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Avatar universal

Paxel Withdrawals and Thoughts of Suicide

My husband has just been diagnosed with anxiety and mild depression.  He's also experience constant diarrhea (last 6 months), nausea, vomiting, chest pains that move up into his jaw, tingling fingers, a lots of fun other things.  Nothing has been found to be wrong with his heart and he has an appointment with a gastoendonologist in two weeks to have a flexsig done.  Last week his GP put him on Paxel.  Since starting it, we have heard from two friends about the awful things this drug can do to you when you go off from it.  One of the friends has been on Paxel before and she said that each time you go off the depression is worse than the time before and that she gets thoughts of suicide.  The other friend said that he has two friends who have both been on it and both tried to committ suicide after being taken off the drug.  This has gotten my husband even more anxious and he wants to quit taking the drug without even consulting his doc.  What has anyone else experienced with this?  We're more concerned with how he's dealing with the stress in his life (or should I say NOT dealing with it) than we are the depression.  We don't need this to become a downward cyclone.  Also, the one friend said that Paxel is a lifelong thing not a 6-9 month stint as the doctor has said.  Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc. will be GREATLY appreciated!!  THANKS!!!
29 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Paxil is a very potent drug, and effective for many people. It is true that rebound depression can occur if the medication is not tapered off very slowly when it is time to stop it.  It does not have to be lifelong...that is a decision that is made between the doctor and the patient.  It can be for only a few months.

On the other hand there are many medications designed specifically for anxiety that can be used instead, such as buspar, and many others.
Avatar universal
hey I'm very new to this stuff and I don't know if anyone will write back but I have been struggling with depression and thoughts that i'm not good enough I have no girl friend, my car is on it's last step and I just dont know how to make a good decision on what to doo with my life. oh well i will just have to get input kinda like i'm giving you i know that i'm just telling you about me. but sometimes thats all it takes feeling that your not alone it makes it easier to overcome your bad feelings please write back because I'm interested on taking to people who have these types of disorders. thanks chris
Avatar universal
im on wellbutrin and im 16 its hard being on medication it makes me feel like im crazy and i dont know if i am but i was diagnosed with a few things like SAD(social anxiety disorder), depression and agoraphobia its really hard for me to go outside and out with friends i get bad panic attacks is  there anyone who has theese disorders and have some suggestions i would deeply appreciate them thanx
Avatar universal
its me again id also like to say i was on paxil and went off it and had trouble like zaps and trouble concentrating and dizziness really bad although i didnt have thoughts of suicide going off the drug however i did overdose on tylonal while taking the drug and also have a friend who overdosed on paxil i dont know if its from the drug or just our disorders but in my opinion paxil has brought some trouble but everyones different
w/b pls thanx
bye
Avatar universal
Paxil has worked very well for me, for my anxiety symptoms.  Its different for everyone.  When I weaned off a few months ago, there is dizziness, nausea and rebound anxiety for a couple of weeks.  Go slow, slower than what your doctor says, like 2.5 mg a week.  You should be fine.

Avatar universal
I was on Paxil for about 4 Months, after constant problems with Insomnia I was slowly tapered off of it with no problems at all. I will say that Paxil worked very very well with me as far as Social Anxiety and helping me get rid of some of my fears, like Using a public restroom, fear of elevators etc...

Wellbutrin was what i was given next and that was a horrible experience, I got headaches, stomach aches and I sweated like crazy, if it was cold outside I would sweat.

