There has been allot of speculation online, and off, regarding the best way to quit taking Paxil. I have used Paxil for my choice of anti-anxiety medication throughout my adult life. I’m very familiar with the side effects of Paxil, how to start using it, and how to stop using it. In this post I will describe the BEST WAY TO COME OFF PAXIL and go on Paxil.
Before you start or stop taking Paxil, PLEASE read this article because this medication is only PART of your recovery. When you are done using Paxil, you will be on your way to LIFE CHANGING internal and eternal events. Panic attacks will never happen again, and your life will be full and amazing.
When you start using Paxil it’s important to not be freaked out about possible side effects. Just know that within a few weeks of taking Paxil you will begin to sleep better, feel better, and your panic attacks and foggy anxiety will stop.
What Not To Consume When Going On Paxil
It’s very important to be disciplined when taking your Paxil medication as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid any alcoholic drinks and avoid any kind of mind altering drugs such as marijuana (or any other illegal drug). Avoid hopping yourself up on cigarettes and coffee too. If you are a smoker and a coffee drinker don’t stop drinking coffee and don’t stop smoking right now – just be as moderate as possible.
I can’t stress the importance of staying away from drinking over 2 alcoholic beverages in one sitting. As a matter of fact, if you truly want your stress to come under control and have a stress free life, then try to NOT drink ANY alcohol at all. If you are a heavy drinker, or perhaps an alcoholic, back off or quit all together. I know that sounds impossible, but it’s not. At the very least, slow down your drinking and smoking AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Why? You don’t want anything to interfere with the Paxil that is slowly entering your blood stream. You want the medication to have it’s full effect.
What Time of the Day to Take Paxil
As a few doctors have told me, Paxil is a morning medication. Don’t bother trying other times of the day to take your pill(s). I’ve tried every time of day possible, and the morning is the best time to take your Paxil medication.
Try very hard to take your Paxil medication at the same time every morning. 8 o’clock AM is my best time to take it. I try to be spot on 8 o’clock in the morning, every morning. I’ve seen a huge difference when I’m late or early, such as taking it at 10 or 11 in the morning, or taking it early at 6 or 7 in the morning. For some reason, I’m much calmer, steadier, and more relaxed when I take my medication like clock work.
If you are suffering from extreme anxiety and panic attacks try not to worry. Within 2 weeks of taking your Paxil all that will begin to go away. Like I said, don’t worry about the side effects because they’re really not a big deal at all. Try not to take the horror stories on the Internet about Paxil users “freaking out” too seriously. Most of those case involved people using other illegal and legal drugs in access, and in some cases these people quit Paxil cold turkey coming off of a LARGE dosage. Never stop taking Paxil cold turkey.
Don’t confuse any of body pains, or symptoms of your present anxiety as Paxil side effects. It’s not the Paxil that’s causing this. It’s just your hyper sensitivity and anxiety in action as you try to imagine the worst. Just stick to the program and you’ll be fine. Always let your doctor know about your experiences as you go through this process.
Your doctor may prescribe an instant anxiety medication such as Ativan to help you through those first few weeks while the Paxil is building up in your system. That’s fine. Use medications like Ativan to get sleep, and to minimize your panic attacks when you have them. I keep a prescription of Ativan just in case. It gives you confidence that if you have some extreme anxiety or a panic attack you have some instant relief on hand.
Like I said, after a few weeks, and even better a few months, the Paxil will take affect and you will feel MUCH better. You won’t have panic attacks and you will be sleeping well again. You won’t need any meds like Ativan. Just keep what is left of your Ativan in a safe place for peace-of-mind.
