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Old 08-15-2002, 10:57 AM   #1
Anonymous
 
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When to decrease dosage

Hi,
I had been on Paxil 20mg for a year and a half. This past May 2002, with my psychiatrist's knowledge , I started weaning off. I cut down from 20 to 10mg for 2 weeks. I did not notice anything terrrible at that time. When I cut down to 5mg on May 29th that's when nothing but feeling sick happened.

I started feeling dizzy & nausea. That went away (at least for now). However, I came down with severe coughing. I would have a dry cough during the day & night to the point I was gagging & having dry heaves. After it would not go away I went to a Doctor who said I had an upper Respiratory infection. She gave me an antibiotic which did get rid of that cough. After I finished my antibiotic I had extreme sinus pain & pressure & my ears were blocked. I went back to a Doctor and she said I had a sinus infection & ear infection. This Doctor gave me another antibiotic.
Note: Taking the antibiotics were within a months time. Anyway, I finished taking my last antibiotic prescribed to me for my sinus & ear infections the other day and as far as my sinuses & ears they feel better.
Now last night when I went to bed I could not sleep. Kept tossing & turning & sweating. Actually one minute I would feel freezing cold the next I would be hot. I noticed today when I got out of bed my breathing feels strange. Feels like shallow breathing.

What I would like to know, do you wait until you feel completely better before you start taking a lower dosage again? I've been on 5mg since May
29th. Please someone tell me it will get better!!!

Thank You
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Old 08-15-2002, 11:29 AM   #2
Paxil Junkie
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New York
Posts: 315
you should wait till u feel better, u should try www.immunocal.com because from what you've described u definatly need it if your coming up with all these infections, paxil and other SSRI's depleate a group of amino acid's that compose of a molicule called gluthathione and thats why withdrawl and side effects are so bad, becasue gluthathione is responsible for our living, fighting diseases, ect you can get all the info about it on the webpage and it would be at least worth a try since its the only natural thing people recommend to use during withdrawl uunlike 5htp where u need to wait till its over, if you have medicare or medicade it is covered but if not you can get it 30 dollars cheaper from www.prozactruth.com by clicking on what is gluthathione, u can also read the testimonials of people who have used it there.
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Old 08-15-2002, 11:31 AM   #3
JulieG
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
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Jean, I have been on 7.5mgs since the 1st of July. I am oh so not ready to go further down. It feels like I will never be. I am having zaps every day, muscle pain, mood swings, headaches. I will not go further down until I can withstand this. Look for comments on the board by Princess Artemis (someone who used to be on here a lot but hasn't been in a while). She always had really really good advice for when to go down. She knows so much about Paxil withdrawal - hers seemed particularly severe.
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Old 08-15-2002, 11:35 AM   #4
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i agreee don't go down unless ur sure u can, and if you have to ask should i go down then your not ready, only you can know when your ready
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"April 20th, National Save the Trees day."
"Its 4:19...got a minute?"
"Life sucks then you die, so spend your time getting high."
"Time is never wasted when your wasted all the time."
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Old 08-15-2002, 03:38 PM   #5
Anonymous
 
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IT WILL GET BETTER

I have been on 20mg since April, I tapper down to 15 in June and then in July I tapper down to 10mg. I didn't feel any withdrawal symptoms until I hit the 10mg. You are very lucky you made it to 5mg. I know that when I went down from 15 to 10mg I felt like crap, I was very tired, had this sort of cough and sinus trouble. It took about 2 full weeks to finally get better. It takes your body time to get used to the dosage change, but know that it does get better. You have to take it one day at a time and know that as each day passes it will get better and you are one day closer to feeling normal again. I would not tapper down any further until you feel better. Its hard when you get other things like ear infections and colds because you don't know if you caught a bug or if its from withdrawal. If you aren't already I would take a good multivitamin to help give your body the nutrients it needs.

I wish you all the best!! IT WILL GET BETTER.
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Old 08-16-2002, 12:23 PM   #6
Joelle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: central Ohio
Posts: 219
Julie sometimes I wonder if there is an advantage to tapering vs. cold turkey, I know that tapering is safer but the misery sounds pretty much the same, having quit cold turkey I would still do it the same way all over again, though I would never reccommend it to anyone, but for me it seemed like I got it over with and the misery didn't drag out for so long, yes I had to endure weeks of hell when I could barely function, and days where I was completely debilitated from the w/d and the paxil flu, but it's now 5 weeks since I quit and I feel pretty much normal again, with only rare symptoms popping up, and when thery do they're mild and short-lived... I just don't know
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Old 08-16-2002, 12:48 PM   #7
JulieG
 
Join Date: May 2002
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I don't know. I know that when I cold turkeyed last year, even 3 months down the line I was suffering and it was 10 times worse than what I'm going thru now. I want to be paxil free.
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Old 08-16-2002, 04:33 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your advice.

