My Nightmare from Paxil

“About 2 months into the Paxil I began having bizarre and sometimes violent thoughts.”

Hello,

I’ll keep my story relatively short as I know there are thousands like it.

I was given Celexa in Dec ’99 for an inner ear/off balance feeling. My family physician said I had anxiety, even though I told him that I did not feel anxious or depressed. I did not know and was not told Celexa is an anti-depressant; I was just told it would make me feel better. After 6 months of use, I felt no better or worse so I decided to discontinue cold turkey (no one informed me this is bad). I experienced the typical zaps and blah feelings, and thinking I needed the medicine, continued on it for almost 3 years, trying to quit unsuccessfully 3 times.

In October 2002, I saw a neurologist for a return of the “off balance” feeling and he also suggested anxiety. An MRI with contrast turned up nothing. He suggested I segue immediately into Paxil. I asked him if stopping Celexa one day and starting Paxil the next would be wise (I did not know anything about these meds still) and he assured me that “these medications are in the same class; there will be no issues with that”. So, since he was the expert, I believed him.

About 2 months into the Paxil I began having bizarre and sometimes violent thoughts. They were completely out of my control. They invaded my mind at will and scared the dickens out of me. I was afraid to tell my wife for fear she would think I was going insane. About a month after these thoughts started I thought maybe the Paxil was the cause so I timidly talked to a new family physician about the “way I was feeling” on Paxil and his suggestion was: UP THE DOSE! I told him I wanted off and he suggested I taper over a 2 week period (this would prove to be bad).

During this tapering process I began having violent dreams and negative thoughts about myself (I took my last dose in mid-March of ’03). The physical effects during the withdrawal process were horrible too. I was always a very confident and strong willed person so this really scared/troubled me. These sort of thoughts continued to be very “downing” to myself and got worse over the next 6 months (until around January’04). Then I found Dr. Tracy’s book on Prozac and everything started to make sense. The book has been a Godsend to me and I thank her for it. The past few months have been slowly getting better but I am still left wondering when will I feel 100% again. Can anyone answer this???

The portion of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora that discusses how alcohol reacts with a person after SSRI use is very interesting. I had a shot of whiskey at my brother’s wedding in August (I had been off of Paxil for 5 months at that point) and I swear it felt like I drank half the bottle. Prior to SSRI use I never had that problem. Now I no longer drink, even socially.

I wrote this hoping to add support to the cause of banning these medications for good. Hopefully this helps in some way.

Thank you for your time,

Tom
troll123.1@netzero.com

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My Life with Paxil and Klonopin

“The nightmare goes on with in me.”

I started Paxil when I was in the middle of a bad divorce. I had a great Doctor and she saw me falling apart. I told her what was going on and My life was not mine any more. I started taking Paxil before Paxil CR came about. I was up to 25mg when started. I was never told about the side effects.

Anyway I started to feel better at 1st but then I had to get off because my Health Insurance changed. I was only on it for 3 months the 1st time. Anyway things got really bad to where I wouldn’t not go out ,and was unable to think right.

My job was on the line. All I wanted to do was die. Then in July 2003 I just couldn’t take much more. Unsure of myself and the things I was thinking about scared me to no end.

I would work over nights so I didn’t have to be alone. I prayed that would keep me from hurting myself. But then it happen July 18 2003 I was told to go home and sleep take your day off and enjoy the sunshine. I told one of the ladies at work I don’t feel right about going home. She said hey you are just over tired. I started to cry and gave her my phone number in chase something happen. She said you will be just fine go and enjoy your day. I wanted to tell her I wanted to die, but just couldn’t bring myself to say it.

I went home looked around and said this is it. I have lost everything I have worked for and I am alone now. Well it was time to end my pain. My son was out of town. I have raised him well. He is out on his own now. Which was hard for me to deal with. But hell, almost 21 yrs old. I need to let him go now. So I made some calls and started to do what my mind was thinking.

