More on Paxil withdrawal, addiction and alcohol craving

Do you know what really amazes me?… I’ll tell you then.

It is the fact that Glaxo continues to say there is nothing wrong with Paxil (Seroxat) – and that if you do suffer from withdrawal then the “discontinuation symptoms” that can occur in some people will be “generally short lived” and “mild to moderate in intensity”.

Glaxo says “We take the reporting of adverse effects very seriously, as we do with all our medications. Fortunately, with Seroxat, we have a wealth of positive experience involving thousands of physicians and millions of patients – over ten years of experience worldwide.”

Then why can Glaxo continue to IGNORE the tens of thousands of reports of “negative experience” – such as adverse drug reactions and the huge mass of anecdotal reports of severe problems while taking (and withdrawing from) Paxil?


Below are comments posted to an article called Pax-ills – What Every Paxil User Needs to Know. It made even me sit up and take notice. (Read more comments here)

You’ll notice the dates – 2003/2004/2005… nothing new here, so Glaxo has had plenty of time to “take the reports seriously” – and yet it has done nothing:

Anonymous (March 11, 2003): Please tell me I’m not the only Paxil patient who has developed an intense craving for alcohol. I am hangover-free (which was never the case when I indulged on a weekend) and am drinking every day. It’s ruining my life but no one else seems to believe it’s the Paxil.

Amy (April 22, 2003): I just want to warn the public about the side effects from stopping the vile drug, Paxil. I have been on it for almost 3 years for GAD. When I decided to go off, my dr. gave me the instructions for “weaning” myself off the drug. I did exactly what she had told me to do, and within a week of weening, I started to get these horrible side effect. They included: Brain “zaps”, confusion, crying spells, dizziness, and a list of many other things. I called my Dr back, and let her know about this. She told me that it was just depression, and to go back on Paxil. I tried to explain to her that I was not on Paxil for depression, (This was not the original dr. that prescribe the drug to me), I was on it for GAD, and the feelings that I was having, were NOT the same feelings that I had before I started taking Paxil in the first place. I am still trying to “wean” myself off the drug, without the help of any dr., and it has been over 3 months now. I just want to stop taking it, but every time I go off, the side effects continue. No one can seem to help me.

Please, if you can help it, DO NOT go on this vile drug. While it did help me when I was on it, it is impossible to go off.

Anyone who is experiencing the same thing, there is a website called in this website, there is a petition that you can sign for the drug maker.

Nicole (May 14, 2003): Re: Paxil withdrawal–I’ve been through it, and while it isn’t my favorite experience, future withdrawal fears shouldn’t prevent anyone suffering a major depression from trying this drug or other SSRIs. I was put on Paxil for after being hospitalized for depression in 1999 and had almost three good years on it, with minimal depressive symptoms. It literally gave me my life back! Unfortunately, it seemed to be gradually losing its efficacy earlier this year (the typical poop-out thing many people experience) resulting in a second severe episode of depression. Going off the Paxil (to switch to Effexor, which I’m glad to say is working pretty well) was uncomfortable–I had “electric” “zingy” feelings in my head, muscle cramps, anxiousness for about two weeks–but not at all intolerable (certainly nothing compared to being severely depressed). More like having the flu. It’s a minor price to pay for three years of relief–Truly.

Newzmel (May 25, 2003): I am currently on Paxil and have been on and off it for about ten years. Initially, I was diagnosed as unipolar; thanks to three weeks without sleep on the new Paxil CR, I am now diagnosed as bipolar. I too get brain zaps, as well as bugs crawling in my stomach. The regular paxil made me anorexic, no appetite whatsoever. I have never had a problem getting off it, in fact, feel *great* for about two months after. Then BOOM, back to the Paxil. I have tried other antidepressants, but this one seems to work the best. I’m told it’s good for anxiety, but I notice my panic level is heightened on the drug. I’ve tried Celexa, Prozac and the most heinous of the bunch: Zoloft. I felt like my arms were on backwards. Paxil may work for some for three years Nicole, but what about these horrible side effects????

PPH (June 16, 2003): I tool Paxil from July 1996 through November 2000. Prior to taking the drug, I exhibited symptoms of depression including insomnia and frequent crying. These symptoms quickly went away when a doctor prescribed Paxil. However, there was one side effect. Prior to Paxil, I rarely drank alcohol. This changed quickly, I began drinking heavily within two months of beginning Paxil. It was something that I couldn’t control. I always thought there was a connection, but I couldn’t find any evidence to support this theory. The drinking continued with heavy consequences. Finally, after entering rehab in November 2000, I begged them to switch my medication (I had to beg because they still didn’t think it was contributing to the drinking). They did switch me to Zoloft. Today, I still don’t drink, and I lost that insane urge to drink that I had while on the Paxil.

Dolfingrl (Aug 18, 2003): Help…My husband has been on Paxil for two years and I have noticed a DRASTIC change in his personality. He has become insensitive and prone to anger…he used to be a a very caring and mild mannered person, but now is prone to violent (verbal) outbursts and is quick to lose his temper. He has difficulty controlling his anger and communicating in the normal manner. Please tell me if this is normal???

PRP (Aug 25, 2003): To all user of Paxil, my husband was on Paxil for 8 months, he was a wonder husband & father. A church member, member to masonic lodge and self-employed. Our life changed 8/21/02 when he blacked out, and got a gun and I was almost killed myself, himself, along with a family friend. The gun was fired 4-times,he then went to our couch, and his eyes where going back & forth (as I was told), I was knocked out. He then grabbed a blackjack and beat me till he came too. Then I blacked out again and I came too. I saw him with a 357 gun point to our friend’s head. He was charged with 2nd degree attempted murder and all that comes with that. To make this a shorter story, all charges were dropped because there was only Paxil in his system. He as well was a victim. We are suing GSK And we are very happy now .My husband has no memory of this event. It will live with us forever.

Luz (Sept 19, 2003): I found this thread because I was specifically searching for info on Seroxat (Paxil) and alcohol cravings. I have been on Seroxat for 5 or 6 years now, and have been drinking more with less apparent effect (until I (occasionally) black out & lose my memory) during that time. What I have noticed is that when I tried (unsuccessfully, because of withdrawal symptoms) to reduce or stop the dosage, my cravings for alcohol pretty much disappear. I am not talking about alcoholism but this level of drinking is deeply worrying to me. I understand the legal disclaimers on this thread, so I would point out that obviously this is just my particular case, but it is extremely interesting to me to see that others have had similar side effects.

Smilin’ Scott (Dec 17, 2003): I have had an increase craving for alcohol, morning hand tremors or shakes, and electric shock sensation on different parts of my body first thing in the morning. Anyone else have these things?

SSC (Dec 26, 2003): I am so glad I found this site. I, too have been searching the web for Paxil and alcohol cravings info. My cravings became so intense that it has ruined my life. I told my doctor about he cravings but he said it was not from the Paxil. I began drinking every day-large amounts. I have since lost my job, went to rehab. and am facing 2 counts of DUI and will loose my license and go to jail. I am so scared! I never had trouble with the law or drinking before. Plus, I live in a small town and everyone thinks I am the town drunk as all of this was posted in our local paper. I have been humiliated. I am also in jeopardy of loosing my current job because of my legal situation. I went off the Paxil and guess what? No cravings. If anyone has any info that might help me show a link between Paxil and alcohol, please post! I am just glad to know I am not alone.

Kit (Jan 24, 2004): After reading this article, I was relieved to find other people having the same alcohol symptoms as myself. I didn’t know why for the past two years I couldn’t stop drinking. It has been awful! I am on a small dosage of Paxil (10mg) and cut down to 5 last weekend. I still drank all week and have had some mild withdrawal- headaches, weird dreams, sleeplessness, pounding heart, but nothing I can’t handle. Last night was the first night I didn’t crave alcohol. We went out to dinner, I had one glass of wine, and didn’t want another. It is now 5:30 pm and by now I’d have had a few, but I haven’t even wanted one. I am so excited. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to cut the Paxil out of my life. Stupid drug.

Quitter (Feb 2, 2004): Hi, I have been taking Paroxetine for a bit over 2 years to combat generalized anxiety disorder. I am now 4 days into my third attempt at quitting. It is a relief to find others who know what this feels like, the “zaps”, the dissociation, dizziness, and hopelessness. I started taking this drug because it had a short half-life and would hit my system quickly, a necessity because when I went to see the doctor, my anxiety was so powerful it had consumed my life.

Surfer Girl (Feb 7, 2004): My 19 year old daughter has been on Paxil for about 8 months. Her depression is worse, she is self injurious, angry, anxiety ridden, and cannot sleep. She has nightmares, and suicidal thoughts. I recently began to taper down her dosage, after checking her into a local mental hospital. She now has to attend partial day classes every day for 3 weeks. The hospital has given her a prescription for Effexor XR, to which I say NO THANKS. I want a therapist to work with my “drug free” daughter, not a suicidal induced, stressed out maniac. Withdrawal has been a problem also. I SEE NO BENEFIT TO PAXIL CR.

Now I want off. It is terrible to be ruled by a drug. I didn’t know it would be this hard. I was so uninformed, people need to know what can happen when they quit the “miracle drug”.

Kit (Feb 8, 2004): I wrote earlier about Paxil vs alcohol. I am now down to 2.5 mg of Paxil from 10 – which I know was not a large dose to begin with – and haven’t had a drink in 11 days and haven’t wanted one either. I thank God I found this site. I knew my crazy, out of control alcohol cravings didn’t just start on their own! I’ll be off Paxil soon – probably another week. I wait until the brain zaps stop, and then I go down another few mgs. I can’t go any lower, so I’ll be off of it. After awhile, maybe in a few months, I’ll have a glass of wine. If I can’t stop drinking, I’ll know I’m a booze bag and have to quit alcohol forever. If I can drink like I used to – one glass of wine being just fine – I’ll know it was the Paxil, for sure.

Smilin’ Scott (Feb 19, 2004): Has anyone else had realistic dreams? i am having a hard time with reality and dreams. also my memory isn’t as good as it used to be. I do feel more like my old self beside the alcohol cravings, dreams and memory and the “zapping.”

Anonymous (April 2, 2004): I rarely drank much until I began Paxil but noticed a higher tolerance. I went out one night and had 19 drinks. Mixed with my Paxil, I hit a police officer and am now facing 15 yr aggravated
assault charge. I am not a violent person. I don’t even know what happened and how I was able to drink so much without passing out. No one will even listen to me about this happening due to Paxil and increased alcohol consumption. Paxil has ruined my life and my families!!! Why
aren’t there alcohol warning labels on the sides of the bottle???? Sucks to be me!!!!!

Not Myself (April 13, 2004): After one more bizarre night out, I decided to look for information on Paxil CR and alcohol. Glad to find this site.

I have been taking Paxil CR for several months. Previously took Zoloft; should NEVER have switched! I’m going back– but, here’s what I’ve noticed!

1. Paxil leaves me feeling anxious… on the verge of depression and irrational thought, but not so much that I don’t recognize that it’s happening. I feel like crying every day, but I cannot cry.

2. I have insane and crazily vivid dreams. Last night, I woke with a scream and totally freaked out my pets! What’s more, there is a finer line between my reality and dream states… it’s very confusing. Too, my memory is awful.

3. I have gone out on the town a few times; I have been out of control! Just this weekend, I was wasted after one cocktail… but, I didn’t stop… went rapidly on to a 2nd and 3rd cocktail… moving into something of a dream state. I was detached, wildly aggressive and truly out-of-control! I was fortunate to have friends with me, so I suffered only embarrassment. I slept entirely through the next day… I’ve never, ever done that before. Three days later, I still feel abnormal.

There is DEFINITELY something wrong with my reactions to Paxil CR! For me, it’s confirmed!

Anna (April 16, 2004): Hi I have been on Seroxat for 5 1/2 years i have tryed coming off before and had the side effects such as feeling down anxious head zaps which i didn’t know then where actually side effects the Doctor told me it was my anxiety coming back and i was to up my dose I know realise that to get off seroxat you have to go through the withdrawal i am now using the liquid for and have gone from 30mg to 4mg it has taken 1 + 1/2 months the side effects are not that bad I will beat this. If you really want to get off this Drug get the liquid for its much easier to cut down with.

Chris (May 9, 2004): My wife takes Paxil CR for OCD, undiagnosed before we got married, and I loved her before starting the medication, but REALLY like it that she can now go kill her own ants, spiders, and cockroaches without me rushing home from work to do it for her. There are a lot of the same side-effects involved with her that were listed in the other stories- increased tolerance/ craving for alcohol and other carbohydrates, diarrhea after eating, etc… but with the hope of eventually getting off it and keeping the OCD in check post-Paxil CR, we’re all-in-all happy with the drug. It’s not for everybody. I work in medicine and know some of those doctors talked about in the other stories- “medication is the solution to everything”. It will seriously help anyone having trouble with this medication to have a really good friend there to help, like my wife says that I am for her. Good luck to you all!

G (May 17, 2004): I have been on Seroxat for about 6 years, and found it fixed my problems, except that my craving for alcohol increased a great deal (normally drink very little). It doesn’t give you a hangover in the morning either. I have managed to keep the drinking to the evenings, but spirits taste like water, and has very little effect until I fall asleep about 11:00 pm. I started on 20mg and I am now on 10mg. Trouble is I don’t want to get of it all together, only to have my symptoms come back, which were very unpleasant. The other articles are very interesting re drinking, think they all have a common cause.

Cathy (June 5, 2004): I am about to be getting a possible Article 15 in the US Army for 2 counts of assault and drunk and disorderly behavior.

– I have NEVER gotten violent while drinking; I’m what you would call a “happy, goofy” drunk.

– Sure, I’ve gotten drunk, but I’ve never drank to where I don’t even remember drinking and become so incapacitated. In other words- I can tell you how much I drank and know that I was getting drunk!

– My blood alcohol was a .29! I only remember drinking 3 beers! My friend said I was buying one stein of beer after another- I don’t even remember this – this is for the person who said they had 19 drinks and didn’t even realize it!!!

– Maybe those of us whose lives/careers/families are being ruined because of this can support one another and assist each other in a defense.

Herein lies the problems I’m trying to deal with:

1.) Personal Responsibility-
On my prescription bottle of medication it does have a label that says “Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication” – therefore I have no defense in this matter

but pleez!!!! Are you telling me that people that take Paxil do not drink AT ALL????

It was my understanding that the main reason you shouldn’t drink alcohol is mostly that it intensifies the drowsiness and reduces the effectiveness of the drug?

I was also told that a beer or 2 is okay – but geez, if there’s a way to prove that it can cause the craving for alcohol, then maybe I can help with my defense?

I’m so frustrated. Some people say I’m trying to make up excuses and blame it on the medication. I’m struggling with this –
how do I accept personal responsibility?

I need to find medical journals/studies – is there currently research being done on SSRI’s/increasing levels of serotonin in brain and link to craving alcohol?

Also- I’ve seen where Paxil has been used to TREAT ALCOHOLISM! Could it be that for some small percentage of the population- it actually does the OPPOSITE?

Yeah, I know what you mean- the guy who said he’s labeled the “town drunk”. It’s like it’s not bad enough that we’ve done something so out of character that we’ve shocked ourselves- but that people label us. People look at me with these disapproving looks. You can’t explain that this is not normal behavior for you! It’s so devastating the humiliation. I just want to scream YOU DON’T KNOW ME, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!! But they don’t.

They’re so quick to judge you negatively.

Jill (June 18, 2004): Well thank goodness ! I thought I was the only one with these symptoms. I used to have a couple of glasses on wine on the weekends, but after being on Paxil, I can drink wine like water. One to two bottles is not unusual for me at all. And I can get up the next day feeling normal, without even a headache. Why is that ? I have the strange dreams too and sometimes feel like I haven’t slept. To make matters worse, I have gained 10 lbs (most likely because of all the wine). I really am not happy with the way this pill is working at all.

Rick (June 20, 2004): I’ve been taking Paxil for over 5 years now. I’am bipolar and have had a fair amount of success with this drug. I am 44 years of age and have been fighting this wicked disease since I was 14.Back then Doctors knew very little about this disease and how to treat it. I’ve been on just about every medication out there. Paxil is the only drug to really help me although I’m not doing very well as I write this. Drinking over the years is something I have enjoyed and for the most part was able to control it. There are plenty of times when I drank more than I should have-but I usually knew when to call it a night and always got home safely. Drinking on Paxil is a different story. I never know when to stop because you don’t feel like your getting drunk until it’s way to late and I end up blacking out.

What is so amazing is I can drink more then I ever have and wake up like nothing happened-no hangover what so ever. I also know I should not be drinking while taking Paxil but I crave it more then I ever have before. I could never understand this and now that I have discovered this web site I know i’ts not just me. As I write this I find myself in the depression stage of bipolar and although I’ve been through this so many times before I’m not sure I will be around to see what comes of this. My life has been a roller coaster and I don’t know how much more I can take.

