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Starting Paxil


JacobyD
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Hello all. I am about to start taking Paxil to help with anxiety related to my tapering off Lorazepam. I am also starting biofeedback and/or cognative behavioral training on 10/13 that should also help with the taper.

Anybody here have any experience with Paxil? I hear the first couple of weeks can be kind of rough :(, but if you can get through it the benefits are worth it.

-Dan

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I'm on a different SSRI, but all of them have similar start up issues...

I had nausea :(, yawning, and aggitation for the first 2 weeks. After that, all the side effects were gone--so if you can get through that period, you should be good to go--unless, of course, you're upping the dose in stages, in which case, give a week or so per dose change

:) Nina

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I was on Paxil for about a year prior to being diagnosed with POTS. Ironically, I had been to see my family doc because I was so fatigued all the time, and he thought Paxil would help with my seratonin levels and low BP. It did help, and I do not recall having any side effects in the beginning, however as time progressed it caused my appetite to increase ten-fold and I gaiend about 20 lbs. I also got the night sweats really bad- but this wasn't too bad. It did make me feel very calm all the time, and seemed to be a mild drug. I mainly stopped taking it because of the weight gain. Good luck!!

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I was put on paxil for 3 years because we thought I was having painic attacks. We know better now!! I loved paxil, in the beginning the side affects were mild. I would get the feeling of bugs crawling on my head, sweating very easy and tired. I started taking it at night and I would sleep great and wake up refreshed. If you are tapering off Ativan you should have very little side affects from either drug if you ramp up slowly on paxil and cut back slowly on the ativan. When I was starting paxil my doc gave me Klonopin(benzo) with the paxil so I would not have extreme side affects since I was a nervous wreck. I went off paxil because I gained 35 lbs and it started making me not have alot of feelings (ex: unable to cry, or laugh) I was just kinda always mellow. I would love some of that now though. Good luck to you, I think you will get great benefit from it.

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My husband was on this and unfortunately he felt like he was too drugged. He was taking a very low dose of 25mg. He slept all the time. On one hand I thought it was kinda great because he didn't get upset about anything. I could tell him anything & it just didn't faze him. We were going through some really rough times trying to find doctors that could diagnosis what was wrong with him. So being on this drug helped him to tolerate their ignorance. Another problem that he had was some sexual dysfunction. He didn't like that one at all. So after about 3 months of feeling like he was in a haze and sleeping 16 hours a day he decided that the drug just wasn't worth it. We also found that while he was on the medication (remember pre-diagnosis) that doctor?s thought that he had a psychiatric problem rather than a "real" or tangible problem. The up side was that he didn't have the extreme chest pain problems like he did before he was on it, or now after. So, you have to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages. :(

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I have been on Paxil for six yrs now. I started with a really low dose of 10mg and was on that for 5 yrs. The side effects were awful for me though. I had nausea, diarrhea, tachycardia, aggitation, adn many more debillitating symptoms. So the doctor wanted me to raise the meds gradually which I did and Now I am up to 25mg CR. I feel it has helped with many of my symptoms so if you do decide to go on an SSRI start slowly and work your way up gradually. Good Luck

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Thanks for all the great input. I can't wait to try this stuff. I've had some mild stomach trouble over the last couple of days and want things to settle down before piling a new med on top of things.

I have had some bad reactions to SSRIs in the past, but was also at my worst and started on high doses. I am going to take it slow this time as it seems so many people benefit from this class of med.

I will keep you posted! Any more stories would be appreciated!

-Dan

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I didn't have very good lucky with Paxil. It gave me very bad diarrhea (sorry to be gross!) I only took it for 2 days and then had to stop. But I did end up switching to zoloft, which helped me alot. So, if you can get thru the initial stuff I'd say it's worth it. good luck!

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Just an update. I'm on my 4th day of Paxil (low dose of 2.5mg). I am still feeling wired and hyper, though oddly enough I seem to be sleeping about 2 hours more than usual. I am yawning alot which is rough on my throat (I have frequent laryngospasms and 'throat closing' episodes).

