Anxiety Community
23k Members
Avatar universal

Paxil Withdrawal

I've tried to get off Paxil recently and had the WORST problems. After researching and talking to people who have gotten off (or tried to get off) of the drug I am horrified that Paxil is still being prescribed. I am also AMAZED that a DOCTOR would actually say that this isn't dangerous, or that it isn't the PAXIL!?!? Are you kidding? How much were you paid to say that? Paxil DID help with my panic attacks. Did not cure or stop them, but helped. Then getting off of it, or trying to was ABSOLUTE HELL! I can't walk because I'm so dizzy I can't keep my balance. My head feels foggy and cloudy. My head also hurts and it feels like someone keeps hammering a nail into my eyes. I cannot read a book or focus on the computer screen. I get confused and do not understand even the simplest of things. I am 27, smart, in shape and fast- paced. When trying to slowly wean off of this drug - I become slow and confused. Also, I become nauseous, the lights around become extremely bright. I cannot stand the lights even in my house. I have to squint and then even cover my eyes. I become emotional -- overly ovely emotional. I become paranoid and scared and start to panic because I see shadows out of the corners of my eyes. Then I try to go to work and I can't correctly hear or understand what people are saying to me. I feel like I'm watching a movie or it is a dream. I start to wonder if I'm losing my mind. I start sweating in my own house (that I always keep at 60 degrees) and have to go outside in the 30 degree weather with a tank top on. That is if I don't fall down the steps from the dizziness or the shocks in my head. I became extremely angry and irratated. So angry that family members suggested that I go to anger management classes. That was before they knew that it was the Paxil. These are just some of the MAIN things I am feeling while slowly slowly weaning off of this drug that was supposed to help me. My doctor that put me on Paxil told me to only stay on it for 1 year. So one year later, this is what's going on. It is happening to everyone trying to wean off of Paxil. If you don't have one symptom, you have the other. And lucky me, I have most of them. I have NO time to take off of work and I worked like this every day until I couldn't take it anymore and went back on Paxil. I read one doctor say that this was a safe drug and there are no withdrawal symptoms and I had to laugh out loud. Please "doctor" try out Paxil for yourself for a year or 2 and then stop taking it. My husband was on Paxil in the army and stopped taking it and got what they call the "Paxil Flu". This is a dangerous drug that has many side effects and many MANY more withdrawal symptoms. You might as well be on heroin and try to get off. If I could go back, I would have never gotten on Paxil. It helped with panic attacks but gave me about 30 other problems. So to sum up.... when on Paxil you get to look forward to gaining weight, making bad decisions and choices that will affect the rest of your life and coming close to death while trying to get off of this drug from HELL!!
P.S. There are documents stating that GSK (the makers of Paxil) knew that there were horrible withdrawal symptoms and hid this fact. So either the doctor's don't know about it or they're lying to us. Either way, this is happening.. it's real and extremely dangerous.
144 Responses
Avatar universal
I am very confused.  I just wanted to know more about Paxil and I found this site.  What I don't understand, and no one seems to have addressed, is why you want to get off Paxil?
I started Paxil many years ago as my doctor thought my sleep pattern was a sign of depression.  I woke up every hour, looked at the clock and turned over and went back to sleep.  I found the funny because I am a happy cheerful person.  She said happiness is not an indicator of absence of depression.
What was scaring me was my short term memory lapses.  Everyone just liked to joke about "Old timer’s disease" but I didn't find it funny.  I knew my career was going to be jeopardized.  I found it amazing that my boyfriend could remember things like account numbers and passwords.  On Paxil I started remembering those and people’s addresses and phone numbers.  I remember exactly where I put things and how much they cost.
Paxil did change my sleep pattern and I have a great ability to remember smallest details.  I have vivid dreams and most of them are enjoyable; some reflect the frustration I may be having in real time but none are frightening.  I have not been in a sexual relationship for 5 years but have a very active sex life in my dreams. (I’m also very old)
I had for years suffered with Jerky muscle syndrome and Paxil has not affected this one way or the other.
I live in Central America and a couple of times I have not received my prescriptions in a timely manner.  And yes, in one case I stopped cold turkey and another one I figured how long they had to last and paced myself.  These two times my adult daughter just happened to be with me and she said I was “snappy” and begged me to get back on the pills.  What I noticed was my inability to think straight.
I would not give this up for the world.  I don’t see the reasons others are stopping.
Avatar universal
