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Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms: Length of Time for Recovery

If you have taken the Paxil (Paroxetine) or Paxil CR (controlled-release), you know the true power behind this SSRI medication. When I first took it for social anxiety, it worked wonders – I felt so good that I never wanted to come off of it. Eventually the drug stopped working and I fell into a deep depression while still taking Paxil. I had been taking it for about 9 months, and decided that I should probably just get off of the stuff altogether if it was no longer helping. I was young and my general practitioner didn’t explain that it would be advisable to “taper” vs. going “cold turkey.”

Long story short, I had a total mental breakdown, severe anxiety, severe depression, suicidal ideation, and had a very difficult time recovering from the Pax-hell that I was being put through. The withdrawal symptoms were absolutely awful and I felt as though I would never recover. In all honesty, I think it took me several years before I felt “normal” again by my standards. Although my case of an extended withdrawal recovery period is not the norm, many people really struggle coming off of Paxil.

Factors that influence Paxil withdrawal include:

If you have read any of my other articles regarding antidepressants, specifically SSRI’s, you should know that there are a number of factors that play a role in your withdrawal from a medication. It should be noted that Paxil is among the most powerful antidepressants on the market – some research has even compared its effects as being “similar to cocaine.” Whether those claims are scientifically founded is another story. However, anyone that has had experience with this drug knows how hellish the withdrawal can be.

1. Time Span

How long were you prescribed Paxil? Have you only been taking it for a few weeks? Have you been on it for years? Obviously time span plays a huge role in determining how our body’s are going to respond to withdrawal. If you take something away from your body that you have been giving it for an extended period of time, you are going to have a tougher time rebounding compared to someone who was only on it for a couple weeks or months.

2. Dosage

What was the dosage that you were taking? Paxil comes in some standard dosages of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 60 mg. There is also the Paxil CR version which comes in 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 37.5 mg, etc. Obviously the CR simply means “controlled release” and that the dosage was slowly released over a 24 hour period. With the regular version of Paxil, the drug can get absorbed more quickly or all at once. They end up being very similar once your body gets accustomed to the standard Paxil. Anyways, the greater the dosage of this stuff, the tougher it is going to be to withdraw.

3. Individual physiology

There are rare superhuman individuals that don’t really notice withdrawal from certain medications. How sensitive you are as a person is going to play a major role in determining how Paxil withdrawal feels. Some people may notice that they are back to normal within a matter of weeks, while for others it may take months. And for others, like myself, it took years to feel better again.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

With the sheer potency of Paxil, I highly recommend that you do NOT stop cold turkey. Stopping cold turkey is just asking for some major trouble. When I was on this medication, I was only on the 12.5 mg CR version and I stopped cold turkey – huge mistake. I experienced withdrawal symptoms for a long time – and it took me years to feel “normal” again. Tapering is the smart way to go about withdrawal – gradually wean yourself off this medication with the help of your psychiatrist and/or doctor. If you haven’t yet quit the drug, but plan to withdraw soon, be sure to read: “How To Taper off of Paxil Properly.”

Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms: List

There are so many different withdrawal symptoms that people may experience while on this medication. Although you may not experience every symptom on the list below, it is common to experience several of them at the same time.