And really believe it would be better this way. Well all the Paxil I had left in my apartment and what ever else I could find and two big bottles of wine, I was on my way to peace.

My best Friend talked to me for a few mins, before I blacked out. She didn’t know where I lived, But some how found me. By the time they go here I was on my way!

The next thing I could remember was waking up in the ER. Not knowing why I was there. Well I got locked up and the next day saw my new Doc.

Still feeling very unsure of things and not wanted to take the meds they want to put me on. I had to do as I was told. So here comes Paxil CR and Klonopin. I stayed in the hosp. for 4 days and went to group and saw my Doc again, but something was not right. I still had the thinking of not wanting to live.

He told me that it will take about 14 days for the Paxil CR to start working and I will start to feel better soon. And would see me in a week at his office.

Well I saw him again in a week and I told him I didn’t have the money to pay for Paxil CR. He said he would help me. Ok I trusted him so I got all the free samples I need to have. But after a month everything was the same, so he upped my dose.

And said I will see you in 6 weeks. Went back to see him feeling the same. Things were not getting any better. He upped my dose now taking 25mg plus 12.5 mgs! That gave me a dose of 37.5 well see u in 8 weeks now.

Things got really bad at work and I was not sure what would happen next. Called him on the phone and told him I was in a living hell. He told me to come see him. Well I did and the dose went up to 25 mg 2 times a day and the Klonopin 4 times a day or more as need.

I left his office with a bag full of Paxil CR and called my sister and told this is not right. Something is wrong here. If it is not working then why up the dose.

So I stopped taking the Paxil CR and My body started to break down. Get upset over every little thing. Could not sleep anymore and can not keep my mind on one thing.

I called my mom thinking I was crazy and she looked in to Paxil CR, and told me I shouldn’t have stopped taking it. I need to go back on and go off it slowly.

Well I did just that, but now new things are popping up. I can’t sleep at nite and all my joints in my body hurt. I still can’t keep my head right. And I have been off the Paxil CR and the Klonopin for a few weeks.

I need to know when I will start to feel better. But you know what I find very sad—Is that if my doc knew all this and did not tell me. How can he live with himself. I know my life will get better in time. But I need to know what else will happen to me. I think free samples are great, but I also think we need to know more about the meds we take,. And what are the long term side effect? Had I known what I do now. I would never had taken the Paxil CR.

Thank You for hearing me out. Have a great day. Peace out

maureen Phillips
butternut108@yahoo.com

 

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Jefferson Co., Wisconsin vs. David Throm (Criminal Trial)

Trial starts for Palmyra man accused of killing

By Steve Sharp
Daily Times staff

The defense said today it plans to argue that Throm did not intend to kill Wilke and that his personality was affected by the mood-altering drug Paxil.
Jefferson Co., Wisconsin vs. David Throm (Criminal Trial)

2/24/2003

Trial starts for Palmyra man accused of killing

By Steve Sharp
Daily Times staff

JEFFERSON – A Jefferson County judge began hearing the opening statements of attorneys this morning in the case of a Palmyra man who is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the killing of his girlfriend last summer.

Prior to the opening statements, Branch II Circuit Court Judge William Hue worked out details of the bench trial with attorneys for defendant David Throm, 41, of Palmyra and the state of Wisconsin. The trial is expected to last through the end of this week with Hue returning a verdict as early as Friday afternoon or as late as next Monday morning, March 3.

Throm is charged with killing his live-in girlfriend, Colleen Ann Wilke, 39, of Palmyra, last summer. He remains held on a $1 million cash bond.

Throm fled to Minnesota following the death of the woman and had apparently failed in an apparent attempt to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree at a rest stop along Interstate 90 near Faribault, Minn. Throm was also found with a suicide note that stated where Wilke’s body could be found in a marshy area of Palmyra. The body was then recovered by Jefferson County authorities.