Luz (June 25, 2004): Re. my September ’03 post on alcohol cravings. Since that post, I have finally managed to come off Paxil completely, and have been off the drug for 6 months now. I noticed a definite ‘switch point’ in the withdrawal process where my alcohol cravings disappeared entirely, and they have never returned – I am overjoyed. I wonder whether the effect some of us report is a distortion of the carbohydrate cravings the drug is said to produce (hence the weight gain), but I think there is more to it than that; I could drink and drink and drink, as if I was seeking oblivion. I am back to being an occasional drinker with normal hangovers – Hurrah! I am afraid I don’t have any good advice to offer those still suffering these cravings, but I am thinking of you.

Lisa (July 16, 2004): I was wondering if anyone else was misdiagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder while on Paxil?
I have been taking it on, and off for 11 years. Last year my ex-Dr doubled my dosage from 20 to 40mgs of Paxil, and that is when I started having bi polar signs. Not sleeping, and going like the Duracell bunny followed by being exhausted with major thoughts of suicide. My life was a living hell. I finally found a Dr that listened, and told me I was being poisoned by the Paxil, and slowly I am getting my life back.
Another thing the Paxil did was mimic Auto Immune diseases, Anyone else have this problem. Thanks!

Karen (Oct 7, 2004): Following the recent Panaroma programme on the BBC, I am absolutely disgusted at the lack of integrity by Alastair Benbow & his organisation – many people have suffered and died at the hands of these people just for the sheer end of generating profit. My faith in the medical profession at large is at an all time low. In my capacity as an advertising executive, I will NEVER work with a pharmaceutical company. They are scum.

David (Oct 12, 2004): I have been very desperate lately and it seems that everything is falling into place after reading about Paxil and alcohol. I took Paxil for 3 years and had a number of episodes like what is mentioned here,i just figured it was me and my mental decline from a 45 day coma and my brain just giving up. I have since being on Paxil become suicidal, i have mutilated myself, I have sporadic violent outbursts (at 6’3 220lbs,its not pretty), I even smell alcohol I have an uncontrollable urge to just get wasted. I to like many got a dui and I consider it to me a godsend. My demeanor is not what I mentioned above but i just assumed it was my failure to cope. I have stopped taking the Paxil cr(37.5) and realize the good it did. I don’t remember things very well like were i set my keys, money, wallet. I “space out” a lot more and almost feel as if at any time i could be sleeping but awake like on that movie Looker. My point being Paxil is an evil drug that should be limited maybe to short term use. Open your eyes see the light and get off the Paxil. Thank you for your forum, it may have well saved my life or someone else’s for that matter. If you have any advise get back to me please. Thank You again McMan


Kathy (Nov 11, 2004): Thank you for this website & the luck of finding it! I am finally not alone. I have been taking 20mg Paxil daily for 3 years. FOr the last 6 months I have CRAVED white wine daily & drink approximately a bottle a day every night. In the last 3 months I have had watery stool after EVERY meal, and I have gained 20 lbs. I never thought it was Paxil related, I\’ve been on it so long without these side effects I figured it was a GI problem. So I finally went to a new MD. Her suggestion was to get a colonoscopy & increase the Paxil to 30mg a day. After reading all of the above, how can I get off this horrible drug without the terrible side effecs? Please help me.

MIndy (Nov 12, 2004): Paxil side effects I too want to report an increased craving for alcohol while on Paxil. I would take the medication and a few hours later just be dying to have a drink. I was always one that drank some but never to this extent. It got to the point where I was unable to get my work done. I went to my medical DR with this and he just laughed and looked at me like I was crazy. I then went to a psychiatrist with this and she was much more receptive. I am now switching to Effexor. Today is the first day so I am hoping that it will go well. I will keep you all posted on my progress but it is so nice to know that it was not just me.

Lynda (Nov 19, 2004) My husband was put on Paxil June 2004. He ran out and didn’t refill his prescription. I found out on the 3rd day and we got it refilled on the 4th day. He planned on starting back on it the following morning. It was too late, he flipped out that night and I found him the next morning – he hung himself September 30th.
I would like to help get this drug off the market. Please feel free to email me at

Angie (Dec 4, 2004): This site is a god send. I started taking 20mg Seroxat approximately 3years ago. Before this I rarely drank and couldn’t tolerate alcohol, my friends would tease me about my pathetic intolerance to booze, and how I could get drunk after one can of lager. I was prescribed seroxat for depression, which I have suffered with for most of my life. I never took Ad’s before and didn’t self medicate with other drugs or alcohol. Following a very stressful time in my personal life and with work, my depression worsened, and after seeing my gp, I agreed to give them a go, following many consultations over previous years where I had refused. I found they worked instantly, and for the first six months I felt fantastic, then I began to crave alcohol, and found myself coming home from work, drinking until bedtime and going to work, next day without hangover. Weekends I just wanted to stay home and drink, and i drink until I physically could take no more, but mentally still wanted more. I didn’t want to see people, didn’t want to go out, I just wanted to be at home and drink. My life stopped, and whilst functioning at work, but desperate for the end of the day, to drink I felt empty and began to think about suicide all the time. Prior to taking seroxat, whilst feeling depressed, I did sometimes wonder about suicide but always had a strong feeling that I could never ever really do it, because of loved ones. However whilst on Seroxat I lost those reasons to live. I used to sit overwhelmed by compulsions to swallow tablets and take an overdose. Sometimes I could almost taste the tablets, and had to force myself to go to sleep, to get suicide out of my head. Over the past three years I have gone through cycles. I took the tablets, felt better, then would get increased suicidal thoughts and numbness and be drinking heavily. I would stop the tablets, feel severe withdrawal symptoms, dizziness, brain shudders, sweats, emotional outbursts, feel frightened start the tablets again, feel better for a bit then go down again, and repeat the cycle. I tried withdrawing from them slowly, as recommended by GP, but I still got the side effects. In despair, I have now decided to stop them instantly and suffer the withdrawls, and just hope they don’t last, because being depressed as i was before seroxat and the brief periods of feeling better when restarting them, after a couple of days being off them, is really not worth the feelings of wanting to end my life and becoming an alcoholic.

Jim (Dec 22, 2004): Hi, I have been on paxil on and off for the last 5 years or so. I have experienced all the same horrible side affects while trying to come off the drug as well. What I was wondering is if anyone has went out and drank too much in one night while taking the paxil. I overindulged in alcohol with my buddies which i know i shouldn’t have, and now it seems like the drug just stopped working. It has been a week now since my night out drinking, and i am as anxious as ever, dizzy, and feel like the drug just stopped working. Has anyone experienced anything like this? Thanks.

Kat (Jan 11, 2005): Reading others histories and tragedies has been eye opening. After being diagnosed by by GP, three years ago, I first started a small dosage of Paxil. My child was just two, and I had a situation where I should have seen a psychiatrist immediately. My husband and I went to a counselor instead and he recommended a family doctor. The Paxil helped me to sleep, stopped my anxiety attacks, nightmares, and angry outbursts, and thoughts of death. I felt happy and relaxed for a time. The drawbacks were a fuzzy numb headed feeling, electric zaps, and the overwhelming urge to smoke cigarettes, which I had only done occasionally before. Also I let the bills go unpaid without worrying about due dates. After being on the smallest dosage for awhile, I started to feel the anxious, dark feelings again, and my GP told me to try 20mgs. I was on and off, because of my conflicting feelings about taking medication. I then became pregnant and completely stopped for some months. Until my depression was back to the point where I could not function well, I read up on paxil and side effects on the baby in womb. I stayed on through the end of my pregnancy and through nursing my daughter until she was 11 months. I have recently been very low and not able to deal with day to day life. My doctor again prescribed taking Paxil, its been 7 months since I took myself off abruptly, experiencing headaches , vivid nightmares and nausea, but I think I will not return to the comfortable numbness. It has caused memory loss, and I feel like I have empathy, affection and other good emotions erased. I am going to try herbal medicine and try to get the old me back. May God bless the families of those that have lost their lives or been killed by mental illness and perhaps these medications.

Michael (Jan 14, 2005): I don’t know about all this reaction to Paxil. I’m Bipolar and been on it 5 years at about 40 mgs. I actually quit drinking. But I have had the electic Zap thing happen once and I didn’t connect it to the Paxil.
All I know is Paxil has allowed me to live a normal life that and mood stabilizing drugs. I’m glad its there because if you knew what my life was before six years ago, well I’ll tell you.

Jon (Feb 6, 2005): I knew I wasn’t the only one! I tried doing a search on Paxil and Alcohol and only found articles about how Paxil is used to treat Alcoholism. PLEASE! That’s like giving crackers to a thirsty person. Maybe it could work, if your drinking is due solely to depression, but my experience is that Paxil hits the “drink alcohol instead of water” button. Why is there so little written on this subject? Besides the alcohol, my short term memory is not reduced, its gone. Not to mention that I’m tired of women telling me how sore I make them (laugh if you want, it really sucks). Sure would be nice to have a good orgasm again without shredding her in the process.
I’m stable enough now that I’ve gotten a good job (thanks Paxil) but I don’t get my work done, get in trouble for forgetting assignments and not completing tasks (thanks Paxil). I guess it’s time to quit this poison pill and hope the zaps aren’t too bad. I’ve tried a couple times before cold turkey and couldn’t get past the nausea and brain shutdown.

Jessie 2/11 Pax-ills I, too, developed cravings for and high tolerance of alcohol when I began Paxil. And I was somehow able to wean myself from those cravings after a few years, remaining on Paxil.
Recently I quit Paxil cold turkey. I know, I know – bad idea. But I ‘d been on the stuff since 1994 and quit twice before. Once gradually, once abruptly. And I made the conscious decision to go abrupt this time (from 20mg to 0) to avoid the long drawn-out withdrawals in favor of the more extreme but sooner done symptoms.
I regret this decision. After 4-1/2 months I am still quite sick. And my withdrawal symptoms seem to ebb and flow with hormonal fluxes, so that Day 5-Day 14 is usually pretty good. Day 14 (ovulation) brings on burning in stomach, throat and mouth, some nausea, heightened sense of smell, blurry vision, restless sleep. That lasts through menstruation. Then 5 days off until it all starts up again.
Of course, I ‘m returning to a fairly severe chronic depression and though I loathe to return to the medicine that can produce these effects, I may have to simply to survive. When I think about trying a different SSRI or another of the newer anti-depressants, I tend to think that would just add a different set of potential longterm damages.
So its not just a physiological or psychological dependency, but a depressed person ‘s reasoned choice to return to the evil you know, rather than the one you don ‘t.
Is there a good argument for trying a different medication. Paxil did after all work wonders – it only made me hypo-manic, killed my sex drive, and slight twitches but it did give me a chance to live life.

JY 2/17: Effexor / Paxil were key players in my cessation of alcohol / drug use. In other words — they helped me get sober! I ‘ve been taking paxil for about 2 years, and am more productive / happy / efficient / generally pleasant than ever before. Although, i ‘ve noticed that I am prone to extreme violent outbursts (mainly verbal) which is totally not my style, and it even seems that my anxiety is worse than ever. But my depression is all gravy, which is honestly the only thing that matters to me.
Yeah, there ‘s some weird side effects. I tour a lot out of the country, DJing in clubs, and after a late night, i often feel hungover (even though i don ‘t drink alcohol). I also get giant red spots on my neck and face during interpersonal interaction (especially phone calls).
Sooooo, switched to Effexor XR today, cold-turkey. Took it a few years ago and it worked like a charm. we ‘ll see what happens.
Please do not discount the fact that anti-depressants improve and even SAVE peoples ‘ lives. I for one am not sure i ‘d be alive today if it weren ‘t for them.
Also don ‘t feel guilty about taking them. I know sometimes it plays with your head, realizing that you ‘re taking a pill everyday. Sometimes society tells you that ‘s weird, or not okay. But if you ‘re taking an anti-depressant, there ‘s probably a good reason for that. And for some of us, we need to come to terms with the fact that we have a chemical imbalance and might need to take medication for that for the rest of our lives. And that ‘s okay. If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, it ‘s probably good that you are taking it.

Stu 2/20 i also did a search looking for links about alcohol problems and paxil. i only know of three people including myself who have taken this drug, all three have had their lives destroyed due to the above mentioned alcohol cravings/tolerance. i came off cold turkey in 2001 and i,m lucky to be here. i tried reducing the dose under doctors orders but it was to painful, i wish i could have coped with the pain and done it slowly but i needed to break the addiction fast.

ArkansasChick 3/10 Being victim to the legal poison Paxil my symptoms are the same as others I’ve read about with the exception of feelings of being poisoned and losing my hair. That’s right! I looked like the crypt keeper on TV. I wonder how many years paxil can effect people. Surely the side effects aren’t forever.

Eric 3/11 Paxil and wanting to drink I took paxil for almost 2 years. In that time i became someone i didn’t even know anymore. I started drinking and even tried other drugs which i never would have even thought about untill the Paxil opened up my insides and made me aggressive and care free. I was starting to get into fights and i even got in trouble with the law fighting with them which unfortunately has cost me 16 thousand dollars. All i can say is…i was never violent or care free until i started Paxil. It was like the Paxil made me want to drink, something i hated to be around. I have been Paxil free now for 6 months and i am back to my old self. No more drinking and no more getting into trouble.

Jay 3/11: Thank goodness for all the side effects my wife and son experienced on these hellish SSRI antidepressants. After my son’s arrest after experiencing a Effexor induced psychotic break and also while in Paxil withdrawal, we found out that their depression and anxiety were simply caused by Hypoglycemia. Thank goodness for sites like No more drugs of any kind in our lives. It’s all natural from here.

Pitufo 3/25: Paxil has increased my drinking as well… No Hangovers!!! It’s f@#$’d up! Now I can drink every night, ignoring my alcoholism because i have no hangover. I’ve been doing it for about 10 months and now, because of personal social problems, I am exhibiting a lot of subtle anger (towards myself and others) and it all comes out when I drink. Which is every night because I can now without the repercussions of the hangover and associated symptoms…. I would mention suicidal thoughts but that only happens when I’m really angry (livid) and besides that I am aware that it is just my current living situation…. But those thoughts (and actions) are definitely new.

Shellie 4/26: OK…I happen to LOVE Paxil. I have had social anxiety disorder for most of my life. I can honestly say that I never had a happy life until after taking the medication. I could think clearer. I was just a happier person in general. My life started to make sense in more ways that I could possibly tell you. What I believe is happening…is doctors..medical doctors..are prescribing Paxil, and do not have any knowledge of the mental disorder they are prescribing it for, or the side effects of the medications. So I believe the people who are having these problems that are so “horrible” are because they should have never taken the medication to begin with. They didn’t need it. Paxil is for people with extreme mental disorders like myself.

Dee 5/15: I started taking Paxil CR for Social Anxiety about 1 year ago. I had previously tried some other anti-anxiety and anti-depressants but my new doctor recommended Paxil CR. I have never been much or a drinker, and I have never had alcohol cravings. In fact I never tried alcohol on this med. As for me, I feel that Paxil does seem to work in treating some aspects of my social anxiety but I also am more aware of my anxiety and I don’t know if it is because I am aware of it or if I am experiencing more (whether or not Paxil related). However, I have tried to stop taking the med because I’ve felt at times a lack of motivation and loss of memory or perhaps just the ability to focus. I am 27 yrs old and I have been studying for fairly technical financial certifications and have been having trouble having the motivation or the energy to study. I’ve not had this problem before.

Julie 6/16: Wow. It isn’t “just me”. I am in the process of getting off Paxil. I had no idea that it would be so hard.
I, too, craved alcohol while taking Paxil. I would have a glass of wine and then I would not stop until the bottle was gone. I usually could care less about drinking.
And, instead of being “warm & fuzzy”, I became a violent, angry, out of control person. I would do horrible things and not remember the next morning. My husband accused me of being an alcoholic and having a personality disorder. We almost divorced and are still feeling the repercussions. I got “pushy” with my psychiatrist to switch me off of Paxil to another SSRI. Now, after doing searches on “Paxil Withdrawal”, I can understand why he was so hesitant.
My medical Dr. informed me that she does not like Paxil as the “crash” getting off it is so severe.
Where is the FDA? Peoples lives are being torn apart, ended, ruined, destroyed by this drug.

Amber 6/20: I have been on Paxil for about three years and then slowly weaned myself off of it. The withdrawal was hard but having your doctor work with you and understand the symptoms can help.I stayed Paxil free until My panic attacks started to come back last fall. My doctor asked me if I wanted to go back on Paxil and now I am doing great. I am not angry anymore and I can go anywhere without having an anxiety attack. As for drinking, I just don’t do it anymore. Drinking is said to decrease the effects of Paxil, which would be blocking the same reason I’m on it.

