Plagued by Side Effects after Paxil, then Cipramil

“I will never ever take this form of medication again.”

 

Hi,

I have a lovely wife and successful family, live in a beautiful home, have no financial worries, have lots of holidays, plenty of good friends, just ordered a new Mercedes saloon, in reasonably good health and everything was fine until all this happened, completely out of the blue.

I am a teacher in a secondary school and was under some stress, so went to the my GP. He said that I was stressed and depressed so he prescribed (Paxil) Paroxetine, which after taking tablets for five days, put me in hospital with a devastating panic attack which I thought was a heart attack, I had never had a panic attack before.

I refused to take the Paxil (Paroxetine) tablets in hospital but continued to experience the most awful side effects, whole body tingling especially severe on the face and head, palpitations, lost of appetite, horrific unrealistic fears such as having a brain tumour, CJD, going mad etc. This in turn made me think of ways of committing suicide because I did not want to burden my family with my imagined insanity or terminal illness.

In hospital my mental condition was giving cause for concern so they put me on Cipramil (citalopram).

Again, after I was released from hospital, the side effects of this medication began to plague me, tingling of head, ears, face, back, arms and hands, everywhere, absolutely frightening! involuntary yawning, clenching of teeth which caused my two capped teeth to loosen and had to be reset, electric shocks as if being prodded with an electric rod, which made going to sleep difficult because you would suddenly jump the moment you dozed off, (similar to falling out of your tree), uncontrollable twitching of arms and legs when lying in bed at night, urination problems, ejaculation failure (but pleasing for my lovely wife, could keep going for hours, I felt like a robot!), constipation, awful tintinitus, twenty four hours a day insomnia, increased anxiety and fear especially after going to the gym, palpitations, dry mouth, stuffy, blocked nose all the time, nightmare thoughts and dreams, head often felt like a balloon floating on my shoulders, development of cold sores, never had them before! always hungry then some days found it impossible to eat anything, dizziness pulsating frontal sharp migraine type headaches, flatulence, increased pulse rate, after a tingling episode palpitations, complete lethargy for approximately 15 hours but unable to sleep or rest, seemed to lose my personality, became disinterested, everything bland and dull, etc. etc. etc.

Some days were excellent and I often thought I was over the worst and wondered what the fuss was about but I was only kidding myself, started having panic attacks in the night when asleep, woke up terrified.

I have now decided to stop taking the Cipramil, reducing my intake from 20mg a day to 10mg and then gradually missing every other day over a period of two weeks.

I will never ever take this form of medication again.

I pray to God that this will work and I can just get on with life as it was before.

Brian, Liverpool
x555555y@hotmail.com

 

2/17/2001

This is Survivor Story number 10.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

385 total views, no views today

My Family's Struggles on Prozac

“Thank you for having your site so that people can have the information to do something about this overmedication going on.”

 

Just about everyone in my family has been on or is still on an antidepressant. My twin sister and I went on Prozac at the same time and I quit taking shortly after she quit. The side effects were not worth the increase in overall happiness. I have found exercise is my miracle. My twin and my little sister have been on Paxil for sometime to control panic attacks, and no matter what they are told, that one can control panic attacks without drugs, they won’t quit taking Paxil. My little sister has this unpleasant trembling as a side effect, I don’t even like looking at her, she can’t stop shaking.

My mother has been wanting to get off the Prozac but can’t, she was once at 90mg, her doctor said it was fine to be on that dosage. She was so forgetful she would go to the store and leave the keys in the ignition. She has since lowered the dosage but has been unable to quit. The only ones in my family, myself and my older sister, who has OCD and several other problems, have successfully not been medicated and are living happily. We both exercise almost everyday, her more so than me (she has OCD, remember!)

