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Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms

Paxil, or paroxetine hcl, is an antidepressant medication that is used for a wide variety of social anxiety disorders, but the patient can exhibit some uncomfortable Paxil withdrawal symptoms it taken off of the medication too quickly. For this reason, the prescribing physician will design a method of gradual reduction of the medication's dosage over a short period of time to reduce the possibilities of these negative effects.

Why do Paxil withdrawal symptoms occur? Paxil is prescribed in part because of the brain's inability to produce effective levels of certain mood stabilizing chemicals, namely serotonin. During the treatment program where Paxil is ingested by the patient on a daily basis, the body becomes dependent on the paroxetine hcl to assist in the making of these brain chemicals. By decreasing the dosage gradually over time, the brain has a chance to regulate its production in accordance. When this does not occur, negative Paxil withdrawal symptoms are more likely.

How severe are the withdrawal symptoms? The severity of withdrawal symptoms will be partially dependent upon the patient's individual medical history and unique medical condition. Paxil withdrawal symptoms can be exhibited even when the medication is progressively decreased over time, but the effects are considerably less severe.

Once the Paxil treatment program begins to take effect, some patients begin to feel much better rather quickly. As they begin to feel better, they sometimes begin to believe that the medication is no longer necessary. This leads them to stopping the medication abruptly, against the advice of the prescribing physician. Paxil withdrawal symptoms almost immediately develop, which can set back the overall progress of the treatment program, and these side effects can be alarmingly severe in many cases.

These are some possible side effects that could occur in patients who stop taking the Paxil medication: hallucinations; suicidal thoughts; seizures; disorientation; blurred vision; racing heartbeat; nausea; vomiting; ringing of the ears; irritability; panic attacks; moodiness; fever and chills; numbness in the extremities; nightmares and sleep disorders; constipation; diarrhea; night sweats; headache; cramping; fatigue; dry mouth syndrome; loss of libido; fainting.

How long do symptoms last? Even when the patient's dosage is gradually decreased, some of these side effects may occur. These Paxil withdrawal symptoms may last for up to two weeks after treatment has stopped or up to 1 month from the time that the medication has begun to be reduced. It is always recommended to keep the prescribing physician informed of all withdrawals symptoms.

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I started paxil many years ago, now age 76. First doctor prescribed 10 mg, then increased to 20. Then new doctor 30 mg, then 40 mg and finally 50 mg. Do these doctors know what they are doing or are they just pushing their patients off trying to get rid of them? I stopped completely around Jan 2014 but I am now having my problems. Aside from feeling "haywire" and a short temper, not treating my loving wife as well as I should, I now have a major constipation problem. I believe 100% this problem is related to Paxil withdrawal. Now Kaiser wants to do a colonoscopy on me and I am fighting this. Been taking Dulcolax laxatives for a couple of weeks but getting stomachs from this medication and I still cannot get regular. I need help! Anyone have any good suggestions?

I bought a nutri bullet and have been having fruit and veggie shakes for breakfast every morning. I feel good and am easily healthily and naturally cleaning out. You don't need to take anything.

Hi Ron; The best treatment for constipation I've found is eating Chia seeds. (you can buy them at Costco and bulk food stores). Everymorning I mix about 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds into a bowl of my favorite yogurt and that's my breakfast. Google the 'benefits of chia seeds' and you see just how good they are for you. They really are a super food and among all the other benefits, they'll keep your colon flowing in a heathy manner.

I'm 65 and I took Paxil for 10 years (20mg). I discontinued (tapering) in September of 2012 and I'm still experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. It's truly ghastly but gradually getting better. My own main worry was losing IQ points. I have a Ph.D. in psychology, thank God, so I know I'm not crazy. When I first began the symptoms I found a wonderful website which I visited which helped me tremendously. It made me know I wasn't alone. I tried to go back but it no longer exists. That's why I'm reaching out to you. Payback. If I can help I will be here for you. BTW, my physician refused to go beyond 20 mg as he said it would make the symptoms worse. I think you got some very bad medical advice. I've learned with advancing years that much medical advice is bad. Again, best of luck and hang in there. Janet

I started taking paroxetine Oct.2013 10 mgs. 2wks. then 20 mgs.developed light sensitivity & excessive blinking.Anybody else have this?having difficulty quitting-irritable-fatigue.also menopausal.help!