Jean 6/29: Been off Seroxat nearly 3 weeks now and still having symptoms dizziness, not eating etc. does it ever end

Sherrie H. 7/10: I have been on Paxil for about 8 or 9 years. i sought it out for depression. i thought it was helping me but over the years i have slipped back into the depression PLUS i used to be a shy, nice, quiet, normal person. the Paxil has made me a loud, obnoxious, mean, irritable person. i drink alcohol about once or twice a year. i thought i was having fun and seemed to have NO FEARS when drinking on Paxil. i can drink all night long and never want the party to end. before Paxil i was not like that. it has caused problems with the people i have drank with and the next day they tell me i have done and said violent things. i was mortified that THEY thought i acted like that! i remember the entire night and speaking to my family members. i remember getting mad at them BUT i do not remember the MEAN, VIOLENT, things they say i did. i have lost several family members respect and love because of Paxil. it has effected my normal every day life to the point that i feel like i am going crazy. i have had thoughts of severe anger at every thing around me to the point that i have been to the doctor having all kinds of blood work drawn up because i thought my thyroid meds where out of whack but i stumbled onto some of the many sites on the internet like this one and now know what and WHY i am so out of control and the many effects paxil has had on people just like me. i take 30 mg of Paxil and today i am going to start weaning myself off of this horrible mind altering drug. i have been taking it soooo long that i am not sure how long it will take to get out of my system. i know i can not change the things i have said and done that have hurt the people closest to me but at least i am finding out these horrible stories of anger and rage that had deadly consequences BEFORE i have gone that far. wish me luck and power on my struggle to become Paxil free and anger free again.

Skeeweeaka 7/15: I believe that the long-term affects of antidepressants are really not fully known. I also believe that our psychiatrists understate the side affects and how they drastically change the context of our lives as we are trying to fight off depression and anxiety. For me, it has meant weight gain, loss of libido, increased anxiety, social isolation, psychotic episodes, paranoia, etc. All of these hings have increased as a result of the drugs, in addition to seizures and the fact that they are only controlled with meds of which I do not want to take…

New Life 7/16: Paxil gave me my life back. I had severe panic attacks throughout my teen years but those were blamed on “being a teenager”. After my father died (whom I performed CPR on and had to inform the rest of my family that he had passed) I just shut everything out. I wasn’t sleeping for days. I would drive from point A to point B and not even remember doing it. I was beginning to lose days at a time. When I finally did sleep and could not get out the bed because I just did not want to deal, I knew I needed help. They put me on Paxil. I did so well. I did put on some weight, but I would rather be chubby than crazy! Going off of Paxil, I have tried 3 times and I was worse than before I went on it! I would lose my balance, fall down stairs, not sleep, not be able to drive, and go back on it. My doctor has given me the option to switch to Effexor, but I am afraid to go off of the Paxil. I even had to take Paxil during my pregnancy because my doctor said that electro-shock therapy would be my only recourse. When I told my OB about the ES therapy, she freaked! She said that Paxil is the only drug for depression that she gives her patients and then promptly called my doctor “a nutty quack”. As for the alcohol, one drink and I’m loopy. My husband calls me the “cheap date”. Anyway, I would love to hear from anyone who has taken both Paxil and Effexor at the same time in order to go from one to the other. I am hoping that I may get the courage to switch.

Bobby 7/17: Regarding increased alcohol consumption – I recently read this in the book “Under the Influence” (Bantam Books, 1983, page 38):
“Preference for alcohol is undoubtedly regulated by complicated activities in the brain. In a 1968 experiment, rats dramatically reduced or completely stopped drinking alcohol when given a chemical substance which depleted the brain’s supply of serotonin. (R.D. Myers and W.L. Veale,”Alcohol Preference in the Rat: Reduction Following Depletion of Brain Serotonin”, Science, Vol.160 (1968), pp.1469-71.)Serotonon, a brain amine resonsible for relaying brain messages from one brain cell to another, appears to increase the animal’s preference for alcohol. The brains of alcohol seeking mice and rats, for example, contain higher levels of serotonin than the brains of alcohol-avoiding animals. Further, drinking serotonin increases serotonin concentrations in the brains of the animals that show a preference for alcohol but not in those that avoid it.”

Lana 7/20: Yet another one – i thought i was mad. i actually have been a binge drinker for many years but could not believe the effect Paxil had on my drinking. i was a weekend drinker and have become an every day heavy drinker. and no hangover. i have tried taking up other things, but the fatigue that Paxil induces does make that difficult. I’m quite a proficient knitter now and thoroughly enjoy it. despite the knitting. i too have lost my driving license. I’ve only been on the drug for about 8 months.
I’m saving all your comments for my partner who I’m sure doesn’t believe what I have for some time, that the drug has had this effect. i’ve been much too embarrassed to say to my doctor that I’ve increased drinking – cos of the warning on the packet. but I will now – i think that there needs to be more information about this – there may only be a few of us who suffer this bizarre side effect.
We may not win a law suit and glaxo whatsit may not take responsibility, but i am convinced now that it really just one more thing that needs to be recognised as a side effect and written into the warnings.

MK 7/20: I have been on Paxil for about 2 years. Approximately a year ago, I started drinking heavily. Prior to this, I only drank once in awhile and never really enjoyed it. FOr the past year, I have been drinking almost every night. Luckily it has not destroyed my life and I am trying to get a hold on things. Last month I decided to try and quit Paxil as I didn’t feel that is was needed. When I am not on Paxil, I don’t get depressed. I am tapering myself off. I have used alcohol to help taper myself off (as sad as that sounds). Again, prior to paxil, I was a light drinker. When I did get drunk, I would get very drunk off of little alcohol. With Paxil it seems I can drink like crazy. 15 or sixteen drinks can’t put me down. Then, as I have been tapering off the Paxil, I had an experience where just two glasses of wine get me wasted to the point of almost passing out. The cravings for alcohol have suddenly subsided. Regardless of what an attorney would say about this, I believe a correlation exists for me and I would agree that the volume of postings and the amount of people that found this post by searching for “alcohol and Paxil” is pretty interesting.

Debbie 7/23: My nephew had the same thing happen to him as with PRP, except he was convicted and now is doing 40 yrs. for 1st Degree Attempted Murder.

Anthony 8/6: With regard to the various comments about Paxil and alcohol. Believe me, it’s true. Perhaps not fore everyone but I have been on Paxil for three years and I’ve had a problem with drinking, drugs and cravings the whole time. I heard whispers about there being a problem with this a few years ago but I prefer to take responsibility for my own issues. However I have seen two other people in my life go completely off the rails with substance abuse within a few months of starting on Paxil.. coincidence, perhaps. However I will leave you with this thought, I am currently weaning myself off Paxil through very gradual reduction. Bad dreams, bad moods and depression are back.. but guess what? I don’t feel like drinking.

MR 9/12: Son was on it, he tried suicide three times. Last time was a gun to his head. He was 13. He had vivid dreams, nighmares and what he reffered to as daymares (having nightmares while you are awake). He was put on Paxil because he had been bullied in school for 5 years. The school wanted him treated not rather than deal with their problems. He was not suicidal just lonly, and these drugs almost took him from us. He took to cutting himself, just to feel something, his doctor upped his dose. This was all before the FDA warnings. Stll my son was prosecuted on a gun charge, at the time he was just 5’ and 199lb. He was in one hospital center who took him off all meds, and they found out that in a safe enviroment he was a well balanced child, no need for medication, and no suicide ideation. He has been off these drugs fo 2 years now. He still has flashbacks, but deals with them with them explaining “it is just his brain rewiring itself”. He is a happy average teenage boy. He has been to the FDA hearings, and has protested against the Drug companies and FDA. He will not sit back and let someone else be harmed by these drugs.

97 Responses to “More on Paxil withdrawal, addiction and alcohol craving”


    All the comments were left by Scientologists

    All the comments were left by severely depressed people who didn’t know what they were writing at the time.

    Alternitively… GlaxoSmithKline could actually be trying to hide the truth from people to safeguard their coffers?

    Nah, they wouldn’t do that… would they?


    • pat Says:

      Yale did a study in 1994 specifity of “Ethanollike Effects Elicited by Serotongic and Noradrenergic Mechanisms ” Arch Gen Psychiatry, 1994; 51(11):898-911. John H, Krystal. Also in the C P S of 1994 (Canada ) under the Central Nervous System Alcohol abuse was observed as a side effect, there definitley is a link to increased cravings in some people. I think it could be part of a class action, as they did not warn in the product monogram.

  2. Lynn Says: to make an official report in the U.S.
    If enough people demand that their doctors report their adverse experiences, maybe doctors’ consciences will get the better of them.

  3. Ivy Says:

    Two and a half years ago my father took his own life. He was the kindest, most gentle loving man you can imagine for most of my life, untill about ten years ago. Within a few months my teenage life had drasticly changed when my dad started his new medication, seroxat. He became a violent agressive arrogant drunk, picking fights and terrorizing the house, destroying furniture. I went to school passing by police cars heading towards my house. It was the worst time in my life. Even after going of it after aproximately a year he was never the same. In his note he blames the drug (seroxat) for the downwards spiral leading to his suicide, also the feelings of guilt after what he put us through in that period never went away. This is the first time I have tried to look up something about this on the net.
    Reading the other comments make me very angry at the people who I’m sure know about this (or at least have their suspicions) but continue to perscribe, produce and promote this drug, they are ruining people and childrens lives.
    Please be careful.

  4. truthman Says:

    Hey Ivy
    Your story is very sad, Seroxat induced suicide is unfortunately all too common an occurance. I hope things ease for you soon.

  5. Trudie Says:

    I began taking Paxil in 2000 for depression. While Paxil helped me feel more “normal”, I also began to drink more alcohol. Prior to taking Paxil, I was a “social drinker” meaning I might have had one or two drinks when out socially, but that was it. I did not drink at home. It is now 2008. I am still taking Paxil and I feel the need to drink each and every day. I often consume at least 12 beers each day, if not more. I never liked beer and I still don’t, but I keep drinking it just the same. In addition, I have gained an incredible amount of weight since taking Paxil. I know this has to do with my beer drinking, but I also eat way too much of the “wrong” things. I was fairly slim just prior to taking Paxil, but now I am just plain FAT! I don’t blame Paxil entirely as I know I have the ability to choose what I put into my body, but often it feels as though I simply have no control whatsoever. Is Paxil the culprit? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is although my depression lessened once I began taking Paxil, my weight and alcohol consumption increased. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I think not.

  6. Tim Says:

    I had no idea. I knew Paxil was bad for you and effected your impulses, but I never knew it was this bad!

    • ted conner Says:

      horrible sound like what i went through but it was 26 and beer inpulse control out the window i was picking fight felt invicible which is not good when you work in a prison …. unpredictable …. easy to anger that was over ten years ago and i still struggle with what paxil did to me i think it permantly altered my brain oh did i fort to mention 3 suicide attempts and numerous stays in psych wards …. i actually am proud of this not sure why even manage to break out one time ,,,,

  7. stacy Says:

    Paxil is a big contributor to weight gain and despite making wrong food choices, paxil slows the metabolic synthesis of food and is susceptible to storing calories as fat…fun huh!

  8. truthman30 Says:


    Well you could always just take Glaxos other drug “alli” to lose the weight gained by Paxil?… That way you could crap it all out ..

    (that was meant to be ironic)

    Seriously though, it seems GSK have it all sewn up don’t they?

  9. Jeff Says:

    OMG. This is crazy. I have been on Paxil for about 7 years. Originally I was on 20 mg twice a day for a nervous disorder (imbalance). My neurologist had read studies how Paxil helped with it. I have to say it did help with that problem but I have gained so much weight and when I drink I have done stupid stupid stuff. I don’t really have the cravings of alcohol. It is more a situational thing for me. Nice day. Get off work on a Friday and have a few beers. Well, that few turns into 12 and then I say mean things to people. I never get physically violent but I have said some very mean and hateful things via email and text messages. I have been on Paxil CR 25 MG for the last 3 or 4 years. I gained a lot of weight. Now I am not the best eater in the world but not the worst either. Not bad enough to explain the weight gain. I had no problem drinking 3 or 4 beers with the neighbors and then going to bed or just chilling out. Now when I go to have 3 or 4 beers it turns into 12-15 beers. It has had a negative effect and I can only say I am thankful my wife found this website so I can talk to my Dr. about paxil before it ruins my marriage, job or worse. My problems have been mostly minor but I could see them getting worse. geez. I don’t want to quit it cold turkey because it does help with my balance problem but it has only created another one. Thanks for everybody being honest. Keep the comments going and I will continue to share my experiences.

  10. Mike Says:

    to those who are/ had survived the withdrawl i envy you and wish you thebest, as for you wretches still dryhumping this medication like is the second coming of God himself ask this, the the cure really better than the disease?

  11. kris Says:

    Can any one tell me how long it will last? I took my last dose 4/28/08 – to date the nausea is extreme – no appetite and my knees and hands are hard pressed to work – have tried many suppliments with no success – can any one fill me in – visited the allergist today – gastroentrologist tomorrow – rheumatologist 7/1 – my original doctor told me to go home and take advil for the symptoms – turned the gut upside down – very difficult – but am committed to get through it –

  12. Pat Says:

    Will NEVER take Paxil again. It made me SO sick to my stomach,plus gave me thoughts of others going against me, family members even. I caused trouble for every one. Quit it one day,no side effects any longer, am back to normal & feeling great. Almost like Chantix!!! No problem with instant withdrawl at all.

  13. truthman30 Says:

    at Says:
    July 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm
    Will NEVER take Paxil again. It made me SO sick to my stomach,plus gave me thoughts of others going against me, family members even. I caused trouble for every one.

    Paxil – Seroxat causes major personality changes and behavioral disturbance. What an awful drug , good that you quit. 🙂

  14. Ang Says:

    Hi all, I have just figured this alcohol and seroxat thing out for myself. Having been on seroxat for some 3 years now, my doctor said I was to start to cut down my dosage. I have been worrying so much about my alcohol consumption since being on the drug and had tried on a few occasions to stop drinking…….up to a bottle of wine every night…….with no lasting success. I had such strong cravings for alcohol and could not stop myself even though I knew this was bad for me. I also put on lots of weight after having been slim all my life. I also had the feeling of being out of control. Luckily I confided in a few family members but we never put it together that the seroxat was causing these problems. Anyway, after just 2 weeks of cutting down my dosage I have no cravings for alcohol. I can think about having a drink, but don;t have to have one. I feel in control again. I am hoping that as my dosage gets lower I will be much more in control of my whole life. The drug helped me get my life back at a time when I wasn’t functioning and sleeping most of the day but it took me to extremes. Today having realised that I wasn’t needing to have a drink it occurred to me that the only thing that had recently changed in my life was lowering my dosage on Seroxat. I can’t tell you how thankful and pleased I am not to have to drink. I am also feeling lighter in myself, and no horrible side effects yet, but I realise its early days. I wish everyone on here the best of luck with their struggle and remember its the seroxat that keeps you drinking!!

  15. jeff Says:

    Before paxil I was a litle troubled. after paxil I have had very few problems. while i was on paxil I became an addict, an impulsive nutcase, anti social, a geek, irratic, impotant, self mutalative. SUICIDAL, and eventually a violent criminal.

    Paxil robed me of high school. And having missed thoes developmental years scared me for life. It made my actions bizzar. I obsessed and compulsed over alcohol and eventually drugs, and in the seven years since with only two occasions of marijuana use, and a rare drink I can deffinantly say it was my response to paxil that made me an addict from day one. Seriously from the moment I began that poison I was made into an addict. The day i stoped paxil was the day i stoped being a fiend.

    Also I must say tho I craved drugs and alchohol much of my time on paxil was clear of these substances. however the side effects were just as difficu;lt.

    Eventually I began self mutilating. I was a cutter, and soon after I began that I tried to commit suicide. during this time i was clean. Months later After a bout of drug abuse and my first arrest I tried again. So i won’t attribute paxil to both directly.

    My actions while on this drug only seemed to make sence to me. I was cold, disconnected and obliviose to others at times. also at times i should have probly felt some anxiety i did not. It muted my emotions, and my affect noticably.

    While weaning off paxil I commited a violent crime that landed me in jail for two and a half years, and I was extreamly lucky to get that. Right out of high school strait into the pen.

    While on paxil I was a failing student. it took me an extra year to finish high school. Now off paxil in college I have almost straight a’s 3.5gpa. and have for over two years. i am a leader in all of my classes while on paxil I was either spacing out or catching up on the sleep that this drug deprived me of.

    And the withdrawl is intence, and frigtening. The lightning bolts in your head which I occasionally experienced while on the drug are very unpleasant. the head aches were mind numbing which i also experienced while on it and have not since.