  • Anger – Want to see someone get mad? Have them withdraw from Paxil. Coming off of this medication can make even the most docile human being turn into a raging evil monster.
  • Anxiety – The anxiety coming off of Paxil is among the worst many people ever experience in their lives. Not everyone experiences this symptom, but the drop in serotonin levels can contribute to high anxiety coming off of Paxil.
  • Blurred vision – Although this sounds somewhat odd to experience, people have reported that their vision seems blurred at times while coming off of Paxil. I had this experience, and my vision is perfectly fine, but something was clearly going on.
  • Confusion – You may experience difficulties with thinking and may become easily confused throughout the day. This is normal – just remember that your thinking is temporarily slowed and your brain is trying to recover from the Paxil.
  • Crying spells – It is common for people coming off of Paxil to breakdown and start crying – often uncontrollably. Feelings of deep depression and desperation may accompany this crying. Do your best to tough it out and recognize that it’s just the withdrawal.
  • Decreased appetite – Coming off of Paxil you’ll experience the opposite of what you felt while on the drug. For most people, Paxil makes them hungry. When they stop, they have a tough time rebuilding their appetite for awhile.
  • Dizziness – You may experience an extreme case of vertigo for the first couple weeks coming off of this medication. Just recognize that this is a common withdrawal symptom.
  • Electric shocks – You may feel as though you are being electrically shocked or experience what many refer to as “brain zaps.” This can be very distressful in itself, but just realize that they will eventually go away as the drug leaves your system.
  • Fatigue – It is very common to experience lethargy or fatigue. You may feel like sleeping all day and not wanting to do anything. Do your best to get through the day and do what you can.
  • Flu-like – It isn’t uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms for the first couple weeks while coming off of Paxil – especially if you stopped cold turkey.
  • Headaches – It is common to get headaches and/or feel pressure in the head during withdrawal. I had such severe headaches that I actually thought I needed to get an MRI to determine any alternative causes.
  • Hot flashes – Many people experience hot flashes for weeks while coming off of Paxil.
  • Hypersensitivity – You may be hypersensitive to light, sounds, and motion. I remember that I would freak out at loud noises and or super bright sunlight. This can cause you to go into panic mode.
  • Hypochondria – It is pretty common to fear that you are going crazy while withdrawing. I thought I was going to develop schizophrenia, cancer, and/or problems with my hearing and vision. Every little thing made me panic and think disease.
  • Insomnia – Can’t fall asleep at night? Since your brain’s serotonin supply is now diminished, you may find yourself unable to sleep or find mental peace. This insomnia will last until your brain finds a way to recalibrate its neurotransmitters.
  • Mood swings – The mood swings that you experience may be absolutely crazy. You may go from extreme anger, to extreme sadness, feel aggressive one minute, and be sympathetic the next. Do your best to cope with this.
  • Muscle cramps – Your body may ache and feel sore all over. This is because it is getting re-acclimated to experiencing life without Paxil cycling through it.
  • Nausea – If every little thing makes you feel nauseated and somewhat sick, it could be a result of the withdrawal.
  • Panic attacks – You may find yourself panicking in almost every major situation. Whether you are at work, school, or just out in public, everything may provoke a fear response. Do your best to fight through this feeling of discomfort.
  • Poor concentration – Can you focus? Of course not, you’re coming off of Paxil. Most people experience a little cognitive boost while on the medication, and when they come off of it, they are unable to focus.
  • Slowed thinking – If you find yourself unable to think quickly, perform well on the job, and/or problem solve, it’s due to the withdrawal.
  • Severe depression – The depression that you experience coming off of Paxil may be so severe, that you won’t even know how to make it through life. Do your best to focus on making it through one day at a time. Eventually you will rebound back to 100%.
  • Suicidal thoughts – Feel suicidal before you take Paxil? Coming off of it the suicidal thoughts may be 100x worse. Yes you read right, 100x worse. The best thing you can do for yourself is try to think positive and/or do something to distract yourself from the way you are feeling.
  • Sweating – It is common to sweat profusely while on Paxil, and you may find yourself sweating a ton while coming off of it.
  • Vivid dreams – Many people experience vivid dreams while on this medication, as well as while coming off of it.

Note: It is known that Paxil stays in your system for only 4 to 6 days after your last dose; it has a short-half-life.  For this reason, many people notice severe discontinuation symptoms within just days of stopping Paxil.

Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms Length of Time: How long will they last?

How long will withdrawal from the drug Paxil last? Like I said, it will totally depend based on individual factors. New research suggests that the withdrawal period actually lasts a lot longer than professionals originally thought. They are finally starting to see the light that these drugs are not something to be taken lightly. Most people have withdrawal symptoms for at least a couple months following discontinuation. A good rule of thumb to go by is give it 90 days to fully recover – most people feel back to themselves after 3 months time.

In the meantime, try to take it one day at a time and don’t freak out at every little symptom. Your brain is likely in panic mode. Make sure you are exercising, eating healthy, and socializing to the best of your ability. A day will come when you will feel 100% and back to normal even if you don’t believe it right now. The process takes time. If you can make it through this withdrawal, you can make it through anything. I am here if you need to share your comments and experiences.

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{ 447 comments… add one }
  • Dave C April 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

    Currently in week 3 of cold turkey. I knew there would be withdrawal symptoms, but wow… I wish I never took this drug in first place. The brain zaps and vertigo are the worst symptom for me. Especially having to work on my feet every day.

    I just try to laugh and tell myself ‘hey, some people buy drugs to feel like THiS, and I get to feel like I’m on acid for free’… Also can’t stop crying at every song. Currently watching Monty Python and crying for no reason… this is fun. Just pushing through.

  • Mark Harrington April 15, 2018, 3:47 am

    I’ve been on Paxil for 20 years and this is my first attempt to get off it. I’m taking 20mg tabs and started cutting back to 10 mg for about 3 weeks with no problems. I’ve been completely off now for only 4 days and am having the vertigo/dizziness and the quick to get angry issues.

