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Old 08-05-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 24
How long did Paxil work for you?

I know for some folks here, as soon as they were prescribed Paxil, trouble started.

For many others, though, Paxil was a wonder drug at firstósometimes for months, in other cases for years. In my case, when I began it in early 2003, I considered it a miracle, and couldnít sing its praises enough: I credited it (and still do) with allowing me to focus more clearly, operate throughout the day with less anxiety and less OCD, giving me the bravery to make social connections and friendships, and ensuring that by I wasnít exhausted by mid-afternoon, the way I had been prior to starting.

It wasnít my third or fourth year on the medication (at around 60 mg), around late 2006/early 2007 that I felt I was too lethargic and too disengaged--and taking my prescribed Adderall in conjunction made me too hyped up. It was then I decided to cut back, disliking the fact that I would always be forced with a choice between feeling like a lazy dog or feeling like an agitated coke fiend.

After my second dosage drop in 2008, Iíve more or less felt the same since, with or without Paxil: brain fog/poor short-term memory, OCD, and social anxiety rule the day. The Paxil either pooped out, or my body wasnít able to acclimate to a smaller dose of Paxil properly (in my naivete at the time, I was dropping in 10-20 mg doses off of my dosage high of 60 mg).

So, my questions are this:

1.) How long did Paxil work for you? What benefits did it bring?
2.) How long before either A.) negative effects set in, or B.) it pooped?
3.) When did you decide to taper/come off of it?
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: California
Posts: 4,675
Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

Hi Cinnamon-- good bunch of questions, things that people talk about in general scattered through out many different threads.

I started on paxil 20mg in 1994 and felt better from the first hit. I curbed my inner anxiety and gave me control over my spontaneous irrational anger issues, I even recommended it to friends. By about 2002 it had started to not work as well so I upped to 30mg and things were better again for about a year then the pain started. Around 2006 I upped again to 40mg and it didn't do much, but I didn't understand what was happening. From there it was steadily down hill until I pooped in 2009. I was a total mess until I started my taper in 2011, and have been improving ever since. I have been tapering for 22 months and am down to 8.1mg. There is a lot of improving left to do but I am much much much better than I was two years ago.

1994 started 20mg Paxil,1999 30mg,2005 40mg
2010 pooped out
09/2011 CTed from 15oz vodka a night
09/2011 36mg
06/2012 19mg (past halfway point)
01/2013 11.1mg
03/2013 10.0mg
01/2014 5.4mg
02/2014 4.9mg
03/2014 4.4mg
05/2014 4.0mg
06/2014 3.6mg
08/2014 dropped to 3.2mg

"Feel like crap and carry on" --Junior
"Find a place inside where there is joy, and that joy will burn out the darkness." Joseph Campbell
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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Posts: 137
Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

Hi Cinnamon,

I started on 10mg Paxil in 1998 for anxiety, and I was very happy with the results. It controlled my anxiety and I felt great. After a year I felt I could lower my dosage to 5 mg, and again it worked great. I was on Paxil for nine more years before I decided I no longer needed to be on it so I did a quick wean and suffered no withdrawal symptoms.

I was Paxil free for five years and had very little anxiety problems then in December 2012 I had a severe panic attack that scared me enough that it had me running for my doctor. She suggested I go back on 10mg Paxil again and I agreed since it had worked so well for me in the past.

This time around Paxil has been nothing but hell, it actually caused me to have more panic attacks along with a huge list of other side effects. I complained to my doctor and she said that I should stick with it for a while longer, that my body would get used to the Paxil and over time I would feel great. Well, that never happened, my symptoms got worse and in June I made the decision to take myself off it. Then a whole bunch of new problems arose, not only was I dealing with side effects from the drug, I had to deal with the withdrawal symptoms as well. I started getting excruciating pain in my stomach and intestines so my doctor said I had to get off the drug as soon as possible. I did a quick wean down in five weeks, which is way too fast, I know, but I was desperate, I couldn't handle the pain any longer. I've been 8 days Paxil free, and although my stomach and intestinal pain has gotten much better, the withdrawal symptoms are hell. I knew they would be and I do my best to work through them and take one day at a time. What's getting me through this is knowing that one day my brain will heal and I will be strong and healthy once again.

