means more and more years on this awful poison. 9 more years is a LONG time... how do I know if the benefits of being on this longer and going at a snails pace means less damage on my brain and body than getting off sooner but not as slow?? A little conflicted about this. What should I do?

Because if you try that you may be bounced back to the start for the fourth time.

You are not going to be tapering for "9 more years" Where are you getting that from.

But yes if you have been taking paxil for 6 yrs and plan to taper for 3 then yeah that will total 9 yrs. So from what i see your tapering plan will only take you 3.2 years to get to 1mg.

 

You should go as slow as you need to. If that takes 5 years then sobeit that is what slowly is.

 

Here is a piece ive been reading from Glenmullen recently

He says:

"We assume that withdrawal symptoms do not cause injury to brain cells or to other organ systems. But, since it has not been adequately researched, we do not really know the answer to this question. The question [can antidepressants withdrawal symptoms do any injury to the brain or to other organ systems? ] is often asked by patients with severe symptoms like electric zaps sensations in the brains of disabling withdrawal symptoms. Because we lack a definitive answer, patients should be discouraged from repeatedly "toughing out" severe withdrawal symptoms. Instead, the tapering schedule should be paced so that patients experience mild, tolerable withdrawal symptoms. This provides something of an 'insurance policy' since we do not really know the answer to this important question." Glenmullen 2005.

 

Boy do i feel bad after reading this cos i 'toughed out' my wdl big time.

 

 

I am now redoing my taper plan to include much longer holds on 15mg, 10mg, 5mg, 1mg.

Maybe thats how you intend to get 9 more years.

I dont think you need to hold for a year and a half at each of these doses if thats what you plan.

 

Just do your drop and wait the 4 weeks if stable then do the next drop if not then hold for a couple more weeks.The cns will tell you what to do.

 

I think your taper plan is very wise and excellent.

Dont worry the 3-4 years will go really fast.

You may like to consider the Brassmonkey taper.

 

nz11

NZ, I am taking heed of Mapleleaf girl, who I follow. She wished she would have held doses for much longer periods. I plan to do the same so I don't end up in the awfulness she went through by going 'too fast'. 

 

It will be 8 years total from now and I don't love that but I also won't go faster just to be done. I use a compounding pharmacy so I won't be tapering small amounts weekly/biweekly like Brass does. I plan to hold 4 months at 15 mg, 6 months at 10 mg, 45 days per dose under 10mg, hold for 6 months at 5mg, 6 months at 1mg, and 6 months at .1mg. It might change as I go on, I will listen to my body for sure!

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Sounds like you have a great plan.

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An update: 

 

After a few weeks on 15mg I feel fine. Minor things started when I dropped to 15 from 15.5- experienced a bit of anxiety and some nausea randomly. 

 

Now I have no anxiety and still random nausea, but super rare. The weird thing is that my appetite has diminished quite a bit. I've lost some weight too, but it is most likely due to my restricted diet... no gluten or dairy is limiting what crap I can put in my mouth :) Yay for some lbs dropping!

 

I had weird insomnia Sunday night. The night before that I slept soooo long and well. Monday I didn't even feel exhausted even though I only got 3 hours! I was up til 1am reading. Hmm.  It resolved the next night so I am grateful. 

 

Glad to be holding on 15 until February.

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Just kidding I do have some anxiety :) Spoke too soon. Magnesium Taurate seems to help at night though. 

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I am still working on my very slow taper, but I had a question about a drop. Do y'all think going from 11mg to 10mg is too large of a drop? My usual taper decreases are by .5mg every 30 days until I get to 10mg. Since I am staying at 10mg for 6 months at least, I thought maybe I would go from 11 to 10mg (a 9% decrease) instead of 11 to 10.5 and then to 10. Basically, I want to cut a month out of my taper. 

 

thoughts?? I am getting my doses compounded at a pharmacy so it is not something I can switch easily once I decide. Pretty expensive :( I welcome any and all feedback. 

 

Thanks!!

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How have you been handling the 0.5mg drops?  If there's been no trouble, then you would probably be okay with a 9% drop.  But if the 0.5mg drops had already been difficult in any way then I wouldn't suggest increasing the reduction.

 

Good to hear you are having a 6 month hold.  I recently did an 8 month hold and it made things so much better for me.

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Hi Karen! Hope you're doing well still! I have been mostly fine with the .5 drops, a few sleepless nights here and there and some anxiety, but nothing to prevent me from functioning. 90% of the time I feel normal and good. Thank you for the advice! I may wait to see how I am feeling after a few more .5 reductions. 

 

Currently at 15mg for 1 more month, so I have time to make the decision. I'm glad you did an 8 month hold - what amount did you hold on? 