    If for whatever reason I can’t handle the withdrawal symptoms and want to go back on Paxil, what is the best way to start up again? Can I just start back up taking the 20 or go to 10 since that seemed to not give me any withdrawal symptoms?

    Or should I just keep going and hope I get better eventually? I’m more scared of the withdrawal issues and my mental health than being on the drug! Mark.

    • Susan April 15, 2018, 6:32 pm

      Mark, I posted the comment just before yours and TOTALLY appreciate what you’re going through. 20 years is a long time for your body to be living with this influence. Even after it is totally out of your system your body won’t like it and will want that crutch. I am off of it 4 months now and it is getting better, slowly.

      The anger issues have been terrible, not my personality at all. There are supplements out there to help but I found they change your metabolism in other ways and I couldn’t do them either. My Dr, who didn’t believe a word I said about Paxil withdrawal symptoms did give me a muscle relaxer and that has helped me calm down.

      I am determined to be off this stuff for good and think I’m going to make it. You will have to decide how much you can tolerate the symptoms before you decide to go back on it. I believe if you go back, try 10mg for awhile and see if you feel better. Try to avoid increasing and increasing if it lets you down.

      All I can tell you is I had 7 of the 10 symptoms listed and getting off of this is the worst thing I’ve ever been through. I weaned off of Xanax 6 years ago and spent 3 days in the hospital. Then, I was put on Paxil and discharged. Felt pretty good for 6 years.

      I was told that it was non-addictive and safe. I would never had taken it if I knew what I’d be in for down the road. Ask your doctor for help. You don’t have to tell me how hard it is. It completely ruined me for the first 3 months and I’m starting to see daylight now. Best of luck to you my friend. Susan

  • Susan April 9, 2018, 10:03 pm

    I was put on Paxil after being hospitalized for taking Xanax “only when I needed it.” Worst advice a doctor could give his patient. On again and off again put me into withdrawal every other day or two. Locked up in the psychology ward in the hospital, I was immediately taken off of that and put on Paxil (20mg).

    Felt much better. Took that for 7 years and decided I wanted to wean off and work with a clean system. That was 4 months ago. I did it very controlled over about 6 weeks time. Now, I am still going through absolute hell with 7 out of the 10 symptoms still ruining my life.

    My Dr. says I’m crazy and blames it on Fibromyalgia. I know my body and I know it is because it wants more Paxil. I can’t imagine going through this for much longer. He gave me a muscle relaxer which helps me sleep better, but during the day I hurt so bad I don’t even want to begin the day.

    I’ve been looking for herbs or something natural to help me get through this. If anyone knows what can stop the pain and anxiety, please help. I was told Paxil was non addicting and safe. I would never have taken it if I knew I would be on it the rest of my life or this. It truly is Pax-hell.

  • Jessica April 3, 2018, 11:51 am

    Has anyone stopped paxil 30mg cold turkey and started wellbutrin 150mg at the same time? I’m experiencing all the terrible side effects of paxil withdrawal even though I was under the impression that the wellbutrin would somehow help minimize the side effects. I’ve also read that taking the supplement 5-htp can help with paxil withdrawal and I’m curious if anyone has found relief by supplements.

  • Alison March 31, 2018, 2:11 pm

    I have been on paxil 7 years now. At one point I was on highest dose possible. Either 60mg or 40mg. I forget. But going from 40mg to 30mg and 30mg to 20mg never gave me any problems. However, last week I went from 20mg to 15mg.

    I have been feeling very lightheaded and dizzy ever since. Wondering why decreasing this time only by 5mg would do that. And if that really is the reason why.

  • Pam March 25, 2018, 8:54 pm

    I have been on Paroxetine for 7 years, although for the last ten only on 10mg. Before Christmas I decided to try to wean myself off them. Drs were no help but I cut down to 5mg then tried to taper off. Stopped completely in January and have had all the different withdrawal symptoms but by far the worst is the insomnia.

    I have not had a good night’s sleep since January. See every hour I am utterly exhausted, but my brain seems to have forgotten how to sleep. Anyone else been sleepless for several months after stopping Paroxetine (Paxil)?

    My Dr suggests I now take 20mg Prozac plus a sleeping pill but that seems worse than 10mg Paxil! I do not think I am depressed as such just utterly fed up and exhausted. Any ideas?

  • Brooke March 25, 2018, 1:43 am

    I have been on a lot of antidepressants and come off them the right way. Paxil is by far the worst!! Sweats, aching joints, vertigo, headaches, foggy head, anger and anxiety are some of the symptoms. Will this hell never end!?

