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"I had recently come off paxil, September 15,2000, to be exact. Prior attempts had not gone well, so before I came off it this time, I cut down my dose very gradually, after discussing it with my doctor. I took my regular dosage of 1 pill per day. I then cut it in half and took only a 1/2 pill a day for about 3 weeks. I then took only 1/4 pill a day for several weeks and then on September 15 I stopped taking them all together. On the 17 September, I felt the dizzy spells again, and thought I should take a 1/4 pill, but decided to to let it go, and see how I felt. I now realize that was the best thing. It has been almost 3 weeks now, and the dizzy spells come and go, but are few and far between, and they don't last for very long even when I do get them. I am very pleased that I am finally off them and thought I should share my experience with you, so that you could share it with your readers and that perhaps someone else may have success in the same way. I think that by coming down in my dosage as gradually as I did, it helped my body adjust to the fact that it was no longer getting any. It was far easier this time, that's for sure."
"I had recently come off paxil, September 15,2000, to be exact. Prior attempts had not gone well, so before I came off it this time, I cut down my dose very gradually, after discussing it with my doctor. I took my regular dosage of 1 pill per day. I then cut it in half and took only a 1/2 pill a day for about 3 weeks. I then took only 1/4 pill a day for several weeks and then on September 15 I stopped taking them all together. On the 17 September, I felt the dizzy spells again, and thought I should take a 1/4 pill, but decided to to let it go, and see how I felt. I now realize that was the best thing. It has been almost 3 weeks now, and the dizzy spells come and go, but are few and far between, and they don't last for very long even when I do get them. I am very pleased that I am finally off them and thought I should share my experience with you, so that you could share it with your readers and that perhaps someone else may have success in the same way. I think that by coming down in my dosage as gradually as I did, it helped my body adjust to the fact that it was no longer getting any. It was far easier this time, that's for sure."
I know (don't ask how) that the way to get off Any substance, if hospitalization isn't indicated, is to tough it out. Eventually, you get through it. With that knowledge in mind, I steeled myself for a battle, and a battle it was. Three days of feeling worse than seasick, with auditory hallucinations, and vision disturbances: whenever I turned my head left or right, there was a smeared afterimage like the one you get when you pan a camera real fast. I would lose my balance getting up to cross the living room. Daring the subway was difficult: I had to hold my head straight and keep my eyes forward like the guard at Buckingham Palace. The nausea was constant. Another thing---my emotions came back with a roar, good and bad. My libido, ten months dormant, came back to life in two days (that helped ;-). I went on crying jags. I felt suicidal on day four, and wondered why this was the toughest thing I'd ever had to kick. But . . . I noticed that it was ever so slightly better on day five. Then maybe two per cent better on day seven. I'm stubborn, and I really hate to be under anything's thumb, so I was grimly determined to get through. I had moral support from a couple of friends who'd gone through the process, one who had had it much worse. And I realized that anything that kicked me in the head this hard had to be a damned dangerous drug and not one I was willing to go back to. If I did, I knew I would lose all the ground in detoxing that I'd so painfully achieved. It's now three months later, and I am free of it. Not even the auditory buzzes in the night any more. And I tell everyone I know who's taking an antidepressant what happened to me, and urge them to not stay on it any longer than they flat have to, and not go on it unless they are truly clinically depressed..
"Just wanted to let you know how helpful your site has been. I have been Paxil-free for one month and I feel so much better now. I have been switching doctors/shrinks as I changed health care and I was sick of all the double talk I was hearing. My current shrink told me he would not prescribe me anymore Paxil until I was completely a non-drinker. Since that was never going to happen (I don't drink a lot but I do like to go out to bars on weekends, apparently that was unacceptable) I decided to see what would happen if I cut down on drinking and got off the Paxil. I had no idea what those "zaps" were and they were so scary, I thought I had something wrong with my brain. I had them all the time, several a minute and sometimes one every couple seconds. My shrink thought I was more nuts than usual, he had no idea what I was talking about. Fortunately they are very rare now, but unfortunately the dizziness is still a problem after a month. The one advantage to taking the Paxil in !
the first place is that my claustrophobia is so much better, because when I was on the Paxil I rode in a lot of elevators, planes, etc with very little anxiety, and I became used to these activities, so even now I rarely have a panic attack in a claustrophobic situation.
