BEWARE: drug with potentially severe & long withdrawal symptoms.
I have been a mental health practitioner for over 15 years and have seen many clients who suffered extremely severe withdrawal symptoms. Often, these symptoms prolonged for many months after discontinuing the Paxil. The longer a person is on the drug, the higher the potential for these severe withdrawal symptoms. Because of the severity of the withdrawal, people often chose to go back on the drug because their lives have been so badly damaged by this awful drug. If you or someone you know is prescribed this drug, do not think that just because it is so widely advertised and prescribed that it is also safe. And if you are considering discontinuing this drug, do so VERY slowly and only with professional guidance. Many of my clients required gradual weaning from the medication over the course of several MONTHS. So don't be surprised if you feel as if you are taking two steps forward and one step back at times. Everyone is unique and some people are more sensitive than others to this or any other medication. Be aware of what your body is telling you and take the process as slowly as necessary for your body.
Paxil saved my life
I started taking paxil 7 and a half years ago. i had a very bad panic disorder. My doctor prescribed paxil to me. Paxil changed my life around. I could be normal again. I wasnt afraid of every little thing anymore. I felt good.The only downside is i was taking the generic paroxetine and it stopped working for me. I started having panic attacks again. I was shaking all hte time. I started taking brand name again and i felt a lot better but was not 100 percent that is when i had to have my dosage increased. Every few years you have to get your dosage increased.
...sleeping your life away!
Paxil has been quite an intersting drug to deal with. I have been suffering from Panic Attacks for several years and finally after a clinical diagnosis came I was medicated with Zoloft 50mg for a few years, I weened myself off the drug when I found my attacks and anxiety to be under control.
This past year though my anxiety returned and it led me to restart my medication. This time the Zoloft wasn't working, so my Doctor prescribed a higher dosage (100mg). I felt tired and weak and unable to get much done but it was helping with the anxiety.
I switched over to Effexor to see if that might be better for my constant drowsiness, but I eventually went off that and started Paxil.
The SIDE EFFECTS going on the drug and coming off the drug are UNBELIEVABLY SCARY and HORRIBLE. I never had any problems with other medications!
My head felt like it was spinning, I had a constant headache for days and couldn't function at all until it had gotten into or out of my system. (This is and of itself is a RED RED flag to me!!)
Since getting off Paxil, I decided to work with the Amino Acid GABA and several other natural "drugs" and "supplements" to help control my attacks. I would reccomend anything BUT Paxil from here on out!
I haven't gotten everything under control, but I do know I will NEVER use Paxil again!
Saratoga Springs, UT
hi i having been talking paxil for the past 3 weeks cause i was having panic attacks i started feeling so sick so i went to the doctor he told me to take the pill for 3 months and to go back to see how i was doing with the pill. i took 10mg the first day and felt so sick so i went back to the doctor he told me ok take 5mg so i was taking 5mg and felt like it was not me felt in another world the i still had the attacks but less. I read so many review about the side effects about the pill and i started to get scared just becase i am so young and i lost 5 pounds with the pill and i only weigh 102 well i was not eating at all with the pill the food was making me sick so i was scared to get addicted to the pill and scared to get off of it cause i thought my god the panic attacks are gonna come back but i had to leave the pill for 3days i took 2mg of the paxil and then got of the pill i have 1 one week already off the pill and no side effects at all my panic attacks come but i am trying to control them on my own just breath in and think positive i am doing great without the pill i dont need it now and will contine to control my attacks on my own like everyone should do i know how it feels because i felt like crap but guys think possitive and breath and think about something else......
Rio Grande City, TX
Mental Straight Jacket
I started Paxil CR then moved to Paxil then to the generic brand. I was on it for about 4 months. Although this medication helped me with anxiety issues, it started making me uncomfortably numb. I have never had any addicitons or history thereof and I foind myself craving alcohol like an alcoholic. There was not a day I wouldn't come home from work and want a drink.
I started behaving eratic and unnaturally hectic. I visited my dr several times and each time he prescirbed a higher dose. He felt it was not sedating me enough b/c I was extremely hyper and felt that drinking would calm me. I started with 5mg and worked my way up to 30mg when I realized, "how far can this go?" I started feeling like this drug that helped me started destroying me and changing my life.