Randy - Pinballguy
Avatar universal
I was on Paxil for 2yrs for severe panic attacks, and it did work really well for me. I just recently got off of it by tapering, and did so without many bad side effects. I also take Xanax, and have been on that for about 2yrs., very low dose. I have not had any recurrence of any actual attacks for over a year now, and none since quitting paxil. I have started an excercise program and have started eating healthier as well, along with vitamins. I'm hoping that they don't come back again, I still have some anxiety from time to time, but nothing like the attacks before.
Avatar universal
Well how do you know you didn't have withdrawal after paxil? you are on Xanax!! Wait till you stop taking that too and you will see what a withdrawal feels like. I was weaned off paxil about a month ago and I feel like total ****! It is the worst feeling I have ever had and the bad thing is I can't stop them. I get such a bad feeling at times even my clothes make me mad just to feel anything against my skin is enough to want to hurt somebody. I was never told of the withdrawals when my doctor put me on them. And i only had a mild stress condition from my work, after I was told this was used for depression I wanted to quit, but after a failed attempt I went back on them just to try and wein off them slowly, but here it is 3 weeks later and I cry all the time and snap at people I love for no reason, I don't like the person it has made me. I would advise anyone who is being told by their doctor that they need paxil, to run the other direction.
Avatar universal
I for one, second that emotion!
Avatar universal
What a horrible thing, Paxil....I am currently going through my second stage of "cutting down" my dose to get off.  I got on Paxil for PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks...it worked okay, but getting off has been pure hell.  The withdrawal effects are too many to list, but trust me, DO NOT GO THERE!!!!!!!  Any alternative has to be better than this.  I am actually on the net now researching whether or not to be hospitalized, I am doing extremely poorly right now.
Avatar universal
I have been on paxil and if you come off of paxil..YOU MUST do it slowly.  I found that I had to do it more slowly than others and even slower than the doctor told me..it depends on your body.  The withdrawals were making me lightheaded.  As for suicide I think its your disposition. I never had thoughts of that.  So I kept having lightheadedness so this is what I did.  I went to a professional and she gave me something on the lines of paxil less potent and I weaned my self off of that.  it took me 6 months to come off all of them.
Avatar universal
I have been on 20 mg paxil for almost two years and hate it.  I get palpitation and chest pain so I went to the doctor and he is switching me to prozac, which I took for 8 yrs before.  He wants me to cut back to 10 mg paxil for a week then alternate 10 mg paxil one day and 20 mg prozac the next for a week then switch right over to the prozac the next week.  Has anyone else done this?  Did you get the paxil withdrawal?  I tried quitting paxil last fall and felt like Robert Downey Jr. after a bad weekend, so went back on it.  I really want to make the switch so any info is appreciated.
Avatar universal
I tried to swith from Paxil to Zolaf.  I still went through the withdrawl from Paxel and therefore I couldn't make the switch to Zolaf.
Avatar universal
Does anybody see a major trend here?  Lots of self-medicating, not getting educated before taking drugs and self-withdrawaling.  Life isn't easy but we need to be smarter about what we do and put in our bodies.   I went through a difficult seperation from my soon to be ex husband (whose isn't difficult?) and found the on-going 2-year emotional roller coaster was destroying my family and personal life.  Enter Paxil.  I researched it and others and chose it with full knowledge of possible side effects.  I took 20 mgs for 6 months and when I felt myself really doing well for more then 3 months I chose to get off of it.  Yes, I did it cold turkey and am still doing it. I am in week 2 and still have the funky light-headedness, tingling, air-walking and other side effects.  When I feel the twinges of being emotionally irrational, I fight it with the tools given to me from counseling which I have participated in since beginning Paxil.  I am fighting this like I fought my withdrawal from alcohol two years ago.  I work with my doctor but her advise is not the last word.  I research and get as much information as I can to make an informed decision. My advice, take hold of your life and your recovery.  Don't dive into withdrawal if you are not absolutely committed.  I am marching on and fighting this.  I am lucky that I don't have severe depression and am active physically.  Physical excercise has given me the extra boost I need to get through this.  Yes, I get zaps and slight light-headedness during my workouts but the are mild and it is a reprieve.  I am a fighter and I will get through this too.
Avatar universal
Happy still i am pleased to hear your report. Too many ppl just take meds and not seek counciling. Counciling and Group therapy is a must for depression and anxiety, meds can get u through it a little easier but they are meant for short term use.
Avatar universal
happystill, I am glad to see that you are doing well, and you are taking responsibility for your actions, etc. I quit taking Paxil cold turkey (against doctor's advice) February 28th. I had about two weeks of very bizarre withdrawal symptoms (all those listed excpet seizures), but am doing terrific now. It bothers me to see these postings screaming to take the drug off the market because there was no action on their part to check out side effects, possible withdrawal, etc.

You can withdraw safely and it isn't easy, but I had to survive a suicide (husband), loss of a parent, and loss of my job all within a six month period. It helped me sustain.....Don't become discouraged. You are right.

I don't focus on the withdrawal problems, I involve myself in work or hobbies, and have started exercising. Knowing it is "withdrawal" helps tremendously, I thought it was me. Knowing it is withdrawal means it will stop, and that is good enough for me.
Avatar universal
I'm glad some of you managed to research the drug and find out all about the withdrawals, the full effects, despite GSK not stating the facts.   The facts you found out would mostly be from people who had already gone through withdrawal WITHOUT first having been able to rely upon other victims' testimony.  THOSE people were not told by GSK or by their doctors and it is relatively recently that victims of withdrawal who are fortunate to have internet access and able to research started forums and information sites, etc.  

