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Rmilb: Paxil withdrawals

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Rmilb

Hello all,

 

I am experiencing withdrawals after trying to slowly taper of 20 mg of Paxil.

 

This is my second attempt at getting off of it, the first time I went cold turkey (on 10 mg) not knowing about the horrible withdrawal symptoms that would happen.

 

I was wondering if reinstating Paxil would ease my withdrawal symptoms? I feel like I'm going insane, I can't function, and I don't know how to live everyday life when I feel this way. I am experiencing nausea, dizziness, vertigo, upset stomach, diarrhea, no appetite, suicidal thoughts, heightened anxiety, and insomnia.

 

I don't know if taking the 20mg will help me or not but I'm really scared I'm going to feel like this forever. I don't even want to leave my bed because every time I walk or move I want to throw up or fall over.

 

If someone could offer me some help, I would greatly appreciate it. 

 

Thank you

Edited by baroquep
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baroquep

Hi  Rmilb,

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), I’m glad you found the site.  

 

I sounds like you have had the unfortunate experience of trying to taper off of Paxil too quickly in the past and are aware of what can happen.  I tried to taper off of anti-depressants twice and ended up back on the full dose as I wasn’t able to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.  Unfortunately few medical professionals have any idea how to safely taper off of these drugs and often give the wrong advice which for many people leads to the trouble you are now experiencing.

 

While reinstating a small dose of Paxil may very well help to calm and/or eliminate your withdrawal, it is important that you understand the recommendations and are aware of the risks and/or benefits.  You don't say how slowly you tapered off of Paxil or when you stopped.  Please see the instructions below on how to complete your withdrawal history signature where you can provide this information.

 

You need to be very cautious when reintroducing even small amounts of these drugs as once the CNS has destabilized it is very fragile and like tapering, reinstatement has to be done very carefully so at not to upset the CNS further.  Please have a look at the link below to give you an idea of what is involved in reinstatement.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Surviving Antidepressants recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with at a hold of at least four weeks before your next decrease.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at an even more conservative rate as they are very sensitive to even the smallest drops.  

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for Tapering off Paxil/Paroxetine

 

We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your relevant tapering/drug information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators immensely and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.  

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

I know it is a lot of information to digest all at once, but feel it’s best to have all of the information on the table so that you know what you are dealing with and can make the most informed decision as to what you would like to do.  

 

Please let us know what you decide.

 

Best,

BaroqueP

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Rmilb

Hi, thank you for replying!

 

My doctor told be to cut my 20mg down to 10mg and take that for five days and then cut the 10 down to 5mg for five days and then stop the Paxil completely and start Trintellix. The last day I took 5mg of Paxil was August 26, and began taking 5mg of Trintellix on August 27th. All seemed good until Saturday September 2nd when I started feeling the withdrawal symptoms. Today, Sep. 4th, they are worse and unbearable. 

 

It's obvious my doctor didn't know the correct way to taper off of this drug if I'm supposed to only decrease by 10%.......

I ended up taking the 20mg of Paxil this morning because my symptoms were so horrible and just wanted them to go away but I haven't noticed a change in them at all. 

I'm scared I'm never going to be able to get off of this drug. These withdrawals are causing so many problems for me and are making it impossible to live everyday life and go to work or even leave my bed at all.

 

Would asking my doctor for the liquid version of Paxil be a good idea? So I can more accurately decrease my dosages?

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baroquep

are you still taking the Trintellix?  As you have only been off of Paxil for a couple of weeks, you should be okay with 20mg.  I wouldn't even think about tapering at this time as the most important thing is for you to stabilize on the 20mg of Paxil which will likely take a bit of time.  Don't be alarmed that you don't feel well immediately, it is normal for you to feel worse before you start feeling better.  It takes approximately four days for a steady stream to build up in your system so you are still at the early stages of reinstatement.

 

Do you have access to a compounding pharmacy?  Liquid versions of all medications can be tricky as they are a lot more potent than tablets or capsules and the drug gets into your system a lot faster.  If you have access to a compounding pharmacy, I would have them prepare your doses so that you don't have to worry about measuring.  

 

At this time though, it's best to worry about stabilizing rather than tapering and you can decide down the road how you are going to prepare your doses going forward.   

Edited by baroquep

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Rmilb

No I didn't take the Trintellix this morning. Should I continue to take it as well as the Paxil? I'm confused what to do on that. 