First of all, you're addicted to the drug -- you probably, from what you describe, had no reason to be put on it in the first place, but once you were on it you had some benefit and have stayed on it.  If it works for you, fine, but you realize you're probably only taking the drug because stopping is too hard.  The reason I stopped is the side effects got worse and I didn't know at the time, because nobody ever told me, that stopping Paxil can ruin your life.  Psychiatrists seldom tell us the costs of what we take, and seldom know how to deal with it when the drugs go bad.  Another reason is, often, a drug stops working.  Another is, none of these drugs was ever intended or approved or tested for long-term use; they were all approved as a bridge to effective therapy that cured the problem.  Some people get to that point, and medical theory is that once you no longer need a drug, given they all have side effects and are liver toxic to some extent, you should stop taking it.  So there are many reasons people stop taking a drug, and they are supposed to be stopped as they were not approved or tested for long-term use.  It is now believed that long-term use can cause permanent changes in the brain's ability to return to normal functioning after taking one of these meds for a long time.  In your case, you just keep taking it whether you need it or not.  Which is your choice, but you are you and not anyone else.
Avatar universal
I weaned myself off Paxil and went to the ER Monday for such dizziness that I nearly passed out.  They did an EEG and put me on Dilantin.  They said I have been having seizures for years and that it was not withdrawls from the Paxil.  Any comments would be appreciated.
Avatar universal
This sounds like Paxil withdrawal to me, not a seizure, but I'm not a doctor.  Almost everyone on Paxil has withdrawal problems of some kind from it.  Discuss this with your doctor -- did they find anything on the EEG?  Are you still suffering odd sensations and perhaps increased emotional distress?  In other words, things that aren't seizure symptoms.  You might want to get a second opinion if you feel the docs aren't listening to you.  Is it true you get seizures?  You don't mention.  You also don't mention how long you took to taper off Paxil and whether you did it under the care of a knowledgeable psychiatrist -- sounds like you just did it yourself.  Doctors are mostly in denial about withdrawal, and they don't generally know how to treat it, so if you have doubts, pursue them so you can get appropriate treatment and not just end up on another drug unless that's what you really need. Good luck.
Avatar universal
All the things you described are happening to me. I've been tapering off from 30mg for the past 4 weeks and the past three days havent taken any. I'm so sick I can't stand It. I have every single symptom you described and it makes me just want to take them again it's so awful. I just want to know how long the side effects lasted for you because it's been 3 days and i've been extremely sick, dizzy, can't eat, i've had crying episodes out of the blue and punched the screen of my phone last night and almost broke my pinky finger, for absolutely no reason. I can't even talk to anyone or focus without wanting to snap.
Avatar universal
yeah im grateful 4 finding this site ive got all the symptoms and was getting scared thought something was really wrong with me like my heart but ive read all ur peoples symptoms and it has put me at ease thank u all hope u all get better
Avatar universal
I am currently going through this HELL you speak of. I was taking 40 mg of Paxil a day and my doc stopped me suddenly. Needless to say I am a absolute mess and very close to signing myself into a hospital. It's day 6 now and it is just getting worse by the hour. I am so scared :(
Avatar universal
FINALLY, I have a description of what is happening to me. I KNEW it was the Paxil withdrawal that was causing these freakish "electric zaps" as you call it. I've tried to wean myself off before only to have those "zaps" come back like clockwork, EVERYTIME. I tried to explain it to my new doctor but she didn't understand what i was saying. She told me it was probably just fluid behind my ears. This is NOT dizziness, these are like shocks or spasms that cause more than mere dizziness, they feel like almost going in an out of consciousness and cause severe numbness down both my arms all the way to my fingertips. This is in no way normal. I wish I had never started this horrible medication.
I’ve been on Paxil for 15 years. Started out on 10 mg and now am on 30 mg. Paxil has killed my sex life. So that I’m able to perform on Sunday morning, I don’t take Paxil on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I also feel those “electric zaps” by Sunday. I know what you’re feeling. I’m trying to wean myself of Paxil too, but doing it at a slow pace. I also hate Paxil and what it has done to me.
Avatar universal
Hi, It seems that no one here has focused on any of the good things Paxil has done for them. When I was first diagnosed with dysthymia (a low grade of depression that starts in childhood and never really goes away) and then ADD my doctor sent me to a psychiatric doctor when I was at the point that I couldn't stand the anxiety, the panic attacks and the low self esteem anymore.
( I must say, I was working at a very successful profession at the time and no one had a clue what I was dealing with. I was at the top of my game and literally dying inside. I guess I learned to be a  pretty good actress.)

