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paxil withdrawl(withdrawal)
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paxil withdrawl(withdrawal)

I have been on Paxil for 2 years due to anxiety attacks. I have gained a great deal of weight. I feel that there is no hope of loosing weight while on it. I did try weening myself off, but the side effects were too much to take. The side effects included headaches, dizziness and just being tired. My MD is of no help other than he says to just get thru it. Can you offer any advice as to how to get myself off Paxil and perhaps recommend an antidepressant that doesnt cause weight gain?
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242532_tn?1269553979
Most people switch to wellbutrin under these circumstances. YOu can start that ( ask your doctor) and while taking that, taper off the Paxil over a three week period.
17 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

Boy, do I know what you mean by withdrawl (withdrawal)'s!  Paxil withdrawl (withdrawal)'s are not fun at all. From what I have read and been told, it is common to have these withdrawls with Paxil.

What my Psychiatrist advised me to do was over a period of time, wean myself off of it little by little.  For instance, I was on 45mg of Paxil a day. I was taking 1 30mg and cutting another in half to equal to 45mg. This is what seemed to work best for me. I bought one of those pill cutters in walmart for about $4.00 and every day I would lessen the dose 5mg. For me, I did not start feeling the side effects until I got to 15mg. When I went from 15mg to 10mg, I had vertigo and was extremely dizzy about every 30 seconds. It was very anoying and I felt nausous as well. So, my doctor suggested when I started feeling the side effects to take the 5mg to bring me to 15 mg so I would feel better again (which I would the next day after waking up).  Then, the next day, instead of going from 15mg to 10mg, I cut one of the pills and made it so I went from 15mg to like 14mg.... if I was ok the next day, then I cut it down 1mg.  I did this each day and there were a few days I had to cut the pill smaller than what 1mg would be.  It took a couple of weeks to work, but it really did get me through all of the withdrawls and wean me off of it. That was my experience, I don't know if it would work for everyone.  Also, I was not on Paxil CR, so that would not work if you are on that.

I am not sure how your medical insurance is, but you might want to look into seeing how much it would be for you to go to a phychiatrist. They are usually much more knowlegable in this area and could offer some good feedback. I was lucky, my MD had a big interest in mental health, but when when we started to identify other issues I had (ADHD, OCD), he suggested I see a Phychiatrist.

I too gained weight on Paxil (about 15 lbs in two years). After trying other A/D's I reverted back to Paxil. It was the best one for me. I went off of it due to having sexual side effects. The weight gain was not as big of an issue for me, I was pretty thin and the 15lbs did not look THAT bad on me, but I still try and lose it without success!  =(

For me personally, when I was on my 45mg of paxil before weaning off of it, it made me feel just where I needed to be. The others I tried (Effexor, Wellbutrin, Buspar, Lexapro) made me feel better but never as good as Paxil. I choose to go back to taking Paxil, but only taking 30mg and it is working well for me. For the sexual side effects, I take Viagra which works for me as well. I take Adderall (adderrall) for ADHD which makes me feel like I fit in this society for once in my life! Between both of those, for me I am a new person.

Hope some of this helps, but try and be patient and if I were you , I would look for another doctor regarding your mental health and medicine you take for it since family Doctors don't always specialize in this area.

Good Luck and have a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday!  

-Paul   =)
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Avatar_n_tn
I just recently got off paxil cr.  I was on 12.5 for 11 months. The doctor suggested take it one day on and skip one day for one month; then skip two days for the second month.  I did and the bad withdrawal lasted only about ten days. I didn't have to go to the second month.  I guess I was lucky.  I also gained 3 pounds a monthfor 11 months.  The good news is that I am off Paxil CR now for a month and have stopped gaining weight.  It is difficult, but I wish you the best in getting off of it.  I am glad I did and have not had any problems with depression since.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm confused by the entry made on 03/10/04 [below] saying Paxil is completely out of your system in 6 days or less. Is it really?