Anyway, this site is very helpful and reassuring. For people trying to quit, let me say this: if your doctor/shrink is not helping you with the withdrawal process, go to someone else who understands and will help. This is serious business."
Hi, My wife found this web site for me. I have been weaning of of Paxil now for 5 weeks. I am currently not taking any at all. I started out cold turkey but ended up in the ER. I was so out of control and felt like just ending it all. The doctor in the ER looked Paxil up in the PDR (the big book that list the drugs and side effects). He told me I could not be going thru withdrawl because there was not anything mentioned in the book about it being addictive. He then had the hospital shrink come down to talk to me, all he would say is "maybe you just need to be taking it". I was put on it for stress at work by a regular doctor, not a phyciatrist and since I not longer had the stress at my job I wanted off of it. I ended up going to a mental health center, they are the ones that helped wean me off. The funny thing is the shrink I saw there said he had never met anyone with my withdrawl symptoms. The scratching noise in my head was awful. I described it to them as it sou!
nded like someone was sanding in my head. I have had the strange dreams, night sweats, shocking sensations in my mouth, tounge, and hands, twitching, depression (my wife can not talk to me with out it ending up in an arguement) and most of the others listed. I was on paxil since June of 2001. I never dreamed it would be so hard to get off of. The medical profession needs to be warning people about what is going to happen when they try to quit taking it. I am doing better, still have the tingeling, but not as often, the scratching noise is still very prominent, especially if I am walking fast or making sudden movements. All I can say to everyone is HANG IN THERE. IT WILL GET BETTER!"
I am a 44 year old female who has been taking Paxil for approximately 5 years. It was initally prescribed for Panic Disorder, (related to my Fibromyalgia). I started at 20 mg. but took only 10 mg. daily, unbeknownst to my Doctor. I, like many others, thought that I could stop and /or wean from this drug. Alas, I began the journey into Hell! After "cutting the dosage" failed, I decided to cut the drug on different days. I began by not taking Paxil on Fridays. This continued for about 2 months. I then cut out Paxil on Wednesdays, again continuing for about 2 months. By this time I was only taking it 5 times a week with little side effects. I too had suffered "electric head" pins & needles in my face and lips, anxiety etc. trying to wean via dosage. I then stopped taking Paxil on Saturdays; thus building to 2 days in a row without the drug. Then Tuesdays, and so on, still maintaining my 10 mg. dosage. If I required a "fix", during a certain day - I simply took one. I suffered very little side effects doing it this way. I, after about a year of this pattern, have now not had a Paxil in 2 weeks. I have had NO side effects other than being a little quiet, so says my husband. I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated your site and have sent it to various people that hopefully will benefit. I hope that in the next few weeks I am maintaining my drug-free state with little or no side effects. Anne-Marie
Finally. I'm off. My story doesn't compare to most of the people who have posted to this site but they all gave me encouragement and made me realize that I wasn't going crazy with what was going on with me.
I started because of post partumn depression and was on 20mg for only 4 months - but I guess that was long enough. My MD was smart enough to know that I just couldn't stop. She had me start cutting them in half and was on 10mgs for 4 months again. This is when trouble started. When I forgot to take them I'd hit that magic 3rd day and things would go wacko. Brain zaps: I had what I termed "zings" like an electical current going through my brain - fast, very fast- and then "towel thwackers" which to the best of my ability I described as my brain being thwacked with a kitchen towel. And best of all - total mind/body disassociation and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and close my eyes.
Well, I made it down to 5mgs and after 3 weeks of success on them I started my own schedule. First I started skipping a day in between, then taking it every 3rd day and then every 4th day. I am have not had a dose in 10 days and feel fine. I'm thinking this is it but I still have a few morsals stocked away just in case.