It really scares me that I will never be completely well again. This evening I feel better than this morning but I'm starting to feel a little anxious because I don't know if I will be able to sleep. I took Ambien for 7 days then I skipped a night & could not sleep that night. Last night I took an OTC sleep aid & slept but did not feel well when I woke up.

My appetite has diminshed since yesterday but I force myself to eat a little something just because I don't want to become weak from not eating.
Chicken soup helps!

When you all cut back on your dosages once you get down to the 5mg, do you cut it into 4 pieces & take 3 of the 4 pieces & go from there?

I plan to stay on my 5mg for sometime because I want to make sure I feel much better before I start cutting down again. I'm so afraid of cutting down though (keep worrying about the withdrawal each time you cut down).

Anyway, I am so glad I found this site & this message board. It really helps to know that I'm not alone in this mess.

One more question. Anyone here filing a lawsuit against the Paxil makers & if so how do you go about doing it?

Thanks so much
Jean
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Old 08-17-2002, 09:33 AM   #9
JulieG
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 589
Jean, I know how you feel. I am also afraid I'll never be healthy again. It isn't just the physical ills - it is the loss of who I used to be - I feel a bit out of touch with reality. Another thing I'm sick of: feeling this stupid numb feeling in my head - like my brain has the pins and needles you get in your limbs when they fall asleep, or the way you feel when you step into really hot water and the shivery feeling you get. You think I'd be used to it by now but it is driving me crazy. Sometimes I feel like my head is full of thick lumpy gravy or wet cotton or wet cement and I don't like that either. I'd like a new brain, please.

There are people on this board that had horrible withdrawals and are healthy now, we'll get there too. (We are too close to give up, right?)

My doc wrote me a prescription for 10mgs and I currently cut them in 1/2 and then 1/2 again so I can take 7.5 each day. I'm getting pretty good at cutting them, as my boyfriend pointed out this morning... but he did notice that I have this scary expression on my face when I do it... like I'm chopping GSK into tiny little pieces, not just the pill. I resent taking the drug; it apparently shows.

There are a lot of different places to go for the lawsuits. There is one in Georgia that is for individuals rather than being ClassAction. I don't remember the name of it. I'll try to find it for you if you want. Someone on here had the information and darned if I can remember who it is. I know there are others... my memory isn't in operational status right now. If you go to paxilprogress' web site, there is a link to pendleylawfirm.com I think. THere is one in California too... oh are you in the US? Go to websites forum here. Philip posted a site for one in Canada. Good luck. I'm on the Pendley one. If we can save anyone else from blindly walking into this nightmare I'll be happy.

I'm glad you're here too - well sort of. I wish you didn't have to go thru this, but since you are, I'm glad you found your way here.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:13 AM   #10
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Weaning from Paxil successfully

Hi there, Jean. I'm glad that you found this board. It is very informative and the people very supportive. You really sound to me like you are tapering off the Paxil pretty quickly, but then I'm of the school of thought that slower is better. My background: about 4 yrs on Celexa then Paxil at a high dose of 60 mg, also with Buspar (anti-anxiety), Xanax (tranquilizer), and Ambien (sleep aid) thrown into the mix. My dose kept getting bumped up, and then the other stuff was added to alleviate side effects. What a vicious circle to say the least! Hey, beware of Ambien... not good in the longterm. Can get addictive, and then good luck sleeping without it. That stuff would hit me like a ton of bricks--I actually fell a couple of times before getting into bed!

You asked about cutting the pills. You must cut them with the coating side-up against the blade to avoid their crumbling. A pill cutter is something that will facilitate that; however, if you have your doctor prescribe Paxil suspension (an orange liquid), you will be able to take it by measuring the exact amount with a syringe. You can lower your dose by 1 mg at a time. I have been tapering off for exactly one year now--ve-e-ery slowly. I think you might have better luck if you are a patient person and can go more slowly. Dr. Peter Breggin and others who know recommend cutting the dose by no more than 10%, and you are doing way more than that.

Jean, do you know about the vitamins, supplements, and OTC remedies that can lessen withdrawal symptoms? If not, just ask. They are beneficial. Your diet, rest, and exercise regimen will also make a difference.

