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Distrust of Dr's-Paxil Withdrawl

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by KimGau KimGau (Member)

1,711 Visitors; 69 Posts

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I am currently a nursing student, and a mom. I went to my Dr about 5 months ago because I had not been feeling well and was suffering from severe fatigue. Well he immediately suggest Paxil and tells me the only down side is the possibility of weight gain (around 5 pounds). After 2 months I realized that it was not making a difference at all and deceided to stop taking it, the withdrawls were SO horrible I literally could not take it and was going out of my mind (both physical and mental). I started taking it again for fear of the withdrawls. I started to wean myself off which ment mild to moderate sickness for two months. Now that I have been on the lowest dose for a month, I deceided to go ahead and stop taking it before fall semester gets here. The experience so far (6 days) has been the worst thing I have ever experienced in my whole entire life. Nausea, vomiting, chills, sweating, insomnia, extreme rage, depression, crying spells, migraines, body pains, dizziness ETC. Oh and the weight gain was 25 pounds in less than 3 months no where near the "5" the DR suggested.

I just watched a ABC special about how Paxil makers sent memos to doctors telling them to not mention the "discontinuation syndrome". I am feeling so angry at my DR, and am honestly questioning my trust for any DR. How could a problem that is so horrible and so widespread not been pointed out to me when he suggested the prescription. Had I know that months of my life would be stolen and that the withdrawls would be so dibilatating, I would have never agreed to start taking it.

Has anyone else experienced this or something similar? Has anyone else felt betrayed or lied to by their DR?

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1,048 Visitors; 18 Posts

I'm not sure what you are experiencing is "discontinuation syndrome." You would not feel symptoms for two months from decreasing a medication or stopping it. Maybe something else is going on?

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33,585 Visitors; 4,412 Posts

Well, you do know no medical advice can be given on Allnurses.

Having said that, you have a drug book (nursing student), and also leaflet/directions that came with your med from your pharmacy. The problems you describe are clearly discussed and forewarned in your books you use for nursing school. Student, RN, MD or whatever, drugs will cause problems for you if you do not follow directions given.

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57,463 Visitors; 10,263 Posts

You need to talk to him about this. I've gone off of various SSRIs and the depression comes screaming back but that's it.

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1,711 Visitors; 69 Posts

"drugs will cause problems for you if you do not follow directions given."

I did follow the directions given, I took the medicine as directed and lowered the dose slowly for two months, also as directed. The phamplet from the pharmacy did not explain fully the effects of stopping taking the drug, which is why the makers of paxil are under lawsuit and have had to go before congress several times. I was not looking for advice, I was asking if anyone else had had a similar experience or an experience where they felt their DR did not give them all of the information.

I have talked to my DR and his advice was that yes this does happen and that its "unknown" how common it is. I followed his directions on slowly lowering the dose over a long period of time. When I found out that the withdrawls typically last for two weeks I knew I needed to go ahead and get it over with before fall semester started.

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3 Followers; 96,605 Visitors; 36,687 Posts

One dose of that medication was enough to convince me and I was given no warning whatsoever. I determined it was a paradoxical reaction. Luckly I was frightened enough to stop immediately but I still suffered tremendously from only one dose.

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1,711 Visitors; 69 Posts

One dose of that medication was enough to convince me and I was given no warning whatsoever. I determined it was a paradoxical reaction. Luckly I was frightened enough to stop immediately but I still suffered tremendously from only one dose.

Thank you for sharing. I am sorry you had to go through that and your point of having "no warning" was why I started this thread. I asked tons of questions when my DR suggested this medication and I feel he flat out lied and downplayed every negative thing about the drug. I asked what if I deceide to stop taking it and he acted as if a little migraine for a day or two would be the extent of it. I asked about so many side effects and he acted as if none of them would be an issue (although all of them were). I personally know three people who saw the same DR after me and he prescriped Paxil to them immediately (also with no mention of any negative effects). It just made me wonder If you can always trust your DR to do whats best for you and to provide you with the best information.

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highlandlass1592 has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

1 Article; 10,224 Visitors; 647 Posts

Thank you for sharing. I am sorry you had to go through that and your point of having "no warning" was why I started this thread. I asked tons of questions when my DR suggested this medication and I feel he flat out lied and downplayed every negative thing about the drug. I asked what if I deceide to stop taking it and he acted as if a little migraine for a day or two would be the extent of it. I asked about so many side effects and he acted as if none of them would be an issue (although all of them were). I personally know three people who saw the same DR after me and he prescriped Paxil to them immediately (also with no mention of any negative effects). It just made me wonder If you can always trust your DR to do whats best for you and to provide you with the best information.