You have THOSE victims to thank for the knowledge you gained/researched, NOT the drug company.  You also have access to the internet.  Many people do not.  So I think the posting with the 'other victims are foolish' attitude is maybe a little thoughtless?  What about children on Paxil?  Children in care?  People in psychiatric hospitals?  What about depressed people below the poverty line with no access to the internet and search engines, people grieving?  People who are just plain lied to? Generally, what about people less fortunate?  

WHO was there to inform them that, DESPITE the duplicity of GSK and so the lack of information to doctors, withdrawal symptoms were actually far far worse than that on the bit of paper provided with Paxil?  And withdrawal itself - nobody knows for certain how long in can last in some people, or how badly those symptoms can effect over the long term. Because there hasn't been any long term studies.  We just have to hope that we aren't one of the unluckier ones.  Because, until you have come through it, there is no way of knowing. Or of knowing what permanent but less obvious damage might have been caused.


Paula
Avatar universal
I myself have never taken paxel or any other type of drug for mental depression.  The main reason I'm here is to say that my cousin was on paxel and his doctor switched him to zolaf.  He was suffering from some sort of withdrawel.  My cousin committed suicide this past Saturday.  Please, if you are having problems and are contemplating suicide, ask someone for help.  Don't put any one through the pain that my family has gone through this past week.  After researching paxel and zolaf a little, I have found that thoughts of suicide are very common to people on these medications.  Also, people often feel like they are crawling out of their skin.  My cousin would suddenly get very angry.  You are not alone if you do feel this.  I just don't want anyone else to have to go through this.  Please, please do not let these thoughts of suicide take over.  There is always some one or something to help you.
Avatar universal
So sorry to hear about your cousin.  Yes, suicide ideation comes as part and parcel for many people on and withdrawing from SSRIs, particularly paxil.

Having had over 4 months of withdrawal (cold turkey) it seems to me that its the 'crawling out of the skin' (I feel its like being attached by the spinal cord to an electrical socket but guess its similar) that tends to bring on these suicide ideas the most.  Personally, this symptom started as the Zaps began to subside.  Almost like there was not enough electrical current to give the seizure/zap any more, but plenty to sit there down your back for hours on end without any breaks as there were in the zaps.  This 'wired-up' feeling is almost unbearable.  I think its termed a form of akethesia (?sp) and the 'current' can go into feet too, and 'marching on the spot' at that point is the only way to relieve that bit of it.  As anyone can imagine, having an electric shock is highly unpleasant.  The zaps are horrible but come every second, between them there is the break.  When 'wired up' you have this for hours on end without a break and eventually it affects normal thinking.  After several hours of this you no longer are capable of thinking in the usual logical manner and this is where suddenly strange black moods come in and you're living in a weird 'electrical' sort of world where suicide seems like a great idea.  And anything at that point is better than the wired-up feeling.

Something like that.  Maybe thats also the point where a few people have murdered their families then committed suicide.  Its out of control no matter how logical a person you normally are.  Its a frightening nightmarish state to get into and this happens to plenty of people who never were suicidal - some people are given ssris as help to slim, pmt, post op depression, all sorts of iffy reasons.

I'm an adult and have experienced quite a few bad times, this withdrawal is on a few occasions something I can hardly handle and have been lucky enough to have someone very observant and caring around who has literally stopped me from trying suicide at the moment it happens.  Teenagers and children (the younger the more so) would have NO chance of being able to cope with wired-up and suicide ideation stuff.  

I'm so sorry your cousin didn't make it.  But your posting here in itself means that you are already helping to save someone else and I'm sure that's what your cousin would have wanted from you.  Thoughts are with you.

Lots of love
Paula
Avatar universal
would like to know any comment u could give on schizophrenia and how u could control it's symptoms without meds.But then if u ain't been there then u don't know, do u????? I have. Anyone would be thankful to have the meds after goin thru that kind of torture.
Avatar universal
You assume I don't know?  No, of course I have no alternative answer to the question of schizophrenia.  But Paxil carries a torture of its own.  And very many people who are on it are going to suffer long-term neurological damage - many of whom have not been prescribed it for little more than PMS and other similar stuff.  They DESERVE to know what serious problems they might experience before they get locked into the system.  Did YOU know, for instance, that autopsies on the brains of schizophrenics, show a much higher level of serotonin than normal?  So I doubt purely from logical thinking that raising that level even further by SSRIs is actually a sensible answer to the problem.  It is that very serontonin level increase that causes the neurological problems associated with SSRIs.  

