A Mindless Zombie on Paxil

“I was all jittery and I just felt weird.”

My name is Rachel. I had a bad experience with Paxil. I went to my
family doctor and told him about my depression. After talking to me for about 10 minutes, he decided that I needed Paxil for my depression. I was reluctant, but I took it. I took my first pill the next morning. At first I
felt nauseated. Later during the day, I was extremely happy and really hyper. I walked for miles and didnt get tired. The next morning I woke up craving the pill. But I didn’t take it. I was afraid. I was all jittery and I just felt weird. I don’t think this is a very effective drug unless you want to be a continously happy mindless zombie.

Rachel

10/12/2000

This is Survivor Story number 9.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Bad Effects from Macrobid

“To me, it is poison.”

 

My experience with Macrobid: Within about a 15-month period, I was put on Macrobid about 6 times for recurring urinary tract infections. By the 5th and 6th time, I was experiencing extreme fatigue; extreme muscle pain in my neck, shoulder and upper back; very irritable; and I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. I could barely function. At about the 3rd day on this drug (when I took it the last time) I could not get up and go to work, I felt so exhausted. I also experienced headaches.

I felt like I had the worst flu with the aches, pains, and fatigue, and my mood took a turn for the worst. I called Poison Control here in Miami and they told me that “yes, you are experiencing all these side effects from the Macrobid. Stop taking the drug and the effects are slowly reversible.” I also called my doctor and he basically said the same thing. The bad effects from this drug lasted for about three months. I felt horrible and could barely take care of myself and my animals and go to work. I felt like I needed to get on disability and to take a leave of absence from work. I had to go to the chiropractor about 3 times a week to relieve the pain. The pain would not go away. And then I started going to a pain center for deep neuromuscular massage and finally ended up with a Rheumatologist about 4 weeks ago who has taken extensive blood tests, of which I have not gotten the results yet, and he put me on 2 anti-depressants (Celexa and Deseryl) and arthritic medication (Celebrex). I have slowly started to recover, regain my energy, and mentally feeling better.

I still experience pain in my body, but it has improved. I believe I have Fibromyalgia and that the Macrobid aggravated every symptom in my body to the fullest degree possible.
To me, it is poison.

Eva Wilson EMW
EMW@co.miami-dade.fl.us

10/5/2000

This is Survivor Story number 11.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Sleepwalking on Profen II

“…no one in my family will ever take Profen II again!”

 

About a year ago we noticed that strange things were going on during the night. We figured that one of our children was walking in their sleep because they occasionally did that. One night all the pillows from my bedroom disappeared during the night. The next morning we found them stacked neatly in one of the living room chairs. Included was my pillow as well as about 8 others (I don’t know how I slept without it or didn’t notice it was missing).

It kind of gave me the creeps knowing that someone was in my room and several trips to the living room and neither my husband nor I heard or felt anything.

We kept finding things in odd places. TP in the fridge, etc. Then one night I

awoke sitting at the kitchen table. I was in the process of pouring a bowl of milk down the front of my nightgown. I had eaten cheerios and was trying to drink the milk out of the bowl. I never did this type of thing. I hardly ever ate cereal. I hardly ever drank milk. And I NEVER drank the milk out of the bowl! I went back to bed.

But I wasn’t through. Later that night I woke up standing next to the refrigerator and drinking a glass of —– can you guess —— yep, Dr. Bronner’s liquid peppermint soap!!! It was horrible, of course, and I have no idea why I picked that and how it got on the kitchen counter!!!!! I spent the next few hours trying to get the taste out of my mouth, calling poison control (I don’t know how much I drank before the taste woke me up), and being sick in the bathroom.

The case of the sleep walker was solved. But why? I never had been a sleep walker (that I know of) and why was I doing strange things. Poison control said that I should call my Doctor in the morning since the episodes seemed to be getting more bizarre and dangerous. Who knows, I might have gone outside and who knows what. Well, the case was solved when I read about all the medications I was on ——– the Doctor had recently put me on Profen II for a sinus infection and didn’t tell me not to take it after 5p.m.. I was taking it around 9 p.m. with the rest of my meds. I supposedly had a rare reaction to it. Needless to say I stopped taking it. And the strange things stopped too. No more pillows moved and strange things put in odd places and no more eating or drinking strange things.