I've been taking Paxil every day for close to 10 years now. Recently, due to financial problems, I had to quit the drug cold turkey. I was taking the highest recommended dosage for someone of my age and weight, 50mg once daily.

I never intended to quit for good...but now, after about 2 weeks without Paxil, I've decided it's time to do JUST that! Not only had I been suffering from clinical depression my entire life (along with Bi-polar II, OCD, ADHD and anxiety issues), I lost my wife of close to 40 years to cancer almost a year ago. I've never cried so much in my life! Also, the drug NEVER quashed my thoughts of suicide (which had worsened over the past few months)...so I figured quitting wouldn't have a marked effect on that (i.e. actually going through with it). It hasn't...thank goodness!

It took about 3-4 days without Paxil to start feeling the effects. The first week was excruciating! Yes, flu-like symptoms abound...chills, sweats, and worst of all, that feeling I can only describe as 'brain zaps'. It's a feeling of electricity that pulses through your head like a hive of angry bees. All I could think about, was when I could be able to afford my prescription that had been waiting for me in the WalMart pharmacy.

Initially, the 'zaps' seemed to be going on 24/7. With every movement I made, my head felt like the hive had been shaken...and the bees let out a jolting feeling inside my head that can be felt AND HEARD! My depression worsened, and my emotions seemed uncontrollable and strange. I'd be laughing at something one second...which, even during my laughter, would quickly turn into uncontrollable weeping. I dealt with (and still deal with) the emotional rollercoaster, but it's those annoying 'zaps' that seem to bother me the most. Some got so bad they would make me dizzy, and made me afraid to stand up for fear of passing out. During the first week my only relief was to cover myself up in bed and try to sleep. I also noticed my sleep patterns starting to change. I had very strange dreams that had me waking up and shaking my head, wondering why I would have such a strange dream. Not quite nightmares, just absurd scenarios. I felt like I was in a permanent state of confusion, and had trouble gathering my thoughts. I don't think I would have been able to write this just post just one week ago. Old Ron, I like your comment using the word "haywire"...that's a good way of putting it! As far as being "short-tempered", I've been staying away from the relatives I share my house with, at times, because of my irritability. I never noticed a constipation problem, however, and wish you luck with that.

After around 2 weeks the 'zaps' seem to come less frequently, and may have become less powerful. I feel them the most when I first wake up, and being a cigarette smoker, still hit me hard after and during a smoke. I'm no doctor, but I presume this to be happening due to a possible rush of Seratonin from the nicotine. In response to Joanne's post above, I DO believe the drug also had an effect on my eyes. My vision seemed to be getting worse, and my eyes would ache frequently at work, which I attributed to the computer monitor which always seemed too bright!

It was only just a couple of days ago that I've decided to stay off the drug for good. I'm concerned I may have damaged my brain synapses due to the Paxil, similar to the effects of brain damage from the use of crack cocaine and other substances that overload the Seratonin distribution process. I've vowed to deal with the depression I've experienced without the need to rely on Paxil. I'm not fond of the fact that doctors prescribe this, and similar drugs, without following up with a need for psychiatric sessions or group therapy. It also bothers me that MDs (NOT psychiatrists) who are not familiar with the long-term effects of this drug, can prescribe it without a single thought of a goal for cessation. It was my presumption that I would be a slave to this drug for as long as I'd live.

Going off Paxil cold turkey, especially the high daily dose I was on, is NOT recommended. I literally had no choice in the matter. However, since finding some relief after a couple of weeks without...I'm starting to believe it to be necessary for MY mental health. This is just one person's story regarding the use of Paxil, and I believe everyone should take the necessary precautions before attempting to quit the drug. What might possibly be the best decision I've ever made, might not be yours. If you DO decide to quit like I did, please consider the consequences. I realize the ride is still probably not over for me, as it hasn't been that long since I've been off the drug. I've heard that the 'zaps' can continue for months. But, there's a small spark of confidence I feel now...telling me I will eventually be OK. That's what keeps me thinking positively about my decision.

Good Luck,

Paul

I have been off of a 50mg per day dosage for a week and a half now...You couldnt have put into words what I am going thru and thinking any better than you just did...I cried (of course, lol) several time re-reading this and sending it to my wife to understand what im going thru.

Thank you. I vow to stick it out as well as far as withdrawals, and fight depression with all I have!

