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Paroxetine / Seroxat withdrawal symptoms

after being on the anti depressant Seroxat for 21 years, I am now coming off it, my doctor says must do this gradually. I am now taking 10mg every other day for 1 month then hopefully continue with maybe two 10 mg each week.

However I am having symptoms of withdrawal, I feel like I have a bees nest in my head, continuous buzzing then occasionally a feelin like an electric shock with a definite ping sound. 

I do not have this when lying down at night but I cannot lay down all day!

Has anyone else sffered this and if yes then how long will it last?

140 Replies

  • tillycd

    Yes, I had similar many years ago. I've been on Seroxat over 21 years myself. I stupidly decided to come off it after a couple of years. I suffered dizziness more than anything else. I couldn't drive.  I went back on it after a few weeks as I realised I wasn't ready to stop taking it (I have OCD).

    The electric shock sensation, I definitely know about. Despite the fact I am currently on 60 mg, I go through periods when I experience that feeling. Obviously that's not from withdrawal though. But I have read that's a common withdrawal symptom. When I get that sensation it usually coincides with my being ill, i.e. when I was getting over flu. It will keep happening for about a week and is very unpleasant. 

    I don't know how long you will experience this. Your Dr will probably say it's because you've been on it such a long time, and should monitor how you are doing. Best of luck. You are very brave to come off it. I doubt I will ever be able to, but I do hope I can eventually stabilise at 20 mg.

    • Purpleheather

      Thank you for your info, I was put on this for anxiety and depression. Have been on it so long I do not know if I still need it and until I am off it I won't know but have not had any depression for several years and so if I do need to have medication again, I will ask for a different one. Recently been under hospital where I was told some if my symptons could be due to the Seroxat. Best wishes for your future

    • Purpleheather

      Hi Purpleheather,

      I weaned off of Paxil for the past two weeks. I was on 25 mgs then 12.5 then started Wellbutrin on Friday. Last dose of Paxil was last Tuesday. I get like I've been on an elevator feeling, so dizzy I can't drive in the afternoon. And weird noises in my ears. I'm trying to get back to work because I was put on a sick leave. Working only part of the day. Can you suggest anything for withdrawal?

  • tillycd

    I have been taking it for about 17 years now and decided several months ago to try and taper off of it. The doctor said things could get a little shakey at around 10 mg and when I got to around that dose after months of tapering, I got hit with a major attack that lasted for about 16 days (panic attacks plus severe general anxiety and anticipatory anxiety). During that sixteen days I slowly raised my dosage back up to my regular 40mg and now have stabalized and feel normal again. I realize that you know what, there is no shame in taking the medication if it helps to relieve the hell that is panic disorder. Our brains are just different... and more seratonin helps. So I am going to stick with it. Don't feel any shame or frustration if you find you have to go back on it. Peace and freedom from anxiety is worth it.

  • tillycd

    Would be interested to know how things are going for you now. Have been taking paroxetine myself for 17 years after being diagnosed with acute clinical depression and having ECT back in 1999. Started to come off 4 days ago halving my dose to 10mg by cutting tablet in half. Have not slept since, it would be nice to know if this side effect lasts a long time or not. Hope you are winning the fight, chin up and stay strong.

    • Grumpybum1960


      Did you manage to come off paroxetine?  I got down to zero but had terrible insomnia, even though I tapered very slowly.  I am now back on 1mg and will wait there until I feel stable enough to cut down even more slowly.  What hell this is!  Doctors don't understand how slowly you have to taper.  All the best.    Vivienne

  • tillycd

    As someone who has been on Seroxat for ten years with two attempts to come off it, both ending in going back on it because the depression comes back every  time with great pain and suffering and lived to regret ever stopping. I warmly and strongly recommend you stay on Seroxat, from personal experience. Depression, unforunately, will come back, at some point.

    Think of it like insulin for a diabetic or blood pressure pills for someone wih high blood pressure. Unfortunately, depression is a condition (specially after so many years) and you should probably come to terms with that. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

    Take care and hope you recover quickly.

  • Hiya everyone, it has been 8 months since starting this discussion and at that time I had been on Seroxat for 21 years and starting my journey to come off this medication. I now feel it is time to write an update. After one month of taking 10mg on alternate days I then took 5mg every other day. After 3 weeks on this dose I went cold turkey and just stopped taking it and to date I have not needed to retake it, 6 months after stopping it.

    It wasn't easy because at first I continued to get the electric shock pings in my head and the buzzing noice however these gradually got less and less and have now gone. At no time so far have I felt depressed or anxious so I now believe I did the right thing stopping it. 

    I have been occupied with other health problems though and after undergoing tests was found to have Atrial Fibrillation of my heart which is a fast irregular heart rhythm which can cause strokes or heart attacks. So now I am on 2 medications for this condition. I have to take it for life but was assured that coming off Seroxat did not contribute to this condition. I feel that coping with a heart condition and not getting depressed or having anxiety attacks has meant that for me I am certain I had no need to continue with Seroxat. Finally would just like t thank everyone who gave me advise on this discussion, it was really helpful whilst going through my withdrawal. I hope others having problems with this drug keep getting useful advice and help. Good luck everyone.biggrin


  • tillycd

    Hello, I know it's been a year since you guys had this discussion, was so pleased to see thatI'm not alone in this, I'm 25 years old, been taking seroxat for over a year, 12.5 mg daily, I asked my doctor to help me with quiting it several times but he ignored me,I can also feel those electric shocks in my head, felt better in bed but it makes me really depressed, i hope u guys made it. Best of luck 

  • tillycd

    Hello sara

    I am 28 i have been on seroxit for past 2 years i am trying to get rid of seroxit

    I feel all ur symptoms ...eletric shocks panic attacks palpitations and back neck preasure...but all these were also present when i was talking ...20mg.

    First i start by tappering ...after 10mg i left taking seroxit my situation is worst but my will power is strong i have clear in mind i have to get rid of 1month passed without tablets m slightly getting better will update u more...u can discuss further on my email

    Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

    • ShaniMalik

      Hi Shani,

      I'm done tappering thank God, still feel the electric shocks & my tension headache has settled down back to my head, migraine too, still not sure about the next plan to get rid of those cause I take painkillers daily & as I've read it's only gonna make me worse. Also I'm depressed all the time, I overthink about things & I get too emotional since I quit seroxat. I also tend to get sucidal in an indirect way, I take painkillers recklessly & I do other crazy things that can kill me without giving myself any chance to be concerned about it. I tend to think that death is more peaceful than having all of those headaches in one head.

    • sara16986

      Hi Sara16986, I feel your pain, but I am living proof you can get off Seroxat. However on reading your comments I believe you need to be on a different anti depressant. Please visit your doctor and explain how you are feeling including your use of pain relief. Perhaps you are on the wrong pain relief or maybe you could do with some counselling or support to get you through this time of change. You have done the hard work now so don't give in to negative thoughts. You are worth more than this and with a little help you can overcome these difficulties. Don,t give up, Chanel your negativity into positivity that you can and will beat this. Please update when you feel able to.


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