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

Young Son’s Frightening Reactions on Zoloft, Prozac and Luvox

“I just know they will want to give him SSRI’s and I can’t let him go through that again.”

 

I’m writing to you about my son’s experience with three of the SSRI’s. First I give you permission to use this story on the Internet, but I don’t wish my name to be used and I don’t wish my e-mail address to be used.

My son was diagnosed with OCD when he was in the fifth grade. He was 11 years old at the time, but he’d had OCD for a couple of years before we took him to a therapist. He is now 17 years of age and doesn’t take any SSRI’s because of the bad reactions he had with Zoloft, Prozac, and Luvox.

The first drug he was given was Zoloft. I forget what age he began taking it but I believe he was 13 at the time. The first day he took Zoloft he began feeling much better which they said was unusual because it usually takes a week or more for it to take affect. After about a month of taking Zoloft he had bad reactions so they took him off it. After awhile they gave him Prozac and in about a month he was having reactions to it also.

He always was such a loving child, but he started to change before our eyes. He had always been so nice with our dogs and cats but now he was trying to mistreat them. We had to watch him all the time for fear of what he might do to them. He was going to therapy at the time and of course, they didn’t believe that the Prozac was the culprit. In fact the therapist told us we should call the police if he kept mistreating our pets. He said they wouldn’t take him to jail but would talk to him and tell him what he was doing was wrong.

We couldn’t do such a thing to him so we just kept an eye on him when he was outside alone. Finally, they decided the Prozac wasn’t working and decided to try Luvox. By this time he was 14 years of age. As usual the drug worked for about three weeks then all hell broke loose.

We had to watch him all the time. We had a very large dog and it loved to watch our son when he’d go out to practice basketball, but Ryan didn’t like that anymore so one day I was watching out the window and there he was lifting the doghouse, which was one of those dogloos, with the dog in it and turning it over. It scared the dog so bad that from then on whenever Ryan came out the poor dog would run into his doghouse and hide.

We also have cats and whenever they noticed Ryan coming near to them they’d run, for fear of what he might do to them. He also changed toward all of us. Sometimes if I was sitting at the table with my back to him he would come up behind me and put one hand on each shoulder and press down as hard as he could. He also did this to his older sister.

It got to the point where we were becoming afraid of him, but we didn’t let him know that. I should tell you here that Ryan’s OCD ritual consists of repetition of speech, it’s too difficult to explain, but suffice it to say it’s a very aggravating thing for him and for his family.

He depended on us to answer him in a certain way so we were drawn into the ritual with him. One day when we went to therapy the therapist pulled me aside and told me when Ryan did the ritual I should say to him that I wouldn’t cooperate with him anymore. One evening I decided I’d try it because the ritual he was going through at the time had gone on for over an hour and I really couldn’t stand it anymore.

So I said to him what the therapist had told me to say and he began acting like he was totally crazy. Believe it or not, our entire family which consists of one older brother and one older sister and my husband and myself were up the entire night with him ranting and raving and running all over the house and trying to run outside.

At one time he went to the drawer where I kept the butcher knives and got a knife out and acted like he was going to stab himself. We got it out of his hand and then he took off running to his bedroom which was upstairs. I don’t know how I did it, but I was right behind him and made it in the door before he could lock me out. It was a nightmare for all of us.

We didn’t have any sleep all night and neither did he. He talked every minute for almost twelve hours. We had an appointment with the therapist and doctor the next morning and took him in early. He was pacing in the waiting room talking constantly. He was actually talking out of his head. When we went into the doctor’s office Ryan’s therapist was sitting in the room also and Ryan didn’t even notice him being there.

They wanted to send him to the hospital but I wouldn’t let them because I didn’t want him to be drugged up even more. We quit the therapist and haven’t been back since. That was almost three years ago. I did take him off the Luvox slowly. Now he doesn’t go to any therapists because I just know they will want to give him SSRI’s and I can’t let him go through that again.

