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Old 01-29-2004, 09:22 PM   #1
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Angry Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

If anyone has found any remedies for thisÖPLEASE TELL ME.

Itís been 6 days since my last teeny dose of Paxil. My doctor does not believe this medicine causes withdrawal (because it is non-addictive). Iím sure that my husband is sick of hearing about all the awful quirky things that are happening with my body every hour.

I donít want to miss more than 3 days of work. You guys are the only ones who understand what this feels like.

What can I do to make it through this?

Iím drinking lots of water, getting lots of sleep (but with continuous horrible nightmares), taking vitamins, trying to eat enough food and eat healthy, trying to avoid stress because I am ready to cry at any moment or else burst into overly-hysterical laughter, and when the shaking starts I am taking .25 mg of Xanax or taking benadryl (OTC allergy medicine that is relaxing), and when the headache comes I take one Aleve or Tylenol. I am starting to get some sort of crappy twitch in my head/brain.

Every day I keep telling myself and my husband that this is the last day, that I can tell I am at the end of this and will be fine for tomorrow. This week has felt about one month long to me.

I am so angry that this pharmaceutical manufacturer is getting away with acting like we donít go through this when we stop the meds. This is not depression. I am not depressed. I am simply dealing with all these funky physical things that keep happening, moment by moment. I feel I am on ďsurvival mode.Ē I want to survive this B.S. and be done with it.

What has worked for YOU??? Obviously, my doctor wonít tell me because withdrawal from this drug does not exist to the medical community. I think we should force some doctors to take it for 3 months like I did.

I know that some of you have said to sue the company. That is fine for the future, and they deserve it, but how can I alleviate the withdrawal right now??? I do not want to lose my job over this. I donít want to keep annoying my sweet hubby over it either.

I just really would appreciate any concrete steps (no matter how small you think they are) for taking care of my body and supporting my healing right now. (But no suggestions of suing or talking to the doctor for now, please. The lawsuit can happen later, and the doctor is useless to me.)

Please answer.

Josie

 
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Old 01-30-2004, 12:55 AM   #2
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

Josie, I have not been on paxil, but have read many posts at this board & others here a few months ago & many people said withdrawal from paxil was hell, one person compared it to getting off of heroine! I did see a site where there is a lawsuit concerning paxil.
From reading all that, I was in the midst of trying to find a new med for me as my old one had quit, well I told my doc, NO PAXIL. I read enough bad about it that I didn't want to get on that.
Ok, I was on lexapro for just under 3 weeks, had all the horrible side affects & then effexor xr for just under 3 weeks, same thing, side affects. Well, without having me withdraw or wait in between, I had withdrawal from both of these going on & I hadn't been on either even a month, but I will tell you I had bad withdrawals from them. I had the brain zaps, panic attacks, racing heart, disoriented thoughts etc.
The only thing I know to help you while waiting for the withdrawal to quit, is to use the xanax to help ease you thru. I was put on klonopin & it helped me get thru the withdrawals. There is no set time of when the withdrawals will quit, I think it's different with every person, just keep telling yourself that it won't kill you & that it is just the meds working out of your system. I know how scary it is when they happen, I thought I had something wrong with my eyes or my brain. When I would look to the side, I'd get these weird ZAPS. They finally quit all of a sudden one day. Your's will too.

 
Old 01-30-2004, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

I had two doses of 10mg of Paxil.

Maybe I should re-consider using the bloody stuff!

 
Old 01-30-2004, 12:53 PM   #4
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Smile Thank you Lori!!

Thank you Lori. I've been inside my apartment for a few days now. I feel like my boss is going be mad at me when I get back to work. I feel isolated.

Just reading your support for me helps give me strength and keep me grounded. Your post made me cry, but then again a lot makes me cry right now (after 3 months of no tears). You are right, I will survive this, and, whenever that will be, I will get on with my life. I am so glad that you are refusing the Paxil.

The Xanax does work wonders, but I am trying to avoid an addiction there too, so I never take more than 1 mg per day, usually only .75 total.

I hope that you are doing better now with your new med. I think Paxil must be the worst choice, from what I have read also.

You have some great encouragement in your post, so I am going to print it out and remind myself I that I will surive this, that it is not permanent.

Thanks again for taking the time to share, because I have moments of panic here, and I never had a single panic attack before this medication. I will not worry so much about Xanax being another drug to mistrust, and use it in moderation to get through this. I am already using less of it than my doctor prescribed because I am becoming distrusting of all prescription drugs right now. But the Xanax saves me every time I take a little.

Hugs Lori!

