home
RSS
September 21st, 2010
10:23 AM ET

How can I stop using Paxil without the side effects?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Sharon Reynolds of Tampa, Florida: I have been taking 10 mg of Paxil for nine years. I would like to get off of it but have heard of the many side effects associated with stopping it. Brain "buzzes" and various other frightening possibilities.

How can I stop Paxil without those side effects? I started taking it after a complete hysterectomy that resulted in extreme anxiety.

Expert answer: Dear Sharon,

There is good news and bad news about your situation.

The good news is that only about 20 percent of patients who take antidepressants experience these type of withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue the medications, and when experienced, these symptoms are usually mild and resolve in a week or two.

The bad news is that you have two risk factors for experiencing an antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. First you have been on your antidepressant for an extended period. Second, you are taking Paxil (generic paroxetine) which - because of its short "half-life" in the body - is especially notorious for causing withdrawal problems.

There are two very important things you can do to reduce your risk of having the type of symptoms you describe.

First, you should work closely with your health care provider. Second, you should never just stop the medication.

Probably the all-time best way to experience antidepressant withdrawal is to just suddenly stop the medication. Doing this is a shock to the nervous system, which has adjusted its neurotransmitter release based on the presence of the antidepressant.

In the case of medications like Paxil that affect serotonin, we believe most of the withdrawal symptoms are related to a sudden increase in serotonin activity for which body and brain are not prepared.

The first thing a good clinician will do is closely examine whether stopping the Paxil is a good idea in the first place. If you have been on the medication for 10 years and are emotionally stable, it might be the right thing to do.

Even if it makes sense to do this, a good clinician will be carefully watching, not just for withdrawal symptoms, but also for any sign that the psychiatric condition that prompted you to take the medication in the first place isn't coming back.

The most common symptoms of a Paxil withdrawal syndrome are feeling like you have the flu, often in combination with dizziness, sensory disturbances (like the buzzing you describe) and anxiety/agitation.

The trick to lowering your chances of having these symptoms is to reduce the dose of the antidepressant as slowly as possible. For people who are really sensitive it can take months to get off an antidepressant slowly enough to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

But remember that most people can stop an antidepressant cold and won't have symptoms. Whether you would be similarly fortunate or more unlucky is probably not a question you should test out. Rather, I recommend starting to work with your clinician to slowly lower the dose. If you feel fine you might try lowering the dose more rapidly as it feels comfortable.


soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. Window washing Denver CO

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    https://lifestyle.1045thedan.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 14, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. window cleaning Denver CO

    very nice! Ireally like your blog

    https://www.wrde.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 14, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. window cleaning Denver

    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

    https://panhandle.newschannelnebraska.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 14, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Window washing Denver

    Wow this blog is very nice!

    https://rivercountry.newschannelnebraska.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 14, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. window cleaning Denver CO

    Impressive! Thanks for the post

    http://finance.azcentral.com/azcentral/news/read/41077120/

    March 14, 2021 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. window cleaning Denver CO

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    http://stocks.newsok.com/newsok/news/read/41077120

    March 14, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Window washing Denver CO

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

    http://finance.dailyherald.com/dailyherald/news/read/41077120/

    March 14, 2021 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. window cleaning Denver CO

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

    http://finance.minyanville.com/minyanville/news/read/41077120

    March 14, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Szklane Wiadomości

    I will surely foreward this post to all of my pals! Its very first-class and a very respectable check out!

    http://www.glass.xmc.pl

    March 15, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. coin purse insert

    Hello, Neat post. There is a challenge along with your site in web explorer, would check
    this? IE nonetheless is definitely the marketplace leader and a great component to people will omit your fantastic writing because of this problem.

    my webpage: coin purse insert

    March 17, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Window Cleaning Service Baker, Denver, CO

    Thank You for your information

    https://www.ktvn.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 20, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. zortilo nrel

    Hey there this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    March 21, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Kaila Maynes

    Its fantastic as your other articles : D, appreciate it for putting up. "A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost." by Ferdinand Foch.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 24, 2021 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kerry Carli

    This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 24, 2021 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Gerry Ziller

    Keep functioning ,great job!

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 24, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Carlton Stringer

    Hello, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boringK I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 24, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Garry Degrazio

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 25, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Barabara Hopkin

    Hi there! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's new to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 25, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Vito Roccia

    I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I've a very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 25, 2021 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Leasing.XMC.PL

    Only another 50 percent the post is displaying, strange, is this my net browser or the website?

    http://www.eleasing.xmc.pl

    March 28, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. tommy hen

    Such a nice calm relaxing blog

    https://tinyurl.com/tommy32

    March 29, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. https://j-website.net

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://maps.google.co.za/url?q=https://j-website.net

    March 29, 2021 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Linnea Gizinski

    Hi there! This post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thanks for sharing!

    https://extraproxies.com/

    March 29, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Josie Brattain

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

    https://extraproxies.com/geogridlines-behind-continents-in-geographics-plot/

    April 1, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Mitzi Prigg

    bookmarked!!, I love your website!

    https://extraproxies.com/tag/lubuntu/

    April 1, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. uibovnagaji

    http://slkjfdf.net/ – Iguzviwon Adepaku lzs.hhqe.thechart.blogs.cnn.com.nlk.py http://slkjfdf.net/

    April 3, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. edapuau

    http://slkjfdf.net/ – Ihupovho Avafivul pns.arlq.thechart.blogs.cnn.com.epx.lj http://slkjfdf.net/

    April 3, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bryanxpu

    relationship language of ancient greece female

    for only a decorative person being clear of or even birthplace there must be nothing more tough in contrast to free dating online men and women. their provides that bring together greek expatriates and individuals most typically associated with musical legacy doing western world, the usa, with modern australia are perhaps quality. without chemicals artistic men find the women that have a provided life legacy if you wish to raise a truck driver with history.

