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  1. #1

    Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    I have used Paroxetine for more than ten years, having used another SRi for several years. Paroxetine was certainly better than the first drug prescribed (Citalopram, I think it was), but I have come off Paroxetine altogether in the last month and discovered some serious issues.
    I was taking 20 mg per day from the start.
    I read recently that Paroxetine might relate to Dementia so asked about alternatives. I was prescribed Sertraline.
    I stepped-down from 20 to 15 mg per day without a problem.
    After one week I went down to 10 mg per day for a further week, again without problem. I noticed I was able to think more clearly and my recall improved substantially.
    I then went to 10 mg every other day. Within three days I noticed a return of anxiety, panic and insomnia. I was even crying about my situation.
    I was given sleeping pills - this helped immensely.
    After four days (taking 10 mg every other day) I decided I had to make the leap - I went four days without Paroxetine before starting Sertraline at 50 mg per day.
    On day two I was slightly anxious now and then, and felt panic not far away, but from day four anxiety, panic and insomnia were all gone!
    I find my stomach is a little sensitive but that's improving. I feel SO MUCH clearer in my head. I had not noticed that my sense of humour was diminished - it's back now.
    I drank alcohol when taking Paroxetine (I had always been a drinker but I became somewhat dependant - I drank about 6 units most days, with a very few days off.) The day I took the last Paroxetine was the last time I drank - I no longer miss a drink, I don't feel I need one, there's drink in the house but I simply don't need it. (YAY!)
    These two things, a clearer head and better recall, as well as being able to stop drinking, have made the withdrawal worthwhile.
    Iím also getting into ĎThe Happiness Trapí Ė itís brilliant, itís like it was written for everyone on an SSRi. Google it and you might find some peace. Good luck Ė you are not alone, and you will get to a kinder place.


  2. #2

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    You sound a bit like me! I have been on Seroxat seventeen years but felt it had pooped out. I am on nothing now, (four days!)and suffering withdrawal. The doc gave me 10mg Citalopram to help with withdrawal but I hated it! I am so thankful I wasn't given Citalopram all that time ago when I was prescribed Seroxat for panic attacks!
    Maybe I should try Sertraline then? I was considering Mirtazapine.
    I have been drinking beer to help withdrawal but it doesn't give me that lovely buzz it did on Seroxat!
    Thankyou for writing as I am mmmming and ahhhhing and not knowing where to go. Keep me updated as we're in the same boat x

  3. #3

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    I've been on paroxetine for 11 or 12 years and think it pooped out years ago, my issue is it's horrific to withdraw from - I've had a few attempts, a couple where I went off it completely after a fairly gradual withdrawal - the sneaky thing is it takes (for me at least) a couple of months after coming off before the horrible depression/anxiety return. - I had three months off work

    I'm sure docs will say it's the original issue coming back but it felt much worse in my opinion.

    I've been on only 5mg for the last 4/5 months but recently hit a low and have gone up to around 8mg. I'm currently suffering from a migraine and jaw pain and considering going back to the GP to switch to another SSRI or SNRI to finally get off of it and on to something that helps me more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    149

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    I was on paroxetine for six years and took 18 months to come off it. The only way for me was to be prescribed the liquid form and to decrease by a tiny fraction every two weeks.
    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    4,339

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    Many years ago, I was on paroxetine for a month before quitting it cold turkey.

    Not bothering to taper led to a few of the worst months of my life - the anxiety went crazy and I made a few very rash decisions, and it was only thanks to the tolerance of those around me that I didn't get myself in real trouble. In addition to the emotional issues, I also suffered horrendous brain zaps and dizzy spells; I was commuting to work on a busy subway every day at the time, and I still don't know how I coped.

  6. #6

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    Quote Originally Posted by F_Cosci View Post
    Paroxetine reduction or discontinuation can cause withdrawal symptoms. This is more and more known in the scientific literature but still in need of being measured in terms of prevalence and incidence. This is the reason why we created an interview which allows to assess withdrawal due to SSRI or SNRI. If you are interested in being interviewed, for free, please contact me.
    What are these interviews for? thanks

    ---------- Post added at 10:29 ---------- Previous post was at 10:27 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueIris View Post
    Many years ago, I was on paroxetine for a month before quitting it cold turkey.

    Not bothering to taper led to a few of the worst months of my life - the anxiety went crazy and I made a few very rash decisions, and it was only thanks to the tolerance of those around me that I didn't get myself in real trouble. In addition to the emotional issues, I also suffered horrendous brain zaps and dizzy spells; I was commuting to work on a busy subway every day at the time, and I still don't know how I coped.
    Nasty isn't it.

    I could take the brain zaps and physical symptoms, what always derails my attempts is the behemoth of depression that follows a couple of months later, though I have been on for over a decade. In the new year I think I'll try switching SSRI to something more tolerable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,384

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepy View Post
    I was on paroxetine for six years and took 18 months to come off it. The only way for me was to be prescribed the liquid form and to decrease by a tiny fraction every two weeks.
    Good luck.
    It also took me 18 months to come off paroxetine. I was on it for 10 years.

  8. #8

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    Quote Originally Posted by BikerMatt View Post
    It also took me 18 months to come off paroxetine. I was on it for 10 years.
    Hi Matt, How did you switch to another med - gradually increase a new one while cutting down on paroxetine?

    I've currently made a small adjustment up (5mg to around 8mg) and spent the last six days with a horrible headache, jaw pain and feeling like someone punched me in the eye!

    Powerful stuff - hoping to make a switch next year, I read Escitalopram/lexapro is about a decade newer than paroxetine and is tolerated better - also has better reviews for GAD etc but everyone is different.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,384

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    Quote Originally Posted by ddraig View Post
    Hi Matt, How did you switch to another med - gradually increase a new one while cutting down on paroxetine?

    I've currently made a small adjustment up (5mg to around 8mg) and spent the last six days with a horrible headache, jaw pain and feeling like someone punched me in the eye!

    Powerful stuff - hoping to make a switch next year, I read Escitalopram/lexapro is about a decade newer than paroxetine and is tolerated better - also has better reviews for GAD etc but everyone is different.
    I had started to take Mirtazapine just before i decided to come off the Paroxatine.

    I had tried a couple of times to stop but failed.

  10. #10

    Re: Paroxetine - issues and withdrawal

    Hi Matt,

    Do you think the Mirtazapine helped you come off? also are you doing ok on that now? thanks

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