I wish you all the best. Be well,
1998 - 10mg of Paxil for anxiety
2000 - lowered to 5mg
2008 - quick wean off Paxil with no side effects
2008 to 2012 - Paxil free
2012 - (December) back on 10mg a day for bad anxiety
2013 - (June) lowered to 5mg with no weaning Had bad withdrawal, back up to 10mg, had bad reaction, Back down to 5mg.
2013 - (July) on 5mg and trying to level out.
2013 - (August) due to intestinal distress had to do fast wean down to 0mg.
2013 - (August) Paxil free and healing
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

It was somewhere around 1996 when I asked for a pill that would allow me to function normally, but with control over my panic. I was prescribed 20 mg of Paxil. It was a wonder drug for me, and about five years later, I felt so good that I tapered down to 10 and then to 5. All was great until I started to have what I considered to be breakthrough anxiety. Nothing too bad, but I didn't want it to get away on me. I upped back to 20.

I also noticed that no matter how hard I was trying to trim back down to my normal weight, I was only gaining more, and it was happening around my midsection. Also, the 20 mg wasn't as effective for my emotions as it had been for me in the beginning. I then asked my doctor to switch me to something that wouldn't make me gain or hold on to weight. He prescribed 10 mg of Lexapro. It worked for me. Although I was able to lose some weight with it, I noticed that I really had to work so very extra hard in order to lose it.

I continued on Lexapro all the way to May of 2011, when I realized that I was experiencing some poop out. A friend over here was talking about her attempt at slowly weaning off of Lexapro. I honestly wondered why, as I felt that I owed my inner calm to my own pill bottle. I wondered if I needed to updose, but I wasn't finding good reports on that. So I decided that I had been on meds long enough and was tired of having to always be sure that I had my meds packed with me. I always knew that a forced cold turkey would never be a good thing. If I could get off Lexapro, then I could be free from that concern.

And here I am!
05/31/11 Last day 10 mg. Lexapro
06/01/11 9 mg
06/07/11 9ml of liquid Lexapro
06/08/11 8.8
Continued to slowly taper until: 09/21/12. Done!

August 2014: best month in 2014, this far; much improved from 2013.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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Location: New Zealand
Posts: 571
Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

I started on Paxil maybe 14 years ago. Has been and still is amazingly good for me. Getting off it though has been a totally different story. I can taper easily to 5mg two or three times a week, but once I stop completely, sometime between a few weeks and a few months after stopping completely, I get teary and emotional and if I try to stay off them, I start getting the other symptoms like DP/DR and I just cannot handle my work and life etc. As soon as I start taking it again I'm absolutely fine again and it works really fast for me - within 3 to 4 days I'm completely back to 'normal'. This time last week, after finding this site, I only went back up to 10mg instead of 20mg, and now after 3 or 4 days of just 10mg, I'm absolutely totally fine again. I might now just cut straight away to 5mg and see how I feel. When I'm stable, I can even miss a day or two or three and still be just fine! Soooooo frustrating!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

I was put on it July 1997 for depression (correctly diagnosed), stayed on it for 7 months and didn't have any real probs getting off it - just a bit of dizziness. Went back on in August 1998 and have been on it ever since. The first stretch was 20mg but when I went back on (major life issues) I was put on 40mg and varied the dose from 20-40 until late 2008 when I realised it was pooping out on me. I tried switching to Lexapro then Cymbalta and eventually went back on. I was lucky that the RI worked, although it was not without its problems. Have been doing a slow taper for about 3.5 years now.

