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General Discussion Open discussion about Paxil, Paxil Withdrawal, successes and progress, good stories and bad, with and without.

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:04 AM   #1
cheshirecat
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 6
Hello from a newbie here

Hello,

I am new to Paxil progress. I am not actually trying to get off this drug but instead Mirtazapine / Remeron. I have had one failed attempt thus far and am presently getting my breath back before having another go. I'll give a short account of where I am at and how I got here.

In late 2009, I had a nervous breakdown, precipitated by a very bad reaction to a breathing technique that I tried. Acute anxiety and in particular terrible insomnia (with panic) were the manifestations. To begin with, my Dr put me on amytriptilline but when this had no effect, slammed me onto 40 mg temazepam and changed the a/d to citalopram. Involvement with the community psychiatrist also saw me add diazepam to the mix. Lovely. After two weeks, I dropped diazepam over two days (I knew no better then) and was thereafter in constant pain for months, except at night, when I took the temazepam. This was treated as acid reflux and so more drugs. The psych thought that there was a possibility it was the citalopram causing this so switched me to 30 mg mirtazapine. I slept better but still had the daily pain. To cut a long story short, after months of pain, I happily stumbled upon the Ashton manual and the now sadly defunct Benzo Island forum and with that information and support, switched to diazepam and did a proper benzo taper. Lo, the pain ceased after a short time of being on diazepam - though no doctor would ever acknowledge the connection. I successfully completed the benzo taper in Jan 2011 and have been benzo free since.

I decided not to rush tapering the mirt but to give myself time to recover from the benzo withdrawal. I consequently started the mirt taper in July 2011. My Dr thought it would be easy and counselled a halving every fortnight but I was not having any of that. Instead, I have used the liquid preparation to come down in smaller reductions. It went something like - 30, 27, 24.5, 22.5 (tablet only), 19.5, 17.5, 15 (tablet only), 12.5, 10, 7.5 (tablet only), 5, 2.5 and then off on 23/03. I held each of these doses for three weeks. The taper broadly went well. There were a few wobbly patches but whether this was due to mirt reduction or my own anxieties (which are still not fully resolved) was questionable and hard to establish. When I came off, I had a couple of slightly edgy days but then on days three and four, I felt great - better than in a long time. I was so pleased to be drug free. Then it all started to go wrong. I became more and more anxious, especially at night (sleeping was where it all went wrong in the nervous breakdown). This culminated on the ninth night when I felt so terrible - panic, feeling I was going to throw up, unable to cope with the power of the feelings, that I caved in and had 7.5 mg. There was an instant calming placebo effect (bit suspicious). Since then, things have settled and I am steady again. In retrospect, I am sorry I went as high as 7.5 but that was the easiest dose to grab in the circumstances.

So, now I need to regroup and decide how to proceed from here. I still want off but am scared by what I experienced. Was this withdrawal or a resurgence of my own condition? I cannot afford to be flaky at the moment as I have just started a new and very responsible part-time job and have some important family occasions coming up. I need to leave complete withdrawal until I have clear time to deal with it if it is nasty again. I can start tapering again of course as soon as I feel ready but the question is how exactly from here? The liquid is a pest because it only lasts for six weeks once opened. Has anyone managed to use tablets and a micro-balance successfully? I also have been to the CITA website and see that for mirt, they recommend a staggered way of getting down to a lower dose rather than a straight drop as I have been doing and I wonder whether that is worth trying. I have seen a personal account on patientuk where someone supports this method for mirt in particular.

I am trying to deal with my failed attempt as a learning experience rather than a failure but it is hard, especially when I was so very well for those two days. I never experienced a reaction this violent when I came off the benzo - I had c. 14 days of not so good (but not terrible) and then suddenly it eased and has been on the up ever since.

I am sorry that this has gone on a bit. I hope that I too can help others on here as well as getting some support for my own efforts. I know from the benzo taper how much mutual support meant for successful tapering.