Interesting that you had a cough that you attribute to Paxil withdrawal... I noticed that I had quite a bit of throat-clearing as I dropped the dose. I no longer do that, thankfully. These SSRIs really do take a toll on the body. I am so glad that I am now down to 5 mg. I try to stay at each new level for some time. When I was at 10 mg, I held for 2 months. I dropped by 1.25 mg chunks between 10 and 5 mg, staying at each about 10 days because I didn't really feel any different. Ha-ha... it hit me at 5 mg. WHAM! Major emotional upheaval, and that's really worse than the pure physical symptoms in my book. I was so irritable, impatient, and just plain angry with everything and everybody. Awful! So... I have stayed at 5 mg for 5 weeks now even though I haven't felt bad for the past several weeks. I will take the plunge to 4 mg in another week, using the Paxil suspension. I will stay at 4 mg for at least 2 weeks and longer if I feel I should. I want to be off this stuff by October sometime. It's taken me many months, but I feel giving your brain sufficient time to adjust to "going it alone" is key. My brain has been used to a lot of this drug, and that has affected the chemical balance and function. I want to be off this drug and be able to stay off. <fingers crossed> Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:23 AM   #11
JulieG
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 589
NM: My doc said something about the liquid Paxil. I have a question. I am so nauseated and have a really hard time with orange and grape flavored anything (its weird, I know). Is the liquid Paxil flavored? Is it gross?
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:39 AM   #12
Anonymous
 
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Paxil suspension

Julie, the Paxil suspension is orangy-flavored (bright orange color.) I do not find it objectionable. If it is a problem for you, could you have a chaser ready like juice of some kind? Did you know that you take "half" the amount you might think you would because 1 mL liquid = 2 mg of the tablet. In other words, I'm at 5 mg right now and take 2.5 mL liquid. A syringe makes it easy to do. When I drop to 4 mg next week, I'll take 2 mL.

Another idea--if you have a compounding pharmacy near you, you could have them mix up a batch in another flavor or flavorless. You would have to find out where there was such a pharmacy because not all places do this anymore. There is a site on the web that gives that info but can't remember what it is. When I tried to get the suspension and it wasn't available from the manufacturer, the pharmacy I found said they could whip up a batch for me. They never had to because later I could get the liquid again. I've mostly cut pills but have also used the suspension. Now with my drops below 5, I think I'll just use the liquid to be more accurate. The pills start getting tricky to cut when you slice a 2.5 mg chunk into two 1.25s. It can be done but probably isn't real accurate, and I don't need up and downs with dosages!

Did I answer your question? Hope so. I find the liquid just fine. Happy tapering, Julie! Oh, and by the way, you're so smart to stay at 7.5 mg for as long as it takes. Your brain is telling you to give it time. Smart you.
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Old 08-17-2002, 02:14 PM   #13
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I feel so weak

Today has not been a good day. Still no appetite. Forced myself to eat a piece of toast with a small glass of OJ this morning. Forced myself to eat some saltine crackers a few times throughout the day. I've been drinking water & sometimes just a little gatorade. I haven't had much sleep (good sleep) in a couple of nights. I feel so weak, exhausted, & feel like I'm starting to lose hope.

I've been on 5mg of Paxil since 29 May 02. I thought I'd feel better by now. Don't know what to do. If you go to a doctor it seems they don't know anything about Paxil withdrawal & what is it that they can do anyway.

I really don't want to have to increase my dosage back because I dread starting over. I want so much to be able to hang in there with the 5mg but I feel worn down.
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Old 08-17-2002, 10:58 PM   #14
Anonymous
 
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Just a slight increase

Jean, could you ask your doctor for a prescription for Paxil suspension? You could try going back to 6 mg to see if you find relief from the withdrawal with an increase of just 1 mg. If that didn't work after a few days, you could try going to 7. Then reduce much more slowly when you resume the reductions.

I know you don't want to go back up, but you are certainly not enjoying how you're feeling right now. It doesn't make sense to continue this way. It does not mean you won't taper off again. Help yourself to feel better, and you will have renewed energy to be successful in your pursuit. Think about it.
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Old 08-19-2002, 07:00 AM   #15
JulieG
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 589
NM, thank you for the information. You always give such good advice! Thanks!
Jules
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Old 08-19-2002, 10:28 AM   #16
Anonymous
 
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ER

I had my sister take me to the ER this morning. I was having strange breathing, no apettite, diareah, & not being able to sleep. This has been going on since Thursday. Needless to say I am drained.

The doctor in the ER told me it was anxiety. Told me maybe I should stay on the Paxil longer. That's all he did.

Anyway, I am home feeling the same but I decided to up my 5mg to 7.5mg to see if I start to feel better. I sure hope so. I am a nervous wreck. Hopefully going up to 7.5mg will do the trick then I will go a lot more slowly.
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:58 AM   #17
JulieG
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 589
Aargh. Jean, I am SO sorry you feel so cruddy. My doctor told me that I was suffering from anxiety disorder when I went off Paxil too quickly and experienced things similar to yours.