At Daily Times press time this morning, Jefferson County District Attorney David Wambach was making his opening statement to the court. Wambach said that the case before the court this week “proves the old addage that themore things change, the more they stay the same.”

“We’re in an era of lap-top computers, automobiles, and high-techweaponry,” Wambach said, but he noted that Throm’s alleged crime harkens to man’s more primitive period, when physical size and strength were more important.

Wambach explained, using a visual presentation including photos of Wilke’s dead body, just how Throm went about killing her. Wambach noted that she sustained a cerebral hematoma, or fatal injury to her skull.

“She died at the hands of David Throm,” Wambach said, adding thatThrom had stated in days prior to the homicide that Wilke “should fear” him.

Wilke and Throm were not living together at the time of the murder because they had recently broken off their relationship.

The defense said today it plans to argue that Throm did not intend to kill Wilke and that his personality was affected by the mood-altering drug Paxil.

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I Lost my Mother to Paxil

“Paxil has made our lives a nightmare.”

Here is the sad story of our mother’s sad untimely death. My sister who was living with her was on Paxil. Both were on Paxil…my mother for OCD, and my sister for severe, major depression. She was in withdrawal, when the tragic event occurred. Neither had ever been violent in their entire lives. She has few memories, describing it as being like a dream. It has made our lives a nightmare. We will never get over the horrible tragedy.

Mercy For Cindy – Justice Deniedhttp://www.freewebs.com/mercy_for_cindy/

Nomra (Nomi)Draper
NrDrp@aol.com

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Paxil and BREAST CANCER

“…the information about Paxil explained why I should have gotten two tumors in the same year.”

In 2001, I had breast cancer twice!! My mammogram on 2/28/01 showed a tumor in one breast and a questionable area in the other. I had a lumpectomy for the first tumor ( invasive ductal carcinoma), and, seven months later (after a second mammogram and biopsy), a second lumpectomy for the second tumor ( mucinous invasive ductal carcinoma.)

It was when I was reading PROZAC: PANACEA OR PANDORA? in the summer of 2002 that I learned that a couple of small studies had linked Paxil to breast cancer. I had taken Paxil for seven months, from 11/99 to 6/00, to see whether it would help a migraine problem that has plagued me for many years. My dose was small, and if not for Dr. Tracy’s book I never would have made the connection with my cancers. Yet for me, the information about Paxil explained why I should have gotten two tumors in the same year. (I had had breast cancer once before, in 1971, and had had a lumpectomy at that time, when it was a very controversial procedure. I had been squeaky clean since then — until the new tumors in 2001.)

I am posting this because the connection between an SSRI and a tumor first seen some eight months later isn’t as obvious as some other drug side effects people experience. However, I want to suggest that readers of this message board stay on the alert for this kind of connection. I believe Dr. Tracy says that other SSRI’s could cause cell proliferation as well — but the studies I know about are on Paxil, and that was the drug I took. I am also posting and ADR notice to the FDA.

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Just off Paxil

“…hope someone like me reads this first and investigates all avenues before swallowing a pill a doctor (who may be very well meaning!!!!) prescribes.”

Hello:

Please post this anonymously. Thank you. I feel it is important to pass on this information.

Over a two year period I was laid off my permanent part-time job as a social worker in a hospital due to cuts in services. Five months earlier my Dad had been told that he had terminal cancer. He died just three weeks short of a year after receiving the news. It was devastating and remains the most difficult experience of my life… I miss him everyday and find the grief at times unbearable.

