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Old 04-04-2004, 04:39 PM   #1
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GirlHarley HB User
Weaning off Paxil how long?

OK, without going into a long story why I'm on Paxil, I just want off the drug and hope someone if not many can tell me what I am to expect.
By the way, I did talk with my doctor about going off Paxil and he told me by going down on the amounts.

I started taking it Oct 2003 for one month at 10mg once a night.
Increased to 20mg then 30mg month of November.
December thru Feburary - I went down to 20mg again,
March thru Mid March - 20mg then down to 12mg for about two weeks.
As of three days ago I stopped taking Paxil. I'm not feeling any side effects and not sure when I'm suspose to feel them after stopping Paxil.

My question is should I start feeling the effects of withdrawal soon after I stopped taking Paxil? Or does it take a week, two, or three weeks?
Everything I read about weaning off Paxil has scared the crap out of me,
I have been moody lately but not sure if it's just my PMS kicking in cause I'm due soon, I'm also dealing with a teenager who lately has been driving me crazy doing teenage things, my boyfriend is getting on my case about using Paxil but then is not helping matters with my PMS...

Would appricate input from others who have been on Paxil and got off Paxil.
Thanks,

 
Old 04-05-2004, 10:44 AM   #2
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molly123 HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Hi GirlHarley,
I can't answer some of your questions but I just wanted to make some comments. Don't know if there's a big between Paxil and Paxil CR, but I've been on Paxil CR 12.5mg since Dec. and would like to also wean off it it eventually. I also read a lot of scary withdrawal symptoms and expressed my concerns to my dr. as well as my sister who works in a detox health clinic who works with lots of drug cases. Both of them said there are a lot of people out there who are extreme cases, meaning they have lots of other emotional problems going on and also taking lots of other meds. They are usually the ones who may have those scary withdrawal symptoms. My dr. is confident that I won't have any problems weaning off b/c I am taking the lowest dose and also b/c I didn't have any side effects, but that doesn't mean I'm still not concerned. I know it is different for everyone.

There was one friend who stopped cold turkey, no withdrawals. Another friend just started cutting his pills in half and when he ran out, he didn't refill -no withdrawals. Both of these friends did not expeience any side effects when they started either. I personally think that if you were to start having withdrawal symptoms, you would have had them already. However, try not to get anxiety over this - otherwise you might start freaking over it which you might think is a withdrawal symptom.

Take care...keep us posted and I am curious to know how it goes with you and hopefully there is someone else on this board who might be able to help also.
Molly

[
Quote:
QUOTE=GirlHarley]OK, without going into a long story why I'm on Paxil, I just want off the drug and hope someone if not many can tell me what I am to expect.
By the way, I did talk with my doctor about going off Paxil and he told me by going down on the amounts.

I started taking it Oct 2003 for one month at 10mg once a night.
Increased to 20mg then 30mg month of November.
December thru Feburary - I went down to 20mg again,
March thru Mid March - 20mg then down to 12mg for about two weeks.
As of three days ago I stopped taking Paxil. I'm not feeling any side effects and not sure when I'm suspose to feel them after stopping Paxil.

My question is should I start feeling the effects of withdrawal soon after I stopped taking Paxil? Or does it take a week, two, or three weeks?
Everything I read about weaning off Paxil has scared the crap out of me,
I have been moody lately but not sure if it's just my PMS kicking in cause I'm due soon, I'm also dealing with a teenager who lately has been driving me crazy doing teenage things, my boyfriend is getting on my case about using Paxil but then is not helping matters with my PMS...

Would appricate input from others who have been on Paxil and got off Paxil.
Thanks,
[/QUOTE]

 
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:22 AM   #3
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GirlHarley HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

molly123 - thanks for replying and telling me what you know.
That's funny that you mentioned the Paxil and Paxil CR.
I was given both by two different doctors. My OBYGN, gave me the Paxil CR in September 2003. I had it filled but didn't take it.
Then when I suffered a panic attack for stress related reasons my prim.doctor told me not to take Paxil CR and gave me Paxil. He started me at 10mg, when I saw a therphist (sp?) she recommended to increase my dose to 20mg this was in November 2003, then on a visit to my doctor's I mentioned to him I could probably go up to 30mg...I thought at first the Paxil was working but I have to say, I felt weird at times on the Paxil.

