My first SSRI, Prozac (my review), and thoughts if I should try Paxil? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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My first SSRI, Prozac (my review), and thoughts if I should try Paxil?

Hey all,

I'm currently on the fence as to whether I should test out Paxil or not. I've never been on meds my entire life (currently age 29) for S.A., up until last year August I decided to test out 10mg of Prozac. My only problem in my life has been S.A., no depression or GAD or anything like that. I would get slightly depressed sometimes if I feel like I 'failed' in a situation because my anxiety creeped up, but that's all.

Anyways, I've been on 10mg of Prozac since September, and 20mg (upped it in January) since January. I never tried SSRI's my entire life because I was so terrified of the side effects. Fortunately, in my 20's I've conquered most my S.A. fears on my own without meds. But, I still have S.A. (not as extreme as my early 20s), and I wanted something to take the edge off of the anxiety.

I know Paxil is technically #1 for anxiety, but I decided against Paxil because I wouldn't be able to handle weight gain. I'm physically fit and exercise regularly, lift weights and I like my physique. Been into weight lifting since my early 20's. So I thought, okay -- Prozac, primarily for depression, but -can- help with S.A. I'll test it out, since it has the lowest reported incidence of weight gain.

After being on 20mg of Prozac (Sandoz generic) since January, here are my experiences:

Negative side effects? =

1. Zero. No weight gain (I weight myself multiple times a week, I still weigh 170lbs, same weight I've been for years). No sexual dysfunction. No delayed orgasms/loss of intensity. Nothing.

2. Has minor effect on S.A. I'd say 20mg of Prozac probably took away maybe, 30-40% of my social anxiety. I wish it was more...which is why I wonder if I should try Paxil...

Positive side effects? =

1. Excellent sleep quality. I sleep like a baby now. And for the first time since my teens, I actually -fall asleep-, instead of -trying to go to sleep-. I never have insomnia anymore. In the past, I would frequently go to bed MULLING over the events of the day, and mulling over tomorrow and the next few days ahead with a million 'What If' scenarios. It'd usually take me 30-60 minutes to fall asleep every now. Now I actually fall asleep usually within 1-3 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Out cold until the next morning. I really don't have any vivid dreams, nothing out of the norm like I started taking this SSRI.

2. Loss of emotional sensitivity. I used to be very sensitive to peoples comments and would take things to heart. Now, I take it in stride, unaffected. I find myself more aggressive, if there's a problem I confront it. I still have emotions, but they're not in the extremes like they were before. I actually like this effect and it's helping me find confidence I never thought I had.

3. No longer replaying/mulling over events. S.A. would make me replay everything in my mind all the time, thinking about how I 'looked so anxious, and made a fool out of myself because of my anxiety', blah blah. I'll be anxious in a scenario, think about it for an hour or two afterwards, and forget about it. It's nice to screw up and not constantly beat yourself up in your mind about it.

4. Because I no longer replay all the negative events caused by S.A., I have no sad moods/depression situations (my sad moods/slight depression would come about from replaying anxiety-ridden events from the day or earlier in the week, mulling over those constantly).

5. This'll sound weird, but when I first started 10mg of Prozac in September, I became extremely horny/hypersexual. All I had on my mind 24/7 was sex...and needed 'relief' multiple times a day... (as opposed to once every 3-7 days before Prozac). After about 1-2 months, it kind of leveled out. Now I'm back to normal, no highs nor lows with this.

Other =

I started on the generic brand Sandoz. 3 months into 10mg of Sandoz, I switched to 10mg of AuroBindo Prozac, not thinking it'd matter at all (bought my meds at a different store, and they used Aurobindo). Well, it made a difference. Aurobindo didn't work at all for me and I felt back to my normal self 3 weeks into it. Went back to Sandoz and all the benefits I posted above returned about 3 weeks into Sandoz. Strange. I'm sticking with Sandoz only now. You'd think all generics would be the same...apparently they're not..?

So far I'm very happy with Prozac. My only issue is that it only kills about 30-40% of S.A. There are some situations where I still get very anxious. I'm wondering if I should try Paxil, since technically this is -targeted- for S.A.?

My only concern is the weight gain and sexual side effects of Paxil that it seems like EVERYONE reports. But I keep thinking... with the 0 side effects I've had with Prozac (which has the same list of side effects as Paxil), maybe I won't have any side effects with Paxil either? If SSRI's are all very you think this is possible? Is it worth the switch?

I have an appointment with my doc for 2 weeks from now to refill Prozac...but again, I'm debating on testing out Paxil.

Has anyone switched from Prozac to Paxil, or, are there people out there that HAVENT had weight gain/sexual side effects with Paxil?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 08:02 AM
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I refused to go on paxil for that very reason - the weight gain! I've also heard the withdrawal from that SSRI in particular is really bad when you come off of it, not that withdrawal from any SSRI is pleasant...

Everybody reacts differently to these types of drugs and unfortunately it can require some experimentation (with a doctor) before getting it right, but there are lots of them to choose from.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by aviator99 View Post
My only concern is the weight gain and sexual side effects of Paxil that it seems like EVERYONE reports.
It's hard to call anorgasmia a side effect when it's a fully expected effect.

In fact, if you were suffering from premature ejaculation and you went to a doctor about that problem, guess what the doctor would give you? You'd get a script for Paxil!

It's beyond my comprehension why anyone would take an SSRI. They fail for the vast bulk of patients and they almost invariably have sexual side effects. Read what an expert has to say about these nifty "wonder drugs":
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 08:04 PM
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I got absolutely no weight gain from Paxil - but it was wholly ineffective for my SA/depression. Meds that caused body changes for me were Zoloft and Lexapro, especially water retention and bloating in the face.

Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading a while ago that people with pure SA have higher rates of success with CBT than those with comorbid depression. Have you given that a shot? Combining therapy with anxiolytic medications such as Buspar, Xanax might be more helpful than taking an SSRI in my opinion.
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