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Symptoms

Note: this section deals only with problematic Paxil withdrawal. Although I have not found accurate numbers, it appears that anywhere from 4% to 10% of users can expect some or all of the listed symptoms. The rest of you should only experience the touted " two to three days of flu-like symptoms".


Here you will find a list of symptoms which originated from my personal experience while getting off Paxil . Over time, this list has been augmented by symptoms which have been reported by others going through the process. For a symptom to be included in the 'common' category, it had to appear at least 50 times in the letters which I have received.

If you fail to find a particular symptom which you are currently experiencing it can mean that

a) not enough people have reported it to warrant inclusion, or
b) that it is unrelated to the withdrawal process.


Note, that of the listed symptoms do appear in people who are in the process of reducing their dosage as well as those, whose system has become acclimatized to the drug.

Finally, the list only deals with withdrawal symptoms. It does not include the side effects that are commonly associated with Paxil , e.g. weight gain, sexual dysfunction, etc...

 


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Frequently Reported Symptoms:

  • intense insomnia
  • extraordinarily vivid dreams
  • extreme confusion during waking hours
  • intense fear of losing your sanity
  • steady feeling of existing outside of reality as you know it (referred to as depersonalization at times)
  • memory and concentration  problems
  • Panic Attacks (even if you never had one before)
  • severe mood swings, esp. heightened irritability / anger
  • suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
  • an unconventional dizziness/   vertigo
  • the feeling of shocks, similar to mild electric one, running the length of your body
  • an unsteady gait
  • slurred speech
  • headaches
  • profuse sweating, esp. at night
  • muscle cramps
  • blurred vision
  • breaking out in tears.
  • hypersensitivity to motion, sounds, smells.
  • decreased appetite
  • nausea
  • abdominal cramping, diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • chills/ hot flashes

 

Less Frequently Reported Symptoms

  • fainting
  • "scratching sound" inside one's head
  • constant white noise in the ears
  • tingling sensation in cheeks, lips, tongue and surrounding areas.
  • heart palpitations/ chest pain
  • swollen and sore eyes
  • fatigue
  • extremely localized, bursting headaches
  • lump in throat
  • rash / dry, flaky and irritated skin
  • grinding of teeth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • itchiness

The duration of the withdrawal process seems to vary from individual to individual. In my own experience, the worst was over after the first two weeks. Still, three weeks into it, I was far from feeling ship-shape in Bristol fashion. It took around six weeks for the symptoms to subside.

 


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