Paxil is a pharmaceutical drug in the SSRI family of medications. Patients take Paxil to combat anxiety and stress.
The challenge with Paxil is that, while on the drug, patients start feeling so good that they don’t want to come off of it. This develops a Paxil dependency. In some cases, the dependency can be so strong that Paxil is taken until the point where a tolerance builds up within the patient.
Withdrawals from Paxil can be severe. Certain patients have even experienced slipping into a depression while still taking the drug.
Factors Affecting Paxil Withdrawal
Several factors can affect the duration and severity of a Paxil withdrawal. For starters, how long were you prescribed Paxil for?
If you’ve been prescribed Paxil for years, then your body is going to have a tougher time adjusting when it’s taken away. However, you may have an easier time with Paxil withdrawal if you’ve only been on the medication for a few weeks or months.
Another factor to consider is how much Paxil you’ve been taking. The higher the dosage of Paxil prescribed to you, the harder it will be to come off Paxil.
Paxil is made in two types: standard Paxil and Paxil CR. This is important to note because you may see higher dosage amounts on Paxil CR, but the “CR” stands for controlled release. Therefore, standard Paxil and Paxil CR end up being about the same from a dosage standpoint. One is not worse than the other.
Like many things in life, Paxil withdrawal also depends on the individual involved. Some people’s personalities are more prone to withdrawal than others. Some individuals may overcome their paxil withdrawal in weeks, while others may take months or even years to get over the withdrawal effects.
When you decide to quit taking Paxil, you need to consider if you’re going to quit “cold turkey” or taper yourself off the medication gradually. Individuals who have suffered from Paxil withdrawal in the past have recommended slowly tapering off the drug, rather than going “cold turkey”. In their experience, going “cold turkey” only made the symptoms of withdrawal worse.
- Rage – Even people who are normally calm can become enraged while suffering from Paxil withdrawal.
- Anxiety – Since Paxil is an SSRI, by its very nature it alters serotonin levels in your brain. This drastic drop in serotonin once off the drug can cause severe anxiety in recovering patients.
- Confusion – Going through day-to-day life without being on Paxil anymore can produce slight “brain fog”. This symptom is typically on the mild side of the symptoms involved. Just remember your brain is trying to operate without the help of Paxil, so it may be slightly slowed down.
- Crying spells – Spontaneous fits of crying, feelings of despair, or feelings of depression can often accompany the withdrawal. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done for this symptom. Just know that it will pass.
- Blurred Vision – This is a less common side effect of withdrawal, but still something to aware of.
- Lower Appetite – When a patient starts to take Paxil, the typical response is to get a bigger appetite. But when the drug is removed from a patient’s system, the opposite occurs.
- Dizziness – Withdrawal from Paxil can sometimes cause extreme cases of vertigo in the early stages.
- Fatigue – Feeling drained and wanting to sleep most of the day is common when coming off of Paxil. It can be a struggle, but do what you can to get through the day.
- Flu-like – Withdrawal can bring on symptoms of the flu. This is especially common if a patient decides to quit cold turkey.
- Insomnia – This side effect has to do with your brain’s altered serotonin levels. You are likely to struggle with insomnia until your brain adjusts its neurotransmitters post-Paxil.
- Mood Swings – Your mood can change at the drop of a hat while coping with withdrawal. It’s something you just have to do your best to get through.
- Suicidal Thoughts – During Paxil withdrawal, the suicidal thoughts may be even stronger than they were before you started taking Paxil. Unfortunately, this is another symptom that you can’t do much for. Just try to remain positive and keep your mind occupied.
- Sweating – Excessive sweating is a symptom of being on Paxil, as well as withdrawal.
- Vivid Dreams – Strange, life-like dreams occur while both on and off Paxil.
- Hot Flashes – These can last weeks while your body adjusts to living without Paxil.
- Hypochondria – It’s easy to think you are sick, or going to come down with a disease, as your brain adjust to not having Paxil in your system. Such a wide range of withdrawal symptoms can make you think a number of things are going wrong inside your body. Just remain calm, and work through it as best you can.
- Panic Attacks – Because of the altered chemical levels in your brain, things you normally didn’t even pay attention to may start to produce fear in your body. Remaining calm, and just realizing that it’s part of the withdrawal process, will help you to get through.
- Hypersensitivity – Lights, motion, and sounds may bother you more than normal while coming off of Paxil.
This list is not a comprehensive list of symptoms associated with Paxil withdrawal, but it encompasses a good number of them. It’s also worth mentioning that these symptoms typically aren’t all experienced at once by one person. An individual will experience a mixture of these symptoms, some simultaneously, but not all.
How Long Do Symptoms Last
Originally, researchers didn’t think Paxil withdrawal lasted long at all. However, new discoveries are proving that theory wrong.
The length of withdrawal can vary from person to person, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but a good estimate is about 90 days.
Paxil has many legitimate medical purposes, but it also has the potential for abuse and dependence. Persons who suspect they may be dependent on this medication should seek help from a detox and substance abuse treatment program. These programs help to make the withdrawal process more comfortable and ensure personal safety.
Contact Just Believe Detox anytime to learn about our treatment options. We customize our comprehensive programs to meet the specific needs of those we treat. We provide a warm, comfortable environment that promotes healing from addiction while individuals undergo withdrawal and begin the process of recovery. Call: 877-497-6180
We can help you reclaim your health and wellness, free from addiction, and begin to live the happy and fulfilling life you deserve!