I quit Paxil 4 days ago [cold turkey].  A personal decision.  I was prescribed Paxil for anxiety but after 2 years on the medication I started experiencing anxiety once again.  

The first 2 days, and nights, were hell.  I was constantly over heated, shaky and angry.  I had horribly vivid dreams the first night and woke up every half hour the second night.  The dreams [nightmares] have stopped now [day 4] and I am sleeping through the night, but I am still continually suffering from "brain zaps", numb tongue, hot flashes and fatigue. I also am having a difficult time adjusting to changes in light [indoors vs. outdoors]. Other entries suggest it can take up to 4 weeks, sometimes more for the symptoms to subside.  How long am I going to feel this way?  

"A Forum-M.D.-RG(10-Mar-04) innakap Paxil is out of your system completely in 6 days or less. Stopping should be down slowly over a two week period. Many doctors add Lexapro while you are doing this, but you should not simply stop cold one day and start another the next day."

Any advice, suggestions, HELP anyone can offer.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks everyone for your comments.....they are very helpful. I think I will try taking the Wellbutrin while weaning from Paxil Cr. I am actually looking forward to it as I really want to loose weight for my daughters upcoming wedding in July.

Regards
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

When I was in fourth grade, my parents decided that there was something wrong with me because I did not eat that much, and they took me to many psychologists and psychiatrists. None of these people were able to diagnose me, probably because there was nothing wrong with me in the first place. However, I was forced to take Prozac for about a year, and it made me overly hyper, so I was switched to Paxil. I took Paxil for about two years. I quit taking it almost cold turkey during winter break in eighth grade because I did not like the effects it had on me. I was completely unaware of the dangers of this action, because my doctors had told me that Paxil is safe, has no side effects, is not addictive, and has no withdrawal complications. I experienced relatively mild symptoms for a couple of weeks, such as headaches, chills, teeth chattering, and muscle spasms. I later experienced profuse sweating when I was at rest. These symptoms went away, but, about a 6 months later, I discovered that I had shortness of breath and fatigue during exercise, which prevented me from doing activities such as running and playing tennis for my school. I had a very low temperature, close to 93 degrees F. My hands were always ice cold and my fingernails were purple. I had a stiff neck and went from being tan to being as pale as a ghost. I felt faint and fell several times for no apparent reason. I was also slightly anxious in social situations, but shortness of breath was the biggest concern for me. I am 15 and want be on my school tennis team! I shouldn't have to worry about these things. I have been to my doctor, and he had blood tests and heart tests done on me, which were normal. He prescribed asthma medicine and Lexapro for depression. I have not taken them, because I don't have symptoms of asthma such as weezing and coughing, and I don't feel depressed at all. I don't trust my doctor. He says that these symptoms are not related to Paxil withdrawal, but I wonder if they are. It is a year after I stopped taking Paxil, and I still have these problems. Does anyone know if they are related to Paxil withdrawal? If so, how long will they last and what can I do to get better? If not, does anyone know what could be causing them?

