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

389 total views, no views today

Hospitalized on Paxil

“Has psychiatry’s faith in medication become so strong that the last thing they can imagine is that medication might be what is causing a problem?”

 

I was in and out of the hospital 5 times during the 8 month period on the drug in 1996. I suffered delusions, impulsiveness, roadrage (bumped a car ahead of me repeatedly), spent an entire night trying to put a T-shirt on–I had forgotten how to dress myself, and I couldn’t lie still. Eventually (I am told) I began hearing voices, became unconscious, and was in intensive care for ten days on the danger list, writhing around. Only then did they think to take me off the medication! They had actually added other drugs, rather than stop the Paxil!

When I regained consciousness I was in a black mood and let them use ECT on me.

What an assault on me! I’m angry! Shouldn’t my inability to dress myself have been a sign that I should be taken off all medication, rather than adding another drug?

Has psychiatry’s faith in medication become so strong that the last thing they can imagine is that medication might be what is causing a problem?

Ed Robinson
erob@people-link.com

Years 2000

This is Survivor Story number 72.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

524 total views, no views today

Withdrawal from Paxil

“Please get this message out…”

 

After trying several different antidepressants my doctor put me on Paxil. I stayed on it for about eight months but just didn’t like the way it made me feel. I felt like I wasn’t really living, just existing and I was extremely tired. I would fall asleep at nine at night and have trouble waking in the morning.

I decided to go off it VERY SLOWLY and without much help at all from my doctor. This is when my nightmare began. I experienced all kinds of symptoms- depression, uncontrolled bouts of crying, unable to get out of bed, dizziness, my head swimming and what I can only describe as brain attacks. I felt like I had some kind of brain damage . My doctor was completely unable to help me so I took Xanax to help counter the withdrawal symptoms. It helped a little. I even felt suicidal for the first time in my life. I thought I would never wake from this nightmare. Two months later I was still not completely off Paxil and the symptoms were still awful. I finally called a doctor in another state I had gone to in college and he told me there were several things I could have done to ease all this but since my dosage was now so small he told me to just stick it out and within about ten days of stopping completely I should start to feel better.

Well it took about another six weeks after stopping completely to feel normal again. Now another two months later I feel that I have recuperated from a serious illness. I can’t describe how wonderful it is to be off this drug completely. I am angry at my doctor for not telling me there are withdrawal symptoms from Paxil. None of the literature from the manufacturer mentions this. I would have never taken this drug had I known. The only thing that kept me going was reading the internet and knowing so many people were experiencing the same thing. PLEASE GET THE MESSAGE OUT TO PEOPLE THAT STOPPING IS POSSIBLE. There are so many others who just give up and stay on the drug to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 73.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

279 total views, no views today

Paxil, Klonopin, Zyprexa and Cough Syrup-A Deadly Mix

“I am not so sure which was worse–depression or psychosis.”

 

Hi I am a 27 year old male with clinical depression. About four months ago my therapist had a doctor that she works with prescribe me an anti-depression regimen of Paxil, Klonopin, and later Zyprexa.

I had no idea why an anti-psychotic was later included in my treatment until I began doing a little research on SSRI’s. I never had a single psychotic episode or symptom until I had taken Paxil and started to become aggressive and delusional.

I discontinued the Zyprexa (the Dr. did not like that) after reading the prescribing information and found it also had a serotonergic enhancing effect, since it was in my opinion the effects of excess serotonin which were causing my psychotic symptoms in the first place. The combination put me in a dream like state and was causing me wild mood swings ranging from extreme euphoria to severe depression with suicidal thoughts.

I also acquired a bizarre craving for aspartame and would secretly eat it right out of the Equal packets at work I also did terrible things to my coworkers like intentionally breaking or tampering with their tools without a hint of guilt because I decided they deserved it and I would never be suspected of it since lying was so easy with the medication.

My doctor said there were no drug interactions with the “new generation” antidepressants and over the counter products are all O.K.. Well, I don’t believe that is exactly the case, after taking a cough syrup containing dextromethorphan (HBr), I developed symptoms which I now think were serotonin syndrome. I became very euphoric in a sort of drunken giddy way, felt like I had a fever and was sweating, my joints all hurt and my right hand was clenched and painful to open as well as my jaw, I was dizzy and felt anesthetized (like the feeling of taking a narcotic painkiller like Percocet) and confused.