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 53.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Cataracts from Prozac

“I have seen four eye doctors and they all are stumped as to why I got cataracts.”

 

I was on Prozac for about half a year and stopped taking it because I could no longer tolerate the side effects. Now four years later I have developed cataracts in both eyes (20/200) and had to have my natural lens replaced with “plastic”.
I’m only 38, never abused my self and have always been healthy. I am a pilot / flight instructor and have always worn ray ban sunglasses. I have seen four eye doctors and they all are stumped as to why I got cataracts. Do you think that the use of Prozac may have caused cataracts? And are there others out there going through this besides me? I’d really like to know.
Thanks.

If the doctors Glenn has seen were aware of the doubling of cortisol levels with only one single 30 mg dose of Prozac, they would not be stumped as to why he got cataracts. This type of steroid effect has long been linked to cataracts and many other serious physical effects. For any additional information on eye problems reported with SSRIs see Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? (800-280-0730)

Glenn
glennbarclay@yahoo.com

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Suicide after One Month on Celexa and lorazipam

“I do wonder just how often suicide, attempted suicides and murders are committed by people who are taking SSRI drugs.”

 

My son, 31 years of age, was prescribed Celexa 20mg/day and lorazipam .5mg as needed, July 22, 1999, on first visit without any form of physical examination and with only a short interview by a case worker and psychiatrist. He was seen on August 4, at which time the doctor said he was better. On August 21, 1999, he committed suicide. I cannot scientifically prove Celexa was the cause. I only know what others and myself know about him and his behavior. We are convinced the medication definitely increased his symptoms of frequent mood swings, anxiety, fear, inability to sleep, panic, anger, inability to concentrate.

Because of my son’s death (suicide) while taking Celexa, I have become aware of the habit of doctors prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors TOO OFTEN, and in my opinion, WITHOUT SUFFICIENT REGARD TO THE DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS AND/OR OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS WHICH COULD BE THE CAUSE OF THE DEPRESSION. I do wonder just how often suicide, attempted suicides and murders are committed by people who are taking SSRI drugs.

On 9-17-99, I phoned Adverse Drug Reactions Medical Inquiries and was transferred to New Jersey Drug Safety. I spoke with Christine Casilana (uncertain of correct spelling), of Forest Pharmaceuticals. She took all pertinent information and assured me the report would be sent to the FDA. I specifically asked about the statement in the package insert that reads, “frequent adverse events are those occurring on one or more occasions in at least 1/100 patients”. Under “Psychiatric Disorders” those listed as frequent among others noted are: “impaired concentration, depression, aggravated depression, suicide attempt”. Christine explained that frequent – the 1/100 figure – meant that AT LEAST ONE (but the actual number could be higher than just one) out of 100 made a suicide attempt on Celexa.

One is a large percent when indicating DEATH, especially if it is YOUR loved one. I don’t mean to sound angry, I just want someone to pay attention. It is hard to believe this drug is given out so readily. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are prescribed far to freely and without sufficient supervision of the patient AND with some doctors, without adequate examination.

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 43.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Antidepressants for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

“It was truly the worst experience I’ve ever had and will never blindly take those drugs again…”

 

I just want people to know that there is a whole lot to this problem that no one is talking about. I have been put on several anti-depressants for CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) by one doctor, and put on another anti-depressant for pain. I was told these drugs are used to increase the amount of chemicals in your brain that buffer pain. I flat out told everyone loud and long that I was not depressed, but still they hand out anti-depressants like they are candy. I suffered terrible reactions to them. I would have such vivid nightmares that I could feel what it was like to stab someone, I could hear blade against bone. It was truly the worst experience I’ve ever had and will never blindly take those drugs again, although they are still trying to give them to me. My daughter is in college, and the largest number of people on this drug now I would guess would have to be college students. They hand them out like candy to these kids and they are really getting screwed up over this. Several of her friends have become suicidal. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a shrink, should not be allowed to prescribe these drugs. Please do a show on the miss-prescribing of this drug.

