Discussions that mention paxil

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I have been taking Paxil for about 2 years and have recently decided to ween myself off of it. I feel the herbal medicines are my best bet. The Paxil was not controlling my anxiety and it was causing more problems than it was worth (i.e. gastrointestinal issues). I called a pharmacy to see if I could go 'cold turkey'. The pharmacist that I spoke with, told me that she saw nothing in the package insert that said I could not just stop taking the Paxil. So I went cold turkey, thinking I would be OK since I had done so in the past with other meds such as Prozac and Klonopin. Two days later I had awful side effects. Brain 'shocks' or 'buzzes'. I felt animated and cartoon-like. It was hard to complete a sentence or a thought. Not to mention function at work. I called another pharmacist and left a message with my doctor. The 2nd pharmacist, whom was quite rude, said the last thing I should do was go cold turkey. The doctor said I shouldn't stop at all. I went back on my regular dosage. After reading plenty of information on various web sites about paxil withdrawl, I decided to ween myself off of it. It took 2 months to get to 10mgs, from 40mgs. I thought I'd be ok... I stopped the 10mgs 4 days ago. Two days later, I have constant pulses in the back of my head that eminate to the back of my eye balls. I feel the vibration-like feeling all the way to my finger tips. I cry almost every ten minutes. And at 4 days later, I am feeling very angry. I might describe it as rage even. I went to the emergency room today to rule out anything else. The ER doctor I saw wanted to give me 'something to make me relax', ativan. I don't think so! He had no idea what withdrawl effects of Paxil were and made no attempt to delve deeper to find out. If Paxil withdrawl is so prevelant, which it obviously is, why aren't any of these doctors more aware? Why would one pharmacist tell me one thing and the other tell me another? Why is all that I know about Paxil withdrawl learned from these web sites and not the doctors that we pay money to and have insurance with?
Hello! I have been where you are and NO, these doctors dont know enough about the drugs they give us! I had much of the same symptoms as you had trying to come off paxil. I am now taking the newer longer acting paxil and hoping to have an easier time weaning off of it, but I'll be honest, IM afraid! My life is simply too busy to be so out of control with the horrible withdrawl symptoms. I feel like a lab rat, but I will get off paxil one day if I have to shave a bit off each pill I take everyday for months! Good luck to you!!!

ULTREYA! Moving forward with courage
Paxil was the first antidepressant I tried and I went through crazy withdrawal. I told my doctor and he said I must have had a weird reaction because it's not habit forming and I should come off of it easy. Bull they never listen when you try and tell them whats going on inside your body. Paxil is habit forming and does cause horrible withdrawal symptoms. Right now I'm withdrawling from Effexor. The doctors seem to be using us as Ginny pigs.
The first anti-depressant that I tried was Paxil. A month or so after I started using it, I started having bladder problems. So I went to a urologist who knew what my problem was as soon as I told him I was taking Paxil. It can cause bladder problems. Only the psychiatrist either did not know that or did not bother to tell me. So he weened me off of the Paxil and started me on Zoloft. I am now seeing a new psychiatrist. Since I went right from Paxil to Zoloft, I had no withdrawl symptoms. About 3 months ago I had to get off of the Zoloft because we thought it might be causing my dry eyes (which it is not). I was not ready to stop taking anti-depressants, so he switched me to Celexa. I did have some withdrawl symptoms from that though. When I switched, I had trouble sleeping for about 2 weeks, and was very irritable and moody. But now that I am regulated on the Celexa, I like it very much. I agree that thse doctors do not know enough about the medications that they prescribe. Either do most pharmacists. And a lot of them can't be bothered. Now I do have a really great psychiatrist though, who really knows his stuff. I hope that you are going to a psychiatrist and not just being prescribed anti-depressants by an internist, because they really know nothing about them. There is a good web site that lists all of the drug info and interactions, etc... If you want to find out info about drug withdrawl and side effects, this might be a good place to start.

Click on "drug information"

I have a question for all of you who are trying to get off of your anti-depressants. Since there is really no harm in taking them for several years (been told that by SEVERAL very trusted doctors and pharmacists), why are you trying to get off of them? They really don't have any long term side effects, so you could be on them for your entire life. Unless you are one of those people who experiences a rare side effect of the medication, in which case you would know that in the first couple of months of taking it, anyway. Unless there is a medical reason for you to get off of it, why do you want to??? Do you feel that you don't need them anymore because you are not depressed and have gotten your moods under control, or is it just that you don't want to take them anymore because you don't want to be on medications? Because part of the reason for the withdrawl could be that you are not really emotionally ready to get off of them. Plus, anti-depressants balance out the chemicals in your brain that cause depression. (or so i think. ever see the zoloft commercial with the two little cells?) So when you stop taking them, everything gets out of whack again, and the depression might come back.

good luck and keep smiling,
:wave: Elyse

[This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 08-25-2002).]
In reply to niecey, I want to stop taking Paxil to feel like myself again. I admit that it did make me feel better in regards to my anxiety and depression. It stopped working though. While I was feeling better, I a chose to put more positive things in place in my life. I continued to see a therapist and work through my problems - still working... I read up on ways to control my anxiety and depression. It is very difficult and somedays I wonder if I can make it. Feeling sick all of the time is not worth being free of the anxiety and the depression. At least not in my eyes. How do you know there are no long term side effects? Do you really??? The more research I have done on medicine prescribed by doctors, the more scared I am to actually go and see them and take what they prescibe. And god only knows who you'll wind up seeing if you have an HMO! I am not saying that all doctors are bad. I used to have a great one until my insurance group decided not to cover my mental health and the 'good' doctor.
Hi all,
I hope I don't sound mean with my views on anti-depressants. I don't intend to.