Now for the rest of the story —- Two weeks ago my 9 year old daughter had a sinus infection and the Doctor put her on Profen II —- she is adopted and not biologically related to me and the Doctor said she should be fine on it. Again, they didn’t tell me not to give it after 5 p.m. —- I gave it to her at 7 p.m. and she went to bed. Around 9 p.m. we heard a loud noise and she came tumbling down the stairs, stood up wide eyed, looking wild. I gently asked her what she was doing and she said she was looking for her pillow (which had fallen off her bed). She was unhurt and so I sent her back to bed.

She didn’t remember any of this the next morning. I called the pharmacy & they gave me the phone number for the rep who sells Profen. She called me back the next day & I told her what happened to me & my daughter. She called back again later and told me that we should never take it after 5 p.m. and evidently after we went to sleep part of our brain stayed on hyperdrive and made us do weird things. Obviously, no one in my family will ever take Profen II again! Most people on Profen just get hyper and can’t sleep.

That is why I can’t stand the smell of peppermint soap anymore! Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about Dr. Bronner’s and Profen II.

Jean — in Georgia

9/14/2000

This is Survivor Story number 12.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Two Months of Hell on Luvox, Effexor, Paxil and Zoloft.

“Why don’t they tell people? What are they trying to do to us?”

 

Hi, I am not a teenager, but I was put on my first anti-depressant at 25 years of age. I was mostly depressed about my relationship at the time, but had always been anxious and unmotivated so I thought the doctor was correct.

I lived through two months of absolute Hell. First Luvox, then Effexor, then Paxil, then Zoloft…all of which I had severe tremors and dystonia while taking within days. My Dr. acted like I was psychosomatic. I became so ill during this time that I don’t recall half what happened. My now husband said it was terrifying to see me.

I quit the Doctor and am now 29 years of age. My memory is shot and if I was unmotivated prior to this, I can only say that now I am completely apathetic and disinterested in almost everything. I have tried naturopathy, acupuncture, etc. Nothing helps.

I had a minor problem before and now I think my life may be ruined. Why don’t they tell people? What are they trying to do to us?

Thank you for your page. It means a lot to know I am not alone if nothing else.

Yana
yana97@prodigy.net

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 91.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Hypomania on Zoloft

“..a dozen or more therapists all missed the signs and symptoms…”

 

My husband, was initially on 50 mg. Zoloft for a mild depression and concentration problems at work. It “worked” for a while, then did not. The family clinic GP upped the dosage to 100 mg, then the benefits “wore off” again. Nine months after the initial prescription, the doctor again upped the dosage. It was now 150 mg. of Zoloft per day. My husband was becoming increasingly irritable, and hostile, with a hair-trigger temper. He eventually erupted into domestic violence, battered me, and I had to call 911 for help.

I had heard about some of the violence associated with Prozac and I immediately suspected a connection with Zoloft. So he went off the Zoloft right away but had dream-like sequences impinging upon his waking state. This made it even more difficult to concentrate at work, in addition to all of our marriage problems resulting from the battery. It was scary to him. Finally, he saw a psychiatrist at a University here in California who seemed not overly concerned about this “side-effect,” but suggested he taper off.

He had to go back on to the Zoloft and withdraw slowly in order to mitigate this troubling (and now I realize it is a very dangerous!) withdrawal symptom. It never entirely disappeared for many months. Every time he stepped his dose down, the REM dream spill-over problem in waking-state intensified. These problems lasted about 6 months. One time he revealed that he almost got into a car accident, that would have been his fault, because he made a left turn when it was not safe. The dream “blinkies,” which is what he called them, occurred especially strongly when he moved his eyes around, such as when he was driving. This relates to what is known about the eye-darting in REM sleep, and the effect of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy).

When the “blinkies” were still there even after he went entirely off the medicine, I cajoled him into having an EEG to check for epilepsy. The test was negative. But he said that during the test he had no “blinkies” because he was sitting or laying with closed eyes. However, as soon as he got up and left the office, and darted his eyes around in the parking lot, the problem resumed. He was defensive about possibly having epilepsy, so he did go back in and have them redo the test. In fact he was pleased that he “passed” the test, thereby proving to himself that “nothing was really wrong.” After reading your book I now realize that he had a very serious condition called REM Behavior Disorder, which is when REM sleep spills over into activity. I note that with a severe REM deprivation there is a 85% chance of resulting violence. I believe that this is what happened with my husband. The SSRI drug severely inhibited his REM sleep at night, and when he went off the medication, the REM compensation dangerously spilled over into waking state.

We were living apart for about 9 months. During this time my husband was hostile, and often spoke with manic intensity. He had very distorted perceptions, and wrote letters accusing me of having “only hate in your heart,” and of having done all manner of harm to him. One time I received one of the most distorted and acrimonious letters on the day that he moved back home and was sleeping and having sex with me!