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I was (and am) still on quite a high dose.  When I held I had got down to about 85% of my original dose.  Slow, but it's doable. 

 

It does sound like would cope with the 9% reduction.  I like how careful you are being with the whole process.  This is the way! 

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I decided after 4 months on 15mg to drop to 14mg instead of 14.5. It was still significantly less than 10% drop so I felt okay about it. After 2 days in I am having sleep issues and feeling emotional. I resorted back to Trazodone and Ambien for help - I HAVE to go to work. I feel I let myself down but I have to get through this. I am taking lowest possible dose of sleep meds and being very careful. 

 

I know it usually resolves itself after a week - praying this is the case! Thanks for listening anyone who drops by. 

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Hi Meg-- I'm sorry to hear that your last drop is hitting you so hard. I found the 14mg to 11mg range to be a bit of a problem with stronger than usual reactions to each drop.  Also taking the entire 10% (9.33% IYC) drop all at once will cause the symptoms to hit very strongly also.  I totally understand having to remain functional during WD, it can be a real challenge. Might I suggest that you consider trying a Brassmonkey Slide. It would involve doing 2.5% drops each week for 4 weeks and then holding an additional 2 weeks. This in effect gives you a 10% drop every 6 weeks and really cuts down the severity of the symptoms.

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Hey Brass! It isn't too bad and I think is resolving even now. I thought about doing that microtaper, but the thing is I get my medication compounded into doses for any length of time. Cutting pills or liquid is so intimidating. How do you do it??

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Hi Meg-- I can see that, if you're getting the meds compounded it kinda ties you in.  If things are resolving then that's great.  Maybe you can work out a pattern so you know what to expect and when. I've been cutting the pill the entire taper.  I've done that sort of thing all my life so it's no problem.  As  a research engineer I had to do a lot of measuring and mixing of all sorts of things and be accountable for the numbers and materials.

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Hey meg

Just wanted to agree with what Brass is saying the 14- 11 mg range can be a tricky one to get through.

As i read this i'm reminded of a member 'Junior' who had trouble at 13mg.

Be careful out there.

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Thank you both for your input! I will be careful to watch during these next few drops. I thought it would only get rougher below 10% but there is much I don't know :) Brass, did you encapsulate your crushed tablet amounts or just take with water? It does cost quite a pretty penny to get meds compounded so I would like to do my own measurements. Also, could y'all take a look at my updated taper plan? I'd love advice! Am trying to figure out how to add an attachment...

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Just below the post box there is "More Reply Options".  Click on that then you can "Browse", "Attach This File" and "Add Attachment to Post".

 

Each member has a set total amount they can upload.  If your file is too big you can convert it to a PDF, or save it as a JPEG.  If your program can't do those there are some free converters online.

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Okay here is my updated taper plan attached - anyone who wants to weigh in is welcome!! Yes, I color coded it :) Pretending it's not the worst thing ever. 

PT.xlsx

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When I bought my scales I also got a bag of 1000 "0" gel caps. I crush my tablets and weigh out the powder and put it into the gel caps. That way I can make up a week or so doses at one time.  I found the raw powder to taste really nasty, but I have sprinkled it on my morning OJ if I happen to run out of caps.

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Hi megb, I read your intro. It's your third attempt to get off paxil. In your 2nd attempt in your signature I noticed you dropped from 18mg to 15mg ,that's 16,6% close to 17% , that is 7% more than the recommended 10% reduction from the previous dose. . I'm on paxil too since Jun 2015 and to let you know I followed the 10% rule in my paxil taper .Now I'm on 1mg after 1,5 years with no withdrawal . I dropped from 10mg to 1mg with no withdrawal because I was very carefull with the drops, Friendly advice do not skip doses and don't look at the calendar 20days,hold on the dose longer if you have to You don't have to hold 4 and 6 months at 15mg and10mg, I hold for 35 days at 3mg, If my english is annoying forgive me as I'm not a native english speaker. Good luck.


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Thanks Miko, when I did my 2nd attempt I didn't know about the 10% rule. Thank heaven for this group!! Now that I am on my 3rd attempt I am holding longer and decreasing slower. I still plan to do very long holds at certain doses to gauge my progress and let my system stabilize/rest. I think it can be beneficial to let our brains catch up after so much change by tapering. Good luck to you too!

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Note to self: dropping 1 mg from 15 to 14 took a little while longer to resolve than a .5 drop. Had to go back on sleep meds :( Trying my best to use as little as possible. Instead of dropping from 14 to 13 as I planned, I am doing 13.5 for 50 days to stabilize and care for myself. Hopefully that will be better!! Fingers crossed. These guessing games are not fun but a reminder to all that we are trying our best and it will eventually end. 

