Social Anxiety Forum

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-   -   Paxil (paroxetine) [SSRI] (

PeakOfTheMountain 01-01-2011 07:47 PM

My experience with Paxil:
I took 60 mg for about a year (30 mg didn't work)
It helped lessen anxiety from a 10 to a 6
It caused fatigue, which is the reason I chose to come off it
I have been weaning for the past few months and am now at 10mg
My conclusion is that it helps somewhat with anxiety but the withdrawal is really terrible.

siscoswifey 01-02-2011 08:27 PM

I am really new here, this is my first day. On the subject of paxil I have a VERY strong opnion. They diagnosed me with social anxiety and put me on paxil immediately when I was a teenager. That was at least 10 years ago so I am sorry but I don't remember what the dosage was. However much they were giving me the dosage got upped when it didn't need to be. I believe the reason was that they wanted me to switch over to a time released formula and the small dosage I was on wasn't available. Horrible side affects, horrible. I will say that it really did help with the social anxiety symptoms but the side affects are not worth it by far. I had a serious decline in my appetite and was unable to have an orgasm so no enjoyment out of sex whatsoever. This was made worse by the fact that these common side affects were never explained to me by my doctor so I was totally unprepared for them. One day I slept over a friend's house and forgot to bring my meds. The withdrawal was horrible. At that point I had just about enough and told the therapist I was seeing that I wanted off the meds. She wouldn't listen to me no matter how I tried so I basically just went off of it cold turkey. To this day the memory of withdrawal makes me shudder. Anyone who has experienced it knows the symptoms all too well the sweats, shaking, severe body aches and headaches, nausea, etc. After that I refused to go to therapy or take any kind of medication and have been dealing with my social anxiety on my own ever sense.

Ida 01-03-2011 12:57 AM

I've been struggling with anxiety and (as a result of the anxiety, i think?) depression ever since childhood. I have never told anyone because I've always been too embarrassed and ashamed, apart from two weeks ago I finally worked up the courage to tell my doctor and asked to be prescribed something for it. I know that councelling would make it ten times worse, as I struggle talking to people as it is. I couldn't even explain to the Dr. the symptoms of my illness, as of course my mind goes blank and I can no longer string a proper sentence together and I thought she was judging me. (just a bit paranoid). The Dr. prescribed Paroxetine. This was a massive deal for me as I've been working up to that day ever since I can remember.

So far I'm up to day 14 of taking Paroxetine. Fortunately the worst side effect would have to be the jaw clenching, which I think is starting to lessen. I have been very lethargic but I'm hoping that will lessen too. I have restless legs and feel the need to shake them constantly - not that annoying really. I know it's early days yet, but i desperately hope this works for me.

I'm so glad to hear those positive experiences with this drug! I hope for those who haven't had such a good time, find medication that works for them.

Today I'm not having such a good day. I feel quite down and I've been avoiding friends for a few weeks now. Although this is something I did before taking Paroxetine. I've just started taking the contraceptive pill again today (for my acne) and I'm wondering if my extra low mood has anything to do with this.

Thanks for reading, sorry if I've bored you or don't make sense!

canada01 01-07-2011 06:21 PM


Originally Posted by drew (Post 1303803)
(copied over from old review system)

posted by gordonjohnson008
social anxiety background
when i graduated high school, i had low self-esteem, no self-confidence, no social skills, severe depression, severe acne, terrible social anxiety, and virtually no social life. I was suicidal. I knew something had to change, badly...

6 years later, i'm doing great. I have an amazing engineering job, live by myself on the west coast, have an extremely active and successful social life, am in great shape and am training for a marathon. Life is pretty good.

Being on 10mg of paxil makes me incredibly stable mentally and comfortable socially. Due to the skills i've picked up on paxil and klonopin, i may now be ready to quit meds entirely.

other treatments
klonopin, buspar, inderal, seroquel, parnate, nardil, emsam, lexapro, zoloft, st. John's wort, gaba, l-theanine, breathing techniques, exercise

in order of effectiveness:

Klonopin: Excellent, but intense drowsiness and memory problems. Quit this because it interfered with my work and i worry of the long-term effects.

Nardil: Very good, quit too early on to really evaluate due to unbearable side effects (unable to urinate, deathly tired, severe insomnia, etc.), hard to be on this with a normal college undergraduate's lifestyle due to the dietary restrictions

lexapro: Very good, made me significantly more tired and lethargic than other ssris so quit for that reason

paxil: Very good, exactly the right balance i needed, mild side-effect profile. Conquered depression completely and blunted sa to a very manageable level (i.e. 50% diminished or so). Great stuff.