I had an appointment with him today and told him I was just not ready to drop to 5. I'm getting a prescription for the liquid so i can go slower.

Hang in there!

Julie
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Old 08-19-2002, 12:12 PM   #18
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ambien can cause some serious diareah and stomach problems
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Some of my favorite quotes

"April 20th, National Save the Trees day."
"Its 4:19...got a minute?"
"Life sucks then you die, so spend your time getting high."
"Time is never wasted when your wasted all the time."
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Old 08-20-2002, 08:20 AM   #19
sweet*girl
 
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Steven you sound like a commercial
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Old 08-20-2002, 10:52 AM   #20
Paxil Junkie
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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nah if i sounded like a commercial i would be saying Ambien is the most prescribed sleepaid in america. If you want a resful and peaceful nights sleep try ambien. Ambien is not for use for people with stomach problems or heart conditions, and should not be used for more then 7 days unless otherwise directed by a doctor. Side effects include diareah, chestpain, abdominal issues, but are considered "mild" So if you want a peaceful nights sleep try ambien, don't you deserve it?

these pharmacuetical commercials make me sick, has anyone seen the tim allen movie Joe Somebody? He works for a pharmacuetical company and you see his pharmaceutical company's commercials and it is the funniest thing you've ever heard, but truthful too.

"Volomin, making you better then you really are. Possible side effects might include depression, general discomfort, headaches, blurred or distorted vision, loss of balance, drymouth, numbness, periodontal disease, lockjaw, tremors, heart palpitations, vericose veins, liver damage, kidney failer, loss of taste, loss of smell, loss of sight, early alzheimers, cardiac arrest, and in extremly rare cases death. Volomin, making you better then you really are!"
__________________
Some of my favorite quotes

"April 20th, National Save the Trees day."
"Its 4:19...got a minute?"
"Life sucks then you die, so spend your time getting high."
"Time is never wasted when your wasted all the time."
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Old 08-28-2002, 09:41 AM   #21
Anonymous
 
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Jean,

Sounds like your body is in a bad cycle. Not getting enough sleep really wrecks havic on the body. Not eating or drinking will also have bad effects on your body. I would recommend seeing your doctor and getting something like Ativan to help you sleep at night and get through the withdrawals.

Your symptoms sound so much like mine when I was first prescribed Paxil. It wasn't until I found a good doctor that things got better. I was at my wits end, wasn't sleeping or eating. I ended up getting dehydrated, when I went into the doctor they gave me IV fluid and also gave valium in with the IV. She also wrote me a prescription for Ativan. When I got home I was able to eat and sleep for the first time in week. Your body needs the rest and food to heal and feel better. I know I stressed over not being able to sleep, and that only made it worse. Once you get back to sleeping and eating you will feel so much better I promise.

Don't feel like you failed on your withdrawl, congratulate yourself on making it as far as you have!!

Good Luck,

Wendy
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Old 08-28-2002, 10:24 AM   #22
Joelle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: central Ohio
Posts: 219
You guys give such good avice. I am proud to be assicoated with you all! For you all who are still tapering, my prayers are with you daily. I don't know how you continue on day after day. I am in awe.

Jean I am sorry to hear that this is giving you such a hard time. I wish I knew what to say besides that we're here for you.

The only thing I have to add is that I got the orange-colored Paxil suspension and found it to be nasty! Maybe it is just me :P
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Old 08-31-2002, 07:40 AM   #23
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Easiest Way To Get Off Paxil

[b]Their is a way to get completely off Paxil without any withdrawel symptoms whatsoever. Have your doctor switch you to Prozac, you will not suffer from any withdrawel symptoms and you will also feel much better. It's as simple as that! I know this for a fact because I did it myself. :P
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Old 08-31-2002, 08:26 AM   #24
Anonymous
 
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Prozac

Whisper, I have a question for you. Are you still on Prozac & if not was that hard to come off of? My Doctor prescribed Prozac for me saying it will help with the withdrawl of Paxil. I wasn't to thrilled to have to take something else but I was at my wits end. I stopped my 5mg of Paxil that I had been on since the end of May. I just stopped it 4 days ago. I'm still having extreme difficulty. I can't sleep, feel so much anxiety that I have never in my life experienced before & times when I am so depressed which I never felt this bad in my life.

Jean
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Old 08-31-2002, 08:47 AM   #25
safarigal
 
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Whisper,

I went from Prozac to Paxil years ago and had no problems.

I am also in the process of weaning off Paxil. After all the reading I've done on SSRIs I wil not subject my brain to any more of these nasty drugs.

Read up on the side effects of Prozac as well as Paxil and the other SSRIs.
The drug companies and FDA certainly did not do enough research on them.

Julie D.
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