How to Ween Yourself Off and Quit Paxil
This is very important. DON’T EVER STOP TAKING PAXIL COLD TURKEY. Do not stop taking Paxil suddenly. I’ve made that mistake once and will never make that mistake again. You’ll get through it, but it’s hell, and you don’t want to go there. You don’t need to ever go there. This is why you have heard people claim online that Paxil is poison etc, and cite all of these extreme cases where people “freaked out” because of Paxil. Usually these people were too young to be taking it, or they quit suddenly from a large daily dosage routine, or they consumed allot of other strong drugs (legal or illegal)
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ: The weening down process I have below is ASSUMING YOU ARE DOWN TO 20MGs PER DAY ALREADY. If you are above 20mg you can use the same idea as below in increments until you get to 20mg a day. When you are at 20mg a day comfortably, then start the process below. MAKE SURE you consult your doctor before beginning a weening process, and feel free to print off this page to get his or her approval. He or she will be fine with this process, but you should let them know, because every patient has a unique medical history.
Stop using Paxil very slowly. Start by cutting down to 3/4 of your present dosage. You can use a razor blade to cut your pills. Some doctors tell you to take your Paxil dosage every second day when coming off of it. I don’t recommend this. You need to come down slower than that, or you will get the infamous “brain swooshes“, and it can be discomforting. You don’t need ANY feelings of discomfort my friend.
After you have dropped to 3/4 of your dosage for three weeks, then bring it down to 1/2 the dosage for three weeks. Then once you have gone at half the dosage for 3 weeks, ask yourself how you feel. Do you still feel ok? Do you feel like you are maintaining good sleep and a positive outlook on your life and the lives of those around you? This is when you could be on your way to quitting Paxil.
If all the answers to the above questions are yes, then you are ready to take the weening process to the next step. The next step is to take your dosage to half the dose one day and and a quarter of the dose the next day. Keep going by alternating half the dose for one day and a quarter the dose the next day. Do this for 2 weeks.
Then you are ready to go to a quarter of the dose every day. Make sure you steer clear of any other drugs (if you can) during this time. Avoid alcohol as much as possible, eat light, and make sure to get your rest. See how you feel after time. If you are doing fine, then you can go to a quarter dose every second day.
Do a quarter does every second day for two weeks. Then go 1/8 of the dose every second day. If you can drop to 1/16 of the dose every second day do it depending on if you have a good razor blade to cut the pills with. One of my biggest beefs with Paxil is that it should be sold in tiny increment pills for this weening down process.
After a few weeks of the 1/16 dosage every second day, assess your moods and sleep patterns. Assess your food intake, your patience level, etc. If all is well then it’s time to say goodbye to your friend Paxil. It’s very possible that at this very light dosage of Paxil you are not really doing anything anymore and it’s a placebo level, but all of us are different. Just see how YOU feel.
Make sure you consult your doctor periodically through your weening off process to keep them informed and “in the loop” as you successfully come down off of Paxil.
When You Have Paxil Out of Your System
Now you are “el natural” with your default blood and serotonin levels. See how you feel and make a strong effort to read some good books on maintaining an even keel. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading material that helps you really understand how your mind and ego works, because it is your mind and ego that are causing your stress. Try Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth”, and try Wayne Dyer’s book, “The Power of Intention” – these are life changing books that, in combination can free you from the thought processes that have caused all your anxiety in the first place.
Remember that you don’t have to be afraid of stress, and you should have learned by now how useless anxiety and worry is in your life. Try to avoid anything that upsets you and for God’s sake be grateful and thankful for all the people in your life and the life you have.
Maintaining an even keel emotionally these days is very important. Try and make your life as simple as possible, and make sure you avoid angry and uptight people as much as possible. Be aware if you begin slipping back into self medicating with alcohol or marijuana. That is a sure sign that you are not dealing with daily stresses properly. Try meditation. Try a good religion. Try exercise. Try taking long walks. Try changing jobs, spouses, houses – whatever it takes to find YOUR happy place.
If you for some reason fall into severe panic attacks and out of control anxiety, then don’t be afraid to return to a small dose of Paxil to even things out. Some folks stay on light antidepressants their entire life without any problems at all.
Best of luck,