Thank you for your time,
Carla
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Avatar_n_tn
Well if you are only 15 yrs old now that is about the time panic disorder usually rears its ugly head.  I was 15 when I had my first panic attack (i am now 34) The doctors did all the heart tests and brain tests and it wasnt until I was 21 that I was finally diagnosed with panic disorder. The symptoms you are discribing are very similar to the start of panic disorder/anxiety.  I dont know you personally but to save you all the time I wasted do some research of your own on panic disorder and anxiety to see if you think you might fit the bill.  The sooner its diagnosed the better off you will be.  Also you sound very articulate and mature for your age, the majority of statistics show that panic/anxiety sufferers are usually higher functioning than the general population.  Just a thought but at 15 you should be worrying about sports college and dateing not this stuff. Good luck to you on your search for inside peace. Just type panic disorder/ anxiety on your browser and you will find plenty of research and informaiton.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
What is the best way to get off paxil Cr 12.5 mg?  I have been taking paxil for hot flashes. I am not taking for paxil for depression.  Will have a harder time getting off paxil?  I have gained weight I am exercising twice a day and I can not budge the weight.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found you, after being on Paxil for 6 months I desided to try something else since I was having some problems on Paxil.  I was on 20mg went down to 10mg for a week then I did every other day for a week.  As soon as I stopped I started feeling flu like symptoms nausau headache vomitting.  Called my doctor they said has nothing to do with paxil go to walk in care, there I started numbness they did blood test- nothing.  7 days later I call back. (after finding this site) they tell me it has nothing to do with paxil and I should come back in, I don't think so.  Anyways any idea how long this will last? the vomitting lasted only 3 days but I still am not doing well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found you, after being on Paxil for 6 months I desided to try something else since I was having some problems on Paxil.  I was on 20mg went down to 10mg for a week then I did every other day for a week.  As soon as I stopped I started feeling flu like symptoms nausau headache vomitting.  Called my doctor they said has nothing to do with paxil go to walk in care, there I started numbness they did blood test- nothing.  7 days later I call back. (after finding this site) they tell me it has nothing to do with paxil and I should come back in, I don't think so.  Anyways any idea how long this will last? the vomitting lasted only 3 days but I still am not doing well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found you, after being on Paxil for 6 months I desided to try something else since I was having some problems on Paxil.  I was on 20mg went down to 10mg for a week then I did every other day for a week.  As soon as I stopped I started feeling flu like symptoms nausau headache vomitting.  Called my doctor they said has nothing to do with paxil go to walk in care, there I started numbness they did blood test- nothing.  7 days later I call back. (after finding this site) they tell me it has nothing to do with paxil and I should come back in, I don't think so.  Anyways any idea how long this will last? the vomitting lasted only 3 days but I still am not doing well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found you, after being on Paxil for 6 months I desided to try something else since I was having some problems on Paxil.  I was on 20mg went down to 10mg for a week then I did every other day for a week.  As soon as I stopped I started feeling flu like symptoms nausau headache vomitting.  Called my doctor they said has nothing to do with paxil go to walk in care, there I started numbness they did blood test- nothing.  7 days later I call back. (after finding this site) they tell me it has nothing to do with paxil and I should come back in, I don't think so.  Anyways any idea how long this will last? the vomitting lasted only 3 days but I still am not doing well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found you, after being on Paxil for 6 months I desided to try something else since I was having some problems on Paxil.  I was on 20mg went down to 10mg for a week then I did every other day for a week.  As soon as I stopped I started feeling flu like symptoms nausau headache vomitting.  Called my doctor they said has nothing to do with paxil go to walk in care, there I started numbness they did blood test- nothing.  7 days later I call back. (after finding this site) they tell me it has nothing to do with paxil and I should come back in, I don't think so.  Anyways any idea how long this will last? the vomitting lasted only 3 days but I still am not doing well.
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Avatar_n_tn
well, I was prescribed 30mg of Paxil a day back in August of 2003. My regular doctor gave me it, not a psychiatrist. I didn't have any insurance and I couldn't afford to pay for them meds so I was getting it filled week by week 7 pills at a time, sometimes I would go a couple days without it and start to withdraw and I'd find someone to lend me the money to get the meds.