I was scared to weane myself off of it but I just finished a 3 week process of stopping it. With severe electric shocks to my head and nervous system, I realized how much this drug actually hurt me rather than help.
I have read several stories of people who turned into alcoholics from this medication. I have read how people found themselves to have lost years of their lives and not remembering what put themselves there in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, the drug started to "help," however, I soon found that while getting off of it, it never helped in the first place. I feel as though it burnt up parts of my brain. You won't realize how bad this drug is for you until you go through the withdrawl naturally.
It will FREAK you OUT!!!! Be ware!!
I hate it
I'm on my second day on the pill and am feeling the side effects already, its scary have been doing nothing but thinking all day about my problems even my childhood problems , i have a really nastey feeling in my stomach like something reallllly bads going to happen .i have been silent all day I dont want to talk or do anything , this is a very very wierd feeling. After reading all the reviews i rather suffer then to go through all the withdraws, also for everyone thatS goING through this sickness may god help us all I cried reading some of your reviwes because i know the feeling :( good luck everyone as excited as i was that i may have found a cure for my depression i guess not
Paxil: VERY effective in treatment of panic disorder &depression
Considering the enormous amount of anti-paxil reviews, posts, and blogs listed on the internet nowadays, I am going to approach this by giving detail on my personal mental illness, my experience with Paxil in detail, and explain further the reason a lot of people have only themselves caused the majority of the issues they preach against Paxil for. I have gone into a lot of detail, seriously, on my experience because I think that it will bring you a deeper understanding of Paxil and it's benefits, but also on the importance of taking these types of medicines exactly as they are prescribed.
I am currently 26 years old. I began visiting a psychiatrist at age 17 for frequent episodes of extreme panic attacks and constant unbearable feelings of certain demise. I was diagnosed with panic disorder, OCD, and depression at this time. I was initially prescribed celexa, and no matter how much we increased the dosage I never felt a difference. Shortly after, my psych. switched me to Paxil CR (controlled release). After finding a compatible dosage of 45mg daily, I felt like I was myself again. I very rarely experienced bouts of anxiety. If I did experience anxiousness, it was equivalent to those first little jitters and worries before an exciting first date. It no longer blew up into an episode like before.
Before, the smallest things would send me into a panic attack so intense that I truly believed that I was dying at that moment and could not see the possibility of any other outcome. It would get so bad, that I would then start to dwell further into the pain my family and friends would soon feel for their loss... which made me cry to hyperventilation. I didn't want to die, I didn't want them to feel pain, and I couldn't see the smallest glimpse of even possibly living. I in short had convinced myself that the (what I know today are common symptoms of panic) feeling of immense fear that was taking over my body was actually part of my unwanted early exit from life. I have not experienced anything in life that even begins to compare with how painful, depressing, scary, unnerving, etc. these breakdowns or attacks were, and I didn't know what was wrong with me or why this was happening (seriously, even at very unexpected random times this would just engorge me). It was horrifying. But, as I said before, the Paxil began to make it slow down and then pretty much discontinue these episodes. Again, I am not and was not suicidal - actually much more the opposite, I was afraid of dying before I found meaning in my life. No matter depression, grief, etc. has ever been able to change my mind on that. It to me wouldn't be an end to my problems, it would completely disable me from finding my place and my peace in this life on earth before I died and lost the chance. I more than anything do not want to do and never know why I was here. Paxil gave me the ability to focus on my goals, my happiness, and my purpose. It was like the little piece in my brain that was missing, was finally there and working.
At age 18, I got to involved with being in college and partying. I was a stripper (for a very respectable club), I moved in with my boyfriend who basically acted like I didn't exist and his roommate who was a bipolar guy with similar issues to what I faced before Paxil. He wasn't being treated. He and I hung out 99% of the time, getting me more into partying and having fun rather than keeping up with going to my doctor on time (i would just not go for a while because I had other things i liked more). Well if you don't go to the Dr. on your every few months schedule (some people require more or less time between mandatory visits for refills or med changes), then you don't get your medicine filled. The Dr. had strongly advised and warned several times that I should not immediately stop the PAXIL medications. This was a very serious subject, and should not have been taken lightly. But, I was young and had been doing great so when I ran out this time I didn't bother refilling it. I was feeling great, healed! I didn't need to wean off, he was probably just being over cautious or avoiding liability I thought. NO! Do not stop this medicine completely at any point. Listen to your Dr. - he is not being cautious or over strict to the rules or what have you! You will regret being hard headed in this case.
