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On the other hand, a bad medication?

I started seeing my then-doctor in 2012. As a result of things being diagnosed, I was prescribed Paroxetine for my anxiety. Now I have to say that the paroxetine 'did the trick' for my anxiety, BUT......as I recently found out on my own, "Research has shown that Paxil causes the most weight gain. Although weight gain will vary based on the individual, some people taking Paxil have reported weight gains of between 20 and 50 pounds.-"-per Google. Now that is an issue by itself, but I have been shown to be pre-diabetic, which really bothers me. My question is, should I have checked behind the doctor? Was it my responsibility to not trust the doctor's advice and prescription? I honestly don't know  who is more responsible here. I feel somewhat screwed.
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973741 tn?1342342773
There is someone here who had a horrendous experience with paxil for different reasons but none the less will have advice for you. From my perspective, all of these medications have a 'they can do X' when it comes to weight.  People also lose weight on them. Some people are weight neutral. I took prozac at a high dose and gained weight. I also was less anxious and depressed. So, sometimes that is a trade off. But it wasn't so much weight that I was having health issues like prediabetes/diabetes occur or couldn't it into any of my clothes anymore. I 'could' have. Perhaps in literature, paxiled has more of a propensity to cause the gain you saw.  But that is by chance and not something any doctor would know just by prescribing the drug. It's one of the 'risks of what 'could' happen' with all SSRI's.  If all of that doctors patients gained like you did, it wouldn't be a drug he'd continue to prescribe, you know? Everyone would be complaining.  

That doesn't solve your issue though.  I lost the weight when I went off of prozac.  With a very slow, careful taper schedule, you can wean off paxiled. That taper schedule seems to be very much important for paxiled in particular as withdrawal can be brutal.  I had no withdrawal when I stopped prozac.   Then overhaul how you eat and exercise.  Weight should come off.  Slow and steady.

While I know paxiled sounds like a wrong choice for you and definitely for other people, there are other people it helps or it would not be prescribed.  My son's psychiatrist states that it is the last one he uses for young people. Was this the first SSRI that he tried on you?  I will tell you that my son's anxiety and depression are severe and life threatening. We will trade off something like weight gain for true efficacy.  That's the risk to benefit ratio and we are looking to end the cycle of mental illness that makes him not want to live.  

question, and I am not trying to be insulting. The medications appear to affect things with weight gain but our lifestyle does as well.  Have you been exercising and watching what you eat at all? When I was on prozac, I'd say 'fat and happy' was fitting. I was relaxed.  If you never eat because you are anxious, you begin eating when that is better.  That was me.  That's my son too.

Anyway, all just thoughts to discuss. I'm just giving some of my own perspective that you don't have to agree or disagree with. Just discussing.  There are, thankfully, lots of choices currently for treatment.  There should be something else to benefit you in your anxiety treatment that won't have the significant weight gain issue you've experienced.  And not sure what you do for therapy.  But that is equally important in my opinion.  Let me know what you think!

