Paxil Withdrawal Diary

A Woman Chronicles Her Experiences With Severe Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms

Paxil Withdrawal Diary
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The following is a diary made by one of our forum members after she stopped taking Paxil back in 2005.  This is one person's experience with withdrawal symptoms and may not be indicative of what you personally will experience, especially if you work closely with your doctor and taper slowly.  If you'd like to learn how to avoid her experiences, I'd recommend reading the following articles.  Her diary begins below the links.

Friday (10/21) Took my last 20 mg of Paxil.

Saturday (10/22) Doing fine

Sunday (10/23) Still doing pretty good

Monday (10/24) Feeling like maybe I could be catching a cold. My throat's a little scratchy and my head feels full. Could be sinus/allergies?

Tuesday (10/25) VERY TIRED. I struggled all day to do my bookwork and then go coach my 4th grade basketball team.

Wednesday (10/26) I didn’t sleep very well so I felt tired. I woke up feeling like I was coming down with something. The morning went fairly well. Then by afternoon the bottom fell out. About 1:00 I started crying and felt like I was starting to have anxiety attack. I go see my friend to talk to her about it so I could get it under control. By 2:00 I no longer felt like a panic attack. I just felt really funny. I am not sure how to describe the feeling. My chest was tight and I felt out of it. I went to pick up my children at 2:45. While I was driving my hands and feet started to tingle, then they went completely numb. I started to feel like I was passing out, but in really slow motion. Everything sounded like it was going through a tunnel at high speed. I got to the school and told my mom she had to take the kids because I was going to pass out. She went to get a cell phone to call someone to pick me up and the left side of my face went completely numb. It felt completely paralyzed. It felt like it was hanging but Mom said it looked normal. That lasted about 10 minutes. I went to the clinic and waited for the doctor. That was when it got a little weirder. I started to not be able to keep my eyes open. They were so heavy. I then started to feel really relaxed, sort of like I was floating above my body away from everything. They took blood, checked my thyroid, white count, potassium ect. Everything came out okay.

Thursday (10/27) I woke up dry heaving and feeling really shaky. I drove the kids to school, having dry heaves on the way, and then I came home and started to cry. I sobbed uncontrollably for 3 hours. I was crying so hard I was having trouble catching my breath. I called S.P. to see what was wrong. They told me it could be the Paxil. I then got the chills and extreme shakes again. I went in later that day and had a MRI done to make sure the paralysis on my left side of my face was not something else. I then drove to G. to talk to S. because I felt like I was spiraling out of control. I fell asleep okay that night, but had nightmares again.

Friday (10/28) I woke up with the same feeling of something wrong. My chest was extremely tight. I was not up more than 15 minutes and I was dry heaving again. I tried to get myself under control because I was not ready to go through another day like that. I took the kids to school and then stopped over to a friend’s house to have coffee. I thought that if I could keep it out of my mind it would be better. I physically pushed myself to push back the trembling. Finally I called Dr. H. and told her I needed to see her. That morning was really bad. I couldn’t stop crying, my hands and feet kept aching and tingling, and at one point my feet went numb. I talked to Dr. H. and explained that I felt like I was not in control of any of my thoughts, emotions, and symptoms etc. She then checked my blood count again. It was a point or so higher, but she said that was probably because I had been doing a lot of dry heaving. She than took an x-ray of my stomach to make sure there wasn’t some other reason for the dry heaving. It also came back okay. At that point she contacted S. at S.P.  S. at some point talked to Dr. P. who said it was Paxil withdrawals and to go up to 100 mg of the Zoloft. Dr. H. said I could take the 10 mg of Paxil at night if I wanted too. I did not because I DO NOT want anymore of the drug in my system. She then prescribed me a prescription to Lorazepam 0.5 mg to help with the withdrawal symptoms. I went home and took the Lorazepam and it did help to take the edge off the symptoms, but not stop them. I rode out the rest of the day with the numbness, shakes, trembles, and feeling of being VERY anxious.

Saturday (10/29) I woke up with the heavy chest and a feeling of gloom. I got up to shower and dry heaved. Then the trembling and shaking started. I started to collapse and say I couldn’t do this any more and the doorbell rang. It was a friend of mine and I went out with her to a rummage sale. I was able to push it back down and keep under control. I then went home and my face started to feel like it was on fire. I felt like I was sitting on a fire but when I took my temp it was normal. Although my husband said my face and neck were bright red. Then the weeping started. It did not last as long as the last time. The same symptoms followed again throughout the day. At this point I was taking the Lorazepam about every 6 hours.