Two - Three days later, I checked into the emergency room on a weekend night. When asked if I was taking medications for anything I didn't mention Paxil because I had just quit taking it. My symptoms baffled the ER physician because they did not add up to any natural sickness or disease or bug. All my blood test had returned normal, and I had not taken any illegal substances or been poisoned. They had asked if maybe I had just stopped taking narcotics and asked to test my blood for drugs as the only thing they had seen similar was patients experiencing heroine withdrawal. When they found no traces of drugs having been in my system, and I had already told them I did not use narcotics, the doctor looked to be at a loss on what was happening to me. A few seconds later he thought and asked if I had recently gotten off of any prescription medications that I did not list on my sign in information. When I replied Paxil he explained very sternly DO NOT JUST STOP TAKING THIS MEDICATION, your doctor cautioned you repeatedly for very good reason. He also further explained that what I was experiencing was withdrawal from my Paxil similar to that seen in patients withdrawing from a drug like Heroine. I immediately restarted on Paxil, NEVER missing a dose again! And yes, I felt great again!
At 19, I got pregnant and being high-risk I had to discontinue use of all my prescription medication. With instruction and guidance from my Psychiatrist and Physician, I was successfully weaned off of Paxil with NO NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS or complications.
Many of the stories that explain how horrific their experiences with PAXIL were, also talk mainly about stopping the medication being the issue. These people probably did experience a very scary and terrible time with this; however, if you take and/or discontinue the medicine with the guidance of your prescriber and as instructed, this nightmare can be completely prevented and you can stop the medication without issue. Psychological drugs are something that should be taking very serious, and if you cannot follow directions exactly or take these medications exactly as described - you should NOT take any of them at all. I was hard-headed but luckily I learned that PAXIL is not the problem; my lackadasical attitude towards my physician's directions and the medicine's instructions and warnings was the problem. --- I admit, some people are different and it is likely that they have experienced adverse reactions with this drug even though they did it correctly. If you are still iffy about trying Paxil for your anxiety, etc. I would suggest that you filter reviews posted on the internet very carefully. Look for listings that focus on unpleasant side effects people may have experienced during use (I personally lost weight and gained even more of a sex drive - some people are not so fortunate). Keep in mind when reading reviews that the majority of the ones expressing problems with stopping use of the medication, experienced these issues because they failed to take/end the medicine as prescribed and instructed. You can even go to Paxil's information pages and read to compare/relate what people reported, and if they followed what the manufacturer instructed that way.
After my pregnancy, I went through 8 other different types if anti-depressent, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety medications. Recently, I have come back to and am currently prescribed Paxil because none of the others enhanced my quality of life and allowed me to feel like myself without always stressing, freaking, or being sad the way Paxil has.
If you are even just considering seeing if Paxil can help you, but worried by bad media: I STRONGLY urge you to really research and compare what people have claimed to be so bad when they quit, etc. to the directions for use and medication information. A well informed decision will not only increase your confidence in this drug, but maybe also open your eyes and give you the chance to experience the difference it can make for you... if you don't let careless people freak you out to where you're scared to give it a chance.
Also, soon I will begin to review the other medications I related above. I feel like I have sort of been a psychiatrist's lab rat for the last 10 years, but hopefully through sharing my experiences with these medications, etc. I can give someone a little help or some idea on what you might expect for each.
**~ At age 22, I switched to a more esteemed psychiatrist. I have been more accurately diagnosed with not only Panic Disorder, OCD, and Depression, which I learned is manic and related to Bi-Polar (rapid cycle), Borderline Personality Disorder, and Paranoia. At 26, This is all being managed pretty well with only Paxil 20mg, xanax as needed, and my constant learning how to manage the BPD by working really hard to overcome its related isssues! ~**
Baton Rouge, LA
Paxil has helped me live a normal life.