When I was finally diagnosed by my new doctor, he put me on Prozac and Ritalin.  It changed my life, until I couldn't afford it anymore. I can't say that I had any withdrawal symptoms at all.  I felt good for a long time and it just eventually seemed to wear off and eventually brought me back to the beginning.
It got harder and harder, even though I was very successful in my business life I was dying inside again.  I finally got into the position of having a drug plan again and immediately went to my doctor.  This time I was put on Paxil and Concerta.  Within a couple of months I truly felt well and more normal than I could ever have hoped for. It was amazing.  The company closed and I could no longer afford my meds.  Immediate withdrawl again.  I swear I had no side effects. Once again, it just seemed to go away slowly.
Today, I am back on the Paxil and Concerta meds again and this time it isn't doing anything.  I am told that your body can become immune to these drugs. Seeing my doctor in 3 days, I'll keep you updated.
Cheers, Jude

Avatar universal
To both you and anxiety guy. You both have valid opinions, I think what
's missing here is that were talking about medications that directly affect your brain function.  Everyone is different and we all will have different reactions.  We need to support each other, not argue
Avatar universal
Jannie1, thank you for sharing your experience.  After 13 years of using Paxil, I am now slowly getting off of it. The first month was terrible because of dizziness, nausea, imbalance, headache, weakness, fatigue.  Yes I was also cantankerous and sensitive.  One time, I almost hit a car trying to avoid a shadow (I call them monsters).  When I saw your post, I told my husband, and he immediately ordered the St. John's Wort.  I take 300mg three times a day with meal.  It did help with the nausea and dizziness.  I am also taking 100mg of Turmeric Curcumin daily which is helping me with aches and pains.  This week, I am taking half dose of Paxil (10mg) every other day.  I'm hoping to be completely out of Paxil in mid-March.  
Avatar universal
I am detoxing from Paxil 2nd time couldnt take it the first time went back on it to stop how I felt. Everything people say it true. The headaches, dizziness, disorienated feeling, sick to your stomach, stress feeling, migraines, everything is what I felt. I am doing it again lost my med. ins. so no choice. Cold turkeys where Im at. It's horrible.
I found that Excedrin migrane helps, Motion eaze which is liquid u put behind ur ear lobe for car sickness. I also put a half of teas. of baking soda in a 1/2 cup of water and drank this for my stomach to help settle it down , It has helped SOOO MUCH . I am sharing this to try and help someone. I also took some muscal relaxer pills helped.
Its a tough road Im in my 3rd week w/out Paxil I have to do the things I said daily. If I dont use the Motion eaze and baking soda water and Excedrin Migraine everyday I would not function. It isnt a cure But I can drive, go to work, and survive my daily life. Before these things I could hardly get out of the bed, I wore sunglasses all the time because I thought my head was splitting open, and I would throw up too. I thought I was dieing at times because I felt so bad. All of these things I am doing can be bought at the store . They cant hurt you and w/out help from a doctor its a fix u can live with well at least I have been able too. I read all of these symptoms from everyone a week and a half ago I was in the same shape as everyone on here. So I started doing things that I used in the past. The motion sickness stuff was a fluke I seem this in my purse I carry it with me incase I get car sick. I thought how I feel now was kinda how I felt when I got car sick so I just tried it and to my surprise it was so quick to help my dizziness. The I felt like I was getting hurtburn and I always drink the soda/water for that for years I took it and it helped so much w/my withdrawls and excedrin migraine was suggested to me so I tried it and it helped to so all 3 of these things keep me going.
I hope u will try this let others know if it helps cause the Paxil withdrawls the worse Ive ever felt as others have so I hope it helps u to do this.
I had to share. GOOD LUCK all my fellow Paxil withdrawler friends :)
Avatar universal
I just want to thank everyone for posting all of your experiences because I now don't feel like I'm going insane.
I was on 20mgs for TWELVE friggen years!!! Why a doctor would keep me on this for that long is beyond me, also I was scared to go off of it because I had suffered severe panic attacks before going on it. So I decided to go off of it, because I felt like it was time.
I met with a psychiatrist who first had me go down to 10mgs, and within a couple of days I started to have terrible headaches, light headedness, and terrible insomnia.
A month later, and as I write this I am now down to 5mgs, I take my last one tomorrow before going completely off. And I really feel like I'm in hell. TERRIBLE headaches and lightheadedness, depression(I feel like I could cry all the time), and I feel like I could just sleep and curl up into a ball.
I am a very active person and continually going to the gym 6 days a week, I believe I would be suicidal if I didn't work out.
From what I have read, is that Paxil amung the rest of the SSRI's has the worst withdrawal because it leaves your body faster than the others, and no matter how slow you wean, your body still will react and rather severely.
Ugh!!! I can not wait for this to end, and I am hoping to feel like a new person!!!
Avatar universal
I have been on the max dosage of 60mg for 4 years due to panic disorder. About 6 months ago I dropped down to 40mg every other day. 4 months ago I dropped down to 20mg taking it every other day or until my ears would start to ring and I would take a 20mg pill. About 9-10 days ago I stopped completely. I'm having the side effects of not sleeping, crying for no reason, severe agitation, cold sweats, numbing hands and fingers, ringing in the ears, panic attacks ,burning skin,and zapping in my eyes when I move them fast. Oh and gas! Tremendous gas. Vomiting and poor bowl movements.
This ***** and sounds bad, but I'm gonna keep trying to push through it.
This is what helps me, staying busy, reading, chores, oh and the most important things the bible and Xanax.  I would normally take 1mg a day with the Paxil but now I'm taking at most 3mg a day. My doc wants me to take 3mg of Xanax a day anyway but I never have because I didn't need it.
I'm not ready to restart the Paxil and I think stopping 20mg cold turkey is a very poor idea, but like I said I'm around 10 days in and I'm gonna push through it.
Despite the physical side effects the worst thing is the agitation . I hate that my family is staying clear of me because of the aggression. I know when I get agitated I can control it by staying busy and placing my mind in a positive place.
I've read the post, and I know everyone's worst concern, it's the fear. Just talk about it with spouse, friends, or a trustworthy confidonte. Please people stay positive. That is the biggest thing. If you want to get off this ssir your gonna have side effects, face it that's just how it is. We can do it. I will post again to let you know how I'm feeling. I will say this. I feel like a man again, not a meek person, I'm 37 and my sex drive has increase so much, my appitite is lower and I don't eat as much, I'm losing weight, which is great for my ego. I will go through the side effects to get this out of my system LISTEN FOLKS WE CAN DO IT!
973741 tn?1342346373
Do you think any of that could be a reoccurance of your anxiety symptoms that are now untreated?  
973741 tn?1342346373
I'm also wondering if you can drop by 5 mg (need to get the 10 mg tabs) and that would slow the weaning and help reduce the side effects from clearing out the paxil from our system.  