    • Patti April 2, 2018, 1:09 am

      I know how you feel. I’m going through it also right now. It is so hard. But it is possible. Hang in there.

      • Rachael Cavazos April 4, 2018, 7:22 pm

        I am going through it myself. I have a great support system and I still feel miserable. I weaned myself off from 40 to 30 to 20 to 10. It has been two weeks that I have been completely off and I feel so jittery, anxious, and I get spooked easily. I did start Lexapro 10mg hopefully I can start feeling better soon.

        • Greg April 7, 2018, 12:41 am

          Hi, Rachael. Congratulations on weaning yourself off. Not for the faint-hearted. I did the same 2 years ago and have been on 10 mg of Lexapro since then, and am responding very well to it. Hope you will too.

  • Roxanne March 23, 2018, 2:25 pm

    I have experienced shortness of breath quite a bit since coming off Paxil. Is this something anyone else has experienced? It terrifies me.

  • Rachel March 18, 2018, 9:04 pm

    Hi, I am a 23 y/o female who has always suffered generalized anxiety, and been on Paxil for about 2 years. I feel as if it has been ineffective and would like to try coping with my anxiety medication-free, so I consulted my doctor about weaning off.

    She reduced my 20mg dose to 10mg, which I will take for a month, and then decrease to 5mg. I am a consultant and travel weekly for work…

    There is no good time for me to wean off Paxil so I am just hoping it won’t interfere with my ability to work. I am psyching myself out and getting real nervous reading about all these withdrawal scenarios. Realistically, what should I prepare for?

  • Jan March 7, 2018, 11:25 pm

    I am on day one of coming of Paxil CR 37.5’s. I have been on this for years well over 10. Weight gain has been an issue for me along with the fact that I want to no longer be dependent on medication for my anxiety. I had no idea until I began researching that it was going to have this many withdrawal issues. I am tapering off by taking 1.5 tablets for 10 days, then 10 days of taking 1 tablet to 1/2 of a 20 mg tablet for an additional 10 days. :( Not looking forward to this. Eeeek.

    • Beth March 12, 2018, 4:39 am

      Just completed 3 weeks off Paxil cold turkey. All the side effects are still with me, but I’m doing this one day at a time and hanging in there. I am very determined. Things that help me are being active and socially involved, doing things that make me feel accomplished and proud of myself (cleaning, just went skiing for the first time in 7 years, fixing things around the house that I have put off forever) and focusing on getting projects done (but trying to not do too much or I start to feel manic-y).

      Having down time is very important (naps, breathing, journaling, meditating). I want to take very good care of myself physically and spiritually. It’s still a challenge and I can’t wait to see what each week brings. I feel so much more alive and involved in life since quitting but the symptoms remain very challenging.

      I’ll try to keep you posted. Love and hugs to you all! What a dirty drug! FYI…I was on Paxil for over 25 years before I went cold turkey.

  • Kat February 10, 2018, 6:49 am

    It has been 3 weeks since I reduced my dose from 10mg to 5mg and I have had severe vertigo from 7 days now, as of this evening it feels the worst it has been over the 7 day period. Has anyone else experienced vertigo while still tapering and for this length of time? I am beginning to feel like it will never subside! It is so difficult to remain sure that this is a withdrawal symptom and not permanent.

    • Raija February 11, 2018, 5:46 pm

      Hi Kat! You have reduced your dose very much in a short period of time, I suggest going more slowly if possible. Did you drop it from 10 mg to 5 mg in one go? I also had terrible vertigo while tapering, some days I had to lie down because I was getting sea sick. It definitely is caused by the withdrawal.

      After each time I reduced the dose came a wave of withdrawal symptoms and I had to wait for them to calm down. The symptoms and the time at which they appeared and subsided varied a lot. I can’t remember now how long it took after each drop but weeks, not days. And if I would be doing it all again now, I’d go even more slowly to prevent my body and mind going through so much stress.

      I’ve been off Paxil for approximately 1 year and 9 months now and I had been using 20 mg for 9 years. I haven’t had vertigo for a long time now and it’s hard to remember exactly when it subsided. Are you feeling anxious? For me anxiety was one of the strongest symptoms.

      • Susan March 22, 2018, 12:04 am

        Hi Raija, Are you still experiencing anxiety after being off of the drug for almost 2 years? I am wondering if anxiety is more of a symptom of withdraw or likely to occur again? Thank you.