I was having mild hallucinations/visual disturbances (I went right through two red lights on my way home from work while looking right at them), my pulse kept fluctuating for no reason between bradycardic and tachycardic, my hands and ankles had also swollen and I could not remember what I had done 5 min before. I had difficulty standing and spent the rest of the night sitting in a chair in the dark staring and at some point I suspected something was wrong my muscles felt very tense so I took 4 of my clonazapam and a doxylamine tablet (I thought maybe I was having an allergic reaction and it was the only antihistamine I had in the house) made it through the night and gradually over the next day my symptoms faded.

I had seen my doctor the day before when these symptoms were just beginning and tried to explain it to him, but he seemed to think I may have been imagining these symptoms and said he couldn’t do anything for me if I was not going to take the medication. He said all medications have side-effects, and gradually they diminish (but mine were getting worse) this was a week ago and I have been tapered off them with my doctors reluctant approval.

I still feel a little strange he (Dr.) said I will for at least several days while my body adjusts to being without the drugs. I am not so sure which was worse–depression or psychosis. I guess it’s a toss-up to which symptom you are more willing to put up with. Anyway I will continue with therapy maybe wait for the “next generation” of depression medication before I take that route again.

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 51.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

356 total views, no views today

Going Cold Turkey Off Paxil

“I decided it was time for a drastic change or I would end up dead.”

 

Since birth, and all my growing up years I was a victim of mental, verbal, and physical abuse at the hand of my mother. Many events left me deeply scarred, and I ended up going right into an abusive alcoholic marriage which lasted almost 20 years. I ended it in divorce. and immediately got into yet another situation the same year. I ended that one after a year and a half.

After only a year, I entered into another relationship with a recovering alcoholic, whom also suffered serious mental illness and I found myself living in a serious possible murder/suicide situation. Walking on egg shells. this relationship ended after 2 years when I found him hanging dead.

I guess it all caught up to me, and I ended up in a bad state, and was diagnosed with PTSD (post trauma stress disorder) and was hospitalized for 7 weeks, and was started on Paxil…20mg, Xanax, and Imovane.

I had a long history usage of Ativan for anxiety but always was cautious and used only as I needed it. The Paxil helped me for a while, I thought, as I came up out of the black pit of the secondary depression. Eventually the dosage was boosted until I was at 50mg per day. All the time I thought that I was never going to “get my life” back as I had no ambition, slept a lot, didn’t much care if I showered or got out of bed.

Normally a very tidy, clean person, this was very bothersome to me. Living alone, no one really noticed and I could bluff my way through life. I tried to work, but could not hold a job and spent the waking hours on the computer talking to my fellow PTSD sufferers.

After 2 years I met a good man, a very decent human, and got involved. He was taking note of my behavior, and brought certain things to my attention. I decided to wean myself off the Paxil, gradually reducing the dosage by 10 mg every 3-4 weeks. I started having a weird sensation of an electric current going through me every time I moved my eyes or my head. I was nauseated, dizzy, moody, and overly sensitive to light, and had horrid headaches. Having moved to a new city, I needed to find a new doctor and 3 out of 3 told me to up my Paxil dosage back to 40 mg/daily.

I followed their advice. but found myself back into the black hole of despair again. After my partner again brought it to my attention, I decided it was time for a drastic change or I would end up dead! I NEEDED to have control over my life so I went off the Paxil, cold turkey, perhaps a mistake. But I think not. I suffered diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, fell down a flight of stairs due to the “electric shock” sensation, sleepless nights, nightmares, intense sweating and dehydration, mood swings, and flu type symptoms.

But despite the physical agony, I felt better emotionally than I had for a very long time so was determined to suffer it out. It has been 2 weeks now, and I am still having a lot of discomfort–the shock feeling, the headaches, and diarrhea and am afraid to drive anymore. I notice a lack of appetite (may loose some of those Paxil induced pounds) and have days better than others. I have found some of my old energy returning, and my sense of humor. I do not know how long this will go on. But I have been advising anyone I know to refuse Paxil if ever offered to them.
I pray that these symptoms will go away some day. Or is this to be a part of the rest of my life thanks to the horror drug Paxil?

Thank you for listening.

Yvonne Jameson

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 45.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

353 total views, no views today

Son Convicted of Murder while on Paxil

“I was frightened and bewildered. Nothing like that had ever happened before with any of our children.”

