I can't say for sure that Paxil was a contributing factor in my weight gain but, I can say that I went from a naturally slender woman to 30 pounds heavier in what seemed like a minute. It could have been my birth control or the Paxil or both. As for side effects...wow! Where do I start. I lost all sex drive. None! What-so-ever and my marriage nearly suffered the consequences. I felt detached from everything. I couldn't drum up any concern for anything so, I went from depressed about everything to not caring about anything. What kind of life is life if you don't care about anything or anyone?
So, I decided it was time to stop taking Paxil to hopefully get my sex drive back, stop feeling like a zombie and maybe get back my slim figure. I quit cold turkey. Do not, and I can't stress this enough, DO NOT quit cold turkey. I had the shakes, whenever I would turn my head I would hear this swishing sound inside my head and started to wonder if I was bleeding inside my brain because, that sound was there...if only in my head. Perhaps it is similar to what the poster above me said about brain zaps. It is a feeling that, unless you have had it, you won't understand. People looked at me like I was a little wacky when I explained it. But, what could I do? I also sweat profusely when I was coming off of Paxil...which by the way lasted about 3 - 6 months. It isn't a quick one week or even a month of withdrawal symptoms. It lasts and lasts until it is gone. I am still not completely the woman I used to be. I can't talk about something I am passionate about without getting sweaty and shakey. I would swear that it messed up may sweat glands as I didn't used to sweat as much as I do now. I don't know if Paxil can do that or if it is from when I was taking birth control. I am no longer taking BC either. Anyway, my suggestion is that you get off Paxil but, do it like your doctor suggests. You will be miserable if you don't. I can't say that you won't have any withdrawal symptoms by kicking it gradually but, at least they shouldn't be as bad. I feel like I have an idea of what it feels like to be a drug addict in rehab. Probably not as bad as that but, still...horrible none-the-less.
Take care and keep in touch!