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Avatar universal

Tapering off of Paxil

Hi everyone, hope you all are having a pain free day and with NO pill usage - I love this group, it is encouraging to read other peoples post and to have hope that there is an existence without drugs!  My question is, I have been taking Paxils (30MG @ bedtime) for the last 2 years and my doctor wants me to stop and go on Serzone (150 MG 1x per day in AM).  I starting tapering off last Tuesday and immediately began having severe dizzy spells - it was so awful I had to stay home from work and lie down all day.  Has anyone else experienced severe withdrawal symptoms from paxil?   How long does it take to taper off and what was your experience like?   Thanks for any replies....
24 Responses
Avatar universal
I haven't heard of any side effects, I haven't taken paxil, but I was thinking about it, but it there are withdrawal symptoms then no way will I start.  anyway, in talking to my doctor today, she said there aren't any real withdrawal symptoms but that some people do experience dizziness and/or a lightheaded feeling. So, I"m sure its normal, but I don't think you should be getting any REAL withdrawal symptoms in the future.

Avatar universal
there is probably someone here who knows all about withdrawal from paxil, however, i'd suggest you do a search on the forum.  i bet you'd come up with something...good luck.  i've heard people talk about how hard it is to come off of - i'm glad that when i tried it a couple years ago, i couldn't take the side effects and only lasted on it for a couple weeks.  now i'm taking celexa - have been for a couple years - it really works well for me - especially since i'm off the percs and vics.
Avatar universal
with the new SSRI's, you have to wean from most of them.  dizziness, but not disrupting side effects are common.  you may need to contact your doctor on this one.  Good Luck
Avatar universal
I love your nickname! Just had to get that out first.
I've taken Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa. I was never real regular with any of them (forgot to get refills, etc.), but did notice that when I WAS regular if I would then stop taking it I got dizzy spells, almost like the room kept moving for a few moments as I turned. However, it was nothing like WDs from opiates. I did encounter some people who totally freaked coming off these, but this was usually people who had a severe underlying reason for needing the meds in the first place (I took mostly to help with chronic pain, some depression but not severe).
The Celexa had the fewest side effects for me. I recently stopped taking it, and I can tell I have less energy, but I'm hoping to get my head straight without chemicals, plus I can't afford it, thus the quit. I didn't taper, just quit, and have been mostly okay.
Good luck and please let us know how you are doing. Do you have to be completely off one before you start another? I wish you the best. t
Avatar universal
Added the 5htp to the receipe, for the last week i feel less
pressure and i was really laughing the other night, watching some special on the honey mooner's. That is something that has been lacking to the point of extinction the last year or so.
As far as paxal I took it for a six month period, right arter my younger brother died of overdose, back in 97, when i stopped i was dizzy for about a week during the mornings. once i got to working and sweating the dizziness/headache went away .

hope everone is feeling strong, thinking good thoughts, and
enjoying the day,
I am trying to be a human being today and not a human doing.

Avatar universal
I didn't know you had to go through that, and my deepest sympathies to you. That must have been really tough. You are a strong person and have helped many. t
Avatar universal
thanks,Ya i have been through a lot the last 4 and a half years;
my brother passed away when he got  100,000. settel ment do to a work injury before that he was clean for 15 years in NA. then my Na sponser passed from hep c, then a year later my mother in law
had stroke and passed , she was bed ridden for a few years, we took care of her at home till the end, she really suffered, i had a real strong relationship, i used to play cards and kismet with her everyday along with end less doctor  appt.s.. and just last may her husband my father in law passed away from cancer.
Of course we were there with him the whole time. he passed may 9th a year today.
Well i must say i think all that pain was to much on me ,I think that is why i started to abuse the vikes,. I must say i was gun shy about death and was really starting to look over my own shoulder.the death thing is really huanting.
I am married to great woman we are both 43 and met in NA about 16 years ago,she has been really good about my own addiction to the pills. my eldest daughter from my 1st marraig is 24 and is married with a 4 year old boy ian. he is one of the great joys in my life. and my youngest son is finishing up high school this week he is from my 2nd marriage ,he lives with me and my 3rd wife of 14 years. The sad thing is he"s off to sarycuse in the fall, he got a full scholarship. what is a little sad is he grew up so fast and now the kids are all going to be out of the house.
I wish he was still in grde school, i have always loved kids , they grow up so fast it's scary.
well im rambling ,hope your well today , you sound  like you have a real nice famly ,love  with all ya got.    peace
Avatar universal
wow...you have had a hard time.  i haven't had to deal with death much in my life...knock on wood.

did you say your youngest son has been married twice, and he's still in highschool?  that is tough...it must have been hard for you to go thru...

anyway, you always have such kind words for me and everyone else on the forum...thank you and take care.
Avatar universal
Make no mistake about it....there is a *definate* withdrawal if someone discontinues paxil suddenly.  No question about it. It is very uncomfortable.  Dr Steve's advice is right on the money.  Prozac doesn't create as strong a withdrawal syndrom as Paxil does, so is much much easier to discontinue.