Finally my boyfriend talked to his doctor and told him he needed to be on paxil. The doctor wrote him out a Rx for it. My boyfriend has good insurance with his job so he got the meds written for him but I would be the one taking them. it may have been wrong but I couldn't be without the pills. All this time I wasn't seeing my doctor or a therapist to be monitored or anything.  
  Well, about 2 months ago and started to feel the withdrawal symptoms just like I had stopped taking it. The zaps in my head, freaking out, panic attacks, etc. I figured that my body must have adjusted to the 30mg a day so I started taking two 30mg pills a day. Then I was still feeling sick and all screwed up so I increased again to three 30mg pills a day. I increased from 30 to 90mg a day on my own without asking my doctor. Well, because I was doing that I ran out of the 30 day supply too fast and the insurance wouldn't cover a refill too soon so basically I was screwed.  I went for 2 days without it and I was starting to get so sick. All of the regular paxil withdrawal symptoms but also I was having such bad panic attacks that I was starting to hurt myself. I was thinking crazy thoughts. Thinking of ways to try and kill myself and I was cutting myself. It is really messed up. I have never in my life been that way.  I called a crisis number in my town and they had me go to the emergency room because I didn't feel safe by myself.  The ER doctor just gave me another script for the meds and sent me on my way. I honestly didn't want to leave. I cried and said someone has to help me cause I am afraid to be alone. afraid that the next day would be worse and I'd really try something bad.
  Anyway, it has been 2 weeks since that hospital episode and I got Temporary medicaid from the state to pay for my meds. So, I am taking my pills again and I have been trying not to take 90mg a day. I have been doing 60mg a day but I still am getting the zaps in my head. I still want to hurt myself. It's weird but cutting myselgf actually feels good....like a release. It scares me so much that I am getting so crazy. The people in crisis want me to get in for an appointment as soon as I can and I want to so bad, but I can't afford it and I don't have insurance.  I feel like I am losing my mind. Panic attacks still. I am afraid to go out anywhere, I am afraid of everything. My brother committed suicide in Febuary and ever since then I just can't get myself feeling right anymore. I don't have a job anymore because of me being scared all the time. I was having panic attacks at work and I'd have to leave or I would be so depressed and afraid to go out that I'd call in. I feel like my life is SOOO much worse now then before I started taking paxil. I am afraid to stop it cause I don't want to have those suicidal thoughts again, I don't want to be physically sick and just plain out of my mind. I wish that I never started taking it. I don't want to be on any replacement meds. I don't want anymore pills going into my body. I want to get to the therapists and just dump all my feelings out. I feel like that is what I really need.
  I have a big family and it's like no one believes me when I tell them what I am going through. They think I am just lazy and don't want to work. I told them that I am so afraid of what I could do to myself. But I didn't tell them that I was cutting myself. They would really think I am nuts.
  How is someone supposed to wean off the paxil and get the right help if they have no insurance and no money????
  I feel like I am trapped. Soon I will be out of the meds I have now and then I will withdraw again and start losing my mind again. It scares me so much. So what do I do??? Doctors won't see you if you don't have money or insurance. I feel so helpless. Anyone have advice???
  I wanted to post a main thread on here but I see that I'd have to pay 5 dollars to do that, which I can't afford to do right now....so I am posting this way.
Thanks
Diana
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Avatar_n_tn
I put what are the side effects of Paxil CR in my search engine, and came across this site. I really hope someone with solid knowledge about this medication can answer my question before things get out of hand. I started on Paxil CR 6 days ago. After reading all of the things other people have experienced trying to come off of this medication, I wish I never even started this med. I am scared to take anymore of it. I see my physcitrist on Tues. of this week and I am going to ask him to take me off of it. In the meantime does anyone know if I will experience these horrid side effects if I just stop taking it now, after 6 days of this medication? I don't want to take another dose tomorrow and probally won't. I am scared of all that I have read. Please answer this e-mail. Jen49
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Avatar_n_tn
The following is written for people taking Paxil.  There may be a few non-Paxil taking individuals capable of understanding what I am saying, but the chances that you, my kind reader, can get my point without taking Paxil are very, very slim.  You will think it all very clear, but that feeling is a delusion.

