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Paroxetine Tapering (Paxil)

This entry was posted in Antidepressant on by .
Medically Reviewed

Last Updated on July 20, 2021 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Paroxetine tapering can be notoriously harsh and even unsafe when done incorrectly. Trying to quit paroxetine (Paxil) or other antidepressants needs careful preparation and guidance. Unfortunately, such information is missing in the medical literature given to most doctors who prescribe this medication.

Consequently, the idea of tapering from a drug as potent as paroxetine can seem risky or tricky, troublesome at best. We can help.

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With more than 15 years of specialized experience, Alternative to Meds Center has become a respected authority in tapering off antidepressants safely. Using effective holistic therapies and Integrative Medicine, we have published evidence demonstrating that over 77% of people tapering from antidepressant medication found relief by replacing them with less toxic options. Lifestyle changes, counseling, targeted supplementation, and other guided changes can allow a person to do much better in terms of relief from symptoms, more energy, a better quality of life, etc., compared to their state while on medication.
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Paroxetine Tapering:  SPECIAL WARNING

Paroxetine tapering should be done gradually over time. The FDA recommends against stopping paroxetine abruptly as doing so can result in severe reactions that can linger on for weeks, months, or even years.1,4

Paroxetine Tapering Help is Available

Weaning off paroxetine is a comprehensive process that can be administered safely and gently at Alternative to Meds Center. Our highly specialized medical staff do have the experience and knowledge that is required for a smooth and gentle paroxetine titration experience. Alternative to Meds Center offers programs for persons who have decided that getting off paroxetine or other medications is a better option than continuing on a medication that is ineffective and also to suffer from side effects. It is possible that the results of antidepressant treatment didn’t meet their expectations. Typically, where one drug did not provide the desired results, a prescribing doctor will “try another one,” repeatedly, and this can, unfortunately, lead to further complications in treatment. This experimentation can result in a patient still suffering from the original symptoms, as well as mounting drug side effects.

At Alternative to Meds Center, our program has been carefully put together to provide the tools, methods, staff expertise, pleasant environment, and best strategies for how to get off paroxetine in a warm and compassionate, very well-staffed, nurturing setting.

Paroxetine Tapering:  Discontinuation Symptoms

  • Heightened anxiety*
  • Worsened depression*
  • Brain zaps*
  • Digestive tract problems, i.e., nausea, vomiting, no appetite.
  • Headaches
  • Irritability, mood swings, agitation
  • Paresthesia (prickling burning sensation under the skin

*In 2006 and again in 2007 the FDA required drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline to issue warnings about the severity of discontinuation symptoms from their blockbuster drug, Paxil.5

Notes on Paxil and Pregnancy

paxil pregnancy issuesDrugmakers have shown a pattern of dragging their feet on consumer safety alerts, such as the 2011 decision not to include pregnancy risks on the list of black box warnings. In 2016, new research data emerged once again on Paxil posing pregnancy risks.5,6,7

Women who are planning a pregnancy are advised to research the potential risks of starting on antidepressants, vs non-drug-based therapy. If already on these medications, she may want to consider tapering off and find alternative types of therapy before the pregnancy occurs.

Individualized Paxil Tapering Programs

In order to design a person’s unique paroxetine tapering program, we gather information as the first step from assessments plus testing for biological, environmental, and other factors that we address during the person’s stay at the center.

Using the information that we gather allows for an exact strategic mapping out of the best ways to help a person during their withdrawal from paroxetine. In this way, any symptoms that are typically associated with getting off paroxetine can be softened or even prevented altogether.

Paroxetine Tapering Plus Enhanced Health

paroxetine holistic weaningSome of the tools used in the program are designed to cleanse the body of toxic accumulations that may have compromised the person’s neurochemistry and microbiome for quite some time. Much research has been done that links depression and anxiety to toxins in the body and the detrimental effects that can result.2

When this toxic burden is removed, using gentle and non-invasive means, one can begin to turn back the tide on perhaps years of troublesome toxic contributors to persisting health (and mental health) problems. Many practical methods can be utilized to support this process, such as low-temperature sauna, bentonite clay packs, nebulized glutathione treatments, mineral baths, colonics, therapeutic massage, boosting gut flora and microbiome support, and others. Supplying the correct measure of nutritional supplements and a clean diet free of pollutants also helps make stopping paroxetine a gentle healing process, not arduous or uncomfortable.2,3

Clients can also find benefits from a wide variety of other therapeutic activities, which are listed below as well as enjoy the warm social setting that allows for camaraderie and friendship, peer support, and a feeling of community and understanding with other clients.