    Do not take paxil.

    But i would also like to point out that something occured to me, and it sounds like it has happened to some others as well. Even after two isntitionalizations, an arrest years of steadily increasing odd behavior, complaints about the side effects and clearly no forward progress. my psychiatrist new i was using drugs, cutting, suicidal, violent, failing school, anti social and things were obviously not improving, but infact getting worse. My shrink didn’t take me off of it. for close to 5 years I was on it. al lot happend in that time, and my psychiatrists never switched my medicine. And only after becoming angre and mildly violent with my mother and ending up in a behavioral health center did they augment it. Why do psychiatrists keep paxil users on it when it is destroying thier lives. I hardly remember the one sided 5 minute conversations i had with my psychiatrists during med checks. Perhaps we were guiny pigs. or were there kickbacks/bonuses. there had to be something else out there. and regardless this was not working.

  16. truthman30 Says:

    “Why do psychiatrists keep paxil users on it when it is destroying thier lives?”

    A question I and many others have puzzled over for a long timt Jeff..

    Your story echos my own, well done for getting off Paxil, well done for surviving it too…

    All the best 🙂

  17. JohnJo Says:

    WOW. I can’t believe this. I’ve been telling people for years now that I suspected a strong link between alcohol consumption and Paxil. To find this site is very validating for me . . . whenever I raised this issue with my GP he assured me the problem was related to my depression and had nothing to do with the Paxil. I’m sure it’s not the same for everyone, but I am absolutely certain that in my case Paxil gave me intense alcohol cravings. I took 20mg/day for 5 years and then 40mg/day for 1 year.

    In November 2007 I quit Paxil (no replacement meds) cold turkey. I definitely noticed some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms – not as intense as I have read in others – but I seemed to stabilise after a couple of months or so (not more than approximately 4 months). The bad news is that I still can’t quite shake the booze. I’ve been attending therapy for the problem but am hostage to some pretty intense carvings by the end of the day. The good news is that I do not consume more than a couple of beers/day . . . and think I will be strong enough to wean myself off that amount over the next few months. That’s not good . . . but I was up to 2 bottles of wine /night (no hangovers!) at the time I went cold turkey on Paxil . . . so I’m happy to be heading in the right direction. I knew there had to be a connection . . . what a shame my GP wouldn’t hear me.

    While I am pleased not to be taking Paxil anymore, I have been unable to kick my

  18. Paxil Widow Says:

    I am a Paxil Widow. Prior to taking Paxil, my husband was a loving, caring, responsible husband. After being prescribed Paxil, the nightmares began. He became agitated easily, depressed, and began to binge frequently on vodka. He also became very paranoid and suicidal. I contacted his dr.’s but got no responses. On June 17th, he told me he loved me and always would. I told him how much I loved him and exited the room. About 10 minutes later, I heard a loud bang. He had put a .45 to his head and ended his life. I know in my heart, mind and soul this would not have happened if not for this evil drug. Ironically, after his death I sought therapy and the first thing the dr. said was I need to be on antidepressants….My response…NOT NO BUT HELL NO!!!!

  19. Hesitant Possible User Says:

    I have been having problems with increased anxiety lately, which I know is situational. I am a 39 year old full time college student with 2 children. I get little sleep (sometimes 3-4 hours during the week), I feel guilty about the time and energy it takes away from the kids, I feel guilty that I didn’t do this earlier in life, and I am in a high pressure degree program.

    I saw my doctor today because I’ve been experiencing higher than usual anxiety to see if there is something I could be prescribed to take “as needed”. I saw him because I have a history of depression and anxiety, thought I feel this was also somewhat situational. I was in a troubled marriage at the time. I initially sought counseling for depression not knowing the cause. I went on effexor. Through therapy I was able to pinpoint a source (problems in my marriage-I know, weird that I couldn’t see that at first) that I was internalizing. For approximately a year I took this along with klonepin for panic attacks (which I had 3 major ones that were incredibly scary, one nearly debilitating). I realize now that I was going through a failing marriage from a man that was becoming more and more abusive, dealing with becoming a single mother of 2 with no real education or job skills, and depression and anxiety was pretty normal. However I also really believe the effexor helped me see things much more clearly than I had before, and I also attribute it to giving me the clear head and strength to stand up to my husband and make a positive change for me and my children (leave him).

    Anyway, in the year after that I weened myself off the effexor, with no side effects. The one thing I can say though, is the year and a half I took it, I gained tons of weight. It was the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I’ve always been slender. And I also experienced the drinking issues. I would never get hung over and I would drink like a fish, sometimes blacking out and not remembering much of the night. However, let me say this. I do have an addictive personality to begin with. I used to do drugs. I used to smoke a lot of pot. After leaving my husband, I also made this a positive change and have stayed away from smoking for 7 years now (with a few social events in between where I indulged). I think I tend to drink more now to make up for the cravings.

    Back to today. My doctor prescribed paxil to me to try for my anxiety. I don’t know much about it so I’ve been surfing and reading what I can find. This site is making me pretty leery of whether I should continue taking it. I know I have an addictive personality already. I know I like to drink. I certainly don’t want to become a major alcoholic. And I definitely don’t want to go through this withdrawal everyone is talking about. I was looking for something to assist me in my anxiety through the next year and a half until I’m done with school and then going back off it. I know my stress is not an internal imbalance sort of thing (mostly). So maybe I should just not take it. Does anyone have any feedback for me?

  20. truthman30 Says:

    I would advise you to avoid Paxil at all costs.
    It’s hard to believe they are still prescribing that junk..

  21. Hesitant Possible User Says:

    What’s curious to me is that my physician didn’t hesitate to whip that out as a solution. I told him I don’t like the idea of taking something every day. I also asked him about any side effects AND if it is difficult to quit. He denied both. I am shocked to learn about all the bad effects people have been experiencing for years. I took one dose yesterday. Had major diarrhea today. I guess I’ve pretty much decided to not continue and perhaps try some st johns wort.

  22. Joanna Says:

    I’ve taken paxil for many years. And I remember when I began, about 8 years ago, telling the psychologist (who I was seeing for a short time) that all of a sudden I wanted to drink beer every night — and a lot more than just one or two. His reply was something like, “that’s funny. One of my woman patients last week said the same thing to me. No, there’s no connection.”
    Basically, I became an alcoholic. So much that I wasn’t even paying attention to whether I took my anti-depressant or not regularly. I was so unorganized that – to make a long story short – that it took about 3 1/2 weeks to get a refill when I need one. Most of that period was really rough — until the last week. I finally came up out of the blue, but did start with cigarettes again, but was calmer and realized I had no cravings for alcohol. My refill for paxil finally came in the mail yesterday and I don’t want it.

  23. Hesitant Possible User Says:

    i tried st johns wort and feel more anxious. I’m already a border line alcoholic. Ok, I guess I need to come to terms with it. I suppose I would consider myself an alcoholic. I’m having major anxiety though, so maybe I drink to offset that, then I feel guilty and angry and worthless when I do, so I’m pretty much depressed because of that. I’m thinking of looking into an aa meeting. My new experiment will be to determine if it is the drinking thats causing the anxiety and other stuff and I’m going to try not to drink. Its 2pm and I’m already seriously tempted. I’m will try though. My heart is racing. And the paxil is in my purse and I haven’t taken any of that either.

  24. Would Love 2 Quit Says:

    I am AMAZED at all these postings. I was put on Paxil about 3 years ago for anxiety attacks. Well those went away which was wonderful, I am now convinced that my beer craving is all the wonderful work of Paxil. I LOVE to drink beer. Also, if a day or two goes by without taking the pill, WATCH OUT! The side effects are terrible. Any suggestions about how to get the hell off???? I almost wish I could be admitted into a hospital to detox.

  25. Brittany Says:

    I am attempting for the third time to wean myself off of this DRUG! I have been “addicted” to Paxil 20mg for 10 years now.
    The reason I was perscribed to the drug was for anxiety and depression at the crazy age of 15. As every normal teenager growing up has growing pains mine got very bad when I was 15 and I tried to kill myself by overdosing on Tylenol PM… After 2 weeks in the hospital and numerous counseling sessions I was on this drug called PAXIL! It seemed to work (atleast thats what I remember) but at the age of 21 I tried to be weaned off of the drug. I had every symptom known to man for withdrawl… even my vision was so bad that I couldn’t drive or attend school. So as my grade for that semester were failing I started back up full dosage.
    Well now that I am 25 and getting married and wanting children I figured I would start tring to get off of this horrible drug. My regular Doctor told me that I should be off of the drug while pregnant and breast feeding. Soooo knowing this horrible feeling I am starting now.
    I am starting the weaning process but however it came last night… the rapid heart beating, blurred vision, sweaty palms, headache, dizziness and anything else you can think of that would make you feel like crap.
    I talked to the doctor today as I am only at the point of cutting my pills in half and taking them every other day… he has now said that I need a “tranquilizer” xanax for when it gets really bad. Well I am super scared to take that as well for fear that I could develope an addiction to that! But I will only be taking very little… So I will hopefully be “drug free” by the end of the year!
    Anyone reading this DO NOT put your children on this drug! It is ruining my life right now! It is not worth it to go directly to drugs try the natural approach… St. Jons wort…. or even exercise!

  26. Christina Says:

    I just started taking Paxil 1 month ago and have had an extreme urge to drink EVERYDAY!!! I do not understand the link between treating GAD and creating an alcoholic!

  27. anonymous Says:

    People are urged to drink alcohol on Seroxat because Seroxat causes intense agitation (Akathisia) . The craving and consuming of alcohol (or in some cases other drugs such as valium or pot) takes the edge off the effects of Paxil for some people. How tragically ironic that a drug which is prescribed for depression creates a side effect craving for an “depressant” (alcohol)? , which in turn exacerbates the users problems. Seroxat is simply a mind f*ck drug. If you think you had problems before Seroxat, take it for a few years and then you’ll really know what it feels like to have mental problems.

    The drug is so insidious that it makes you think you are going mad. So it’s very easy for GSK and the psychiatrists to continue to tell you that it is you and not the drug which is changing your behavior, the cruelty of subjecting someone to a mind-fuck like Seroxat can only be known by those whom experience it and survive it. It is truly a hell like no other. A complete annihilation of the body, mind, emotions, personality and soul. Seroxat is nihilism in Tablet form. Recovering from the ravages of withdrawal is yet another stage of the Seroxat, picking up the pieces after the horrors of Seroxat is akin to the Post traumatic stress that soldiers experience after combat. The dehumanization which the drug and then withdrawal creates is cruelty personified.

    There is also the problem of mixing Seroxat with alcohol. This can have dire consequences for most people. I myself drank a lot on Seroxat, I didn’t know why until I figured it out, I needed to take the edge off the unbearable side effects. Side effects like depersonalization , De Realization , De humanization , Akathisia and Paranoia. Unfortunately even just three pints of Beer would cause me to behave completely manic and out of character. Seroxat is bad enough on its own, throwing alcohol into the mix is courting with disaster.

    This drug needs to be pulled urgently before any more people are harmed.

  28. Patty Says:

    I am trying to wean off Paxil. I have noticed that my craving for alcohol disappears….like COMPLETELY with the continuing decrease in dosage. Last night I missed the half dose (down to 10 mg) that I have been taking by cutting the pills in half. Today, after work, I truly did not want to come home and drink, which has been my habit now for several years while on Paxil. Prior to taking Paxil, I was relatively indifferent to alcohol, could take it or leave it, but my dependence on drinking has become a lifestyle since the Paxil. I’ve also gained an enormous amt of weight.
    I would like to be free of Paxil completely, but when I try to go off it completely, I become ill and dizzy. So, I’m doing it slowly. I’m glad I found this discussion group where others have expressed the same problem with alcohol. It sure was nice this evening to come home and NOT want to drink…kind of like a miracle!

  29. chris Says:

    I was prescribed the junk for PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I was on celexa prior to that for a period of six months. The problem I had with that is I got tired of being completely sedated and never being able to get myself off the courch or stay awake for more than an hour, so I switched to paxil, and it’s worse than crack… It feels good for about an hour and then come the cravings for more as it rushes out of your system. This state of rollerlcoster withdrawal leaves you bent, jaw welded shut, teeth grinding, anxious as all hell, vivid nightmares, completely lost vocabulary, and no short term memory at all.

    Doctors of course would not listen, would not prescribe anything for the massive anxiety and I had no access to weed, or money for it if I did, hence a strong urge to drink which I’ve never experienced in my life. I had noticed while having the rare beer that I’d suddenly feel relaxed and more functional or balanced. Of course I couldnt’ afford to drink like a fish and also realized that was a problem I didn’t want either, so I avoided it and just kept with the side effects. The doctor’s answer was always the same=double the dose.

    As I sat in the doctors office barely able to put a simple sentence together anymore, but managed to say “I think I need to be taking less”, only to hear “more is definately the answer for you”, I went off it cold turkey.

    It’s been two years now and there are still lingering side effects. These drugs are an epidemic worse than cancer, and that includes the lies told to get us and keep us taking them, giving them to our kids and our pets.. it’s criminal.

  30. Kim Says:

    I just found this site and am very concerned. I am 48 and have been on Paxil for 12 years. I’ve attempted to get off 3 times and my doctor at the time told me that typically if you couldn’t get off by a 3rd attempt – you will never be able to get off. That was my 3rd attempt. Even weaning down – I was left with the most incredible headaches and was prescribed pain meds. It was so bad at one point my Doctor met me in the Neurologist office where they were going to do a spinal tap to figure out why my pain was so great. Then, instead, they decided it was the paxil withdrawl.

    The drinking. I am so happy I found this website today. My drinking has been incredible and now I see it IS related to paxil. That and the insomnia, which I take Ambien for.

    I need to get off this and quickly. I’m not getting any younger and I’m concerned about getting older with these issues. I’m going to try to find a Doctor to assist – but don’t know how to find one – I’ll just start looking.

    Any suggestions would be great.

  31. Chuck Says:

    I found this blog by accident the other day in an attempt to find information on weening myself off of Paxil. I don’t know if I should scream for Joy or simply cry. I started taking Paxil in January 2001. Around the same time I began drinking more then usual. Prior to that I was always pretty much in control. I NEVER EVER connected the two dots. That this stuff might be causing my intense cravings for alcohol. I’ve been to Rehab twice and to over 1000 AA meetings. Nothing has worked for me. Here I am 8 years later without a drivers license from 2 DUI’s and possible feeding the fire every morning for a craving that just won’t stop. I called my Doctor and now have a plan to slowly ween myself off this mind altering drug. If this stops my “drug induced alcoholism” I will post the results.

  32. christina Says:

    i have been on paxil for 8 years for severe ocd. before the meds i had no desire to alcohol on a daily basis, and when i did, i usually had no more than 2 drinks ever. now i can drink a pint of liqour without hangover. my husband has questioned me about my lack of will power now which is completely out of character. i find myself looking forward to time alone to drink. years ago i read that one of the side effects of paxil is alcoholism. thought nothing about at the time, it was about a year after starting the meds but now i am certain their is a link. my doc knows my dad had severe alcohol problems but never mentioned that paxil could be a problem to someone who has alcoholism in their family. my concern now is that if i dont take paxil, what do i do for ocd which is certain to recur without it. paxil has alleviated all panic, ocd and depression that i have had since 6 years old. im concerned that i will go from ocd to alcoholic. ocd is not an option, although husband says he’d prefer that anyday. oh, by the way, im taking 50 mg a day.

  33. Heidi Says:

    I am CONFIDENT there is a link between binge drinking and Paxil. I have been taking the drug for a year. I have also been taking Ativan. When I started searching, I was looking for Ativan and Alcohol cravings. Because I have just quit Ativan cold turkey and haven’t had alcohol cravings, I thought it was just that. But, now I find this. Since stopping Ativan, I have restless leg syndrome and can’t sleep. I see that people haven’t really drank heavily before taking Paxil, but I have always been a binge drinker (self medicating for the depression) but when I started taking Paxil, I would be on my way home from work and I would HAVE to stop and get something to drink. I would have a hangover though. I would drink every other day. I am wanting people to join and bring this to the forefront. I am a Life Coach and an Author…with some of your permission to include your stories, I would love to publish an article about this and put it out there. What do you think?

    • Lynn Says:

      Hi Heidi

      I too am a proffesional person, HR advisor,please email me about the Paxil and the problems it has caused me.



