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  • Paxil and Fibro - withdrawal or symptoms?

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    Old 04-04-2003, 12:08 PM   #1
    affeking
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    Post Paxil and Fibro - withdrawal or symptoms?

    I'm dealing with a complex situation and I'm hoping someone out there might have had the same problems and be able to verify my assumptions.

    About 4 years ago I started feeling light headed, naucious, weak and achy for unknown reasons for a month straight. My Dr finally put me on a low dosage of Zoloft out of desperation. I took that for about 3.5 years with my symptoms appearing off and on every 6 months or so for 3 - 5 weeks at a time with varying severity. Ultimately it got worse, lasting longer and having more severe symptoms. I was switched to Paxil about 9 months ago. I got even worse. I finally went off SSRIs altogether about 4 months ago. Since then, I've not had much in the way of diziness and nausea (which like I said comes and goes so this is not unusual at this point), but I have had some other weird problems.

    Specifically, I've had very sensitive skin. Feeling clothes brush against me is very unconfortable. I also have a feeling of burning / chills throughout my body, especially in my knees. Its a general body ache, and I'ev heard it described well on these boards as similar to a bad sunburn (but perhaps less severe pain in the skin itself). It doesn't seem to be agrevated by activity. In fact, when I move around a lot, it seems to disipate (although this might be in my head as I notice it less). Along with this I also get nausea and ocasionally tiredness, but it is distinctly different than the symptoms I am used to - ie the light headedness, flu-ish body aches, ect.

    My thought is that 1) this could be Paxil withdrawal or 2) it could be symptoms (perhaps of fibro which I've not been yet diagnosed formally with) that were masked by taking the Paxil. I've read a lot about Paxil withdrawal, and feel it is possible these are symptoms of withdrawal. On the other hand, they sound so similar to some of what you have described as fibro symptoms on this board, I can't help but wonder they are symptoms that were mostly masked by the medication. I still have that other group of symptoms that were never diagnosed - although anxiety and fibro were two explainations being explored. I think its very possible they were fibro. The pychiatric explaination seems to be a dead end at this point, which is partially why I was taken off of Paxil.

    So, any ideas from either fibro sufferers, Paxil users withdrawal sufferers, or both? It would be helpful if i had a better idea what is causing these new symptoms, and the Paxil appears to be a key.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

     
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    Old 04-04-2003, 12:24 PM   #2
    MistyMisty
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    If you have been off SSRIs that long I doubt if it is now and still withdrawl problems. Many have dizzyness, skin rashes, fibro-flares,and skin senstivities. I have been through all of that and then some. Sometimes it caused by other meds you may be on. Sometimes it is chemical sensativites and/or allergy symptoms. Look for inner-ear disturbances for the dizzy feeling as well. Anxiety attacks can cause dizzyness. One has to be your own detective with this illness. Misty

     
    Old 04-04-2003, 01:18 PM   #3
    Jenetti
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    Yea, I think Misty is right , if you've been off the medication for 4 months, that doesn't sound like it's withdrawal. I have fibro, and I know i get the hot/chills feeling as well as skin sensitivity. The skin sensitivity on me is usually there only while my flareup lasts, then its like my body is going absolutely crazy. Pain, skin sensitivity to clothes or even the slightest touch, the inside of my body feels absolutely like its on fire, while my body outside is having chills and goosebumps. Of course as always it's best to check with your doctor. There are meds that can help with fibro if thats what you have. It won't take the pain completely away but does take the edge off of it. Please take care.
    Jen

     
    Old 04-04-2003, 02:28 PM   #4
    JDtweety
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    I too, agree with Jen and Misty. Paxil is one of the SSRI's that gets into your system the quickest and leaves it the quickest, that is usually why the withdrawal symptoms seem more severe. I have been on Paxil and went off of it, and I have Fibro. I am almost certain the symptoms you are describing is more Fibro than it is withdrawal. Although I am new to Fibro, I have learned that just when I think I might be getting better, something new appears. My skin feels like its on fire (especially my face)one day, and the next my back hurts worse than ever. I have heard that Fibro can go into 'remission', so I am hopefully for that. Anyway, hang in there.

    JD

    [This message has been edited by JDtweety (edited 04-04-2003).]

