Paxil & drug tapering

After being on a low dose of Paxil for the last two years to deal with some depression and anxiety, I’ve decided it’s time to try life free of it. I spoke with my psychiatrist and we came up with a plan to very slowly taper off of the meds. Paxil is notorious for being hard to get off of as it has such a short half-life and so tapering off slowly is the best way to avoid side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Even only being on 10 milligrams, we’re taking a slow approach a reducing the dosage by 2.5 mg every two weeks to see how my body adjusts.

Honestly, the notion of how long the drug takes to come off is another motivating factor to why I want to try. This seems like powerful stuff. And I am so glad I was able to take the meds when I did, and if I realize I need to stay on them to feel ok and effectively manage my hormonal anxiety, then that’s something I will talk to my doctor about. But between healthy lifestyle choices and talk therapy and reinforcing coping tools with my “crazy lady” (psychologist sounds so clinical for someone i share such intimate details of my life with!!), I really want to try this drug-free.

I have felt really good these past few days and hope its a sign of how things will continue. I am eating really well with lots of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and exercising daily to increase my mood and stay focused on good mental health.

I thought it might be helpful to document my experiences with the tapering.

Day 1 – bored, restless. Really, really bored. I had a feeling of intense mental energy and nowhere to focus any of it. Nothing was very Interesting until my husband intervened.

Day 2 – Felt like I got run over by a truck. My muscles ached and I felt like I was getting the flu. But I laid low, took a nap, and went out that night and had a great time (except for getting sweaty when I was dancing – the amount of sweat didn’t seem to match the temperature nor my level of exertion).

Day 3 – aches and pains were gone. A bit of mental confusion/slowness mixed with bouts of genuine contentedness.

Days 4 through 6 – better than I’ve felt on a long time. Mentally sharp, positive, and energetic. No anxiety.

I’ll stay on this same reduced dose for another week until I taper down again. Fingers crossed…