Parnate: Good, quite activating, gave odd drowsy/insomnia cycles

zoloft: Good, did not seem to do as much as paxil for sa, worked like a charm for depression, similar s/e profile

st. John's wort: Okay, great for depression, very mild side-effect profile, but doesn't really do anything at all for sa

breathing techniques: Okay, didn't really do much for me. My problem wasn't my breathing but rather underlying fear of social situations. So these techniques just treated the symptoms i guess.

Gaba/l-theanine: Okay, helped quite a bit the first few days and then after that very minimal benefit. Drowsy/headaches from gaba, no s/es from l-theanine.

Buspar: Poor, did it do anything? Does it do anything? I'm not sure. Wasn't on it long

seroquel: Poor, made me stupid and sleepy, could not function at all. Why the hell my pdoc perscribed this antipsychotic to me i do not know, so i switched psychiatrists promptly.

Emsam: Very poor, very activating! Made me more nervous, was not on it long, very expensive, good for lethargic depression i guess

(so paxil is not the most effective med i've tried, but due to the side-effect profile it has the greatest effectiveness-to-usability ratio and is my med of choice)

treatment experience
the difference makers have been paxil and klonopin (with a couple cups of coffee a day to keep me awake during the week ). These medications allowed me to experience normal social interaction almost instantly. After being on them for a few years, i built up an aresenal of social skills and a high social iq. They also helped me develop naturally during my college years into the rounded person that i am today.

I gradually tapered down the meds. Now i'm only on 10mg/day of paxil and it helps me immensely. It's all i need. I no longer rely on klonopin (i haven't taken any in 2010). In most social situations these days i feel at ease and do great. Sa isn't 100% gone, but it's gone to the point that i am in control of my own social destiny (maybe 50% to 75% gone).

Besides medication, i've been aided by my positive outlook, dogged persistence, and rational thinking. Rational thinking is important. I take a step back and ask myself why i am so anxious, what is there to be anxious about. And then i feel silly because i really am okay and i realize my worrying is irrational. I realize i am doing great and should not really be anxious about social situations anymore. And this gives me confidence.

The normal starting does for paxil is 20mg/day. I'm on 10mg/day because it's all i really need to get the positive effects. Taking any more than this makes me tired, and i have a demanding engineering job where i need to be focused and full of energy every day. I've been on ads for ~6 years now, since my freshman year of college. I've tried nardil, parnate, paxil, zoloft, emsam, st. John's wort, klonopin, etc. I've found 10mg paxil to give me the greatest positive boost with the least amount of side effects.

Klonopin was clutch for allowing me to venture into new social situations fearlessly, without trepidation. I could stand in front of the class and give a speech, no sweat. Heck, i actually enjoyed it. With klonopin's aid i met my first girlfriend, got involved in student government, and went from being socially reserved to being very outgoing and making dozens of new friends. It was an amazing transformation. Now, i possess those same skills and outgoing tendencies without having to take klonopin at all.

I thought i would be on meds for the rest of my life. When i had summer internships in college, i realized there was no way i could continue to be on klonopin and still be successful as an engineer; it made me too drowsy. Therefore, i dropped down to just being on paxil. Now that i work full-time, i'm also in this boat. And i've realized that paxil is all i need now. I've gradually decreased my dosage down to just 10 mg/day.

Now, i'm thinking of dropping even the paxil. Though 10mg/day is a low dose, there are still some side effects. I need about 9 hours of sleep a day to feel fully rested. I still yawn some during the day and drink a cup of coffee or two during the day, which i would prefer not to rely on. There is mild urinary hesitancy which is annoying, and it makes me sweat a ton. So there are some minor side effects i'd mostly classify as annoying. In addition, it's unclear what the long-term effects of being on ssris really are. Some people have been on them for over a decade and seem fine, but others recount horror stories of ssri side effects that remain even after termination. I am particularly worried about memory and cognition-related side effects.

I see being on an ssri like paxil for many years as risky. Previously i was willing to take that risk, but now i think i may be able to drop the paxil and still function alright. I am probably going to go med-free for a couple months and see how i do. And if i feel my life is in order and i am doing pretty well without the med, awesome. If not, i'll go back to the 10mg and know that i am committed to taking a dependency on paxil, which may be risky, but which i feel is justifed based on the quality of life improvements it provides.