Helpful - 1
I'm the paxiled Mom is referring to, not the drug.  And she's right, lots of antidepressants can cause weight gain.  The worst is actually Remeron, not the SSRIs, but they're next.  Prozac is a more stimulating SSRI and because it has a longer half life in the body it's also much easier to stop taking for most people, so it's the safest one to try first.  Now, I'm confused about one thing -- you don't say that you gained weight, so did you gain weight or are your afraid you're going to gain weight?  Not everyone gains weight on Paxil, though you're right, it is one that does cause it a lot.  I gained 50 pounds on it, although it took a few years for that to happen.  I was very active and ate exactly the same on it as I did off of it, and it has been shown that it's not people eating differently because they're on a med, it's most likely the sedation that causes the weight gain by slowing metabolism.  Some antidepressants are highly stimulating, such as Wellbutrin, and while that can cause anxiety, it seldom causes weight gain and is often added to an SSRI to prevent it.  If you are thinking of stopping Paxil, that's a different story.  It is one of the two most difficult of these types of meds to stop taking, the other being Effexor, but all of them can be very hard to stop for some people, so if you are going to stop you must have a psychiatrist who truly truly truly knows how to do this.  Don't buy into anyone who tells you they use the same protocol for everyone -- you're the only you and so tailor your taper off to suit you, not to suit your doctor.  I'd also advise, never ever get drugs for mental health treatment from a GP.  While most psychiatrists are morons, they do at least take that extra time to study the meds.  GPs don't.  They don't have time.  They treat everything.  You wouldn't see one to set a broken bone, and don't see one for specialized medication.  And the sad reality is, no doctor will ever tell you just how dangerous medication is.  They make their living giving you meds, and they also are all paid in one form or another by the pharmaceutical industry so they just aren't going to sit you down and tell you all the side effects that have been reported.  It also would probably be a bad idea if they did this with antidepressants, as all of them have a ton of side effects that have been reported and some people just do need the medication more than they need to fear the side effects.  Most of the time people are put on meds when all options haven't been exhausted yet or they really don't need them but that's a problem with all meds, not just antidepressants, and we have to fix that.  But do know we all have to learn to be good patients and do some homework until human beings become better human beings, and docs are just human beings.  So in sum, have you gained weight?  Lots of people don't.  If you haven't, you won't, or at least the Paxil won't cause it.  Make sure whatever you're on it for is serious enough to need any med.  Therapy is a much better option if you can cope because if it works, it's a cure, and we don't have meds that cure mental illness at this point in time.  But if you do need them, and I did and Mom's son certainly got to the point where he needed them, then yeah, they have side effects.  Most of them are reported on the website of the manufacturer of the drug.  They are reported on the insert that comes with your first prescription.  Now, when you post on this forum, some folks on here are very pro doctor and very pro drug.  Some don't question.  Some question a lot.  Some are very anti-drug.  I'm for them when they're necessary, but not when they're not, and I'm for realism when evaluating the quality of docs.  If you can, find a good one, not just any one.  Peace.
I meant to add, Paxil and Effexor should always be last resort meds because of how hard they are to stop taking, but both do work very well.  It might be how well they work that somehow makes the brain have such a hard time stopping them -- they might be stronger in some way.  So for some people, these meds are lifesavers because of how well they work, especially for those who are probably going to have to be on them for a long time anyway.
I'm sorry. When I meant to say PAXIL, I said paxiled a few times by accident. lol  In my post, wherever you see that, I mean the drug, not the member.  ha ha
Specialmom, thank you for your thoughtful in depth statement. I now know that antidepressants are, by and large, 50/50 on weight gain. But I guess I'm the 50 that DID gain :). Tommorow morning, I have an appt with a nutritionist and I guess I need to tell her about the paxil factor. And no you were not insulting. Note: My wife is a type 2 diabetic and as I have gained the weight, she has lost about the same amount. She tells me she knows what we both eat, because she cooks it. As I said before we both eat pretty much the same food. And I do understand that we are 2 different people/body types/metabolisms. But I guess, as my doctor told me before, I have to balance the benefit with the drawback. So  will see how the appt goes tommorow and we'll take it from there. Again, my biggest concern is more the possible diabetes than the weight gain, as I am 67 years old. Thank you, mom, for your thoughtful response.
I do want to tell you, when a medication causes you to lose weight there isn't much you can do about it unless your eating habits are pretty bad.  I would also tone down my expectations of nutritionists unless it's a holistic nutritionist.  Nutritionists don't really know much about nutrition and even less about losing weight generally.  Think hospital and school cafeteria menus, all devised by nutritionists.  Enough said about them.  You don't say what you eat but there is a book, it's old and I don't know if it has been updated or not, called the Antidepressant Survival something or other.  It's written by a type of psychiatrist called a functional physician, which means they actually practice medicine, not just dole out meds.  They often as well study nutrition and complementary medicine.  I can't say his suggested diet for those who are coping with antidepressants strikes me as particularly healthy but it might offer some suggestions about how to eat if on antidepressants.  If it were me and I was that concerned about weight gain I'd probably taper off the med and try a different one because I'm just not sure that this side effect can be beaten.  It's a feature of the drug's effect on you, not really how much you exercise or what you eat unless, again, you don't exercise and don't eat particular well, in which case there's a lot of room for change.  But Paxil is hard to stop taking and it does work pretty well, and I lived with this for several years.  I was quite fit when I started and thin, so I had a lot of room for some weight gain, but had I not stopped taking it I would just have continued to gain weight slowly over time.  That's my experience, anyway.

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