Withdrawal from SSRI

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Good morning. I'm almost finished discontinuing a medication I was taking for anxiety, it really wasn't helping so they're taking me off, but the symptoms are so terribly unpleasant. I know I can get through it and that my body will regulate eventually, but I wish I knew how long this would take. I guess I'm just looking for any positive experiences along the lines of "I discontinued and got through it and you'll be fine." lol
For the record, I've been following a titration schedule and my original dosage wasn't that high to begin with, so I think I just have to grit my teeth and survive the next little while.


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Been there, done that, so I totally understand.

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So, yes, I've been there and I got through it.

But... you may want to call your dr if the effects are too unpleasant, they may be able to slow down the schedule to make it more manageable

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I took Welbutrin for some time to help quit smoking and never had a problem. Flash forward to a recent medication I was on for a relatively short period of time that had an SSRI I was not even aware of. Wow. I had "brain zaps" for lack of a better term, and a few other withdrawl symptoms when I stopped taking it. It's amazing how quickly they can take hold in some forms. I'm sure I was on the lower end but I drank as much water as could, took vitamins and exercised when I started feeling jittery. It eventually slacked off and stopped. Just keep going. It will pass.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??


Last edited by Fifi.G; 09-23-2015 at 02:06 PM.
If the withdrawal is difficult, depending on which SSRI and how knowledgeable the doctor is about this stuff, you may be able to take a small dose of a different SSRI to bridge over the withdrawal. I had to do this for withdrawal of an SNRI that didn't help my pain at all and caused insomnia, I was on a low dose and had only been on it for about a month, the worst withdrawal symptom was brain zaps like what Fifi mentioned above, I continued to get those even after completely off the drug for a week (and I had a very slow taper), and I was prescribed a SSRI for 2 weeks to get me through withdrawal. I did have to see a psychiatrist to handle this; GPs & Internists usually don't know enough about the medications to do this. I think it's definitely worth speaking to your doctor about because they may be able to do something to help you.
Thanks everyone. Brain zaps, yes that's a good way to describe them. Also mood swings, headaches, and some other symptoms, but I can't really tell if they're caused by my fibromyalgia or the discontinuation. The medication is Paxil, which is apparently one of the most difficult to stop taking. I have read about Prozac being used to replace Paxil, then discontinued more slowly since it's available in liquid form and can be diluted. I asked the doctor about this and he said he was unfamiliar with it, and that I should be ok because I was only taking 10 mg, and people have successfully reduced from much higher dosages. Maybe I should just ask to be referred to a psychiatrist if it hasn't resolved or at least gotten less difficult in a couple days.


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I became very ill when I tried to quit an anti-anxiety med (klonazepam), but I reduced too quickly. I also had a substitute doctor at the time (mine was ill) who was not aware of just how sick one may become while withdrawing. I would say that if you're struggling to a degree you find very challenging, go see someone else. I wish I had.



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I withdrew from Lexapro, and I think the symptoms abated after about two weeks. Paxil, as you mentioned, is supposed to be harder to get off of than Lexapro. I, like Claudine, had to withdraw from Klonopin, and that was a nightmare--I had to go to an addiction specialist because my regular doctors were not knowledgeable about how horrible withdrawal can be. You might want to search online for a forum that offers support for those withdrawing from SSRIs. That is what I had to do with my Klonopin withdrawal. If you can find a forum that looks good, you can find out from the people there what to expect.
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The one I tried where I had brain zaps was cymbalta, and I've heard Effexor is even worse, and the bridge med was Prozac. I was also on it for fibro. I don't think I would have agreed to try it if I had been told the truth about cymbalta withdrawal beforehand.