my two cents!
Avatar universal
i've had a problem with death also.  i lost dad in '95, mom in'96, and my last & favorite grandma in '97.  i od'd in '97 mostly because I wanted to be with my mother and grandmother.
i od'd a week after grandma mary died.  i took care of mom and she never spent one night in a hospital.  my dad and grandma mary were with my uncle jim who is a doctor in their rural area. i still cry over Mother's death.  i never went through any grief counselling. after the od, i went into a half rehab half psyche place.  i yes and no sirred until i got out.  my stay was only a week in patient with a week out patient.  i had ret (rational emotive therapy) out the behind.  i've gotten closer to my sister, although she did some rotten things when Momma died.  I expected no less from her.  i have seen my brother once in 6 years.  they are both older than me.  my sister is 6 years older, and my brother is 11 years older than me.  yet, i was responsible for mother's care and the funeral cost.  when i bought the cascade for my father's casket of red and white roses, my siblings pledged me money, when i did not ask for any money.  i never got any.  i have not dealt with the passing of those so close to me.  i think i've forgiven God, but i still get upset and wonder why.  Hippy, i can really identify with what that kind of losses can do to a person.  you hit it on the nail when you said "death is haunting".   Thank you for posting.
Avatar universal
hi - i'd like to know if opiates make you crave sweets?  it sounds weird, but i never had a sweet tooth until recently.  all of a sudden, i want sugar...i don't care what form it comes in, i just want it!  any info on that??
Avatar universal
Hey Groovy,

Yeah, I think you're right.  I've always liked sweets, but never like this.  I have been off everything for 1 month 9 days, and after I went through WD, I started loving anything with sugar in it.  I've also heard that heroin addicts love sweets after they kick, so yes I think it's safe to say that quitting opiates makes you want sweets..
Avatar universal
When I was on opiates I craved sweets constantly. I drank a ton of Dr Pepper and had chocolate with me at all times. I ate a lot more in general, but the sweets really got to me. Had my first cavity since I was a kid. As soon as I got off the opiates, the appetite and sweet cravings went away, and I lost a bunch of weight. Horrible to say but vanity was one reason I wanted to quit, I must confess. I'm not sure if you meant you want sweets when you're using or quitting, but for me I couldn't eat anything at all whenever I'd withdraw. tracy
Avatar universal
Both of you have been through so much, I really feel for you. Most of my problems I brought on myself. Hippy, you sound really up now, like you've got things under control. This recovery biz is really tough, you know? I go from being truly happy and laughing out lound to being so down I can barely stand it. I know I was happy just a week ago, but don't feel like I'll ever get there again. Is this normal? I have three beautiful kids and try to put on a good face for them, but it's so hard. I'm glad you've found happiness. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day, I just wish it would get here already!
Does the 5HTP help with the mood swings? God, I just want to feel normal finally! I'm at almost six weeks now. Maybe it's turning 33 this weekend that has me down, and finding gray hairs. Just kidding, that doesn't really bother me.
How are you Angst? I don't know what grief counseling consists of, but it sure couldn't hurt. When you ODd, was that intentional? Sometimes it's just hard not to believe that people wouldn't be better off without me and my problems, although I know that's just the depression talking. I started my Celexa again yesterday; maybe that will help.
Avatar universal
Serzone? Are you kidding? Serzone has been implicated in liver damage and there are already television advertisements put on by certain lawyers attempting to scare up enough people to push a class-action suit against the makers of Serzone.

I wouldn't touch it with YOUR ten foot pole.

Avatar universal
you should rent taht movie it s a wonderful life with
jimmy stewert, he thinks everybody would be better off with him not being around, and then a ANGEL comes down from heaven
and show's how that would really be, and it's a nightmare.

Avatar universal
Thanks Hippy. Okay I've had my pity part and am now officiall over it! I refuse to wallow. I think God's throwing me some curver to make sure I'm really fighting this time, and by damn I'm going to prove that I am.