 

I agree that tapering shouldn't be my main concern, I just want these symptoms to go away more than anything. How long would you recommend I keep taking the 20 mg of Paxil before trying to taper off again? 

 

I think my doctor can call in to an online compounding pharmacy and they mail the prescription to me. I'll be sure to ask her about it. 

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baroquep

No, absolutely not.  Let's just get you stabilized on the Paxil for now.  Oftentimes doctors will prescribe another medication, in your case Trintellix, to cover up the symptoms of withdrawal and in most cases makes things ten times worse.  I see it all the time, thank God he didn't prescribe any benzodiazepines.  The fewer things your central nervous system has to deal with, the better and this includes over-the-counter medications and supplements.  

 

Can you please take a minute to fill out your withdrawal signature history?  This helps moderators see what they are dealing with at a glance and keeps all of your history in one place. 

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

It would also be a good idea to keep track of your symptom pattern as you move forward so that you have an idea of your progress day-to-day.  I am attaching a link below.

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

I've also attached a few links below so that you can familiarize yourself with what to expect over the next little while.  Please also review the link on reinstatement I attached in a previous post so that you can familiarize yourself with the protocols recommended by Surviving Antidepressants.  

 

 

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MollyN

Hi Rmilb, I'm so glad you've found this site and with any luck, the worst of times will be over with baroquep's prescription for reinstatement and a period of stabilisation before an extended 10% withdrawal programme.

 

I've had a horrible history with paxil as well, just reading your description of the dizziness brought back such strong memories of that horrible feeling. I think many of us have had quite a few goes at trying to withdraw from paxil, so you're definitely not alone!

 

I found small reinstatements were extremely effective for me in terms of lessening symptoms, I so hope you have the same response. Big hugs xxx mollyn

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Rmilb

Baroquep: 

The withdrawal history signature link isn't working for me:(

thabk you so much for all the great feedback, I appreciate it! I'm hoping I can get these symptoms under control more than anything, crossing my fingers it comes sooner rather than later. 

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Rmilb

MollyN:

thank you, I hope they get stabilized soon as well!! The dizziness is so difficult to handle, it makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. 

 

Im comforted by the information that I'm not the only one who has gone through this but also I feel bad for anyone who has gone or is going through this! Wouldn't wish this on anyone.

 

thank you for the support

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AliG

Hi Rmilb. Welcome. I'm glad you found us before too much time went by as reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms.The more time that passes the less likely it is to work.

 

I'm concerned that perhaps you have reinstated at too high a dose: 20 mg when maybe 5mg or even 10 mg may have been sufficient since that was your last dosage on August 26th- 10 days ago. Have you only taken the one dose of 20 mg today ?

 

The higher the dose you stabilize on, the more there is to taper off in the future.

 

Please fill in your drug history : Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

  This link should work.

When we have your full history, we can more easily help with a course of action. I will check in with the other Mods about your reinstatement dose. 

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Altostrata

Hello, Rm.

 

How are you feeling now? It will take at least 4 days for the Paxil to reach steady state in your bloodstream. Please be sure to take it at the same time each day.

 

Please do NOT take Paxil with Trintillex, that may cause serious adverse effects.

 

Let us know how you're doing. If you start to feel 20mg is too much, 10mg may be sufficient.

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Rmilb

Hello everyone.

 

I thought I posted earlier today but it looks like it never uploaded. I took a 20 mg this morning September 5th. Should I continue with the 20 mg or stabalize on something smaller?

 

thank you again for all the input.

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Rmilb

Oh and I also feel a little better today than I did yesterday but still not feeling that great. :(

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ChessieCat

The longer you take 20mg the harder it will be to go back down to 10mg.

 

The fact that you are feeling a little better is a good sign.  However I suggest you make the decision before you take your next dose what dose you are going to take.  Only you can decide whether you stay on 20mg or go to a lower dose BUT you need to make the decision and stick with the same dose.  It is my personal opinion that after 3? doses of 20mg you are getting to or very close to the point where you will need to stick with 20mg.

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AliG

Whilst I totally agree with Chessie I'm also playing devil's advocate and I would still make the break and try and stabilize on 10 mg. To me, it just makes more sense as there is less to taper from and also less to be sensitized from however it is always your call based on your own very personal experience and symptoms. If it doesn't work then you can always updose. I would rather you play it safe with options to updose incrementally at a later date than increase too fast and not have anywhere to go from there.