Lots of luck to you, it isn't easy.
Avatar universal
Well I'm up and it's after 3am. I slept most of the day( this is why I'm up now) my wife gave me 6mg of melatonin and it helped. I almost went to sleep but didn't because I had turned on the tv and started watching a show. I feel good. I have a lot to do tomorrow or today so I'm still in the mind set of not going back to the Paxil. I also took 1mg of Xanax around 4pm today but haven't felt the need to take anymore. My ear ringing is subsiding as well and I'm noticing the head zaps are dissipating too! Maybe I'm on the down side of this? Only time will tell. Once again I will say that I don't recommend trying to stop cold turkey at 20mg.

I do wonder if some of the panic I'm having is coming back and that the Paxil was masking it or I should say doing its job.

I looked in the medicine cabinet and I have 16 month supply of the Paxil left so I didn't take it as subscribed, which I knew I hadn't been, it's mind over matter, all in our head. I've set my mind to getting off this medication. I hope it works.

Avatar universal
This is an old thread, but I looked because going off Paxil killed me forever.  Rare reaction, lucky me, but I'm not alone on this.  I just wanted to say, try the melatonin at 1mg and see if it works better.  Melatonin works better at lower doses.  They say fish oil helps, too.  About the panic, if it's the same as it was before you went on Paxil, it probably means it's no longer medicated and you didn't cure it in therapy so it's still there.  If it's different -- I have all kinds of problems I got when I went off Paxil I never had before I went on it -- then it's probably the Paxil withdrawal.  Most do get over this, but if you still have the panic disorder Paxil was treating, well, it still needs to be treated.  Good luck.
973741 tn?1342346373
It could be some of the old panic returning.  That is certainly a possibility.  

I hope the weaning continues and in theory---  withdrawel side effects should absolutely lesson over time.  good luck
Avatar universal
Back on Paxil! Couldn't take side-effects!
Avatar universal

Thank you for your posts that helped me understand my paxil withdrawal is real.  I've been on the generic paroxotene for appr. 10 yrs.  I started weaning off in Jun 2012 from 20mg to 10mg thru doctors advice.  I stayed at that dose for 4 mos.  without any stress.   In Oct. i went to 5mg/day and started having the odd bout of dizziness and nausea, but nothing too extreme.  In January all hell broke loose when i went to 5mg every second day.  I had extreme dizziness, nausea and ended up in bed for almost 8 weeks.  I couldn't function; no cooking, no cleaning.  My family helped to look after me...i just basically got up to go to the washroom and shower.  I also had a severe case of diahrea for almost 4 days.  I was eating crackers and apple sauce for a week because i couldn't stomach any other food.  I was still bedridden when i continued with the reduction Feb 1, /13 i reduced again to 5mg every 3 days (still not doing well) but i was determined.  For 5-6 weeks more i felt like crap and was noticing that by the second day not taking a pill i felt better and felt worse taking one on the third day; so i completely stopped Mar 11/13 and gradually started to feel better and got outta bed.  I still am not 100 percent and the one thing that really bothers me thru this is my sense of smell and taste are very sensitive.  I don't like alot of toothpastes and soaps and foods that appeal one day gross me out the next...the one good thing to come of this is i quit smoking 3 months ago because i couldn't stand the smell or taste.   In my experience the only way to get off paxil is gradually and be patient and talk to your doctor consistently.
Avatar universal
I came off of the highest dose of Paxil easily but my dr just switched me from Paxil to the highest dose of Zoloft. Zoloft is not near as addicting as Paxil but slightly addicting but they have the same properties.  I experienced bad headaches slight anxiety, slightly jittery but not bad.. The symptoms were not too bad but I know it would have been aweful going cold turkey. So I had mild symptoms but a few times it got moderately bad. The headache was the worse. Plus feeling a little more anxious then usual. I would recommend if you are going cold turkey then switch to 200 mg Zoloft or wean off Paxil at a very slow rate and then switch to Zoloft to counter any small withdrawals and then from there, wean off of Zoloft.
Avatar universal
As to the above, switching before tapering off to a very low dose isn't probably a good idea, as you don't know which problems are withdrawal and which are from the new med, and since no two meds are the same they really don't substitute for one another.  The only drug listed in protocols to switch to at the end of a taper is Prozac, because it leaves the body much more slowly than other ssrs, while Zoloft also leaves the body quickly and can have pretty bad withdrawals as well, so I don't think this would work well generally.  Glad it worked for the poster, however.
Avatar universal
I was just prescribed Paxil to treat my Anxiety, PMS and social problems..needless to say I haven't taken any yet and THANK GOD I did my research before hand!!! WHY ON EARTH is this medicine still being prescribed?? Ive been sitting here reading everyones horrible withdrawl stories OMG!! Id much rather just have feelings of shortness of breath (anxiety) be a total ***** to everyone around me (pms) and just stay home when everyone wants to go out (social) I am sooooo sorry that all of you are experiencing these horrible side effects due to this EVIL DRUG!! Guess what im going to do tomorrow..im going to print this entire forum..and bring it to the DR and watch him read it..then afterwards ask him WTF he was thinking!!! Good Luck to all of you who are still fighting this thing!!
Avatar universal
Gee, you should see the actual horror story sites!  This forum is a piece of cake!  But don't be so quick to ban a medication.  If you've tried everything else and you're life is unliveable, Paxil might be the only thing that helps.  But I think most thinking people today would use it as a last resort drug.  Unfortunately, the doctor we see may not be one of the thinking people.  There are methods that don't use medication, so you're not left with nothing -- PMS is a hormonal problem, and my own opinion is that the use of antidepressants to treat it are just ways to sell more drugs given that none of the drugs for mental illness can do anything for hormonal imbalances.  Natural medicine has proved very helpful on this issue for many people.  As to the other stuff, therapy and lifestyle changes do help some people, so don't just assume there's nothing you can do short of taking Paxil!
Avatar universal
Coming off of Paxil now...way too quickly, but it seems that with me, this is the only way that it is ever going to happen.

