Questions and Answers
Certain questions keep popping up on a regular basis. Here, I have gathered the most common ones, in the hope that it will reduce e-mail traffic and speed up your search for information.
Are you a doctor?
No, I have no medical training whatsoever.
Are you associated with any religious movement or any other organization?
Nope. I consider myself a atheist/humanist with a healthy scepticism towards all forms of religion. The only organisations I have ever belonged to were sports based...and the Wodehouse society.
From where do your get your information?
From personal experience, the thousands of letters that have come in over the years and the occasional article or two.
How long does severe Paxil withdrawal last after I stop taking the drug ?
Severe withdrawal can last anywhere between two to six weeks. By all accounts , the worst is over after two weeks . It will take a three to six more weeks before you are back to your pre-Paxil self. Note, that this is the "usual' withdrawal time. A sizeable minority of visitors have reported that it took them 8+ weeks to discontinue the drug.
Does everyone suffer from Paxil withdrawal as described on this site?
No. Although no hard numbers are out there, it appears that anywhere between 4 to 8 percent of users have problems coming off the drug. Other studies claim that it is around 25 percent : the verdict is still out. Most Paxil users will go through a couple of days of "flu-like" symptoms or experience no symptoms at all.
What do you know about other medications?
Nothing. The only other drugs I ever used for PD were Ativan and Chlonazapam.
How long were you on Paxil and on what dosage?
About five months at 20mg/day .
Can I get withdrawal effects after only being on Paxil for a short time?
From the letters I have been getting it does appear that Paxil withdrawal can occur after only a few days on the drug. Like everything else on the site, this is anecdotal evidence only.
I am coming off Paxil right now. What advice do you have for me?
All advice that I receive is posted in the "advice" section. I do not withhold any information. In the end, it appears that there is, as of yet, no universal way in which the drug can be discontinued without any side effects. For some, patience and courage as well as a sense of humor and perspective will be their only weapons.
How can I join the class action suit?
I don't know. This site has no links to any law firms nor am I part of any litigation against GSK . As far as I know, class action suits are still being launched. Please use your favourite search engine to find out more. .
What are the long-term side effects of Paxil?
I do not know. If there exists a study on the issue, I have not encountered it. Some people have claimed, that they experienced effects long after stopping the drug. I have no personal experience of this, but the claim might well be valid. Only research will give a definite answer.
What are the side effects of Paxil?
For this, please visit the official Paxil web site and look for the medical literature.
Will my sex drive return, once I am off Paxil?
From my experience and your letters the answer is yes: it even appears to double for a while (for both men and women). It will likely take a few weeks though. Be patient.
My weight has increased while on Paxil. How do I get rid of it?
Many readers have observed that they gained 20 to 40 pounds while on the drug and could not get rid of the weight while on the drug. Since not many people write after they have gone through withdrawal, I am not sure what happened to the extra pounds, although the few letters that I have received seem to indicate that the weight slowly melt away.
Is Paxil withdrawal dangerous?
The only danger that I have observed is the potential for suicidal behavior as well as added aggressive tendencies in some readers. If you have any suicidal thoughts, I strongly encourage that you contact the nearest hospital right away. If you get homicidal urges, do the same. Also remove any firearms from the house and try to seek immediate counseling.
Can Paxil increase alcohol, drug consumption?
Possibly. Anecdotal evidence points to some cases where for some reason substance abuse increased. I have received about 100 or so letters claiming this to be true. Other anecdotal and some scientific evidence also points to the distinct possibility that this connection exists.
What about seizures?
Possibly: a dozen or so letters have arrived in which the author claims that seizures were a result of withdrawal.
How can I post my story on your site?
Send it to me. I use about every hundredth letter and post it as an example. The process is somewhat random. If you want to freely post your experience, go to one of the chat boards.
Do you answer every letter that you get?
Unless it is silly or unless the person has made no attempt at reading the rest of the site, the answer is "yes". It can sometimes take quite a while to get a response out of me, since this is only a one-person, after hour operation and the usual volume of letters is 5-10 per day.
Are you against drug treatment in general?
No. Although I do believe that as a society we tend to overmedicate, I firmly believe that drug treatment, including SSRIs, have valid uses. However, it is my firm belief that manufacturer of any product should warn people of any non-obvious potential side and after effects. In my view, hot coffee labeling is silly, since it states the obvious. A microscopic defect in a tire, however, needs to be reported.