     
    Old 04-07-2003, 06:57 PM   #5
    Ravenspurr
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    Hi,
    I can tell you first hand that, that isn't withdrawl symptoms of Paxil(not after 4 months). I was on Paxil for 2 yrs and I went off it and had some severe withdrawl problems. Some included what you are saying but you would of started these symptoms right away after stopping Paxil and they would get milder as time goes on. My withdrawl was terrible and I wish the DR would of believed me when he took me off suddenly and I got very sick. I was told there isn't a withdrawl on Paxil. After all of that I later found out that Paxil causes serious withdrawl effects. I also have Fibro, Myofascial pain, Borderline Lupus, osteo arthritis and I had Lyme disease( talk about being ill)to name a few and as everyone here says the things you are feeling may indeed be fibro or from other illnesses. I have the same symptoms among the severe pain I get from both Fibro and Myofascial pain. If I were you I would talk to your DR about seeing a specialist (Rheumy) to see if you have Fibro. I was also on Serzone for 1 yr and I had to be weened off it slowly. It is a SSRI class type drug too. I choose not to be on any of them. I do take Trazodone though to help me sleep along with Ambien. Good Luck to you, Raven

     
    Old 04-08-2003, 08:07 AM   #6
    affeking
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    Thanks everyone for the responses. It sounds like you all believe this NOT to be withdrawal. The reason I suspected it is that the skin sensitivity and more severe body aches / chills did not appear until about a week after I went off Paxil. Remember that I've been struggling with various symptoms for 4 years so anything new is very unusual to me. The timing is what makes me think of withdrawal, and I know these are some symptoms of it.

    I've also heard it can last very long amounts of time, but you'd think it would wane a bit over time, which this is not. So, if we think it is fibro, why did this new set of symptoms appear right after going off Paxil? Does that mean the Paxil was actually helping with some of these things? I find it hard to believe that I never felt them in any severity level until I went off - could it be that Paxil completely masked them? Did anyone else have an experience like this where Paxil or another SSRI made their skin sensitivity / burning / chills / hot flashes go away completely?

    In response to a couple of your posts, yes, I am going to a rheumotologist. I have an apointment with my PCP next week at which point I believe he plans to send me to a rheumotologist. I'm also looking into who would be the best doc to see in my area.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

     
    Old 04-08-2003, 09:30 AM   #7
    Ravenspurr
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    Jeff,
    I didn't see in your first post where you said the symptoms appeared 1 week about stopping Paxil. That can change everything. My withdrawl symptoms lasted about 2 months. I had severe dizziness, bad headaches, hot flashes, burning skin, sore skin, nausea, abdomen pain, sore throat, muscle pain, I could hardly hold my head up. I just wanted to sleep to make it all go away. My withdrawl symptoms came after 1-2 days off Paxil and lasted a long time. If you say it came a week later it is still possible since you had a level of Paxil in your system and it hadn't went down to a low level when the withdrawl symptoms start. Now I am saying it may be withdrawl symptoms but again I feel it could be fibro since 4 months has went by. I am sorry you are going through this. Raven

     
    Old 05-08-2003, 05:43 PM   #8
    Carina
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    I was on Paxil for a short time and then was tooken off. My psychiatrist had me go off slowly due to the withdrawl symptoms. But I still had them. If you been feeling like this for a period that long after being tooken off them, you should see your doctor. You may have to be on them all the time, like me because I feel like that when I am off them and I can not function well while off of them.
    ~*CS*~

     
    Old 05-09-2003, 08:19 AM   #9
    affeking
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    Carina -

    I've been talking to my doctors about this the whole time. They are clueless. Most doctors don't even realize / recognize that Paxil causes severe withdrawal. As I said, they never diagnosed what I was having before I was put on it, and they are just as clueless now. If you say you are sick without it, that is likely because you are addicted to it and going through withdrawal. I am no pychologist, and I don't know exactly what you are going through, but it seems to me that those symptoms are likely withdrawal. Of course you will have them when you stop taking the medicine - your body DOES need it but only because its addicted. Paxil causes a lot of chemical changes in ones brain, kills some recepters and chemical creating cells, and basically rewires your brain permanently. The results are not based on very sound logic / research, and I think that SSRIs and other pychiatric drugs are a very bad thing. You might want to do some research and talk to your doctor - or get a new one. Just my opinion based on my experience and research. Again, I don't know exactly what your situation is so this may not apply.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

     
    Old 05-10-2003, 10:41 AM   #10
    Gaitsofgold
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    These drugs are so scary! Just reading about what they can do, and how they change the chemistry in the brain is heinous! And yes, in answer to your question about Paxil and FM - doctors often prescribe SSRIs for FM. They have many uses, apparently. But after getting awful (and I mean AWFUL) palpitations from SSRIs I will never allow anyone to give them to me again. Anything is better than the horror I went thru every single night, waking up time and time again with my heart pounding so quickly that I couldn't catch my breath. It got to the point to where I developed a phobia of going to bed at night, and its no wonder! It took 2 years (yes, 2 years!) to get over only a few days of being on SSRIs. I never knew a drug could cause such mental trauma and suffering. I tried three different kinds of SSRIs at the insistance of doctors that I'd find one I could tolerate. Never happened. After the third one, I said no more! And due to that experience, I unfortunately now don't trust doctors like I did before. Now I thoroughly research any drug BEFORE ever thinking about taking it. And so many drugs have so many devastating side effects that I now have a phobia of taking any new drug. Man, its no wonder you have to twist my arm to get me to go to the doctor!

    Randi

     
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