Cheshire cat
__________________
30 mg mirtazapine from Feb. 2009 and 30 mg temazepam. Switched benzo to diazepam for slow taper. Benzo-free from Jan 2011. Mirtazapine taper from Jul 2011. Failed withdrawal March 2012 - back to 7.5 mg. Tapering again from 03/06 = now at 2.4 mg
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
Norma
 
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

I don't think I would call your attempt a failure. Just a setback. Going from 30mg to 7.5mg is a huge accomplishment. When you get back to tapering, take it slow and easy. You will get the job done.
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Summer 1999 stress overload, declining health
December 1999 Doctor diagnoses depression & anxiety, 20mg paxil.
January 2000 to May 2009 Paxil dosage rises to 40mg. Numerous failed attempts to quit.
June to July 2009 too fast taper, wind up in ER. Read paxilprogress and decide to stabilize at 30mg.
Sept '09 through summer '11 slowly tapered to 9mg.
Aug '11 Updosed to 14mg
Continue taper at 5% each month
As of June 2012 10mg.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:43 AM   #3
cheshirecat
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

Thanks Norma. Looking back at my drug history, to post here, I can indeed see how far I have come and know that I should be glad of that, rather than to mourn the setback. But - I did so want to be drug free (as do we all here) and those two days felt so good. I felt I was back to being me at last. It seems such a cliche to say it but colours did indeed look brighter and everything felt more positive. Ah well, regroup and reconsider. One thing I really hate about tapering is that I think about it so much. When my brain is in neutral, so to speak, it goes back to it all the time. I remember that it was like this when I was tapering benzos too - only with time off does it fade away.
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30 mg mirtazapine from Feb. 2009 and 30 mg temazepam. Switched benzo to diazepam for slow taper. Benzo-free from Jan 2011. Mirtazapine taper from Jul 2011. Failed withdrawal March 2012 - back to 7.5 mg. Tapering again from 03/06 = now at 2.4 mg
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
mustangwoman
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Posts: 295
Re: Hello from a newbie here

Welcome! It sounds like you have been through it. These meds are difficult to withdrawal from. You have done very well! Wishing you sunshine and healing!!
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zoloft 2004-08 tapered too fast, severe WD-6 mos out hospitialized and restarted on ssri. Finally learned the problems were from WD.
Luvox 5/08 100 mg
07/10 40mg via small reductions, 08/10 39mg, 09/10 38mg, 10/10 37mg, 11/10 36mg,2/11 35mg, 5/11 34mg, 8/11 33mg, 11/11 32mg, 01/12 31mg, 03/12 30mg, 4/12 29mg, 5/12 28 mg, 8/12 27 mg, 11/12 26 mg, 1/13 25 mg, 3/13 24 mg, 4/13 23 mg,6/13 22 mg, 7/13 21 mg, 8/13 20mg, 10/13 19 mg, 11/13 18 mg, 12/13 17 mg, 1/14 16 mg, 3/14 13 mg.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:00 AM   #5
Pino
 
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

I Cant offer you much advise on your meds but others can. I just want to wish you good luck. The advise and support offered here can be very helpfull.
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2011: 20-->8.5
8.0mg 02-01-2012
7.5mg 30-01-2012
7.0mg 12-03-2012
6.6mg 04-06-2012
6.4mg 09-07-2012
6.0mg 16-09-2012
5.6mg 04-11-2012
5.2mg 11-01-2013
5.0mg 09-03-2013
4.8mg 05-04-2013
4.6mg 31-05-2013
4.4mg 21-06-2013
4.2mg 02-09-2013
4.0mg 23-09-2013
3.8mg 28-10-2013
3.6mg 02-12-2013
3.4mg 06-01-2014
3.3mg 04-03-2014
3.2mg 17-03-2014
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
IMISSME
 
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheshirecat View Post
I am sorry that this has gone on a bit. I hope that I too can help others on here as well as getting some support for my own efforts. I know from the benzo taper how much mutual support meant for successful tapering.

Cheshire cat
I would be quite interested to find out how you manage to get off the final 7.5mg of mirt this time. I screwed around with my dosage while withdrawing from an almost cold turkey from paxil back in May. I finally had to stabilize on 15mg back in February. I have been on 7.5mg two weeks this Friday. I plan to stay on that for at least another week, maybe 2. I plan to get the 7.5mg tabs since there will be easier to chop up in specific quantities. I know the anxiety fueled insomnia will be back again. I have heard that getting off mirt is very difficult in dealing with the anxiety/insomnia.