Our clients report better quality of sleep, improved appetite, more energy, improved mood, feeling “lighter,” calmer, and many other benefits. These improvements make stopping paroxetine gradually much easier and much smoother to accomplish.

24/7 Care is Essential for Getting Off Paroxetine

Staff monitoring and daily staff-client consultations keep everyone on the team apprised of all the changes that are happening. Micro-adjustments can then be made with confidence, ensuring the most progress possible during our client’s gradual paroxetine weaning program. There is no one-size-fits-all method for how to get off paroxetine. However, a well-designed combination of alert observation and quick responses to the needs of the client in a compassionate and comfortable setting is an ideal situation for someone trying to get off paroxetine or other medications.

safe paroxetine titrationMany adjunctive therapies are available to the client along the way which can provide soothing relief as needed throughout their paroxetine tapering program. Team specialists in various disciplines are standing by ready to administer therapeutic services such as Reiki, therapeutic massage, craniosacral massage, meditation classes, music, and art therapy, yoga and mild exercise in trainer-led sessions, acupressure and acupuncture, and many additional treatments designed for client comfort. Various genres of counseling, including trauma counseling, CBT, DBT, Life Coaching, and others are also blended into the program to provide support and help clients forge new pathways toward stress-reduction, increased confidence, and happiness.

Education and Successful Outcomes for Stopping Paroxetine

During our client’s stay at the Center, educational modules are presented that explain the basics of brain health, how diet affects neurochemistry, how nutrition plays a part in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, how the digestive system and a functioning microbiome supports brain health, and many other fascinating topics. We have doctors who come to to the center to learn more about these subjects, who can then go back and help their patients with insight on how to get off paroxetine or other drugs safely and without having to suffer through unnecessarily harsh paroxetine withdrawal symptoms.

Educating our clients helps us to ensure that they will be well able when they have finished their paroxetine tapering program to continue on their path forward to bettered health and reduced or eliminated symptoms. How wonderful to be drug-free and symptom-free, sometimes referred to as enjoying natural mental health. That is our goal, and we will do everything possible to help our clients reach their health goals in our beautifully appointed and welcoming residential facility.

Contact Alternative to Meds Center for More Information

Stopping paroxetine can be a truly life-enhancing experience when administered properly. Please feel free to contact us at Alternative to Meds Center for much more information that may be of interest to you or a loved one.

We will take the time to explain more about the details and the benefits of gentle and comfortable paroxetine tapering programs available at our beautiful and comfortable inpatient facility, nestled in the heart of Sedona’s majestic Red Rocks.

1. FDA Paroxetine Label [cited 2019 Oct 1]

2. Korn LE, “How Detoxification Will Improve Your Mental Health,” Psychology Today [INTERNET] 2017 Jan 13 [cited 2019 Oct 1]

3. Harvard Health, “What Causes Depression?” 2003 Jun, updated 2019 Jun 24 [INTERNET] [cited 2019 Oct 1]

4. Hall-Glavin D, “Antidepressant Withdrawal – Is there such a thing?” Mayo Clinic Questions & Answers [Internet] 2019 Jan 9 [cited 2020 Sep 14]

5. Breggin, P, “Paxil Withdrawal Case Settled in California.” Drug Facts {internet] N.D. [cited 2020 Sep 14]

6. Rapaport L, “Paroxetine in early pregnancy once again linked to pregnancy risks.” Reuters release Jan 13, 2016 [cited 2020 Dec 4]

7. Berard A, “The risk of major cardiac malformations associated with paroxetine use during the first trimester of pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology November 27 2015 [online} [cited 2020 Dec 4]

Originally Published Nov 2, 2019 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Paroxetine Tapering (Paxil)
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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