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

 2,147 total views,  1 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.



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

 1,641 total views

10/15/2000 – Attention: Legal action in Paxil withdrawal

Victims suffering withdrawal symptoms from Paxil are
encouraged to contact the attorneys who are currently
prosecuting a civil action suit (a wrongful death of a father
and his two children) against SmithKline Beecham, the
drug’s manufacturer. On August 18, 2000, three California
attorneys brought suit against SmithKline Beecham in Santa
Clara County Superior Court alleging that the drug maker has
kept hidden the addictive traits of Paxil in order to enhance the
drug’s worldwide sales, which now comes to approximately
$2 billion annually.

In the lawsuit it is alleged that SmithKline Beecham has
intentionally understated the drug’s addictive traits. (To say
the least!) And the plaintiffs in this suit have asked the court
to compel SmithKline Beecham to divulge all they know about
that hazard to the federal Food & Drug Administration. This is
being done with the intention that proper warning labels about
withdrawal might be included with Paxil prescriptions in the
future to warn new patients of this adverse effect.

Victims of Paxil withdrawal are encouraged to contact the
attorneys in order that statements can be obtained and
evidence put before the court that the alleged harm is very
real. Any of the three attorneys handling the case can be
contacted. They are as follows:

(1) Donald J. Farber, e-mail: (n3dgt@…)
(2) Vince D. Nguyen, e-mail: (lawvdn@…)
(3) Skip Murgatroyd e-mail (skip-tracy@…)

They will need a complete description of the victim’s problems
with Paxil, including particularly “whether or not the victim was
warned on the drug’s addictive characteristics when the drug
was initially prescribed.” (Most likely to be featured on the
television program “It’s a Miracle” if they were warned about
withdrawal when Paxil or any other SSRI was prescribed!)
And they will need to detail the circumstances surrounding
the victim’s discovery of the withdrawal problem.

The attorneys do emphasize that reporting the problem to
them will not result in damage awards to the reporting parties,
but that any success in the lawsuit they are currently pursuing
will ultimately hopefully result in warnings for all future Paxil
users – the warning you did not get.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

 1,868 total views

6/14/2000 – Paxil Causes Brain Atropy

Thanks to Ian Goddard for forwarding us this information on Paxil and brain

Paxil Causes Brain Atropy

This is a major finding: the thalamus in children
taking Paxil was observed to shrink after 12 weeks.
This is portrayed as a good thing, since the study
claims that the thalamus of OCD patients is too
large and 12 weeks of treatment shrunk the brain
region to normal size. Even if such atrophy after
12 weeks is beneficial (a big “if”!!), what happens
after 50, 100, 200 or more weeks of brain atrophy?

Here’s the abstract. Following that is a remarkable
reply I got from one of the authors of the study.

Arch Gen Psychiatry 2000 May;57(5):449-56

Decrease in thalamic volumes of pediatric patients with
obsessive-compulsive disorder who are taking paroxetine.

Gilbert AR, Moore GJ, Keshavan MS, Paulson LA,
Narula V, Mac Master FP, Stewart CM, Rosenberg DR

Department of Psychiatry, Wayne State University School
of Medicine, Detroit, Mich, USA.

BACKGROUND: Thalamic dysfunction has been implicated
in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While OCD
frequently has its onset during childhood, to our
knowledge, no prior study has measured neuroanatomical
changes in the thalamus of patients with OCD near the
onset of illness, and before and after treatment.
METHODS: Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging studies
were conducted in 21 psychotropic drug-naive children,
aged 8 to 17 years, with OCD and 21 case-matched healthy
comparison subjects. Magnetic resonance imaging studies
were also conducted in 10 of the 21 patients with OCD
after 12 weeks of monotherapy with the selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitor, paroxetine hydrochloride.
RESULTS: Thalamic volumes were significantly greater
in treatment-naive patients with OCD than in controls
but declined significantly after paroxetine monotherapy
to levels comparable with those of controls. Decrease
in thalamic volume in patients with OCD was associated
with reduction in OCD symptom severity. CONCLUSIONS:
Our findings provide new evidence of thalamic
abnormalities in pediatric OCD and further suggest
that paroxetine treatment may be paralleled by a
reduction in thalamic volume. These reductions may,
however, not be specific to paroxetine treatment and
could be due to a more general treatment response,
and/or spontaneous improvement in symptoms. Our
findings are preliminary given the small sample size
and our inability to measure discrete thalamic nuclei.