My mother agrees she doesn’t like the prospect of being dependent on a pill for the rest of her life, but says she can’t face life without Prozac. I went to the official website for the drug and it is just about impossible to find any information about the long term effects of the drug. I am so worried about my mother, her doctor doesn’t care, she’s now on other drugs to control her blood pressure and who knows what else she’s hiding from me. Thank you for having your site so that people can have the information to do something about this overmedication going on. I will give the information to my mother and my sisters so they can see what their doctors do not tell them.

Lynn Prikkel
lstevenson@ajc.com

 

1/23/2001

This is Survivor Story number 3.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

453 total views, no views today

A Real Life SSRI Laboratory–Notes from a Group Home

“Too many doctors receive little or no feedback following prescriptions to patients.”

 

While in Utah our daughter worked with residents at a group home; most of these are living proof of your warning. Their problems after medication were far often worse. I thought you’d enjoy her remarks to your e-mail message.A simple fact for all medications: too many doctors receive little or no feedback following prescriptions to patients. We somehow need to stress this too to both the medical profession and the public in general. There are some things we can’t afford to be the crash-test-dummy for!

Thanks for your alert. I hope those it reached pay attention!
_____________________

Considering there are more anti-depressants(Prozac, Paxil,Zoloft, etc) prescribed per capita in the state of Utah than any other state in the nation, maybe the Boys in Blue should be more concerned with that fact than with my zip code problems.

Utah also has the highest percentage of children on anti-depressants, Ritalin, MAO inhibitors, and the like for ADD, ADHD and related diagnoses. There is also major concern over the fact that children in Utah are prescribed to at an earlier age, sometimes while basic physical and mental growth is still underway.

NONE of these drugs are easy to get off of! Drugs of this kind create a detox rivaling heroin in mental and physical aspects causing problems usually worse than the original symptoms.

There is also the running joke in medical circles re: a family discount. There is a large percentage of Mother/Child(ren) prescribed AD’s simultaneously. Just some things to think about.

J. M.

D.M.

 

1/1/2001

This is Survivor Story number 4.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

493 total views, no views today

No Longer the Same after Six Months on Psychotropics

“Where will it all end? He had never even had a headache before all of this!”

 

Hello, I am Joey Depew. My husband Bob is 53, a computer artist, self employed for the last 28 years and is no longer the same.

He wanted to stop smoking and was given samples of Wellbutrin (Zyban). He had a bad cold and the GP told him it was most likely lung cancer. Anxiety erupted, followed by a trip to the ER for a possible heart attack. NO CANCER – NO HEART ATTACK, but he was put on a sample two-level dose packet of Paxil for an anxiety disorder. After 4 days of euphoria, then 4 days of hell, he went cold turkey off this killer drug.

Then Lorazapam for sleep, Tarazadon for anxiety and finally a week in a psychiatric hospital. And now he’s taking Serzone. All this in 6 months. And the result, he has been changed–crying, head pains like a grabbing in the back inside of his head, zombie-like some of the time and sensitive to light-sound-movement.

Where will it all end?

He had never even had a headache before all of this!

Joey

12/28/2000

This is Survivor Story number 1.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

346 total views, no views today

12/02/2000 – Upcoming shows of interest

Judy Coburn, from here in Utah, whose husband killed himself on Paxil, and
whose daugther Amy (14) attempted suicide on Paxil and was featured on the
cover of US News and World Report earlier this year, will be on Montel show
next week. It will air Wednesday at 10:00 AM MST. Check local listings to
find air time in your local area.

And, although I do shows regularly, I have not generally let you know about
when and where those shows will air. I will attempt to keep you better
informed. This week on Tuesday evening 8:00 PM Central Time I will be doing a
radio show with Alex Merkley. If you cannot find him in your local area, you
can find him on the net at www.broadcasttalk.com. There will be another one
this week out of Detroit, but I do not yet have the date and time for that
show.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

597 total views, no views today

Pharmacist Suspicious Antidepressant Caused Symptoms

“…often the negative information about medications is not available to us, at least not conveniently so.”

