Seroxat/Paxil and other anti-depressants – tell YOUR story

The drug companies say Seroxat (and other SSRIs) are safe to take, not at all addictive and you may have only minor problems when withdrawing from them.

My experience with SEROXAT was NOTHING like this and I know there are tens of thousands of other patients out there who agree with me.

The problem is that the MHRA and FDA don’t seem to want to listen to us and the drug companies have their profits to safeguard.

I found this post the other day on Seroxat Mad, a great UK forum [but it doesn’t matter where you live – all stories are welcome]:

The Seroxat User Group in the UK has received thousands of testimonies from people who have experienced negative effects when taking and trying to withdraw from Anti-Depressants such as Seroxat. Unfortunately these personal testimonies are not always taken into consideration in drug safety assessment, unless they are flagged up in adverse side effect reporting schemes. We want to build on patient testimonies and use them proactively to help inform support groups for people who have had negative experiences of medication.

If you are currently taking, are trying to withdraw from or have taken anti-depressant medication in the past, you are invited to take part in a current piece of research, being conducted by a Manchester Metropolitan University Masters student in association with the Seroxat group. Contribution to this research can be as easy as taking part in an online survey or interview.

Research Aims
Record people’s experiences of anti-depressants
Look at commonalities in drug experiences and in the coping techniques people use when experiencing side effects when taking or stopping medication
To investigate whether patients’ interests are being served in relation to the receipt of thorough information about potential drug side effects on prescription
To investigate what people would find useful in terms of support

Please contact me for more information, and a participant information pack.



6 Responses to “Seroxat/Paxil and other anti-depressants – tell YOUR story”

  1. linda dunne Says:

    hi, as someone who has been taking seroxat for 12 years, like a lot of people theysold it to me on the non addictive shpeel!! I was amazed to find that on a recent trip to my doc(i saw a locum) after explaining that although i am on 50mgs and have not changed my dose, i was experiencing dreadful side effects(withdrawl symtoms) for the past month, i was told that i could not possibly be feeling these symtoms as seroxat/paxil was non addictive and therefore withdrawl symtoms did not exist! HELLO????? so its all in my mind then? After explaining that i had reduced my dose while pregnant on both my daughters several years earlier and had dreadful withdrawls which only abated when the dose was restabilised, this doctor/clown/glaxorep? still maintained that it was because of the underlying depresssion/anxiety issue. I really do despair at times. Luckily I KNOW i am having withdrawls for whatever reason so what he said really didnt make me think otherwise but what if i was so distressed about this that what he said sent me over the edge?????? we really do need a proper study conducted independently of these shmucks, if we are to have any chance of sorting this paxil problem out.

  2. Dan Says:

    Risks Outweigh Any Benefits of Serotonin Medications?

    Presently, for the treatment of depression and other mental disorders, some of these disorders are questionable regarding thier existence, the preferred choice of medicinal treatment are a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, referred to as SSRIs, as they are the drugs of choice by most prescribers. Such meds, meds that affect the mind, are called psychotropic medications. SSRIs also include a few meds in this class with the addition of a norepinephrine uptake inhibitor added to the SSRI, and these are referred to SNRI medications. Examples of SNRIs are Effexor and Cymbalta. Presently, some compare the usage and popularity of these classes of meds as that of the usage of tranquilizers decades ago.

    Some Definitions:

    Serotonin is a neurotransmitter thought to be associated with mood. The hypothesis was first suggested in the mid 1960s that this neurotransmitter may play a role in moods and emotions in humans. Yet to this day, the serotonin correlation with such behavioral and mental conditions and diseases is only theoretical. In fact, the psychiatrist’s bible, which is called the DSM, states that the definite etiology of depression remains a mystery and is unknown. So a claim of a chemical imbalance in the brain as a reason for depression is not proven to be the cause of this and other mood disorders, it is only suspected based on limited science, which may or may not be valid. Observation by one’s doctor is usually the determining factor for such a diagnosis.

    Norepinephrine is a stress hormone, which many believe help those who have such mood disorders as depression. Perhaps this is now added to SSRIs for additional efficacy for those treated with these medications.

    And depression is only one of those mood disorders, yet possibly the most devastating one. Once again, an accurate diagnosis of these mood conditions lack complete accuracy as they can only be defined conceptually, so the diagnosis is dependent on subjective criteria, such as questionnaires, as there is no diagnostic testing available to conclude objective diagnosis of such disorders. However, the diagnosis of depression in patients has increased quite a bit over the decades. While most likely a real disease, most will agree, misdiagnosis does occur due to the subjective assessment that determines the disease, as perhaps one out of every four people diagnosed with depression is inaccurate.

    Several decades ago, less than 1 percent of the U.S. population were thought to have depression. Today, it is believed that about 10 percent of the population have depression at some time in their lives. Why this great increase in the growth in the assessment of this condition remains unknown and is subject to speculation. What is known is that the psychiatry specialty is the one specialty most paid to by certain pharmaceutical companies for various forms of support, as this industry clearly desires market growth of their psychotropic products, such as SSRIs, since clearly this is part of their nature and objective as a pharmaceutical company. Regardless, SSRIs and SRNIs are the preferred treatment methods if depression or other certain mood disorders that may be suspected by a doctor.

    Over 30 million scripts of these types of meds are written annually, and the franchise is around 20 billion dollars a year, with some of the meds costing over 3 dollars per tablet. There are about ten different SSRI/SRNI meds available, many of which are now generic, yet essentially, they appear to be similar in regards to their efficacy and adverse events. The newest one, a SNRI called Pristiq, was approved this month and is expected to be promoted primarily for the treatment for menopause. Conversely, the first one of these SSRI meds was Prozac, which was available in 1988, and the drug was greatly praised for its ability to transform the lives of those who consumed this medication in the years that followed. Some termed Prozac, ‘the happy pill’. As years passed, this drug was preferred for children with depression. Also, a book was written praising Prozac as a euphoric entity for all to experience.