On the other hand, I'm glad I didn't know about Klonapin difficulties before I went off, I was on it for more than a year and took it every night and I tapered, but not that slowly, I cut them in half for a week and then off, I had a little trouble sleeping, but that was it. If I had known that withdrawal was terrible it might have been terrible, although I didn't know with cymbalta (I'd heard it wasn't the easiest one to get off of, but had heard nothing about brain zaps) either and that was terrible, so who knows.
It must really vary. I tried Cymbalta 6 or so years ago, also for fibro, and didn't have much trouble quitting. Maybe there are people who quit Paxil without trouble. Looking for a forum is a good idea, I'll wander around the internet a bit. For now I've just been drinking a ton of water, doing yoga, and riding an exercise bike kind of slowly. I'm finding steady repetetive movement seems to help.


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3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, just below shoulder
Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
Co-wash: aia, suave coconut, salon care
R O: Tresume Naturals, gvpcb
L I: KCKT, gvpcb
Stylers: cjpp, re : coil, kccc, brhg
Oils: coconut, argan
Experimenting with: curls rock amplifier, pantene mousse
I haven't been through it, I just wanted to say that I hope you can get off it successfully without too many more highly unpleasant symptoms. My doc wanted to put me of Effexor, then another doc wanted to put me on Cymbalta. I declined after I read the side effects after coming off. Horrible for anybody to go through. Hope you find your relief soon.
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From what I have heard Effexor is a nightmarish hell. My best friend tried it for a little less than a year and had the hardest time coming off. Not only did he have brutal brain zaps (he's an expert in those and it is where I got the fitting term from) but felt shocks run through his body continuously. It took months for his symptoms to reduce but he would not talk to a doctor and had stopped cold turkey.


K-pins scare me. A doctor prescribed them for me in my 20s but I stopped taking them rather quickly. I felt lethargic for days after taking one. I had a friend completely change after a doctor prescribed them. He went off the deep end and started physically abusing his girlfriend of 13 years. He had never laid a hand on any woman before. He was convinced she was cheating on him and became violent. They determined the medication was the cause.

It truly can vary from person to person. If the symptoms do not subside, I would speak another doctor. Someone that will take you seriously.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I had a panic attack at Walmart last night, thankfully I'm already pretty practiced at hiding them and just getting out of there. (I've been having panic attacks for the past 12 or 13 years, but usually it takes more than a crowded store to trigger them now.) No headaches last night or this morning, but a lot of muscle spasms and weird tinglyness in my arms and legs and general anxiety. Sometimes I think I'm losing sensation in my left hand for brief moments, but maybe I'm imagining it. It's hard to stay detached from this, I have to keep reminding myself that any depression about life in general at this time is probably the fault of the meds.
I read once about how k-pins were constantly prescribed 20 or 30 years ago because they were supposed to be safe and not habit-forming. It seems like history just keeps repeating itself as far as these meds go.


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Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
Co-wash: aia, suave coconut, salon care
R O: Tresume Naturals, gvpcb
L I: KCKT, gvpcb
Stylers: cjpp, re : coil, kccc, brhg
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Have you tried taking magnesium? It helps my anxiety a LOT. I still have attacks at times, but they are much less and a bit more mild. I take Natural Calm you can find at a health store or on Amazon. But if you have low blood pressure or kidney problems, don't take it. It will help with the muscle spasms too.


I made the doc give me Xanax instead. It works for the sudden attacks most of the time and doesn't give the awful withdrawals... just a mild headache.
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I'd actually heard about magnesium for the muscle spasms, I tend to have those all over my body every time my fibro flares. I didn't know it could be used to treat anxiety as well. Thanks.
Have you tried taking magnesium? It helps my anxiety a LOT. I still have attacks at times, but they are much less and a bit more mild. I take Natural Calm you can find at a health store or on Amazon. But if you have low blood pressure or kidney problems, don't take it. It will help with the muscle spasms too.


I made the doc give me Xanax instead. It works for the sudden attacks most of the time and doesn't give the awful withdrawals... just a mild headache.
Originally Posted by sixelamy




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I had a panic attack at Walmart last night, thankfully I'm already pretty practiced at hiding them and just getting out of there. (I've been having panic attacks for the past 12 or 13 years, but usually it takes more than a crowded store to trigger them now.) No headaches last night or this morning, but a lot of muscle spasms and weird tinglyness in my arms and legs and general anxiety. Sometimes I think I'm losing sensation in my left hand for brief moments, but maybe I'm imagining it. It's hard to stay detached from this, I have to keep reminding myself that any depression about life in general at this time is probably the fault of the meds.
I read once about how k-pins were constantly prescribed 20 or 30 years ago because they were supposed to be safe and not habit-forming. It seems like history just keeps repeating itself as far as these meds go.