Went back to my doctor and told him I wanted to be off Paxil, plus I could no longer afford it due to no health insurance since I was laid off - (cause of my panic attack) so I ran out of Paxil early March.
Started taking the Paxil CR just to wean myself off from the other Paxil.
I didn't take any Paxil or Paxil CR for three days, I have 14 pills left on the Paxil CR 12.5 so last night I decided to take half of one, and figured I will just take half of the Paxil CR that I have left for another week?

Hope others can also respond to my questions?
Thanks!

 
Old 04-05-2004, 02:48 PM   #4
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molly123 HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Hi GirlHarley,
Did you know that Paxil CR treats Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) too, as well as anxiety/panic attacks? Maybe that's why your GYN probably prescribed the CR for you. Why didn't you take take in Sept? I think that's the difference between regular Paxil and the Paxil CR.

Quoting from info on found on PMDD, it is apparently linked to an imbalance of serotonin, the natural body chemical that transports signals between nerve cells and within the brain. In the days leading up to your period, the monthly changes in your hormones may interact with serotonin and other natural body chemicals. This may result in the emotional and physical changes that make it difficult to be yourself. And these symptoms typically get worse as you grow older.

What made you decide that you're ready to get off of Paxil (besides no longer having insurance)? How did you know you're ready?

Molly


Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlHarley
molly123 - thanks for replying and telling me what you know.
That's funny that you mentioned the Paxil and Paxil CR.
I was given both by two different doctors. My OBYGN, gave me the Paxil CR in September 2003. I had it filled but didn't take it.
Then when I suffered a panic attack for stress related reasons my prim.doctor told me not to take Paxil CR and gave me Paxil. He started me at 10mg, when I saw a therphist (sp?) she recommended to increase my dose to 20mg this was in November 2003, then on a visit to my doctor's I mentioned to him I could probably go up to 30mg...I thought at first the Paxil was working but I have to say, I felt weird at times on the Paxil.

Went back to my doctor and told him I wanted to be off Paxil, plus I could no longer afford it due to no health insurance since I was laid off - (cause of my panic attack) so I ran out of Paxil early March.
Started taking the Paxil CR just to wean myself off from the other Paxil.
I didn't take any Paxil or Paxil CR for three days, I have 14 pills left on the Paxil CR 12.5 so last night I decided to take half of one, and figured I will just take half of the Paxil CR that I have left for another week?

Hope others can also respond to my questions?
Thanks!

 
Old 04-05-2004, 03:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 39
Direne HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlHarley
molly123 - thanks for replying and telling me what you know.
That's funny that you mentioned the Paxil and Paxil CR.
I was given both by two different doctors. My OBYGN, gave me the Paxil CR in September 2003. I had it filled but didn't take it.
Then when I suffered a panic attack for stress related reasons my prim.doctor told me not to take Paxil CR and gave me Paxil. He started me at 10mg, when I saw a therphist (sp?) she recommended to increase my dose to 20mg this was in November 2003, then on a visit to my doctor's I mentioned to him I could probably go up to 30mg...I thought at first the Paxil was working but I have to say, I felt weird at times on the Paxil.

Went back to my doctor and told him I wanted to be off Paxil, plus I could no longer afford it due to no health insurance since I was laid off - (cause of my panic attack) so I ran out of Paxil early March.
Started taking the Paxil CR just to wean myself off from the other Paxil.
I didn't take any Paxil or Paxil CR for three days, I have 14 pills left on the Paxil CR 12.5 so last night I decided to take half of one, and figured I will just take half of the Paxil CR that I have left for another week?

Hope others can also respond to my questions?
Thanks!