The anti-anxiety medication Paxil has literally changed my life since it was first prescribed to me by my doctor when I was 17 yrs old. I have always been a "glass is half empty" type of person my entire life. I, as well as my family have always assumed it was just my personality. To some extent it was and still is. I had a "normal" childhood and a loving family. My brother and sisters were generally happy kids growing up but I wasn't for some reason. I wasn't abused and I didn't face any tragedies. I imagined terrible scenarios every day that were very unlikely to happen. If my mom or dad were more than 10 mins. late picking us up from school, I immediately assumed they were in a car accident. Thoughts like this were normal to me. When I was 17 yrs old, I fell into a scary, deep depression. I felt a small cyst while showering that I automatically seld-diagnosed as a cancerous tumor. I became a hypochondriac immediately. I suffered panic attacks for days after and constantly thought about death. I forced myself to sleep for an entire weekend because sleeping was the only peace I got. Reality was my nightmare and I couldn't control it. It is the scariest thing in the world to know your thoughts and feelings are irrational but you have no control over it. I would choose enduring physical pain any day over psychological pain. Shortly after my deep depression started I saw a doctor and was prescribed Paxil. I never experienced any side effects like nausea or stomach pain. Taking it everyday allows me to be "me" by fixing my chemical imbalance. It doesn't give you any "high", you just feel like "you" without the deep depression and/or anxiety. I have come to accept that I might have to take Paxil every day for the rest of my life. I have tried to lower my dose as well as wean myself off of it a few times in the past unsuccessfully. After several days without it I slip back into a depression. My doctor isn't concerned with me being on Paxil indefinitely. I have been on Paxil for 11 years and am grateful that the medication exists to help me and others who suffer from mental illness. Paxil has changed my life for the better in every way.
West Roxbury, MA
Paxil's side effects were worse than my symptoms
I took Paxil CR 20mg for 3.5 years and I feel like I lived through hell. I was prescribed this drug for anxiety and depression. It helped me some with the depression, but only because I felt better about avoiding the situations that caused me anxiety. I gained about 60 pounds within 1 year of being on Paxil. I experienced many side effects including extreme dizziness, nausea, and shooting pains in various parts of my body. I decided to stop taking Paxil under the supervision of my doctor. Coming off Paxil was horrific. The side effects were amplified many times and even though I tapered down the dose slowly I felt sick all the time and was nearly incapacitated by the withdrawal symptoms. I was anti-depressant free for about a year but unfortunately that did not go well for me so I am on a new medication, but it isn't as horrible is Paxil. I would never recommend this drug to anyone. Depression and anxiety are terrible but life on Paxil isn't much better.
West Lafayette, IN
Felt like a normal person my 3rd day!
Alright I'm going to be as detailed as possible about myself and this med.
First off, I'm male, suffering from mild depression, moderate GAD (general anxiety disorder) and moderately severe social phobia (to a point where I was always awkward in conversations, usually never spoke up in groups because I was so nervous I couldn't think clearly, and it was just blah and not fun at all. Almost my entire high school experience has been ruined because of it. I tried doing things myself to change how I come across people, I started hanging out with random people to see if that would make me more comfortable- and it did, to a point.. but only so much)
I started taking Paxil CR 12.5mg (Generic Version -- Pexep CR 12.5mg).
The first 2 days I had mild headaches (not bad enough to use an aspirin), and felt notably more tired than usual. Did not expience any real positive effect until the 3rd day.
3rd day and forward, felt much more content with my life (not like a zombie) and more comfortable around people. I could interact with conversations because I wasn't worried about if they were judging me, I was actually interested in what they were talking about.
I'm now on my 3rd week and can happily say that no, I have not experienced decreased libido, and I've actually been eating much less since I've been out of this depression and have lost 4 lbs! xD
I'll also share a few things when I researched this drug. Serotonin is largely found in your intestine track, so when taking Paxil you'll experience (harder?) stool, possibly even slight constipation.
I haven't tried but from everywhere I've read, if you miss a doss or you stop taking Paxil abruptly then the withdrawal symptoms are horrible.
For me, the drug is working wonders with no bad side effects, but that might only be due to the fact that I'm using CR and that it's a low dose. This dose is enough to keep all my anxiety issues in check- so I'll be sticking with it, as well as working on ways to be more sociable and comfortable with other people.
This pill can only HELP you, you need to do some of the work too ;)