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paxil withdrawal

Dec 05, 2007 - 17 comments

Who would guess that taking only 10mg paxil could cause such disruption in one's life when trying to discontinue taking it. I am trying to wean off and started a week ago going every other day, then every third day etc. The dizziness headaches flu like symptons etc have been awful. Is there any help out there to deal with this? I have been taking paxil for seven years and gained 40 lbs.

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Avatar universal
by Melmac60, Dec 05, 2007
I'm down to 5mg from 40mg that I have been taking for 9 years.  I experienced bad withdrawls as well... but it does subside and level out the longer you go.  I'm experiencing some weird feelings now, so I think I may increase to 10mg although I don't want to :/  
  Just take it easy and try to remember that you'll feel better soon!

Take Care

Avatar universal
by paxalien, Dec 10, 2007
Thanks for your comment. I am still trying. I now take 10 mg every fourth day. Have had the dizzies so far and that subsides when I take my pill. The major thing with me is mood swings and feeling like crying. Short-fused and stuff like that.  Heres hoping that none of the other many symptoms appear.
My daughter is also quitting. She has had major symptoms with no relief in sight. Does anyone know if taking ibuprofen would help at all with the headaches etc?

Avatar universal
by judy736, Jan 01, 2008
I had been on 20mg of Paxil for 7 years.  I decided it was time to stop. I started  cutting back by taking 10mgs a day for several weeks then 10 mg every other day for awhile.  I did experience headaches and muscle pain.  I thought, " gee this isn't so bad".  Three weeks ago I stopped altogether.  Well  things are not so great.  Would like to know what withdrawal symptoms some of you have or had.  Right now I have a headache from hell, my upper arms muscles in both arms hurt up into the back of my neck and head & have flu like feeling not to mention feeling hot.   No temp. I'm not depressed or anything like that.I've thought about seeing my Dr. to make sure it isn't anything else.  But it is all too much of a coincidence. I really would appreciate hearing from you.  By the way, I'm 64 & no major health issues.  Thanks!

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by Naughty168, Feb 25, 2008
I'm in tears this morning, I don't know what to do. I stopped taking paxil 3 days ago and the withdrawl symptoms are so bad I took 5mg this morning. The dizziness is unbearable, I have 2 small children and can't even drive. I'm naseous, sweating, horrible headache, sore muscles and very down. Somebody, please give me some advise, I'm hurting terribly, have never experienced anything like this. Should I start taking it again. I decided to go off of it becasue I gained 20 punds in 8 months.

Avatar universal
by pitt4321, Apr 11, 2008
I am so sorry you are going thru this too!
I am a mom of 3 daughters and I feel like **** too.
I ws on 40mg's for 5 years for PMS!
I weaned pretty slowly, then had a super meltdown after stopping completely for a week.
I had the brain zaps, moody, crying, etc.
I hate that my kids see me like this!
I am now on 5 mgs of liquid paxil and was doing better for a week.
Now I am a royal ***** and moody and kind of depressed.
I never felt this way before meds.
I hope you get help!  You are not alone.

Carol Ann

739269 tn?1232301563
by MIMICRESS, Jan 17, 2009
OMG!!! I thought I was alone!!...I'm so glad NOT!!!...but it still doesn't change the fact that it is still happening to us...
I was wondering how you are all doing ??....
I have been off Paxil CR for about 7 days now...and the symptoms are still very unbareable...I too really don't like the fact that my children see me going though this....I'm so irritable...very tired...dizzy with brain zaps...I feel like I will just tumble over at times...I feel for my family, but I don't know what else to do!!...
Do I start taking it again to aleveate the symptoms??...but then I'm back to square one!!!
How long do these symptoms last???
Can anyone respond?? Please??
I so want to feel like myself again!!!


Avatar universal
by ramie311, Mar 26, 2009
I  have been off of Paxil now for one week.  The worst day of withdrawal was on the 3rd to 5th day.  I had taken Paxil for 2 1/2 years and have never experienced such feelings as I have since withdrawing.  I have cried,  had vivid dreams and nightmares, chills with jerking, hot flashes, paranoia and joint pain.  Today, the 8th day since I have taken the med, I finally feel somewhat myself.  I still experience dizziness and brain zaps and period of tears.  If it weren't for friends on my worst night I don't think I would have made it through this horrible ordeal.  Finally, I am beginning to feel again, the very reason I made the decision to withdraw from the medication.  With each day, now, I am feeling myself.

Avatar universal
by jzbob, Apr 17, 2009
I have done the paxil elevator for a number of years.  Winters I go up and summers I go down in mgs.  I am hoping to drop to zero this summer...