  • Carine Azara January 26, 2018, 9:19 pm

    I have been taking paroxetine 10mg for 6 months now. I started tapering 5 days ago, because I want a baby. I totally forgot to research about this drug. I tapered to 5mg with no issue. Today I went down to 2.5mg, by cutting the pill in 4 parts. I want to stop taking it by 02/05. Do you think I can do this?

    • Mike (50) January 30, 2018, 9:02 pm

      Hi Carine! If you read this: Thank God you have been on Paroxetine for a relatively short period and 10mg… YES, you can do it by 02/05, yet don’t underestimate the challenge and tapper SLOW. It is at low dosage that is the important to “detox” in small increments 2.5mg, 2mg, 1mg, 0.5 mg so that you don’t suffer the painful withdrawals.

  • Ryan January 10, 2018, 7:37 am

    I was on Paxil for little over 10 years. Been wanting to wean myself off. I called my doc’s office for an app for a refill about a month ago and they never called me back. The first 2 – 3 weeks coming off from Paxil SUCKED!! I cried at songs that were happy and sad.

    Couldn’t sleep unless I took more sleeping pills then recommended. For some reason drinking milk now makes me feel ill, idk if that has something to with it or not. Thank GOD I am feeling better now and that no one pissed me off when I was in all that electrical feeling/head pain ’cause I could be jobless now and “offended” ones I normally wouldn’t.

    I’m still not 100%. Those of you who are going through the same Hell: Hang in there! Drink lots of water and drink some Ensure to keep your vitamin levels up. Avoid crowds and stress as much as possible. Listen to music that makes you feel – cry, feel, laugh. Try some dumb comedies. You’ll make it…trust me! If I can, you can! Peace and love!

    • Toyah February 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

      Your comment made me laugh and well up haha. I’m almost reaching week 3 now. I was only taking 30mg of Paxil for 6 months but I no longer want to take it anymore. It helped with my anxiety but unfortunately the cons outweighed the pros. I have just stopped taking it rather than doing it gradually.

      It has been very difficult at times but I know the bad times are only temporary (I hope haha). Sometimes I don’t feel awake and I am starting to get shocks in the front of my brain, which isn’t very pleasant. But I feel positive at the moment (I have frequent doubts).

      I hope you’re doing well. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • CASSANDRA March 5, 2018, 11:44 am

      How long ago did you come off it? I’ve been on paxil for thirteen years. My psychiatrist took me off it in 2 weeks. I think that’s very quick. I guess I just want to know when will I feel normal again.

      • Melissa Loy March 29, 2018, 5:35 pm

        I’d like to know too. I was on Paxil for many years as well. I tapered off slowly over a month ago and I’m still very apathetic and have anger bursts and crying spells. Of course doctors say it leaves your system in 3-5 days. But what has it done to my brain that I’m feeling worse?

        • Willem March 30, 2018, 10:21 pm

          Melissa, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Though, I promise the nightmare will end. First off, you really need to realize it’s not you… it’s the chemicals, or lack of, within the Paxil playing tricks with you physically and mentally. Most regular physicians have no idea on the withdrawal aspects and ramifications on tapering off.

          Paxil is by far the worst of the SSRI meds to wean off of. From what I understand, it’s one of the worse withdrawals a person can go through. There have been several things I’ve done to assist in at least easing the hellish days/nights.

          Know first off, whatever you’re going through, CANNOT hurt you. And know now, there is definitely 100% light at the end of the tunnel. Time is your healer and friend. You’ll have your up and down days. I went from 40mg a day the beginning of February, now down to 15mg a day.

          Next week I’ll start my 10mg a day for two weeks. And yes, I know I’ll suffer a bit. But again, its my chemicals playing tricks. As much as you can, stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. Too boost serotonin production, I’ve been taking twice daily, 1 supplement, called 5-HTP Extra.

          Mine is manufactured by Irwin Naturals. It will boost the Serotonin levels you’ve been missing since the tapering/discontinuation of Paxil. I know everything can be difficult in what you do on a daily basis. But make sure and do get some kind of exercise, and keep up with your hygiene, including the brushing of your teeth.

          If you even feel the slightest of panic attacks or negative thoughts… that’s okay, there is nothing wrong with it. Except it for what they are, they are NOT hurting you. Don’t forget the all important deep breathing technique. At times you may not realize incorrect breathing patterns.

          Don’t read into all the negative stories on the internet. People normally won’t post the success stories… and there is more of them, than not. Keep a smile on your face, even when you don’t feel like it. The smile is something your mind recognizes as good.