Josie

 
Old 01-30-2004, 01:18 PM   #5
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

Quote:
Originally Posted by thickman
I had two doses of 10mg of Paxil.

Maybe I should re-consider using the bloody stuff!

Thickman, have you been on other meds? Maybe you are more used to this and less sensitive than I am. Since you are a man, and only on 10 mg to start, I think things will be easier for you. I am a light-weight woman who was started on 20 mg. Also, ask about the newer Paxil, if you are only on the regular paxil. It should be better. Ask yourself: If they needed to improve this drug, why are they still selling the old stuff?

Based on what I have read other people complain of, and based on what a mess I have turned into now, I don't think you should keep taking this one. Talk to your doctor about something else. You may ease into the med okay and enjoy the benefits but if some reason you need to stop, whether financial, or too many adverse effects, or for medical reasons or whatever, it is probably going to be a big battle, more than you can understand reading our descriptions here. You have to be in it to get it.

Look into something else. First of all, something with a longer half-life, and secondly, maybe another family of meds than SSRIs. Just talk to your doctor about people like me raising concerns, then listen to what your doctor has to say, and finally make your own best judgment for you.

Is your doctor a psychiatrist? If so, I would trust him/her more in this area of medicine. If your doctor is a general family practictioner, I doubt this person really understands these meds and is relying on what the pharmaceudical companies say.

Please take time to reconsider the long term effects, though, thickman. I don't want anybody else to go through this unless they are in such a deep dark depression to begin with, and only unless they are under the care of a psychiatrist (or other doctor) who has experience dealing with patients' withdrawal.

It is early enough, you can still think this through and change your mind now without serious damage.

Good luck to you!
Josie

 
Old 01-30-2004, 01:52 PM   #6
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thickman HB User
Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

My doc is a phycotherapist/MD, but NOT a phyciatrist.

I have been on Celexa 20mg every day for several years... But it has run its course and probably has never been effective anyways...

Paxil was the medication he believes is best suited to my "condition" I guess...

I am on a sample pack of 7 (1 10mg a day)... Plus I do my Celexa every other day for maybe another week or so then I will do Celexa every 3 days, etc etc...

I am confused... But Thanks for the heads up! I dont wanna get on Paxil if when coming off I will be useless...

 
Old 01-30-2004, 07:46 PM   #7
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artichack HB User
Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

Quote:
Originally Posted by josiegirl100
If anyone has found any remedies for thisÖPLEASE TELL ME.

Itís been 6 days since my last teeny dose of Paxil. My doctor does not believe this medicine causes withdrawal (because it is non-addictive). Iím sure that my husband is sick of hearing about all the awful quirky things that are happening with my body every hour.

I donít want to miss more than 3 days of work. You guys are the only ones who understand what this feels like.

What can I do to make it through this?

Iím drinking lots of water, getting lots of sleep (but with continuous horrible nightmares), taking vitamins, trying to eat enough food and eat healthy, trying to avoid stress because I am ready to cry at any moment or else burst into overly-hysterical laughter, and when the shaking starts I am taking .25 mg of Xanax or taking benadryl (OTC allergy medicine that is relaxing), and when the headache comes I take one Aleve or Tylenol. I am starting to get some sort of crappy twitch in my head/brain.

Every day I keep telling myself and my husband that this is the last day, that I can tell I am at the end of this and will be fine for tomorrow. This week has felt about one month long to me.

I am so angry that this pharmaceutical manufacturer is getting away with acting like we donít go through this when we stop the meds. This is not depression. I am not depressed. I am simply dealing with all these funky physical things that keep happening, moment by moment. I feel I am on ďsurvival mode.Ē I want to survive this B.S. and be done with it.

What has worked for YOU??? Obviously, my doctor wonít tell me because withdrawal from this drug does not exist to the medical community. I think we should force some doctors to take it for 3 months like I did.

I know that some of you have said to sue the company. That is fine for the future, and they deserve it, but how can I alleviate the withdrawal right now??? I do not want to lose my job over this. I donít want to keep annoying my sweet hubby over it either.

I just really would appreciate any concrete steps (no matter how small you think they are) for taking care of my body and supporting my healing right now. (But no suggestions of suing or talking to the doctor for now, please. The lawsuit can happen later, and the doctor is useless to me.)

Please answer.