 

I’m writing regarding the radio show you were interviewed on in June of this year. I was very fortunate to catch this interview, normally I am not awake at this hour of the night. I was both delighted and disappointed. Delighted because you almost never hear the dangers of these “mind altering drugs.” Disappointed because nobody seems to care. I call these drugs “mind altering” because “anti-depressant” doesn’t fit the consequences it can make. I feel you are a ray of hope to people like me who have experienced the horrible effects these drugs have.

I have four children. My youngest child, Jarred was put on Paxil at 16. I took my son to the doctor because I was concerned about his abuse of alcohol. After a 15 minute evaluation, the doctor concluded Jarred was depressed. He gave us sample boxes of Paxil, a month supply. He gave us no instruction except to take one a day. There were no instructions with or on the sample packets. After the first day on this drug, my son complained of severe agitation, he said he felt “weird.” I called the doctor and asked if he had a smaller dosage. I told him I thought they were too strong for Jarred. The doctor told me there was not a smaller dosage than 20mg. He said I should cut them in half. A couple days later my son became combative with me and his father. The police had to be called. I was frightened and bewildered. Nothing like that had ever happened before with any of our children. I didn’t connect these drugs with this incident, I thought it was from alcohol use. Three days later, a family friend was murdered. Jarred was charged and convicted of first degree murder. He is in a California state prison serving life without parole. We were in shock, in total disbelief this happened.

The victim was someone we spent time with. Jarred would play games with her. He spent nights at her house with my other children. Jarred cared very much for this special lady. This was extremely out of character for Jarred. We couldn’t understand what happened. No one believed Jarred could do this. We didn’t connect the drug to what had happened until Jarred’s attorney asked us about the Paxil he was taking. He said he found cases where people have taken these drugs and committing horrible crimes. It puzzled Jarred’s lawyer because Jarred had never been in trouble or had never been violent.

This has been heavy on my heart for four years. We’re hearing of more and more cases of horrible crimes committed by people who are on these drugs. There is definitely a connection.

My question to you is what can I to help get the message across. I have been silent too long. I want to do something to help. I want to do anything I can to stop these tragedies from happening. I know they will continue to occur with some doctors handing these drugs out like aspirin.

I realize you are very busy. I greatly appreciate your work. I would love very much to hear from you.

Brenda Victor
RAWDUDE101@aol.com

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 46.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

340 total views, no views today

8/25/2000 – 20/20 Show Tonight on SSRI Medications

FYI–Tonight (Friday, 8/25/00) on ABC 20/20 at 10pm eastern
time will be another show about the problems with SSRI
medication.

Please check your TV GUIDE for the time in your area. Mark

H I G H L I G H T S
Friday. Aug. 25 Dr. Nancy Snyderman examines the possible
side effects when discontinuing an antidepressant like Paxil and
Zoloft. Chris Wallace confronts a man who was convicted of
trying to get his ex-wife murdered.

638 total views, no views today

Suicidal Wife on Paxil Shoots Husband

“I know it’s the Paxil.”

 

Attached is a photo of my sister Suzanne and her family. They live in Silverton, OR. She married Matthew Miles @ 5 years ago and they had Maddie on October 13, 1997. Suzanne’s 2 older girls, Brittany, 17, and April, 13, are from previous relationships. Suzanne began taking Prozac quite a number of years ago (about 7) and everything was fine. Then last year she said it wasn’t helping anymore. Her doctor told her to double her dosage. It started making her feel crazy – twitching, anxiety attacks. So they switched her to Paxil. She began taking Paxil in mid-January 2000. On February 29th, she shot and killed her husband Matthew. He was just 31 years old. Maddie has lost her father. My nieces’ have lost their mother and is in jail for killing him. My sister says that she started feeling suicidal and went to her husband’s work to kill herself in front of him. She doesn’t know why but she shot him instead. She and Matt had recently separated and I know the DA is going to try to say that she was distraught over the breakup, but I know it’s the Paxil. After reading all of the emails sent by you and reading the articles on the internet, we now need to prove that it was the Paxil and not just a woman killing her husband for leaving her.

I hope that your lawsuit will help in the fight of changing how these drugs are prescribed. They are dangerous and should not be prescribed like they are in most cases – “Here – try this. See if this helps.”

I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. I can’t imagine what it might be like losing your child.

