View Full Version : Any success of returning to Paroxetine after a break?

06-03-12, 13:18
Hi all

I have GAD, dreadful insomnia, mild depression (and query fibromyalgia - doc trying to establish) and was on Paroxetine from 1995 until December 2011. When I hit a stressful period in May 2011 the Paroxetine wasn't working. After 8 months of extreme anxiety and numerous med changes my doc stopped the Paroxetine altogether and put me on Sertraline 50mg which I've now been on since mid December. I'm quite a bit better than I was for the terrible 8 months in 2011 but I'm only getting about 3 hours sleep a night. I get really anxious and shaky if the doc ups my sertraline to 100mg. Taking the 50mg I sometimes get really depressed which I haven't had before and to be honest the anxiety isn't really going away. Don't know if it's my personal circumstances - been off work sick since June 2011 and now work have said my job no longer exists and there isn't any suitable jobs for me - looks like I'm facing dismissal. Also have trouble with work re SSP, getting an SSP1 form to claim benefit. Just going round and round in circles.

Paroxetine made my life so much better and I don't feel like Sertraline is the right drug for me. Has anybody had any success returning to Paroxetine or is it true that it just won't work second time round?

Any advice would be most gratefully received.


06-03-12, 13:28
They can work second time around but i found citalopram didn't for me, the first time it was great but this time i stuck it from sept untill 3 weeks ago then i had to change as it just wasn't helping :mad: if the sertraline isn't helping you then its worth a shot trying the paroxetine again xx

06-03-12, 14:30
the people over at paxilprogress.org are great - i have been on seroxat for 12 years and am now currently tapering using the 10% rule every 3-6 weeks.

i would recommend you go there and have a look at the forums.

best of luck x

06-03-12, 15:21
Hi ExtremeAngst, as Julie said, PaxilProgress is a very informative site, although it is predominantly for people who are trying to get off meds rather than those who are questioning starting again, but they will be able to give advise about re-instating paroxetine and reducing sert.

If you decide to re-start paroxetine you may find that it takes longer to work, or that you need a different dose than you previously took. From what I can gather this is not uncommon.

My advice would be to go slow and steady and be prepared for a potentially rough ride, although swapping from one med to another may make the transition easier.

06-03-12, 15:23
Hi there sorry you are feeling ill but from experience, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I do not think it will work second time around. I was on Prozac for 15 good years and it seemed to stop working when I had a bereavement in Oct 2011 - doctor doubled dose and I was really ill.

I was then put on Mirtazipine but made my mood very flat so went back on Prozac and it has been hell - I have been in black depression, crying all the time. The doctor has now put me on Sertraline 100mg but tbh have broken them in half (will do for a couple of weeks) I have GAD, depression and irrational thoughts - well the latter at the moment. You could give it a go and see how you are but alas it did not work for me.

Go back to your doctor and have a chat - know it is frustrating but there will be one out - just finding the damned thing! Good luck Laura

06-03-12, 16:56
Hi and thanks for all your replies.

I'm pretty sure my doc will tell me to stick with the Sertraline as I've had such a bumpy ride trying different meds as well as upping the Paroxetine in October which just gave me nasty side effects and no theraputic effects. It was also tough coming off the Paroxetine. I just keeping thinking I was so well on Paroxetine for so many years that it is the medication for me. It's the lack of sleep that's doing me in at the moment and the days of depression which I've never really had before. Maybe the Sertraline is working but as I've got so much on my plate at the moment I'm not coping very well. Before the work issue started about 3 weeks ago I wasn't too bad (though a good nights sleep was still an issue) - I was almost looking forward to being able to go back to work, earn some money and not keep dwelling on my problems at home. But the GAD is back big time and I'm blowing everything out of proportion in my head - maybe when I get a final decision one way or the other from work I'll settle down again. Will keep you posted and I'll have a look at PaxilProgress.

Thanks for all your advice.

06-03-12, 17:48
Sarah, I wish you the best of luck, I really, really do. I know how hard it is struggling through each day (and so does Laura - in fact everyone on NMP). It may be advisable to stay off PaxilProgress with how you are feeling at the moment, you may find some of the posts upsetting. Wait until you're in a better frame of mind.

A very good website I found today (via another thread on NMP) is The Black Dog Tribe (http://www.blackdogtribe.com/), I've found it interesting reading.

Discuss your meds with your doctor, you shouldn't be suffering with depression whilst ON meds (even though you have external factors at play, and I know life isn't rosey all the time), especially if you never suffered with it before them.

06-03-12, 18:22

Seroxat kept me well for 14 years until it unfortunately stopped working.

I'm now on Sertraline 50mg also but I don't find it as good as the Seroxat. I also have trouble sleeping sometimes with Sertraline which I never did with Seroxat.

Take care.