Josie
Hey Josie, just curious on how long you a time frame you were on when you reduced your dosage...you said you were on it how long??? I've been on it for about 4 months, 30mg per day at night. I have since cut back to 10mg a day, doing it over a one month period. I think you have to wean yourself off of it very gradually, once you have passed your period of anxiety. My doc had the same conclusion...no cold turkey, and over a period of time that was dictated by my feelings. Hope this helps......best of luck.....and I concur with Lori, that the symptoms your now experiencing now will go away, just takes some more time...
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Old 01-30-2004, 07:46 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

Quote:
Originally Posted by thickman
My doc is a phycotherapist/MD, but NOT a phyciatrist.

I have been on Celexa 20mg every day for several years... But it has run its course and probably has never been effective anyways...

Paxil was the medication he believes is best suited to my "condition" I guess...
Your doctor is more experienced and conscientious than mine in these things, and your body already has exposure to a/d's. My prescription came from a general practitioner, who is young, and who probably did not put enough thought before prescribing. Obviously, a starting dose of 20 mg for a woman who has never taken an A/D and who is 5'6" and only weighs 114 is a mistake.

Don't worry about it. If I were you, I would just bring it up and ask the MD what the plan is for weaning you off in the end, and how long the MD expects you to be on this. If you feel comfortable that this therapist/MD understands the med and has a long term plan for you, then it hopefully should be okay. If you are only on regular Paxil like I was, maybe you can ask for the newer, controlled released one with the longer half-life. I think that is safer and gentler.

One other personal advice I have for you (just based on me and what others have complained of)--If you do not want to gain any weight on Paxil, make a strong effort from the beginning to watch your diet and regularly exercise.

Best wishes on this. If you talk to your doctor, let us know how it goes.

Josie

 
Old 01-31-2004, 01:05 AM   #9
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lori j HB User
Re: Thank you Lori!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by josiegirl100
Thank you Lori. I've been inside my apartment for a few days now. I feel like my boss is going be mad at me when I get back to work. I feel isolated.

Just reading your support for me helps give me strength and keep me grounded. Your post made me cry, but then again a lot makes me cry right now (after 3 months of no tears). You are right, I will survive this, and, whenever that will be, I will get on with my life. I am so glad that you are refusing the Paxil.

The Xanax does work wonders, but I am trying to avoid an addiction there too, so I never take more than 1 mg per day, usually only .75 total.

I hope that you are doing better now with your new med. I think Paxil must be the worst choice, from what I have read also.





You have some great encouragement in your post, so I am going to print it out and remind myself I that I will surive this, that it is not permanent.

Thanks again for taking the time to share, because I have moments of panic here, and I never had a single panic attack before this medication. I will not worry so much about Xanax being another drug to mistrust, and use it in moderation to get through this. I am already using less of it than my doctor prescribed because I am becoming distrusting of all prescription drugs right now. But the Xanax saves me every time I take a little.

Hugs Lori!

Josie

Josie, I'm glad to hear that the xanax is helping. I've always heard how addictive it is, but I've had it around for me for the past 7 years & never got addicted, but only took it when absolutely necessary, like you are doing.
I knew a lady who was about 85 lbs & was so addicted, cause she took it for every little thing, she was up to taking 4 pills at a time & they didnt' even faze her. If I took 2 full pills, I'd probably be overdosed. Most times I'll take a 1/4 or 1/2 pill, cause like you, I don't want to get to where I have to take more & more for them to be affective.

People on these forums have given me strength to get thru my trial & error of a new med, I'm glad it's also helping you.

Oh, one thing you mentioned, that you never had a panic attack til the paxil, well same here, it was bad enough I had depression for probably all my life, then when the doc tried me on Lexapro & then effexor, I had panic attacks from the withdrawals. That is why I'm now with a psychiatrist, our family doc didn't understand the AD meds & was just throwing out samples to me.
I felt like a lab rat for a while there.
Keep in touch, you'll soon feel much better. friend, lori

 
Old 01-31-2004, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

I think it helps to realize that it's your nervous system that's experiencing withdrawal from the medication... and that YOU are not going crazy. Your nervous system is trying to figure out life without the meds and it is sending signals that you are interpreting as anxiety and panic. This does not diminish in any way the pain that you are going through.. this ranks right up there with worst hell experiences. But just keep in mind it's not YOU, it's your nervous system and that there is an end in sight. And then you can come back on this board and offer comfort to other people who are experiencing what you went through.

For those of you reading this who are still on medication, PLEASE WITHDRAW SLOWLY when you get off of it. That can help minimize the "confusion" that your nervous system will have to deal with.

--CarrieLynn

 
Old 01-31-2004, 01:13 PM   #11
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Lori J and CarrieLynn~~

Thank goodness that you 2 are here, responding to me. It makes a world of difference. I'm not talking to my husband about it anymore because he seems sick of hearing about it, even though he listens patiently.