Like you said it is very difficult to not just stop the final dosage and then when you feel good for a couple days you think great, I'm done. I tried that back in late November after being on 4mg. I think I am still dealing with the paxil issue as well but the mirt just complicates it all. Let me know what you plan to do to taper the 7.5mg again.
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20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 04-12-2012, 02:05 AM   #7
cheshirecat
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 6
Re: Hello from a newbie here

At the moment, my thinking is to get hold of a micro-balance and grind up the tablets. Although this will undoubtedly be a big faff, I think I will feel more in control of the process than when I used the liquid. In retrospect, the short shelf life of the liquid dictated the progress and speed of the taper. With ground up tablets, I think I will try to do something like 6.5, 6. 5.5. 5 etc and hold the cuts for longer than I was previously doing. This will mean it takes a long time to get off but so what. I have had three really nasty withdrawal experiences now, two with benzos and one with mirt and I really would prefer not to have another.

But for the moment, it is sit tight at 7.5 and allow everything to settle again.
__________________
30 mg mirtazapine from Feb. 2009 and 30 mg temazepam. Switched benzo to diazepam for slow taper. Benzo-free from Jan 2011. Mirtazapine taper from Jul 2011. Failed withdrawal March 2012 - back to 7.5 mg. Tapering again from 03/06 = now at 2.4 mg
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
inducer
 
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

I am sure you can kick these darn things in the head! I'm also in Cheshire ... Smile just like the cat and you are home X
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:21 AM   #9
cheshirecat
 
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

Thanks inducer. I am feeling very well at present and ready to start tapering again just as soon as I am through with a couple of potentially stressful events that are coming up shortly. I am also researching and getting in the necessary equipment to do pill crushing and measuring. On that note, I spoke to my local pharmacist at the weekend in case he had anything useful to offer (my hopes weren't high) and he seemed utterly amazed at the notion that there would be problems associated with getting off these drugs. He also wondered aloud why it was that the drug manufacturers didn't make them in concentrations that facilitated easy tapering. For my part, I marvel that those who work so closely with these things can be so naiive about drug companies.
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30 mg mirtazapine from Feb. 2009 and 30 mg temazepam. Switched benzo to diazepam for slow taper. Benzo-free from Jan 2011. Mirtazapine taper from Jul 2011. Failed withdrawal March 2012 - back to 7.5 mg. Tapering again from 03/06 = now at 2.4 mg
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
Horty
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Re: Hello from a newbie here

Hi Cheshirecat,
I too am just starting on tapering off mirtazapine. It's not looking like it will be much fun. However, I think that I recognise you from BI and that we tapered together off the V? I'd love to be able to chat via PM. Would you like to talk?
Horty
(off diazepam since Feb 2011, now 15mg of mirtazapine to deal with)
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:26 PM   #11
cheshirecat
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 6
Re: Hello from a newbie here

Horty!! It is indeed me, your step-for-step taper buddy from BI! I just thought I'd have a new name this time. I am so glad to hear from you and see that you were able to stay off the demon benzos. I did go back to TRAP after one year off v to report my progress and was surprised to find that it too had closed. I hope all the others who were tapering with us found somewhere new to go to: we were so lucky to finish ours before they closed.

I'd be very happy to talk via PM. We helped one another before and it would be good to do it again. I made it down to 7.5 without any big trauma so it may not be so bad in that stage as you fear. I am a bit of a techie idiot though so what do we need to do?
__________________
30 mg mirtazapine from Feb. 2009 and 30 mg temazepam. Switched benzo to diazepam for slow taper. Benzo-free from Jan 2011. Mirtazapine taper from Jul 2011. Failed withdrawal March 2012 - back to 7.5 mg. Tapering again from 03/06 = now at 2.4 mg
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #12
Horty
 
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

Oh I am so happy that we have linked up again. If you go to "my profile" and then "edit options" you can enable the PM system and then we can chat.
Horty
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:35 AM   #13
cheshirecat
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Re: Hello from a newbie here

OK, I have done that and added you to my buddy list. Do you now need to add me to yours? Then I think we just go to the link on Private messages, yes?
__________________
30 mg mirtazapine from Feb. 2009 and 30 mg temazepam. Switched benzo to diazepam for slow taper. Benzo-free from Jan 2011. Mirtazapine taper from Jul 2011. Failed withdrawal March 2012 - back to 7.5 mg. Tapering again from 03/06 = now at 2.4 mg
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