Since Dad’s death, there has been friction with my sister given our different coping mechanisms… I’m very sensitive and emotional and she holds things in and is on the surface very practical. I had become quite distraught on a couple of occasions and my sister became distant and we had little contact for about six months; this was just another horrible sadness for me and I felt punished rather than supported…

At the same time my other job as a casual social worker in community healthnity was very stressful. We were also experiencing cuts in service and my job was to go and cut people off their home support (including 90 year old women…. still disgusts me). My doctor says it was breaking my heart! Anyway, long story, but the final straw came when my Mum ended up in Emerg with a suspected heart problem and was put on Beta Blockers… I was to be back to work and that morning before leaving I had a difficult time waking her – I was scared… she did wake up but I was quite worried leaving her, but thought the worst is I turn around after work and return… as a result was late…. called in to explain why and that I was on my way (excellent work history prev.)… I made the trip on the ferry (1.5 hours and then 1 hour drive into work)… anyway… my boss flipped out… and as a result I said I’ve had it and I’m going home…. I’m just exhausted and I don’t need this. I couldn’t believe the lack of compassion!!!! All this said, I went to the doctor and she signed me off work for stress leave and I started trying (much to my chagrine) several SSRI’s.

Celexa (20 mg.) was the first. Called the ambulance…. an hour after swallowing… felt like I was losing consciousness and suddenly couldn’t see and starting vomiting violently and crying into the phone, “hurry, I’m dying”…. the end was that the ambulance attendant (one of them) asked me how long I had been thinking of taking it before I swallowed it…. implication that it was psychological… I now know different. I had a horrible few days recovering from that episode.

Effexor was the second…. tiny dose of pill (quartered it) and was taken off after doctor saw my shaking and pale hands!

Then Paxil…. worked up slowly and only got as far as 7.5 mg. For a short time I seemed calmer and a little better, but usually felt quite wierd starting early evening… later started feel nauseous every morning and just crappy. Doctor surprizingly said I don’t think you should continue, so suggested I just stop. I said I thought I heard you had to taper off slowly and she said well you can do it in a week at your dose. This made not much logical sense to me given my sensitivity to meds and this small dose …. wouldn’t it be equivalent to someone on a larger dose but experiencing similar feelings. I tapered down starting with 5 mg and noticed a problem right away. I had been walking for half an hour daily with my dog and the first day I went on this amount I was feeling off balance and dizzy and found I couldn’t do my walk… Anyway I have been off now 10 days and am beginning to feel a little better, but it has been horrible. Still feel dizzy and off when I walk, but a little better. I also had felt like someone has been turning a switch on and off in me and have felt like I just might stop!… hard to explain. My heart rate was 100 bpm when I went in to see her last week and I have what I am concerned is some heart irregularity. She said I might have some extra beats but I shouldn’t worry about it. I have been insisting to her, to the point of annoyance today, that I have never had this feeling, that it is not the same as anxiety symptoms as before and she said it will go away…. I hope so. Also, haven’t been able to stop crying… feel so bad but am hopeful this will end. I know my doctor is a little reluctant to believe me and suggested I take some Ativan … was taking a tiny amt of clonazepam which helped symptoms going on Paxil, but has made me feel worse with withdrawal symptoms.

Today doctor gave me a new prescription for Amitriptyline (sp?) and said I could start. I told her I read I should be off Paxil for at least two weeks … she said only if it is another SSRI. This is another family. I said I would do some research on it first. Anyway, I think I’ll probably not fill it… am too scared right now of these drugs and am just hoping that my heart isn’t damaged … hopefully as the doctor said it will go…. not soon enough for me. A counsellor said that some people just cannot tolerate these drugs… I think I am one of those people!!!! I feel so much for anyone on these drugs… it would be wonderful for some relief from grief and suffering, but I’m not convinced these things are the answer.

What a long story… hope someone like me reads this first and investigates all avenues before swallowing a pill a doctor (who may be very well meaning!!!!) prescribes.

All the best to everyone!

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Prisoner of Paxil

“I work as a home health aide, I cringe when I hear our patients being prescribed Paxil.”

My name is Nancy Patton,

I have been on Paxil for several years.

One of the side effects is weight gain. With my Drs assist he took me off Paxil and prescribed another anti depressant.