I wanted to share my experience with you concerning Paxil. I was on 10 mg. then 15 mg. then 20 mg., I was given it to control the out of the blue crying I was having. When I decided to discontinue taking it, it was because I didn't like the weird feelings I was having with it. I thought I had weaned myself off long enough but... I went off in August and in October had to go back on it because I couldn't handle the withdrawals. I was on it for 3 weeks when the dr. took me off again. I was still having what I consider effects from it. I am just beginning to feel like myself again and it is now April. My main thing is I now have mini panic attacks that I attribute to Paxil, never had them before. Any way, please take it slow when going off it. I wish I had taken longer. I would not recommend this drug to any one. Good luck and God Bless you. I hope it will be easier for you than it was for me.

 
Old 04-07-2004, 07:20 AM   #6
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Shibboleth HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Hi! How are ya?
I know all about this subject. I have been on & off paxil a few times. I can tell you that it's nothing to get in a twitch over. Ok? It's as simple as this. Paxil is an anti-depressant. It helps with all that mood stuff and anxiety. If you don't like the way you feel being on it or something, just kind of slowly reduce your dosages every 3 days or so until you're off it. It is doubtful that you're going to have some kind of major w/d from it. It's not like it's xanax or ativan or something. It's just an ssri.
Some people experience temporary changes such as increased anxiety or depression. (as long as it's not related to a more serious imbalance (exa; chronic anxiety) Some people experience sensory disturbances that feel a bit like shocking sensations in the brain or heart area. It's no biggie though and it passes. If you feel too many of any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you're coming down off it too fast. As far as replacing regular paxil with paxil cr....that's just strange. The only real difference between the 2 pills is that Paxil Cr is long lasting (in that it releases the drug in smaller amounts thru the day rather than all at once.) I am under the impression that they are the same drug though.....By the way...your doses are really small.....some people who quit this stuff take as much as 60 mg's or higher. Remember when alarmists try to freak you out about things, it's only their experience and they could have other factors as someone mentioned earlier. So, just because one person has a problem with something doesn't mean you will. In general, paxil is a helpful drug for many many people and really IS only designed for short term use to get anxiety under control and then to be taken off it.
Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:33 AM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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GirlHarley HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibboleth
Hi! How are ya?
I know all about this subject. I have been on & off paxil a few times. I can tell you that it's nothing to get in a twitch over. Ok? It's as simple as this. Paxil is an anti-depressant. It helps with all that mood stuff and anxiety. If you don't like the way you feel being on it or something, just kind of slowly reduce your dosages every 3 days or so until you're off it. It is doubtful that you're going to have some kind of major w/d from it. It's not like it's xanax or ativan or something. It's just an ssri.
Some people experience temporary changes such as increased anxiety or depression. (as long as it's not related to a more serious imbalance (exa; chronic anxiety) Some people experience sensory disturbances that feel a bit like shocking sensations in the brain or heart area. It's no biggie though and it passes. If you feel too many of any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you're coming down off it too fast. As far as replacing regular paxil with paxil cr....that's just strange. The only real difference between the 2 pills is that Paxil Cr is long lasting (in that it releases the drug in smaller amounts thru the day rather than all at once.) I am under the impression that they are the same drug though.....By the way...your doses are really small.....some people who quit this stuff take as much as 60 mg's or higher. Remember when alarmists try to freak you out about things, it's only their experience and they could have other factors as someone mentioned earlier. So, just because one person has a problem with something doesn't mean you will. In general, paxil is a helpful drug for many many people and really IS only designed for short term use to get anxiety under control and then to be taken off it.
Good luck.
THANK YOU SO MUCH! and thanks to the others who responded.