There IS no answer as yet.  I have never said there IS an answer.  I just know that all the evidence appearing and the research results of independent tests show that there are a lot of negative, destructive and sometimes deadly sides to SSRIs. Schizophrenia is undoubtedly a bad state.  But SO are the side effects and withdrawals of Paxil.  Do you think its easy for people to feel as if they are plugged into an electrical socket, or prodded with a cattle prod every second or so?  That is one of the many side effects.  And stroke, symptoms of things like MS, brain tumour and so on.  That is no alternative.  

The information has been put on this board so that people can learn ALL the facts available, not just the facts the drug companies want out.   If you disagree with them, fine - that is your choice.  But please don't try to discourage others from making their own choices, they have a right to know and a right to make as INFORMED a choice that they can under the circumstances :)

Hope you have a good weekend.
Paula



Avatar universal
In commenting back to paula, schizophrenia has nothing to do with the serotonin but all to do with the dophamine in the brain. Yes some ppl can have depression and schizophrenia, which this special boy that i love dearly does have both.  I don't agree with ppl just running out and getting meds when mild depression or anxiety hits them, i am all for no meds and counciling when at all possible, but now i have walked in a place where i never thought i would. And yes i am very thankful for these antiphocotics that allow schizophrenics to beable to leave the hospital and live normal lives. Again i say there has to be a balance of thinking here and not all one way or to look at this close minded. I truely believe doctors care about people. They are not cold hearted people just wanting to make a buck off of drugs. Maybe if you had a child or someone you love with a brain disease then you wouldn't be so quick to judge.Now you have a good weekend too.And i intend to have a happy mothers day, because my son is happy and well. Thanks be to Zyprexa and Zoloft.And his doctors and God.
Avatar universal
Have a happy Mothers Day :)  Over here Mother's Day is in March in the cold weather :)

The research re seretonin levels on autopsy re schizophrenia, I'll search it out another time and post the link for you.  Its scientific research, the levels are much higher than they should be and its definitely seretonin that they measured.  Don't know about dopamine levels - maybe that too, but this particular reasearch was on seretonin.  I'm not a scientist - its scientists that did the research :)

Anyway, whatever - we'll simply have to agree to disagree.  Not here to fight, just here to give people who want to get information the links and the starters to the evidence :)

Hope the weather is good for you.  I know its difficult living with people who suffer from schizophrenia.  I fostered a couple of adult schizophrenics for 6 years before then going on to fostering adults with traumatic brain damage.  Its hard.  I sympathise.  But it doesn't mean that in the absence of a harmless and effective cure being found, that anything that isn't harless is thus OK :)  It has caused the death of many people including young children.  But glad at least it appears to be working for your son.

Love
Paula
Avatar universal
Going away for the weekend which is why I'll have to leave searching for Seretonin and Schizophrenia autopsy studies until another time.  And also, now 5 months into withdrawal I was informed yesterday that I'm being referred for an EMG.  So seem now to have joined those many victims of Paxil who end up being tested for Multiple Sclerosis?

I'm not JUDGING you, though you seem to be judging me.  Why?  I'm putting info written by experts here to try to stop someone else from ending up with MS symptoms and the mass of disabling stuff that can result from Paxil and, more importantly, to stop other mothers from losing their young children to paxil-induced suicidal ideation and you seem to be turning it into a personal vendetta.  There is no answer and life isn't fair. It isn't fair for your son, it wasn't fair to those who died, it isn't fair to me. I'm trying to make it just a little fairer on this issue by posting information by experts :)   And please dont assume things about my life.  You don't know me and you have no idea as to what things I might have been through :)

Maybe when you can see that I'm here to try to stop others from suffering unnecessarily and NOT here to upset people, then we perhaps might be friends :)  If not, then I'll post the research mentioned above on the board and maybe we should just leave person to person message alone?  Spending time on arguing on a personal level is really a waste of time that could be spent in a more productive, helpful way.

Have a good weekend and I hope Mothers Day is a good one :)
Peas

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