Paul, I hope you are doing better now. I am just going off Paxil myself. Thanks for sharing your story. God bless.

Had the "zaps" you are describing BEFORE I went on 10 mg Paxil. If I forget to take a dose, the next day the zaps are back. So, the Paxil helped me!

Im 21 yrs old Ive been taking paxil for about 3 months now ,i missed 1 day of my 20 mg dose

And suddenly often would feel as if i couldn't breath ,or take a deep breath

Has anyone else had this sort of side effect??

I have the feeling of not being able to breath and pain and tightness in my throat and chest which I believe is due to paxil withdrawal. It's horrible.

I myself decided to stop taking Paxil after 8 years and the withdrawal process for me is horrible. The dizziness, and feeling like I'm going to pass out sitting or standing and this zapping feeling I get in my head is really making me feel like the drug has done damage to me. It's only been for days now without any medication and I'm praying this doesn't last long. This is the worst experience of my life.

I have been off paxil for about a month now. At first I had terrible nausea and flu like symptoms but now I'm anxious, can't sleep, nightmares and delusions. Anyone else have these symptoms? In my opinion paxil should not be prescribed to anyone.

I just started taking Paxil 10mg, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I haven't been able to take it for a week. I am anxious, feel like I have the flu and can't stop crying. I got desperate, because just a month ago, my psych meds got taken away while I was in hospital for unrelated circumstances and had the worst withdrawal ever. I later found out that i could have had a seizure or worse. so, this prompted me to call for emergency help eventually, as I couldn't stand it anymore. This medication is dangerous, and I will certainly be having "words" with my provider when they can "fit me in to their schedule" next time. Had I known how bad this medication is, I would have refused it.

helo ,my name is mo,im currently 29 been on paxil 20mg and diazapam 5mg for about 3 years,its 3 weeks now that im clean ,not easy at all,i have dis feeling of insanity hitting me hard,but i do believe i cn do it, will feel beter,god is great,my advise to all of you is dont be fooled dis medication is by far very scary and sickening and the dortors who prescribe it they should probly take the medication 1st before prescribing it,im gna give it my all to keep away from the medication,and i pray for all of yourl dat god heals our pain.

Thanks paul I really needed to hear your story I am experiencing the same withdraw I thought I was all alone. I had a fear that people thought I was going crazy by telling what was going thru my head.

@dorthy u r not alone I have the confusion scared to go to sleep, negative thoughts I'm running to the hospital back and forth telling them something is wrong with me cause what I am feeling in my brains scared that they may have me committed thinking that I am crazy but they are not inside my body to know what I am feeling I can't wait to overcome this

I've been thinking about going off Paxil for a year now and finally am taking the plunge. At this moment, for the first time in 10 years, I'm trying to go off Paxil. My life, 10 years ago, was very difficult and sad that my physician highly recommended this drug. I have to say, it changed my life, for the better. I believe it saved my life! I didn't have the feeling of depression but the anxiety was debilitating. For 10 year, I've been at 20mg. I've decreased my dosage to 10 mg, two weeks ago. Today, as I type, I'm on 5mg. A week ago I started experiencing "The" side effects from the decrease. There is no other word to describe what I am going through but it SUCKS. Brain cloudiness, zapping, very vivid dreams, dizziness. I've never had vertigo but pretty sure I know exactly what it feels like!

I want to thank everyone on this forum because if it wasn't for reading your testimonials, I'd be thinking there was something truly wrong with me.

It's hell but I'm so determined to make this happen.

Life, for me, is 100% better from 10 years ago and this is my reasoning for finally going off this drug.

I wish everyone good success on making Paxil a thing of the past.

Cathy

I've been on paxil for 16 yrs now at a 10 mg dose. I've been tapering down gradually over the past 4 was. I'm having trouble staying asleep,vivid dreams,pounding heart,sinus congestion and mood swings of irritability. I will NEVER take paxil again. I have yet to completely stop...I'm down to an 1/8 of a pill and am hangin in there. No electric shocks...yet. I've gone off Paxil before and had hideous Zaps and crazy thoughts and went back on it . My Doctors keep suggesting I up my dose for yrs,but I always said no. I feel for alllll of you coming off this poisoness drug. It should be banned and never given to another human being AGAIN !! I'm scared to stop that 1/8 of a pill :(( especially after reading all your stories. I hope for a miracle when I finally stop taking it.

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