How did it help? Well firstly it took away the anxiety that was masking my depression, then lifted the depression. It only took 2 weeks for me to be back to old self. The Endep I'm on now used to take a month or longer.

I stayed on it because it helped enormously with my GAD and I had a young son with autism /ADHD and intellectual disabilty to raise. I also did uni during those years. There was also the knowledge that I didn't have to fear another depressive episode while I was on it.

I wanted to stay on it for life. Unfortunately I now know that is just not possible.

Nearly forgot, the only real problem I had with it during those10+ glorious years, and I didn't realise it was the drug until more recently, was weight gain. A LOT of weight gain. I put on @45kg (nearly 100 pounds).

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous

Last edited by Junior : 08-05-2013 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Added something
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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Location: Canada
Posts: 4,460
Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

I started tapering almost right after going on because i only took it to cover withdrawal from effexor and it didn't seem to help with that after many months. But Effexor lasted a few months, before I got anxious on it. I upped the dose and the anxiety died back down. Funny since I was prescribed it for post partum depression and not anxiety,lol. Anyway this went on every few months, for years. I think one time I got almost a year out of it before I updosed. It took the depression I'd had away, and took the edge off any anxiety I used to have, which was really mild and situational (I don't have OCD or panic or anything, never have). So...that's my story.
2 Timothy 1:7: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

2005-2010 Effexor XR 112.5mg-262.5mg for PPD
June-Dec 2010 poop-out. 3 month taper, tried 3 different ADs. Horrible time. It took 7 months for any stability.
Paxil taper:
Oct'11 to Nov '12 20mg-10mg
March'13 to Feb'14 9mg -4mg
Feb 7/14-4.0mg
April 1/14-3.6mg
April 29/14-3.2mg
June 2/14-2.9mg
July 4/14-2.6mg
Aug 9/14-2.3mg
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:15 PM   #8
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Location: California
Posts: 598
Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

The drug never really made me feel good so I don't know if it really worked or not. It just made me feel sort of tired, flat and weird. Does this mean that it was working? I was having stress from some major life changes and had no idea that it was normal to feel stress from these things and that they would blow over eventually. I guess in that regard, it worked because it made me not care as much that I was stressed. It only did this for about 6 months and then one time when I tried to quit, I had my first anxious type episode at work.....it was a roller coaster of going off and on and trying different drugs and such so I guess 6 months would be it for me....
On 5 mgs Lexapro for 3 years due to stress.
Last pill: 03/24/11
Still Dealing with the Following:
Physical Symptoms: Totally GONE (except I am still unable to lose all the weight but could be because i'm pushing 40)
Psychological Symptoms:
Anhedonia: 60% Improved
Motivation: 70% Improved
Anger/Irritibility: 70% Improved
Insomnia: gone, sleep all night now-most nights.
Sense of Humor: Slowly returning
Now wicked PMS that I did not have before meds
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
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Location: Canada
Posts: 4,460
Re: How long did Paxil work for you?

Oh ya and I should add that for 5 years, Effexor never numbed my emotions. I was creative, could lose and maintain a nice weight (never was overweight). I had no noticable side effects besdies sweating. It was until 5 years later I had any issues besides that anxious feeling I updosed for. Eventually it ruined my REM sleep detected in a sleep lab, and by then the anxiety had morphed into a hideous 24-7 nightmare with DR and gut problems. I assume that was poop out.
2 Timothy 1:7: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

2005-2010 Effexor XR 112.5mg-262.5mg for PPD
June-Dec 2010 poop-out. 3 month taper, tried 3 different ADs. Horrible time. It took 7 months for any stability.
Paxil taper:
Oct'11 to Nov '12 20mg-10mg
March'13 to Feb'14 9mg -4mg
Feb 7/14-4.0mg
April 1/14-3.6mg
April 29/14-3.2mg
June 2/14-2.9mg
July 4/14-2.6mg
Aug 9/14-2.3mg
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