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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18981
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Hi, I have been taking 20mg Seroxat (paroxetine) for the last

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have been taking 20mg Seroxat (paroxetine) for the last 5 years and would like to come off them for good. I find they no longer work for me like they did at the beginning and I do not want to be prescribed more antidepressants. I've tried before but failed due to high anxiety and adverse side effects such as flu like symptoms and reflux acid. I also feel it has affected my concentration and memory. Could you please advise me on how to come off them safely and when could I start taking other more natural supplements such as 5htp or trytophan. I have tried gaba for a while but it didn't seem to work as efficiently after a few months.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
How did you come off the Seroxat previously when it was unsuccessful?
How soon after stopping the Seroxat did you develop the anxiety?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Last year I came off them suddenly, I felt fine for the first couple of months but after 4 months, my symptoms of generalised anxiety came back as well as excessive sweating and flu like symptoms. I have found my memory and focusing to be extremely poor. I know I came off them too quickly and I don't want to make the same mistake again. My doctor says I'll always need to be on antidepressants but I feel other natural alternatives would be just as beneficial without the horrendous side effects. How long will it take for the withdrawal effects to disappear completely.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

Symptoms that occur 4 months after stopping the drug typically would not be withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms that develop at this point would typically reflect whatever underlying disease was being treated with the Seroxat that has again started causing symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms from an SSRI typically occurs within a couple days after stopping the drug, although it can occur within the first couple weeks. The withdrawal symptoms typically resolve over a couple weeks to a month or so.

The usual approach to performing a taper from the Seroxat is to decrease the dose in steps of 10 mg per day, taking a step every week or two. The 10 mg strength is the smallest pill strength that is available, so is the usual step taken during a taper. There are some people that are more sensitive to stopping the drug, and in these people, another option is to change to the oral concentrate, which will allow for smaller dose adjustments, usually a decrease in steps of 2 mg per day (10% of the current dose), also taking steps every week or two. Another option when tapering Seroxat is to change to a different SSRI. One of the reasons that withdrawal symptoms occur more often with Seroxat compared to other SSRIs is that the Seroxat has the shortest half-life, so will leave the body more quickly. Therefore, changing to a different SSRI with a longer half-life, such as Prozac, will allow for a more gradual reduction in blood levels. In your case, since the symptoms did not develop for 4 months, the usual taper in steps of 10 mg per day will probably work fine.

Within that taper, it would be OK to start the supplements on the same day that you start the taper. The effect of the supplement will gradually build up in the system as the effect of the Seroxat is decreasing. Since the symptoms did not develop until 4 months later the last time, the supplements will be well into your system by that point.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.

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