Like Lori J mentioned, I feel like a lab rat, in having a general practitioner prescribe this type of med. Hopefully next week I will have the energy to start looking through my heath insurance info to find a psychiatrist or psychologist. I wish my doctor would have been more understanding and not just believe the drug manufacturer.

Carrie Lynn--I didn't taper off as slowly as I know I should have. I was on 20 mg for 3 months. I reached a point where it became clear that the side effects exceeded the benefits (which of course there were benefits), and I wanted off the stuff so badly. I put myself on a fast-track weaning by reducing my doses on the kitchen cutting board (and keeping an Excel spreadsheet that roughly monitered how much was in me throughout the day based on the 22 hour half life). I did this only over about a week and a half, and was prepared to increase my dose if at any time I couldn't handle it. It was not until several days after I had calculated the Paxil as being out of my system that the horrible stuff started happening with my mind. I think what I did is a lesson to others that, no matter how much you want off the drug, take your time in reducing the dose, and try to find some guideance from a professional experienced in this.

 
Old 01-31-2004, 08:13 PM   #12
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

I understand the desire to get off the medication quickly. I have never known anyone who really, truly wants to be on these medications. I didn't want to be on Zoloft either, so the quicker I got off it, the better. I titrated off as slowly as possible and I still had withdrawal symptoms. Weird stuff, like random electrical firing in my shoulders. I was only on it for 6 months total, from start to finish.

You weren't on Paxil a long time. I bet you start feeling better in the next week or two. Just hang in there and when things get bad, just keep telling yourself, "It's not ME, it's just my nervous system having withdrawal symptoms." The withdrawal symptoms will become more and more spaced apart until one day you will realize that you feel like "normal" again.

Focusing on your breathing while listening to relaxing music helps too. Every time you think your mind is wandering, just bring it back to your breathing. This can bring some quick relief.

And finally, remember there are many people who have made it through this and who are thinking of you right now.

--CarrieLynn

 
Old 02-02-2004, 12:55 AM   #13
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Re: Lori J and CarrieLynn~~

Quote:
Originally Posted by josiegirl100
Thank goodness that you 2 are here, responding to me. It makes a world of difference. I'm not talking to my husband about it anymore because he seems sick of hearing about it, even though he listens patiently.

Like Lori J mentioned, I feel like a lab rat, in having a general practitioner prescribe this type of med. Hopefully next week I will have the energy to start looking through my heath insurance info to find a psychiatrist or psychologist. I wish my doctor would have been more understanding and not just believe the drug manufacturer.

Carrie Lynn--I didn't taper off as slowly as I know I should have. I was on 20 mg for 3 months. I reached a point where it became clear that the side effects exceeded the benefits (which of course there were benefits), and I wanted off the stuff so badly. I put myself on a fast-track weaning by reducing my doses on the kitchen cutting board (and keeping an Excel spreadsheet that roughly monitered how much was in me throughout the day based on the 22 hour half life). I did this only over about a week and a half, and was prepared to increase my dose if at any time I couldn't handle it. It was not until several days after I had calculated the Paxil as being out of my system that the horrible stuff started happening with my mind. I think what I did is a lesson to others that, no matter how much you want off the drug, take your time in reducing the dose, and try to find some guideance from a professional experienced in this.
Josie, I do highly recommend a specialist in this field with these AD type meds. I found out the hard way, as many others probably have, that our family docs are not as familiar with these meds as a specialist. I feel much better knowing that what I tell this pdoc, he understands, whether it be about meds reactions or how I'm feeling about a situation.
Keep in touch, let us know if you find a new doc.

 
Old 02-02-2004, 10:43 AM   #14
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

Paxil withdrawal is only supposed to last about a week. I think mine lasted about that long. What helped the most was going out for walks in cool air.

To those of you who are afraid to try it: Paxil causes withdrawal in about 40% of people. That's a lot, but it also means 60% of people don't have trouble getting off it.

 
Old 02-02-2004, 01:29 PM   #15
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Re: Help! To ease SSRI (paxil) withdrawal???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crossbow
Paxil withdrawal is only supposed to last about a week. I think mine lasted about that long. What helped the most was going out for walks in cool air.

To those of you who are afraid to try it: Paxil causes withdrawal in about 40% of people. That's a lot, but it also means 60% of people don't have trouble getting off it.

Thanks Crossbow. That sounds relaxing. I believe that must help, because when I am not sitting still with my muscles tensing up, the shaking eases up for me.

 
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