Paxil Free

A personal record of Paxil withdrawal.

Archive for the 'Immune System – The Paxil Flu' Category


#2: The Paxil Flu

March 11th, 2001. (Basic Facts – continued)

The Paxil Flu is also known as a complete shut-down of the immune system. It’s most likely to occur at its worst by withdrawing from Paxil cold turkey (which should NEVER be done; if your doctor told you otherwise, you need to find yourself a new doctor NOW). The Paxil Flu also occurs for some people even while they’re weaning slowly. Paroxetine withdrawal is a neurological trauma, and like any traumatic or stressful event, it can have a drain on your vitality, your health and your overall strength. Therefore, you might want to take supplements of certain vitamins which will become depleted by the stress of the withdrawal (B-complex, Vitamins C and E for starters).

Often included with the Paxil Flu are unusual ailments which doctors have no explanation for — and which, in their ignorance, they don’t connect to paroxetine withdrawal. Your doctor may perform every kind of test on you and then say, “I don’t know what’s causing it,” or the classic, “There’s nothing wrong with you” — while in the meantime you feel like you’re dying.

During my cold turkey withdrawal, besides extreme dizziness, headaches and body aches that could register on the Richter Scale, I developed growths under my tongue which were painful and would bleed at the slightest touch. Eventually I had a biopsy performed and my doctor said,”It’s normal tissue.” Great.

It seems to me that most of these medical anomalies are related to the effects of paroxetine; we just don’t how — and neither does the medical community.

The good news about the Paxil Flu is that it can be prevented through a proper use of vitamin supplements, a healthy diet (which does not include caffeine, cigarettes or alcohol) and regular exercise. It’s a simple straight-forward solution, and you’d be surprised at how well it works.

P.S., If you smoke cigarettes and you know you’re hooked, don’t try getting off them now. Caffeine you can probably wean yourself off without too much harm, but nicotine is another story.

My Immune System / Back on Paxil

Monday, July 10th, 2000.

Today is my 3rd day back on Paxil after going through the hell of cold turkey withdrawal by my doctor’s orders (my plan now, of course, is to wean myself off it slowly). The electrical surges in my brain immediately disappeared — and that’s the only thing I care about — and I’ve been feeling sleepy with a slight headache ever since. I’m sleeping like a dog, although the timing is still a little bit off (I’m working on that).

Also, my immune system is back to normal. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my immune system went right down the toilet the second I went off the Paxil cold turkey. I had a slight sore throat at the time, which, along with the inside of my mouth, immediately became inflamed and incredibly sore. One side of my gums were swollen and painful and my throat was killing me the whole time.

It’s my 3rd day back on the Paxil and most of that has cleared up on its own.

Did anybody else experience flu symptoms while they were trying to get off the Paxil?

Postscript – February 3rd, 2001: The answer to my question, Did anybody else experience flu symptoms while they were trying to get off the Paxil?, was of course YES. I lost count how many people said YES. I experienced then what those who have lived through paroxetine withdrawal call The Paxil Flu. It’s more than a bad case of the flu. It’s closer to a total breakdown of the immune system. Before I began to wean myself off the Paxil, I started to take daily vitamin supplements, B-Complex especially. That, along with as much regular exercise as I could manage, helped keep me healthy for the duration of my withdrawal (which lasted close to seven months).

The Weaning Begins (Day 4)

Saturday, September 9th, 2000.

Today is my 4th day of weaning myself off Paxil, but this time I’m doing it slowly. The first time I stopped was cold turkey because my doctor said it was okay to do that. That was a few months ago, and I haven’t been the same since.

It took me this long to get my courage back up to give it another try. Outwardly, I appear pleasant and calm, but inside I’m scared and have been at least for the past month anticipating getting off the Paxil again. As well informed as I’ve become since the hell of my initial withdrawal experience, I’m still scared. Everything I went through during my withdrawal has definitely left an impression on me, and one that I’d much rather have done without.
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Havoc on the Immune System

Thursday, September 21st, 2000 (continued). Responding to a concern someone had about a weird lump in their throat:

From my own experience of cold turkey withdrawal from Paxil (which lasted six days before I had to go back on it); from what I’ve read online; and from what I’ve been able to read in the medical literature, Paxil — and withdrawing from it — plays havoc with your immune system.

Almost everyone (especially those who go cold turkey) seems to come down with flu symptoms while they’re trying to get off Paxil — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When I tried getting off Paxil, besides coming down with the worst flu of my life, the brain zaps and blurred vision, I also had cancerous-like growths show up inside my mouth, particularly under my tongue. Eventually these painfully large growths seemed to fill with blood and begin to bleed whenever I ate something that rubbed against them. I had one particular tumour that didn’t go away for a month, then disappeared for a week and then came back. Several times I thought of going to the doctor because I was sure I had some kind of cancer, but some days the tumour was there and some days it wasn’t. Eventually it went away.

That’s just my little story.

If you don’t take vitamin supplements already (e.g., B-Complex, at least 50mg a day), then start now. Extra doses of Vitamin C and Calcium/Magnesium wouldn’t hurt either.

But my feeling is that you don’t have anything wrong with your throat. Once the Paxil and everything else is flushed out of your system, that lump in your throat will go away. By now you probably think you have throat cancer (and I know how convincing the experience can be), but I think when everything is over done with, you’ll be fine.

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