Sunday (10/30) I woke up today with extreme anxiety. I felt like there was a weight pushing me down. I went to get ready for church and sure enough started to dry heave. I than started to have the urge to just cry and cry. I didn’t go to church because I did not feel in control of myself. I finally took some Lorazepam at about 12:45. I don’t want to take it unless I feel like I absolutely need to. It does just make the symptoms feel less intense. Although they are still there. I do feel a little better tonight, hopefully this means I am on the up side. I am still nervous about maybe having to do this with the Zoloft also.

Monday (10/31) Well today has been interesting also. I woke up and did dry heave. After driving the kids to school I came home and started to cry a little bit. I do not like the way this has not only changed the way my body feels, but my thoughts also. I am a little shaky yet. I also feel extremely tense. I catch myself clenching my teeth or clenching my fists. It is sort of like the feeling that you get right before you take that big drop of the rollercoaster so you brace yourself. I do not want to take the Zoloft, but will until my next appointment. I am just afraid that I am going to have these same symptoms. I just feel like I can’t do this twice. My thoughts and emotions at times are different then they use to be. I have lots of thoughts of just giving up. Sounds a little too close to suicidal to me. Of course I am sure that I wouldn't ever go that way, it is just scary enough to have the thought. Right now my hands are sweaty and I feel anxious. I did take Lorazepam at 1:00. I hate taking it, but it is Halloween and I have things to do, so I need to get this under control. It is now around 9:00 p.m. and I am feeling a lot better. I may actually be getting through these withdrawals after all.

Tuesday (11/1) I woke up feeling better. I wasn’t shaky and did not feel quite so anxious. At 8:00 I drove the kids to school. On the way there and back I suddenly had a terrible time keeping my eyes open. I just kept trying to drift off to sleep. I came home and sleep for about 1 1/4 hours. When I woke up at about 9:30 I took my 100mg of Zoloft. I then started to work on my payroll for the day. At about 10:00 I started to feel really hot. It gradually got worse. I was sweating and felt like my face, hands, and upper body was on fire. I took my temperature and sure enough it was normal. I am really not sure if this is still from the Paxil or if maybe it could be the Zoloft also? Either way it is an experience that I wish would never have happened.

Wednesday (11/2) I woke up feeling really blah. Like I was drugged or something. I then started my daily dry heaving. I am so very tired of this. About 11:00 I started to have my whole body clench up uncontrollably. My legs and whole body felt like it kept locking up. I took Lorazepam at 12:30 and again at 6:30. I tried to go to work just to get my mind on something else, but it was not easy. I have no control over any of this. I also did the normal crying breakdown.

Thursday (11/3) I woke up having that same yucky feeling. Sort of like a feeling of doom. Like you think something bad is going to happen, but you have no idea what? I then went to my appointment with Dr. P. I described to him all my symptoms and asked if he thought that the Zoloft was still okay to take. He said that he still thinks all of my symptoms are due to the withdrawal off the Paxil. He also said to keep taking the 100 mg of the Zoloft. I really hope that we can get off that too. I had the same clenching of my muscles, shakes, and the wonderful dry heaving (nausea). I took the Lorazepam again throughout the day. I don’t really want to take that either but it does help. Just hope I am not opening up another can of worms. I have decided that my system must be extra sensitive to these drugs.

Friday (11/4) I woke feeling a little better. I was not quite so shaky. I did feel upset to my stomach. Sure enough, within the hour the dry heaving started. So much fun. I tried to keep really busy to keep my mind off of it. Today was the worst for the dry heaving. Every time I moved fast, drove, anything that required a lot of motion I would start to gag and then dry heave. Around 3:00 I started to feel really anxious, sort of like the walls were closing in. That only lasted for a little while. All in all I think I am going up hill now. I did not take any Lorazepam today; figure I could suffer through. When I am sitting I do feel my muscles tense a little, but not nearly as severe.

Saturday (11/5) I feel better today. I am still dry heaving once in a while. It seems to be when I am driving or I get up fast, must be the motion. I am still taking the 100 mg of Zoloft. After talking to my doctor, I am going to give my system some time to get back to normal from the Paxil. I am not sure why I get to be the lucky one to go through this. Although I researched effects from Paxil and have found that some people have withdrawals so bad that they never go off of it. I guess I am glad I hung in there. My family pharmacist has been wonderful through this. He had a daughter that had the same problems with Paxil. Her problems were oddly a little different than mine. She had lots of vision problems, at one point she lost vision temporally. She would see flashes and color halos. This is some weird stuff.

Sunday (11/6) I went to church today. I still feel a little nauseous and shaky, but all in all doing a lot better. I feel like we are closer to the end of this.

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