From Dr. David Rosenberg, an author of above study:

At 05:07 PM 5/8/00 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello Doctor Rosenberg,
>I just read your study in the May issue if the Archives
>of Clinical Psychiatry. I think it could prove to be a
>real breakthrough. The question I have is what’s the
>cause of the observed reduction of thalamus volume?
>Could it be a result of cell death or the loss of
>cell mass? If not that, than what other cause?
>Thank you for your time and attention.
>– Ian Goddard

At this point it’s not clear although we have several hypotheses. We saw a
differential maturation of thalamic volume in OCD patients and controls that
might reflect a neural network dysplasia with a possible reduction in
synaptic pruning in OCD pts vs controls (the normal pruning of neural
elements during peripubertal period). Cell death or loss of cell mass is
one possibility, probably best looked at in post-mortem studies. We recently
published a priority communication in biological psychiatry (february 2000)
showing decreased NAA/Cho +Cr levels suggestive of possible neuronal
dysfunction (NAA is thought to be a marker of neuronal viability); however,
more recent analysis also suggests potential choline abnormalities. Finally,
the thalamus is a densely serotonergic region and possible aberrations in
development could lead to altered volume. This was a surprising finding,
clearly requires replication with larger samples; also, our inability to
measure subdivisions of the thalamus: we are working on a new program that
allows us to do this and we hope to delineate whether medial regions (which
we would hypothesize) would be more affected)

 2,048 total views

Withdrawing from Paxil has been a Nightmare

“Feelings of suicide and hopelessness are worse now than ever.”


I liked your comments on Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. I have been on Paxil since 1995, and it has been a nightmare. I am slowly getting off the drug on my own, without telling my doctor. Believe me, I am cutting back VERY slowly because of how long I have been on it. I have gotten worse over the years, and not better, and have told my doctor so, but to no avail. Feelings of suicide and hopelessness are worse now than ever.

I know that many people wish there was a drug that really would help without the incredible side effects, such as weight gain, etc. By the way, I have gone from 180 (my ideal weight) to 240 pounds during the time I have been on Paxil. That in itself is depressing.

Tom Gadowski
27627 El Capitan Dr.
Warren, MI 48092-3078
(810) 751-6791


This is Survivor Story number 23.
Total number of stories in current database is 96



 1,272 total views

10/19/1999 – Paxil Lawsuit Filed

This article just ran in the Salt Lake Tribune about a lawsuit filed
against the makers of Paxil. Two years ago this young woman and her
boyfriend found my members.aol.com/atracyphd web site. They called me
for help as they came to the realization that what they thought was
“helping” her was actually the problem – her medication. She was very
sensitive to medications. While on the SSRI antidepressants, she became
so suicidal that her boyfriend, a brain chemist, had to handcuff her to
him in order to keep her from hurting herself! Their story will give
you some insight as to what a nightmare these medications can cause for
some people.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

Instead of making her well, woman says drug sent her …
Spinning Out of Control

Monday, October 18, 1999


Natalia Victorovna Sevastianenko, a Utah college student from the
former Soviet republic of Belarus, had severe stomach pains. But a
doctor and nurse practitioner thought the discomfort might be a symptom
of depression.

After all, their patient was thousands of miles from home and alone in
a foreign country.

The medical staff recommended she take the anti-depressant Prozac.
After a series of phobic episodes and fainting, the staff changed the
prescription to a related drug, Paxil. That was when Sevastianenko said
she began to think about suicide. She made five attempts on her life
and was haunted by obsessive, irrational thoughts about hurting her
boyfriend and others.

Now, Sevastianenko is suing the pharmaceutical company that produces
Paxil for failing to provide “proper, honest [and] candid warnings.”

More at…..


 1,592 total views

09/16/1999 – ABC News Transcript 9/15/99–SSRI Effectiveness

Thanks to one of our ICFDA Directors for obtaining the following for us:

The following message is a transcript of last night’s ABC News with
Peter Jennings: a message about the SSRIs. Tonight Peter Jennings will
discuss the “side-effects” of the SSRIs.
Peter Jennings ABC News: September 15, 1999

Peter Jennings: “Just when is the drug actually making a difference?
Antidepressants are very popular these days: sales are up 17% from just
last year. Millions and millions of prescriptions now are being
written to
battle depression and mood swings. Tonight, are these drugs really
everything that people think they are? Here’s ABC’s Deborah Amos ”

Deborah Amos: “These depression fighting pills are 60 – 70% effective in
bringing relief according to the medical literature. But Thomas Moore,
studies drugs at George Washington University, says the numbers are

Thomas Moore: “Millions of Americans believe that the benefits of these
drugs are much greater than they are”

Deborah Amos: “To investigate, Moore analyzed all drug company tests on
five major drugs submitted to the FDA prior to market approval: for
Zoloft, Effexor, Serzone and Prozac. The effectiveness of the drug was
measured against a placebo or sugar pill.”