But here's my experiences:

40-20mg decrease - seems like the withdrawls here are milder - I get minor electric brain/body shocks, a bit of vision issues (very mild blurred vision), and a bit moody.  This only last a few days to a week.

20-10 mg  decrease - this can be a real difficult time - major shocks when turning my head, very moody at times, rapid heart beat, anxiety, and physical symptoms (small red bumps on my legs with 1cm lines running through them).  This lasts in me two to three weeks but has been longer.

10-5mg - actually this is not as bad as I would figure - kinda like the 20-10mg drop.  But I find when you go real low when you miss a dose of even take it a hour later you feel it big time.

5mg to zero - I'll have to tell you later... wish me luck.

So we all know that withdrawl is real - it's physical and mental.  If a doctor says it's all in your head - well of course much of it is! - our brain is a very complex electro-chemical entity.  That's why we were prescribe it in the first place - to fix the issues our brain is driving us to - like OCD, Depression, etc...  So doctors who prescribe it to fix problems in your head, then scoff at you for complaining about withdrawl 'cause it's "in your head" - really miss the point (e.g. they can't even see their own hypocrisy)

I have replicated these withdrawl symptoms every year - several times a year.  So they are real.  But guess what people - you don't need others to believe you for it to be real to you.  You need to understand that it is hard to withdraw and people that surround you may not understand that unless they have ever had to withdraw from anything.  But that's OK.

The key is to NOT mix up withdrawl and the symptoms the paxil was originally given to you to deal with.  Yes they may be similar and very hard to tell apart... like anxiety.  If paxil actually helped your original symptoms but you are dropping it to avoid it's side effects - like no organism...expect that you will again suffer the original problems.  And this will make the withdrawl magnified - because you may get depressed and the withdrawl will actually give you a reason to be depressed.

But there is help!!! First if you have health insurance, find a doctor who actually is sympathetic and understands both the withdrawl and the original problems paxil was meant to relieve.  You cannot ignore the original problem you must also deal with that!  Second, understand that it wil be painful, it will take time, and it will be difficult.  AND it will differ for each person - just as your thoughts and emotions differ, your mental issues differ, so will your withdrawl.  Take each day as it comes, you are OK actually... don't ruminate, don't withdraw from society, don't make things abnormal as much as possible.  You need the normal workings of society around you to help you deal with the abnormal effects you are feeling.

Good luck and remember you can do it... but don't forget also that you took paxil for a reason, valid or not.  And that reason may still exist when you are off Paxil so be prepared to deal with it, get a support network to deal with it... but trust yourselves, you can do this.

Avatar universal
by cdedman10, Oct 07, 2009
I took Paxil for 11 years. I was originally prescribed 10mg/day when I was only 16 (interesting side is now ILLEGAL to prescribe Paxil to minors). I was originally prescribed the med for panic disorder with agoraphobia. Over the years I would find myself continuing to suffer debilitating panic attacks and the docs solution was always to "up the dose". I eventually maxed out on regular Paxil and was switched to the max dose (37.5 mg) of the "new" Paxil CR (controlled release) formula. I was on that for the past 3 years but this fall, I was having panic attacks so severe that I couldnt bring myself to leave my house to go to work. Both my psychologist and medical doctor suggested that I switch to a different SSRI. I researched all the SSRIs and reviewed the pros/cons of each med. I wound up picking Zoloft because it had the best reviews from real patients on forums like this one. My medical doctor originally had me on a pill schedule of Paxil (37.5 mg) one day, then Zoloft (50mg) the next, but after a few days my panic attacks were worse than ever and she advised me to stop the Paxil CR and only take Zoloft. She said and I qoute, "Because both meds are SSRI's, you shouldnt have any Paxil withdrawl problems" BULL ****!! The first 3 days of only having Zoloft I was okayish but by day 4 I was so dizzy that I couldnt get out of bed. Day 5 found the dizziness to be much better but I had no appetite and was nauseous. Day 6 I found myself sobbing uncontrollably over the smallest things (i.e. sappy TV commercials) which I couldnt understand because I have never been a depressive, only panic ridden. Today is Day 7 and I am no longer crying, the dizziness is less, but my anxiety is through the roof. I had to take a .25 mg Xanax to get myself to work. My doc now wants me to up my dose to 100mg/day but I'm reluctant to do that because as I have learned, the higher the does, the harder it is to wean/stop. I am resolved to try this 50mg Zoloft for at least 2 weeks before I up my dose. I hate that I have to take Xanax but if I dont, I cant leave my house and I have to work. I will update as I continue this ride.