I’m a pharmacist. Along with the rest of the public, I thought SSRI’s were mostly harmless and very beneficial, and for some people they do seem to be. However, I have myself experienced some ill effects this year which I suspect are linked to SSRI’s. I had developed depression due to job stress, job changes, and personal losses during the past year. My symptoms were generally mild but persistent depression with occasional periods of intense sadness, fatigue, obsessive-compulsive eating, and social phobia. I discussed SSRI’s with my physician and we agreed that it was appropriate treatment. I began with Paxil. I did feel less depressed, sad, and moody. I had hope at last. Then, one month into my treatment I experienced a severe illness. I was sitting at my computer late one night and thus in a relaxed situation. I suddenly experienced an intense feeling of cold in the center of my chest which radiated outward in a circle throughout my chest, then up into my shoulders, and down my arms into my hands. I became dizzy, and despite feeling extremely cold, I broke out into a heavy sweat.

Being overweight with a strong family history of heart disease, I immediately suspected I was having a heart attack. I had nitroglycerin tablets handy since my parents both have them for existing heart disease, so I took them in the usual manner and had someone contact 911. I was taken to the emergency room, where an EKG and blood enzymes were normal indicating no heart attack. My blood pressure was, of course, low due to the nitroglycerin. They admitted me to the hospital, and due to family history performed a cardiac catheterization to check for arterial blockage. This test showed my arteries to all be clear, amazingly so given my family history and long-term obesity.
As I was being escorted out of the hospital after release, I had another episode beginning with the cold and followed by dizziness. They immediately took me back to my room, and tested my blood pressure, blood glucose, and EKG. All were normal. They had maintained my Paxil treatment during hospitalization. After leaving the hospital I discontinued the Paxil, and for the next month was symptom free. However, the depression returned. In time I also tried Prozac, Effexor XR, and Wellbutrin SR. Each time I had the same symptoms occur. Symptoms were a bit milder with Wellbutrin SR though I also experienced headaches and mild hand tremor while taking it. Several more visits to the ER resulted only in normal findings.
I am now off all SSRI’s and dealing with my minor depression and other symptoms through force of will and by giving into my sweet tooth. All I have is strong circumstantial evidence of the SSRI’s being the cause of my illness. I do have some residual side effects including an occasional feeling of dullness and lightheadedness in my forehead, and rarely just a bit of the cold feeling.

So, my question to you, is have you heard of these symptoms before in a patient treated with SSRI’s?

People look at pharmacists, and especially physicians like we know everything and our knowledge is complete and perfect. The public doesn’t realize that we learn from what we read, just as they do, and that often the negative information about medications is not available to us, at least not conveniently so. Physicians usually have only one course in medications during medical school and get much of their continuing information from drug company representatives who stick mostly to the positive effects. Also, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the information as the FDA continues to approve new drugs at an ever accelerating rate.

As a pharmacist, I try to counsel patients adequately on their medications so they know the risks as well as the benefits. However, they often don’t want to take time to listen, nor does a busy pharmacy allow adequate time for counseling. Thank you for your attention! I hope you can offer me some insight personally, and for my professional use.
Since you post messages on your board, I must regretfully not include my last name. Unfortunately, writing a letter like this is not good for one career in the health field.

Jim, R.Ph.

11/29/2000

This is Survivor Story number 5.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

453 total views, no views today

I said No to Paxil and Ativan

My doctor said it was clinical depression. It did not occur to me that it could be a real reaction to real things, not just a ‘chemical imbalance’. “

Hello. I have PTSD and recently have become very depressed, despite the fact that my boyfriend and I have been fighting, I got into a car accident, I realized that I did no’t want to study what I was almost ready to graduate in, started a new job and gained weight….

My doctor said it was clinical depression. It did not occur to me that it could be a real reaction to real things, not just a ‘chemical imbalance’. Like she had said.

I know I have PTSD – but mine has n’ot made me sad. But being a trusting person I listened to them when they told me to take medication….