          Lastly, do not be ashamed to talk with anybody on what’s happening with you. You’d be surprised how understanding most are. YOU WILL BE OKAY… I will throw out some heavy duty prayers for you.

  • Aaron January 2, 2018, 5:23 pm

    Hi Everyone, I’ve never written anything before but when I was trying to find help with regards to getting off of paroxetine all I found were horror stories and obviously as someone who suffers from anxiety this scared the life out of me. My mental health centre didn’t return ANY of my calls or send me an appointment after 6 requests spanning a 6 month period.

    All they did was try and dissuade me from getting clean. I was on 30mg a day and decided that I was going to do it on my own. They wouldn’t decrease my dose without an appointment and it was impossible for me to get an appointment. So I bought a pill cutter! I went straight from 30 to 15mg and stayed there for a month, surprisingly no problems.

    Then I went to 7.5mg for a month, still no problems. I then went to 3.75mg for 4 days and then… I went away for a week and accidentally forgot my pills. It was reading all the stories that started to makes panic but I stayed calm and said to myself that I could do it. I did have a weeks worth of Xanax of which I took half a tablet before bed, this enabled me to sleep and although I didn’t actually feel any different during the day I think they helped my to stay relaxed.

    After a week I weaned myself of the Xanax too and now I AM FREE!!!! Two months later I feel happier, I am emotional, but in a good way, my libido is improving! It’s been quite a journey over the last year of self improvement, I’ve learnt a lot. Anxiety for me is about getting unwanted thoughts and feeling mixed up.

    Sometimes I’d get the feeling in my stomach and then it would bring very negative upsetting thoughts and sometimes it’s the reverse. I now realise that it’s very common for this to happen, but it’s just about how much power you give these thoughts or feelings. It’s easy to get into a vicious circle which ends up in panic and the feeling of going mad.

    But now when I get anything like that I take some deep breathes and sometimes laugh. They are just thoughts!!! Good luck to everyone, you can do it and you will be fine.

    • Will Philips March 25, 2018, 8:35 pm

      Aaron, Your comment has been an encouragement to me! Very rarely do we read success stories over this particular subject. I’m weaning off Paxil now. I’ve been on 40 mg for 20 years. Down now to 15 mg after 2 months. Suffering is part of the program, but going into it, I already new it.

      At times it’s easier to laugh certain things off because I know it’s coming from the tapering, and the serotonin levels being messed around with, not hurting me a bit. It’s in no way easy, but if I can do it… ANYONE can.

      Everyone else who is doing this same thing, hang in there, I promise it gets better with time. It’s just a during those times where you’re feeling high anxiety, it can be challenging. But know where that feeling is coming from. And thank God there are so many of us going through this.

      Most people we don’t personally know, but I guarantee you a lot of people you deal with day in and day out. We all will prevail and be better people because of it!

  • LeAnn Hatch January 2, 2018, 3:52 am

    Today is day 8 without my paxil. I was on 20 mg for close to a year and quit cold turkey not knowing how hard it was. I was not told how bad it was. All I’ve been told was maybe hot flashes and depression and anxiety may get worse. So far I’ve had HORRIBLE brain zaps that are driving me insane. I feel like I’m losing my mind. Today was the first day I could hold down anything. Yesterday was the worst. I vomited all day long even tho I had nothing in my system. When will this end???

  • Jim November 26, 2017, 10:47 pm

    I am now in my seventh week week of withdraws and with the help of this and other websites and those close to me I have been able to endure this horrible adventure.

    I found out early on that the greatest suffering from paxil withdraws was from the long lonely restless sleepless nights. I have developed some coping skills and will pass these on to those who have similar problems, but please consult you physician first.

    1. fish oil and L-tryptophan two hours prior to bed
    2. no TV or internet one hour prior to going to bed; it wires up the brain to much.
    3. warm bath with ephsons salts
    4. herbal tea with meletonine just prior to going to bed,
    5. set up a smoothing nature sound maker. I use a sound of a crackle fire sound in front of a gas fire place.
    6. sleep on a recliner with head elevated; as it helps with anxiety
    7. if awaking in the middle of the night, take a bannana and another L-tryptophan pill
    8. get at least eight hours sleep and the day time hours will be much more manageable.

    PS: try to remain somewhat active during the day, only if it is only routine mundane tasks. Try to get several hours natural sunlight each day. Go for long walks.

    This is my contribution to this website and I hope that it may help someone who is going through this nightmare. I may not write again, other than to say I am over paxil withdrawals.