  34. tree11 Says:

    i told my doctor i felt depressed in the winter,she increased the paxil to 30 mg per day.
    somethings changed with paxil,they were oblong,i would
    break it half,take half in the morning,half at night.i felt
    the pills are round now,they made me feel bad.i canceled
    after throwing 2 bottles in the trash.i was going to ask for something different to replace it,but tried quitting cold turkey.i start drinking beer earlier in the day now.
    i`m on this site because it was 65 degrees in the house this morning.the bed is soaked with sweat.the dreams seem real.some are fun,some scare the crap out of me.
    my ears have been ringing for about a week.muscles in my neck are stiff,and i feel small electric shocks going to my head.i`m unmotivated to work,it`s piling up.
    i started paxil cause i fainted more than once in stressfull
    situations.the paxil helped with that.i`m a 48 year old man.
    i feel that i will never get married,although i want to
    ……to someone?but i haven`t dated anyone for years…
    my doctor is crazier than me,her advice is useless.
    i don`t want to worry my mom with my problems,she don`t understand cause it comes from my dads side of the family.she dumped that loser.
    hitler could have had the right idea,spay and nuter mentally ill people…..starting with himself.
    when will the night sweats,sleeplessness,ear ringing go away?will the fainting spells come back?

  35. Hesitant Possible User Says:

    PLease do! I think this is a terrible problem the pharmaceutical companies have created, that continue to profit from. Meanwhile, we all pay the price. Not only in reducing our quality of life and health, it is corrupting our families too. Tax payers pay the price by the millions of people that need continued therapy and healthcare to attempt to overcome the awful side effects created by this drug. I don’t understand why they have not been sued. Someone (all of us) need to take a stand and make them be held accountable.

  36. Orange County Drug Rehab Says:

    Most drugs on the market have no real longterm studies to back up their harmlessness. There are plenty of other ways to deal with depression, panic attacks etc., stay away from them if you can.

  37. Ron Says:

    Wow, major eye opener!
    Like christina said, I too look forward to time alone to drink.
    Never was like that before Paxil.
    I take 40 mg’s for ocd and panic disorder. Works well, but the weight gain, and lack of motivation are brutal, along with just wanting to be alone all weekend.
    My social life has dwindled to zero, if it wasn’t for my job, I doubt I’d ever leave the house.
    I’m seeing my Doc tomorrow, and will be discussing weaning off this med asap.
    I had taken Effexor in the past, and did so much better on that looking back in retrospect. I miss the person I used to be…

  38. Lilly Says:

    I stopped taking seroxat a week ago. I was on 40mg for 4 years because of my BDD (BodyDysmorphicDisorder). I knew I would get suicidal on the onset of treatment, but I was suicidal anyway so with my doctor’s help and advice I somehow got through that phase. 20 mg didn’t work, the side effects were almost unbearable. At that time I’d just left university and was about to get into advertising business and I thought it would be good to be a little less sensitive until I’d settled in to a job. So I knew from the start that Seroxat would turn me into a half zombie like creature who doesn’t give a…shit. On 20 mg I had to put on clean sheets on my bed EVERYDAY because of the sweating. I was incredible tired during the day, taking the meds late in the evening improved the condition slightly. Most of these effects stopped when I started taking 40 mg every evening. The BDD Symptoms got better; I still thought I was incredibly ugly but I started ignoring it. I got lethargic, well adapted, started something that you can call a career. I think my life looked fine for everybody else. Being on a “therapeutic dose” of Seroxat means: you know exactly what is wrong, you have the sensation that you throw away your life, that you are wasting every single day of it..but somehow its “not so bad”.
    I spent 4 years on 40mg and my doctor advised me that BDD was a chronic disease and wasn’t stable enough to get of the pills. I had made deals with myself like I get of it when my career works, when I am this when life is that…but it was like a coke addict who looks for excuses. I am a slim, healthy and fit girl but suddenly I started having high cholesterol levels (reported adverse effect by the way). And the symptoms did return. I hated my looks, considered plastic surgery, even more crucial now that I had the money to turn myself into some deformed freak (and believe me surgeons will do anything as long as you pay them enough). I suddenly had cravings for alcohol, cigarettes, drugs. I never had that before. Even when I was a student in London I did enjoy lost and lots of parties (fashion and music people)I was around drugs lots of times but I never felt the need to take them. I was always bordering eating disorders but never smoked or felt the need for cocaine. Suddenly I did. I started smoking and drinking. I developed interest for the numbest trashiest media I’d never even looked at before. When I came home from work I just crashed in front of the TV or the internet. I was middle-aged before I even got 30. I felt old and tired and boring and I exactly seem to have become the creature that I was so afraid to become that I had to start taking Seroxat.
    It’s been a week now and I feel like on cold turkey. I reduced it by 10 mg for 3 days, then another 10 mg the next 3 days and now I am on 10 mg a day and I guess I ‘ll stay on that for 2 weeks or so. THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED. You should get of your pills gradually. But I want it this way. It is what my true personality is like. Impatient and determined. The withdrawal symptoms currently are as follows: Flu like symptoms, excessive sweating at night, insomnia, fatigue during the day, itching skin, diarrhoea, confusion, dizziness, headache, vertigo and I am cold all the time no matter how many clothes I wear or how hot the room. I might be looking for a more creative job once the symptoms get better, even if its less paid. I tried a cigarette but it just tasted disgusting. I feel no need to get drunk. I caught a reflection in a hennes mirror yesterday and thought this girl looks like these off duty models until I realized it was…ME.

  39. Susan Says:

    My husband has always been a guy who drinks a few beers after work, but never had a problem with alcohol. A few months ago he was diagnosed with an anxiety. He tried several anti-depressants, but Paxil is the only drug that seemed to take them away. Since on this drug I have noticed a severe change in his personality and our marriage is suffering now due to his increased alcohol consumption. He has limited his drinking to just the weekends, but now it’s like a free ride pass for him. He acts different when he drinks now. He is not mean, but its like HE ISN”T THERE! He doesn’t notice a difference and he doesn’t understand why I am asking him to stop drinking, but THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE. His doctor prescribed this medication and hasn’t seen him since. I have made an appointment to discuss these issues together with his doctor and hopefully come off this medication before it destroys our marriage.

  40. Kate Says:

    OMG…I have been on paxil since I was 16 for depression and GAD. I am almost 30 now. I have battled with this stupid drug…I can’t even count how many times i have tried to go off it, only to feel like I am spiralling back into a world, where I have no control over my emotions and become insanely withdrawn and cry constantly.
    Everytime i would bring it to my doctor, she would use this analogy…people with diabetes need insulin to survive, you have depression and you need paxil to survive. ARGH! I always thought it was my depression coming back, not withdrawl symptoms.
    I had been on 5 mg proir to my pregnancy, but after giving birth to twins and not eating or sleeping for 36 hours staright, i “went crazy” again and got bumped back up to 20 mg, where I stay today. I feel like I just lose it if i try to go down to 10mg.
    I had no idea the alcohol cravings could have come from Paxil. I found myself wanting beer before noon hit. Some days I’d oblige other days I’d wait as long as i could. i started drink if only a bit everyday, which is out of character. I never got black out drunk, but just always felt the urge for beer.
    I can’t believe I’ve been on this drug 13 years and believed it was my own problems causing the withdrawl. I feel like a fool.
    So how can I ever get off it with out short of leaving my family and signing up for rehab????

    • melissa Says:

      hi ive been on paxil for 10 yrs i went fro 10 to 20 to 30 and 4 the past week i experience the shock feeling without missing a dose ! plus drinking has become a problem! im lost just like u!

  41. Lilly Says:

    Dearest Kate, if your physician comes up ever AGAIN with this not-too-well-though-about-cliché-diabetes-metaphor, I would just ask, why, if this is case, the insulin dosage has to be monitored strictly and adjusted constantly to the blood sugar levels (which have to be screened as well), but the paroxetin is just given out, without being checked or monitored, and why the dosage is never really controlled and adjusted anymore once the therapeutic effect (whatever that is) has been reached. So hence, sticking to this metaphor, it only could mean that the metabolism of the neurotransmitters is therefore much more stable and easier to control than our blood sugar? haha.
    And please do not think its your fault! You were having problems and your doctor should be there to help! Get the liquidform of seroxat and get off it very very slowly. Like reducing it maybe by equivalent of 2,5 mg every 2 weeks. The best would be to get a proper physician but the search is too much for you right now, I suppose. You are strong, you can make that. Take your time to get off that drug, you have been on it for a while. Work out. Everyday, start running, be really strict to keep a fixed schedule, taking 30 min a day for running is much better for your family than staying away for weeks in rehab where the problem might just be shifted to another one. Sounds awfull, but it helps.
    good luck!

  42. concerned sister Says:

    Please help me! My sister has been on paxil for 8 or 9 years and is out of control on many things. She used to socially drink and smoke at parties and go home, now, she doesn’t know when the party ends and stays up until the wee hours (5-6 a.m.) of the morning continuing to smoke and drink. Then she sleeps all day. Her cravings seem to continuously get worse. She calls a taxi to take her to the bar, usually around 11:00 at night after she has drank 7-8 beers or more and is out of control. Her family is suffering from all the aggressiveness and she is very angered on the inside ALL the time. She tends to argue with who ever she disagrees with, and that is just about everyone and everyday. She has lost so many friends and has lost most all respect from her family and friends. She wants to sleep all the time. She hasn’t been able to hold down a job, once again, it’s someone else’s fault. She is SO negative all the time. She takes everything the wrong way and doesn’t have any good things to say about anything or anyone. The world seem’s to be her enemy, but in her eyes, she doesn’t have any faults or problems. Everyone is SCARED to talk to her about her problems, even her own son and husband. I am too! I have read so many bad things about paxil and have mentioned to her to try to get off of it; she doesn’t seem to think there is a problem with it, but I don’t push the issue as she would probably blow up! I have asked her husband to go and talk to her doctor and tell him their lifestyle at home, but he just says that it is in “God’s” hands. I’m sorry, but he needs to help too! Please help me figure out a way to get her off of this dangerous drug! I am afraid that it will kill her.

  43. Stanimir Genov Says:

    Hello to everyone. I’m sorry but I’ll have to defend Seroxat in a place where I see nobody likes it.(Sorry I’m not using Paxil as the name but I’m from Bulgaria and the name of it is Seroxat over here) I’ve been on it for 7 years and have read trough a lot of information on such drugs and consulted a lot of doctors about it. After all its a drug to treat mental illnesses and the brain is the most important organ in our bodies..One SHOULD ALWAYS doubt the doctor’s prescription and do a little research and read the text inside the box..Because the way I see it .. most of the people here didn’t and now they regret taking the drug..Well its your fault. The warning inside the Seroxat package clearly describe most of your side effects (with exception to the super-absorbing-alcohol-ability, of course – which does exist). Now I’m sorry to be the one to criticize some of you but I can see you fail to see things clearly and that annoys me:
    1. AGE
    The age you start taking seroxat at is very important! Mental illnesses are caused by a disbalance in the chemicals in your brain. The same chemicals that form your character. So in order to defeat the illness you have to change the balance of those chemicals (or hormones) in your brain. And (not so tough to figure out) this WILL change your character and behavior(the balance between the hormones and your behavior and character are the same thing).If you dont believe hormones form your character.. google it.
    Now.. the best age to take seroxat is puberty. That’s because your body is still developing and the chemical balance is not final (which explains the mood swings in kids in puberty). Treatment with seroxat in puberty changes that balance..and should continue until you exit the puberty years.I’m not sure about women (the age is different) but for men the actual “this is what you got stage” (the stage when body doesn’t change any longer) is at 24yo. So if you feel good without the drug.. dont take it..but if you feel better with it .. you should continue treatment until you are old enough to keep the effect for life.
    Now .. for older people (above 25 for an example) its different. Their balance is already formed and its very hard to change it. This is why a longer term of treatment is required.

    Now, you’ll agree with me that its mostly prescribed for depression. Depression is mostly based on low self-esteem. The only way to fight it is to do things that bring you joy. That’s EXACTLY what seroxat does! It removes the worries and makes you do things that bring you joy and good feelings. BUT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTROL IT! About the alcohol .. you realize you drink too much? Then don’t do it.. I doubt you’re at the alcoholic state where you cant stop drinking.
    Seroxat does its thing. It removes what makes you feel bad from your head and replaces it with the will to do things that bring you happiness. (Actually a doctor told me that seroxat contained two very important hormones for this: the ones responsible for joy and communicativeness)

    I see that a LOT of you go on and off of it.. That is VERY WRONG. You make your brain not know what to do! Your brain already produces the hormones it requires to function. Seroxat gives it more! Now imagine you make 50$ bucks a day.. And one day someone tells you “I’ll give you 100$”. You feel happy about it. Then he tells you “I wont give them to you”.. Then you’ll feel bad.. Then he offers them again and changes his mind once more.. You’ll start to get angry after a few times, right? Well that’s exactly what you’re doing to your brain.You give the brain the hormones then you take them away.. And the brain thinks somehing like “ok..I have what I need, I shouldnt produce more..(next day)..oh no! I dont have what I need! lets start producing!!(next day)..oops! I have too much! lets stop producing it at all.. seems like the body finds those hormones without my help..(next day) .. holy sh*t! no joy and happiness hormone!”..and guess how you’ll feel without your joy and happiness! Of course you’ll get “zaps” and feel bad and get depressed (even if you were not depressed before the treatment started).
    You can NOT toy with the drug! If you stop it once DONT GO BACK TO IT AGAIN! YOU’RE JUST MAKING IT WORSE! Mental illness is all chemistry. Its not a flu! You cant just take another pill when you feel bad.


    Seroxat has a long time to live in your body. There are other drugs like Diaxit(dont know if its spelled correctly) which only live a few hours inside you. But seroxat isnt like that. Its meant to last. A few days between the tries to get off it are not enough! And there shouldnt even be “tries” .. there should be one try!
    Getting off of the drug should last for months! Not weeks! Not days! You have to give your brain the opportunity to realize the situation and start producing what it needs on its own. (Do you know that in order to defeat a flu the brain needs 3 days to create an antibody that fights the virus?) Well the brain needs even more time to calculate the quantity of the chemicals.


    Remember that most of you (and I) are mentally ill. This means that our brains don’t function right even before we start taking the drug. Nobody knows exactly how wrong they function. Of course there are going to be weird changes of character – its logical! After all that is exactly what the drug is meant to do – change your character so you don’t go to the previous states you’ve been in.
    It is a tough objective to control your outcome but you’ll have to learn how to do that. You feel good when you’re on the drug don’t you? Then force yourself in doing the things that matter! And the thing that “things that I cared about before don’t matter to me anymore” is just plain stupid. I mean come on..who doesn’t know that the job, friends and family are important? It’s common sense .. you don’t need to feel it to know it. Just do what you KNOW its right and you’ll be fine.
    Seroxat acts a lot like alcohol – it releases you from your boundaries – you do what you want to do without the “i shouldn’t do this” thought. Yes – the drug pushes you into doing things but its not all its fault. Don’t blame it all on it. After all the brain is yours and you can always say:”I want to do this but what would be the outcome? I might end up blacked out somewhere? Oh ok .. it might feel good but that doesn’t sound like a good idea”. Start thinking another step in the future and you’ll be fine!

    The first thing I asked my doctor when he prescribed me the drug was: “Will I be able to drink”. Its a mental treatment drug..seemed appropriate at the time being. I was young.. there were a lot of parties. And the doctor said “yes”. So in a few days (7 to be exact) I felt better.. like everything is fine and nothing bad ever happened.. I went to a bar with this girl and we started drinking. Well after half a liter of vodka (just me) I started feeling dizzy (from the alcohol of course)..which is a lot compared to my previous abilities (200g would make me throw up). So yes – it enables you to drink more somehow.I think its because of the mental effect of the drug. You know that when you feel happy and in a good environment you can drink more? Well I think that’s the reason.
    SO YES! YOU CAN DRINK MORE ON SEROXAT! But its not the quantity of alcohol you drink that present you with a drinking problem. Its the frequency.You could get drunk and pass out.. That would also happen if you were not on the drug you know. Me for an example. I can not forget what happened when I’m drunk..and I can not pass out. It doesn’t matter if I’m on or off the drug.. thats just the way I drink. I get drunk.. I might puke if I wasnt careful..then I go to bed and sleep it off.The only difference is the quantity I need to get drunk. No aggression or anything. That depends on the person, not on the drug. Remember that seroxat removes your boundaries.
    Imagine you’re in a bar with some friends.. you can drink twice as they can! They’ll get drunk way before you get drunk. I mean who doesnt like that?(just joking). Why don’t you stop drinking when everyone else is drunk? I mean who keeps drinking when everyone else has blacked out? That’s your decision, don’t blame it on the drug.
    I can also explain why the hangover lasts longer..yes its a side effect from seroxat and has to do with the way it acts on your blood vessels. It shrinks them. When you drink your blood pressure goes up at first. Then it goes a lot down. In the morning your blood pressure is normalized but seroxat shrinks them. That’s what causes the extra pain – there’s not enough room for the blood in your blood vessels.You also feel the urge to drink lots of water. Don’t do it – it only gets the alcohol in your stomach acting again. Instead drink less and eat more. Salty food is the best as the salt absorbs the alcohol.