The wired and hyper feeling seems a little stronger each day, and I'm hoping it will fade over the coming week or two. I am very hopeful that I can get through these initial side-effects and get on with feeling some of the benefits I have heard so many talk about ;).

-Dan

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Dan, I'm sorry to hear this = ( I hope that the side effects diminish soon, I was really hoping that you would do well with the Paxil. Hope you feel better soon!!

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Oh Dan, that stinks. I had the yawning, and nausea, and also my whole body was all "torqued-up" until about the 2 week mark.

You did report one of my early wins -- sleep. I did get more refreshing sleep and was able to stay asleep longer for a good period of time. That wore off some time last year, but I don't think my sleep problem is fully POTS related--I think it's perimenopause. Hey, that's a good thing you don't have to worry about DAN! ;)

Try to hang in with Paxil if you can--it may help settle things down in another week or so. The only caveat being that you'll get some of the side effects back each time you bump up the symptoms.

Nina ;)

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No more Paxil! It was way too over-stimulating and pushed me to the point of tremors, major BP spikes, hot flashes, palps, and throat spasms ;). If anyone can recommend a non-SSRI non-benzo anti-anxiety med please e-mail me! Calgon, take me away! Yikes!

-Dan

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Dan, sorry to hear you had such a rough time with the Paxil ;) It can be difficult to adjust to SSRIs. Have you tried zoloft or prozac? Although they are in the same class as Paxil, I couldn't tolerate Paxil at all, but Zoloft I could. Go figure. Maybe you'll have a similar experience. Also, zoloft didn't stimulate me, it gave me the sleepies, usually an hour or two after I took a dose.

good luck!

Pam

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One more thing I'll mention, for people who can't tolerate SSRI's sometimes 5-HTP can be a good alternative solution. Taken before bedtime it is supposed to help with sleep. I'm not sure if there are any side effects, so I'd research first if you decide to try.

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Sorry it didn't work for you Dan. What about something like Strattera, which addresses both serotonin and norepi? Have you tried any of the older anti-depressants, like elavil (I think that's in the tricyclic group)?

Nina ;)

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Thanks Pam and Nina.

The only non-SSRI I have tried is Buspar. After several weeks it seemed to have no negative or positive effect, and is also known not to have any positive effect in helping with Benzodiazepine withdrawal.

I will look into Zoloft, Prozac, 5-HTP, Strattera, and Elavil though I am pretty sure I will only try another SSRI med as a last resort! Thanks again,

-Dan

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Dan,

Sorry things haven't worked out with the Paxil. I was hoping they would because I'd like to wean down my Lorazepam dosage, too.

Just a question - are you cutting back yet on Lorazepam/Ativan or were you waiting to see what the SSRI did?

I have been trying to cut back on my own, too, and some days it is okay but then I'll have a flare-up and the Lorazepam is so helpful in dealing with days like that. I'm not sure I'm ready yet. I believe that Lorazepam also helps me deal with twitches and spasms too, though mostly in the pelvic and stomach regions. This may be TMI and is very embarassing but I suffer from stomach and rectal spasms (talk about painful), and I think it is autonomic related, and I think that the Lorazepam calms this down a bit. I wish there was something else we could take that would help with this

I am rooting for you, though, so keep us updated!!!

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Hi hilfgirl33-

Yes, I am waiting to see if an anti-anxiety med and/or the psychological sessions give me any added relief before I atart to taper. I have tried to taper in the past, and after a mg or so, I end up feeling like I need more than I did before I started to taper. I will keep you posted ;)!

-Dan

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I tried paxil for a couple of weeks. I didn't like it at all. If it didn't make me tired I was over stimulated. It seemed to make me more nervous and edgy. I also had the bugs under the scalp feeling. lol I then tried zoloft which was a total disaster.

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