Thomas Moore: “The effect of antidepressants drugs on depression is
very little different than the effect of a completely inactive placebo.”

Deborah Amos: “The highlight of Moore’s finding is the case of Prozac
more than $2 billion dollars in U.S. Sales. About 90% of Prozac’s
effectiveness is about the same as patients taking nothing stronger
than a
sugar pill. But the label for antidepressant drugs, the prescribing
for doctors, usually do not spell out the small overall differences
the drug and the placebos.”

Thomas Moore: “At the very least the FDA product labeling should
include a
more balanced picture of all the information they have received about
drug, – about all the clinical trials.”

Deborah Amos: “”The FDA says it does not put that kind of detail on the
label because it is not helpful in predicting individual outcomes. So
does it all mean for patients, when a placebo can have almost the same
benefits as a dug, and particularly, when a drug can have unpleasant
side-effects , —- that feeling – jumpy to <sum><sum><sum><sum><sum>

(a psychologist from the University of Conn., who has teamed up with

?: “It suggests that the frontline of treatment for depression should
psychological rather than chemical.”

Deborah Ames: “The problem is that good therapy is expensive and not
always available. Pills are cheaper and more easily available. Deborah
Ames, ABC News, New York.”

 1,930 total views

Marge’s Story–Her Fateful Experience on Paxil and Effexor

“…this stuff has to come off the market.”


An Introduction by Ann Blake-Tracy

This is Marge’s story – a follow up story to the months and months of trauma brought on by three weeks of Paxil and a dose of Robitussin. (The combination produces Serotonin Syndrome.) For Marge this produced a movement disorder and caused her hands to swell to the point she could no longer work. She was subsequently given a diagnosis of Scleraderma. She never recovered from this toxic serotonin reaction – the first injury. After many months of suffering she was told she had to have a breast removed.

In this letter she takes the story from there to tell of the horrors of a second SSRI drug-induced injury that in the end cost her life this time.

Marge passed away several months after this letter was written leaving her husband and two daughters. She was a wonderful and incredible woman who had a brilliant sense of humor that shines through her story. Marge wanted her experience to be a lesson for others. Please heed her warning.

She would ask now as I continue to ask, “HOW MANY MORE HAVE TO DIE?”

Dr. Tracy

Dear Ann,

I hope that you are well. I am so grateful to you for all that you have done.

I would like to brief you on the past 3 months because I think that it is so important for you to know. Perhaps the only reason I was placed here on this earth was to screw up with antidepressant medications so as to add more fuel to your fire. I promise to be as brief as possible, though this is a good one.

As of this past spring, the psychiatrist I was working with prescribed Effexor and lorazipam. I just could not recover from the last medication reaction and my depression was the worst it had ever been. I had been working with this very compassionate psychiatrist for almost a year, and although we hadn’t found any medication that worked, none of them seemed to be making me ill. I tolerated Effexor at low doses (37mg) and seemed to be responding so he raised it to almost 200mg by July. I developed a cough. Strange! I had never had a morning cough before. But at 200mg of Effexor + Lorazipam, who cared? 🙂 The cough became severe rather quickly, along with substernum chest pain. The bottoms of my lungs felt heavy and full. I kept remarking to the psychiatrist that I couldn’t sneeze because I couldn’t take in enough air. He reminded me that I didn’t like medications, so this was probably my imagination. He encouraged me to go to my family physician if I wasn’t feeling well, but I knew that this would just result in a prescription for Robitussin and I wasn’t about to play that game again. I was too drugged to think straight anyway, so I just slept the entire summer away. Even sent my family to California without me so that I could sleep in peace.

By September I knew that I was in trouble. The cough was now terribly frightening to my family and constant. It was spasmodic, and came from my toes. I couldn’t sneeze at all and felt generally lousy. So, I started to take myself off of the medication, but slowly, because my psychiatrist was very much against this and I was as frightened of rebound depression as anything else.