    • Patti April 2, 2018, 1:06 am

      I am about one week off of paxil 20mg. I tapered down to 10 and then slowly every other day then every 2 then 3 then so on. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I gained 25 lbs while taking. I sometimes feel like I want to cry, then laugh, then I’m angry, then brain zaps. Ugh.

      It’s awful. But I know that it will get better. It just has to. I had no emotion when I was taking paxil. My libido was non existent. I didn’t care about anything. I ate all the time. I’m just ready to have my life back. Reading all the comments here makes me feel hopeful. Thank you.

  • Antonios Chasiotis June 8, 2017, 5:55 am

    Hi I just completed my 3rd week of quitting Paxil cold turkey. I do not know if I will ever find myself again, but I am committed at this point to die trying. I felt I lost 10 of my best years in life (between 40-50), because I was completely isolated from society by taking Paxil. Where is the beautiful smile that people used to admire on me?

    I do not remember smiling any of those last 10 years while using this poison. I want to consult everybody to just avoid this pill. You will never be yourself again… No matter what, find an alternative. Thank you all and thank this forum… Antonio

  • Amy April 15, 2017, 10:56 am

    I decided to come off paxil myself about a week ago, I was on 20mg but it wasn’t doing anything, so I cut them in half and went down to 10mg. Last night I started having nightmares, my mom passed away from cancer last August and it was about her. I woke up this morning feeling like I was in panic mode. Good thing I read this because it helped me understand why it was happening.

  • valerie March 27, 2017, 3:00 pm

    I was on paxil for 15 years 25 mg CR. I have now been off it for about 6 months. I had some withdrawal symptoms: depression, crying, but nothing too serious. I have had night sweats and anxiety that wake me from a deep sleep, but they subsided quickly and only occurred in the early morning hours. As of last week I have had panic and anxiety that are now affecting my life.

    I also have had Meniere’s disease for about 15 years (not sure if it’s related to the Paxil). I’m having trouble eating and resting. Xanax helps calm me for a short time, but I know I can’t continue on it. I do not want to go back on any antidepressant. Would like to find some alternatives to getting my life back to normal. Anyone have any luck with any other approaches?

    • Bev March 28, 2017, 10:17 am

      I have been on Aropax since my 2nd child was born now 21 years of age. Went to see medical practitioner last week who said I could instantly stop taking this medication. I have been on 1 & 1/2 tablets of 30mg. Was concerned about stopping instantly and I am now taking 1 tablet. I’ve been doing this for 4 days now. Have noticed agitation headaches slight anxiety. I definitely don’t want to start taking this medication ever again. Can anyone recommend any hints tip to get over these hurdles? My practitioner wants me to go back to see her so she can draw up a mental health plan and to be referred to a physiologist.

  • Angie March 25, 2017, 8:24 pm

    Hi… I think I’m experiencing this withdrawal currently. I was on 20 mg and was on it for about 3 years. I quit cold turkey after I realized one day how numb I was. My daughter was in a car accident, nothing severe, but I had no emotion, not even she’d a single tear (while my husband was balling). He even questioned me on why I had no reaction. I understood something terrible had just happened, but I couldn’t respond properly.

    That is when I decided I needed to be able to feel normal emotions. I have been off it for 3 weeks now, and the first 2 weeks were fine. But this past week, I noticed I have flu like symptoms. I feel headachy, and sooooo nauseous (to the point that it’s beginning to effect my job), and tummy issues. I can’t sleep, I’m super emotional now, not exactly what I was looking for, lol…

    I’ll be happy and laughing one second, then bawling the next. The nauseousness is really getting to me and makes me want to jump back on the paxil pill. My hubby is helping me remain strong not to though. I would like to ask a question… is there anything I can take to help with my symptoms, especially the nauseousness and flu-like symptoms?

    I’ve been trying Prilosec, and also tried Pepto Bismol, neither seems to be helping. I have been on the “BRAT” diet to help with the tummy issues… not helping. I need relief, I can’t work, or do much of anything feeling this way and it’s beginning to make me feel hopeless. 😕

  • Shanz March 14, 2017, 7:09 pm

    Hi there, I have been on Paxil for 19 years due to severe panic disorder/agoraphobia. It was a wonder drug for so many years and I literally could never have imagined my life without it. I had tried weaning off in the past, between the awful withdrawals and recurring anxiety I assumed I’d be it’s slave for the rest of my life.

    Over the last year my anxiety attacks have returned and when seeing my Dr last week, she recommended quitting (due to possible poop-out effect) and immediately I panicked. I’ve been so desperate to get this dirty drug out of my system but never had the courage to face the terrible withdrawals. I took my last 20mg Paxil a week ago and immediately started on 10mg Brintellix (subsequently dropped to 5mg) and although it has somewhat lessened the major withdrawal symptoms of the paroxetine, I still feel quite horrendous.

