Confused about Paxil and clonazepam

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Lynn55
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/29/2008 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I am new here. I am 32 years old and have suffered from general anxiety disorder since a child and depression on and off since I was a teen. I have had times in my life when I have not been on medication but I was first put on prozac when I was 15. I'm currently taking 10mg of Paxil and 1mg of Clonazepam at night. I'm freaking out right now to be honest.
I went to my doctor, who is my new doctor, because my old one started up a cosmetic practice, sigh.. but anyways, this doctor told me that he would rather have me on paxil 20mg, like I originally was 8 months ago and get rid of the clonazepam. I've been on both medications for about 3 years. I want to get off the medications but not right now as I am not stable.
I do want to get off of clonazepam and I have been able to in the past by tapering. I was on it for about a year in the 90's. I tapered and had no problems stopping it. I wish I never started it again!!!
 
Anyways, here I am looking at the lesser of two evils. I've heard so many bad things about Paxil but let me tell you it saved my life. Going down to 10mg wasn't hard and I had no withdrawal symptoms. But I'm also not stable now. I think my doctor is right about wanting me on Paxil and reducing clonazepam and then working on tapering off paxil when I am stable. Please help I am really confused.
 
Thank you.
Lynn55

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/29/2008 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Lynn,

Welcome! I'm sure other folks will be along soon with lots of great advice and support.

I take Paxil CR daily and have for more years than I can remember right now. I assume from the dosages you mentioned that you're taking the non-controlled release kind, but either way, I think 10-20 mg is on the small end of dosages (I take 37.5). In the past, I have worked with my doctor about changing my dosages, and it really depends on how stable I feel, just like you. Recently, I had to up the dosage to its current level because the lower one just wasn't helping. I don't think it's a bad thing to take enough of the medicaiton for it to do its job, and then worry about weaning off when you're in a better position to do so.

You said you're freaking out right now. Is it the meds that are causing that, or are you freaking because you're worried about taking them?

Glad to have you on board, and I hope you find the support you need here!

percycat

Lynn55
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/29/2008 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Percycat!
thank you for your reply. I'm feeling quite alone lately (my husband is at sea for 6 months). I think that is why I'm freaking out, well, and also trying to figure out what to do with medications. I've wanted off clonazepam for quite some time and I think when the doctor suggested going off it in a few months I freaked out, even though it's what I want, I am scared because I've read horror stories about withdrawal. I feel better about only being on an antidepressent and then weaning off that later on. I guess I just wanted off both of them and was happy I was down to 10mg but I've noticed that my mental state has been a bit sketchy in the last little bit. I want to be stable and on the least amount of meds to obtain that state, if that makes sense?

I'm going to be tapering very slowly with clonazepam. I'm scared, I'll admit it. Thinking about it throws me into a panic attack. But I'm also afraid of having brain damage from taking it. I know it sounds ridiculous but I tend to over analyze situations and dont' cut myself a lot of slack.

Another reason for getting off clonazepam and eventually Paxil is that my husband and I would like to try for a baby when he comes back or a year after he is home. My doctor was suggesting at that point I could switch to Zoloft as it is safer for pregnancy. A double whammy with this is that my husband suffers from infertility and we will have to get help to conceive. I want to make sure my body is very healthy, including my mind, before we attempt this. I"m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Part of me feels like I should up my dose of Paxil to 20mg from 10mg while tapering clonazepam so that I give myself more stable grounding.

Another thing about this is that only my husband and mom know about the medications I'm on. And my Mom doesn't really agree with them. My husband is supportive with me as he knows how I am when I am not stable. He totally gets it. I've decided to not talk to my Mom about this. It is my life, I am an adult and she is not in my body.

Anyways, to make a long story short do you think it makes sense to raise the paxil while I taper off clonazepam? Or should I just keep Paxil at 10mg?

Thanks for the welcome. It's nice to talk to ppl who understand. I don't feel so alone now.

nervymeg
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 4/30/2008 3:23 AM (GMT -6)   

Lynn, Welcome, I am so glad you are here with us at HW.  Getting a new doctor and changing meds can be really freaky and scary (I get shaky just thinking about it) so no wonder you are feeling this way.

Don't let your new doc take you of the clonazepam if you are comfortable with it..or at least make sure you can come off it at your pace okay? Doc's can sometimes be bullies, but we know what is best for our bodies so stand your ground.

The choice about paxil is up to you..I'm no authority but I think, take it slowly and talk with that doctor and remeber YOU are in control sweetie.  I'm really glad you are here at HW, please keep us posted, hang in there, and know we understand, truly.


