I wanted to write in for the letters section. I think it is quite troubling there is a site devoted to such a topic, but at the same time am sure glad I found it. I am a 30yo woman and have been on paxil for a solid decade. I was able to go off of it easily with 2 pregnancies, but following had to go back on it. I think my hormones may have helped, my third pregnancy I was unable to stop taking it. I have found great relief in taking it but do not like that I am hooked on it and have decided to seek more natural alternatives. I have tried to taper and go cold-turkey off the paxil a handful of times with no luck. I have spent a couple of attempts hanging my head over the toilet vomiting for a full day or more because of such severe withdrawl. I am now trying to taper very slowly off it again. The last three weeks have gone quite well but I feel I am hitting a wall again as I reach my final stage of tapering. I feel feverish, am having severe coughing bursts because my lungs feel tight, sudden bursts of tears for no apparent reason, almost a drunk-like full body dizziness, and I will not even mention the speed at which my moods are fluctuating.
I started this medication on a physicians advice following the sudden death of my father. It helped me get through a very hard point in life. I was under the impression it was safe and non-habit forming though. Anyone that says it is not habit forming is full of crap because I have never experienced such hell as I do everytime I try to get this medication out of my system. I am starting to think I should check myself into a drug rehab clinic just to get through this once and for all. What a horribly deceitful way for a pharmaceutical company to profit. Good Luck to all trying as I am! We can do it!
When learned I was a few weeks pregnant, my doctor recommended I stop taking Paxil CR 12.5 mg/day. She mentioned other antidepressants were better suited for pregnant women. She recommended I take one pill every other day for two weeks and then stop taking Paxil altogether. I followed her instructions for four days and then decided to stop altogether. I had stopped taking Paxil a year or so before but never had any problems. Immediately I began to feel like I had a very bad hangover with constant headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Smells began to bother me. The smell of my two golden retrievers, that never bothered me before, now made me sick. And I was unable to articulate many of my thoughts. I found it difficult to concentrate and even watching television was painful. Usually a very tolerant person, I became a grump, a grouch. I was so miserable in my own skin. I wasn’t comfortable being awake but I wasn’t able to get to sleep. Once I feel asleep, I was so thankful for six to seven hours of being out of the misery. Then I awoke to the horror all over again. Four days into this, I was still thinking it was morning sickness. With my first pregnancy, I never felt like this. Then I hit what I consider my lowest low. I began thinking horrible thoughts. My husband and I had hoped to become pregnant for more than three years, but if this was how morning sickness was going to feel with this pregnancy, I couldn’t do it. It was with these thoughts I knew something was definitely wrong. That’s when I realized maybe it wasn’t the pregnancy making me feel this way. I went online and am so thankful for your website. I’m not sure how I’m going to beat Paxil but I’m going to find a way, along with my doctor. Our plan is to take one pill every other day for a week and then take half a pill every other day for a week. I should be Paxil free at the end of two weeks. As I laid in bed trying to get to sleep last night and still feeling the horrible "Paxil flu", I had a great (or what I consider a great) thought. I was ready to check myself into the hospital for a few weeks. Just let them feed me, take care of me until I beat this horrible drug. And wake me up when it's over. Had I know about the addiction and the horrible withdrawal symptoms, I never would have begun taking it. Thank you again!
Hi everybody , i m a 29 years old french guy who´s been on paxil for about 4 years.(dosage between 20 and 40 mg ) . i ve already tried twice to get off the drug without success.i had the very unpleasant zaps , paxil-flue , anger + come back of depressive feelings .
I must say Paxil ( it s called Deroxat in France ) helped me a lot as i first took it , i don t think anything else could have really helped me at that time .so i would probably take it again if i was given the choice .
the withdrawal symptoms are apparently the price to pay , unfortunately...Maybe those symptoms make us recall that a complete healing requires a lot of strength and endurance .
it s so strange : most of the side effects appears by withdrawing and not during the medication .this fact has made me uncomfortable , it gave me more reasons and a bigger motivation to stop . Could such a medication be harmless on the long term ?
So , i failed twice and now i m on my third attempt to get off Deroxat .
I quit too quickly the first times ,20 to 0 mg in 4-6 weeks . a lot too quick for me .Off course this is an individual issue , some people will need more time others less....but anyway be cautious , be patient ..
my new plan is , one mg drop every week , on Saturday , with the liquid form . i started 6 weeks ago , i m now at 24 mg . it seems to be ok for me . i m 95% symptoms free!!
i do a lot of exercise :jogging , fitness , bike...,eat healthy ,rest a lot too .
