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Old 03-11-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
jojo
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Coming off after 9 years

Hi everyone,

I have been on paxil 20mg for the last 9 years and began my taper 1st Nov, 2010. I did it like this:

15 mg month of Nov - didnít feel the drop
12.5 mg month of Dec Ė felt the drop
10.0 mg first 2w of Jan - canít remember
Thereafter a 1.25mg drop every 2w
Which brings me to my current dosage of 5.0mg since 1st Mar

Thing is everything seemed to be ok up to now in the sense that at every drop I did feel a little off for say a couple of days each time, but nothing too troubling.

However since the 5.0mg (actually about 4mg first 2 days Ďcos of irregular pill cutting), Iíve had a scare, with physical lethargy, lack of Ďmoodí, lightheadedness, irritability and very familiar negative thinking patterns as before I started on Paxil. This is getting better though as days pass. I will stay at 5.0mg for full month of March.

Knowing that at 5.0mg it starts to get tough, Iíve decided to taper 0.625mg every month from next drop onwards, with which youíll all agree Iím sure. Only problem is Iím cutting 20mg pills Ďcos 10mg or liquid paxil is not available in my area. This is going to get messy, but hopefully the differences between the cuts will be quite acceptable since the drop is very small anyway.

As Iíve been on Paxil for 9 years, I can appreciate that my brain does need time to adjust itís chemistry and Iím willing to give it that time. I probably have been lucky to get away with the larger drops up to now, considering thatÖ

ÖIíve had two unsuccessful attempts to quit : first time 10mg for 2 weeks, then 0mg led very quickly to a relapse / withdrawal, canít tell which, so back to 20mg; the second time, I was attempting to stay at 10mg for an indefinite period but again severe relapse / withdrawal after 9 weeks and so to 30mg for a month to stabilize, then back to 20mg.

Anyway, I just wanted to put my story up as a baseline for any difficulties I may face ( hopefully not!) on my journey to 0mg and then beyond. Thanks for Ďlisteningí. I intend to post once a week whateverís on my mind.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
slappyintheface
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Re: Coming off after 9 years

I also took 20mg of Paxil for about 9 years and had to do my entire taper by chopping pills (my doctor told me that I didn't really need the liquid so he refused to prescribe it to me). I also had a rough time when I hit the 5 mg mark and had to stay at the 5 mg dose for about two months in order to stabilize. Just remember that the smaller your doses get, then the smaller the drops should be. Also - be kind to yourself. As you said, you have been on this junk for a long time and it is going to take your mind and body some time to adjust back to it's normal state.

We are here to help!
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1/05/07 20mg-17.5 1/20 17.5-15 2/24 15-12.5 3/08 12.5-10 3/29 10-7.5 4/12 7.5-5 6/15 5-3.75 6/30 3.75-2.5 7/28 2.5-1.5ish 8/11 1.5-1 8/25 1- zero

"Keep lighting candles, eventually nobody will be in the dark" me

"Time does not come in pill form" me

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Old 03-12-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
jojo
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Re: Coming off after 9 years

Thanks Scotia for the input. Itís really helped. Interesting to see the similarities. I was beginning to think I might have to reinstate at 7.5mg say, but your post has given me hope. How bad was it for you at 5mg? For me itís literally one day good, one day bad so far. Do you suggest I stay at 5mg for 2 months too? Does anyone else suggest the same, considering this is the point Iíve started having difficulties.

At 5mg it gets tough Ė itís a maxim or a standard. Why do you think itís such a critical dose regardless of how long one has been taking it, starting dose at taper, length of taper etc. Are our brains all that similar?! Although the answer to this isnít too important, it would be interesting to hear some theories.

Today I had another scare. Forgot to take my dose in the morning and had a bout of physical and mental jitters starting at say 11am, though there was a trigger there somewhere. Realized at 2 pm I had missed a dose, which is rare btw, and popped it immediately. Felt better by 4pm and beyond. Phew! Drove home the fact that my brain is indeed supersensitive now and how careful I have to be if Iím not to lose all the hard work up to now. On my 20mg days, I could miss a day, even two in a row it happened once, and hardly notice.

Thanks PP for this forum!
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
TryingtoGetWell
 
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Re: Coming off after 9 years

Hi Jojo!

Welcome to PP!

I did not do a slow taper (thought I did, but learned too late once I found this group that it was a virtual cold-turkey). As a result, my healing has been harder and taken longer, but I'm much better now! I've learned a lot from reading on this site, though I don't have personal experience with very slow tapering.

There are a couple of reasons why people run into problems when they get to about 5 mg and don't taper slowly. For one thing, the percentage of the drops in dose are what affect the body. Just as a hypothetical example - if you drop by 1 mg from 10 - that's a 10% drop. If you drop 1 mg from 2 mgs - that's a 50% drop - a real shock to your brain and nervous system. The brain seems to heal much better when drops are in manageable increments, which is why people can usually do larger drops early on, but need to be careful later on as they go lower in dose.

The other has to do with how the liver (I think it's the liver) metabolizes the medication. It clears it faster at lower doses, if I understand correctly. A member posted something about this once, and it explained a lot of what puzzled some of us. I'll try to find a link to her post.

Don't worry if you can't get liquid - many members here can't. Although it isn't necessary to get a jeweler's scale, many people have found them very helpful in measuring the small doses more accurately. They're pretty inexpensive and can be ordered from eBay. There's a lot of help here about the scales and also a spreadsheet for calculating the doses. A member named Songbird is brilliant at explaining all this! But right now, stabilize at the dose you're at and don't drop further. People tend to know after a while when they've stabilized at a dose. Those who have done or are currently doing the slow tapering will explain more, I'm sure.
__________________
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/cíd 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 03-12-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
TryingtoGetWell
 
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Re: Coming off after 9 years

Post #2 in this thread is the information about lower doses that I was referring to: http://www.paxilprogress.org/forums/...ver+metabolize

Please be aware that as the thread title says, this applies to some people. In other threads on this subject, some people have said they felt better with each drop in dose as they got lower. I think this is probably true of people who weren't doing well on paxil - adverse reactions or bad side effects.

But they still continued with the very slow (10% drops or the percentage that worked for them - a few people have found it worked best to do even smaller percentage drops) taper. That's because even if one feels better getting lower in dose, the brain still has to heal and can do that best in drops of manageable increments.

I hope that makes sense! If you have any questions, just ask. People here are glad to help with sharing their experiences and suggestions.
__________________
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/cíd 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 03-12-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
GraceC
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 435
Re: Coming off after 9 years

JoJo,
Best wishes on your taper. You are very fortunate to make it to 5 mg with few WD effects.
GC
__________________
2002 - Paxil 20 mg for anxiety and panic. Got sober from alcohol addiction
2005 - Unsuccessful four-month withdrawal 20 to 5 mg. Back up to 20
2008 - Another failed withdrawal. Back to 20
Oct 2010 - 20 to 10 mg.
Nov - Dec 2010 - Stabilizing at 10 mg.
Jan 2011 - 9 mg.
Feb 2011 - 8.1 mg
March 2011 - 7.3 mg
April 2011 - 6.6 mg
May 5, 2011 - 5.9 mg
May 26, 2011 - 5.3 mg
June 10, 2011 - 4.8 mg
July 4, 2011 - 4.3 mg
July 25, 2011 - 3.9 mg
Aug, 2011 - 7 mg
Aug, 2011 - 10 mg
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