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 4/30/2008 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Lynn,
 
Welcome to Healing Well, you should find this to be a great community with very caring and supportive members.  They are a great source of information as well as the resources we have availalbe to us - some being in the yellow box to the right, just click on the Anxiety-Panic link and it will take you to the list of resources.  There is also a Relaxation Techniques thread in the Anxiety Resources at the top of this page (tan area) - this may useful to you as well.  Also don't forget to check out some old posts as they are also a good tool for information.
 
Right now you have a couple of very good reasons to be freaking out - you have had to change docs and now you are looking at possible med changes.  Those are big things to be dealing with. 
 
As far as the meds are concerned, I can't offer any advice on them as I have not been on either one of them.  But if were you, I think I would go with what your doctor is advising, especially since you wanted off the clonapezam any way and wanted to increase the Paxil.  I agree with Meg though in that it's your body and make sure to not let the doctor bully you into something you don't want to do.  If you don't feel it's right, then don't do it.  Docs know a lot, but they don't know everything (even some would like to think they do - LOL).  Only you know what your body is doing.  Remember the final choice is yours.
 
Regarding your mother not agreeing with you being on meds, I think you have the right approach - don't talk to her about it.  You know how she feels about it and she probably won't be changing her mind about it - so you can agree to disagree.
 
Again, welcome to Healing Well and we hope to see you here more and to be able to get to know you better.  Come here any time to vent, ask questions, chime in on posts, etc.
 
Take care,
Wen

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

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quietpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 4/30/2008 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
For klonopin, at 1 mg, you may want to try getting off of it slowly. One day on one off. One on, two days off. Do this until you're rarely taking it. It will help physically and mentally. I have never been on it that low so nothing may happen. I ws shaking, had hot and cold flashes, vomited once. AN dcouldn't sleep. I doubt any of that will happento you. When I went off benzo's last (I was taking a lot plus a high dose of klonopin), some of the things they did that helped was to schedule naps, prepare healthy foods (we did in thrier kitchen.) We talked about our mental illness. The benzo abuse we were only allowed to speak to the nurses or doctors with. The more you think or talk abooout them, they more addicted you become. We also had massages, and were most given a newish meds list and doctor.

As far as changing meds, you need to let your doc know that once your stable agaian you plan to try to have a baby. And you (regardless of what you do during that time) wasnt to a least begin by taking something that is proven to "safer" over time than other:
trilifon (old, verysafe in pregnancy, anti-psychotic)
lithium (as long as the levels contrlled and that reqires extra care)
prozac,paxil,zoloft,celexa, & lexapro (better new anti-depressants, not too well studied,)
nortripyline best anti-depressnt (well studied decades more than przac, and the safest)
Klonopin and Valium (can be used in 2n trimester, 3rd baby will face withdrawal)

The SAFEST FOR MOM AND CHILD, is scary old ECT,but it will help with mania and depression and psychosis with the best track record is ECT. People hate it think it is cruel. I've had it many times. I remember things but fine. Keep a journal, take pictures, and don't start until you are at the end of your rope. Not for the baby's saffety, but so the after effects will last longer. (A lot of perople felel it only worked a lttle -always do both hemispheres -you have to push it it is tour first of second time.)

Talk to your do now - if not getting any support for the futre, find a new one. That's what I did in order to have my daughter.

quietpain
quietpain

quietpain

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/1/2008 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Lynn,

It's easy to feel alone with anxiety because it's something a lot of folks don't like to think about or deal with, and because our own anxiety makes us not want to deal with people as much. I hope you feel comfortable sharing here.

I agree with Wen that your choice not to discuss it much with your mother is likely a good one. I don't discuss this with my own parents either, even though my mother knows. (My dad tends to forget and also not to understand.) I think what matters most is that when you feel like talking, you have someone safe and supportive. When your husband's home, that's his role. When he's on duty, it sounds like you don't have anyone physically around to talk to about your anxiety. You might consider seeing a therapist. They can provide lots of ideas for how to cope with feelings and effects of anxiety. There's a thread under the Resources at the top of the forum page about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that can tell you more.

