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Old 07-16-2008, 09:41 PM   #1
gina3840
 
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How long does it take to be out of your system?

I have been trying to research how long it takes from when you stop taking Paxil all together to when it is free and clear from your system.

This is my third day without taking Paxil and I think I am in luck as my main withdrawl symptoms so far seem to be dizziness. I tapered from 20 mg to 10 mg for a month and then stopped three days ago. I felt nauseated during the taper down to 10 mg but I can only wonder if there is potential for other symptoms to appear later? A delayed reaction of sorts? I want to stay positive about the minimal symptoms I have experienced so far, but there is a side of me wondering if there is an unpleasant surprise symptom-wise down the road?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

Welcome!

Okay...kinda blunt...you didn't taper correctly. The paxil is out of your system in a matter of days, but that won't stop the WD issues from cropping up. How long were you on it total and why did you come off? That can change how you taper but you still need to be careful. Hopefully one of the more informed people will come with better answers...I only know so much, although the more info you can give us, the better advice we can give you.

I'm glad you found PP. It's a great site and has WONDERFUL info!
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Jan 2008 - Prozac 20 mg, 40, back to 20, and then 10 mg
July 6, 2008 - 7 mg
Aug 5, 2008 - 5 mg
Aug 9, 2008 - 7 mg
Sep. 7, 2008 - 6 mg
Oct. 6, 2008 - 5 mg
Dec. 15, 2008 - 4 mg
Feb. 10, 2009 - 3 mg
March 25, 2009 - 2 mg
April 20-ish, 2009 - 0 mg

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Old 07-17-2008, 07:23 AM   #3
LCrawford67
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

Welcome to Paxil Progress!

You've basically cold turkeyed off of this stuff, and that's never a good thing. Research this site and you'll find dozens of threads from folks who did exactly what you just did and paid dearly for it.

This isn't a question of the drug getting out of your system. You've taken something that has altered your brain chemistry and quitting abruptly is the equivalent of blunt force trauma to the brain. Think about it, when you started taking this drug, it took several weeks to "kick in," that's because it's making those chemical changes to your brain. So, stopping abruptly is slamming your brain back and that's just never a good thing.

I strongly suggest you read this site and Google about the dangers of Paxil withdrawal or stopping Paxil cold turkey. Everyone is different and you may be one of the blessed who will have minimal problems, especially if you were only on a very short time. But for the vast majority, it's imperative to do a slow taper.

How long were you on the drug?
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:27 AM   #4
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

I am just curious as the whether or not you got that tapering advice from your doctor. That is nearly the same advice that my doctor gave me AFTER he called the drug rep to get tapering information.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms may not hit you for a while. If they get really bad then you could always try going back up to 10 mg and staying there until you stabilize then you could start a slow taper by only dropping in 10% increments. You really do not save any time or heartache by going fast.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

Anyone know how long it takes for an SSRI to leave you body entirely. Like even in the fat and muscle cells it supposedly stores itself in. Do you have to burn that fat off or will it excrete it naturally?
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

It will excrete naturally, but that can take several, several months. It all depends on the individual and how quickly, or slowly they metabolize things. Some people it's probably just a matter of several weeks.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

The half life of this drug is short. It should be out of your bloodstream in about a week. But, as others have mentioned, that is not the source of your symptoms. Quite the opposite. As LC mentioned, the drug took several weeks to take effect. It was shutting off the cells in your brain that re-uptake excess serotonin. These don't work like a light switch-instant on, instant off. Also, it is far easier to turn them off--kill them off--than it is for them to regrow to rebalance the neurochemistry. That takes many months.

The symptoms of SSRI withdrawal are not about the bloodstream or half life. The symptoms are there because your neurochemistry has completely altered itself based on a steady, daily dose of SSRI. If you suddenly alter or take away that dose, chaos ensues in the brain. You can significantly alleviate the symptoms of making that change by slowly and gradually tapering off the medication. It allow the chemical in your brain to figure out what's what while those brain cells regenerate.

The big headline here: It's not a bloodstream issue, it's a quality of life issue. If you want good quality of life, then you taper slowly.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:19 PM   #8
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

First of all thanks to each of you for your answers and support.

To expand on my situation I have been on Paxil at 20 mg and sometimes 10 mg for the last 10 years. I went on the stuff because of the loss of my grandparents who were like parents to me and to control anxiety issues. I decided to come off the stuff because I feel that I have proven to myself that I can control my anxiety issues because I have proven to myself that I am a capable and coping person who has a great deal of capacity to overcome adversity that doesn't need a drug to keep control. Also I am wanting to get pregnant in the next year so I certainly wanted the stuff out of my system before that happened.