 

WE CAN DO THIS. #warriors

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MegB,

 

Be careful about adding trazodone.  You may have to taper off it if used frequently enough.  Nip it in the bud while you can.

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Survivor, thanks! I have been taking it for some time so I will indeed have to taper it. Not looking forward to it but only on 12.5mg so hopefully not too bad...

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I plan to politely harass GSK (creators of Paxil/paroxetine) on Twitter which I joined solely to do so :) Follow me at Off2theLuWithYa

 

I'm going down to 13.5mg this Friday - wish me luck!! I will stay there for 50 days to stabilize. Decided not to do a full 1mg drop again since it took a bit of time to recover. 

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Good luck, Meg, and let us know how it goes! 

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It has been 5 days into my drop to 13.5mg and (hopefully not speaking too soon) I feel just fine! MUCH better than when I went to 14mg. I am taking approx. 1-2mg Ambien and like 6-8mg Trazodone at night for sleep. I take the Paxil during the day at 4pm-ish. 

 

I don't plan to change anything right now except to hop off the ambien in a couple days. The weather has been very nice here, which is a great mood booster :) 

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Hi Meg-- very glad to hear that you're doing better.  I see from your signature that you took the Ambien back in 2012 but no other mention.  How long have you been taking it?  If it's been more than a few weeks then you really should taper it and not just "hop off".

 

Brassmonkey

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Brass, you're right I didn't put that down anywhere else. Ambien, along with Trazodone, I have used on and off for periods of sleeplessness. I don't put every time because it would be for a few days or a week at most. This time has been a couple months. Usually, hopping off Ambien does nothing to me, and I have been tapering from 5mg. 

 

I plan to be very careful I promise :) During withdrawal my #1 symptom is horrible insomnia and a combo of a low dose of Ambien and Trazodone help get me rest until I can manage. Wish I could fast-forward a few years sometimes...

 

but you are proof it can be done!!

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OK, just pay attention to what your body is saying and stay safe.

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4 days off Ambien and still sleeping well! I mean besides the crayzay dreams and some nightsweats (thanks Paxil). I adore having crazy dreams because that means I am SLEEPING! This drop in dose has been by far the easiest - I wonder why? I plan to stay on 13.5 for 50 days. My stomach felt awful yesterday and I wonder if it is because I had like 1/4 glass of wine... I never drink and now alcohol is irritating to my system. Not a big loss honestly :) Is that common? Hope everyone else is doing well!! 

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Hi megb! Wanted to write more, but I will be late for work - but I certainly can't handle anything over a few mouthfuls of alcohol and haven't for years, I worked in the wine industry for years prior to paxil and so drank constantly (in small quantities mind you). I'd never really linked it to the paxil, but interesting you've made the link because I definitely have had that experience.

 

xxmolly

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The last few nights have been so weird. I can't fall asleep until after 3-5am and only get a few hours but I don't feel terribly exhausted. What.the.What. 

 

Nothing has really changed except for adding a probiotic at night, which I have a hard time believing would disrupt sleep. I don't feel anxious or anything; maybe a delayed withdrawal from my drop 2.5 weeks ago? 

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Entry for myself: 

 

I keep feeling like I needed to taper Trazodone all the way so I would only be on one AD. Could I develop serotonin syndrome on 8mg Traz and 13.5mg Paxil? Maybe. All I know is it is getting harder and harder to taper Traz so I should exit while still can.

 

 I used no meds to sleep last Thursday night -  wooot! I literally forgot and only took a melatonin. I was off Ambien for over a week so I added a few mg of that and Melatonin to help me sleep the other days bc the next night I didn't fall asleep til after 6am. Symptoms include only had slight nausea yesterday for 10 minutes. 5 days of no Traz and I feel good. I hopped off at 2-3mg (hard to tell since I was just cutting the pill.) 

 

Will taper the Ambien in a few more days. 

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Megb,

 

Trazodone could have a delayed wd (it did for me).  I would try to survive any insomnia for at least a month (without ambien), then you may start to see improvement.  How long have you been using low dose trazodone?  8-12 mg would not touch my insomnia!

 

Good luck!

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I have been on a low dose on and off since Jan. We shall see! Thanks for your advice i will keep on the lookout for WD symptoms! Hope you are doing well!! :)

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I've been in a really good window for at least 3 weeks now :) I even traveled to see my sister and new nephew (who is the most precious being EVER) across the country and slept decently! This is huge! I have also continued to stay off Trazodone and have only been taking 1.5mg Melatonin at night for the last 5 days.

 

Still debating the next drop... to 12.5 or 13? hmmmm... I tolerated dropping from 14 to 13.5 well but not so much 15 to 14. I should probably go slow and do a .5 drop, but my heart wants to get off this crap faster. 

 

 

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