Jill Robertson
2321 Eaton Avenue
San Carlos, CA 94070

 

7/31/2000

This is Survivor Story number 15.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

412 total views, no views today

7/27/2000 – TV Interview on 8/4/2000

Jurgen and Brenda Viktor will be on the Queen Latifah Show on August 4, 2000.
They will be interviewed about their son Jared’s tragic experience on Paxil,
an account of which, written by his mother and posted on the
www.drugawareness.org site, follows below. You will need to check your local
TV guide to find times and stations in your area that will cover this program.

16 Year Old Son Convicted Of Murder After 5 Days On Paxil

——————————————————————————

“I was frightened and bewildered. Nothing like that had ever happened before
with any of our children.”

I’m writing regarding the radio show you were interviewed on in June of this
year. I was very fortunate to catch this interview, normally I am not awake
at this hour of the night. I was both delighted and disappointed. Delighted
because you almost never hear the dangers of these “mind altering drugs.”
Disappointed because nobody seems to care. I call these drugs “mind altering”
because the name “anti-depressant” doesn’t fit the consequences they can
have. I feel you are a ray of hope to people like me who have experienced the
horrible effects these drugs have.

I have four children. My youngest child, Jarred was put on Paxil at 16. I
took my son to the doctor because I was concerned about his abuse of alcohol.
After a 15 minute evaluation, the doctor concluded Jarred was depressed. He
gave us sample boxes of Paxil, a month supply. He gave us no instruction
except to take one a day. There were no instructions with or on the sample
packets. After the first day on this drug, my son complained of severe
agitation, he said he felt “weird.” I called the doctor and asked if he had a
smaller dosage. I told him I thought they were too strong for Jarred. The
doctor told me there was not a smaller dosage than 20mg. He said I should cut
them in half. A couple days later my son became combative with me and his
father. The police had to be called. I was frightened and bewildered. Nothing
like that had ever happened before with any of our children. I didn’t connect
these drugs with this incident, I thought it was from alcohol use. Three days
later, a family friend was murdered. Jarred was charged and convicted of
first degree murder. He is in a California state prison serving life without
parole. We were in shock, in total disbelief this happened.

The victim was someone we spent time with. Jarred would play games with her.
He spent nights at her house with my other children. Jarred cared very much
for this special lady. This was extremely out of character for Jarred. We
couldn’t understand what happened. No one believed Jarred could do this. We
didn’t connect the drug to what had happened until Jarred’s attorney asked us
about the Paxil he was taking. He said he found cases where people have taken
these drugs and committing horrible crimes. It puzzled Jarred’s lawyer
because Jarred had never been in trouble or had never been violent.

This has been heavy on my heart for four years. We’re hearing of more and
more cases of horrible crimes committed by people who are on these drugs.
There is definitely a connection.

My question to you is what can I to help get the message across. I have been
silent too long. I want to do something to help. I want to do anything I can
to stop these tragedies from happening. I know they will continue to occur
with some doctors handing these drugs out like aspirin.

I realize you are very busy. I greatly appreciate your work. I would love
very much to hear from you.

Brenda Victor
jvikt@…

676 total views, no views today

Awake for 800 Hours Straight and Unable to Function after just 25mg of Paxil

“Did I undergo a ‘chemical lobotomy?'”

 

In January of 2000 I fell into a deep depression over complications following laser eye surgery.

[Note from Dr. Tracy: Keep in mind that many go into depression after surgery as an after effect of anesthesia and/or pain killers – many of which are also serotonergic medications. The logical thing to do in this instance is to rest, get good nutrition and wait out the after/withdrawal effects rather than adding yet another serotonergic drug as is done so often.

I had no family locally, and was calling them daily for support. I became unable to focus at work, so they urged me to get medical treatment. I asked my psychotherapist for a reference; he sent me to a family practice MD. That is when things went from bad to worse.

I had no psychiatric history prior to this and had always been a healthy, physically active (a real athlete), artistic (songwriter), productive individual. I am a software engineer, and so I also had a mentally demanding job which I excelled at. That all changed after taking Paxil, which this MD gave me after only a 5 minute consultation (he had never seen me before). Unfortunately I was a nervous wreck at that point, and did not ask any questions. He did little more than read from the “starter kit” literature:

“Paxil – indicated for depression, indicated for OCD…”. If it had been Prozac the alarm bells may have gone off, but I had never heard of ‘Paxil’ and was desperate for help. I left with the twenty-one day starter kit.