I was put on this hellish drug after I had my daughter 3 years ago. The depression had reached fever point and they were trying to lock me up and take away my baby. Obviously this only hieghtened the feeling of utter worthlessness. I agreed to go on these pills, told they would help, I gratefully accepted. If I knew then what I know now, I would have run a mile from them. They did dull the depression at the beginning but the side effects became much worse then the depression I was being treated for. Within 6 months I had gained 5 stone, however much I ate I felt hungry. I felt what I can only describe as walking beside myself. I walked into door frames and shop displays. The panic attacks were truly scary, visiting the clinic with my new baby was terrifying. Then came nausea, searing headaches and perhaps the most embarressing... producing milk from one breast even though I wasn't breastfeeding. After 2 years and feeling like my life was spirraling out of control I!
told my doctor I wanted off the pills. He reduced my dose and the withdrawl really kicked in, the dreams were terrifing, I really lived them. My babies cry became amplified and pierced my brain. After 7 days and night of complete torment, and being no closer to being rid of these damned pills I got a babysitter and went complete cold turkey. I wont explain what happened in the next few days, I doubt I could. However, I am now off them for 6 months and Ive never felt better. I am doing a degree and living life to the max. I do however have Chrohns Disease but they won't admit that the Seroxat was responsible, they wouldn't would they. It seems to coincidental that the symtons began a month after I started taking them. Nevermind, I just wanted to say that however bad you feel, and I know bad is an understatement, it does get better. I can see the world clearly, I am a good mother and I can see a future again. Don't give up hope, give up those bloody pills
Just a short response to the subject. I am a 77 year old woman who has had enough!! Paxil withdrawal produced most of the symptoms that were described by others. I was on Paxil for 5 years, 20 mg a day. I wanted off because of weight gain of 60 pounds and little or no emtional response. I was apathetic and showed no interest in life. I first consulted my internist. He said to decrease the dosage for 2 weeks and then quit. Wow then the anxiety attacks hit so badly that I went back on the drug. I saw a psychiatrist and his advice was that Paxil was a good drug, just stay on it and we'll find out what is causing you to be so anxious!! A therapist that I had been working with recommended that I see a psychiatrist who was an expert in the pharmicology of these drugs. He tapered me off over 8 weeks and I continued in talk therapy during this time. I have been off Paxil for 4 weeeks now and feel wonderful. I'm able to cry, laugh and respond like a normal person. I still have hot flashes and chills. I'm seeing an acupuncturist and taking Chinese herbs which have helped. I have started an exercise program and have lost 10 pounds. I have been assured that eventually the hot flashes and chills will go away. In the meantime, I'm angry that I was given this medication. I'd like to prevent others from suffering it's effects.
I just want to share my story and let people know it can be done and tell how I finally did it. I have taken Paxil off and on for about 6 years. I most recently had taken it for about a year and a half for panic/anxiety attacks. I was finally also diagnosed with adult ADD.
I started taking Wellbutrin and it worked wonders both for my ADD and for the attacks. My doctor started out weaning from my 40 mg of Paxil to 30 then to 20. I did ok until I went to 10..I had severe brain tremors and hot flashes. I couldn't continue with my withdrawls any longer so I upped my dose to 20. My doctor said it couldn't be that bad and to just maybe try 10 mg for a week. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I couldn't function in my work or home life. I made it through about 10 days and then dropped to 5 mg. Much worse... the brain tremors as I came to call them were just terrible. I then started reading on the internet about similar problems. A nurse suggested to start chipping away at the pills a little bit each day so that you take less and less each day. Why not I thought. I started to chip a tiny piece (maybe 2 mg) and take that dose for 3 days then chip a little more off and take that dose for 3 days. It has taken me about 4 months but I am off of it and have been for a month. When I got down to about 2 mgs left. I was terrifed to go completely off so I took it for about 2 weeks and then went cold turkey on a week end. I still had a few brain tremors but nothing like the first time I tried to get off of it. I have been off of it for amonth and feel great. The weird thing is that I had taken Paxil about 6 years ago for 3 years and went off of it without any complications. For the first time in along time I feel in control of my life. I have started exercising and have lots of energy. I have lost 16 pounds in a month and also have lost my HUGE appetite. I always thought that Paxil was responsible. Now I know......