In sum, i'd like to thank paxil and klonopin for helping me realize a normal social existence and an amazing collegiate experience. I bid them adieu, and take comfort in knowing they are still there if i ever need my crutch again, but hope that is never the case. I will work towards that end. Here's to sobriety.

hi, i've been in clonazepam rivotril for almost 2 years just 1 mg., and a new doctor is trying to get off my rivotril because it is addicted. I don't know how to gradually decreased it but the doctor was in a hurry, just for 2 weeks she asked me to drink .50 of rivotril then 10 mg of paxil, it is a hell then after 2 weeks 20 mg of paxil then 1/8 of rivotril then after 2 weeks again 30 mg of paxil then 1/8 of rivotril, it is very hard. I feel that paxil is not really working for me or i am just confuse? Please give me advice and how you gradually decrease your paxil?

anxiousnervous 01-08-2011 12:45 PM

I had been prescribed Paxil to reduce the effects of another medication I was taking (ribavirin + interferon) for hep c. So I had been on it for approx 5 months, I was supposed to wean myself off it. I received a three month supply before loosing my job due to the negative effects of the hep c treatment, and am now on unemployment. The Paxil did help my depression, although the depression was not due to emotional reasons per se. I was supposed to take 5mg, then it went to 10, and then 20. My doctor new that I was struggling so they approved the higher dosage. I ended up taking too many days due to the wasting away effects of the hep c treatment in any case. I was taking 40mg a day and since I didn't have insurance I had to stop COLD TURKEY. I was not worried so much because I had run out once for a couple of weeks before and it wasn't too bad. I now have been off for two weeks and am OK other than some nightmares which I imagine will go away sooner or later. I was only on Paxil for 5 months so I probably don't fall in the same category as someone who has taken it for years, and I imagine that since I was not depressed in the traditional sense it has made my cessation easier. I worked in a customer service position so it did help with dealing with people since the hep c meds caused incredible anger, confusion, and weakness in the form of anemia. Now Many Many Lifetimes Later I am hoping that for all my sacrifices that the hep c is squashed out of my liver and blood, but that is yet to be determined. I must first get a new job with bennies, then go back to the doctor at the six month or later point to see if I am cleared.
The reason I am here is that I am awaiting an order of Klonopin that I hope will ease the nightmares and also help with what I think is either SAD, BiPolar, or Borderline Personality Disorder. I have not seen a psychiatrist but have known since I was a young man something is very wrong with me. I have done many bad things in my life and now after reading some of your writings that I may learn how to treat myself, or get treatment before I do more harm.

rmt536 01-14-2011 02:59 PM

I got prescribed paxil when i was 21 in May of 08 for panic and anxiety attacks. I stopped in December of that year and made it to the end of Jan. 09 before I had to start again. I took and felt good no panic or anxiety, I felt good and was enjoying my life. Well i got the bright idea to quit in May of 2010 right after my 23rd birthday cause i thought i was stupid for taking this medicine. Well it lasted to July and I started back and its worked for a little bit but like here recently ive had panic attacks start flaring up for no reason and all. I was just curious if i needed to bump my dosage up to 20mg cause i currently take 10mg or maybe i need to try something else. Help Out Guys!!

Mamacita 321 01-14-2011 03:53 PM

I was on Paxil for my SA for about 6 mos.. it worked GREAT while I was one it. But... I did experience loss of libido, and dizziness at times especially if I forgot a dose, and weight gain.
I decided to get off it pretty much cold turkey & had horrible withdrawals of brain "zaps", nausea, couldnt stand up at all.. it was rough. But I should have weened off.

I definately think it helps for SA

Aleforge 01-19-2011 11:40 AM

I was on it years ago and it did not seem to do much (40mg), however my new doctor wants to give it a shot at the 60mg range. He made the comment that its been found to help with anxiety disorders at higher dosages than whats usually needed to control depression. Just wanted to toss that out there to see if anyone has been told the same?

dearagony 01-27-2011 08:35 PM

I stared Paxil about 2 months ago, because I had been overwhelmed with anxiety mostly stemming from upcoming presentations. I was really struggling with anxiety at the time and decided it was time to seek help. Paxil really helped change my life around. I was crippled by anxiety and bouts of depression, and had no confidence whatsoever. Now I don't suffer from anxiety at all and haven't had any depression since. There were some minor side effects but they only lasted for two weeks. But most importantly I'm happy for the first time in years and feel like I have some direction in life. Ideally, I don't want to be on the medication, but it has greatly improved my quality of life in a short time.

blinds8 02-17-2011 06:53 AM

Just started paxil 2 weeks ago 20 mg a day dose cut. Now my physician wants me taking 10mg a day along with 300 mg 3 x daily lithium and 450 mg wellbutrin. I am still taking 20mg a day paxil, havn't lowered my dose yet.

blinds8 02-27-2011 01:28 AM

feeling really strange tonight smell alot of stuff including stuff i dont usually smell because im a heavy smoker being an addict and all i also feel just generally funny and weird like i could do anything but im so tired but dont wana sleep because i know tomorrow is another cycle of the same thing anybody else experience any of this with paxil

cool89 02-27-2011 04:56 AM

hi, is it possible to cure SA with this? Has anyone managed to stop using it and still feel good?