During this manic time he charged about $30,000.00 on several credit cards. His spending was on so many things that the money just went through his fingers like water. He also found an out-of-town girlfriend, and she became quite enamored of him, convinced that they were “soul-mates destined to be together from the beginning of time.” She believed that I was an evil force in my husband’s life. Quite a bit of money was spent on this out-of-town relationship, as well as about $10,000 on an attorney and an accountant to prepare taxes for “married filing separately” and papers for a divorce. The taxes later had to be redone to include me, and he never filed the divorce papers. Basically, he “crashed and burned” after all his hypomania. Six months after he ceased the Zoloft he was ill for weeks with a cold, looked terrible, and could barely get to work. Then he decided to come home.

At times he had almost a catatonic depression, although he also alternated depression with anger explosions, although no more violence. It was a difficult first six months, and couple’s therapy was not helpful. As a result of other individual therapies, he did learn about appropriate and inappropriate expression of one’s anger. This made it easier to live with him, but he still struggled to keep his emotions in check. Finally he saw a psychiatrist who tried lithium for bipolar disorder.

Almost immediately the blow-ups and hyper-irritability ended. It took longer for the depressions to abate. He did go on and off the medication for short periods, apparently to convince himself he still needed it. During the “off” periods his irritability noticeably increased, and happiness decreased. He would soon resume the medication.

In 20/20 hindsight there is no question that the Zoloft induced hypomania, and that a dozen or more therapists all missed the signs and symptoms. No one took notice that the hypomania developed along with the increasing doses of Zoloft, and continued even after withdrawal. In persons with a bipolar tendency, anti-depressants are known to trigger mania, yet no therapist made this connection until a year and a half after the first symptoms of mania began to appear.

In addition, he developed other problems associated with anti-depressant usage. According to a five hour lab test, he now has “Impaired Glucose Tolerance,” a pre-diabetic condition. In my unofficial diagnosis, based upon your book, he had signs and symptoms of Cushing Syndrome (sugar metabolism disturbance, high triglycerides, “pregnant” appearance, thick fat at the neck).

Thank you so much for researching and writing your book on SSRI type antidepressants. My mind is still boggled by how accurate your description was of my husband’s problems.

S

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 92.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Paxil Nightmare.

“Paxil should be yanked from the market immediately.”

 

In July of last year, I was coerced by my therapist to try a low dose of Paxil for depression caused by chronic pain. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by the injuries I had suffered in an automobile accident 4 years earlier and the fight with my insurance company was turning into a nightmare of gigantic proportions. My therapist convinced me that Paxil was the answer.

I started out on 5 mgs and worked my way up to 10 mgs within three weeks. After one week on 10 mgs, I became suicidal and completely out of control and wound up in a 72-hour lockdown at the local State psychiatric hospital. Instead of taking me off Paxil, they increased the dose and continued to increase the dose at regular intervals until I felt completely brain dead. When I hit 40 mgs a day, I was nothing but a zombie going through the motions of life.

They didn’t seem concerned and even suggested once again that I should up the dose. Unbeknownst to my doctors, I began to slowly wean myself off the drug. That is when my real nightmare began. I felt as if I was in a mental straitjacket — then the head spins, nausea, dizziness, visual lag, and blackouts began. My doctor told me these were caused by depression not the drug. Thank God I didn’t believe her and continued to withdraw slowly.

It took me 8 weeks to finally get off Paxil, but it is now 8 months later and I still have terrible side effects, some of which I am afraid are going to be permanent. My memory is shot, my cognitive and organizational skills are hampered, I feel as if I have had a chemical lobotomy — which I am now finding out is just what this drug does.

The propaganda issued by SmithKline Beecham about this drug in no way indicates how serious the side effects are or how devastating the withdrawal can be. Paxil is the drug they want to use in “cosmetic psychopharmacology” — they want to put everyone on it because it makes you compliant, sociable and open to suggestion. Welcome the New World Order.

I believe that Paxil should be yanked from the market immediately. I have never met anyone who had a good experience with this drug and my experience is one that I will never forget. I have filed an Adverse Reaction Report with the FDA and SmithKline and I have no ruled out a product liability suit. There is nothing innocuous about this drug and everyone should be warned.

Trisha Spinelli

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 89.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Suicidal on Prozac.

“…an incredible journey into another world.”

 

I am another in a long line of Prozac victims. For most of my life I’ve suffered from bouts of depression. After teaching in the public schools for nearly twenty years, I requested Prozac to help with my increasing depression. The following months began an incredible journey into another world.