I was on Paxil from April 2001 until November 2001. I did not wean myself
off of paxil, but stopped cold turkey. At the time I did not realize what was happening to my body in ref to the withdrawals in which I was going through. It wan't until a friend went on the Internet and looked up Paxil info and discovered what was happening to me was in fact PAXIL withdrawals. I swore I would never, ever again subject myself to a drug having the types of side effects associated with PAXIL. Everything I've read on the Paxil Withdrawal page are experiences I had felt. Well, to those who are suffering from withdrawals and are trying to quit cold turkey or wean themselves off, there is good news.
The symptoms eventually cease. I'm sending this on September 11, 2002. I
am Paxil free and "anti-depressant" drug free. How did I do it? Determination. I'm in the military, so there are other stressors related there, but I basically made my mind up that I did not ever wish to go through what I'd gone through when I came off Paxil
I have been off Paxil for three months now, after having been on 30 mg. per day for the past five years. I was put on it because of a depression I was in and it did help me at the time. However, in the past couple of years I really wanted to get off this drug because anti-depressants are not meant to be on for life -- they are meant to be short-term, i.e. one year or so. Interestingly enough, the doctor who had put me on this drug was reluctant to take me off, and said that I will probably be on it for life. Thus began my search for a doctor who I found who has helped many men and women off anti-depressants, safely and successfully.

I knew the withdrawal symptoms would be a rough ride for a bit, but I was prepared to do "whatever it takes" to be paxil-free. So, last May, my "new" doctor started tapering me from 30 mg. to 20 mg. which I did for four weeks. I experienced some dizziness and "disconnection" with my body -- an unbalanced feeling. In June, I went from 20 mg. to 15, and then 15 to 10 mg. July 1st, I stopped all paxil. All of a sudden, I felt completely lethargic -- it was as if the life had been sucked out of me. I experienced "electric shock pulses" in my brain for a couple of weeks. And I was completely disconnected from my body and had much trouble with walking and balance. My doctor advised me that while getting off paxil, I must eat 3 balanced meals a day -- get out for a walk in the fresh air every day. I did not do this, and I think my withdrawal symptoms were worse because I was not looking after myself nutritionally or physically. Anyway, finally in mid-August, I began a 6 kilometre walk every second day -- I started to eat 3 healthy meals a day, and I started feeling stronger with each week that passed. I have continued this regimen, along with taking amino acids, multi-vitamins and anti-oxidants and I am feeling FANTASTIC! I feel "real" again, and I have feelings/emotions that I can "feel". While on Paxil, I "floated" over everything -- now, my mind is clear and focused, my short-term memory has improved 100%. So, rest assured, the withdrawal symptoms do pass and it is a huge sense of relieve to be paxil-free.

P.S. The doctor who helped me get off paxil does not like the drug, because of the severe withdrawal effects. He said there are other anti-depressants that are easier to get off. BUT GETTING OFF PAXIL IS WORTH IT AND THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS ARE TEMPORARY. YOU CAN DO IT!