Thanks for your good work.

Bonny Jacobson

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 44.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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

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

Dizzy and Nauseous Withdrawing from Generic Wellbutrin

“I am not going to go away! I want some answers!”

 

I am a 49 year old Wife and Mother of 4 who has been successfully taking Wellbutrin for depression since April of 1996. I take 450 milligrams a day. (2 pills 3x daily) Friday morning July 28, 2000 I woke up feeling dizzy and nauseous with horrible pains in my stomach. I had felt “funny” the night before so I went to bed early. I soon developed severe diarrhea. I thought I had contacted a bad case of the flu. My symptoms got worse as time went on. I was completely drained. I had no energy. I had to drag myself around the house and had to lay down every few minutes. The room was spinning and I constantly felt like I was going to vomit, but I never did.

At one point, late Friday evening, I considered going to the emergency room. A Doctor friend of mine came over to examine me and recommended that I get a colonoscopy. He thought it must be my colon. I had a colonoscopy and had my inner ear examined. I was told I probably had an inner ear infection and that I was experiencing vertigo. I have had vertigo before and it lasted for one, two, maybe 3 days at the most. I was going into my 3rd week and I was still dizzy and nauseous. In addition to all this, I experienced a kind of a strange vibration going on inside my head. It felt like something was shaking, similar to the machines that mix paint! Also, the right side of my face felt a pressure and I truly thought I must have a brain tumor! It was so horrible!

Friday, August 25, 2000, I happen to catch a 20/20 about the withdrawal symptoms after going off an antidepressant. The people they interviewed had the exact same reactions as myself. I could not believe it. Everything they had, I had, including the brain thing. They called it a feeling like an electric shock in the brain! I was curious as to why I was having all of these withdrawal symptoms because I had not stopped taking my antidepressant, Wellbutrin. I looked at my bottle and noted the day I had my last prescription filled was the day before I got so violently ill. I also noted that for the first time since 1996, I had been given the generic brand. I have been on Wellbutrin for a very long time without any symptoms until I had the generic. (Bupropion)
Something has to be done! People need to be warned of these complications. I do not want anyone to go through what I had to go through! I wrote the producer of 20/20 and told her what had happened to me. I want to know if anyone else has had a similar experience with the generic.

I am not going to go away! I want some answers!

Rosemary Durkin Snyder
4kids@compuserve.com

 

8/28/2000

This is Survivor Story number 13.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Weight Gains on Effexor ER

“In less than a year I have gone from 120lbs to more than 200lbs.”

 

After I had my daughter I became depressed and my family doctor put me on Zoloft and lorazipam. Around the same time my OBGYN put me on the Deproprevara shot for birth control. When I rapidly gained weight the doctor suspected the Deproprevara. I was taken off of it and my Zoloft script was increased. My family doctor said that this would help with weight loss as well as the depression. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

The weight came off but every 3 months or so I noticed that my depression, along with panic and anxiety attacks, would return and be worse, so the Zoloft and lorazipam scripts continued to be increased in dosage. When I approached my family doctor about my concerns on the increased dosage without relief she suggested that I change medications. I was immediately switched to Effexor XR.
I am still taking Effexor XR and since I switched, my weight gain has been tremendous. I am also sleeping most of the day, and I crave alcohol. I am a smoker but as of late, I have increased my habit from less than a pack a day to about 2 and 1/2 packs a day.

In less than a year I have gone from 120lbs to more than 200lbs (I am 5’6″, and 27yrs old). When I started these drugs I was a water aerobics instructor, and taught 6hrs of swimming lessons Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Now I can barely get out of bed in the afternoon to clean the house. I need help. I know what it does to me body and brain when I simply miss a dosage, let alone quit it completely.

D.R.

 

8/17/2000

This is Survivor Story number 14.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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