    Furthermore, these meds have received additional indications for really questionable conditions, such as social phobia and premenstrual syndrome. With the latter, I find it hard to believe that a natural female experience can be considered a treatable disease. With social phobia, many would say that is a personality trait and, in my opinion, is synonomous with shyness, which probably should not be labeled a treatable disease as well. There are other indications for certain behavioral manifestations with the different SSRIs or SRNIs. So the market continues to grow with these meds- assisted by thier manufacturers. Yet, it is believed that these meds are effective in only about half of those who take them. Also, the makers of such meds create such conditions for utilization of these types of medications, in my opinion, and are active with related support groups who are funded by the makers of such drugs, such as sponsoring screenings for the indicated and not indicated conditions of their meds, including children and adolescents in particular, it is believed. Yet depression, which has clearly has been proven to be devastating to the victim, such screenings are controversial due to possible bias involved in seeking those with mental illness in this manner.

    More concerning, however, is the adverse effects associated with SSRIs and SRNIs, which include suicidal thoughts and actions, as well as violence, including acts of homicide and aggression. The associations with these actions have been established with these types of meds. While most are approved for use in adults only, prescribing these meds to children and adolescents has drawn the most attention to others through the media. The reasons for this attention are the off-label use of these meds in this population, and the association with suicide. What may be most shocking is the fact that some of the makers of these meds did not release clinical study information about the risks of suicide as well as the other adverse events and true efficacy of certain types of SSRI meds, including the decreased efficacy of SSRIs, which is believed to be only less than 10 percent more effective than a placebo, until ultimately the makers of such drugs were forced to do so. Paxil, for example, caught the attention of the government regarding these issues some time ago for hiding and not presenting such important information to others, for example.

    And there are very serious questions about the use of SSRIs in children and adolescents regarding the effects of these meds on them. For example, do the SSRIs correct or create brain states considered not within normal limits, which in effect may worsen thier mental state? Are adolescents depressed, or just experiencing what was once considered normal teenage angst? Do SSRIs have an effect on the brain development and their identity? Do adolescents in particular become dangerous or bizarre due to SSRIs interfering with the myelination occurring in their still developing brains? No one seems to know the correct answer to such questions, yet the danger associated with the use of SSRIs does in fact exist. It exists in some who take such meds, but not all who take these meds. Yet more need to be aware of such possibilities, some say.

    Finally, if SSRIs are discontinued by those who have taken them for certain periods of time, withdrawals have been reported to be quite brutal, and may be a catalyst for suicide in itself, as not only are these meds habit- forming, but discontinuing these meds leaves the brain in a state of neurochemical instability, as the neurons are recalibrating upon discontinuation of the SSRI after being altered by the med to some degree. This occurs to some level with any psychotropic med, yet the withdrawals can reach a state of danger for the victim in some classes of meds such as the case with SSRIs.

    SSRIs and SRNIs have been claimed by doctors and patients to be extremely beneficial for the patient’s well -being regarding the patient’s issues involved with thier mental illness suspected, such as depression, yet the risk factors associated with this class of medications may outweigh any perceived benefit for the patient taking such a drug, and this may want to be explored more by others. Considering the lack of efficacy that has been demonstrated objectively, along with the deadly adverse events with these meds only recently brought to the attention of others, other treatment options should probably be considered at the discretion of your prescriber.

    “I use to care, but now I take a pill for that.” — Author unknown

    Dan Abshear

  3. Lisa Says:

    The above story is so horribly familiar to me. I was prescribed seroxat when i was was 15, . I can vividly remember the G.P handing me a pack of cards in order to ‘diagnose’ the problem (this seems laughable now) I am now 28 and am still struggling to come off this drug due to the horrific withdrawal symptoms.I too was told that these drugs were in no way addictive, and completely harmless. My current G.P recently told me that he prefers not to prescribe seroxat to his patients due to the concern of severe withdrawal symptoms. Would have been nice to have been told that 10 years ago! I have been made to feel that i was loosing my mind, that i was making a big fuss over nothing. Now i know this isn’t true.

  4. Brett Says:

    I was prescribed Paxil in Dec 2007 for panic disorder. The drug stopped the full blown panic attacks. Now I wonder if they weren’t the lesser of the two evils. After being pushed to 60mg per day to control panic symptoms, I became totally non-functional because of side effects. I couldn’t sleep, work, and gained 30+ pounds in under a year. I became uncaring and cold. On christmas day 08 I abandoned my wife and kids and moved away. I have no idea what i was thinking. My wife begged me to come off the Paxil, that I was becoming something else, someone she didn’t feel safe around. I fought tooth and nail to get down to 20 mg, and and cannot go any lower without being disabled completely. The panic attacks are gone. I have been doing CBT and relaxation exercises, etc. The panic is under control. What, then, has this drug done to me? My wife is homeless. I am jobless. Suicidal thoughts lurk too near to bear, though I intend no harm to myself. My life is utterly destroyed. Thank you, Paxil producers. I hope you are all forced onto high doses of this med for life.

  5. Bookmarks about Secrets Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by usyea on 2008-12-20 Seroxat/Paxil and other anti-depressants – tell YOUR story […]

  6. nancy Says:

    does any body know any solicitors taking any class actions , ive missed out on the one,that the solictors from wales are doing

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