September 29th I was scheduled for implant surgery. This, I was told, was a simple surgery. One night in the hospital and one week to recover. My chest was still not anywhere near right, though it had improved. I was now on only 37mg. of Effexor once again, and the situation was correcting itself, though slowly. I was walking regularly in an effort to clean out my lungs. By now, I had also personally investigated the side effects of this drug, which of course include frequent coughing, substernum chest pain and congestive heart failure. But, as the doctors have told me over and over again in the past 3 months, “They never see this.” – There are none so blind as those we call M.D.

So I went in for surgery, September 29th, and was not doing well after the operation. An hour after being sent home by a hospital that routinely dismissed me, I was raced back to our local hospital because I couldn’t breathe. Congestive heart failure. Into ICU I went where 15 pounds of excess fluid was pumped out of my body. (I am only 5’1″ tall). Everything began to return to normal, oxygen levels, etc., but the nasty cough continued and the pulmonologist saw some strange lines on my x-rays that bothered him. So he sent me for a CATSCAN. POW! The next day, my family physician calls the hospital to inform my husband that I had lung cancer in the lower lobes of both lungs, inoperable, and that I had a tumor in my spine. My husband tearfully delivered the news to me. My children arrived at the hospital shortly thereafter and we all cried the tears of impending doom.

After being stuck in ICU for a week, due to a weekend where no doctors were available and difficulties in scheduling my tests, I demanded to go home. A week of solitary confinement, sitting on this kind of news, fresh out of a surgery which was painful, was enough for me. We immediately scheduled an appointment with the recommended oncologist, who told me I had a 70/30 chance to live and he wanted an immediate biopsy of my spine. By now I had taken myself off of the drugs completely, but of course I was still in shock and just following instructions. Fine, a biopsy of my spine, just tell me when and I’ll be there.

With this, we left for a weekend in Boston so that my daughter could look at colleges. I was in a stupor and still fighting with a miserable cough and a sore breast implant.

Upon my return, I received two calls. One call was from the radiologist at the hospital. Apparently, this “tumor” in my spine was way too tiny for him to biopsy. I don’t even think that you can really say it is a tumor. Maybe a lesion. Who knows? I have since had a bone scan and there is no bone cancer. Major misdiagnosis. I also received a call from my original breast surgeon, who was enraged with all of this. He told me the breast cancer that I had does not do this and that whatever was in my lungs was most likely not cancer. He named several other things that it could be and for the first time, we learned that cancer cannot be diagnosed from a CATSCAN. You mean, I might not be dying?? What a novel idea.

With this, I went to my cosmetic surgeon for a checkup. To her great dismay, she discovered that the implant was trying to escape – a very unusual occurrence. I knew that I had been steadily coughing it out, but of course, nobody listens to me. Nevertheless, I was told to lie flat on my back until we could determine if the implant could be saved. All further oncologist appointments were postponed. For almost 2 months I lay here on my back, thinking that I was probably dying while coughing my brains out, in an effort to save an implant that wasn’t going to do me much good if, indeed, I had bilateral lung cancer. Ann, please stop me at any point and help me to make sense out of this. Are these guys entirely insane?

So, the weeks are going by and I am getting better and better. Even lying on my back, with the help of acupuncture and my naturopathic physician, the cough was clearing up. This, I strongly suspected, was not the pattern for lung cancer. Still, nobody would listen to me (except the naturopathic community), and nobody would acknowledge the written side effects of the drug I had been taking. The new oncologist that I was now seeing (how could the other oncologist have given me a 70/30 chance to live when he didn’t even know if I had cancer and if I did have cancer, what type of cancer did I have?) only wanted a lung biopsy. Apparently the CATSCAN was pretty ugly. This new and improved oncologist admitted that he had no idea what was in my lungs, but whatever was there, there was a lot of it and he wanted it biopsied. I begged to differ. The bottoms of both of my lungs had been under water all summer. Most likely there were stalactites and stalagmites growing in there. The point is that I was getting better, had just experienced a surgery gone wrong and a week in ICU. There was no way anybody was going to touch this body again! If my lungs were filled with that much cancer, I should be exhibiting some signs of illness, and other than a disappearing cough, I was fine. Nobody was listening to me and I was called a “naughty girl” for having an opinion.

