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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's my story
18 years ago, i started with Prozac (20mg) for social anxiety and performance anxiety..At that point, i was newly married and very stressed about job interviews, meetings, etc. I started with Prozac (20mg) which worked pretty well as long as i took xanax for the big work presentations (life was good). When Paxil came out, my GP switched me over as he said it was newer and better. I made a straight switch to Paxil (20mg), no problems and i agreed it was better...i did start to gain a bit of weight (went from 195 to 215 lbs) but of course didn't really care...life was still good.
So after about 12 years on paxil, my wife starts to complain that i am not affectionate, too lethargic, etc and starts to mention that maybe we should not be together anymore (we have 3 kids by the way 11 to 16yrs old)
I decide to taper off paxil to try to make myself more of a husband...at first great...tapered to 10 mg then to 5mg...dropped back down 190 lbs, had lots more energy and a weird thing i noticed, my handwriting got better.
Anyway, my wife than informs me that it is not about the paxil, she has changed blah blah blah. I propose marriage councilling, she is not interested... so we separate...less than 2 months later, she has a new boyfriend and is out socializing everynight...meanwhile i have tapered to 0 mg paxil and all hell breaks loose...extreme depression, extreme anxiety...
in retrospect, very bad time to come off Paxil.
i quickly start up the paxil at 10mg
I run to my Dr and he prescribes cipralex (lexapro) which i switched directly to..this wired me and made me feel worse so after 17 days, i went back to paxil. 5 weeks of 20mg paxil didn't do a thing for me...actually was shaking like a leaf all the time.
Now off to a pdoc...he says i should have cross tapered to cipralex so over a 5 week period, i have now switched to 10mg cipralex.

At this point, i have been at 10mg cipralex for 3 weeks.
I think my depression may be a bit better but i still feel wired and weak in my arms and legs, exteme sweating night and day, intense insomnia, and in the last week, jaw tension that makes it very hard to chew.

So...is this paxil withdrawal? start up on cipralex? just straight anxiety from my marriage situation? or as i suspect...all of it

Sorry about the long diatribe.

My question is a simple one, has anyone sucessfully switched from paxil to cipralex (lexapro) and did they deal with a combination of withdrawal and start-up side effects? and if it worked, how long did it take to kick in?
 

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I went the opposite way, from Cipralex to Paxil. Paxil was my saviour and Cipralex did nothing. All the side effects you are feeling I guess could be from the withdrawal/side effects of the meds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to give Cipralex 8 weeks and if no improvement, I'll start weaning off and try something new...maybe remeron or welbutrin.
I've heard that some people just use klonopin long term...if it wasn't addictive and didn't lose it's tolerance, i would sure try that route. It sure works well when i take it.
 

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Depersonalization is a common side effect of these drugs. But I am taking Lexapro and I don't experience this. I am more relaxed and have better control of my emotions. From what I hear Lexapro has a higher success rate than other SSRIs. But it may differ with everyone.
 

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I'm going to give Cipralex 8 weeks and if no improvement, I'll start weaning off and try something new...maybe remeron or welbutrin.
I've heard that some people just use klonopin long term...if it wasn't addictive and didn't lose it's tolerance, i would sure try that route. It sure works well when i take it.
If you partially respond to Cipralex 10mg you may wanna talk with your Pdoc about a dose increase to 20mg. Taking Klonopin as needed or short term (eg. when starting a new AD and initially feeling worse for 2-3 weeks) is ok IMHO.
 

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I was thinking about increasing the dose but was not sure since 20mg paxil used to work and isn't 10mg cipralex roughly equivalent to 30mg paxil?
That's right. It really depends: If you should tolerate the 10mg Cipralex good after some time, but just have a partial AD response it's wise to increase the dose IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree with you but still haven't determined whether my side effects are from cipralex start up or paxil withdrawal (or of course both)...I feel so crappy sometimes that i want to stop the cipralex but I have decided i better rough it out and give it a chance. If the side-effects do go away, i will be happy but will never definitively know what caused them.

For starting Prozac and Paxil, i had no side effects.