Also, you've got a lot going now right now: husband shipped out, changing meds, thinking ahead about a family, and pondering the infertility issues. That would be enough to make anyone feel less stable. Bravo to you for planning ahead so that you're ready for all the great things you want to do when hubby returns! Just take it one step at a time, and be patient with yourself.

percycat

justsomerelief
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/19/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
After starting and stopping many anti depresses, paxil, zoloft, now prozac I think I finally found a nice combo. 40mg of prozac and 300 welbutrin xl in the morning and if needed (like mostly) ambien at night.
The prozac seems to keep me upbeat and the welbutrin gives me some life plus I have my genitalia back. Sleep, always worried about sleep, ambien has been the best so far, no more than 10mg break them in half if i can.
When my child gets sick or we have to visit a hospital or something like that triggers it i get a panic attack. I want to die, be unconscious, it happened on a plane flight and I came off white as a ghost dripping with sweat. I am hoping klonopin can help here because they are too much.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/19/2008 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Lyn,

I am hoping you are working with your physician in weaning off the medication and that you are doing this very slowly.  I did manage to wean down to a very low dose from a high dose of benzos but it took nearly a year and I had no side effects.  I justt worked with my physician on a schedule I chose. She read the literature I provided her and agreed it was a good plan. 

Please let us know how things are going for you.  We are here to support you.  Use us well.
Hugs
Kitt

 

 


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


Lynn55
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/18/2008 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

Just a quick update here. I'm doing fine. :) I'm now taking 10mg of Paxil and .15mg of clonazepam. No problems cause I've gone slowly. In a couple weeks I will be going completely off clonazepam.

Take care all!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/18/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   

Great to hear from you and that is good news.  Slow is the best way to wean off of a Benzo. 

Proud of you.

Kitt 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 6/18/2008 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Lynn,

That's very good news! You can certainly be proud of yourself. Bravo for taking those steps toward the healthiest body you can have, and good luck with the future plans!

Hugs,
percycat

Lynn55
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/7/2008 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I'm getting upset at myself. I had to go back to .25mg of Clonzaepam as I couldn't fall asleep. And I'm now taking 20mg of Paxil and I think I'm going to have to stay on it for most of my life. I notice a HUGe difference now that I'm taking a higher dose of Paxil. I was starting to feel like I was walking on egg shells. I recognized this is how I used to feel before when I wasn't on medications and I did not like that at all. So I increased my dose of Paxil to 15mg and felt a lot better in a few days. I kept trying to drop the clonazepam down though and sometimes it would be ok but I had to keep coming back to it cause I would just lie awake at night til dawn. I can't do this cause I have to work early.

So now that I've increased the paxil to 20mg I'm hoping I can drop the clonazepam. I'm finding it really hard to stop and I'm surprized to be honest cause I took it years ago and was able to stop it by tapering which I am doing now. But now I get stopped at .25mg. arugh. So frustrating.

Last night I lay awake til 5am and I had to get up at 6am. So I called in sick cause I felt awful. I took 1mg of clonazepam in frustration and slept until 11am. Now I"m pissed at myself for caving in and worry that now I have to start from scratch. Will taking 1mg screw up this taper? I have gone down to .25mg and I don't want to start again with 1mg.

Thanks for listening.

Anxious soul
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 7/8/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Lynn,
I do not feel that taking 1 mg is going to mess up your taper, but stressing about it might :) Jump back in the boat and you will be fine.

-Soul

Lynn55
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/9/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm doing good again! :) Thanks so much. :)

BizCnsltng
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/8/2009 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I just switched PCP's due to a disagreement with the last one's nurse practitioner who doesnt understand what the word allergy means, and ended me up in the hospitol for 4 days for cardiac issues. Either way... im wanting off of the benzos!!!! ive made my mind up after 3 years of this mess i want off, i started 1mg twice a day of klonopin, and ended up moving and the doctor i saw in the east coast put me at 1mg 3x a day, now i get back home, original pcp puts me back to 1mg 2x a day, allows me to work my own schedule and found it comfortable at 0.5 mg 3x daily.. now, new PCP, has decided to let me have my wishes finally!!!! I now have... the following.. .5 mg Klonopin @ morning/afternoon, 5mg Diazepam (valium) at night , and paxil 20mg once a day. i can probably ( and have successfully ) dropped the valium so far, and went back to the 3x daily .5 K-pin routine, along with the paxil. Doc says it shoudl work out nicely together and i can taper myself off. the .5's are able to be broken in half, anyone ever deal with paxil?

Questions... How high of a dos of paxil am i taking ( just got the script today havent even taken it yet). How is the safest way to avoid the withdrawels of the benzo nonsense using the k-pin.? has anyone else here read the Ashton Manual? It says i can use the valium to get off the K-pins. thats why i was on it, i just want off the benzos. and i want to know the experience im about to see with paxil.

