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Old 04-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
looking4help
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Ready for the challenge

Day 1, went from 30 mg to 20 mg of paxil and feeling chills hot flashes zaps, this has been going on for weeks and its the reason I'm asking my Dr. to take me off. Panic attacks are at an all time high, feels like my heart is about to explode.....
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
TryingtoGetWell
 
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Re: Ready for the challenge

Welcome, looking.

You're tapering much too fast!!!! That will cause the problems you're having, and more.

Please read on here about the 10% taper that seems to work best for most people. There are stickies in the general discussion forum that give a lot of information. (Let us know if you need links.)

If you've been on the med any length of time, this generally means dropping by no more than 10% of previous (that's your most recent, not original dose; previous dose changes each time you drop) dose. Then staying at that dose at least 3-6 weeks before dropping again, etc.

Please give us a summary of what meds you're on (not just the one you're going off of) and brief med history, including dates of how long and what doses[s] you've been on a med). That will help us give you advice based on your specific situation. Put it into a "signature" that will appear on all your posts, if possible. Otherwise, just post it for now.

Right now, I urge you to go back to your original dose and wait until you've stabilized at that dose. (You should start feeling better pretty soon.) Then we'll guide you through a safer, tolerable taper.
__________________
5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Ready for the challenge

P.S. Just re-read your original post and a couple more thoughts.

One - don't expect your doctor to know about the kind of taper schedule this group has found works best and most successfully. Doctors aren't being given this kind of information, and as a result many people suffer needlessly or mistakenly don't think they can get off. It can't hurt to taper more slowly, even if your doctor may not see the need for it - and it can make a world of difference.

Other thought - I wasn't sure from your message whether you were having problems from the med itself (while still on full dose) and not sure how long you've been on it or other meds. Or did the symptoms you describe start when you lowered your dose?
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5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
looking4help
 
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Re: Ready for the challenge

The symptoms have been steady for about 3 weeks now and I've reached my breaking point I've been on Paxil since 2007 at a 30mg dose, my Dr. is changing me over to Zoloft however which I'm sure you know is another SSRI. I also take Klonopin for panic disorder however the klonopin does not seem to be working anymore
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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Re: Ready for the challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4help View Post
The symptoms have been steady for about 3 weeks now and I've reached my breaking point I've been on Paxil since 2007 at a 30mg dose, my Dr. is changing me over to Zoloft however which I'm sure you know is another SSRI. I also take Klonopin for panic disorder however the klonopin does not seem to be working anymore
Was your original plan to switch to another SSRI (zoloft), or are you switching because of the withdrawal symptoms from paxil?

I should warn you - some switches work for people (at least briefly - though often the effects only last for a month of two), but too often just cause more problems.

If you were planning on switching anyway, it may or may not work, but I think you'd need to do a much slower crossover. Switching to another SSRI rarely covers paxil withdrawal symptoms, so you still need to deal with paxil withdrawal. Hence the need for a very slow cross-taper.

I can't overstress how your taper schedule was a recipe for disaster. Especially after being on it for seven years.

If you're trying to get off the med, I really urge you to reinstate the paxil (not switch to another med), stabilize for a while on it, then do a much, much slower taper that will be very different from what you're going through now. Your taper schedule did not allow for the healing process that needs to occur when going off the med - it was really a "sledgehammer" approach, even though I'm sure your doctor didn't realize it. (Hardly any know how to taper safely and in a tolerable manner, believe me.)

I urge you to go back on paxil as soon as possible, with no zoloft - certainly not yet (other SSRIs can cause start-up symptoms that are miserable when one is in withdrawal from another one). After this much time, you probably shouldn't jump right back to 30 mg. I'm not really experienced on this (didn't know to reinstate, just know the importance of reinstating to the original med from reading on this group for years), so not sure if you should go back up to about 10 mg. paxil and see how you do at that, or go to something like 20. (You may then need to go up to the original 30 for a little while, but I'm not sure.) Hopefully others with more experience in this will give their input soon.

But I really urge you to hold off on the zoloft and to go back on at least 10 mg. paxil as soon as possible, and let us know how you do. There is a window of time in which one can reinstate the med, and it varies considerably from person to person, so I urge you to do it as soon as possible. You'll save yourself a world of hurt.

But I would
__________________
5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Re: Ready for the challenge

How long have you been on klonopin, and at what dose(s)?

Withdrawal can cause panic symptoms even in people who never had it before withdrawal, and benzodiazepines like klonopin often don't help.

But it gets a bit more complicated than that. One more reason to taper the paxil very, very slowly.

I've been on a klonopin (clonazepam) for many years, and other benzos before that. In fact, that's why I was put on paxil - benzo withdrawal, which I did against medical advice because I was put on them long ago as adjunct anticonvulsants for seizure disorder.

I didn't learn until quite some time after I did a too-fast taper off paxil, that paxil increases the serum levels of benzodiazepines. So I think that when I did the too-fast taper (virtual cold-turkey, according to LC, who's not a moderator here) off paxil, I effectively went into benzo w/d (withdrawal) as well, if that makes sense.

I'm now almost six years off paxil but clonazepam (klonopin) does not work the same for me at all and I don't think I tolerate it as well, even though I'd been on it for a very long time prior to paxil withdrawal without the present problems. I think I basically was in a "dual withdrawal" due to my too-fast taper off paxil, even though I hadn't changed my benzo dose one bit.

That has now stabilized, but I still don't seem to tolerate the klonopin the way I used to. I may have to stay on it due to my seizure disorder and other medical problems, but I may have side effects from it I never had before (no way to be sure if some new problems are from that). These are different from w/d symptoms. And I can't take a higher dose without feeling worse - not true before my "virtual cold-turkey" paxil withdrawal despite literally decades on various benzos. Something definitely changed with my reactions to meds.

One more reason to do a very, very slow taper off the paxil (which I didn't know to do), I would think.
__________________
5/93 - Started paxil after 6 years sensory distortions from benzo WD/low-dose reinst.+chronic medical problems/pain -
20 mg/day; yrs later 15 mg
3/30/06 - 20 mg
4/21/06 - 15 mg
4/27/06 - 10 mg
5/17/06 - 5 mg (none 5/20)
5/21-24/06 - 2.5 mg (5/22 - none)
5/25/06 - d/cd paroxetine
Felt better than in years, then gradual WD symptoms
6/17/06 - Bolted awake in blind terror, started E-ticket ride to hell
2010 - Leaving hell for balmier climate!
(Still on my pre-paxil 0.5 mg clonazepam)
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
SoCalStarter
 
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Re: Ready for the challenge

fwiw when I started having severe wd symptoms I upped my dosage to where it was prior to the symptoms. Cleared things right up!

That's when I discovered this website and the 10% method.

For me, easy does it!
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #8
looking4help
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Re: Ready for the challenge

I'm switching to zoloft because of the negative symptoms I am feeling from Paxil. In all honesty I dont want to be on an SSRI at all but its too late to just quit cold turkey. I've been on Klonopin for 2 years for my panic disorder, but like I said, it really isn't working anymore. I just want to be the person I once was...
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
looking4help
 
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Re: Ready for the challenge

I cut my dose of paxil in half last night as directed by my Psychologist to get ready for Zoloft. Cold sweats all night and about 4 hours of sleep and I'm wide awake, cant stop the shaking and my hands sweat like crazy. I'm getting hot and cold flashes. Basically locking myself in my room with lots of water as drinking fluids seems to be the only thing that calms my nerves.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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Re: Ready for the challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4help View Post
I cut my dose of paxil in half last night as directed by my Psychologist to get ready for Zoloft. Cold sweats all night and about 4 hours of sleep and I'm wide awake, cant stop the shaking and my hands sweat like crazy. I'm getting hot and cold flashes. Basically locking myself in my room with lots of water as drinking fluids seems to be the only thing that calms my nerves.
If you want to be off ssri's, then wean the paxil, forget the zoloft. I hate to be the voice of doom, but this is going to get worse before it gets better, and few find that zoloft makes things better. The initial symptoms were from the huge drop you made in the paxil dose.
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Last edited by scotty : 04-15-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:31 AM   #11
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Re: Ready for the challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4help View Post
I cut my dose of paxil in half last night as directed by my Psychologist to get ready for Zoloft. Cold sweats all night and about 4 hours of sleep and I'm wide awake, cant stop the shaking and my hands sweat like crazy. I'm getting hot and cold flashes. Basically locking myself in my room with lots of water as drinking fluids seems to be the only thing that calms my nerves.
Pill cutting in not precise unless you have a scale and a some filing mechanism. The two halves may look the same but can differ in up to 20mg each.

Zoloft is very stimulating, so if your main issue is depression it may work for you, but if you suffer from anxiety it will be a rough ride. Better get some benzos ready cause no CBT will help you bridge that gap until your body accepts it (initial anxiety phase). Just dont abuse the benzo cause they are highly addictive.

I never liked Zoloft but come to think of it because I was having W/D(paxil) and startup(Z) side effects.

If you want to get off paxil the best thing is to taper, plus you will need to work on your initial condition as well; once the medicine is gone your original issue has a high probablilty of coming back.

You were on the highest dose of Paxil and this may take a while to get off. We are talking more than a year of reductions. If you want to switch to another AD, you may have to go back to an equivalent dosage but your psyc will determine that.
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"This will take time but it will happen!"
"I've been shouting: it takes at LEAST a year " -- Ariella
"If I am going to suffer, at least I will be Paxil free" -- me!



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Old 04-16-2012, 10:30 AM   #12
looking4help
 
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Re: Ready for the challenge

worst night/day hopefully zoloft will help tonight
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:37 AM   #13
looking4help
 
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Re: Ready for the challenge

I'm so dizzy and disoriented, I can't remember things that are daily routine. I feel disconnected from life. Nothing seems real anymore
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