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Originally Posted by SereneCurls

They seem to say that about several meds and then find out otherwise. They kept giving me one type of Tramadol during a tricky root canal that had to be delayed twice and then extracted. It was said to be a milder pain pill with no risk of addiction for several years. Tramadol HCL contains an SSRI and was recently made a controlled substance b/c of high addiction risk and horrible withdrawal. that is what got me. I had no WD from the pain pill side but the SSRI was the devil. I read up on it and feel horrible for people who get hit with both. Its now known to have WD worse than heroin due to the double whammy some experience.

I typically have to be going thru something to have a panic attack. I started getting them in my 20s, around the time some bad things happened. I think I had more panic attacks caused by panic attacks at first but it eventually calmed down. K-pins we're way too strong. I really only need something if it.s major. I had them again when my dad died. Etc. If it's small I can breath thru it. The ladies are right. There are several vitamins and sups that help B-6 is supposed to be good. Calcium helps relax you and aids the absorption of magnesium. It's worth a try but we all know the bigger ones can be harder to manage. I'm sure the WD is a large part of the cause right now. It does mess with your system.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I made the doc give me Xanax instead. It works for the sudden attacks most of the time and doesn't give the awful withdrawals... just a mild headache.
Originally Posted by sixelamy
I don't want to hijack the thread, but Xanax is basically the same thing as Klonopin, just with a shorter half-life. So if this is something that you take regularly, it is possible to become chemically dependent.

Serene, when I was going through Klonopin withdrawal, I had a lot of anxiety and insomnia. What helped a lot was a homeopathic supplement called Calms Forte. Since it is homeopathic, it cannot interfere chemically with what is going on in your body. I used to help moderate a benzodiazepine (Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, etc.) withdrawal forum, and Calms Forte helped many of us. Another popular help was valerian root, which is an herb.

One important thing to remember is that when you are in withdrawal, your body is very sensitive, so if you try adding a supplement, I would always start with a very low dose of something (maybe half the recommended dose) to see how your body reacts.

I'm so sorry you're having panic attacks with only slight triggers. I went through this too every time I would make a cut from the Klonopin. It's horrible.
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I think it depends on the person too and how much you take. Xanax is the only thing I can take because it does not lay me out or make me feel bad and have urge to take more. Well, Valium works too but doctors hate to go there now. Automatic drug seeker status of you ask for a once commonly prescribed med. I only take one as needed, which is rare, and most of the time I take half of one. My doctor cracks me up because he has never understood that I would have a harder time driving or functioning on k-pin, which he tends to lean toward. It lays me out and makes me lethargic literally for 2-3 days after taking one. It is designed to stay in your system longer and therefore require you take less but what good does it do if you can't get off the couch and feel like a puddle? Xanax, no difference in function what so ever. It doesn't even make me sleepy. According to him I can't possibly function on Xanax but I would say he is speaking from his personal experience and body chemistry. I've also never heard of anyone flipping out and beating their girlfriend on Xanax but has probably happened.

I don't take them regularly though but I don't appreciate being treated like I'm odd if I happen to need an Rx. What exactly do you say to them anyway? He is around my age so we talk pretty easily but still... I started having panic attacks not long after I was knocked unconscious and sexually assaulted in my 20s (but my dads side of the family has a common history with anxiety disorder so I was probably heading that way anyway). I have been trying different meds since you were still in school. I only ask if and when something bad happens like a death, or none of your damn business, and brings on attacks. Stfu and trust me. I would never but having conversations about the meds he thinks are better, every single time for the last 15 years, does get exhausting in times of need.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??


Last edited by Fifi.G; 09-26-2015 at 03:44 PM.

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