Each day was a living hell without the Paxil. My Dr. told me a few days Id be ok. I felt like banging my head against a brick wall due to severe headaches and body aches. My co workers are nurses and they we’re very concerned about my well being. I wasn’t the same person. I felt my life was over and what was the point. My husband also concerned told me to go back on the Paxil. I went back on and within 3 days I felt a lot better. I’m still taking the Paxil. I often feel great fear when I think someone will take it off the market . I don’t think I could bear to feel and live in that empty black hole. I truly think I would have to go to a detox unit to get off of Paxil. It’s almost being held a prisoner. I work as a home health aide, I cringe when I hear our patients being prescribed Paxil. Some elderly have dementia and I wonder what their minds would through if they’d stop or forget to take it. This is my sincere account of my experience.

Thank You,

Nancy Patton
Celina, Ohio 45822
rocnasia@bright.net

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Paxil suicide

“…we were devastated by his suicide.”

In May of 1995, my husband was taking Paxil. He made the comment that he was never going to stop taking Paxil, because it made him feel so much better. About 2 weeks later he killed himself by shooting himself under the chin. He left behind me, his wife and 2 children, along with many family members that were devastated by his suicide.

Christy Hunter
903-753-1093603
Audrey St.
Longview, TX 75601

2003

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

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My Experiences on Zoloft and Paxil

“The good little voice in my head is being blown away by the bad voice.”

I am a 26 year old, married mother of two. At 21, I began having panic attacks which became so severe I couldn’t leave my home and struggled if anyone came to my home.

A doctor put me on Zoloft. At the time it made life livable again and I am thankful for that. Instead of facing my problem I put a band aid on it. Little did I know it was filled with toxic medicine. After several years I began panicking again and was prescribed Paxil. I took all feeling of panic away. It also took my creativity, spirituality, and core self away. After 6 months I began having strange thoughts about hurting people and myself. I became pessimistic and hateful. The past few months it has became much worse.

The good little voice in my head is being blown away by the bad voice. I want to do destructive things to property and other people. Lately I feel like if I killed myself before I act out these twisted fantasies I could save my soul before its too late. I am normally happy, optimistic and think before I do anything. I love kids and animals. These feelings seem like a demon rather than me. I’ve consulted several doctors with the research I’ve found on Paxil and its terrible reactions.

They want to up my dose. Most say I should go to a mental hospital for evaluations. None will even consider helping me get off this drug. They will be more then happy to drug you but won’t touch you if you want to come off. I am currently searching for a good psychologist and medical doctor that will consider helping me off.

I never had anything like this prior to taking Paxil. What I thought was my angel turned into a demon.

please DO NOT LET MORE PEOPLE TAKE THIS DRUG!!!!!!!!!!

Jeremy Kendall
jj323@tetonwireless.com

This is Survivor Story number 41.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

9/24/2003

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12 drugs in 4 years caused near fatal effects

“Within 4 days of starting Paxil I was experiencing racing thoughts and was extremely suicidal.”

So that some of this makes sense, at the age of 7, I was hospitalized with an unknown virus that attacked my major organs. Although I recovered quite well given the severity of the illness, I was left with minor liver damage and it was noted in my medical records that I was very medication sensitive. I repeatedly told each psychiatrist I saw about the liver damage.

In 1999 at the age of 14 I was admitted to aN adolescent psychiatric unit for depression and suicidal ideation. One day later I was prescribed the antidepressant Prozac and addictive anti-anxiety drug Klonopin by a psychiatrist who I’d never even met. After my first dose of both drugs and for the next few weeks I felt like I was drunk, I could barely walk and was unable to stay awake. I was kept on these drugs for 3 months, in that time I began to self-injure and was kicked out of public high school because of repeatedly falling asleep in class, until I complained to my psychiatrist of severe memory loss, he had me quit both cold turkey and begin Paxil.

Within 4 days of starting Paxil I was experiencing racing thoughts and was extremely suicidal. When my psychiatrist found this out he quickly diagnosed me as bipolar and put me on Tegretol and Risperdal. I was pulled off the Tegretol 2 weeks later due to extreme dizziness. I was told that Risperdal was aN antidepressant and at that time I was one extremely physically ill 15 year old kid and in no position to question my doctor.