    Yes, I have experienced 90% of the side effects you describe. They mostly occur when you go off and on the drug over and over again, so dont do that! It logical – if something causes pain in any way.. the body’s telling you that you shouldn’t be doing it!

    I have stopped the drugs for two years before.After I had beed taking it for only 2 months. I did not stop taking it correctly and took it for a very short period of time and that’s why my problems came back. So my advice is NOT TO HURRY UP AND GO OFF THE DRUG! If you are already taking it that is. Let it finish its job. Then go off it slowly. (actually my doctor told me that going off it requires an year!) And believe me – he is right. As I’ve said in the beginning – I’ve read a lot of information and consulted a lot of people on this topic. After all its a treatment and you HAVE to do that. Its not even optional!

    I know that most of you are going to attack me for defending Seroxat in here. But in my opinion the drug does what its supposed to do. I’ve recovered once and was feeling good for 2 years. Then I started going on and off it whenever I feel bad and that’s what screwed me up!
    I like the drug! It has saved me twice from a severe depression where I couldn’t do anything but lie down. I didn’t even go out or do anything productive. And I dont mean with my life. I didn’t have the will to go to the fridge and pick up something to eat, for God’s sake. So stop blaming the thing that helped you once get out of a big mess! It is very easy to start accusations now that you feel better. Aggressive? Maybe. I’d choose aggression over being a useless guy just lying down anytime! And remember that the drug releases your boundaries and makes you do the things you like to do! So if you like kicking people’s ass but you didn’t have the guts to do it.. it will make it possible for you to do it!
    The fact that someone was loving,caring, quiet or whatever and now he’s different might not be seroxat’s fault. He may have been like this because he was depressed and didn’t have the will to be anything else. After all love,care and quietness are all things that you can express when you are relaxed.Now you take seroxat, you feel “pumped up” and you show other sides of your personality. THEY WERE THERE BEFORE! They were just not showing up! You were controlling them! Learn to control them once again and live with it!
    Once again .. I know you will attack me for this opinion of mine. All I can tell you is this:
    This is me before I started taking the drug:
    Lying in bed. No will to do anything. Not even eat. No girlfriend. No job. Not wanting to go out. No fun. No life.
    This is me after the medication (Seroxat):
    Energetic.Always looking forward to what I can do to make my life better and interesting. Good appetite. Went trough some girlfriends..currently in a relationship (4 years now). Working. Outgoing – lots of friends. Every week I go out and have fun. A GOOD LIFE!

    The side effects? No side effects when you’re on the drug. Stopping it requires time. But hey, Seroxat brought you back to have time now.. enjoy life! No need to sue anyone. Its your fault you didn’t do a little research. I knew all about the side effects you mention now 7 years ago (before I started the drug). Its my life, its my body and you cant trust anyone else but yourself to take care of it! NOT EVEN A DOCTOR!

    • angie Says:

      Ok, so you like Seroxat and thats your choice, you knew the hazards of withdrawal before you started talomg it, and you made an informed choice.

      So let me tell you this, i was prescribed in 1997 for grief issues, and it was hailed the wonder drug from america, with zero side effects and no withdrawal, hows that for having your right to choose what meds you take.
      I have never had any mental problems of any kind, my issue was for grief.
      Then to add insult to injury, i was left on this drug for 14yrs, as my doctor retired, so i found another gp who understands wd.

      If it works for you fine, but…. its not a forever drug, and one day you will be experiencing symptoms of tolerance, you will then understand the horrors of this wonderdrug.

      • angie Says:

        oh an has for your theory of chemical imbalance, thats crap, ask your doc to test you for a chemical imbalance???
        because he cant, its only available through an autopsy, hows that for being informed eh.

  44. truthman30 Says:

    Stanimir Genov

    Sorry to say it Mr Genoy ..
    But you’re talking through your backside..
    You haven’t got a clue …
    Your argument about the benefits of Seroxat is the most disjointed, misinformed and ridiculous that I have come across in a long time..
    You really should educate yourself or
    Seroxat will destroy you in the end…
    Good luck..

    • Stanimir Genov Says:

      I think I am educated enough.
      If you think everything I said is “disjointed, misinformed and ridiculous”, you should provide some arguments..

    • Stanimir Genov Says:

      You should take a look at this:

      And I’ve also seen that you’ve wrote here:
      So chemical imbalance is a theory and a scam?
      The fact that YOU say so doesn’t make that true.
      And the fact that someone wrote about it doesn’t make it true either.. otherwise we should believe that “Da Vinci’s Code” is also true.

      You should have in mind that not EVERY patient experiences the side effects and not every patient’s life gets ruined.

      You are aware that around 50% of the world’s population is on a similar drug? That makes 3 billion people.. And I only see a thousand on this website (at the very most). And actually why would a person that feels good on the drug start googling it and even mind to post something..
      I dont know if I’m misinformed or something.. But thinking that a drug destroys EVERY person’s life AND telling ME that it will destroy me .. now that’s just ridiculous..
      Some people are experiencing a lot of improvements because of the drug an that’s why it stays out. Otherwise it would have been taken off the market. Enough conspiracy theories.. its not all a lie.. the drug DOES HELP PEOPLE!

      There are cases of people died from taking aspirine .. I dont see it going down anytime soon.. because it does good to a lot of other people..

      AND.. talking in a place where people have mental problems and are taking care of them requires some knowledge of what to say and what not..

      “Seroxat will destroy you in the end…” is not appropriate in such a place..and now, because you said that I think I’ll go jump off the roof and try to end it all before it got to that point. Of course Seroxat is the reason for me to do so.
      (yes its’ irony)

  45. truthman30 Says:

    Oh I really don’t have time to argue with you now, you haven’t got a clue what your talking about… what you are saying is utter nonsense.. The truth about Seroxat is all over the web. Take it for ever if you want, come back and give us an update in a few years when your crapping your insides out, having dreams about chopping up your family with an axe , losing your hair, your libido, your sanity and your will to breathe…


    If you really want me to provide an argument as to why I believe this drug is poisonous , dangerous, highly addictive and destroys peoples lives…
    Read and watch some of these links ..

    Oh and when you’re finished with those..
    Read these ..

    There’s tons more info to back up my argument..
    All it takes is a simple google search..
    Paxil is the US brand name for Seroxat in case you didn’t know..
    See ya..

    • Stanimir Genov Says:

      Hello again,
      You should REALLY read this:

      And again.. some of my points you can’t argue with:
      1. Not EVERY person on Paxil/Seroxat is in danger.. even if 50% of the people have problems with it .. the other 50% don’t.
      2. Most of the side effects people describe here are caused by a very fast withdrawal from the drug. (note that the site I provided mentions months and years and people here are talking about days and weeks..)
      3. Youtube is not a reliable source.
      4. Pointing out places where ONLY PEOPLE THAT HAVE PROBLEMS with the drug complain about it is not a reliable source either.
      5. I can provide you with a pro-paxil link for every anti-paxil link you provide.

      And some personal observations regarding this part of your post:
      “in a few years when your crapping your insides out, having dreams about chopping up your family with an axe , losing your hair, your libido, your sanity and your will to breathe”
      I’ve already discussed this and it looks like you’ve missed it:
      1. Crapping my insides out isn’t mentioned anywhere. If you refer to diahrea .. I can definitely live with it. Anyway I dont have it.
      2. Chopping up my family? Ever since I’m on the drug I enjoy life even more.. I LOVE my life and my respect for my family has only grown in the past years
      3. My hair is still in the right place, although I should have inherited the baldness from my relatives. I should actually have lost my hair 2 years ago ..bu no..its still there, thank you.
      4.My libido’s fine.. AGAIN as I’ve said.. ever since taking the drug I’ve had several girlfriends.. sex is great by the way
      5. I’ve actually regained my will to breathe since I started taking the drug..

      As a conclusion .. you have difficulty reading what I have said.
      And what do you mean “come back in a few years”? I’ve been on paxil for 7 years now! Again! Read what I’ve already said! I cant wait to get to 60 yo and come back and discuss this with you.. I guess that’s what “come back in a few years” means..

      Anyway.. I don’t think this argument is going anywhere so I won’t post anymore. Have a nice life and learn how to prove your point.

  46. Stephanie Says:

    I went on this medication almost 3 years ago for extreme depression. I was 19 years old at the time and just needed help. My doctor put me on Paxil 20mg, but after a couple of months I didn’t feel anything, so I was moved up to 40mg, and eventually 60 mg. I recently found out I was pregnant so had to immediately ween off of this medication. I was given instructions to go down to 40mg for 5 days, then 20mg for 5 days, and finally 10mg for 3 then just stop.. well about the time I got down to 20mg I had the strangest feelings. My head would pound (not pain) and I would get very dizzy, to the point that one time I almost passed out. I would get random severe headaches, which I’ve never had before, hot then cold flashes, extreme diarrhea, any kind of smells would make me almost vomit, I had (and 1 week after completely going off of it, still do) have problems getting any kind of food in me. I ended up in the ER scared to death of the weird feelings going on in my head. The doctor said it was normal for people going off of this medication and told me that pretty much the only option for me (being pregnant) was to just deal with it until it was done, and keep myself hydrated. I have to say that this kind of effect from going off of this medication would have been nice to know before I started it. As bad a couple weeks I’ve had, I don’t understand how they can continue to prescribe this medication. WHY IS IT STILL AN OPTION? I’ve had just about every effect from coming off of it as I’ve read, it has been a couple weeks from HELL. And to make it worse, being pregnant and feeling this way? I’ve lost 7lbs in the past week from not being able to eat.. now I’m not a large person to begin with (145lbs) but to be loosing this kind of weight while I’m pregnant is not healthy. And not to mention that my unborn baby has a 1.5% chance of getting a heart condition from this medication?? They need to take this medication off the market for good!!!

  47. truthman30 Says:


    Unfortunately , it is still being prescribed because Glaxosmithkline make millions off all those addicted and enslaved to it..

  48. truthman30 Says:

    In response to some of your (ill-informed) points of view…
    And believe me , I can argue you under the table..

    1. Not EVERY person on Paxil/Seroxat is in danger.. even if 50% of the people have problems with it .. the other 50% don’t.

    Absolute hogwash … Give me stats and reliable links to studies to back this crap up! ..

    2 Most of the side effects people describe here are caused by a very fast withdrawal from the drug. (note that the site I provided mentions months and years and people here are talking about days and weeks..)

    Nope, a lot of the side effects listed actually happen whilst people are on the drug.. in some cases it “poops out” .. Explain that ? …

    3. Youtube is not a reliable source.

    Why is you tube not a reliable source? .. The videos coming from the current conflict in Iran are from people experiencing the violence.. are they unreliable sources and images? .. Are people posting taped news articles about Paxil-Seroxat from sources such as ABC news unreliable sources to you? .. is BBC panorama unreliable? … I don’t think so.. The BBC pride themselves and their reputation as a reliable and trustworthy news source.. would they stake their reputation and make 4 documentaries about Seroxat if the information they exposed was unreliable? … Of course they wouldn’t…

    4. Pointing out places where ONLY PEOPLE THAT HAVE PROBLEMS with the drug complain about it is not a reliable source either.

    Well, why don’t you point me to a pro-Paxil/Seroxat web site then?…. good luck finding it.. it doesn’t exist mate…

    5. I can provide you with a pro-paxil link for every anti-paxil link you provide.

    Go on then…

    1. Crapping my insides out isn’t mentioned anywhere. If you refer to diahrea .. I can definitely live with it. Anyway I dont have it.

    You have the shits from Seroxat because it’s destroying your insides… side effects are called side effects to disguise the fact that they are direct effects… There are no real “side effects” from any drug.. just “direct effects” or unpleasant and unwanted direct effects…

    2. Chopping up my family? Ever since I’m on the drug I enjoy life even more.. I LOVE my life and my respect for my family has only grown in the past years

    Your enjoyment of life is a chemical induced illusion from your Seroxat addiction… For some people the “seroxat-honeymoon” lasts longer then for others… I bet when you reach the 10 year mark, you’ll soon see that what I am telling you is the truth…

    3. My hair is still in the right place, although I should have inherited the baldness from my relatives. I should actually have lost my hair 2 years ago ..bu no..its still there, thank you

    Well, lucky you, a friend of mine lost his hair from Seroxat, and mine came out in clumps … Maybe you are one of the lucky ones.. if you enjoy Seroxat so much, then why are you posting on a site such as this?…

    4.My libido’s fine.. AGAIN as I’ve said.. ever since taking the drug I’ve had several girlfriends.. sex is great by the way

    I’m delighted you are having a great sex life, that’s fantastic, Seroxat can also cause hyper-sexuality … It goes both ways.. But I’d rather have sex not under the influence of a poisonous substance … but that’s just me…

    5. I’ve actually regained my will to breathe since I started taking the drug..

    Wasn’t that seven years ago?…
    Seroxat has not been tested long term, we were and are all still guinea pigs…. Just some of us choose not to be anymore, if you’re happy being one, then good luck to you…

    Anyway.. I don’t think this argument is going anywhere so I won’t post anymore. Have a nice life and learn how to prove your point.

    You need to get a life dude, Seroxat for seven years, that’s not exactly a life if you ask me, that’s ultimately a death sentence mate… I’m just telling you what I know and what I have experienced and what I have researched, if you don’t like to hear the reality of this drug then don’t bother…

  49. Mike Says:

    I tried getting off of Paxil cold turkey…Major mistake!!!! I went on a 3 day drinking binge and literally almost going crazy then almost killing myself. This stuff is dangerous and i am so afraid of trying to get off of this. Sexual side effects are horrible. I have no sex drive and Paxil hasn’t helped at all with my anxiety

  50. Karen Hitchcock Says:

    I do not have time just now to read the 63 pages on this site. However, I’d love some input. I started finding an increase in my consumption of alcohol in the 1990s while I was on and off Paxil. I stopped drinking in May of 2002 as I felt I had problem with alcohol. I stayed alcohol-free for over 6 years. In August 2008 my psychiatrist doubled my EFFEXOR medication, which is an SSRI like Paxil. Within 1 month I was drinking conpulsively and obsessively, at my job, craved alcohol and never knew why. In NY state I got a DUI the day after Christmas driving to my mother’s in the Buffalo area after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol just before and during a 7/12 trip– which is absurd. I’m struggling in Mass right now to get a hardship license since I’ve lost my license and I’m looking for validation and proof that medication can induce alcohol cravings and destroy lives. What physician is going to substantiate a situation like this– the very one who prescribed this deadly drug, for me? Please e-mail me at if you can help, or I can help you. I only have access to the computer on weekdays. PLEASE HELP. Thanks.

  51. Wayne Says:

    Holy crap. Thanks everyone for helping me. I don’t totally blame myself now. What a horrible drug. Was sober for a year and life was great. Paxil just screwed up my brain and like a zombie I just walked over to the store, bought some booze and got tanked. Don’t remember much of anything. Now I’m worried about just stopping it cold-turkey but I’m scared of continuing it. Was also having the worst, most vivid nightmares last night of my family being attacked and such. Haven’t slept in 3 days now. Horrible, horrible drug. All this and it was SUPPOSED to help me with my stress.

  52. Embarrased Says:

    I did not drink until I was nearly 22 because I was always afraid of loosing control or having to apologize for something I didn’t even remember. After I realized that people drink responsibly all the time I began with wine. I have always been a slow and cautious drinker and 4 years ago 4 shots would make me spin. I have NEVER blacked out or drunk to the point I could not remember. Over the last year I was drinking probably 3-5 drinks per week, mostly because my job is stressful but I never had more than 1 drink just to relax. After I started Paxil I started drinking nearly every night and a few nights I’d have 2-3 drinks. I didn’t even notice since alcohol is usually around and I’ve never had to “control” myself. Paxil worked O.K. but wasn’t really what I was hoping for. I’ve already tried nearly all the medication’s my Dr. can give me unsucessfully so we upped my Paxil dose to see if that would help. With in days i got strep throat accompanied by 20-30 canker soares, swollen gums, tounge, and throat. The antibiotic didn’t work. My step daughter ended up with the same illness but with only 2-3 cankers and she has a weak immune system, her antibiotic did work. I didn’t associate it to Paxil at first. A few weeks later went to a batchelorette party and had 2 mixed drinks and 2 30 proof shots. Long story short I woke up in the hospital with my close cut off. I had blacked out, passed out, had a seizure and was taken by ambulance because I quit breathing. My blood alcohol was .25. I am lucky I had friends with me and that I am alive and only have a big hospital bill to worry about. I have only been on Paxil for 2 months, but my withdrawl symptoms are headache, I shake for about half hour in the morning, pounding heart, anxiety, etc. I have only taken my dose back down to what it was 3 weeks ago. I am hoping this is not a long weaning process. A friend of a friend reported winning a 40k settlement because she can’t get off Paxil.

