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Dee80

Dee80: Weaning from Paxil

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Dee80

Hi all, I have been checking out this website for a long time but have never posted before. I have been on Paxil for 12 years at a dose of 20 mg. After a failed attempt at stopping the drug in 2012 and thankfully finding this site, I have been reducing slowly for nearly 5 years. I have been reducing using 10% drops every 6-8 weeks. However, there have been times when I have struggled and stayed at a dose for longer periods. I am now at a dose of 0.8 mg. I could really use some advice as I have been really struggling ever since I have dropped below 1.2 mg. My symptoms are sll purely physical and I can't seem to find any 'windows'. I can't help but wonder if I should just stop taking the drugs. Maybe I am experiencing side effects rather than withdrawal at this stage. Has anyone experienced real trouble at such low doses? Thanks for any advice!

Edited by scallywag
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ChessieCat

Hi Dee and welcome to SA (finally!),

 

I'm really pleased to see that you have been tapering and holding as recommended by SA.

 

1.  Would you be able to post the tapering information for the last year?  Date and dose please.

 

2.  Are you tapering 10% of the previous dose or of the starting dose?

 

3.  Are you taking your Paxil at about the same time daily, or are you skipping days?

 

4.  Are you achieving accurate doses?

 

5.  What side effects did you experience when taking 20mg?

 

6.  What symptoms have you previously had during your taper?

 

7.  What symptoms are you currently experiencing?

 

8.  Are you taking any other drugs, prescription, non-prescription, other or supplements?

 

9.  Are you experiencing any external stressors?

 

10. Do you drink alcohol or caffeine drinks?

 

A bit like playing 20 questions!  My apologies for all of them, but I'm trying to get the full picture of your situation.  It may be that something else is causing or worsening the withdrawal issues.

 

Many members find it harder as their dose gets lower.  I'll give you some links which you may not have seen yet:

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?


Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

This is your Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

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Dee80

Hi Chessiecat, Thank you for your warm welcome and reply. I have been taking my Paxil every night without skipping any days. I checked back over my calendar and my weaning schedule for the past year was as follows: 1.4 mg March 2016,1.3mg May,1.2mg July

1.1 mg Sept,1.0 mg Nov,0.9 mg Jan and then down to my current dose of 0.8 mg march. I have been taking 10% off the previous dose and using a jewellers scale for measuring. I did not have any symptoms on Paxil when I was taking 20mg. I didn't really start to experience symptoms until I got below the 5 mg mark. My symptoms now are constant dizziness, blurred vision, constant tiredness and bouts of vertigo. I stopped the Paxil before after cutting down to 5 mg before I knew about weaning correctly and experience similar symptoms. I reinstated the drug and all of my symptoms went away. It was only when I started looking online that I realised it was withdrawal that I was experiencing. I could put up with the symptoms up until the summer when I went to a dose of 1.2 mg. I don't take any other meds and I am not experiencing any stressors other than my symptoms :) I do drink tea but have not drank alcohol in quite a while. Sorry for the long post. Can you think of anything I might be doing incorrectly? Or do you think perhaps it could just be withdrawal? Thank you for the links. I haven't seen any of these so will be interested to see if they shed any light.

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ChessieCat

Thank you for answering my questions.  You've been doing what looks like a perfect taper.  Well done!  However, going from 0.9 to 0.8 is more than 10%.  You might consider only reducing by 5% from now on, after you have stabilised from your current drop.

 

If your symptoms are unbearable, you could trying updosing by a very small amount.  I know member Fresh got to the stage with her taper where should sometimes take the tiniest little bit powder and it would make a difference.  If you can measure to make your dose 0.825 may be enough.  Or 0.85 at the most.  You can make your own liquid which you could use for the micro portion.  Information is in the Tapering Paxil link above, Post #1.

 

Here are a couple more links:

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases
 

Slowness of slow tapers

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Dee80

After studying the dose occupancy charts, I understand now how this can be withdrawal even at such low doses. I will wait another while to see if I stabilise at this dose and if not I will just updose as I obviously reduced too much. I think once I begin reducing again I will try the microtaper. I don't want to jeopardise things by making going dropping too quickly-not now that I have come this far. Thanks for all the help Chessiecat. It's great to find out that I have options.

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scallywag

Dee, I've added medication tags to your topic.  You'll now get a list of several other topics with Paxil or paroxetine tabs at the bottom of every page in this introduction. You can also click on either tag just below the topic title to get a list of other introduction topics of members who are tapering Paxil.

 

Paxil seems to one of the medications with not-so-funny not-so-little speed bumps -- doses where reductions get tricky. Checking out other members' posts may be informative.

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Dee80

Thanks Scallywag. That's really helpful :)

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Dee80
Hi everyone,
 
I have stopped by to ask for a bit of advice. I have only posted before a couple of times but I have followed this forum throughout my taper of Paxil. I have slowly tapered down from 20 mg using the 10% method over a period of 5 years. I am now down to 0.4 mg. This past week I have been really ill and diagnosed with labyrinthitis based on my lack of balance, head spinning and vomiting. I have been bed bound as I fall when I get up. I feel okay when lying flat. The doctor prescribed me cyclizine 50mg yesterday and I have taken three of these so far. They have helped the vomiting but not the dizziness. I read that these are an antihistamine and now I am extremely worried after reading some posts in the forum that I have been stupid to take them. I don't know what to do and would like to know if anyone else has been in this position? Thanks. 
 
Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

Hi Dee,

 

I moved your topic about antihistamines to Intro topic.  It is best to ask questions about your own situation in your Intro because it keeps your history in one place.

 

dizziness-vertigo-light-headedness-etc

 

rockingswayingboatdizziness

 

 

Please also update your drug signature.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

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Dee80

Thanks so much for these links Chessiecat!

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AmyK

I just read your thread. For sure it's wd symptoms, I have had those too. Just stay at your dose and wait until you are stabilized. Then maybe do smaller cuts from now on until zero (as we talked about on my thread). You will be fine. 

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MollyN

Hi Dee!

 

I'm so sorry you've been laid low with the dizziness and vomiting, that's very hard to deal with.

 

I've got a similar drug history to you and I feel enormously proud of you that you've managed to get so far off paxil - it's a huge achievement, it really is!

 

I hope the following story of my recent experience with the symptoms you're describing is helpful. Recently I experienced very similar symptoms which I posted about in my topic - getting out of bed, falling over with dizziness and vomiting. After a few days of this, full of fear I visited a doctor who decided I didn't have Meniere's disease (which after googling, I was triply fearful of!). She felt that a 'wait and see' approach was the best way forward. (As a doctor I'd never seen before I didn't mention my paxil situation to her).

 

Sure enough within the week, the symptoms that had been very frightening and limiting (driving felt distinctly dangerous) and lying flat felt like the best option all round - well, they resolved.

I've had a couple of incidents since, just in the last day or so actually. But I'm no longer afraid that it's something more insidious, because I'm now confident it's dumb ol withdrawal from paxil. So like everything else that entails, it's a matter of as calmly as I can, accept it and wait for it to pass.

 

I'm really cheering you on as Dee80, Brassmonkey has gone down to your low doses and has a great journal if you wanted to follow other people's experience at the very low to zero range.

 

xxxmollyn

 

 

 

 

 

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myndfull

Dee -- I'd like to second what Amy said. It's the withdrawal. Try, if you possibly can, to wait it out. You'll feel better. Make smaller drops, not 10% of the last. It's harder the closer you get to zero, as you said in reference to the occupancy charts. Even at low doses we still have a fair amount of the drug in our system. 

 

I switched five years ago from Paxil to Celexa and for three years I've been using the liquid Celexa to taper. I'm currently down to 0.31mL. For the last four weeks I've been dropping 2.5% (roughly) each week. As a result my symptoms have become more physical than psychological. Check out my most recent post to see what I've been feeling (search for "myndfull"). Though my symptoms are pretty severe--especially the headaches and the insomnia--I've had less anhedonia or DP/DR as a result of my smaller drops. It's been rough but bearable. And at times, even my brain fog has cleared and I feel myself.

 

I haven't had any vomiting, but the dizziness, lack of balance issues I've had aplenty.

 

You're very low at 0.4mg! Keep going, but take it slow.

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Dee80

Thanks so much Amy, Molly and Myndfull for your input. You know I did actually suspect withdrawal at first but I'd never had anything like this feeling before so I accepted the labyrinthitis diagnosis. However ,nothing surprises me with Paxil. It's been 12 days of this but I need to try to remember how symptoms can resolve. I decided against using any of the prescribed drugs and was just going to wait it out so I guess it's the same 'treatment' either way😀I'm sorry you have all had these symptoms. I've been dizzy a lot along the way but didn't think it would get this bad. If I stabilise -like you have all advised I will definitely make smaller cuts going forward. Thanks again!

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Jaywill

I have been 5 years totally off the drug and I would say I am finally on my way out. I found that I didn't really get withdrawal symptoms when I weaned but boy once I stopped the drug altogether all hell broke loose. Unfortunately I have been on a half pill of aerus since I withdrew and I think that will be the next thing i need to work on. My symptoms were mainly physical and I was in and out of hospital and I thought I would never get well and i feel close to normal now. Hang in there

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Dee80

Thanks Jaywill. I'm sorry to hear you went through such a hard time. Even after weaning. Hearing that you are doing well now helps as I too feel like I'll never get well. As you say all I can do is hang in there and hope. It sounds like it has taken you a long time to recover but your feeling normal now shows we can all get there in the end :)

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cokemachineglow

Hi Dee80

It sounds like you are doing amazing with your taper - I was a dope and quit cold turkey and got extremely sick. Oftentimes when we are tapering people don`t seem to understand why a `small` change makes such a BIG difference in how we feel. In many ways too I feel like people who are tapering off of their medications for mental health related issues appear to be physically ok, but are suffering in silence. Just wanted to let you know that you aren`t suffering alone, and you can do this. Just take it one day at a time, and remind yourself how far you have come. :) 

 

Cokemachineglow.

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