Avatar universal
by jewels1381, Jul 01, 2010
I took Paxil CR 12.5 mg for 3 and a half years and I have been without out it for 1 month. I can honestly say that I feel like myself again and I am sooooo glad that I have weened off. The withdrawal affects that I have had are dizziness and crying at the drop of a dime....  But they are starting to calm down with each and every day. It is hard when you have been on a medicine for a period of time but you always have to stay positive and know that all of the symptoms will take time to leave. Like I said I am seeing the difference after a month. Good luck to all!!!!

Avatar universal
by DeeRN1064, Mar 22, 2012
I had to abruptly go off of Paxil 20mg/daily, more than 2 weeks ago,after taking it for 3 years.  I took it for mild anxiety.  My lips, forehead, feet and finger tips are numb, my brain is foggy, my speech is slow and slurred, I am vomiting 2-3 times/day, I am weak and feel tired all the time.  My work is suffering, and I may lose my job, because there are days I just can't get out of bed, due to the numbness and "brain fog".  My fiance is so understanding, but he is suffering too....I am not the person I used to be.  I can't go back on it....well, I won't.  If getting off of it is this bad, I will never go on it again.  Does anyone remember how long it took for the numbness and "brain fog" to subside?  I can handle the other stuff, but feeling off kilter like this, several times each day, is almost unbearable.  Thanks for any help or advice you can give me.

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by Deborah315, May 31, 2012
I was prescribed Paxil to combat fibromyalgia, and it did.  This was 15 years ago.  An added bonus is it helped with anxiety/depression.  For the past 2-3 years I've been taking a very low dose, 5 mg. every other day.  I am trying to go off it, it's been about 2 months now, and oh boy, I'm all over the place emotionally and physically.  I'm actually thinking of going back on it.  Can anyone tell how long these feeling are going to last?

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by Sharon0915, Jun 26, 2012
I Have been taking Paxil 10-20mg. for over 5 years now. Have to stop due to trying to have a baby and do not want to harm the fetus if it does happen. Having horrible brain zaps !  When do they stop ??? It has been a week since I stopped taking Paxil. Does the withdraw symptoms EVER go away ? I think that the drug company should be SUED for not letting everyone know how bad the withdraw symptoms are !! Will I get relief from brain zaps and fatigue/body aches anytime soon ????

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by dancinana1, Oct 19, 2012
have been off Paxil for 3 weeks,was on it for 20 years,gained all kinds of weight,lethargic,so I want to stay off from it. But cry everyday about any little thing. I do not want to get back on it,because I have lost some weight.. Oh I do not know what to do!!

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by ginalovestooshop, Jan 20, 2013
I have been taking Paxil for over Seventeen Years. I had a lot of Panic Attack's, and it really did help. I'm 37 now and I found I  am forgetting so much. It makes me so depressed not to remember things. And I mean Simple things too...The worse part is I cant even miss one dose. One missed, and I have Head Zaps (Shock's) thru my head, and some vertigo...It's horrible....... I very much congradulate, any one one who has done the Impossible, and got off this drug...

Avatar universal
by chinggay76, Oct 08, 2014
I am in ph and was prescribed lexapro by a doc in alabang. 3 mos later i complained that ihave short term memory loss but doc said no reported symptoms as such not to mention my weight problem. I was then switched to paxil 20 mg and i just missed  a day of taking the meds n i felt like hell nauseus extreme head ache vertigo extremely angry. Vented to my psychiatrist thru sms n she said its not related to the pill.. duh. Sillly and busy as i am as the bread winner i continued the pill anddecided to stop after 3 mos. 3 days later i literally Cant get up the bed soo dizxy w chest pain vouldnt even drivr chillng etc. Went to an md and she couldnt find any cause then i sent my supposed psych an sms abt my symptoms and she denies it and said my 2 yr old and hubby would suffer more if i dont continue. To date i cant fit my work uniform and none of my clothes fit and they tease me at i researched w my hubbys help and found out that i am not alone! I hold a good post at work and everyone is telling me how sadly and aggressively diff i am. Soo emotional parsnoid angry and cant hear what they say. Lowest dose in ph is 20 mg i cut it into 2 and down to 10 mg still get some dizziness n i am changing doc and scheduled next wk i dont want another ssri but i have panic attacks when my work gets out of hand not to forget the lack of sleep. I will share my progress and my new doc will advise. I also had effexor in texas after my post partum had horrible discontinuation effects but only lasted 2 wks. This paxil is worst! If i can only sue my doc i will as she denies my symptoms and gives me a med thatade my wright worsy considering my smal frame. Its obviously just abt the money.

Avatar universal
by chinggay76, Oct 08, 2014
Sorry for the typo i meant  made my weight heavier than my body frame can handle . Over 30lbs in 5 mos

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