 

How many doses have you had? How are your symptoms?   

Edited by AliG

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baroquep

Hi RmilB, it looks as though you have had only one or two days at 20mg, so I will have to agree with AliG and Alto (and Chessie to lick a dose) that you might want to go back down and try to stabilize on 10mg  rather than the 20mg.  it's best to introduce the drug into your system slowly and if you don't have to go all the way back up to 20mg, all the better.  It was pointed out to me recently, and It is my understanding, that oftentimes when the drug has been discontinued recently, in your case less than two weeks ago, that reinstating at 50% of the original dose will, in a lot of cases, be enough to reduce your withdrawal symptoms.  The goal is to add back the lowest amount possible to reduce withdrawal and stabilize.  As you'd advised that you'd already taken the 20mg on Monday, I didn't want to be bouncing you around but now see that if you are able to stabilize on 10mg, you'll have less to taper off down the road and avoid  a sudden jolt to your system after jumping off at 5mg on August 26th.

 

Whatever you decide, we are here to support you.  

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Rmilb

Today, September 6, I took a 10 mg of Paxil. Before this dose I only took two of the 20 mg. I agree with all of you and would rather stabilize on the smallest possible dose I can so I don't have as much to taper off of at a later time. I appreciate you all being here for me and helping me through this difficult time!! I called my doctor and told her everything that has been going on but I have yet to hear back from her on what her suggestions are....so I'm extremely grateful to all of you. 

 

 

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AliG

That's great news. Please let us know how you go over the next few days. Can you keep notes? 

 

Whilst doctors can be a part of this process, they are also what got us here and therefore have to be taken with " a grain of salt". Please tread carefully.   

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Rmilb

Heard back from her assistant and she told me to try tapering by doing it every other day.....which I don't think is a good idea at all. I'm going to stay at the 10mg for a couple weeks and see how I'm doing, and write down my progress daily. 

 

When I do finally decide to taper off of Paxil again, I will first go to 8mg then to 6mg then to 4mg then to 2mg but what do I do after 2mg? Do I just stop taking it or can I cut it down even smaller to .5mg? 

 

How long would you suggest staying on each mg? 

 

I feel better than I did yesterday which I think is a great sign I'm starting to stabilize. I'm just very nervous to taper again because I don't want to experience the hell that is the withdrawal symptoms :(

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bubble
On ‎04‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 6:53 PM, baroquep said:

Hi  Rmilb,

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), I’m glad you found the site.  

 

I sounds like you have had the unfortunate experience of trying to taper off of Paxil too quickly in the past and are aware of what can happen.  I tried to taper off of anti-depressants twice and ended up back on the full dose as I wasn’t able to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.  Unfortunately few medical professionals have any idea how to safely taper off of these drugs and often give the wrong advice which for many people leads to the trouble you are now experiencing.

 

 

Surviving Antidepressants recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with at a hold of at least four weeks before your next decrease.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at an even more conservative rate as they are very sensitive to even the smallest drops.  

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for Tapering off Paxil/Paroxetine

 

 

Good for deciding to hold (the longer the better). Don't follow any calendars. Observe your symptoms and only taper when you have been stable for a while.

 

You stil have plenty of time to learn about the proper way to taper Do yourself a huge favour and read the links baroquep provided for you. The kind of plan you propose is calling for disaster again. If you have only ever been on Paxil for 8 months now you might possible go faster but it's batter to start slow and listen to your body. It will tell you how fast you can go.

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AliG
On 07/09/2017 at 5:35 AM, bubble said:

you stil have plenty of time to learn about the proper way to taper Do yourself a huge favour and read the links baroquep provided for you. The kind of plan you propose is calling for disaster again. If you have only ever been on Paxil for 8 months now you might possible go faster but it's batter to start slow and listen to your body. It will tell you how fast you can go.

 

Yes - please do read the links BAROQUEP has provided.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
correction & remove unnecessary comment

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Rmilb

Okay so I went to a new doctor today who wants me to quit the Paxil immediately and switch over to 5mg of Lexapro and adderall.......

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baroquep

Hi RMilb,

 

I have a feeling you may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire ... Lexapro is one, if not the most, powerful and potent anti-depressants marketed.  Escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs.  A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to a new drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. This is the "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know" rule.