Also, I started reading that book "A child called It" specifically so i could stop feeling so sorry for myself and realize other people have gone through much, much worse. It's so stupid but I get depressed when my house is a mess and I have no energy to clean it. And it's not even that bad! It's the stupid things, I know. Anyway thanks everyone for letting me whine, and I promise to be better now. And no, I didn't give in to cravings, so that's a step in the right direction!
Avatar universal
You are such an asset to this forum and this world.  Don't start that stinking thinking.  Your girls need and love their mother.
We love you, too.  This world may not be good enough for you, but it is all we have.  I believe celexa and serzone are different drugs, at least according to my data source.  You are a
strong person who can make it this time around.  Stay around  and keep posting. Good luck and Blessings,  Ava
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,
I just feel I had to write about some terrible news I got this week, it's really starting to get to me. (I think writing can be therapuetic, so sorry if I ramble). First of all my sister and I who have always been very close are no longer speaking. I went to CO to visit her for her son's 2nd birthday at the end of January and something went terribly wrong. She was pregnant, so I thought that maybe she was a little oversensentive during the visit, but otherwise things seemed fine. Well I'm ready to walk out the door when the shuttle comes to pick me up for the airport to go home and she hands me a letter. In this letter she accuses me of being manipulative and decietfull the entire trip, trying to take over her place as her son's mother by wiping birthday cake off his mouth, and being selfish and thinking only of myself by sitting in the "wrong" chair at her son's b-day party. I was shocked. She never uttered a word while I was there that anything was wrong. (I think this may have a lot to do with her husband, he likes to keep her isolated from EVERYONE). Her husband is like a one man cult.
Anyway, I'm trying to keep this as short as possible, but bottom line, she wants nothing more to do with me. A letter I sent in response to her was sent back, "refused, return to sender". Needless to say, I was crushed. My sister was closer to me than anyone in my life.
Getting to the bad news, on Wednesday she lost her baby at 8 months pregnant. I can't even imagine the pain she is going through and it hurts so bad that I can't be there for her. I'm not even sure that I should send a sympathy card. I feel I will be critisized if I do and critisized if I don't, but my heart is telling me to send one anyway. I am so devastated by this news that I can barely stop crying, even on vicodin. I feel like I am dealing with two deaths, one when she cut off contact with me and now the death of this poor little baby. I just can't stand to think about it. I have quite a bit of vicodin right now because I called in for a refill today that was okayed and when I went to go see my doc today he must have forgotten because he gave me another script. I feel like I'm really glad to have the vics now but I also think I've taken to many. It's about 11:30pm Pacific time and I think I've taken about 9 vicodin es since 4:00pm today. I feel I just can't deal with this pain and I think I'm still in a little bit of shock. I'm sorry if this post has gone on and on but I kinda don't feel like I have anyone to share my feelings with anymore. Thanks for listening (reading).
Avatar universal
your sister is dealing with so much right now - i cannot fathom the pain she must be feeling over her loss.  knowing myself, i would send a card and call her too.  getting into why she wrote you that terrible letter right now probably isn't the best time to do it...unless she brings it up.

it's so hard to offer advice - especially when it comes to relationships and arguments because there are always 2 sides to a story.

however, it sounds like your sister might be having trouble that you know nothing about.  her husband for one sounds like he's not helping. with family especially, i always end up forgiving...no matter what the fight was over.  my mother and i never see eye-to-eye, and sometimes we go for long periods of time without speaking.  then, we all of a sudden start talking again without ever talking over what had happened.  it's so weird, and it's not the kind of relationship i wish i had with her.

i'm sorry that you are going thru this on top of everything else.  maybe you should just send a card, and see what happens.  hang in there, and remember that the vics aren't going to help you in the long run - i KNOW how tempting it is to just want to be numb.
Avatar universal
Thanks groovy,
I did end up sending a card on Saturday. I really want to call her and send flowers, but if she is angry with me I don't want to further upset her during this tragedy. I know what you mean about the on again off again relationship you talk about with your mother. My sister and I have not spoken for long periods of time also (more so since her husband entered the picture), but I will still forgive and forget even if I feel that I'm the one who is owed an apology. This time I feel it is different though, she was so very angry in her letter about things that didn't make sense. I guess there's not much else I can do right now except pray that she makes it through this terrible loss she has suffered.
Avatar universal
I have taken Paxil for about 2 years ... it's wonderful
for anxiety and sadness.  But if I stop it suddenly (even
if I forget to take it in the morning or something) it
causes dizziness and a "car-sick" feeling.  However, I've
also detoxed from Lorazepam (a benzo ... generic ativan)
and Vicodin, and it's NOTHING like that.  I think tapering
the Paxil would help a lot.  Good luck, and God bless you!  :-)
Avatar universal
I used to abuse Vicodin (I got out of the hospital on January 9, and haven't looked back!  Thank You, Lord!)  I craved sweets ... actually, I gained about 50 pounds in a year and a half because I just wanted to eat all the time, and of course I didn't exercise (I had that "who cares?" attitude about everyting).  I've lost 15 pounds since January (slow, but significant!) and I feel great.  One more reason to quit the opiates!  I can also tell you about a hundred more things that have improved about my life/health/mood, etc. since I stopped the pills.  Good luck, and God bless you!   :-)
Avatar universal
Welcome to the forum.  We are a group of people from different
backgrounds.  I am an addict, maintaining on methadone or now.
Others have chronic pain issues.  We try to help one another with
all kinds of issues.  Mostly recovery issues.  I hope you've given up the drugs for good.  There is no redemption there unless
you have chronic pain.  Then, they have a right to proper medication, without shame or sterotypes.  Keep posting for you are welcome.  Ava
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