At first I noticed that my self-confidence was growing. Even in my dreams (which were often fearful and involved my being in overwhelming situations) I began to gain confidence. I remember that in one dream instead of running away in fear, I stood my ground and fought my aggressor. This was an unheard of event! As one who has been given the gift of music but a paralyzing fear of being imperfect thrown in, I began to have the confidence to perform before others and finally get some affirmation.

As you might guess, if the story ended there, all would have been well. However, eventually I began to drink heavily, become very aggressive , and start to behave in ways that were also new to me. I struggled in other areas too personal to mention here in my personal life. Eventually, I saw clearly that my life was a curse to all concerned. One hears that the person who attempts suicide must be a real coward who cares only about himself. On the contrary, I knew that my continued existence was a threat to everyone I cared about. The most loving thing I could do was to end my life before I took others down with me.

I wrote the usual note saying good-by and tried to overdose on everything I could find. I swallowed all the Prozac I had, Benadryl, ….whatever I could find. I went to bed knowing that I was doing the right thing. When I survived and was brought to in the hospital, I was furious at those who had saved me. Learning that my survival was a miracle was not met by me with rejoicing. It took a while for my anger to subside.

At the ward they took me off all medication and watched me carefully. As days passed, it all began to look like a bad dream and I couldn’t imagine why I had attempted suicide. I swore to all it would never happen again. I was eventually dismissed, sent home, and again prescribed an antidepressant. This one was Effexor. Within one year the whole series of events repeated itself and I attempted suicide again…and failed. This attempt was strange. I had had a wonderful day but had ended it with a disagreement with my son. Without so much of a second thought, I was swallowing pills to kill myself!

Obviously, after my survival the psychiatrists still didn’t consider the fact that although I had been depressed most of my life I had never attempted suicide until I was put on these new antidepressants. I went back on Prozac this time. However, I was beginning to get a feeling on my own that the medication might be the cause. However, to stop and face depression with nothing was frightening. I decided to cut my dosage from 20 mg to 10 mg a day. This small drop seemed to help immensely. I just never told the doctors. Still with even 10 mg I could become furious easily. I just didn’t totally lose it.

Then I discovered you on the internet and found out about all the other people like me. Last week I stopped the Prozac and began taking ST. John’s Wort instead. I don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps, I’ll continue with the herbs. Maybe not. I don’t like taking anything, but from what I’ve learned on the web, SJW doesn’t affect a person like Prozac. I guess I will eventually find out, won’t I?

Well, that is my very condensed story. I have decided to order your book if for no other reason than to reinforce my decision not to return to Prozac.

Thank you for coming out like you have against the drug companies and helping those of us who have been so misled. I hope my story ends happily.

D.S.
Wolf444@webtv.net

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 84.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Between Laughter and Tears on Zoloft, Prozac and Wellbutrin (Zyban)

“…drugs are always give and take. This is not worth the take.”

 

I’ve been taking Zoloft or Prozac or Wellbutrin (Zyban) for several years. During some parts of this I began drinking heavily to the point of black outs and complete craziness. Most doctors called me an alcoholic. I had been drinking for several years for fun but never had any problems. I am in Law school right now and feel that I can’t remember well or that I have killed brains cells. I feel like I don’t care and like I am trapped inside of another body. The Doctor put my husband on Paxil and that was when I realized we both had to get off the drugs. This is day three and I fluctuate between either laughter or tears. I cried all the way through my patent law class. Deep down inside I know there are problems because, I have never been a C student. Some people say that Law school is hard but I also have a degree in Biochemistry which is a lot harder.

My science background though general in this area alerts me to the fact that there is a balance in all bodily mechanisms and drugs are always give and take. This is not worth the take.

I agree that something should be done. Western medicine which trains our DRS. is not ample for these people to make these assessments. Further, we are always the first real clinical trial because testing does not occur outside the lower animal kingdom until the FDA approves the drug. One doesn’t have to be an elitist to note the difference between our brains and those of lower animals. Further, it is clear that people are effected very differently, this also shouldn’t be that big of a surprise because we have a history incapable of adequate diagnosis in the mental health area. Drug companies are usually the people that pay in class action suits of this nature. This is big business for them and very possible that we have not been given all of the facts even with respect to their animal testing and in vitro experiments. (i.e. tobacco industry) Neurological safety can be nothing less than theoretical, to argue any more than this would put us in a completely reductionist framework when this has not been accomplished scientifically. In other words, we do not yet have proof that our brains operate on one to one biochemical pathways. Even if this were true, there is certainly some interesting conceptually different mechanism at work between individuals. My problem is that once FDA approval goes through because this is a rigorous process, then what do they do to track the “real” test subjects. Arguably here we are left to fend for ourselves because there is a point at which the market takes over all sense of humanity.