It can be described as an "other worldly" experience, to say the least. The ringing in my ears never ceases. What it does do however, is range from low and steady to punctuated moments of heightened intensity.

Today, driving a very familiar route, I find myself disorientated and turned around heading away from the location I am trying to get to.

The vertigo ranges from somewhat unpleasant to absolutely disorienting.

What feels better than anything is laying in a bathtub full of cold water.

This is day 3 of the excitement...not looking forward to the nausea of day 4.
Avatar universal
I am having all of the same problems. I have been taking Paxil now for 5 yrs.  I have tried so many times to go off but cannot because the side effects are so BAD.   The swimming head and nausea feeling.  It is pure hell.
Yes, the side effects are bad. But you have to take your time reducing the dose. I tried to get off Paxil to quickly and was getting the electric zaps, dizziness and general anxiety. I have been on Paxil for over 16 years. I started on 10 mg, went to 20 mg and then 30 mg. A friend who is a nurse told me Paxil can be nasty with side effects while taking it and getting off it. I also take Clonazipam .5 mg twice a day which helped with some of the side effects and is helping while I am trying to get off Paxil. I started by cutting the 30 mg tablet in half and then cutting one of the halves in half. That took it to about 22.5 mg. I did this for about 2 1/2 months. About three days into this, I noticed the zaps and dizziness, but it went away in a couple of days. When I went to my doctor for a check up, I asked him to lower the dose to 20 mg. He is very supportive in what I am trying to do.  I felt no side effects, though it was a very minor change.  I will be lowering my dose to 15 mg next week. We’ll see what happens. I’ll try that for 2 or 3 months and see how I feel. I don’t care if it takes another year to get off Paxil. I am determined to do it. I think being positive while doing this is extremely important. I will keep reporting and hope that anyone who reads this can be successful getting off Paxil.
Avatar universal
I have been on Paxil, or Aropax as it is called in Australia, for 10 years, prescribed for anxiety. Going on was hell, I had all the symptoms above but the doctor told me it was my anxiety not the drug. He suggested increasing the dosage from 20mg to 40mg, which I did. It was terrifying and I constantly thought of killing myself.
After a year and another failed relationship, putting on 20 kilo's in weight and with no libido I decided to taper off. The experience was horrifying but I persisted, I took a month of work and after about three months I felt a little more normal. But the panic attacks returned worse than ever, I was dizzy all the time, suffered from rashes and terrible terrible headaches. I went to the doctor and suprise suprise I found myself back on Paxil. So 10 years down the track, my employer is ready to sack me, me children disown me and my friends are sick of me. I've decided to taper off again. I am going to go camping away from all the pressures and try to get off this horror of a drug.