As for the question why didn't I take it in Sept..Well, my thoughts at that time was the doctor didn't explain anything to me why he gave it to me.
He kinda ticked me off because I asked him a question if I was going thru early meno. and he said no but gave me the Paxil CR. I didn't want to go on any drugs without knowing WHY..but too stupid to ask him and he did brush me off. The other reason my primary doctor gave me the Paxil was because
I was very upset about losing my job, my company gave us 3 months noticed that we would be laid off, gave us a good package deal but we had to stay for three months and continue to do our best work. That was fine, but then we were treated very badly during our last three months along with the fact that I was losing my job...It got the best of me. I tooked the Paxil to get me through the lay off, I have been home now for 4 months, I love being home, I'm not stressed out......Looking for a job has been alittle stressful but I am managing, job market like everyone knows is brutal out there, and on top of all this I have no medical insurance (I am not married) and the Paxil costs
$85.00 a month. If I have a panic attack or feel strange again, I will have to suck it up and pay the $85.00 and go back on paxil.

Thanks again for the great info and responding!
Have a great day!

 
Old 04-07-2004, 05:13 PM   #8
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molly123 HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Hi Shibboleth,
Thanks for your reassuring post. Got couple of questions. How would I know I'm ready to wean off of the Paxil CR? How did you know? I have been on it since mid-Dec. and have been feel pretty normal since Jan. Don't think it is only the Paxil that has been helping me but all the supplements (peri-zappers) I'm taking along with daily exercise. I am really worried about how I'll feel while weaning off of it. When I was first prescribed the Paxil, I really think I was mistakeningly thinking I was feeling anxiety when in reality, they were these internal shakes associated with peri-meno. I haven't had a period since Nov. and am now thinking I might stay on it until I'm in actual menopause (hopefully I will make the 12-month mark!).

My dr. is pretty confident that I would'nt have any problems when I wean off, mainly becuz I'm on such a low dosage and the weaning would be gradual and under his supervision. I am a big wimp when it comes this meds. Any advice would be appreciated!

Have a good day!
Molly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibboleth
Hi! How are ya?
I know all about this subject. I have been on & off paxil a few times. I can tell you that it's nothing to get in a twitch over. Ok? It's as simple as this. Paxil is an anti-depressant. It helps with all that mood stuff and anxiety. If you don't like the way you feel being on it or something, just kind of slowly reduce your dosages every 3 days or so until you're off it. It is doubtful that you're going to have some kind of major w/d from it. It's not like it's xanax or ativan or something. It's just an ssri.
Some people experience temporary changes such as increased anxiety or depression. (as long as it's not related to a more serious imbalance (exa; chronic anxiety) Some people experience sensory disturbances that feel a bit like shocking sensations in the brain or heart area. It's no biggie though and it passes. If you feel too many of any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you're coming down off it too fast. As far as replacing regular paxil with paxil cr....that's just strange. The only real difference between the 2 pills is that Paxil Cr is long lasting (in that it releases the drug in smaller amounts thru the day rather than all at once.) I am under the impression that they are the same drug though.....By the way...your doses are really small.....some people who quit this stuff take as much as 60 mg's or higher. Remember when alarmists try to freak you out about things, it's only their experience and they could have other factors as someone mentioned earlier. So, just because one person has a problem with something doesn't mean you will. In general, paxil is a helpful drug for many many people and really IS only designed for short term use to get anxiety under control and then to be taken off it.
Good luck.

 
Old 04-07-2004, 05:43 PM   #9
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molly123 HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Hi GirlHarley,

It is stressful whenever you're at the dr.'s so it;s hard to remember to ask all the right questions - so don't say you were too stupid. None of the drs. I went to actually confirmed that I was even experiencing peri-meno symptoms. None of them could figure out why I suddenly felt so badly. I don't have much faith in them when it comes to meno stuff...

I am sorry about your job layoff. I have worked for a large corp where we had a lot of downsizing. When Upper Mgmt makes this kind of decision, they do not care one bit about the people who dedicated their lives to the company. You are just a number. My attitude changed a lot when I saw a lot of people being let go.

Regarding your health insurance situation, have you heard of COBRA - it is Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, established in 1986. This is when terminated (or laid off) employees who lose coverage because of reduced work hours and may be able to buy group coverage for themselves and their families. Check out the site cobrainsurance.net I was on it for 18 months. I had to pay for the preimiums but it assures that you have the exact same coverage when you were working.