I had tried coming off the stuff a few times over the years but didn't have the confidence in myself as I do today. Earlier this week when I decided to stop all together I contemplated going to 5 mg but now that I have been off for 4 days I am reluctant to go back.

I'm a little surprised to hear the drug exits your system so quickly. In a way I am glad to hear that but I will certainly be on the look out for other symptoms as they arise and I won't be bashful about getting help.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

Don't be bashful at all! Things can show up at any time and sometimes don't show up for a few weeks...I know the idea of going back on at all is not a fun one, but untill you are a while off, don't discount that as an option if things go down hill. I hope you are one of the luck ones that can get off fast with few problems...I'm in the slow boat myself, but I'm living with it. I understand wanting to get off to have kids...I hope to get headed in that direction myself in the next year or so. Luck to you!
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Got suicidal Oct. 2007, started 50 mg Zoloft
Mess from Oct to Dec, off in Dec 2007
Jan 2008 - Prozac 20 mg, 40, back to 20, and then 10 mg
July 6, 2008 - 7 mg
Aug 5, 2008 - 5 mg
Aug 9, 2008 - 7 mg
Sep. 7, 2008 - 6 mg
Oct. 6, 2008 - 5 mg
Dec. 15, 2008 - 4 mg
Feb. 10, 2009 - 3 mg
March 25, 2009 - 2 mg
April 20-ish, 2009 - 0 mg

Also, I am Betsy's daughter.

"All human wisdom is contained in these two words - Wait and hope." Edmond Dantes
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:43 PM   #10
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gina3840 View Post
I'm a little surprised to hear the drug exits your system so quickly. In a way I am glad to hear that but I will certainly be on the look out for other symptoms as they arise and I won't be bashful about getting help.
It's that rapid removal of the drug that makes withdrawal so hard. If a drug leaves the system slowly, the brain has time to adjust over a period of time. If it exists quickly, it leaves the brain in chaos..which is why we recommend slow weaning, since it mimics the longer halflife drugs which are easier on the brain.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:57 PM   #11
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Re: How long does it take to be out of your system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCrawford67 View Post
Welcome to Paxil Progress!

You've basically cold turkeyed off of this stuff, and that's never a good thing. Research this site and you'll find dozens of threads from folks who did exactly what you just did and paid dearly for it.

This isn't a question of the drug getting out of your system. You've taken something that has altered your brain chemistry and quitting abruptly is the equivalent of blunt force trauma to the brain. Think about it, when you started taking this drug, it took several weeks to "kick in," that's because it's making those chemical changes to your brain. So, stopping abruptly is slamming your brain back and that's just never a good thing.

I strongly suggest you read this site and Google about the dangers of Paxil withdrawal or stopping Paxil cold turkey. Everyone is different and you may be one of the blessed who will have minimal problems, especially if you were only on a very short time. But for the vast majority, it's imperative to do a slow taper.

How long were you on the drug?
Precisely... going off Cold Turkey is strongly NOT RECOMMENDED..... and its not about "GETTING THE DRUG OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM"

This is to actually misunderstand what the drug has actually done, which is..it has completely altered your brain and bodies hormonal chemistry.
This is "why" it takes about 3 weeks for the drug to " kick in"
In fact the SSRI has actually produced a completely weird and different set of neural growths..if you could see this under a microscope now..well its like something out of a science fiction movie.
Now that your brain and body have been"altered"..its is a very, serious and dangerous thing to just jump off the Paxil ,"Cold Turkey".....you see your brain and body are now"dependent" on this drug to keep this "artificially high level of serotonin" up there.... even the smallest changes in this reek havoc on the body and brain.
You might be patting yourself on the back right now and jumping for joy...but I assure you, if you want to know the full extent of the "meaning of Hell"....by all means continue......OR..you can listen to all the wise advice folks have presented here and go back to your original dose and taper slowly carefully and avoid going through Hell..the choice is yours...
Remember ..SSRI's are not aspirin..these are dangerous , mind altering drugs, that cause huge changes to the bodies hormonal balance..something your doctor probably never ever told you or can possibly conceive of.

Regards, Johnny
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:30 AM   #12
gina3840
 
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OK it get it....

....about the focus being not on getting the drug out of your system but weaning yourself from the drug. So I guess my question is how long have folks's transitions been where they start the tapering process until their brain chemistry has been "retrained" or "reset" and they are off the drug.

I have plenty of the darn drugs left to taper with so what is an appropriate tapering period seeing that I will now be on 5mg? I was thinking one month on 5 mg and then one month on 2.5 mg? Even though I seem to feel ok having not taken anything for almost a week it sounds like I shouldn't take that for granted and hang on to taking this stuff awhile longer.

Thanks to you all for this insight!
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