My doctor says there are no withdrawal symptoms, it's just my 'condition' returning, but I know that isn't the truth.
Avatar universal
Don't do this with this doctor.  He's a quack.  Everybody knows about Paxil by now, after all the lawsuits and publicity going back over a decade.  You need to taper off with someone who isn't a fool.
Avatar universal
Thank you Sue!!!  I have been on Paxil (generic, 20 mg/day) for 10 yrs.  I have decided to get off of it b/c of the side effects (sexual, weight gain, tiredness, etc).  My doctor (GP who does not really approve of or understand antidepressants, etc) suggested taking 1/2 a pill for 10 days & then 1/2 a pill every other day for 10 days.  Today marks my very last day taking any Paxil @ all.  What I have experienced has really come on within the past 5 days or so & it has all been physical.  I am generally nauseated several times a day and have a mild but "sick" headache.  I generally take n Advil or 2 about 2-3 times a day & lie down quite a bit, napping.  I feel like a have a hangover everyday and the motion sickness description is so accurate!  I am glad to know that this is all normal but am wondering if anybody has an idea as to how long this will go on?  It is a mixed blessing that I am unemployed right now b/c I don't think I could work through a whole day w/out resting, making bathroom trips, etc.  Good luck to all!!
Avatar universal
I'm not Sue, and because this is a really old thread you might not get any answers.  Might want to start a new one.  I will say that doing this with a GP wasn't your best idea ever -- they don't have much experience with this.  Most psychiatrists are clueless as well, but there are some good ones who do know how to do this carefully.  Your tapering down was probably much too quick for this drug, but hopefully what you have is all you get.  It's often called the Paxil flu.  But if it turns much worse, or gets to emotional stuff, see a good psychiatrist and taper off more slowly.  How long it lasts is different for everyone -- some swim through, some don't.  I'd be careful with the Advil, though, if you have stomach issues  -- it might not be a problem for you, but it causes stomach problems in a lot of people.  Ginger tea might help with the nausea.  People have reported good results from taking healthy amounts of fish oil.  Hopefully this will pass soon, but again, if it worsens or lasts a while it might be worth your while to see someone better versed in this difficult drug and see about tapering off it much more slowly -- after ten years, I'd think an experienced psychiatrist, which means not your average clown that most of us see, would take months to taper you off this drug.  But as I say, so far you're actually doing quite well and hopefully this will be all you suffer.
Avatar universal
Hey Paxiled, im sorry to hear that you experience symptoms till this day as a result of paxil. I've just recently been through hell after a cold turkey w/d attempt (recommended by my doctor) after i passed out due to too quick a taper, after being on paxil for 3 years. Im back on 10mg/day and stabilising.

What are the symptoms that have persisted since you've stopped paxil? How long were you on and what for? Are you on any meds at the moment?
I was prescribed paxil for chronic pain

Avatar universal
This is why you do this with a good psychiatrist you've vetted yourself, not a regular doc.  As for me, forget me -- hopefully I'm a rare case, though who knows, nobody's counting -- better to just focus on your own case.  Peace.
Avatar universal
I have all the same if I miss two days because I can't afford a refil or forget they come right away and progressively worsen to the point I can't even turn my head with out almost passing out! Longest I had to go without is a week and it was hell and it just got worse everyday. It helped me with depression and I didn't gain weight in fact with diet and excersise I lost 70 pounds so far. But I don't know how I'd ever get off when I need to.
Avatar universal
I was in 50mg paxil a day for about a year and  then wean myself down to 15mg over the last 6 months. I had side effects but got passed them to get down to 15mg. I would like to get off Paxil completely, but when I go from 15 mg to 10mg the side effects are headaches, head buzz, and moodiness to anger.  How long will this last?  I have decided to go back up to 15mg and then very slowly down to 10mg to 5mg to 0 ,by just shaving a little of the tablet over time. This withdrawals are awful. How long do withdrawals last?  
6512584 tn?1381973394
This is exactly what I am going through!  I feel like I need to go to the hospital!  I just recently moved to Florida and I don't have a doctor so I am going to have to go to a clinic to get back on my Paxil.  It has been 3 weeks since I have had it and I have been taking it for 20 years!  I feel horrible and I don't know what to do!  Any suggestions would be so very appreciated!!