I can't thank you enough for organising this web site. I have only just realised what has been happening in my life.!! I was first prescribed Paxil or Seroxat as it is know in England by my doctor.I was in a pretty depressed state and I agreed to take it.(Reluctantly, as I have never been keen on the idea that a drug was the answer to mental problems. Stiff upper lip and all that.) However it was a pretty desperate time in an otherwise fairly sunny life and I was desperate for help. It was great, I felt like my "old self" and apart from a slight weight gain which wasn't an issue for me, I was really pleased with the results. My doctor advised me to stay on it for at least a year. I did and then I moved to the United States. There have been a few occasions when I have tried to get off Paxil always with real problems. I didn't associate the symptoms with Paxil withdrawal. I am now 52, and always assumed the terror attacks, headaches, anger, sadness etc might be hormonal. I always ended up back on Paxil as it just seemed to make me "o.k." I had absolutely no idea that I could possibly have been suffering from any kind of withdrawal. About 5 months ago I stopped again, having decreased the dosage from 20 a day down to 5 a day and then alternate days. I could not possibly have come off this drug more slowly. Fine I had stopped. At first it all seemed fine and for about six weeks I was full of energy and everything seemed fine and then Hell started. This time I was convinced I was going through the most horrendous menopausal syptoms and finally ended up in the offices of a top endicronologist in Los Angeles. I gave him an account of my past health and mentioned that I had been taking antidepressants on and off for the previous 5 years but was no longer taking anything. We started on a series of extensive blood tests looking at my hormonal panel. I waited a few weeks, convinced I was going mad. Finally I rang him and said, "look I have to go back on Paxil, I have a really important job interview in London and I can't afford to behave like a mad woman." He suggested I did that but go in to see him prior to my London trip. All the tests had arrived back with him, and although it showed I was in perimenopause, things looked pretty good, and nothing in the hormone panel led him to believe what I was suffering from was directly related to menopause!! He then said he was convinced I was suffering from extreme "withdrawal symptoms" from stopping Paxil. At first it just didn't add up or make sense to me. I had stopped a few months before and didn't understand why I was having symptoms so much later on. I now realise that this is not unusual. Needless to say I arrived in London told a friend what he had said, and of course she told me there have been frequent articles in the British press on this topic, all depicting a variety of what had happened to me. A few weeks ago Panorama, a television program in the U.K, much like 60 minutes here in the U.S, had devoted the entire program to what was happening to people who came off Seroxat/Paxil in the U.K. She has taped this for me and I shall look at it when I return to London next week. I am now taking 5 gm a day and will get off this horrific drug with this doctors help. It's been enormously helpful referring to your web site, and if you like I would be happy to let you have the Panorama tape if you would like to see it. I have every intention of taking legal action, not because I want a dime, but because I really believe Glaxo need to act responsibly about this drug, and allow people to know what they might be getting into when they start taking it. I also believe the only thing that they will react to is a lawsuit and potential financial damage.I would never have started it if I had any idea there was any possibility that it might be addictive. I was assured at the time by my doctor in England, that this wasn't the case. Thank God I came across this endicronologist!! and your web site.
Dear Frank

My daughter was prescribed Paxil approximately 3 years ago for an episode of depression. My husband and I interviewed the clinical practitioner at that time to question the decision as we were very concerned about the possibility of any long term effects and whether or not this treatment was in her best interests. We were reassured this was the way forward. For one reason or another, new country of residence, new home, new job - she was advised not to come off it Paxil, but to wait until her life had stabilized to a more normal pace. Well over the past 6 months or so, she has tried to come off Paxil several times with the advise of her family doctor, using a gradually reducing dosage. Even with a very small reduction of the drug she suffered from itchy teeth and nausea, fatigue and headaches, to mention a few. Then she came across your web site with its help, advice and spiritual support and I can't thank you enough with all my heart. You see, she decided to go 'cold turkey' she couldn't stand the thought of the very gradual reduction and the thought of 35 weeks or so with the side effects. As a mother it's one of the most difficult things I have had to do, to witness her pain and suffering, going through episodes of violent mood swings, of desperate anger attacks, of sweating, insomnia hot flashes, cramps - Need I go on… at times she was like a possessed person, but I had to appreciate she was possessed only with Paxil withdrawal. There was one particular episode of several days when I asked (near to pleading) with her to go back on something. All those vivid awful films one has seen of drug withdrawal are exactly right! I was so scared. But she kept going and after about 3 weeks, she started to see some light at the tunnel end and with the support love and friendship from us all, she has quit Paxil for good.

Through it all I know you too kept her going and I want to thank you for that and to let other families of those brave people trying to come off, that it is all worth it, hold on, and you WILL come through - just as my lovely brave heroic daughter has, and now she has her future back again as a drug-free individual.

A very helpful website I found when I was in need of some words to help her was: - it really helped LA of California - this guy talks it straight, there is nothing wrong in having a depression but a drug duped state is not the answer and we all have capabilities within in that may just need tapping into.

I wrote this not only as a thanks, but you may be able to encourage other mums, dads, husbands or wives who have to stand back and watch helplessly whilst their loved ones go through withdrawal.


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