...and i have been taking 1mg klonopin on the bad days and it certainly alleviates the side effects
 

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If it's Paxil withdrawal then Cipralex should at least alleviate that (and of course Klonopin helps). I hope you're feeling better soon. :)
 

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I have no advice as i've only taken Celexa in my life, I just wanted to say your ex-wife sounds like a *****. She tried to attack you and blame you and your anxiety/medication use as a way to get out of the marriage, how selfish. I hate to say it, but she clearly was cheating on you, or emotionally cheating on you if she went to a new guy right away like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes...i'm pretty sure she was having an emotional affair (having coffee and lunch with him at work everyday)...and i'm seeing a therapist in an attempt to get my self confidence back. Unfortunately i have to deal with her everyday as she has taken a great interest in my pension :(
As a person with social anxiety, i dreamed of retiring by 60 and getting off or reducing the SSRI's...now my light at the end of the tunnel as gone out. My therapist is trying to turn it back on
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
OK...i'm coming up on 4 weeks at 10mg cipralex.
I woke up this morning and my sore jaw seems to be better but replaced by a very numb face (felt like i had just come from the dentist).
Also my tremors are really bad today and my heart is racing and i'm having muscle spasms in my legs

I took 1mg Klonopin and 20mg propanolol but that barely reduced the tremors...what the hell?

I'm hoping this is from paxil withdrawal since i still want to give the cipralex a chance...

To top it off, tonight i had 4 beers (on top of the 1mg klonopin)...I might as well have been drinking water...no effect at all...totally bazarre!!!
Still felt wired and had tremors...
 

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Thats rough man. I feel for you.

Did you lose your libido on Paxil? Or was your sex life in the marriage ok?

My ex girlfriend cheated on me and it sucked. I went into a bit of a funk back, and it took me a few years to get back into a relationship. But keep your head up buddy. I am with a good woman now, and I feel stronger than ever. You'll make it through this.

I don't know much about Lexapro, but I hope the side effects go away with time.

Cheers,

Yes...i'm pretty sure she was having an emotional affair (having coffee and lunch with him at work everyday)...and i'm seeing a therapist in an attempt to get my self confidence back. Unfortunately i have to deal with her everyday as she has taken a great interest in my pension :(
As a person with social anxiety, i dreamed of retiring by 60 and getting off or reducing the SSRI's...now my light at the end of the tunnel as gone out. My therapist is trying to turn it back on
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My libido was definitely reduced when i first started Paxil but it did come baxk somewhat. After my wife had the kids, her libido was definitely reduced. It was probably best that i was taking Paxil or i would have been bugging her all the time.
I'm glad you are with the right girl now...I'm hoping for the same...maybe in a year i"ll be thanking my wife for all this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
4 weeks, 3 days.

Not sure what to think about this med...I hope it kicks in soon...still wake up with terrible anxiety. My sore jaw is a bit better but my face still feels numb and i'm very upset as i seem to have damaged my front teeth by grinding them down while i sleep...guess that's why i woke up with a sore jaw.
I also have lost interest in most things...that could just be depression from my situation as opposed to the SSRI.
Anyway, would still like to hear from anybody who switched from paxil to cipralex...
 

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There is also as new version of Paxil called Pexeva. I actually think it's better than Paxil CR, and doesn't have the same shock like symptoms I had with the original Paxil. Has something to do with the differenent salt that is added and released in the body. Maybe worth a try. Also Lexparo/Cipralex takes like a long time to start noticing the effects, a good 8-12 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
BearFan, are you on Pexava now? I'm at 6 weeks on Cipralex 10mg and still have constant anxiety and insomnia. I don't think it has helped much at all and with all the side effects i
ve had, I don't really want to increase the dose. I have an appt with my pdoc this week and was thinking about switching to Remeron but this might just be me getting desperate to get away from this anxiety. Do you think waiting 8 to 12 weeks is worth it when i've felt no real benefits after 6 weeks. Of course i've been off Paxil totally for 5 weeks so i might still be dealing with withdrawal...Who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well...after 6 and a half weeks of side effects in which some subsided but not all and only partial effectiveness...i'm done with cipralex.
I decided not to up the dose as the side-effects were bad enough on 10mg.
Anyway, i'm starting Remeron now...The big side-effect that i'm apparently about to battle is weight gain...so i'll start a diet at the same time and see if that helps.
I've previously dealt with Paxil weight gain where i went from 200 to 220.
I went down to 185 when after weaning off Paxil and back up to 200 on Cipralex. If i can keep my weight at 200 on Remeron, then i'll be happy.

I guess i'll have to start a new thread.
 
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