 

Doctors, unfortunately, have little knowledge of tapering off of anti-depressants safely and often will have the patient switch to another anti-depressant and/or add another drug, which in your case is Adderall.


If anything, please read the many stories you will find on this site from members who have had the same experience (doctors switching and/or adding other drugs) and make an informed decision before you take the next step.

 

I am also attaching a link to the bridging topic (which in this case mainly focuses on Prozac as a bridge) but the concept is the same.

 

 

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ChessieCat

You have only just reinstated.  It may take a few weeks before you feel improvement.  I also agree with BaroqueP's comment about changing to another drug.

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Rmilb

Oh my gosh. I'm so lost and confused on what to do. I am only just starting to feel better and I don't want to ruin that by going off Paxil again.....I feel like it will mess me up even more. 

 

Is Lexapro as hard to go off of as Paxil is? 

I don't want to jump to another drug that I'm going to have issues with again. 

 

I will for sure read up on this before making a decision. 

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ChessieCat

The issue with changing drugs is that you may end up suffering withdrawal from the old drug, side effects and/or start up effects for the new drug.  You will not know what is causing what.

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nz11

Welcome to sa Rmilb

Are you able to confirm if you have ever taken a psychoactive drug prior to Jan 17 ?

Switching antidepressants is not a good strategy.

 

nz11

ex-paxil addict

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Rmilb

Hi all,

 

so I have decided to stay on Paxil for now instead of beginning Lexapro. I don't want to start withdrawals again especially since my body just got over them. I will possibly just stay on Paxil for the time being until I feel comfortable to wean off again and take the adderall with it. 

 

Before Jaunary 2017, I did try Sertraline. But it didn't help at all. I also tried Wellbutrin but had too bad of side effects.

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nz11
4 hours ago, Rmilb said:

Before Jaunary 2017, I did try Sertraline. But it didn't help at all. I also tried Wellbutrin but had too bad of side effects.

Thank you for answering my qu.

Just one more qu would you be so kind to advise dose and term on the drugs.

I think you are wise to not switch. Good decision.

I assume adderall is a new addition?

Why do you feel you need to take adderall? Have you considered not taking it.

If it were me i would not be adding more drugs.

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ChessieCat
4 hours ago, Rmilb said:

I will possibly just stay on Paxil for the time being until I feel comfortable to wean off again and take the adderall with it. 

 

7 minutes ago, nz11 said:

Why do you feel you need to take adderall? Have you considered not taking it.

If it were me i would not be adding more drugs.

 

Good pick ups nz11.

 

I have just done an interaction check and strongly suggest that you use Drug Interactions Checker to see for yourself that adding adderall is bad idea.

 

 

rmilb, please add the  following drugs with dates and doses to your signature Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

4 hours ago, Rmilb said:

Before Jaunary 2017, I did try Sertraline. But it didn't help at all. I also tried Wellbutrin but had too bad of side effects.

 

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Rmilb

My new doctor suggested the adderall because of my inability to focus and to balance out the Paxil that makes me tired. I did look at the drug interaction list and that scares me. At this point, I kind of just want to rid myself of all drugs because I'm so sick of the side effects and symptoms they come with. 

I have social anxiety disorder though....before Paxil I couldn't go out or get a job or hardly do anything. Which is why I love Paxil, it's the only medicine I've found that helps me but it's made me gain 40 pounds since January and I'm still gaining. If it wasn't for the weight gain, I wouldn't want to go off of it...especially because of the withdrawals. 

I'm torn on what to do for myself. I want to make the best decision for my mental and physical health. 

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bubble

Have you considered or tried any non-drug ways of dealing with your social anxiety? Have you tried any talk therapy to explore what is actually behind this on a deeper level?

 

This is not an illness. It's the way we are wired and there are many things we can do to rewire through which we grow as human beings. Sometimes we just have to accept we are different and not force ourselves to be something we are not even if that is socially desirable and there is social pressure to blend it. This is what often causes such anxiety. Also personal insecurities and lack of self-esteem.

 

How can a brain altering substance 'cure' this, even if it didn't come with such horrible side effects? Isn't that a bit like taking cough and temperature medication when you have pneumonia: the symptoms will be reduced but what caused them won't be addressed.

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bubble

You may want to check out this thread for ideas of non-drug strategies of coping with emotional symptoms.

 

Although it refers to emotional symptoms of withdrawal it is equally applicable to whatever caused us to start using the drugs.

 

 

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