Ashley

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 85.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

I Said No to Tegretol

“I took one look at the prescription and shoved (it) back across the desk toward the doctor.”

 

When my son was only 8, he was 10 pounds over weight. When I asked his pediatrician to put him on a diet…..the pediatrician told my son not to eat between meals and to drink ALL the diet sodas he wanted. Within 2-3 weeks my son was hallucinating, hearing voices and seeing things in either fast or slow motion, he was confused and his memory was suddenly poor. When I told his pediatrician, his doctor suggested to go to UCLA to their pediatric psychiatric department.

After a battery of tests were run, I was told to come back in two weeks with the results. Before I left I asked the doctor what he thought he would do with my son. He said that he thought he would end up medicating him. I asked what drug he would choose. He said Tegretol would be his drug of choice. I asked him how long he thought my son would have to take Tegretol. He said for the rest of his life.

Well, since I was tired of seeing empty diet soda cans all over the place, I told my son I didn’t care what his doctor said about drinking all he wanted to lose weight…. I was going to limit him to two cans of diet soda per day. ALL my son’s symptoms improved! After two weeks I returned to UCLA and sure enough the doctor shoved a prescription across his desk at me for Tegretol. I had asked a pharmacist friend of mine what the side effects were and he said this was nasty stuff. It could cause the genitals to be underdeveloped and small and cause liver damage as well. Frequent blood testing would be necessary.

That was enough for me. I took one look at the prescription for Tegretol and shoved the prescription back across the desk toward the doctor. You should have seen the look of shock on his face when I said my son wouldn’t be taking this drug. I told him by limiting the intake of diet sodas my son’s symptoms had improved in frequency. I went on to tell him I was going to take him off of ALL diet sodas and see how much improvement I could get from this move.

Well, needless to say…..ALL my son’s symptoms went away by monitoring his diet and restricting ALL diet sodas from his diet. UCLA never once asked me a question about my son’s diet. Not one question. Well, parents use your common sense and don’t trust doctors blindly!

Julie Scharfe in Pasadena , CA

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 86.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Tegretol Destroyed My Life And My Family

“I wanted to withdraw from life on this drug.”

 

Day by day, we are beginning heal. I’ve had a lot of POST TRAUMATIC things happen since Daryl Foster died who was my very best friend of 12 yrs.

He went hypomanic after taking Zoloft for 3 1/2 weeks and we didn’t find Daryl for 3 days in 105 degree heat. If I had not gone manic myself on Zoloft, none of would have known as to why Daryl died.

Five weeks after Daryl’s death, Karen, my very best friend, her sister Dalene and her little boy CJ Noyce were murdered by Dalene’s husband by arson. He is now currently spending life in prison without parole.

I had been sent to the hospital as I was under a lot of stress not to mention that I had been overdosed without my knowledge with METHAMPETAMINE. Now when they got me to the ER they never asked me if I had taken it, they just assumed that I was Bipolar and off my medication, which was not true as I never have been on anything for Bipolar.

Once admitted to the hospital, things got really bad as they were loading me up on high quantities of this poison–TEGRETOL, and I just lost all ability to function. THE SIDE EFFECTS were mania, MY TEETH CLENCHING SO BADLY IT MADE MY JAWS ACHE. EXTREME INSOMNIA, DEPRESSION. I COULDN’T CONCENTRATE ON ONE TASK. This drug , caused frequency in urination. I was very AGITATED FROM LACK OF SLEEP. LOUD NOISES MADE ME VERY NERVOUS & UPSET. MY SHORT TERM MEMORY WAS EFFECTED TO THE POINT THAT I NEVER KNEW WHAT DAY IT WAS.

I also wanted to withdraw from life on this drug. I am not Bipolar or Bi-nothin as I tell everyone. I was so drugged after being admitted into the hospital that I couldn’t walk and talked like a drunk, I actually feel down with my food tray that I lost my balance and fell to the floor and hit my head.

I had to stay on this drug for 4 months because if I didn’t, it was threatened that I would be sent to a state hospital! We also got hit by a Tornado this year and last but not least, I just got out of the hospital yesterday from a car accident and have whip lash.

If you ever have any questions or just want to write you may e-mail me at LAURA73289@AOL.COM

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 87.
Total number of stories in current database is 96