Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by coyote, May 27, 2003.

  1. coyote

    coyote New Member

    I have seen several references here by people who say that,"Paxil fries your brain" or other similar ideas.
    I have done a few Google searches looking for brain damage that might be caused by antidepressants. What I came up with each time was articles about the severe withdrawal symptoms of SSRIs.
    I am wondering if anyone could be more specific about what it does and where I might find some more information about this.
  2. ZosoLight

    ZosoLight New Member

    Hi Coyote,

    I think that the info regarding brain damage comes from the books "Prozac Backlash" by Joseph Glenmullen MD and "Talking Back to Prozac" by Peter R. Breggin MD (1994)
    These books say that ALL the SSRI drugs (including Paxil) can cause permanent brain damage with short and especially long term use. They mention a host of different problems such as permanent facial and body tics, suicidal/homicidal thoughts, personality changes, withdrawal problems, sexual disfunction, increased anxiety, etc...
    They say the brian cells are forced to fire too rapidly and they finally "burn out" and die off.

    I have been on SSRI's for about 10 years so this info is very alarming to me. Unfortunately, everytime I have tried to go off it, even very slowly, I crash.
    I don't tolerate Triciclic drugs at all.

    If I were starting out again, I would try every possible option before SSRI drugs.

    Totally fried,

    Mrs. Zoso
    [This Message was Edited on 05/27/2003]
  3. coyote

    coyote New Member

    Thanks, I have never read those books, although they have been recommended to me before..
    I just went to a neurologist about facial and body tics and twitches that have been
    driving me crazy. He looked at my mediactions, and never mentioned this. In fact,
    he made nothing about the tics and twitches. I felt like an idiot for going there.
  4. ZosoLight

    ZosoLight New Member

    Hi coyote,

    When I went to my Phychiatrist for a change in medication, he said he had never heard about these books or the brain-damage type side effects!!!! I wonder if these guys do any research at all.

    Shrinks and MD's are oblivious to the withdrawal problems too. They just say "taper off over a couple weeks." Har Har. When I tell them about the bizarre withdrawal symptoms that I have, like "electric shocks" and auditory hallucinations, they look at me like I have horns or something.

    About your tics, the book said that most symptoms go away after discontinuing medication.

    Best Wishes,

    Mrs. Zoso
  5. coyote

    coyote New Member

    I was thinking about cutting back a little on the Paxil this summer, when there will
    be a little less stress in my life. Maybe the tics will lessen.
  6. toots2

    toots2 New Member

    My dr. says Paxil is by far the worst antidepressant to try and come off of. I have tried many times and felt like I was losing my mind. I have several friends, my daughter included, who have taken prazac and stopped with no problems at all. I even came across a web site for those using paxil and trying to stop, the majority saying it was almost impossible. I wish I had never started this medication although it does work on the depression and helps me sleep. It has also caused me and others, I read, great weight gain, which I am having a difficult time losing. If I were starting over again and know what I know now, Paxil would not be an antidepressant I would ever consider taking. Toots
  7. KayL

    KayL New Member

    I had known then what I know now.........about Paxil. I've been on it for several years for panic attacks, and I didn't research it at the time, just took my PCP's word and went on the med. I'm going to discuss getting off of it at my next regular appointment.

  8. coyote

    coyote New Member

    of weight, too, and it has been so hard to just get a few pounds off. It's discouraging.
    I'm taking 60mg a day, and will talk with my psychiatrist about trying a small decrease later this summer.
    Good luck all.
  9. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Below is some more information on Paxil, I got it from the Medscape site, there is much more about Paxil, but this seemed the easiest to understand.

    Hope this helps............

    Shalom, Shirl
    Patient Handout


    The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

    Common Brand Name(s):
    Paxil CR

    Paroxetine is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and generalized anxiety disorder. This medication works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain.

    Other Uses
    This medication has also been used to treat a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder- PMDD), sexual function problems in men (premature ejaculation), nerve problems associated with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), chronic headaches, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    How to Take this Medication
    Take this medication by mouth usually once daily in the morning, with or without food; or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not crush or chew this medication. Swallow the medication whole. It is important to continue taking this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. Also, do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. It may take up to several weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.

    Side Effects
    Nausea, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, constipation, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Promptly tell your doctor if any of these side effects occur: decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: loss of appetite, unusual or severe mental/mood changes, increased sweating/flushing, unusual fatigue, uncontrolled movements (tremor). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blurred vision, painful and/or prolonged erection, change in amount of urine. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: fainting, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain, trouble swallowing, unusual swelling, seizures, easy bruising or bleeding, tingling or numbness of the hands/feet. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

    Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver problems, kidney problems, seizures, heart problems, other mental/mood disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder), thyroid problems, glaucoma (narrow angle type), any allergies. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. Caution is advised when using this product in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

    Certain medications taken with this product could result in serious, even fatal, drug interactions. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks, and avoid taking thioridazine within 5 weeks, before or after treatment with this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for additional information. This drug is not recommended for use with: weight loss drugs (e.g., sibutramine, phentermine), thioridazine, terfenadine, astemizole. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: other SSRI antidepressants (e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine), nefazodone, trazodone, tramadol, venlafaxine, "triptan" migraine drugs (e.g., sumatriptan, zolmitriptan), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline), cimetidine, digoxin, flecainide, propafenone, clozapine, lithium, tryptophan, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), theophylline, herbal/natural products (e.g., melatonin, ayahuasca, St John's wort). Tell your doctor if you take any drugs that cause drowsiness such as: medicine for sleep, sedatives, tranquilizers, anti- anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), muscle relaxants, certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine). Other drugs besides paroxetine which may affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation in the EKG) include dofetilide, pimozide, quinidine, sotalol, procainamide, and sparfloxacin among others. QTc prolongation can infrequently result in serious, rarely fatal, irregular heartbeats. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. Ask for instructions about whether you need to stop any other QTc-prolonging drugs you may be using in order to minimize the risk of this effect. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

    If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe dizziness or lightheadedness.

    Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests may be performed to monitor your progress.

    Missed Dose
    If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

    Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.

  10. salcon

    salcon New Member

    When I decided to go on Paxil, I made a choice that it was better than being depressed to the point where it was affecting my family. Its hard enough to live with the physical symptoms let alone the depression that anyone would have living with this DD. Combine this with menopause and you have a major depression. I have enough to worry about and being on Paxil is not going to be one.
  11. coyote

    coyote New Member

    you know, I am in a similar position. I had crippling depression long before I was Dx with FM. I was in the hospitial for it briefly, in 1978. I cannot be ashamed of this. It's just what happened. The paxil has helped me function pretty normally in life, and has alleviated the horrible depression, although not completely.
    It's hard when you have to choose one evil over the other.
  12. a121558

    a121558 New Member

    Hi I also am on paxil now for 2 years. I felt it hasn't been helping so my Dr. and I increased dosage. But that made me feel really weird. So we decided to wean off to try something else. I went to 1 pill every other day for 2 weeks. Then 1/2 pill every other day. I just started that Friday. But I'm telling you I have never felt so depressed in a long time. And I find I get really agitated easily. I have never had this effect going off anything else in the past. Thank God I get to start the new one Friday,Lexapro. Wish I would have listened to my friends 2 years ago before I started on the paxil. Anna