,I know it will be on long way till 00 mg but i m pretty sure it ll work this time .
am in the process of quitting Paxil right now. I took 20 mg for about 2 years, and decided it was time to come off the damn stuff. Like most, I felt like I was living half a life with no real interest in anything. I am a past athlete, and have returned to a fairly regular exercise program a week ago (one day after coming off the drug) and maybe that has something to do with the way I am feeling right now. While I am experiencing many of the intense negative symptoms of withdrawal (the whoosh, nausea, hallucinations, dissassociation, esceptionally intense dreams, problems sleeping etc) the weirdest thing is - despite all that - how fabulous I feel. All the physical misery of the withdrawal symptoms just doesn't compare to being able to FEEL again. I can't believe what a wuss I have been over the last two years, and how focused I am right now. I am even enjoying the feelings of intense anger, and the technicolor dreams. I'm a writer, so maybe this is all grist for my mill. Or maybe I'm some kind of oddball. But wow - I feel like I can do anything. Well, maybe except eat
I found this site thank to the "seroxatmad forum". I am an italian girl and been on Seroxat just 3 months and a half because of an episode of strong depression occured this summer. At the beginning i felt so good that I simply thought Wow! Why didn't I do that before?
Finally starting feeling good with other people,not always with that eternal sense of guilty and most important of all I felt detached, as the problems didn't belong to me, as if I could leave them closed in a part of my brain. I stopped crying,I stopped my obsessive thoughts, I felt as if I finally enter in the world of adults, nothing that hurted me before could touch me now. I just felt good. At the beginning. Than I started sleeping too much (10/13 hours) and I realized that my sensitivity was disappearing. I am a writer and sensitivity means all to me and I realized that I didn't have ideas anymore but I didn't feel like I wanted to have: I was doing nothing and simply didn't care than I had bad bulimia attacks that I didn't have from years. Too much I though, I must face my problems, come what may and so I took my decision (after taking informations on withdrawal effects) and stopped with Seroxat At tha beginning (2 days to be honest!) i took 10mg than just stop.
Well dear Frank, I cannot believe what is going on, I cannot believe to all these side effects I feel right now: -Extraordinarily vivid dreams - Extreme confusion - Steady feeling of existing outside of reality -Memory and concentration problems - Extreme dizziness - Speech problems / inability to use or find the right word - Headaches - Profuse sweating - Chills and hot flashes - Blurred vision - Breaking out in tears -Nausea -Constant white noise in the ears Disruption of menstrual cycle - Tension in the lower jaw - Itchiness
And another weird thing I don't know if it is because of it but I have many bruises on my legs Isn't that too much?
I prefere to face my depression that to poison my body like that don't you think? I hope this will be gone in 2 weeks. I would like to know if you can suggest something that can help (I read of Vitamin B and lecitin) I went to a pharmacy yesterday since I had a very bad sudden nausea and the pharmacist didn't suggest anything at all, he just stated that I felt like that because I had read all the side effects and this influenced me!!! "Vaffanculo" I thaught! Cannot believe to how many stupid people are in the world. Anyway this is my story. If you think that my english is quite good and I can be helpful for translations I am avaiable. Thank you for taking the time of reading me
made it to down to 0mg (a drop from 7.5mg, which was after six months working down SLOWLY from 40mg) of Paxil last Thursday night. At 0mg your body goes into the worst of it's "tantrums" as I call them. As though its dehydrated, depleted of all its necessary liquid and your calves cramp and you sweat buckets and though the physical stuff is containable, there is this looming fear that in the darkest corners of the house madness lurks and it will come on next. The first days my brain fights to find any hint of Paxil dust left to absorb and put to use. This seemingly harmless drug, this first cousin of Prozac, is really a terrible, terrible chemical compound not for what it does but for what can do if you try to stop. I am a member of a major class action suit that began a few years back against GlaskoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured Paxil initially (now generics are available,too). It has been uncovered that they found in trials that this was a sinister and addictive substance but hid that information away, knowing that this drug would be so lucrative. it would be much the same as the then new and very popular Prozac but one better. Prozac takes days, even weeks to adjust in the system and as long to get out of it. Paxil has a 16-hour half life and is into your system so quickly. But they hid the nasty potential for dangers. Money was to made. Let's keep our priorities straight here.
People have had horrific experiences trying to stop taking the drug. My first three tries (I started the drug in 1996) each caused a hypomanic episode. It is frightening to think the FDA lets this stuff float around. People have killed themselves in withdrawal from because it is that unstable. The main objective of our suit is to make them place warnings that their medication is addictive on the labels, in their commercials, etc. We're fighting them as hard as they fight back.
All that said, the physical and emotional misery of the last weeks, the insomnia and the cold sweats and the slurred speech and forgetfulness and dizziness and muscle cramps and crying at the drop of a hat...today is day six off of Paxil completely and the electric zap feelings and the compression headaches and the hard time remembering words and the insomnia and the anxiety is here and I am doing my best to write it all down lest I forget this whole thing ever happened (doubtful). Everything smells strangely different, tastes also. Everything is stronger and more alive. I don't know whether this is intensified by the medicine or if the medicine has been repressing my senses for all this time. I think it's probably the first one. You ask how I am. Today was better than yesterday. I spent more time out of bed today than in it. I relish in these little things and remind myself, after all the time I've spent in the past beating myself up for emotional imperfection, "Failure is an event, not a person." -A.
