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Old 08-31-2016, 10:23 AM   #1
CyclingPsych
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Default Paxil Withdrawal

Please tell me I am not the only one. This medicine is horrible.
I tapered down from 30-20-10- now at 5mg of Paxil. I did a slow taper and I did not feel anything until i hit 5 MG recently. I do not have a psychiatrist anymore (long story) and I can get my wellbutrin from my gen.doc.
I am taking 5 mg of paxil now and 100mg Wellbutrin.
I am feeling the worst withdrawal symptoms: dizzy, nausea, lightheaded, eye pain,fatigue, dry mouth, excessive sweating...
I feel like crying all the time too. My family situation doesn't help at all either and I start school again very soon.
What has helped you guys ?
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:12 PM   #2
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Default Paxil Withdrawal

I feel for what you're going through, I have experienced all of those symptoms with Paxil withdrawal. Paxil is a horrible drug. I am gently suggesting to you that you reconsider your decision to do this without a psychiatrist, because very bad things happened to me when I tried the same path. But that's all the "you should do this..." language that you will get from me.

Here's my Paxil story. It's a long one, if you feel like reading something. I was on it for 13 years. Don't try this at home, kids.

In 1999, I was put on Paxil mainly for social anxiety disorder. I was 17. I did have some depression as well but it was not ruling my life the way it is presently. I was in therapy at the time because I was too crippled by social anxiety to move away to college or to get a part-time job. I was able to attend community college (and later a university) while living at home. I continued therapy and medication during this time period.

In 2007, I moved to a new city. I never found a new pdoc after my move and decided to just keep getting my meds refilled by my primary care doctor. Why? Because I had a less than ideal experience with the psychiatrist I had for 5 years before I moved [he just kept increasing the dosage of my Paxil instead of suggesting other options.]

In late 2010, I saw a nurse practitioner who I usually did not see at my doctor's office and she refused to give me any refills. She ordered me to either find a psychiatrist or taper by alternating doses every day - alternating doses is NOT the way to do this. Looking back now, her 2nd option seems like a bit of malpractice. I decided to find a psychiatrist because I thought that the NP's advice sucked. I went to the new psychiatrist in early 2011 and I didn't really care for her. But she did give me some refills. At that point, I figured I was doing rather well...my social anxiety was not as horrible as it used to be, I didn't feel particularly depressed, and I was tired of the weight gain that Paxil caused. I think I weighed around 180 pounds at my heaviest and as a 5'4" woman I should be more around 140-150 (?) None of these psychiatrists will ever say that Paxil makes you hungry - but. it. does. I would eat and eat and eat and never feel full. So I dumped that psychiatrist and went it alone. I tapered from 80 mg (yes, I was on 80) to zero over the course of 8 months with no medical supervision, just me with a digital scale and journal.

7 months into my taper, things started to go south. I lost my appetite and constantly felt nauseous. I did not look forward to eating because I was worried about throwing it up later (not self-induced but just my stomach rejecting food.) I ate ginger root candy and drank ginger ale to stage off the nausea. I became more and more anxious. After I stopped taking it for good, depression hit me HARD and it brought me to my knees. I had never felt such a terrible depression in over 5 years. I knew something was very wrong when I noticed that my sometimes very gloomy, black feelings were no longer being contained to the morning...they lasted throughout the day. I began to get panic attacks - something I had never experienced before in my life - and hit rock bottom one morning in early June 2012 when I threw up in the shower and couldn't go into work because I was beside myself with panic.

I knew I needed a psychiatric intervention and I DREADED having to make a call. I found a psychiatrist that took my insurance and although I ended up disliking this guy as well - see a pattern? - he saw me within 1 business day (it was a weekend) so I will always appreciate that. He decided to put me on Viibryd.

One week later, I emailed him because my panic attacks were not going away and I could not work. He told me to come in that same afternoon. I came into his office and he proceeded to unleash a torrent of "crisis intervention" and "tough love" type language with me, which really took me aback because this was only my second time meeting with him ever. We barely knew each other. I just sat there trying not to cry while he kept up this intervention language, because I never had any suicidal thoughts or plans other than that gray area of not wanting to live. I just wanted to stop panicking so that I could go back to work. That was it. He felt that he was being helpful by repeating aloud all of the painful things about my life that I had told him in my initial intake and said he was not a source for "filling people up with pills." It was almost like he was telling me to "get it together" the way someone does in an intervention with a drug or alcohol addict. Then, in a stunning decision which still baffles me, he told me to stop the Viibryd and he reinstated Paxil (along with a one time only script for Xanax). Guess what? Paxil doesn't work as well the second time around. I felt a little better for a while and then I got extremely depressed again and my weight shot up.

I found my current psychiatrist after firing that guy at the end of 2012. He's the first psychiatrist I've ever had who doesn't make me feel like a POS or some chronic patient. This time the tapering off was done properly under supervision.

I wish I could tell you that I am feeling better and found something else that worked, but at the present I am not.

If I could do it all over again, I would have tried harder to stop being so offended by psychiatrists and just kept trying [BEFORE TAPERING] until I found one that I could work with. I have never been able to entirely escape the depression that came into my life at the end of the first unsupervised Paxil taper. I wonder if that episode would have happened had I encountered my current psychiatrist at that time (2011-12). If I had him around he could have given me promethazine for the nausea or a low dose of Xanax for my panic attacks. Coulda shoulda woulda.

My best wishes to you and I hope your symptoms subside soon.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:34 PM   #3
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hi psych ,
I was on Paxil too . my counselor didn't like how paxil reacted to me . so on the advice of my counselor I went to see a psychiatrist about tapering off the paxil and she put me on Vistrail to counteract w the paxil withdrawal symptoms until I switched to Cymbalta . I think you're better off going to a psychiatrist psych cuz your PCP doesn't know about withdrawal symptoms of paxil . my counselor told me to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation when she could tell that I needed to go back on medication . your safe bet is to go to counseling and see a psychiatrist for for your meds so that your counselor and psychiatrist can monitor you for any changes that will they can be aware of in session and also you have to watch yourself too when you're in school. see a counselor at school at the counseling services in school .

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meds Wellbutrin in the morning
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Vistrail 2 25 mgs daily for anxiety prn
50 mgs at night for insomnia with an additional 25 mgs =75 mgs when up past 1:00 in the morning
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Paxil Withdrawal

I've also been through the dreaded Paxil withdrawal. I went cold turkey after I list my job/insurance. I for real thought I would die. Nausea, vomiting, chills, dizziness, blurred vision and crippling depression and social anxiety. I'd been on it roughly 15 years and I plan on being on it for the rest of my life, I don't EVER wanna go through that hell again.
Good luck on your new meds!
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:00 PM   #5
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I've never had this med, but I once had a neighbor who had been on Paxil and he was also an on and off heroin abuser. He said that coming off heroin was easier than coming off Paxil.

Well at least for him.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Paxil Withdrawal

I have gone from 50 mg paxil per day to 12.5. The symptoms are bad and I am not sure what to think; are they symptoms of relapse or symptoms to WD? I just started lamictal about the 1st of the year, with such great results that I wanted to see if this new drug which is more specific for bipolar would now allow me to get off Paxil. My symptoms are loads of crazy *** dreams, I'm ill as a hornet, I don't look forward to much of anything, brain zaps, some depression and some fatigue. No crying spells but I constantly feel like crying would really help but I can't. If I need the drug I want to go back to it. If I need to fight it out and get 1st to where I'm off it entirely and then maybe a few months without it to see if the symptoms go away, then of course I want to do that. Some things are better on less Paxil. I'm more creative. I sing better. I've taken on a major piano work, something I have not done in 30 years. My sex drive is better but not out of control, I'm exercising more. I've lost a wee bit of weight. My work and finances are better. Somebody tell me what you think.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Paxil Withdrawal

I am going through withdrawal from paxil right now myself. My doc dropped me from 60mgs to 40mgs to now 20mgs a day. The 40 to 20 was in a week. So in a month I want from taking 60 to 20mgs a day. Another week of 20mgs to go then to 10 then nothing. But I still feel it. She has put me on Cymbalta. I am on 60mgs of that a day. I have been on paxil since high school and I am now 38 so I have been on it for years. I hope this post wasn't too confusing.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Paxil Withdrawal

I'm tapering my psych meds as well. I've never taken Paxil, but I've read that when tapering coming off of the lowest dose can be the most difficult so be gentle with yourself.

I've found these resources really helpful (especially when I feel like I'm losing it they're great reminders that there's hope):

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal | Will Hall, MA, DiplPW

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds – Beyond Meds
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Paxil Withdrawal

I can't get off Paxil and I've tried numerous times. The withdrawal symptoms are horrible and eventually I have to go back to my 30 mg a day. The worse part of it is, I don't the Paxil is helping me, yet I still have to take it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Paxil Withdrawal

I took Paxil briefly in high school. I think it was for a month or so. I didn't experience any withdrawals, but I don't think I was ever on a very high dose. Actually, I'm very lucky in that I've never experienced withdrawals from any medication. I'm sorry that the rest of you have to go through that. It sounds awful.
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