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Withdrawal Nightmare from Paroxetine

I have been taking Paxil for over 4 years. And it was only a few months ago I realised it wasn't working for me at all. I know myself that paroxetine is one of the worst anti depressants to wean off of. Even if I am a couple of hours late taking it I get bad side effects e.g dizziness.

The doctor told me it was best to cut down slowly so I started. But the anxiety just became too much to handle. I went back to the doctor and she said to bite the bullet and get it done quick and start on Sertraline as quick as possible so I went 30mg to 15mg straight away for 3 days and then down to 10 for 2 days and 2 days with nothing. I'm on my second day with nothing and I have never been so ill/ scared in my life. The anxiety is fine miraculously but that's probably because I'm too focused on the insane ' brain zaps '; dizziness I am getting. Has anyone else had this ? If I move my eyes right to left it's worse but I am getting it now writing this. I just would like to know whether I am alone in this or someone out there is suffering like me and it will get better? I am meant to start Sertraline tomorrow and I do hope this helps as I am on Annual Leave thankfully at the moment but I don't want it to effect my job. Thanks.

10 Replies

  • George25793

    I sympathize with you completely. I was on Paxil for 15 years and finally got off of it 5 years ago for good ! I am so glad I did.....It did not really help with depression and the horrendous adverse effects were no longer tolerable. It will have to be a gradual withdrawal and take some time. You will experience withdrawal also.  Taking Zoloft will be no different either because they are the same class of antidepressants (SSRI group). I have problems from time to time with depression but I will tolerate the depression rather than taking medications any more.  Good can do it.....I DID !

    • George25793

      for me I did get some electrical zaps  BUT it did not last very long.....mostly for me it was anxiousness and even more depression while going of of it......and as I recall I did not withdraw in the proper was sort of when I had withdrawal symptoms, I would take a little bit 10 mg or less to soften withdrawal then go a day or two without....finally after some months, I was off of it.....but should have done a gradual tapering off to make it more tolerable.....

  • George25793

    I was on paxil for ten years....I slowly stopped taking three months to wean off of it...And yes...the moving eyes and zaps keep staying with you for awhile...They say paxil doesnt have any withdrawls like that but between the eyes and my electircal shock feeling in my chest, I almost couldnt take it......You will though, I took xanax when it got real bad and read these forums they really do brave it takes time..

  • George25793

    George, what you are experiencing is typical withdraw. Have you started on the sertraline yet? It may lesson them. Your doctor has not given you great advice and you have stopped them too quickly. You will probably find that the anxiety starts on about day 5. I'm not usually on this site, but I admin a Facebook support group called paroxetine paxil seroxat SSRI support group. Lots of members have the same withdrawal symptoms including myself. Why don't you join for the support to realise you are not on your own 


  • George25793

    Hi George

    I have been coming off proxetine to go onto sertraline.

    Originally I was on 30mg for the last 5 years until a fortnight ago. Last week I went down to 20mg for 5 days and this week down to 10mg for 5 days and this is the second day of nothing. Oh boy it's been a struggle for these 2 days. My head has been buzzing had electric shock pulses and this morning I just cried my eyes out. I have felt dreadful but my hubby has been so supportive and without this I don't know what I would have done to go through these dreadful side affects. Tomorrow I start 50mg of Sertraline. George you are in the same position. Tell you what please email me and we can help get through this ordeal together. I feel better talking to you already knowing we are going through the same. Best Wishes Marty


  • George25793

    You are not alone! I have been on this for 20 years! I don't regret taking it. But last year i tried to wean myself of very slowly. Took me 6 months to get down to 3/4 of a 20mg tablet.

    It annoys me when doctors say just bite the bullet. It iCAN BE REALLY DANGEROUS TO DO THIS! And irresponsible for a so called healthcare professional to suggest it!

    If it was me i would go back to a different doctor, begin by asking if they are aware of the wothdrawal issues with this medication. If they are not then inform them you are aware and have experienced it for yourself and cannot function. I would then request a liquid form as it is a lot easier to wean off by minute amounts. Everyone is different. I decided 1mg per month was enough for me! Bless you. Hope you feel better soon.

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