  53. Emily Says:

    I hate paxil. I’ve been on it for three years and find it nearly impossible to stop taking the drug because the withdrawels are so horrible they have almost led me to wanting to kill myself. The worst part is, my family doesn’t understand what I’m going through with violent outbursts and sudden crying. they think I’m just doing it for attention. I need help desperately and weening doesn’t work.

  54. T.C. Says:

    i was put on paxil when i was in the 6th grade and i now am 23.i for whatever reason was scared of loud noises and i would sit in school and wait and be scared of the fire drill to go off and be really scared my school told my parents i should talk to a psyciatrist so we did and they put me on 20mg paxil and now i want off i never tried going off it but i missed a dose a couple times and woke up sick as a dog. the paxil sucks im not the person i used to be i used to be a nice person but it completly changed me i get really mad about the stupidest things i will fight anyone for dumb things i have no fear i had a person put a gun in my face and i didnt get scared instead i took the gun off the guy and beat him really bad is that normal? i dont understand its like my emotions are blank in my head and i dont feel like im doing anything wrong until the next day then i feel bad for what i did and sometimes when i feel myself getting mad a i feel like theres needles poking me all over my body i dont understand im scared to try not taking it what should i do

  55. Rp Says:

    I was on it for one month and had to get off, I started to want to kill people and abuse women it scared me bad. I got off quick after that.

  56. Julie Says:

    I have been on Paxil for about 10 years, although I have taken frequent vacations from it. Now it is starting to lose its effectiveness. I don’t have the alcohol craving problem, but I do have the dream thing. Before Paxil, I had your typical hallucinogenic nonsensical dreams, but after Paxil, I began having very long and vivid dreams that had beginnings, middles, and endings and were more like a movie or a second life. At times, I have become sick to death of dreaming, but it has been a very small price to pay for being able to think and respond like a rational human being instead of chewing on a negative thought for days or being paranoid or suffering extreme social anxiety.

    Now that Paxil is not working as well, I find myself getting into a kind of hyperactive state of mind that makes me have angry outbursts or bowl people over with my obnoxious attitude. It’s damaging to self esteem to act anti-social like that., not to mention how it makes my “targets” feel. I don’t want to go off Paxil and go back to the old days of anxiety, but I also wonder if I should switch to another drug. It’s really difficult to decide what to do.

  57. Julie Says:

    P.S. When I have tried to go off the drug cold turkey, I have had brain zaps, severe crying episodes, and feelings of isolation from my family. What I do is go off until I start getting the zaps, then I take a pill, than go off until I get the zaps again. It usually takes me about a week before I get any withdrawal but then it kicks in.

  58. Annelies Says:

    I’m off Paxil for nearly 6 month’s now. It was pure hell. I’ don’t have the suicide-thougts anymore , but I still feel very sick. I drink 5 or 6 beers a night. I don’t get drunk, I just want to sleep. I also know, that I don’t want to drink so much alcohol. I often wonder why I drink so much beer while I don’t even like it.

    This is the first time , that I begin to see a relation between quiting Paxil and mu unuseable use of alcohol.

  59. Sue Says:

    I have been on Paxil for 3 weeks for anxiety. AWESOME The first 10 days were a bit strange but now I am calm and have so much more order in my day. I tend to have one more drink which seems to me that my tolerence is different! Thats a little wierd. Other than that it has been PERFECT! Only 10 mg Sue

  60. Daisy Says:

    Zoloft was recommended to me by a GP in 1998. I had become pretty dependent on alcohol (always been a large drinker) and had isolated myself from friends and family. Depression and anxiety was huge. At first the Zoloft was brilliant, for about 3 months I felt fantastic and even cut down on my drinking – then it started to slip due to a new job and a move to a larger city. GP upped my dosage and everything felt OK for a month or so, then, when I slipped back into anxiety my dosage was upped again. After nearly a year on the shit things started to get really screwy.

    I began doing impulsive, ridiculous, risky things: gambling away rent money, not paying bills, drinking like a fish and missing work a lot, driving whilst completely drunk, lying to family/friends and wanting to be alone to drink – I have a teenage daughter who had to watch me behave this way. Devastating. I nearly lost my daughter, my home, my job and my life… not to mention I could have killed or injured someone else driving drunk.

    The guilt was incredible and somehow I realised it wasn’t me. I needed to get off the Zoloft. I sold my car so as I couldn’t drive it drunk, tried to cut down on the drinking (which I’m still battling with to this day), and went cold turkey off the Zoloft.


    The reason I’m relaying this is that today I went to a GP to seek help for anxiety and was prescribed Paxtine (PAXIL) – yes, he prescribed this shit to me regardless of the facts I had mentioned to him that I have relayed to you here. I told him to go %^&$ himself and he should be ashamed to call himself a medical professional.

    Do NOT trust your GP has your best interests at heart if they prescribe you antidepressants. It is poison and mind altering and will turn your life into a living hell whilst taking them. Might sound dramatic, but I’m telling a truth.

    Steer clear of all antidepressants and go the natural route. I intend to investigate supplements such as L-Glutamine for my drinking issues and Valerian for anxiety. Excercise will also be on the cards as taking those bloody pills made me gain a ridiculous amount of weight.

  61. Ann Says:

    Doctors are just showing how incompetent they are and not understanding the side affects off ssri’s is blxxxy dangerous for the patient, I myself was ignored when I told my GP the ssri’s were giving me alcohol cravings and was told it was me not the ssri’s but I now know he was wrong and I was right as my cravings have now gone since comming off them. I have also learnt more about my side affects from others users than any Doctor, THESE DOCTORS ARE PROGRAMMED TO BLAME YOU AND NOT THE TABLETS ITS CALLED COVERING THEIR SHITTY LITTLE ARSES. If you need truthful advise on any medication you are better to look up other users off the drug on the internet as they WILL tell you the TRUTH.

  62. Allie Says:

    This site has been a godsend. My drinking has been such a problem since being on Paxil. I start drinking and cant stop. Then its like a switch and I just black out and everyone has to fill me in the next day. This is severely effecting my relationships and reputation. Ive done things I would never normally do. It helped with my GAD but I feel very unsafe with the drinking side effects. I plan on weening myself off pronto.

  63. Shay-Shay LaRoo Says:

    I have been on Paxil for about 5mos…In one instance it has done wonders for my Anxiety…it has made my alcoholism worse 😦 I have noticed that i drink everyday and large amounts to boot…i get periods of blackouts, with no recollection of some events that take place….is there any hope for me???? I already had a slight drinking problem, now I fear i’ll lose everything i have workd so hard for

  64. E Says:

    I just wanted to add a tick on the “paxil is harmful” column…. I have been suffering with panic disorder for a decade now. Some instances worse than others but it had taken over my life- where I could go, for how long, under what conditions…. I was afraid I was going to become a shut in. After a few bouts of CBT I was desperate for anything that would help me live a “more normal” life, including something to help my GI tract. I had been on effexor and seroquel years earlier and didn’t like that “zombie-like” life so I have resisted meds since then(those were tough to get off!). When I finally went to the doctor he asked me “what would you do to rememdy this?” I literally found tears streaming down my face. How do you explain to a stranger how hard you’ve worked to naturally beat panic/anxiety and the numerous shrinks, the case studies, everything? I remember one year the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a CBT series I heard on the radio from the Midwest Center. His answer- the miracle drug- not just for the panic but also my bad GI tract and to top it off- more energy! I said I would try it, reluctantly, but as I needed a more normal life(was about 6months in with my new job and terrific new beau) I would try anything.I felt as if I had finally found my partner, I was in love, and didn’t want to be a burden to him. The paxil took a while to work but things seemed to change for me. I was always a drinker, happy go lucky, and for the most part “in control” so I can’t say it was the same intensity as those who were nondrinkers but there are a few points I can relate to. I went from enjoying alcohol to craving it as if there would never be enough(ie. 15-20 beers easy-no hangovers). I was looking for that oblivion and successfully! found it a few too many times. I found out I had gotten into fights with my boyfriend in my blackouts saying things that were not just out of character, nor how I felt, but downright mean. I couldn’t handle some things without beer, and still can’t. After he broke up with me(who could blame him) I was depressed, I thought that was normal but the anxiety increased. OVER THE PHONE the doctor answered my request to bump it up to 30mg with “why don’t we just double it to 40?” I figured he must know best so I went along for it, anything to feel better. There’s no question that I have suicidal thoughts, but no one would ever expect that from me. I am one of the happiest outgoing people out there. And strong, everyone always tells me how strong I am, after all I’ve gone through ect(I was abusived for a number of years) It’s almost impossible to imagine me taking my own life yet, sometimes, I get a tickle on the inner part of my elbow like it wants to be cut. I can’t explain it, especially with my fear of needles and knives. I’ve gained a lot of weight and generally am unhappy but I try to keep my spirits up and haven’t broken character in a while. I have no use for shrinks, I believe I have a pretty stable perspective on life and so on, but this drug has changed me. I can also attest to the “feeling like crying everyday, but can’t”, since I read that line it rings true to me daily, like a mantra I tell myself it’s just the drug. But where do you draw the line between the depression of life and the impact of the paxil? I am heartbroken, still, 5 months later, can’t that be normal? I don’t know if it’s contributing to the depression, actually I think it’s not, I can say though-I’m numb, I can’t remember the last time I cried or when I felt wholeheartedly happy.
    I know the only option is to go back to a life of anxiety, and come off the paxil, it just makes me wonder – how and more importantly WHEN can I do this? I can’t imagine suffering through work with the withdrawl symptoms I felt after only missing one dose. I understand I have to cut the dose over time but it seems like I’ll be just drinking all the more then.
    Anyway, I am “comforted” that some of this can all be attributed to the paxil, but what’s that help? I lost something I can’t get back, maybe a numb existance beats the alternative. We will see.

  65. frankie Says:

    I am so relived I found this site. I have been taking Seroxat (20mg) for 3 years now. After years of resisting taking medication I was convinced by my doctor that these tablets were safe and not addictive so I started taking them for GAD and the associated depression. A familiar story. Well I another familiar story for you – after approx a 2 years I developed alcohol cravings, I would drink to oblivion, black out, do very out of character things, get very angry and have little or no hangover. As with others I have always enjoyed a drink and sometimes one too many but I have always been generelly in control. I enjoyed getting drunk but these days things are very different and I fear drinking however cannot seem not too as my cravings are often too strong. On Saturday night I got so out of control people were convinved my drink had been spiked but I knew the truth as this had happened to me before. It did not happen in the first two years but in the last year I have noticed my alcohol consumption increase with no explaination (sometimes I actually hate the taste but continue to drink) and after a good few drinks I turn into a very nasty person, very different from the “normal” me. I have a complete disregard for authority and have twice sworn at police after a drink infused evening which I now hang my head in shame for but the thing is I KNOW this is not me. I am visiting the doctor on Thursday to reduce my dose with a view to getting this dreadful drug out of my system once and for all. There are natural rememdies out there, do not take this drug. I am happy to chat to anyone re the alternatives natural rememdies I am looking into and to just generally share experiences and be there for fellow Seroxat takers.

  66. Larry Says:

    I’m experiencing the same issues as Frankie, above. I’ve been on Paxil for 11 or 12 years now (20mg). I’ve been reading this forum and have cut my dose in half 3 days ago with the nasty dreams and dizziness that goes along with withdrawl. I cannot afford to keep taking this drug and it has ruined my social life. I am afraid to visit people and have a drink because I know what will happen, I’ll keep drinking even if I have to go to a bar or to a neighbour to get more. I almost always can’t remember much and do some pretty stupid things. I hope I don’t go through the hell some people have that have tried to stop this drug 😦

  67. Larry Says:

    It’s been just more than two weeks since I cut my dose of PaxKill in half to 10 mg and I’ve been experiencing alot of the same symptons that are listed above. I’m getting the crazy dreams and they are VIVID! I’m feeling a little dizzy and very forgetful, I’m having a hell of a time typing this (I can’t seem to remember where all of the keys are!) and I generally feel awful along with the headaches. I am hoping this won’t last too much longer because I was planning on cutting down to 5mg after three weeks but if I still feel like this, I won’t be. I was up on my roof the other day and it was all I could do to get back on the ladder, things were spinning! Whoever promoted this drug should be forced to take it!!!

  68. Ann Says:

    I had terrible intense cravings for alcohol whilst on Paroxatine and then Ciprimil, on one occasion two years ago I dont know how I didn’t die from alcohol poisoning as I have never drunk this level of alcohol before in my life, I had a 24hr binge starting in the afternoon and continuing until 4pm the following day, I drank a 3ltr box of wine, a 1lt bottle of amereto and a further 75cl bottle of wine and then cans of larger, all on my own at home with the music blaring out, I then callapsed until the following day feeling extremely ill, I actually thought I was going to die there and then, I had palpitations, heavy sweating, shaking and the most horrible inner restlessness that wouldn’t go away, It took me four days to recover and get over it, I then came off the ciprimil and my intense cravings for alcohol just disappeared and I no longer drink alcohol anymore. Alcohol cravings should be listed as a side affect as the cravings can be so intense that you really just drink and drink and drink it is very dangerous.

  69. Gary Says:

    Hey, Guys. I’m a 23 year old male, been dealing with OCD basically my whole life, but the past six have been so terrible. I decided to ruin my life by starting to smoke pot. I smoked for about two years straight. My “friend,” who had done drugs basically his entire life, decided to lace it one day with angel dust. Ever since that day my life hasn’t been the same. My doctor tells me I suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Depression). I started taking Paxil 20 mg once I had the freakout from the drugs. My life hasn’t been the same. At first I had really bad side effects. My anxiety had worsen big time. It took about a month for the drug to really help. For about 4 months my life was great. I finally was able to focus back on things and enjoy life. I started to get a little anxious and loopy, so I had my dosage upped. Overall, that wasn’t the best idea. I realized that the drugs were already starting to not do much, but all it did was make me zombie-like. It took me a while to not feel like that on the upped dosage.

    Because I decided to be an idiot and smoke one more time, my symptoms worsened all over again. From that point I’ve been trying to do things myself… getting on and off it. Honestly, I think I would rather take this my entire life than to feel how I feel sometimes. Recently I’ve been reliving those feelings during the drug induced experience. I don’t want to get into them, because I know how having OCD sucks ass. Once you read something you might start thinking about it. Let’s just say it makes me feel almost suicidal.

    I really wish there was a group to attend that dealt with just these issues. I never had depression before, so I didn’t know how bad it really was. My OCD is with ticks, RLS, and gravityless feeling. Recently I’ve been aggressive, depressive, and spaced out. I think the reason we get those ways, besides the obvious, is because no one can truly understand how it feels besides for other people on Paxil, suffering from depression/anxiety, etc.

    Overall, I’m glad that there are drugs to treat symptoms, but I think the best thing for everyone with this is to go to a therapist/psych. I’m not entirely sure which would be better. Try to stay active as much as possible. Not only will you keep your mind at rest, but you will keep your body in okay shape. This drug 100 percent makes you eat more food, especially bad foods. I drank every weekend in my teen years, and up until about 6 months ago. I didn’t really notice a big difference in my alch intake once I was on the drugs.

  70. Teresa Says:

    My 21 year old daughter was started on 20mg of Celexa for SAD and anxiety. Within a week or so, she was drinking heavily and even went to work drunk! She also became more anxious and angry. She stopped the Celexa and seems to be getting back to herself. The kicker is that when she told the Dr. who perscribed the Celexa what had happened, he suggested she try Prozac! He said he had never heard of SSRIs causing alcohol cravings.

  71. Ann Says:

    Most Doctors say they have never heard of alcohol cravings induced by SSRIS, I think its a defensive answer because they prescribe the drug in the first place. There has been a lot of research regarding the serotonin system and alcoholism which you can look up with a quick search on the web, there has also been a few research’s done on the affects of SSRIS on alcoholism, which finds SSRIS can help type A drinkers but not type B drinkers, in fact they found type B drinkers increased their drinking on SSRIS compared to placebo. They also say that there needs to be more research on this subject. I’m quite confident they will find the answers in time as they know the serotonin system is one of the major player’s in alcoholism. They also say that it is not as straight forward as they first thought and may be more complex. I wouldn’t advise your daughter to try another SSRI as she will find that most of the SSRIS will probably give her the same alcohol cravings. Some research says prozac lessons alcohol cravings but I know people who couldnt stop drinking on it, also I dont think the research considered type A drinker and type B drinkers and just focused on who it helped. I also think that they will go beyond learning about type A and type B drinkers but will also find the answer to why SSRIS can cause some people who have never had a drink problem before or who have never drunk before go on to have intense cravings for alcohol.