    Dating language of ancient greece those is easier as a result of online dating services

    about the dependable a ancient site may well be in a given urban, it's still much more difficult for artistic men to commence courting moms neighborhood. right now entirely fails to look like they're enough of Latina dating them above. this is why many ancient greek language men are beginning to look around for single young women signifies a range of venues.

    sites have got medieval adult females hoping to discover exactly the same thing their dude furnishings are searhing for genuinely and so joy. fortunately that web sites do the superior job they are on launching the most excellent artistic males and females and permitting them to analyze some other in a safe area. Nicknames also plain looking electronic mail looks at involving the internet site are widely-used the following instead of details.

    The online online dating services are fun and getting, and constantly be certain to acquire your pursuits. Whether any person is definitely problematic and as a result philosophical or a light weight hearted joker to do with absolutely no outcome. anyway, all of them are free to mention himself or herself to go to the fullest and put their full capacity foot toward begin or men.

    April 6, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    Hi to every , since I am in fact eager of reading this blog's post to be updated regularly.
    It carries nice information.

    April 7, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Trang Krampe

    I suppose it’s not a social norm, and not a manly thing to do — to feel, discuss feelings. So that’s what I’m giving the finger to. Social norms and stuff…what good are social norms, really? I think all they do is project a limited and harmful image of people. It thus impedes a broader social acceptance of what someone, or a group of people, might actually be like.

    http://www.erodate.uk/

    April 8, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ekonomia Definicja

    Znana osobistość Pan Andrzej Dobrowolski twierdził, że Mężczyźni witają się uściśnięciem dłoni. Kobiety obejmują się przyjaźnie. W pierwszym wypadku chodzi o sprawdzenie, czy w ręku nie ma ukrytej broni, w drugim, czy na pewno nie ma jej też za plecami i czy gra z otwartymi kartami 🙂

    http://www.ekonom.xmc.pl

    April 8, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Ekonomia Analiza

    Prawdziwy przyjaciel to nie ten, kto osusza lzy twoje, Niczm jak Drapiezne lwy Tolstoje, ale ten, kto nie pozwala ci ich wylewac, innym zabrania sie z Ciebie wysmiewac E. F. Teixeira & Zeroo Cool..

    http://www.ekonom.xmc.pl

    April 8, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Oxylabs Io

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    https://dreamproxies.com/free-proxies-and-discounts

    April 8, 2021 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. www.Links.M106.COM

    Some really nice and useful information on this web site

    http://www.links.m106.com

    April 9, 2021 at 03:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Kajmany Podatki

    Thanks for giving this specific excellent subject matter on your web-site. I noticed it on the search engines. I may check to come back if you publish additional aricles.

    http://www.taxes.xmc.pl

    April 10, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ekonomia

    Za każdym praworządnym mężczyzną, który odniósł sukces, stoi kobieta – która nie ma co na siebie włożyć. Sir. James Stewart

    http://www.ekonom.xmc.pl

    April 10, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Ekonomia Finanse

    Sukces nigdy nie jest ostateczny. Porazka nigdy nie jest totalna. Liczy sie tylko odwaga i waleczne serce. Sir. W. Churchill Adaptation by ITI Systems

    http://www.ekonom.xmc.pl

    April 10, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. SEO Directory

    Good job! I have found many articles to read but you do a good thing. That is a boy. Thank you so much for sharing the delicious post. Expect your next article.

    http://www.links.m106.com

    April 11, 2021 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. order tadalafil

    tadalafil max dose https://elitadalafill.com/ generic tadalafil united states

    April 13, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Piano GoogleBoy :)

    I like the first point you made there, but I am not sure I could reasonably apply that in a postive way.

    http://www.pianino.xmc.pl

    April 13, 2021 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Darmowe Ogłoszenia Pianino

    I admire what you have carried out here. It is great to see your clarity on this important topic could be quickly observed. Tremendous post and will look forward to your future update.

    http://www.pianino.xmc.pl

    April 14, 2021 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. zithromax capsules

    zithromax for flu https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax generics

    April 14, 2021 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Normand Freedland

    Nearly all of what you mention is astonishingly legitimate and it makes me ponder the reason why I had not looked at this with this light before. Your article really did switch the light on for me as far as this subject goes. However there is one issue I am not really too comfy with and whilst I try to reconcile that with the actual core idea of the issue, permit me observe just what all the rest of the visitors have to point out.Very well done.

    https://extraproxies.com/is-this-turing-machine-state-diagram-valid/

    April 15, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.