After 2 months of continual nightmares caused by Risperdal I began to experience a horrible (for anyone yet alone a teenager) side effect, my body started to act like I was pregnant! My period stopped and I began to lactate. I was taken off the Risperdal and given Effexor, which made me suffer from severe insomnia and agitation and was given Trazadone to help me sleep. At this time my psychiatrist was moving out of state and my mom chose a new one for me, neither she nor I knew he specialized in ADHD. I was then given Ritalin and told my anxiety and drug induced agitation was actually a sign of ADHD.

I took only one pill of Ritalin and spend the rest of the day curled in a ball on my bed unable to move because of extreme stomach pain. When my psychiatrist found out I’d only taken that one dose he admonished me for not giving it time to work and gave me a prescription for Dipresamine. I had a severe allergic reaction, my arms and legs were covered in a rash which then turned into hives and I started having trouble breathing. My mom called the psychiatrist. After a 4 hour wait he returned the call and began to yell at my mom for calling and bothering him, he finally told her to not give me any more Dipresamine and he’d phone the pharmacy with a prescription for Zoloft.

After I recovered from the reaction I started the Zoloft, within an hour of taking it began to throw up and continued to for a few hours, this repeated with each dose of Zoloft I took and I stopped taking it after a week. At this time a therapist I was seeing recommended a certain psychiatrist for me to see. I met with him and he prescribed Depakote. I told him I wouldn’t take medicines that required blood tests and he assured me I didn’t need them on Depakote (I now know that isn’t true).

After 3 weeks I felt like a zombie and began having hallucinations, hand tremors, and had gained a lot of weight. I asked the psychiatrist if Depakote could be causing it all and he told me absolutely not. He went on to say what I was obviously developing schizophrenia and gave me a prescription for Risperdal (yes, he did know of my previous bad reaction) which I never took.

A few days later my cousin who is a nurse’s assistant came to have dinner with me and my parents. We started talking and I told her about the weird problems and the hallucinations. When she’d heard everything, her exact words were “I’m taking you to the emergency room, NOW!” She took me to the hospital that she worked at and had a doctor she knew in the ER examine me. He ordered the first ever lab tests done on me, and told me that my liver enzymes were high and I had a dangerous level of Depakote in my body, and that if I continued to take the Depakote I would likely go into liver failure within a few weeks.

After being told to go to my regular doctor in a few weeks to have liver enzymes checked again, and to return immediately if I got worse, I was sent home and promptly threw the rest of the Depakote in the trash. It took over 3 months for the hallucinations, weight gain, and hand tremors to go away. My liver enzymes went down, but they never returned to what they had been before I’d taken the Depakote. I’ve been told that my liver functions at about 70% of what a healthy liver does, a large part of that damage is from the Depakote.

I’d like to say that was the end of my experience with psychiatric drugs, but I hadn’t quite learned my lesson. Recently another therapist insisted I see a psychiatrist, who gave me Buspar. Buspar is advertised as the only nonaddicting anti-anxiety drug. After taking it for 11 days I felt dulled and slowed so I stopped taking it. I suffered through 3 days of withdrawals including headaches, dizziness, lose of coordination, insomnia, and severe muscle aches. Now, I’ve learned my lesson!

I was told I had ever disorder imaginable, including schizophrenia, and that my future was long term hospitalization. I proved them wrong. I entered an alternative program funded by the public school district where we were considered to be public school students but attended class at a separate location from the public high school. In May 2003, I graduated with a 3.97 GPA, the highest in the alternative program, had a class rank of 13 out of 350 students at the public high school, and was chosen to give a speech at my graduation ceremony.

In August I’m starting college at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest and planning to become a special education teacher for children with behavior disorders.

Bani
bani@busmail.org

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