So now it is almost Christmas. My breast continues to heal around the implant though at a painfully slow pace. We are waiting for fresh new skin that is strong enough to hold this water bag in place. I am still bandaged and haven’t had a shower since September. This whole experience has been so (pardon me) depressing, all because of an antidepressant drug that I shouldn’t have been on in the first place and should certainly not have been permitted to have surgery while taking. Can you say “drug interaction?” Jerks! I did submit to the bone scan, eventually, and all is well there. But my lungs continue to heal, I walk regularly, I am physically doing well and still they torment me with wanting a biopsy which I simply will not permit. It holds a risk of a collapsed lung – no big deal to them, but I think that I’ve had enough. I have only a small cough left, though I know that my lungs were injured by the Effexor and am waiting patiently for them to heal as best they can.

The effects of the original medication reaction are quite minimal at this point. I can take a walk, though I know that my muscles and ligaments are not normal and I have to watch not to overdo. They get sore. This is the first year, since the original reaction, that I can tolerate long sleeves. Up to this point, I couldn’t wear anything on my arms. They were extremely sensitive. My hands are permanently damaged, though fully functional. They are full of scar tissue from having been swollen for so long, and that renders them uncomfortable. My fingers have a bend to them and I can’t make a full fist. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong. At a glance, they almost look normal. But they will never feel normal again, and that is unfortunate.

At this point, I am hoping to return to work in January – just 8 hours per week, but it’s a start. I am on no medication and never will be again. My psychiatrist refuses to inform the Drug Company that all of this happened. Without a biopsy, he refuses to draw any conclusions and I guess he assumes that this was all just a major coincidence. What a disappointment I will be to all of them when I get well.

Ann, this stuff has to come off the market. Humanity is not any more ready for this than it is for atomic weapons. I have now been victimized twice, not because of the medication itself (which is bad enough), but because the doctors refuse to acknowledge the side effects of the drugs even when they are tap-dancing in front of their own eyes. Personally, I have no idea how I will ever return to the care of any allopathic physician. For now, they appear to be the enemy.

Please keep me in your prayers and I will do the same for you.


Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 62.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,407 total views

A Living Hell Coming Off Paxil

“There needs to be so much more information available to a patient.”


I want to let you know that I have been in a living hell since I started to get off of Paxil two weeks ago. I have had emotional symptoms of rage, uncontrollable crying, frustration, and edginess. I also have flu like symptoms of achiness, sweating, migraines, low-grade fever, hot and cold, nausea, and exhaustion. I finally had to go to the medical doctor today to get professional help to titrate off of this horrifying drug properly. I want to do anything that I can to help others understand what they are getting into when they opt to take this type of medication. I think that there could have been a better route to take now that I have come this far with this. Maybe they should have tried diet, exercise, and therapy. I would love to do anything in my power to get some type of law stating that this type of information be made known to a patient before he or she starts taking any off the SSRI’s. I was told here take this and you will feel better. There needs to be so much more information available to a patient. You do have permission to publish this on the Internet or contact me via e-mail.

April Fountain

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 57.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,397 total views

A Nurse’s Story: On Paxil, I Lost Interest in Everything.

“Never again, Paxil. Never again.”


My story may be of some interest. I am a very active person (golf, tennis, bike rider, walk long distances, roller blade and roller skate). However, starting around Feb. of this year everything changed. I lost interest in everything. I explained to my primary doctor that I have to push my self to do everything even get out of bed (usually and early riser). I had been on medication for diabetes (newly diagnosed), 3-hypertension meds daily, estrogen replacement, eye drops for glaucoma (recently diagnosed) and suddenly I could not function.

I was placed on PAXIL 20-mg daily. Was out of work for 10 weeks, It was recommended that go in to therapy, which I did, my primary doctor along with my therapist stated it was work related, however I was not totally convinced. After listening to them for seven weeks I decided to take things into my own hands, (forgot to mention I am a nurse making nearly $ 60,000 yearly). I decided to stop ALL medication.

Of course, I consulted with my doctor, who never told me the side effects of all these medications as a nurse, when your the patient your the PATIENT, I suffered for three weeks with severe headaches, DIZZINESS, and stomach discomfort, but it was all worth it. I feel wonderful, watching my diet, exciting and enjoying it back to getting up early, back to work enjoying it.

My main point is important to check side effects of medication, so many cause depression and are not compatible, believe the doctor don’t know and the pharmaceutical companies were of little or no help. My plan is start holistic meds along with proper diet, monitor blood sugars, and exercise. NEVER AGAIN PAXIL, NEVER AGAIN, I GOT MY SELF BACK AND I FEEL BRAND NEW THANKS FOR LISTENING


Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 58.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 1,686 total views