They prescribed Paxil and Ativan. When my doctor was writing the prescription for Ativan – I told her I absolutely did not want to take that because I had read about the different types of medications and that class of drugs was addictive and I did no’t want to take drugs long term. Mind you I am already paranoid of medications. As a survivor of horrendous child abuse, I fear any MIND ALTERING substance. When I told my doctor know, she asked why…she then preceded to tell me to just take it if I get “panicky” and related to the feeling I get when something bad happens and I feel overwhelmed. She said it would be ok. I reluctantly took the prescription and told her repeatedly that I would probably never take it…

I also went into full detail of the stories I had heard about in the Prozac family of people killing themselves out of the blue. She reassured me that is for people that were previously psychotic…and that it only happened when these drugs first came out and that it only happened because some psychiatrist thought since it worked so well on depression it might work on other things…and assured me that it was because they had previously wanted to commit suicide. NEVER mentioning any of the side effects, aside from nausea, dry mouth and “initial anxiety”.

So she gave me the trial month – with no insertions. I took one about 5 hours ago. And then my friends mom called and we were talking, I was telling her about taking Paxil. She said be careful – those make people go nuts. She said her friend hung himself and then I stopped her, I was already scared. I don’t have any suicidal thoughts, let alone, homicidal thoughts. I did no’t want to hear this. Now I feel high and stiff. And I don’t like it. After she told me that I went on the internet and looked up “suicide and Paxil” and came up with so many horror stories of people going crazy. And I even read the drug information on the homepage of the drug company…and it names so many. I learned that it can cause seizures (which I had when I was an infant and my doctor knows) it says most people feel anxiety – which is already a problem I have – I don’t need to feel more – I read that it says you can have nameless amounts of things. Not to mention it said the doctors normally prescribe them with an anti-anxiety so in case the person feels “agitated, homicidal, aggressive or suicidal” they can take those and calm down (a.k.a…pass out). This is not ok. I can’t believe my doctor recommended them to me especially when I told her that I WOULD NOT TAKE THE ANTI-ANXIETY MEDICINE… I told her I would fill it but would not take it out of fear.

I am so freaked out.

I feel for you and I am sorry that happened to your Matthew and hope that in some way you know that you convinced me not to take this anymore. I will go to sleep praying I will be okay through the night. God bless you.

Cena

 

This is Survivor Story number 6.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

11/16/2000

507 total views, no views today

Brain “Shocks” on Paxil

“…my husband and I are convinced that going off the Paxil was the core of the 

entire problem.”

 

I started taking Paxil in April for a mild case of anxiety and sleeplessness. In mid-August, I was told to stop taking the Paxil immediately because it was causing me to have severe bleeding under my skin. I did as I was told and stopped the Paxil cold turkey. Several days later I was hospitalized with a suspicion of either a brain tumor, seizure disorder or inner ear disease. I was experiencing uncontrollable dizziness and “wooziness/swimming” in my head as well as what I have read to be called “brain shocks”. As a new mother I was extremely worried about these symptoms-especially after falling down the stairs one night. My primary care physician assured my husband and I that the problem did not lie in the sudden absence of Paxil from my system and immediately put me in the Neurology Intensive Care unit of the local hospital where I underwent, EKG, telemetry, MRI, and EEG. All to be told I had an inner ear problem. SO, now I am forced to take steroids and diuretics for this “inner ear problem”. These drugs are NOT helping my problem. After seeing the “20/20” report, my husband and I are convinced that going off the Paxil was the core of the entire problem.
How long am I to expect these symptoms to last? My doctor wants me to go back on the Paxil. I will not go back on this drug just so I can rid myself of problems the drug has caused.

Do you have any idea how long I might have to suffer with these symptoms? I need to feel that I can function with my baby.

Thank you.

 

10/18/2000

This is Survivor Story number 8.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

695 total views, no views today

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

567 total views, no views today

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

425 total views, no views today