    Tremors, night sweats, severe restless leg syndrome, pins and needles, headaches, elevated anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, muscle fatigue, dull ache behind my eyeballs, ‘whooshing’ sound in my head every time I move… the list goes on!! It’s only been a week but I am so desperate to stick it out because of the hell it’s put me through.

    So encouraging to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, albeit taking weeks/months…onwards and upwards! It’s a wonder why Dr’s still prescribe this knowing the significant potency of it’s side effect profile and intolerable withdrawal symptoms. Wishing you all strength and courage on your journey.

    • Mike (50) March 17, 2017, 10:30 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience here and good luck with the perilous ordeal of quitting Paxil/Paroxetine! Of course I empathize and am sorry that you’re going through the Paxil Hell. You are not alone and it’s hard for someone who does not know what it’s like to understand what you are going through.

      I also received it against anxiety (at college) and I was also on it for 19 years before I realized that this “medication” was at the very source of my problems and not a solution! My Psychiatrist just kept on prescribing it ignoring all dangers of long-term treatment. Initially I weaned off over 1 month and had to resume it after 4 months of horrendous withdrawals.

      The 2nd quit attempts was just as painful but I stuck it out against all medical advice that “you must take it for life”! Exactly 2 years “clean” now and no more anxiety or sleeplessness, only mild depression which I prefer to being totally “numbed” and drugged! Life is worth living again and I feel more human and sensitive again even though I have not fully recovered yet.

      I would never ever take a SSRI again. Stay determined and go through the dark woods till you see the clear sky again!

      • Deena February 20, 2018, 9:03 pm

        Thanks for your comments. I was on 20 mg for 3 years. Weaned down from 20 to 10 to 5 and now zero for my 3rd week. Each drop took some getting used to, but things did get better. Give yourself lots of time to feel better and lots of space. You can do it.

        I have never felt better overall. The highs are way higher and the lows are shorter and I have found meditation, nature, etc. for helping with the lows. I still have bouts of where my energy drops to nothing in a hurry, night sweats occasionally, loss of appetite and achiness. Still I now my body is much happier and I feel so good that I am doing something good for my body that has given me so much!

  • Gary March 8, 2017, 4:06 pm

    61 years old. 20+ years @ 20 mg. April 2017 will be 1 year since my last pill (after tapering for 1 month). Every month brings a slightly new variation of symptoms. Someday I hope to feel right again.

  • Emma March 1, 2017, 9:59 pm

    Thank God you wrote this. It’s been a huge source of comfort for me. I’m getting 95% of these symptoms and I’ve gone cold turkey due to other health issues. I keep re-reading your post and its So much help as I’m only 3 weeks in. Thank you again for writing this.

  • Kim February 16, 2017, 8:46 pm

    I am about five weeks into the withdrawal symptoms from coming off of 12 years on SSRIs, the last 7 on Paxil. It is the worst thing I have ever gone through in my life. I am very sensitive to all medication, so maybe this is why. I have SEVERE ANXIETY, though it is not as bad as in the beginning. I have adrenal rushing through me, but no heart racing.

    I can only sleep about six hours a night, but I’m exhausted. The head zaps have pretty much stopped, but I still get blurry vision sometimes and foggy head as if I’m on medication. I also have a lot of suicidal thoughts which scare me and make me sad, but I would never act on them.

    The good news is that my blood pressure has returned to normal. On the medication it was really getting high even taking high blood pressure medication, hence why I decided to stop taking it. If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with the withdrawal process, I’m open to anything healthy. Otherwise, one day at a time…

    • Mike (50) March 3, 2017, 11:41 am

      Hi Kim! I feel with you… “worst thing I have ever gone through…. have severe anxiety”. I had the same during my withdrawals for a long time. My suggestion for you… go through this daunting time exactly as you say: healthy alternatives and one day at a time!

      Anxiety: avoid all stress as much as possible to deal with the anxiety and do sports / massages / calming biological herbs to bring down the stress hormones and levels). Moreover, all thought patterns will be influenced by the underlying strong anxiety = small problems will seem catastrophes that hurt right to the core. It’s not “you,” it’s the withdrawal aftermath!

      Suicidal thoughts: remember death is irreversible and that you must bravely go through the pain (without taking an SSRI again) and that with time (it seems unbelievable whilst in the long pain phase) will go away and recovery is possible! Good luck! Mike

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