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how to get off paxil

Paxil Withdrawal

At Alternative to Meds Center we have discovered many ways to help simplify the Paxil withdrawal process as well as relieve withdrawal symptoms. Like virtually all of the antidepressant drugs, when stopping Paxil, a person will experience Paxil withdrawal symptoms, especially where the drug is discontinued too abruptly. However, research published by the British Medical Journal has shown that the side effects of Paxil may have one of the highest rates of severity and incidences compared to other medications of its class.1

Paxil belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Common Paxil withdrawal symptoms that occur during SSRI withdrawal include emotional lability such as crying spells for no apparent reason, vertigo, nausea, brain zaps, sleep disturbances (nightmares, vivid dreams, insomnia), anxiety, and other startling symptoms. When taken during pregnancy, withdrawal symptoms can occur in newborn children, including serious withdrawal symptoms such as convulsions.

Never stop Paxil cold turkey. That means all at once, or even too steep a reduction over too short a time. Paxil withdrawal duration can last anywhere from weeks to months or even years and by now has been well explored in the medical community. Paxil withdrawal symptoms can emerge after a person either missed a few doses of their medication, reduced the dosage, or have stopped taking it altogether. There are dozens of potential Paxil withdrawal syndrome symptoms, some are commonly reported and some are rare; some may last only for a few days and others can persist for weeks, or months. Some withdrawal symptoms are mild but others may be painful or even potentially harmful.

The time duration is greatly dependent upon whether or not the individual gets adequate help.2 Without withdrawal help some Paxil withdrawal symptoms can be troublesome for quite a long time. In addition to the symptoms listed above, the following symptoms are frequently reported: extreme confusion, feelings of existing outside of reality (depersonalization), difficulty with concentration and memory, fear of losing sanity, panic attacks; unpredictable mood swings, feelings of hostility, irritability, anger, violence, and suicidal thoughts. Other symptoms during withdrawal include profuse sweating, muscle aches and cramps, hypersensitivity to sounds, smells, motions; loss of appetite, diarrhea, slurred speech, chills / hot flashes, and difficulty walking.

Some of the less commonly reported Paxil withdrawal side effects include: weight gain, fainting, bursting headaches, heart palpitations, fatigue, hallucinations, hearing sounds inside one’s head, constant noise in the ears, itchiness, difficulty swallowing, grinding of the teeth, tingling sensations in lips, tongue, cheeks and face, lump in the throat, and rash (which can sometimes be severe) along with dry, irritated or flaky skin. Use of this drug should not be discontinued without consulting a medical professional for help, as severely uncomfortable symptoms such as the ones mentioned here may arise. Under the care of a medical practitioner; such symptoms may be better managed.

paxil withdrawal

In any case, one of the most important steps of discontinuation is slowly reducing the dosage which allows time for the body to adjust and greatly lessens the severity of Paxil discontinuation symptoms. This withdrawal may be overcome by working through it step-by-step with a medical healthcare professional that is capable of helping patients to comfortably discontinue use of this medication.

Paxil withdrawal, how long it lasts, and the severity of symptoms varies from individual to individual. For example, if an individual has been taking the medication for an extended period of time and/or at high dosages and decides to discontinue use, it may take longer for the individual to appropriately withdraw from this drug as opposed to an individual discontinuing short-term and low dosage use.

When a person gets on this antidepressant, the drug can often cause more side effects than it was prescribed to manage. For a lot of people, they were given an antidepressant after an event that was emotionally traumatic, and then they are suffering from side effects and struggling with withdrawal symptoms if they try to get off the medication. Withdrawal occurs because SSRI medications block the reuptake of Serotonin.

Having a low serotonin level is often blamed as the culprit for depression. However, many people are not low on serotonin to begin with, but the use of these medications can create a true serotonin deficiency. So when the drug is withdrawn, all the serotonin is used up. Since serotonin is an inhibitory factor of our neurochemistry, it inhibits over-stimulation from the environment and also creates sleep neurohormones and decreases compulsive behaviors and thoughts.

Therefore, an individual in withdrawal is likely to go experience symptoms like restlessness, sleeplessness, and over-stimulation. We focus on discovering medical reasons that are causing a person to be depressed. Our methods include lab testing, cessation of environmentally accumulated neurotoxins, stabilizing the neurochemistry through natural substances, peer support, personal exercise training, massage, yoga, nutritional therapies such as IV amino therapy and other holistic treatments to alleviate depression. We know that better answers exist than a lifetime being medicated on antidepressants, and struggling with severe and debilitating side effects.3 We encourage you to call us and talk about the types of Paxil withdrawal help that are available.

  1. BMJ article entitled, “Withdrawal from Paroxetine (Paxil) Can be Severe, Warns FDA,” published Feb 02, 2002 in the British Medical Journal online, accessed October 18, 2019
  2. Harvard Medical School Publication entitled, “How to taper off your antidepressant,” published April 2018 online, accessed October 18, 2019
  3. Article entitled “Paroxetine – the Antidepressant from Hell? Probably Not, but Caution Required” published in the US National Library of Medicine and online March 2016, accessed October 18, 2019

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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