Avatar universal
First, you need a psychiatrist, not just a doctor, and one who really knows how to do this properly.  20 years is a long, long time, and it's likely going to take a long taper to get off it, though everyone's different and some just slide right through it.  Very few doctors, and even few psychiatrists bother to learn how tough these drugs are to stop taking and how to properly do it, so you need to interrogate them before you do this to make sure they take it seriously and will be there for you.  So since you're going back on the Paxil, if you still want to quit, you need someone who can really guide you carefully through it.  As this post is quite old, you might want to start a new thread to get more answers.
Avatar universal
Now in third week of Paroxetine (generic Paxil) withdrawal.  Thank you all for the info and words of encouragement.  Been taking this drug for 20 years.  I've tried several times to get off it, but, just as many of you have described, went back on because the side effects were unbearable.  Have tried gradual weaning but this time is cold turkey after a very long period of reduction to 10 mg.  My symptoms are so similar to many listed here, that just knowing others are experiencing this helps me get through.  Side effects are intermittent, some days not bad, some days terrible.  Massive headaches-some of them migraines, extreme morning diarrhea, crying very often for no reason, head 'rushes' especially with rapid eye movement, periodic nausea (especially when brushing my teeth-how weird is that?), some dizziness when I'm standing-noticed most often whenI am outside and have to close my eyes because the light is soooo  blinding.  I desperately want to stay off this drug but totally understand any person going back on to alleviate these side effects.  Also, must mention insomnia and weird dreams.  Still have to get off the sleeping pills which are just as horribly addictive.  If any of you are considering these types of medication, please think twice, research everything you can find and do not trust a doctor to give you accurate information.  If any doctor has gone through what we are going through, would their conscience allow them to prescribe these horrible chemicals?  
Avatar universal
My GP switched me from Zoloft to 10mg Paxil no more than a month ago.  And also said I needed to see a psychiatrist as he didn't feel qualified to address what was going on with me (previous depression, current anxiety).  I thought it was helping with my anxiety so he upped it to 20mg.  I started having "rage" episodes and made another appointment to see my GP. (Couldn't get into see a psychiatrist for 2 more weeks).  I went back down to 10mg on my own because I know you shouldn't quit anything like this cold turkey.  I only took the 20mg for about 7 days.  I would forget to take my 10mg and get extremely dizzy, lightheaded, agitated and irritable.  I missed another dose and had the worst day ever.  Luckily I only have one week before I see the psychiatrist.  I cannot live with these withdrawals as I am a stay at home mom to a 2 year old.  Keep in mind I haven't even been taking Paxil for a whole month!  Be careful when stopping this drug.  This forum has made me feel SOOO much better, not so alone.  I love my GP and respect him tremendously.  He has steered me in the right direction and done what he could for me but I don't think he realized the side effects of getting off Paxil.  Seeing a psychiatrist and getting on a weening off plan is my next step.  Remember, a good doctor doesn't want you to become dependent, they want you to become independent.  
Avatar universal
All I would like to say is I am so glad I'm not going through this alone. Unfortunately I can' take the brain shocks, or any more of any of the withdraws. ( its been a month) and i have missed too much work)So i am just going to go back on paxil. I really have no trust in my doctors at the moment. All I want is to feel normal again. I feel this is my only option. Sad but true.
1423357 tn?1511089042
My wife had remained on Paxil for many years after successfully conquering anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia.  In her case, psychological counseling, combined with  Paxil was the cure.  She had remained on the SSRI more as a prophylaxis.

A number of years ago, it was discovered that she had developed breast cancer.  After a lumpectomy, and radiation, she went on a 5 year regime of the drug, Tamoxifen.  It was discovered that SSRI greatly reduce the effectiveness of Tamoxifen, and she was put on the SNRI, Venlafaxine (Effexor).  The transitionary period was pure misery for my poor wife. Fortunately, as the Paxil was being reduced, the Venlafaxine was being increased, so it wasn't as bad as coming off it completely.

I can't impress enough on anyone just how slowly your particular dosage must be reduced to avoid the unpleasant side effects.  It must be reduced so gradually that you literally trick your body into slowly accepting the reduced dosage.  For instance, quartering you pill is way too gross of a reduction.  Most people will have unpleasant reactions to this relatively vast change in strength.  Instead, liquid Paxil is available to make dose changes so small that it would be equivalent to cutting one tenth of a piece of pill out of the daily dose.

It is my belief that liquid Paxil is the only way to effectively reduce the dose, and this must be done over months to avoid the nasty side effects.

I would also like to warn anyone that may read this thread who are thinking of beginning treatment with an SSRI or an SNRI to really think t through before starting it.  Physicians might be eager to get an anxiety sufferer on it because it can be an effective treatment.  But I think if a physician could subject themselves to the misery of coming off this stuff, they might think twice before putting a patient on it.

Having successfully defeated breast cancer, my wife is thinking about getting back on Paxil again as she claims to fell much better on it. I know that Venlafaxine gives her frequent vivid night terrors, and I'm often awakened by vocal outbursts, and what I call "Fred Flintstone" leg movement as if she were running in place.  I'm not so sure this is a good idea though. I saw this transition period once, and I don't want to see her go through it again. As a positive point for the SNRI, not associated with this discussion. and if I could be as discrete as possible, the Venlafaxine has had a positive effect on her libido.  We've are both 64 and have been married for 42 years.  We've always had a healthy sex life, but since she's been on the Venlafaxine, and even at 64, she is experiencing multiple orgasms, sometimes 3 or 4 before totally exhaustion.  I am absolutely positive this is due to the drug, so of course, I'm not anxious for her to change it.  Let's not mess with success.  Of course though, I want what's best for the other 98% of her day to day life.

Getting off of SSRI's can be done, but it must be done ever so slowly, and by using a liquid for of the drug made specifically to make miniscule reductions in daily dose.