Well if the Paxil is making you sick RIGHT NOW, that is one thing. Then you should definitely get off of it. If you don't need it anymore then great. I wish I didn't need mine anymore either. But for people like me with chronic anxiety and depression, these medications are wonderful. As others have said, they make it so that you can feel better while you are trying to sort everything out. If you are crying all the time, you can't actually be coherent enough to figure out what is going on in your life that is making you anxious, etc... But if you can take these meds that can help you feel better, you can then go to therapy and focus on the actual situation that made you depressed, rather than just the depression itself. Depression, as you all know, is an actual medical disease like heart disease or diabetes. With something like Diabetes, you take the medications to control your blood sugar, and then you try to get on a good diet program so that you don't have to take medications anymore. I feel that depression is sort of the same. You take the medication so that you don't have the acute attacks (crying spells, etc..) and that enables you to actually focus on the real reason you are depressed and get it resolved. I am also in therapy, and that along with the meds has worked wonders for me. Don't give up on anti-depressants just because one didn't work for you. There are so many others out there that are much better than Paxil. From what I know, even though the side effects from these drugs are minimal, Paxil is actually on the high side. I am just saying that from what I have heard, there are no long term side effects. And medications like Zoloft and Celexa(or if not those, then others in that family) have been around for quite a long time and none of the doctors or pharmacists that I have asked (and I have asked at least 3 or 4 doctors and 2 or 3 pharmacists, as well as several therapists) all say that they don't know of any long term side effects from these medications, that wouldn't surface within the first few months of taking them. Like I said, paxil did not really work for me, and it gave me a bladder problem so I got off of it and switched to zoloft. I loved my zoloft. But then my opthalmologist suggested that since some anti-colanergics (a fancy word for anti-depressant) can possibly in a very very teeny tiny percentage of patients, cause dry mouth, it is a possibility that it was causing my dry eyes. So I got off of it and switched to Celexa, which has a different chemical make-up and is not known at all to cause dryness. So far that hasn't helped with the dryness, but I didn't bother switching back to the zoloft, because a lower dosage of the celexa (less than what I would be taking of the zoloft) is actually helping me just the same. So for ME, I do not believe that these medications are causing ME any side effects. Everyone's body reacts differently though. I am just saying that from what I have heard, these medications usually do not cause any serious long term problems, and if they were going to, you would notice it right away.

But I do agree that as with all medications, doctors and pharmacists really do not know all that they should. That is why it is important to 1) Have a dr that you trust and 2) do your own research and talk about it with other people, like we are doing right now.
It is good to get both the pros and the cons of these meds, and I do appreciate it and I appreciate everyone on this web site who is so willing to talk about their experiences in hopes of helping somebody else.

Thanks for sharing,

[This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 08-27-2002).]
I quit cold turkey over a year ago, and I had the same weird buzzes and crazy sensations. It lasted a few days, and I'm fine now. I decided to take myself off of it because the doctors didn't really seem to be doing anything to deal with my depression ("Here, take these pills and everything will be hunky-dory"). Besides, I hate being dependant on drugs and when I was still taking them, I was twitching, was tired, and downright "loopy". I will never take Paxil again because of it.
Why don't doctors know more about Paxil withdrawal? Well, doctors know lots and lots about writing prescriptions for all of these drugs. Doctors have lots of wonderful drug reps that come to their clinics and heap praise after praise upon them when such prescriptions are written. There are golf outings, fine dinners at the country clubs and other wonderful perks. (BTW - You ever hang around a doctor's office long enought to see the reps? In my town they look like they could be on the front of any ladies magazine. I mean, they are some good lookin').

Now, all these wonderful things that happen to the doctor by virtue of writing those scrips do NOT happen when he or she says "I think you should go off of that". Consequently, their most common reaction when a med is not working is; "that does not seem to be working, lets try something else". Bingo ! Another scrip hits your hand!

That, in a nutshell, is why most docs don't know much about withdrawals. If it were up to Lilly, Wyeth, Glaxo and all the other mfgrs there would be no such thing as withdrawal! They, like the street pusher, want to see you hooked for life.

Good luck. Hope things get better for you.

Edited for spelling. :)

Those who dispense tough love to their children now should be prepared to receive same back from them in 30 years.

[This message has been edited by mydog8mybrain (edited 09-02-2002).]