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  • Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question



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    Old 02-05-2009, 08:27 AM   #1
    dawniedo
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    Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Can anyone here share how they successfully switched SSRI's"

    I have been tapering off PAXIL for months now and am down to about 7mgs.

    I have also started taking .25 Clonazepam to help with this wicked withdrawals.

    The Dr wants me to start adding Lexapro slowly (2.5mgs) and work my way up, while slowly continuing the drop off paxil. The clonazepam is just to help with the transition and anxiety.

    How have you switched?
    How did it go?

    thanks!
    Dawnie--the ever-worrier

     
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    Old 02-05-2009, 10:59 AM   #2
    colby88
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Proceed with Caution! I was on Paxil for nearly 6 yrs. and was down to 10 mg. before switcing overnight to 25 mg. of Zoloft. My Dr. told me it wouldn't be a problem switching and to just stop the Paxil and take the Zoloft the next day. Well, this didn't work out for me. I became very anxious around the second day, couldn't sleep, developed a prickly rash behind my ears, and had nosebleeds. It was not fun. I think the withdrawal and the introduction of a new SSRI to my system at the same time really messed me up chemically. I was going 2 to 3 days with no sleep. It was awful. After trying to get on the Zoloft for 6 weeks and consulting with my Dr. I gave up and realized the switch wasn't working. I discussed going back on Paxil and my Dr. gave me a new prescription but I became fearful and never went back on that either.

    It's now been 9 months that I haven't taken anything and the post Paxil sleep issues have continued to be problematic. Most days I can only get 3-5 hours of sleep if at all. I directly relate them to the Paxil and keep hoping my brain will repair itself over time. I never had trouble sleeping before taking Paxil or during treatment with Paxil.

    Again, proceed with caution. You may be just fine but not everyone makes a smooth transition. All the SSRI's are chemically different so it's just a matter of how your body reacts to them together and individually.

     
    Old 02-14-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
    toopunkrawk
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    I stopped taking Paxil this past summer due to the weight gain (I gained almost 40 pounds in a year-and I was on Weight Watchers AND dieting). I slowly weened myself off the drug (about 6 months of weening...verrrry slowly from 40 mgs) and I consider myself one of the lucky ones-I did not have any side effects. However, I think this may be due to the 3 mgs of Klonopin I have taken as long as I've taken the Paxil (about 3 years). However, after 2-3 months I became incredibly depressed again. I wanted a second opinion and got a new psychiatrist-I had been diagnosed with ADD in the past and she believed it possible that my ADD was really Bipolar.
    I've been taking Trileptal for my ADD/Bipolar disorder (still not sure if I have it) and the three 3mgs of Clonazepam (my doctor told me it is an *extremely* hard drug to ween off of and since I've been weening off the Paxil, she wants me to continue taking the Clonazepam) Since I started the Trileptal 2 1/2 months ago the depression went away and I finally feel like I can get off the Paxil. My psychiatrist, however, said I'm one of the lucky ones; she said some people can never get off the drug but she thinks the Clonazepam helped. You might want to talk to your Dr. about substitutes you can take while getting off the Paxil-I find Kava Kava is extremely helpful!

    -toopunkrawk

     
    Old 02-14-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
    lonelygurl2
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Switching medications can be a rough ride. I am in the middle of medication changes. I had to get completely off my Effexor quickly to start at the bottom of Prozac. It has been extremely rough and most days I feel awful. I now have to slowly get increased to the maximum dose of Prozac over the course of months and at the same time he is weaning me off some of my other meds. I have a new pdoc (anxiety specialist) and he is hoping the Prozac will cover most of the issues minus all the other drugs.

    Be prepared for the possibilty of some very rough days. examples, feeling sick, getting sick, tired, loss of sleep, brain zaps, skin crawling to name a few.

    Luckily I am not working and am in the process of applying for disability. If you work I would look at getting a short term leave to see through the medication change personally.

    Last edited by ms_mod; 02-15-2009 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

     
    Old 02-15-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
    dawniedo
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Colby,

    wow! What a mess! What do you wish you had done differently?

    I have heard it is better to slowly taper off one med while adding the new one in slowly....

    I had one dr who wanted me to get off paxil completely first and then start lexapro but it has been SO hard tapering slowly....I just couldnt make myself rush off the Paxil.

    So here I sit, at around 6mgs of Paxil (which isn't working anymore) and .25 Clonozapam.....which sometimes helps and sometimes makes me feel weird.

    I really want to get off Paxil and try Lexapro but am scared to do so!

    Gotta do something.

    Dawnie

     
    Old 02-15-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
    dawniedo
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Lonelygurl...

    How long were you on Effexor? I heard that is tougher to get off of than Paxil!

    Good luck with your switch over to Prozac!

    Dawn

     
    Old 02-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
    emsyy33
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    I don't know if my story will help but not too long ago I switched from Zoloft to Cipralex (which in the US is called Lexapro). I had been taking Zoloft for more than 5 years and suddenly it no longer seemed to be working (anxiety and panic attacks had come back). Within one week of taking Cipralex (aka Lexapro), I was feeling SO much better. I have now been on my new medication for two months and feel like my old self again. My doctor told me that she almost never prescribes Zoloft/Paxil/prozac anymore as these are older classes of medication and they have come out with new ones like Lexapro that work much more effectively. After making the switch and feeling the results, I really believe her. Good luck everyone!

     
    Old 02-15-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
    dawniedo
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Emsyy~

    That helps me a bunch!!

    How did you switch? Did you taper off the Zoloft and onto the Lexapro?
    At what doses?

    Did you take any benzos during the switch? I know I need to do it but HOW I do it is what is scaring me.

    Thanks so much,
    Dawnie

     
    Old 02-16-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
    Lourage
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    I switched from lexapro to paxil ( opposite you) and just switched right to it without tapering off. I always thought that if you are switching from one SSRI to another you don't have to wean off and can just stop taking it and start the new one the next day, as long as it's close to the same dose as the last medication. Anyway i had no problems. That was years ago though and i'm on Effexor now.

     
    Old 02-17-2009, 05:10 AM   #10
    dawniedo
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    Lourage...

    thanks for your reply. So when you went from Paxil to Effexor, you just switched? No taper off Paxil?

    Wow!

    Dawnie

     
    Old 02-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #11
    Lourage
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    Re: Getting off Paxil and onto Lexapro--switching meds question

    No, see that was years ago when i was on lexapro, then i switched to Paxil without weaning off, going from one SSRI to another without weaning.

    After that though i got off anxiety medication and it wasn't until recently that i started again, about two months ago. Effexor is a SNRI though, My new doc wanted me to give lexapro another shot before the Effexor though, so i tried that at 10 mg for a few weeks and had the same results as last time, nothing

     
    Old 02-23-2009, 06:57 AM   #12
    dawniedo
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    Switching SSRI'S

    Trying to bump this back up to get more replied about switching meds...

    thanks!

    Dawnie

    (day 3 of taking Lexapro at night (2.5mg) and Paxil in the morning (6.5mg)

    so far ok....just feel depressed, zoned, tired, but trying to hang in there!!

    Dawn

     
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