I'm a little confused as to why you think the doctor is at fault regarding your "withdrawal" symptoms. (I put withdrawal in quotes since I can't honestly diagnose your problems.) Yes, he may have downplayed the withdrawal by saying he's not had people have problems that severe but honestly, if he hasn't had patients have experiences similar to yours, then how is he lying? Also a fair point would be the fact NO ONE can tell you how your body will react to medication. Unfortunately, it's a calculated risk anytime you put something into your body. That isn't the doctor's fault. You mention you chatted with him regarding possible problems if you stopped taking it and he didn't seem to think it woud be a problem. You seem angry about that...but how would he honestly know what you would experience until you went through it?

Listen, you speak of going to nursing school. You've just gotten a lesson in what it means to be an educated healthcare consumer. You have to take responsibility for your own healthcare: advocate for your concerns, become informed, seek out multiple references for the best information out there. Your doctor, while having advanced training in medicine, is only human....just like you. When you become a nurse, you will be put in the position of being asked by your patients what they should do...that will be your time to teach them to do the same things: become informed. But realize, ultimately, no one can tell you what will happen.

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mamamerlee has 35 years experience as a LPN and specializes in home health, dialysis, others.

5,912 Visitors; 949 Posts

I took Paxil for YEARS with fairly good results, then its effect began to wear off. I cut back much more quickly than you describe, and had about a week of feeling weird. My depression returned, I am now on a different med, not quite as effective. I hate feeling out of control.

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1,711 Visitors; 69 Posts

I'm a little confused as to why you think the doctor is at fault regarding your "withdrawal" symptoms. (I put withdrawal in quotes since I can't honestly diagnose your problems.) Yes, he may have downplayed the withdrawal by saying he's not had people have problems that severe but honestly, if he hasn't had patients have experiences similar to yours, then how is he lying? Also a fair point would be the fact NO ONE can tell you how your body will react to medication. Unfortunately, it's a calculated risk anytime you put something into your body. That isn't the doctor's fault. You mention you chatted with him regarding possible problems if you stopped taking it and he didn't seem to think it woud be a problem. You seem angry about that...but how would he honestly know what you would experience until you went through it?

Listen, you speak of going to nursing school. You've just gotten a lesson in what it means to be an educated healthcare consumer. You have to take responsibility for your own healthcare: advocate for your concerns, become informed, seek out multiple references for the best information out there. Your doctor, while having advanced training in medicine, is only human....just like you. When you become a nurse, you will be put in the position of being asked by your patients what they should do...that will be your time to teach them to do the same things: become informed. But realize, ultimately, no one can tell you what will happen.

I was mad at my DR because after the withdrawls started then he talked about how "common" this was (which is also when I deceided to google it and learned of the lawsuits, hearings before congress and sites like quitpaxil.org where one person described getting off paxil as being as bad as him and his pregnant wife escaping the WTC on 9-11.) My point was when he was describing the medication the withdrawls were not "common" but when they happened all of the sudden they were "completly common" I took control of my healthcare by asking tons of questions and reading over the medication information I was given. I am sorry if I expect my DR to not immediately prescribe a medication to so many of his patients and while assuring them of no negative side effects, but as soon as their is a problem then "its common". Well if something so horrible is "so common" then why is it not being mentioned to the patients, even when they specifically ask.

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13,299 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

I'm sorry for your experience! I do think the 'discontinuation syndrome' experienced by some people who stop taking certain antidepressants is something that needs to be better addressed by the medical community. It's my understanding that many patients report very uncomfortable effects during the weaning process and after discontinuation of use, even when following instructions correctly.

If this effect is as common as it seems to be, then before starting such medications, patients SHOULD be made aware of the potential discomfort on may experience for weeks upon discontinuing the medication.

I realize the word "discomfort" may not do justice to some people's experience. I think

such intentionally vague terminology is too often used by all kinds of medical providers. Personally, I hate the warning often given before injections: 'You may feel some pressure.'

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nopainNurse specializes in pediatrics, palliative, pain management.

2,602 Visitors; 33 Posts

Actually I had almost the exact same experience going off of Paxil. It was really the worst experience of my life and I did feel that i was going "crazy". I actually went back on, stabilized and then worked with my doctor to slow wean (like 6 months). I had been aware not to stop the paxil suddenly and the risk of withdrawl, but had not realized it would be that extreme.

The really slow wean worked for me, Hope you feel better soon.

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