Feeling worse after 3 weeks? Unusual reaction?

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I am a little over 3 weeks on paroxetine. The first 2 and a half weeks were tough but manageable. A little extra anxiousness and up and down mood/emotions. I actually feel my moderate depression has subsided, but my anxiety has increased since about the 2 and half week mark. And today I've had what I think is a very unusual reaction to paroxetine. In the middle of the day I started to feel extremely fatigued, drowsey, and disorientated seemingly out of nowhere. I felt very sedated and could barely keep my eyes open or function. Well it's been some 6 hours later and I don't feel much better. I feel even a little worse. I now have a little bit of chest pain, slight nausea, and increased anxiety. (The chest pain and nausea is probably because of the anxiety)

So my question is... is this normal? Is it normal for me to feel worse after 3 weeks? Does my body just not like this medication? Should I stop it and try another? I was actually having some good days on this med so I was thinking positive. Now I am thinking about cutting my losses and trying a new med. I will start a new Job in a couple weeks and cannot afford to feel this way. Any responses or input will be very appreciated.

Thanks, Chris

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Chris.

    This is sound normal reaction to me, you will need up to 5/6 weeks for this type of medication to stabalize. all untill your body get use to it. now and then you will feel bit anxiety but that is normal. Paroxetine is strong kind of medication. read all specification and side efects on Paroxetine. also you need to stay away from alcohol, now and then in moderation you can consume some alcohol. but also try control your stress level and try not to get upset easely.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi ljubkic. You really think it's normal? I felt like I had taken a Vicodin and was trying to fight it off. I was that drowsy and sedated. I couldn't even open my eyes or talk much. It came out of nowhere and was scary. I was and still am kinda convinced it was "serotonin syndrome". Paroxetine has never made me feel drowsy or gave me a similar reaction so to me this was a bad sign. Btw I take my med at night.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I was on Paxil CR for three weeks and had to stop because I was feeling so bad. I started to wake up shaking with anxiety every morning and I was so nauseous and sick all day I couldnt go to work. My symptoms seems to worsen as the weeks went by, that's why I decided to stop. I've been off Paxil for about 9 days and I'm still not back to "normal". I called my pharmacist and he told me I should not be feeling this way after three weeks, that was my deciding factor. I guess I dont have a lof of advice for you since you have different symptoms but I just wanted to share my experiece. Hope you are better soon!

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    • Posted

      Hi Vanilla27.

      I am on Paroxetine 20mg for over 14 years. i was feeling like you for about 5 weeks then slovelly went all quiet. need time for body to get use to it. medication itself are addictive. If you can be without them its better. i had problem and now i am trying to get off it. good luck to me.

      Yea that how Paroxetine works 5/6 weeks.

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    • Posted

      wow! I was so sick I couldnt handle it. I had to go to work so I called it quits. It's good to know theres hope for people who can push through it though. Thanks for your input. Good luck getting of them, I wish you the best!

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    • Posted

      I fear I might have to stop after 3 weeks as well. And my family who have experience taking ssri's told me the same thing the pharmacist told you, that at 3 weeks i shouldn't feel worse. I'm very sensitive to medications, so I think either I should remain on a very low dose and see if that helps, or try something new. I was thinking of asking to try lexapro. We'll see. Thank you for your response vanilla

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  • Posted

    It's not so called normal to feel bad while taking a medication......just typical. What is the dosage of p. you are taking ? Did you just now abruptly discontinue ?

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    • Posted

      It was quite a scary experience. Even today I feel pretty bad on account of not being able to sleep and feeling anxious. For the last week and a half I have been on 10mg, and no I have not discontinued. But I am considering tapering off and I am going to the doc tomorrow to see what he suggests. I am very very sensitive to ssri's so my doc had me start off at 5mg for 2 weeks. I would expect to feel better at 3 weeks and not worse. So that's why I am considering giving up on paroxetine and trying another ssri right away

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    • Posted

      Chris I do think it is a good idea to taper off slowly even though it's been 3 weeks.  Your doc may suggest you try another SSRI but I would not do it, as they all are going to be about the same anyways.  believe me I know....I had been on Paxil for 15 years and always had various adverse side effects...I finally got off of them 5 years ago and so glad I did. When you look up the profiles of all the antidepressansts especially SSRI, there are so many side effects it is astounding. And also keep in mind (read up on side effects from these drugs ) SSRI's are really a poweful stimulant so its no wonder you would have problems with insomnia, nervousness, etcc...... while it may seem that it somewhat helps the depression, what it's really doing is alterning brain action to stimulate an atrificial "high" and so you think you are doing better but really it's a sort of low grade "mania" that makes you think you are doing better......but then look at all you have to tolerate in the mean time....... I'm going to send you a weblink on some good info on the subject.....good luck

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jim. And I totally agree with you and read what your have sent once I have time and feel better. I too am very anti medication. I stayed away for years because of it but after many crippling anxious episodes I felt I had to try something. But I too now feel that they might not be for me. I went to the doc today and he told me to stop the paroxetine. He is going to refer me to a psychiatrist that specializes in anxiety treatment. For now I asked him to prescribe buspar. I am more willing to try an anti anxiety med more so than a anti depressant(less side effects). But if this doesn't work I am going to try more natural remedies and just go to therapy and see how that goes. Thank you for the well wishes Jim. Good luck to you as well.

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    • Posted

      Yes chris, looks like you are getting on the right track.....make sure you taper off slowly on the paxil...even after 3 weeks, you can still have some withdrawal. 
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  • Posted

    From my experience and according to my psychiatrist it is normal and can take up to 6 or 8 weeks. It is very tough to adjust to but once it works it´s great.

    Hope this helps, Louise

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