It's a pretty sad thing when there's an entire website devoted to this. I had heard from others that Paxil withdrawal is "kinda bad". Talk about an understatement. I'm a 47 year old female, and I've been Paxil free for a week. I figured that no time would be convenient for this, so I'm trucking on with it. Since I'm menopausal I already have the wonderful night sweat thing going on, now it's just in higher gear. I'm focusing on the good that will come of this. I figure anything worthwhile requires effort. I was caring for my daughter who was recuperating from surgery, and I thankfully ran out of the pills with no time to pick up a refill. My symptoms have mostly been vertigo and diarrhea and heart palpitations. When it starts, I just sit and focus on being free of this drug that has in retrospect, made me a walking talking zombie. A fat zombie, too! Anyway, thank you for this wonderful website. Knowledge truly empowers you and can give peace of mind. I guess my best advice is to find your happy place and focus on that. I also learned years ago after the sudden and unexpected death of my mother, that when anything bad happens to me the very first thing I do is look for something good in it. Granted, oftentimes you have to scratch hard to find it but if you're going to spend the mental energy anyway might as well get some positive "bang for your buck". And, I always find something good.
just wanted to thank you for having a site such as yours up on the web. I'm actually a resident physician currently going through Paxil withdrawal, and I couldn't find any useful or helpful info in my medical searches. Then I used Yahoo search and got to your site. I finally feel "uncrazy". I've known that such a syndrome existed, but not the severity of it. I too , like many on your site, wondered if I was exaggerating my symptoms, or if I was just plain crazy, because the "zooms" or zaps as alot of others call them are so bad. If I turn my head too fast, there's the zooms in my ears, and I get dizzy, possibly even loosing my balance. I can't sleep, I'm hot, I'm crying all the time. It's gotten so bad, and not getting better, that I was even contemplating getting back on the Paxil- but I know then I'll be back at square one. I thought I was so smart to do my own slow taper, but I obviously didn't taper slow enough, and due to reading other patients letters, perhaps I will try to go slower to alleviate some of the symptoms. It's just so nice and somewhat comforting to know that I'm not the only one to go through this and I will hopefully get through it. I AM going to have a chat with my psychiatry colleagues about this, although it won't be easy to admit how I know so much about it, and push them to educate their patients before they get on the drug. I don't think Paxil would have been my first choice knowing what I know now.
Please reconsider taking the site down. It really has made a difference in my life tonight, and in many others, from reading the stories.
Let me give you a little history about myself and let you know why I am writing to you today. My name is Chris M_______ [ name withheld by request - Ed] and I am a survivor of the September 11th terrorist attacks, having worked in the World Trade Center ("WTC"); building two. My wife (three months pregnant at the time) and I were at our offices in the WTC the day of the attacks. Without getting into too much detail, as a result of my experiences on 9/11 I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD"). In November of 2001 I was given the drug Paxil to combat this disorder. As you know, Glaxo was heavily promoting this drug at the time and was given recent approval to use the drug to treat PTSD. After having seen the many Paxil ads on television I mentioned this drug to my doctor. Without hesitation he put me on the drug. This would prove to be the worst decision of my life. In July of 2002 I decided it was time to go off the drug and face my anxiety. I stopped taking the drug during the early part of a week I had taken off from work. I had planned to spend time with my family. After being off the drug for 48 hours I began to experience all of the withdrawal symptoms (the worst being the electric shocks), but had no clue it was related to the drug. I immediately began searching the Internet for an answer after my wife suggested my symptoms were the result of the drug. No answers could be found, NOTHING, just as you have said. The withdrawal was debilitating and I could not leave my bed. After suffering for four days I went back on the drug and within 24 to 48 hours I was perfectly fine again. I had my answer, but could not believe there was no warning of this anywhere, including the package insert that I looked at over and over again... ... I am currently going through withdrawal for what I hope is a final time. Several months ago I went to a second doctor to get off Paxil once and for all. I explained to this doctor how I wanted to go off slowly, 1 mg a week. He thought that was not necessary and gave me Paxil CR at 25 mg and 12 mg. I slowly went off the drug, but experienced withdrawal symptoms every time I dropped the dose. I have gone off the drug in two week intervals from 25 mg to 18.5 mg to 12 mg to 6.5 mg to 3.5 mg and early this week stopped taking the drug entirely. I cannot believe that going from 3.5 mg to nothing is hitting me this hard. It is simply unbearable. My withdrawal symptoms are almost as bad as they were in July of 2002. Today, I am finally feeling better, but since it seems to come in waves, I don't know if I am actually nearing the end of this hellish experience. September 11th was horrifying, but Paxil has been hell.