jr6675 03-01-2011 05:43 AM

paxil always worked until I got pregnant
I was managed on Paxil for really worked for me. I had to stop taking it when I got pregnant(fortunately I didn't have withdrawal symptoms). Now my SA is at it's worst and every time I try to go back on Paxil I get terribly sick. I then tried Zoloft and the same thing happened. It is a debilitating the point I can't take care of my baby or go to work...way worse than morning sickness. I know the only way I'm going to get better is to take my medicine but how long will the nausea last? Is there anything I can do to make it a little better or tolerable? Has anybody had the nausea associated with Paxil.. how long did it last?

kpin 03-06-2011 03:44 PM

i do not experience nausea, but i do experience diarhhea every morning after i take it the night before.

I am only taking 5mg of paxil every other night.
Is this enough to effect my libido?
Is this enough for me to have to taper off of?

blinds8 03-06-2011 11:36 PM

i have been on paxil 10 mg for a month really super helpiung and even found some super sober guys to chill with in the program that are long time sober but have and are taking it some women too but thats cool and my libido hasnt been affected at all infact its better considering how depression used to make me masturbate constantly now i love sex seeing as my brain isnt fogged with guilt sadness etc for no reason as in it shouldnt be happening right now in the now or present so its like good the only thing i dont like is the over eating I do but i know that too is a part of addiction and stuff no this drug isnt for long term i dont think i think overly its for more front line immediate effect and another thing it works considerably well despite side effects the life i had before side effects was a side effect really vivd crazy dreams addicted to it overeating movie like experiences but overall it isnt a masking drug it keeps my juices flowing but now i can have a subjective view over some things i never could clearly before so it works for me some people this drug doesnt work they go off on its side effects some like suicide ideation i'll be the first to admit it but i know i always been suicidal i almost drank and drugged myself to death i hated my life myself and the world and god now i dont so badly now that im sober and the paxil is just a small pebel in the vast experience of life i am created to experience and contribute too. this drug wont cause an escape or alter reality it does what its ment to do for those who are ment to take it . I know people who lead happy productivve lives while taking there meds along with other stuff there is no cure implanted in a pill

Witan 03-12-2011 05:25 AM

Paxil did nothing beneficial for me. The only thing it did was make me totally anorgasmic. At least it also depressed my libido a little bit.

yellow monkey 03-16-2011 01:17 AM

What time of the day are you supposed to take your paxil? My psychiatrist didn't say anything, the pharmacist said that "this is a morning drug," one internet site said it could be taken in the morning/night before/after meals, and I see that some people on this forum recommend taking it at night before bed because of the drowsiness.

I'm confused.

cbr 03-16-2011 10:55 AM

On Paxil, Pexeva, Peroxetine for 7 years
My Experience taking Paxil > Pexeva > and finally Peroxetine has been going on since 2004. It's 2011 now, so that is 7 years, and I am now up to 50mg.

My ex-wife talked me into "dealing" with my depression and social anxiety. When I first started, I became suicidally depressed with weeks. So, I was also given Welbutrin.

This medication took a very long time, more than 1.5 years, before I noticed improvement. My Welbutrin was then stopped.

My Side Effects
Severe Insomnia
Difficulty urinating
Vivid and Terrifying dreams
Apathy (went away after stopping Welbutrin)

My Evaluation
It has not worked as well as I had hoped. Over the most recent 1 year, my depression and self loathing have been steadily getting worse. I'm not suicidal, and still have hope this is temporary. So, I guess the medication is doing something.

My social anxiety has gotten worse because all of the new friends I made were gone within a year after getting to know me well. My consistent pattern can be defined using the equation: the amount of time I spend with a person is inversely proportional to that persons desire to spend time with me.

I also take Seroquel (for sleeping and as a mood stabelizer) and Adderall (for mental focus and alertness)

The simple fact of needing medication is depressing. My feeling is that it means I'm screwed up in the head. So, I'm also emotionally immature, which I also hate about myself and have been trying to fix for 2 years.

cbr 03-16-2011 10:56 AM


Originally Posted by yellow monkey (Post 1058876765)
What time of the day are you supposed to take your paxil? My psychiatrist didn't say anything, the pharmacist said that "this is a morning drug," one internet site said it could be taken in the morning/night before/after meals, and I see that some people on this forum recommend taking it at night before bed because of the drowsiness.

I'm confused.

It gives me insomnia, so it's best to take in the morning.

Noca 03-16-2011 12:01 PM

I love this drug at 40mg this time around. It put my major depression into remission. I feel good about 4-5 days out of the week. It does very little if anything for my anxiety though. It helps with my appetite a little too.

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