Haz. :)

09-03-12, 13:21
Hi i was on seroxat 13 years the last year 10mg stopped and changed to Sertraline a few weeks ago dont know if its doing alot if i have to i will take Seroxat again.Was on 20mg for years and despite controversy kept me relatively well in regards to working functioning etc if you want to talk seroxat feel free to chat Karl :D

21-09-17, 08:44
Was on 10mg Seroxat for 20 years. All good. Then started having bad anxiety and nausea. GP changed it abruptly to sertraline for a week and then to Mirtazapine. Got worse and manic. Stopped all meds for 5 days. It stopped the mania. Psychiatrist now advises to go back on 10mg Seroxat to stabilise me. Within an hour, was awake, them manic dreams, and tremors. Terrified I'll lose everything. Seven weeks of hell so far. And like the above poster, sick pay runs out in a few weeks and I can't work full-time, nor from office. Very confused about what to do. Best to persevere or to stop (serotonin syndrome?)

21-09-17, 08:54
I'm obviously not a psychiatrist but it may be worth halving your seroxat to 5mg for a week just to try to settle things down after your GP's "input" didn't help and added to your agitation. Have you been offered diazepam for a short spell to take alongside the seroxat?

21-09-17, 12:06
Thanks for your thoughts.
I have promethazine for night-time.
Just seen GP - she was shocked at how her colleague didn't wean me off the Seroxat. I am being referred - feel like I need to be somewhere safe where I can be monitored and the meds monitored carefully. Wish I had private health insurance! I often feel a bit better after a cry, but then the anxieties soon come back

21-09-17, 13:57
I often think that GPs shouldn't be allowed to mess around with psychotropic drugs.. I'm glad you are being referred to your local CMHS because you will be assessed appropriately there. You must feel very distressed and frightened at the moment but things won't always be like this. Please believe this.

21-09-17, 14:10
I must trust that I will get better.
In seven weeks, I've gone from having sudden anxiety to coming off paroxetine abruptly to having a panic attack, having withdrawal symptoms, having no sleep and suffering almost from mania and going downhill.
Just want to be normal again and enjoy doing things with passion and fun. Sick of questioning every thought in my head and feeling unreal ands panicky and not normal in any situation and imagined situation, and tearful and desperate and worrying I'll lose everything.
Feel like I do need to be monitored carefully. Dread every moment of every day and night

21-09-17, 14:25
Unrelenting anxiety makes you feel very unreal, disorientated and unsafe. You are not going mad but you are unwell. I hope your referral comes through soon because you do need to have your medication monitored carefully and competently. Switching these meds around haphazardly is a recipe for mental distress and anguish when you have enough symptoms to contend with anyway.

25-09-17, 11:58
Referral is on Oct 23rd. Four weeks of unmonitored meds (apart from GP).

25-09-17, 12:56
If you feel unsafe you could always opt to see a private psychiatrist as a one-off. You could get an appointment quickly and would have a full assessment. You could also choose which one to see. Of course financially this may be out of the question but it was only an idea to tide you over.

25-09-17, 15:59
Yes, it's an option. I wonder if this would conflict with the NHS treatment, though...

25-09-17, 17:48
You aren't getting any NHS treatment though other than from your GP? If you want to be seen privately before your NHS appointment then I would have thought you had that right. It would be an option to just going back to your GP who probably isn't the best person to give you expert advice.

26-09-17, 12:15
I'm sleeping better, but most of the day I can feel my heart racing, I feel nauseous and light-headed and can't face any social situation. The Priory can't see me till Oct 11th. So worried I won't improve. GP said today that if I feel I need monitoring, then go to A&E. And said that the Priory will probably change my meds. (not again....) He also said I won't get any NHS in-patient care because there aren't enough beds.
Feel like I'm running out of options now. CBT can't help that much if I'm feeling so ill to begin with.

26-09-17, 13:06
There are other options other than the Priory for private psychiatrists. To be honest an NHS psychiatrist will probably change your meds as well. Going to A&E will involve hours of waiting to see the duty psychiatrist in difficult surroundings.

I think you should accept your symptoms as being generated by anxiety. I know they make you feel awful but reacting to them with fear and frustration will keep them going strong. Your nervous system is hyper stimulated and you are exhausted but nothing awful is going on physically. I do speak from experience and have been an inpatient. It's frightening and very isolating but you have to have faith that things will get better and you will not always live and feel like this.

26-09-17, 13:47
Yes, I could go down the private psychiatrist route.
I kind of know why all this has happened and have to be able to deal with it and like myself again

26-09-17, 14:10
You obviously have good insight into why this episode is happening and that is half the battle. Try not to give yourself a hard time over it? It's far from easy trying to pick yourself up but I've no doubt that you will do it and carry on with your life. It all takes time and small steps though. Physical symptoms are sent to try us when we are tired and at our most vulnerable-they don't disappear overnight.

Keep going and do all you can to look after yourself and keep stress to a minimum. Didn't Brentford win on Saturday?!! At least your lot are doing better than my point-less Palace boys!!:D

29-09-17, 10:19
Yes, I know why it happened - but suffering it so badly again has hit me for six, just when I was doing so well. Why it happened in the first place goes back to my upbringing, experiences at school etc - things which I've never really dealt with, but which obviously are deeply ingrained in me and have kind of affected me all my life.
Yes, we're playing well, just not clinical enough. Even at the matches, I am struggling with anxiety and dizziness and can't get emotionally attached to what's going on as I feel so light-headed and 'unreal'.
Hope you're doing OK. It's a terrible condition, all this.

29-09-17, 13:19
If it's any consolation at the last Palace match I felt just as you describe. When I first got there I nearly turned round and came home. I didn't and stuck it out for most of the game. Just part and parcel of an anxiety disorder for me. I'm a carer for my adult daughter so football is my "time off".

01-10-17, 11:53
Having been ill for some time now, you tend to live in a bubble of avoidance. Even agoraphobia sets in. The paroxetine is perhaps kicking in a bit now. CBT advises you to face the fears step by step. I'm going to go to the office today while it's quiet and see how I feel. Still get sudden panic when I come across a real or imaginary situation. It's debilitating. Harder because you just don't want to socialise when you feel like this and you become more withdrawn and it becomes harder to do normal things as a result.
Palace are struggling indeed. Great point for the Bees yesterday (should have been 3 yet again).
Hope you're OK :)

01-10-17, 13:24
I think it's a good idea for you to reacclimatise yourself at the office while it's quiet. You need to cross that psychological barrier under your own terms to begin with. Take it slowly but surely but make that psychological step towards feeling more "normal" and gaining that bit of confidence in that you can go there and cope with it. You will feel very uneasy but you will be ok. Small steps are very significant and are truly important in your road to recovery.

I'm really glad about Brentford's point! As for Palace, what can you say? Still pointless and Chelsea next!!

09-10-17, 17:35
Thanks for your encouragement. I was anxious on the way there but after eating something I was OK. Only a few of the guys there and they were all very understanding. Still very flat and no energy. On Wednesday my dear mum passed away suddenly. Feel devastated and a depression has sunk in now. Not sure how I feel - just very hard to cope at the moment. Still doing CBT and seeing counsellor. Feel like a hermit. I can only do things if it's when I'm ready to do things, not when it's planned. Going to be even more a mess at the funeral with my condition... But it's my mum and I need to let it out.

09-10-17, 17:59
That's very sad news, Nigel and I'm so sorry. No one will judge you at her funeral-there are no rules. Grief is grief regardless of your condition. Letting it out will help you to deal with your loss but it can be a long process. Keep doing what you can? There will be a lot to organise but hopefully you can share the load with your family? At times like these you need all the family support possible.

30-10-17, 08:00
I was improving quite well and wasn't thinking about anything negative, and felt normalised and went to work last weekend. But when I got home, I misinterpreted what my wife was going to say (about some Halloween event) and suddenly all the anxiety flooded back and since then have suffered so badly with overwhelming depression and anxiety and tears whenever I think about my mum. The funeral is this Wednesday and is hanging over me - the thought of my poor mum and then having to socialise afterwards with a load of people is to much for me. I can't even do basic things without panicking. I just want to sleep and hide myself away. It's debilitating.
I have seen the NHS psychiatrist, but my next appointment isn't for three weeks and I need urgent help. It's impossible to even get through tot anyone at the psychiatric department, so might have to go to the Priory again to see about an increase in meds. Don't want to go to the GP.

30-10-17, 08:25
You are dealing with bereavement here on top of everything else so I would concentrate on getting through the ordeal of your Mum's funeral and if you can't cope with a whole group of people afterwards then so be it. You won't be judged if it's all too much.

Are you having any therapy or bereavement counselling? May be of more help than an increase in meds but just my view.

30-10-17, 09:33
Having the normal counselling.
Just finished CBT. Not sure it helps, really.
Thanks for your thoughts

03-12-17, 09:41
I had really improved after my mum's funeral and returning to work.
But after two weeks, there was a slight criticism of something I did (not work-related) and all the symptoms came back again - anxiety, tearfulness, panic. This all happened a day after I saw the NHS psychiatrist who said how well I was doing, Now there's a 6-week wait. The psychiatrist raised my dose to 30mg from 20mg. Supposed to be going way on Tuesday and next week and dreading it instead of looking forward to it. Just want to cry all the time, I wake up with a dark weight of depression and anxiety over me. So scared. Letting people down, guilt, missing my mum etc. Just want to cry all day, and feel sick and unable to cope again.

08-12-17, 12:27
The psychiatrist is now recommending 40mg of paroxetine daily.
I'm at a really low ebb with panic, anxiety and depression. I wonder if I'll ever get better. Grief takes over, then darkness and anxiety and I feel like it's not fair on everyone else. I'm back at square one. Horrendous. I can't take time off work as I've used up all my sick pay. At least I can work from home, but even that's a struggle. MY mind is a like a sieve letting in all these invasive thoughts.