I started taking 20 mg of Paxil 3 years ago.  It has been a wonder drug for me.  It shuts down my mental 'complaints department' and 'golden oldies jukebox'.  When both were putting out noise, I would do anything to shut them up and relax.  Generally, this meant breaking off all social entanglements and commitments, then retreating to my dark and quiet home office.  3 years ago, I was unemployed and couldn't imagine surviving in an office environment.  Today, I've got a great job, 2 years of steady raises and lots of opportunity.

My new career has required a two less-than-desirable life style modifications.  First, it is harder to get my brain going.  I've become fairly dependent on caffeine and sugar to kick-start things in the morning.  Over the last 3 years, I've gained 10 pounds per year. I don't want to gain another 10 pounds this year.  Second, I've needed Adderal (5 mg per day as needed) to write memos of more than 2 pages.

My doctor told me Paxil would be a 1 year treatment which would produce a lasting change in how my brain functioned.  I've never really believed this, fully expecting to take Paxil for the rest of my life.  On the other hand, getting control of my weight seems to require getting off Paxil, so I've decided to experiment with 'life after Paxil'.

When I  got back from a vacation with an additional 5 pounds of weight, and decided my eating habits needed to change, I used up my last tablets and 'forgot' to get more.  After about a week without Paxil, and no side effects, I told a key friend about my weight loss efforts and asked him to help me through the expected weight loss dieting crisis (he doesn't take Paxil and can't understand getting off it, but can empathize with weight loss issues).  I've got the pills, so I can go back if I don't like what happens.

I've experimented with 'stopping' my Paxil intake twice.  Both times, the 'undesired noise level' in my head rose significantly.  For example, my 'mental jukebox' would start cranking up a 5 second segment of a 'song on the radio' and refuse to stop.  In some cases this would go on for several days. Another version of this was my 'mental complaints department', which seemed to go into high activity.  Together, they would increase my tension/anxiety level.  I would start up the Paxil.

As I write, I'm 16 days into the phase out process.  There were no withdrawal issues for the first 5 or 6 days.  After that, I started feeling an unpleasant tension across my back.  Additionally, I've noticed an increased sense of paranoia about the intentions of co-workers.  Yesterday, I had a memo out for approval in our legal department.  When the memo wasn't approved in 2 or 3 hours (the normal delay), I was flooded with paranoid thoughts.  The company's lawyers were out to get me.  I ought to quit my job.  No one listens to me.  It was the 'mental complaint department' getting into full gear.  I 'know' all this has zero reality, so I try to be very quiet and conceal my anxiety.  Then, I started worrying if anyone noticed me concealing my anxiety.  This sort of anxiety about anxiety can get out of hand quickly.  

At the end of the day, the approval came through and I rushed the memo out for publication.  I was very tense and cursing at anything that crossed my path, but also 'knew' I was making a mountain out of a mole-hill.  

My schedule then called for going out to a baseball game with an old friend.  The game had no interest for me, but was part of the schedule so I forced myself to go (cursing at all the drivers that got in my way while driving to the game).  When I got there, I decided to see if a shot of tequila would sooth my nerves.  It and the follow up beer did wonders and I had a relaxing time at the game.

I've made losing 30 pounds a high priority, so I'm going to stay off the Paxil.  I've asked my wife to let me know if my paranoia gets out of hand and living with me becomes a problem.  The edginess is somewhat reminiscent of the feeling I had the first 3 weeks of taking Paxil, so I'm hopeful it will go away.  If I can get control of the 'mental jukebox' and 'mental complaint department' without Paxil now, I'll be much better off than I was 3 years ago when I started the Paxil.

Reading this thread has been a comfort.  I hope my comments are of some use to other Paxil users.
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Avatar_n_tn
I need someones help,  My doctors put me on Paxil 2 1/2 years ago, I have tried to get off 3 times and never made it.  I turned into a monster, my children hated me and begged me to go back on it.  I of course did thinking I had to do it for my children.  As of 02-04 I have lowered my dose from 20 to 10 and it was hell again for 5 months as of August 18 2004 I decided to lower my dose on my own again to 5mg Im hoping to try and make it this time if my family doesent dis own me.  I hope my husband will understand that the way I feel is horible and I want it all to end. I want to be me again....  My doctor doesent understand all he says is stop within 1 month but its very hard to do.  Please give me some help I really need it.  I want to know if I will be ok.  I forgot to mention that I have also gain 25 pounds since I have been on it.  Thanks for listening....
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