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Here are some ideas: antidepressants that your body flushes out quick (like paxil) are the ones with the most withdrawals. Although it doesn't work 100% of the time, I had some success using prozac to help people get off other meds like paxil.
Prozac usually doesn't have withdrawals b/c it stays in your bloodstream a very long time; however, there are exceptions to this rule as well.
Here is another option: go even slower with the dose reduction. In other words, make sure you are taking the 7.5 dose for at least 2-4 weeks before lowering it further. Then, instead of going straight down 5mg...alternate 7.5mg with 5mg every other day. Also, splitting the dose may help. That is, take 5mg in the morning and 2.5mg later in the day...or when you're on a total of 5mg, take 2.5mg twice a day.
These are the best options now. Not everybody gets severe withdrawals, and some people like yourself can be more sensitive to these effects. We still don't have lots of treatment options to help reduce these effects.
If you don't want to try the prozac...and you do want to be on a different antidepressant, getting on that 1st before lowering the paxil may also help.
I hope this helps...let me know if you need clarification. Good luck.
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Even if prozac had no effect for depression, it still theoretically could help decrease paxil withdrawals. Can you secure a new prescription of paxil...and maybe check to see if any local pharmacies have the liquid version? With the liquid version it would be much easier to fine tune the dose. Otherwise, the lowest tablet available is 10mg (which is very common...walmart should have it for a cash price of $4/month).
I'm no GI expert, but it doesn't take an expert to know one small BM every 2 weeks is not healthy.
I wish there were better options to help you through this. Knowing it's been rough before should at least help you be prepared...but I do honestly think trying the twice/day dosing and going slowly can help make this more manageable...
There are several med options for treating anxiety. Even if ativan didn't work, a different med in the same family might (clonazepam or diazepam...i would avoid xanax which is the most addictive of the group).
I also prescribe vistaril (hydroxyzine) a lot. It can help sleep & anxiety; in general it's not as strong as the others I mentioned (it's an antihistamine...i nickname it "turbo benadryl").
Seroquel in low doses can help anxiety (12.5mg to 100mg); so can geodon. These meds need to be monitored carefully for possible long term side effects if you stay on indefinitely.
In general, I recommend patients dealing with anxiety consider psychotherapy & relaxation therapy. I can understand not wanting to do psychotherapy if the anxiety is mainly a withdrawal issue; but the relaxation therapy can still help. Formal relaxation therapy (yoga, tai chi, meditation,etc is proven by studies using sophisticated brain scans to calm down the brain. This book could help too: The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by XXXXX XXXXX; here's an example of a simple exercise to start with: http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm