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About Paxil WIthdrawal

I have been trying to get off paxil...I've been on it almost 4 years.  I've tried to get off of it once before but b/c of stressful events in my life, the panic returned.  I've been feeling good this time, no anxiety or panic.  (I'm down to 10 mg. from 40 mg.)  But when I move my eyes to the left or right or up or down, I get a disturbing feeling of a zap-like nervousness, and an increased heart rate.  Because of this, I am afraid to move my eyes too much.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but I am truly concerned about it.  Has anyone heard of this before?  And what can I do about it? I'm tired of being on meds, and I have gained around 40 lbs on it.
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Avatar universal
You do not want to just stop taking paxil! It is very very dangerous!!! I am beginning to wean/tapper off Paxil Cr. Its not fun! But you need to do it very very slowly. I know that is not what you want to hear. I have found a lot of information and support at paxilprogress . org. They actually have nurses to answer questions and there are a number of people who have been/are going through the same heck we are.

Notfeelingwell_2 - were you the one that asked people to call you b/c you were not doing well? If so, I did call you and you were at the Dr. Please feel free to call me or write to me. I have the same user name at paxilprogress. That is a much much better site than this one. Please take a look.
Helpful - 2
Avatar universal
I was on Paxil for about a year and it actually took me six months to get myself weaned completely off the drug I went from 20 mg very slowly down to 5 until I was taking tiny little pieces I was finally taking a little piece only every other day and then a piece only when I needed one. Even after I was off of Paxil completely, I still once in a while felt the electrical zaps. They went on for months.The doctors never ever mentioned anything to me about how difficult it was to quit I didn't have a clue. I think the drug companies must pay them a kick back.Why else would they prescribe it like candy. We have all been taken advantage of.  
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I have read about the "textbook" side-effects of Paxil
withdrawal, as well as the comments offered by users
of this forum.  Of these, Amanda's experience most
closely matches my own.  When I stopped taking Paxil,
the only noticeable side-effect was that I would
experience an intense (yet brief) moment of dizziness /
disorientation whenever I moved my eyes or closed
them quickly.  This lasted for about a week, and was
very difficult to cope with.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
well i like my paxil
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I recently found out about paxil withdrawal myself.
I have been taking it for a year and have really felt
a great deal better on it. This past week I was busy
with work and so on and just didnt get around to
getting a refil. I was off it on thursday, and by
monday I was feeling pretty strange. I should first
mention that I felt a gradual depression come over me
over those days. It was not an intense depression but
enough for me to notice. Then by sunday I was geting
what I now call the neuro-shivers, meaning that when
I moved around I got this wave of dizziness through
my neck, head, and eyes. It is one of the strangest
sensations I have ever felt.

This information I discovered is a little scary, and
made me think a lot about what it would be like to
get off paxil completely. I have also gained weight
on paxil. Though I have an improved diet since being
on it, I find that I gain an average of 2 pounds
every month. (This may also be a lifestyle issue, but
I feel it is worth mentioning as a possible side-effect)

THIS MAKES ME MAD!!! Trust me I am glad that paxil helps
me conquer my anxiety attacks, but I just wish there was
a way to better inform people before they get on these
drugs. I guess I blindly trusted everyone who contributed
to me being put on paxil, and I wonder where I would
be if I researched the effects of it myself, before
getting hooked.

-timothy
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Liz
I have been on 40mg of Paxil for almost a year now for an anxiety disorder. I too have gained weight, enough to notice, I have never had a problem with weight gain in my life! I wanted off! With the help of my semi-knowledgeable doctor I am currently taking 5mg. after weaning down to 20, 10 and so on. I am having a very horrible withdrawal problem! I too have the visual and heart rate problem. I am extremly agitated and little things make me want to explode! I am nauseated and have a horrible headache! Please, anyone let me know how long this lasts, and if I will ever completely be off of this horrible drug!
Helpful - 0
18954 tn?1314298117
Pam
I've been on Paxil for 6 years and 2 months ago went to 40 mg from 20. I have had the same sensation in my head - moving my eyes and feeling as though I was dragging cotton through my head at the same time. Also, my head feels like it's itching from the inside out - particularly at the back by my neck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
CANT FIND WHERE I WAS TALKING BEFORE but,, i've been very successful in coming off paxil and wanted to pass it on,,, i found the way dr recommended, one day on one day off was not working,, i dont understand why they tell you to do that since paxil doesnt stay in your body over 24 hours,, i was on 20 mg all along, so went to 10 mg daily for about 1 month,, then split that even further and did 5 mg for about 1 month,, then i just stopped and didnt miss it,, only very little lightheadedness and fatigue during the withdrawal,, but nothing like when i would skip doses,hope this helps someoone!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm sorry HFHS M.D.-SW, you are providing a great service here, but if you do not know about the withdrawal symptom of dizziness you must have been in the wilderness for the last few years. This is probably the most commonly reported symptom of Paxil withdrawal. Almost every person on this forum mentions it. On my web site at http://www.swhite.cwc.net/paxil/index.html it takes the top position.

If doctors would try listening to the patients instead of patronising and looking down at them we might all be a little further along the road as regards medical discovery.

I would like to state again that this forum service and your responses are greatly appreciated, but this kind of statement beggars belief.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
nsr
I was on Paxil for about a year due to anxiety caused by krohns disease. I also had many withdrawl effects.Dizziness, nausea, headache. The Paxil worked great for my condition and was not very difficult to stop taking (for me anyway).But what I remember the most was the eye thing. Whenever I looked down, right, or left I felt the strangest sensation. It was almost like a zap or a tug on the back of my eyes. Sometimes I thought I could feel it all the way to my neck. It was very disturbing!
But after a couple of weeks it just went away and I haven't had any problems since.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I've been off Paxil for about a week or so I guess...the last few days have been miserable. I can cope with the little bit of nausea and nervousness I feel at present, but I read a comment elsewhere about "brain attacks" and wonder if it might be similar to what I've experienced. Since I'm clearly in sympathetic company, here goes: it feels like my consciousness is going to "shut down". It's as if my senses fog over, but not in a literal sense. For example, I feel sometimes as if my vision is graying over, but not externally - it's as if it's happening in my mind somewhere...hard to explain...I'm just "relieved" that it's not just me. I have lots more reading to do, but for now it was just good to vent. Thanks.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm having the exact same eye-dizziness symptoms...I thought I might have some kind of neuroligical disorder so I'm glad to hear this might be related to the Paxil withdrawal!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am in the process of weaning myself from paxil.  I went from 20 mg, down to 10mg.  By the fifth day, my anxiety returns.  I've tried this three times now.  The anxiety is slight, not as bad as it was when I originally went on paxil.   I am wondering if maybe mentally I am ready to no longer take paxil, but not physically?   What are some suggestions?   Would it be better to slowly wean by trying 15mg for a while?  if so for how long?  Or am I somebody that may need to be on this type of medication for the rest of my life?  Any answers would be helprful.  Thanks!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am currently weening off of Paxil.
I have found that smoking small amounts of marijuana at a time have helped me through times of anxiety. It is so stupid that this plant is illegal. It is a natural non prescription and it works! I haven't tried St. John's Wort, but may consider it if my doctor doesn't push me on an SSRI again.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Dear Amanda!
You were not imagining your side effects. I have just experienced the same incapacitating symptom of Paxil withdrawal. It is like a dizziing zap when you move your eyes whether they are open or not.
Is there a recommended procedure to go off Paxil?  My symptoms lasted 3 weeks and I gave up and went back on. Could a doctor please respond?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
JG
To all the dr's,pharms,and smithkline & beecham sales reps, I hope you all burn in hell for ignoring the torcher of paxil withdrawl. When I was presciribed paxil I wasn't told of the extreme withdrawl symptoms. Word of the withdrawl problem had long been heard of at the time of my dr. prescibing paxil. I'd rather go back to the panic attacks than deal with the nausea, diziness, headaches, nervousness, and the added anxiety of not knowing how long this nightmare will last. I've seen some postings about a class action lawsuit being implemented. Well, count me in. E-mail me if you know of any info regarding any treatments for the withdrawls or the lawsuit against smithkline & Beecham. e-mail (***@****)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have been on paxil for about a year now I took 30mg then went to 20mg now I'm on 10mg. Since I started taking only 10mg I have been feeling very weird like tired, aggitated, sleepy and one of the bigest ones feeling numb like I'm not able to feel my self. I was just wondering if anyone has felt like that when they decreased the dosage.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I sympathize with all of you.  I have been taking Paxil for panic attacks for about four months now.  Last week I was low on medication and was not able to get to the doctor to have my prescription refilled.  I took my last pill on a Wednesday.  By Friday of that week I began to feel very odd.  The only way I can describe what I was experiencing is to say that waves of electrical current were whooshing through different areas of my body, mainly my head and eyes.  In my case it seemed to depend on movement, or contact, of some part of my body with another part or an object.  If I took a step the current would seem to travel up my leg, but not with every step.  If I touched my hand to my leg, the current would move up that arm and down my leg from the point of contact.  The most disturbing episodes involved my head and eyes.  Eye movement or repositioning of my glasses on my face would send a wave of current through my eyes and top of my head..sometimes my whole face would be affected.   I would often feel as though I was going to lose consciousness.

I did not associate this new behaviour on the lack of Paxil in my system.  I didn't know what was happening to me at all but was worried and frightened enough to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic on the following Monday.  I found it extremely difficult to explain what was happening to me.  He had never heard of these symptoms before.  He did the normal in-office tests...blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes...all was normal.  He told me that he felt I was just highly sensitive and not to worry.

By Thursday, eight days after having stopped the Paxil, I went to my family doctor as the symptoms were worsening.  He basically echoed what the walk-in clinic doctor had said.  He told me not to worry and it would go away.  He said if I worried about it I could produce all kinds of other symptoms and make things worse.  He renewed my Paxil prescription while I was there.

I began to take the Paxil again that night (20 mg/day).  The next day I experienced none of those dreadful symptoms.  I felt perfectly normal once again.  As I mentioned earlier, it occured to me not at all that the lack of Paxil was causing these symptoms..and both doctors did not appear to know about the possibility of this occuring at all.  I only realized it after starting the Paxil again and being rid of the hell I was in for eight long days.

So what happens now?  If I ever have to come off Paxil again, what then?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My gosh!  I thought it was just me.  I would like to stop Paxil also but I have had the same exact problem with my vision!  My problem is so severe that it causes me to vomit.  I am trying to wean off slowly now, as this problem has interfered with my job.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have been trying to go off of paxil for 3 yrs. now, and could almost cry with relief to know that there are others out there who are experiencing the same things as me.  

I finally went off cold turkey.  It has been two weeks.  The yucky physical symptoms were there for 2 or 3 days (shaking, sweating achy) but the other disturbing symptoms are very similar to what you all describe.  I have increased bouts of anxiety.  I can't handle even the smallest issue without breaking into a gut tightening, heart pounding panic.  I'm scared to go to bed, because then I'll sit awake and worry and wreck my body even more from all this worrying!  The eye comment was very interesting to me.  I have told a NUMBER of doctors about how I feel this wierd wave of pulsating and dizziness in my head that creeps up unexpectedly.  It never occured to me that it could be related to my eyes, but I'm pretty convinced it's possible.  I move my eyes to one side or the other and that wierd feeling comes back again.  It feels......wooly on the inside of my head, the pounding I mean.  Can anyone relate to this more?

thanks
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hey :) I just wanted to say that I have been experiencing the same symptoms that you have been talking about.  I have been on paxil for about 2 months and have only taken 10 mg.  I forgot to take it one day and actually mentally felt better so i decided to stop, but these sensations were killing me.  I couldn't hardly walk and I had to miss school.  I was scared because I didn't know what it was, but I have found out that it's called Electric Shock Sensations or something like that. Another thing that I have been experiencing is that I get really angry over little things and I've even started throwing things.  I am very glad to be getting off this medication.  It's been about a week and I'm still experiencing it, but hoping it will go away soon.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have experienced these withdrawal symptoms mentioned at this site, while still taking this drug!  It occurs if I am late in taking it, for example it can't be taken after 10:00a.m. or the dizziness and head zapping thing kicks in.  I had never been able to clearly explain what that was like, I just know that I need to lie down when it occurs. My doctor has just approved my weaning myself off and I certainly hope that I lose this WEIGHT that I have gained!!!! Over 20 pounds!  I thought it was my age. That has been almost as depressing as the PMS that instigated my starting this prescription! I put off the weaning process so that I could attend a presentation I was speaking at before these terrible symptons hit me full force.  I am writing in support of those people looking for understanding about what Paxil actually does to a person physically.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have been on Paxil for six years now foloowing a head trama.  Is there any way I can take myself off the drug cause my doctors say I am going to be on it for life.  If I miss half a dose I cry a lot.  Thank you
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Everyone, I also have had a problem trying to stop my need for Paxil. It has helped me while I was on it, but trying to stop has been hell. I tried to stop cold turkey, which isn't a good idea, and had very bad spells of dizziness. Even after trying to lower my doses steadily, I still had problems with dizziness. I don't know how long they could possibly last, but hopefully someday I can beat the need for this drug.
Helpful - 0

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