Avatar universal
Getting off Effexor is just as hard as getting off Paxil for most people -- they are the two worst.  The reason she liked the Paxil better is that Effexor is a stimulating antidepressant that targets norepinephrine as well as serotonin, so it isn't as good if anxiety is the primary problem for most people.  That's also why it's helping her sex life perhaps, though it could also be hormonal, because ssris are notorious for depressing sexual performance and desire.  So if she wants to quit Effexor, she's going to have to do it just as carefully as she did the Paxil, and I seriously doubt going up on the Effexor while quitting the Paxil helped -- more likely it hurt, giving her the side effects of starting a new drug alongside the side effects of quitting Paxil.  It's much safer to completely quit a drug before starting the new one and makes evaluation of the new one much easier.  Sometime Prozac is used for this purpose because it's assumed to be easier to quit due to its longer half life in the body but I doubt it works much of the time, but certainly starting an equally difficult drug like Effexor wouldn't be my choice.
Avatar universal
  money from the pharmaceutical companies. look how much glaxo smith-kline has paid out in settlements. they are obviously making enough on this drug to ignore the fact that people almost die getting off it.
Avatar universal

  what you are going through is REAL. The medical community is making too much money from the manufacturer, glaxo smith- kline to be true to their medical ethics.

I am at my wits end with getting off. it has been 2 months and a week and all the symptoms you describe are mine.

Furious isn't a powerful enough word to describe how I feel against my psychiatrist who knows all of the horrors but wouldn't admit to me when i visited him 2 weeks ago.

Yesterday I contacted several law firms who do Paxil lawsuits. There are so many class action suits. The settlements have been beyond huge. I feel so wrecked by this experience . Trauma .

Today I hope to hear from an attorney at my aged father's lawfirm. I am just praying they can sue the socks off this despicable company. I cannot think of anything else to do.

I have a good psychologist I see twice a week.She urged me to get off Paxil and Depakote. Paxil on 6 years, Depakote 25. I have lost 17 pounds in 2 months. I had gained 50 in the last 13 years. But what a way to lose.

There are thousands if not more of us. I wish I could find a live support group. writing is the only thing that makes me feel better . And reading these posts.

Night time when I am not sleeping is so lonely and scary. My fears mount and I have to talk myself down.

I didn't feel any physical side effects of getting off Depakote. My doctor said cold turkey was O.K unless I was on it for seizures. I was not.

I got off drugs after being in therapy most of my life. My psychoanalyst and I decided I should try getting off drugs to see if some of the depression and anxiety had gone away. It was so long ago. I was in my thirties when a lot was going on in my life to cause depression and low level mood swings.

I have always exercised and eaten right and been a positive and productive person. She says I am very strong and will get through this.She says the traumas in my past were much worse. She promises me she will stay the course with me for as long as it takes. I thank God I found her 11 years ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is twenty years younger than me, but she has matured  right along with me.

Every night I pray for daylight. We are not alone and must fight back.Tell the story wherever you can and however you can. I am a writer and this is a major part of my memoir which is almost finished. I will work relentlessly until it is published.
Avatar universal
where are you today oliver?
Avatar universal
My doctor just unceremoniously took me off.  When she did it, I had 5 pills left.  She didnt even tell me she was doing it..I tried to refill..Im trying to switch providers and the clinical administrator refuses to return my calls.  I think they think Im drug seeking.  ive got this electrical shock shootin through my head every few seconds..Im so off kilter.  I wouldnt have done this.  I would have requested a slow take off..becuase Ive done this before.
Avatar universal
Well go to the doctor. I had this a few years ago and it went away but now a few months ago I had this dried up yellow snot that kept coming back and hard to get out. Now there's "dead tissue" in my nostril according to tests and the ENT wants to do surgery to get it all out and have it all tested just to be sure. Plus I released some pressure using a "tool" and for the second time in a couple months the watery yellow fluid came gushing out.
Avatar universal
I totally put my last comment in the wrong forum and I don't know how to delete it. Oops.
Avatar universal
I was taking a 75mg capsule which I could not split so I stopped taking it and dealt with the brain zaps, loss of equilibrium, confusion, insomnia, stomach sickness et al.  
That was seven days ago and I  happily report that the brain zaps are weaker especially after day three.  I still have insomnia which seems to be getting better as well.
I am taking fish oil, vitamin b, and a multivitamin.  Not sure if that had anything to do with it or it was my determination to get off this nightmare that I was on for the last year.  Being on it is okay but being strapped to it especially with no insurance certainly is a nightmare.  
Avatar universal
The first time I was on Paxil and wanted to quit, I had to move home with my parents (I was 25) and my mom stuck by me. Every day she would take a carrot peeler and shave a little more off. If it was too big a shock she would keep it the same for a few days. It was hell. I couldn't sit still in a chair without my hands bouncing off the arm rests from the shakes and zaps. That was from 20mg.
Here I am, 15 years later, on it again because my doc was out of ideas, and I have to quit again. I'm on warfarin. No one told me they interact very badly. I'm so nervous to start the taper, but trust me, you CAN get through it with a good support team or person!
Have an Answer?
Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?