I took the first 10 mg pill on a Friday, and only took 25mg (2.5 tablets) of Paxil over the next four days. But this seemingly innocuous amount made my life hell. I could no longer sleep, EVEN A MINUTE, for five weeks! That’s correct, I was up 24hrs a day for the next five weeks, staring at the ceiling and locked in a mental fog around the clock. I emphasize this because it is so amazing. I would not have believed that it was humanly possible to go that long without sleep, but I lived through it. It would be five weeks before my eyes would close again.

I should have known I was in trouble when the first pill started the insomnia, made me hop around like a rabbit, while the second 10mg pill gave me the sensation of my frontal lobe being set on fire. It sent me into a drug trip, fantasizing about my death constantly. I didn’t seem to have control of my thoughts either, as my mental processes seized up like gears that haven’t been oiled. My drug sensitivity probably made me very vulnerable to adverse effects. But my very pure organic diet should have helped to counter the adverse effects. I had eliminated all caffeine from my diet years ago due to this chemical sensitivity. It also took much longer than normal to awake from anesthesia after any surgery, and my natural energy level was always very high.

Because of being trapped in this zombie-like state, I was having suicidal urges for the first time in my life. Also, I tried to work, but I would just come in to the office, sit for a few minutes in front of the monitor and then turn around and leave. I couldn’t initiate and complete anything even of moderate mental complexity, even responding to e-mails, so it was hopeless. Thoughts would just fizzle out.

How to escape this living hell? After day four my feeling was “I have to get these things out of my system!”. So I took nothing else (although the MD said “cut it back to half a tablet”). Every day I was desperately wanting to fall asleep, even for a few minutes, but it just wouldn’t happen. When would the Paxil leave my system — what was happening? As the sleepless days progressed, I got foggier and foggier, finally to the point that even dialing a phone number became a mental feat.

This downward spiral progressed for the full five weeks, until my parents came to get me. I was no longer eating, no longer leaving the apartment for anything, and was simply wasting away. So, five weeks after quitting cold turkey and getting zero sleep in that time, I was admitted to a hospital as I was unable to function.

In the psychiatric ward I was given Zyprexa, Klonopin and Depakote, having been diagnosed there as manic (who wouldn’t be after being up day and night for five weeks?). This was a misdiagnosis, I believe, and more drugs in my system just fanned the fire. I was able to finally get 2-3 hours of sleep a night, but I found that a drug induced sleep is not a restful, refreshing sleep.

I then went home to stay with my parents as I was unable to care for myself for the first time in my life (I am 36). A psychiatrist in my parents hometown kept me on these three medications for another week until he switched to Effexor for a week, followed by Neurontin for several weeks, and then he added Zoloft in mid-March. I was reluctant, but my well-meaning parents were completely trusting and would not let me skip any prescribed medication as I was still suicidal. I took just one 50mg dose of Zoloft and I immediately “locked up again” mentally as before. The insomnia resumed, too. I begged my parents to take me to see someone else. Unfortunately this guy was the only psychiatrist in a 50 mile radius, but we persisted and found someone an hour away.

This MD was the first medical professional to actually acknowledge that the psychotropics made me suffer. She recommended that I have nothing else, and return to an organic diet (which I had been on since 1990!). She gave me dietary guidelines for depression, most of which I had been following already. It took less time to get back to sleeping at night after the Zoloft (was my body building a tolerance?), but after a week or so I was sleeping 3-4 hrs. a night.

It is now July and I have had no medication since. Yet, I have a foggy feeling still, my memory is not as sharp, and my abstract reasoning/problem solving ability is compromised. I feel a vague numbness in my forehead also, similar to a mild hangover, a lingering reminder of the near catatonic state I was in originally. Nothing is the same, nothing is as sharp or clear or enjoyable as it was before. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen’s book “Prozac Backlash” has given me some insight into what may have happened to me. Did I undergo a ‘chemical lobotomy’ and lose axons or other brain tissue? It is a scary thought. But I have learned some things.

I now know that the chance of a doctor completely informing you is slim. He may not even be withholding information: He just may not know himself of all of the possible side affects. I also know that there is no “standard dosage” that is safe for everybody. If you are drug sensitive, perhaps it is better to start with a half a tablet of a new medication than to risk an extreme reaction as I did? Or, better still, to avoid drugs at all costs… to be used only as a last resort.

Good health to you all.

Bruce

7/25/2000

This is Survivor Story number 16.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

573 total views, no views today