  72. John Russell Says:

    Oh, yes, no doubt about it, paxil produces alcohol cravings. i used paxil for about 14 years and it was a great medication for GAD. However, it definitely increased my desire for alcohol, and while on paxil I was able to consume unbelievable amounts of it, and never, ever had anything but a mild hangover. I think this is a serious side effect that has been overlooked or ignored by the medical and pharamacy community.

    Once off paxil (using something else now), I almost immediately lost my desire for alcohol, and in fact decide to stay away from it altogether. i thought this would prove difficult, but once the paxil was gone, so was the desire. It was actually that simple.

  73. Ann Says:

    Same here I was a social drinker before ssris but on ssris I was almost a full blown alcoholic that just couldnt stop drinking, I even took days off work so I could drink which I would never have done before, the combination was so bad it actually made me hypomanic, confused and disorentated which led to me calling the police repeatedly for some unknown reason and they ended up jailing me, I was so ill but no one came to my defense until I found a proffessor, but the court ruled that I should not have drunk on the tablets as there is a warning to not drink on them, but no one warned me that it would make you crave alcohol to a terrible degree, in America they have a warning that it can cause alcohol abuse or cravings why werent we warned about that here ?????? I didnt know what was happening to me but knew I wasnt well but noone would listen to me. I had never been in trouble with the police before. I kept ringing them because I think sub consiously it was a cry for help, I was confused and disorentated but I didnt know what I was going to do next but instead of getting help I was put in prison several times. I used to do nursing in a general hospital as a health care assistant and I would never have imagined a drug could do this to someone, I feel very let down by everyone including the NHS as I lost my job because of this and had worked for them for 14 yrears. I feel I have been to hell and back and have felt at times what is the point in going on, in America you are protected but in the UK its “tough get over it” even though you have been wronged. The proffesionals here are a disgrace and a shame to the proffesions they work for, I have lost respect for them all and see them here in the UK as one big gang, probably all part of the masons, the legal aid lawyers may as well be the procecutors as they are not interested in defending you and will work with the police to get you convicted, I have been slandered in the national papers where the detective even lied and said I had said things that I hadnt said ,I have the paperwork and tapes to prove this but cant afford to do anything about it. I have been stripped naked and assaulted in the police cells by the police whilst I was in a confused and disorentated state and then charged with assault, they even edited the cctv to take out what they did to me, this was whilst I was withdrawring from the drug, the defence solicitors avoided me for a year and the police bailed me twice over six months because they didnt know what to do with me, they eventually charged me with assault bearing in mind they had stripped me naked twice and assaulted me ( THIS WAS AT WOKING POLICE STATION IN SURREY) and my solicitor only really spoke to me after my trial when I was found guilty. They are all criminals, the police, solicitors and magistrates as they all know I was the one that was assaulted by them but they still found me guilty, I have the cctv which has been edited by the police and it is obvious to anyone that it was me that had been assaulted not them, I am so depressed with the whole thing I feel I have been sexually and physically assaulted and there is no one I can go to for justice as the complaints dept covered up for them and lied to me, the IPCC also refused my complaint even thought the cctv and written evidence raises many questions. Vulnerable people have no protection in the uk they are abused by the very people who are supposed to be there to defend them. IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT A VULNERABLE MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY DO NOT CALL THE POLICE THEY WILL BE ABUSED AND ASSAULTED AND TREATED WITH CONTEMPT, ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE MENTAL HEATH PROBLEMS, PLEASE FOR THEIR OWN SAFTEY DO NOT CALL THE POLICE. I have since come of the tablets and stopped drinking but my very soul has died of sorrow I feel like I hate the very country I live in and feel that we as citerzains are lied to and decieved by the very people we are suppossed to respect. Please take care of anyone you know are on these tablets the authoritys will not help you and will only protect themselves if things go wrong.

  74. Ann Says:

    I just want to add as a person who has spent her life nursing I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams believed that the police could treat a vulnerable person like this, but it is true I have experienced this myself as a vulnerable person who was ill at the time, PLEASE TAKE ANYONE YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT TO AN A&E DEPT AND TELL THE DOCTORS YOU THINK IT IS THE TABLETS THAT IS CAUSEING THE PROBLEM IF YOU BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE, DO NOT CALL THE POLICE THEY WILL ONLY MAKE THINGS WORSE. take care everyone xx

  75. frankie Says:

    I’ve just logged in and I cannot believe I have not been on here since September. I am now completely drug free. It has been tough and I probably did it too quickly (reduced to tablet every other day for two weeks and then 1 every two days for 2 weeks and so on. I am already starting to get back to my “normal” self. I am going to work without problems, last year I was scraed I was going to lose my job as some days I could not drag myself out of bed. I also nearly ruined my relationship and I know I drove my family to distraction! I have had some side effects during the process, vivid dreams, night sweats, anxiety, feeling spaced out etc etc but I am slowly starting to see my progress. Having supportive people around you is very important – I have been lucky. I was appalled to read your story Ann, it made me cry. I am glad you have come off the drugs and I hope you can start to slowly rebuild you life. Take care everyone x

  76. x Says:

    HI, i was put on Seroxat, instead of getting proper help that i needed, had terrible rages drank loads,acted like a c**t to everyone, screwed up my degree course and my life. Was put on prozac instead, again drank to take the edge off and normalize. Came off the Prozac cold turkey last year -very difficult. Been smoking dope the past ten years permanently stoned morning till night. Felt fine until i ran out of dope…..bad mood,very low….bought some more…. or drank if no spliff.
    just before christmas researching online about cannabis withdrawal, depression and how to commit suicide (yet again) i discovered 5-Htp, this stuff is amazing –i haven’t smoked a joint in six weeks and I am off the booze no cravings at all. Its natural, an amino acid that creates serotonin rather than blocking it like prozac etc.
    Doctors wont tell you about this, you can get it in health food shops, Holland and Barret had it on special offer, im not on commission! All i know is it has saved my life, calmed me down and helps me sleep, works in hours not weeks, google it, try it .
    Seroxat made me suicidal, many people have lost their lives through this poison, or become addicted to it, shame on the doctors and drug companys.

  77. Ann Says:

    Frankie, thank you for your kind thoughts, trouble is I just cant stop feeling so angry, I just wish I could forget the whole past but I cant, my whole life is now ruined. My psychiatrists registrar told me I needed counselling but I can honestly say I dont think it will be of much benefit, what I need is justice but it will never happen. Every time I think of what those evil, sick police officers did to me I just feel enraged, seeing those male faces gritting their teeth at me whilst drilling their fingers into my neck and being stripped naked at the same time makes me want to fight them back, I was absolutely terrified at the time and thought they were going to kill me, it was that part that they edited from the CCTV. My solicitor did not ask for the original CCTV in time (apparently its 30 days notice other wise they say its wiped clean) but if they had got the original CCTV they were going to charge me also with breaking the CCTV, which did not happen. This is what they accused me of at my first court hearing but then that charge got dropped and I never heard anymore about it, I dont know who to believe but the corruption just makes me so angry, I also feel angry that they let those officers get away with it and that they will probably do that to someone else, I think I am quite a strong person but even I felt like taking my own life because of it, someone else might not be as strong and that’s what also makes me so angry with the police complaints dept, they dont care about what they do to anyone as long as they have covered their backs, they make me sick. The only way I can help myself and others is to talk about what happened to me and to warn others to be aware of what can happen to them if the SSRI’S are mixed with alcohol, also to make sure they have plenty of support around them if they do have problems with these drugs and alcohol cravings, until they can safely wean themselves off. Sadly most Doctors are stuck way back in the past and need probably another ten years to catch up with what we already know, thank god for the Internet because it was websites like this that educated me and got me off those nasty SSRI’S. THANK YOU “SEROXAT SECRETS”. YOUR WEBSITE HAS PROBABLY SAVED MANY LIVES.

  78. frankie Says:

    Hi Ann, I can totally understand how you feel. I have not experienced anything as bad as you but when the police put me in the back of their van after an incident on a night out (due to me drinking while on the tablets) I was treated like a criminal. I understand they have a job to do but they just assumed I was drunk and irresponsible not that possibly my drink had been spiked or they was something more serious going on. I was very scared and had not realised unti that point that it was the tablets and the alcohol causing my behaviour. I felt so guilty. I am 3 weeks into being completely off the tablets now but I am still having major mood swings, paranoid feelings and a low sense of worth. I have always had self esteem issues but they have become so much worse since taking the tablets. I am in serious danger of losing my relationship as I have pushed my very understanding boyfriend to the limit, not to mention my close family who have all been great, althought I know they often feel helpless. You are so right, this website is a godsend. It has helped me and I hope so many more people. Let’s all stick together and help each other get through it.

  79. Ann Says:

    Frankie, I think its best to educate yourself as much as you can so you know what to expect, coming of the drugs can be a rocky ride like you said with the mood swings e.t.c. when I came of the ssris after ten years the first month I felt fine if not high but then the mood swings came, electric shocks in my head, very sensitive to noise, crying spells which were actually a relief when you haven’t cried for years, feeling like I had flu with aches and pains, nausea and panic attacks, my Doctor kept saying I needed to go back on the meds but I insisted I was coming off them Id had enough of all the madness. I went on like this for two/three months but just couldn’t cope anymore and had to go back to my doctor I was having terrible panic attacks in the high street, at home e.t.c and the mood swings were coming and going in waves, I then agreed I couldn’t go on like this anymore so my Doctor put me onto mirtazapine which I have to say is about two thirds less lethal than the ssris in fact I only have about three/four side effects on this one and I have no cravings for alcohol anymore, they work a bit like a diazepam and are very sedating which is a plus for me as I had always suffered anxiety but I would prefer to be drug free. I also still had withdrawal effects from the ssris for about a year afterwards even when on mirtazapine (mirtazapine is quite a weak drug in comparison to the ssris) so I dread to think what it would have been like not having any medication at all, by the end of that year I went into a very dark depression which I had never experienced in my life it was horrible it lasted about two months then my mood started to pick up again and that is now where I am at today. Just because it didn’t work for me frankie doesn’t mean it wont work for you as everyone is different, but I want you to be aware of what to expect so that you will know what is happening to you, if you do get these withdrawal effects try and learn some relaxation techniques which might help you, not everyone gets bad withdrawal effects and also it may depend also on how long you have been on them to how severe the effects last. Dont forget though frankie if you do get trouble coming off them you can always ask for something like a mild diazapam to help you through the worst bits, I did notice though that the waves of withdrawal effects were lessening in intensity each time one came until I hit that dark depression for two months where I didnt want to even get out of bed and then it lifted and went. I hope I haven’t frightened you off by telling you this as you must remember this was my experience, you might not have it as bad, let me know frankie how you get on I will be here for support if you need to chat, take care Ann

  80. Misty Says:

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. I’ve been on Paxil since October for severe PMS. I have gained 17 pounds in the past 3 months, I’m extremely tired all of the time unless I drink insane amounts of caffeine, and I have started drinking more alcohol – almost daily. I didn’t see it as a problem until someone mentioned it to me. I feel so embarrassed about all of this. I can’t believe I have become this person…. I am going to drop down to 10 mg instead of 20 mg. I’m hoping after a couple of weeks I can get off completely and I pray my alcohol cravings will go away. I don’t want this to ruin my life. I do feel relieved that others have gone through this and although I’m not excited about going through this I am glad I’m not alone.

  81. christy Says:

    Geez…i knew it! i dont care to get into my whole story…but heres the jist of things. i have only been on this drug for about two months. however its a 40mg dose which seems oddly higher then most here and i was put on it “temporary” to help cope with a very tragic and ongoing event in my life. i told dr. i was conserned as i dont like to take pharamsuticals. she said we try for a few months. in these few months i i have developed severe urges to drink. i can take down a bottle of vodka and still drink more and can do this everynight. i am a female about 110lbs. And never could drink like this. no hangovers ever its so odd. i also have vivid dreams functioning blackouts and fits of rage when i lay down for bed my body twitches randomly. for several hrs. i have also noticed a mild shakyness i ve never had. i will bweaning myself off this drug

  82. More from David Healy « seroxat secrets… Says:

    […] I have written about alcohol craving in the past and you can read it here. […]

  83. Monalisasmile Says:

    I have been taking paxil since I was 16 years old. I am 28. I tried to go off it. I crashed. One night I got really drunk and a few days later I ended up in the ER because I was having black outs. I have taken it for over 13 years. It drives me insane having to take it. My doctor says I will have to be on it the rest of my life. I crave cigarettes and alcohol. My problem is my skin fluctuates. I break out in severe acne when I am off it and when I am on it my skin clears up. It drives me nuts. Does anybody else break out when trying to go off it? I am glad I found this site. I am also sad that I am not the only one on this hell drug. If you have to take it REFUSE IT as much as possible. Going off it is the wrose and you get headaches from hell, cry all the time and your weight fluctuates. I wish I could use something else but I have a chemical imbalance so I have no choice. We have tried many things. Nice to know I am not alone.

  84. Joan Says:

    I am sitting here, right now, crying like a baby. I have been on Paxil for about 7 years. Before that I tried Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin…due to side effects I ended up with Paxil. Started out at 10 mg, but my last dosage was 60 mg. YES, 60!! I recently had to go into rehab for alcohol. I craved alcohol and could drink a WHOLE lot of it without a hangover in most cases; it didn’t help that my personal and work life was hell for 8 years, and the alcohol probably helped more than the Paxil in the sense that at least alcohol numbed the pain. In rehab they told me to be sure that I always take the prescribed dosage of my meds. About a month later, my HMO did not want to refill my prescription until I went in to see them. Even though they had been prescribing this to me for all these years, even increasing the dosage??? There were things about Paxil that I did NOT like, such as weight gain, lethargy, and total loss of interest in sex. So I decided to stop taking it. I was aware of the effects this would have on me, and I tried to use a product called 5-HTP, but I felt awful, and stopped taking it. In reality, it was probably stopping Paxil cold turkey that caused the brain zaps, headaches and nausea. (The weird dreams, however, began and stopped with the 5-HTP.) It is going on 3 weeks now, and I still have the brain zaps, a dull headache, mild nausea, and emotional ups and downs ranging from uncontrollable crying to quiet anger. I am going to stay off Paxil forever…..these side effects will eventually go away. But in the past years my third (and what I was so sure would be my last) marriage has been destroyed. I will not blame ALL of that on my Paxil/alcohol addiction…he bears a good share of the blame too – in fact, his emotional abuse is the reason my dosage kept going up. But the amount of alcohol I drank during that time prevented me from dealing with the issues….either working harder to fix them or getting out to save my sanity. I nearly lost my job – a career of 26 years with a quasi-governmental organization, because I was too wasted by the time my night shift started to go to work. All these years I have endured the barbs and hurtful comments about my alcohol addiction….and it does run in my family. I’m Irish. But I never cared much for alcohol until I started the Paxil. Still crying. Happy that maybe I am not some piece of sh*t worthless addict, after all. But sad at what this has done to my life. Thanks to all of you for sharing. It really is nice to know that I am not alone.

  85. Me Says:

    It may sound weird, but it is good to see and hear that so many people can’t deal with alcohol in combination with Seroxat. I am on these tablets for 8 years and since I am on it I can drink and simply don’t stop until I have black outs. I never had that before I was on seroxat. It makes me angry that there are so many people having this problem and it is ignored by all doctors and pharmacy’s. It also hurts to let so many people down by drinking that amount that I can’t remember what happened anymore. I was off Seroxat for a couple of years and then fell back into it because of panic attacks. Now I am scared to go off it again because of the withdrawels. Once again it is good to hear that I am not alone in this, but i wish these side effects where made clear to me when I started on Seroxat.

  86. Joan Says:

    After leaving rehab, and my Paxil refill was denied, and I went off it cold turkey…..I contacted my rehab counselor and told him about my experiences and the information I had found here and other places on the web. He brushed it off. He said not to believe everything I see on the internet. I DIDN’T, and still don’t….but I believe my own experiences and those of others. I have been off that crap for 3 years now. Life still sucks, but I am dealing without Paxil or any other anti-depressant. AND, I can still drink a glass of wine, or two, or even three. But not until I am falling down drunk or I black out! Spread the word, maybe we can save others from this hell. Good luck to all of you.

    • ted conner Says:

      I became an alcoholic after being on paxil and have finnally quiting drinking I have drtoxed of alcohol i would guess at least 20 times or more in 15 ywars yes while it was rough it did not remotely compare to going cold turkey off of paxil it was not just the physical side effects they were bad it was the delussions and paranoid mental effects that were worse and never experiennced with alcohol …at my worst i was a 26 er and a case of beer a night ,,,, anyhow i was so paranoid i broke out ofa psychward and the effects lasted much longer than alcohol … not to make light of coming off of alcohol …. i was like this is it ….. it was a cake walk compared to paxil…..

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