Thanks in advance

a concerned benzo hater!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/9/2009 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning,

This is Kitt and welcome to HealingWell.

I used the Ashton method of weaning off of Ativan 4mg/per day by switching to a Valium weaning schedule.

It took about 4 months but I am now down to a very low dose of Valium.  I am not a benzo hater as I believe they do have a place in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks if you use them appropriately and that may be different for each person.

I worked with my P-doc re all my meds so I would like to suggest you work out a schedule with your physician.

Take care and I am a fan of Professor Ashton :)


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


BizCnsltng
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/9/2009 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I spoke to my doctor about that, and basically he told me if i wanted to use th meds i have to work on weining off thats fine, but its not something he would want to go through for months on end to taper it down, which is why im on the paxil. going to be taking my first dose in about an hour and see how things go with it, as of now i have approx 100 .5 mg tabs for K-pin, and about 30 or so valium 5's. i want to get away frmo the benzos, i should say i hate them, but the previous doctor failed to mention the chemical/physical dependancies and i had to learn all about these drugs on my own, and at out last meeting, he admitted he knew nnothing at all about benzos , and that he just prescribes them because they work. for the short toerm yes i can see it working, but i need something more stable. Well keep posting and let you know how well this all works out.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/9/2009 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Good Afternoon,
 
I am amazed that you have a physician who would give you so much drug at one time.  100 tabs of .5mg of Klonopin is a lot of drug.
 
.5mg = 10 mgs of Valium.( approximate)
 
Plus you have an RX for 5 mg tabs of Valium.
 
If I understand you right your Dr. does not want to get involved with weaning so he put you on Paxil, an SSRI drug. The whole scenario sounds to me like you should look for a physician who is willing to work with you on weaning off benzos not just put you on another med and letyou have at it.
 
I took a print out of the weaning schedule and sent it to my Pdoc ahead of time so she could review it and then we agreed on the weaning schedule.
 
The whole idea is to substitute the amount of Klonopin drug you take daily with the equivilant of Valium and then come down slowly using Valium which is a longer acting benzo and can be brought down in smaller increments.
 
I am sorry to hear your physician is not working for you as well as he could be.
 
Good Luck,
Kitt 
 

 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


BizCnsltng
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/9/2009 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
well ive got so much of the K-pin because of the last doctor double dosing me right at the end. so i ended up with extras, but this new PCP is wanting me to be off the benzos, and said i shoudl be able to wein off however is comfortable for me and ehs willing to work with that and changed me to the paxil. havent taken it as of yet, ended up taking a k-pin this morning and passed right back out. so this should be interesting to say the least

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/10/2009 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Good afternoon,

What ever you physician says it is up to you to agree or disagree with the plan.  Paxil is not a substitute for klonopin and will not stop withdrawal sx from the benzo. I am not a professional but I do understand the meds.

Do come up with a realistic plan if you want to be successful with your weaning from benzos.

Take care and good luck.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


trdiopn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/12/2009 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
 
 Hello, All
 
 I am on a low dose of Paxil 10mg roughly a month now. I am noticing tremors especially in my face. This is very unsettling. Has anyone experience this with Paxil. Do I need to consult my doctor about taking me off this med.
 
Thanks

nanas4
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 8/12/2009 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
hi i have never had tremors from the paxil but you should ask your doctor. have you ever had tremors before at all with anxiety or panic attacks? if this is totally new it could be a side effect i guess as everyone is diff. i have been on paxil 30mg for about 8 to 9 years. i was able to stop all other meds and had no more anxiety or panic attacks after 4 weeks of the med. now after all this time it has come back so they increased the paxil to 40mg and started the xanax 0.5 mg or ativan 0.5 mg as needed to get me through. im still having waiting to see if this helps ,barely hanging in. but paxil i will be on for life im sure and if it helps i dont mind.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/12/2009 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello and I am sorry to hear you are having these tremors.  I do think you should contact your Doctor and see if this is a normal side effect or perhaps you need a different medication.

Please keep us posted.

Gentle Hugs,
Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


trdiopn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/13/2009 7:08 AM (GMT -6)   
 
 Hello,
 
  Yes, I have experience various tremors and spasms due to anxiety. I am not sure if I am magnifying it because its in my face. I am afraid I may have Parkinson's now. I will definitely contact my doctor this morning. The paxil does help with my anxiety although the physical symptoms continue which seems odd. Can't help but wonder if there isnt something wrong. Thanks for listening.
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