Good luck with your job search! Take a little time off, relax, take care of yourself, think positive! I know plenty of people who find themselves in something BETTER. It ends up being the best thing that could've happened! Things happen for a reason!!

Take care,
Molly


Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlHarley
THANK YOU SO MUCH! and thanks to the others who responded.

As for the question why didn't I take it in Sept..Well, my thoughts at that time was the doctor didn't explain anything to me why he gave it to me.
He kinda ticked me off because I asked him a question if I was going thru early meno. and he said no but gave me the Paxil CR. I didn't want to go on any drugs without knowing WHY..but too stupid to ask him and he did brush me off. The other reason my primary doctor gave me the Paxil was because
I was very upset about losing my job, my company gave us 3 months noticed that we would be laid off, gave us a good package deal but we had to stay for three months and continue to do our best work. That was fine, but then we were treated very badly during our last three months along with the fact that I was losing my job...It got the best of me. I tooked the Paxil to get me through the lay off, I have been home now for 4 months, I love being home, I'm not stressed out......Looking for a job has been alittle stressful but I am managing, job market like everyone knows is brutal out there, and on top of all this I have no medical insurance (I am not married) and the Paxil costs
$85.00 a month. If I have a panic attack or feel strange again, I will have to suck it up and pay the $85.00 and go back on paxil.

Thanks again for the great info and responding!
Have a great day!

 
Old 04-08-2004, 09:51 AM   #10
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Shibboleth HB User
Wink Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

It's up to you of course when you think you're ready to get off an antidepressant. It sounds like you've done a lot to get yourself feeling better and that's great. It's always good to find ways to deal with a problem like anxiety yourself so that you can overcome it and move on. As for where it's coming from, it doesn't really matter. The thing is anxiety is anxiety and there are many different things that can bring it about. Paxil or other ssri's work to help you deal with that anxiety, however it came about, until you get to the cause and learn how to deal with it better. So...in that regard...it's basically up to the individual and their doctor to decide when he or she is ready. Some people have a chronic form of anxiety/depression and these people usually end up taking an ssri their whole life. This kind of anxiety is different in that the person more than likely has a very serious chemical imbalance in the brain. Most people can find ways to move past an anxious episode and ssri's can be very helpful in assisting someone to do that.
As for worryting about w/d symptoms, there's just no need. Provided that you do what your doctor instructs you to do, you should be fine. It's the people who get the idea into their heads that they know more than their doctor does about these things that usually get themselves into deeper trouble. Of course their are occasionally excpetions to that rule, and I agree with you about docors when it comes to matters of the female hormones. I think that it is a subject that is growing steadily into the mainstream of regular medicine and someday it will be taken more seriously than it is today. Until then it's important for us women to see a good specialist in this regard and to educate ourselves as much as possible about it thru proper means of reference materials...like books.
I just want to add something here: Message boards such as these can be very useful in obtaining information to use as a point of potential reference and it can feel nice to know that there are others out there who are going thru things and that one is not alone in having a problem. However, it's important to remember that many people who get on these things have serious psychological problems and message boards are a breeding ground for obsessive compulsives. There are even people on some of these boards who don't want you to feel better...believe it or not. Some resent the healing of others and become alarmists who will attempt to frighten people in order to get them to stay connected. So be careful how you take information from people and use the "old grain of salt" rule. Good luck to you both.
Chow.
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:24 AM   #11
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GirlHarley HB User
Re: Weaning off Paxil how long?

Thanks Again Shibboleth -
Well, I have been off Paxil for a week and funny, but I'm starting to feel like my old self again...

With the layoff behind me, been unemployed for 5 months now.
I love being home! My stress level is much better, I'm more focussed now...Of course I still get stressed out about little things but I always have due to my nature but at least I can focus with my Old Mind again.

My lack of motivation is better too!

Thanks again and have a great day!

 
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