The Paxil Paradox

4

February 13, 2013 by somesauceontheside

I was going to take a picture of all the medications I have in my nightstand and then thought better of it due to the plethora of prescription bottles in there.  Instead I’ll take a picture of the 4 medications I’ve stopped taking.

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Let me start with Ambien, that little pill that is cut in half for fear that I might run out.  I really don’t know why I had that fear, my physician and psychiatrist had no problem refilling it for me.  I am sleeping 6 hours without it most nights now.  Today I actually took a nap which I haven’t been able to do in about 15 years.  My body is learning how to reset its circadian rhythm and I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me.  No more sleep walking for this lady 🙂

Ambien can effect your mental state, even when used correctly. The most serious of these effects include mental depression and confusion but categorized as “less common.” You may suddenly feel very “down” for no apparent reason, even if you do not typically experience symptoms of depressive disorders. That little blurb is from livestrong.com and makes me wonder why I didn’t look into this before I went on Ambien.  Oh that’s right I wanted to sleep so that I wouldn’t get more migraines and get depressed.  Ha! Well the joke is on me.

Here is a link to scary article about increased death rate in Ambien users: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/02/27/study-popular-sleeping-pill-ambien-linked-to-increased-death-rate

Next up, Ativan.  We called it the chill pill in my house.  You would think between Ambien and Ativan I’d be one well rested lady, right?  I’m actually sleeping more now then when I was taking both of these medications.  Here are the more common side effects of taking Ativan: they are sedation, dizziness, weakness and unsteadiness. Cognitive effects, such as decreased attention and problems with memory, are also possible.

Moving on to the star of my post, Paxil.  So I had a few side effects from this medication the worst at the beginning was the nausea and upset stomach.  I did initially start to feel emotionally better but that didn’t last.  I began to show disinterest in pretty much everything and my blood work started coming back with all my numbers on the low side.  My potassium levels were so low that I was getting blood drawn every week.  My doctor said most likely my blood pressure medication was causing that but I was taking that long before Paxil without any issues.  I started taking half a pill in late September because I knew something wasn’t right.  I also knew you can’t just stop taking Paxil so I contacted my psychiatrist so we could discuss the best way to taper off.  The final nail in the coffin came in December when essentially my blood work said I’m anemic and malnourished.  My husband literally laughed out loud when he heard that because I love to eat and we eat well.  Then we both got scared that my Vitamin D level was at 20, which isn’t good and they say low levels are linked to cancer.

Wikipedia says that a paradox is an argument that produces an inconsistency, typically within logic or common sense.[1] In common usage, the word “paradox” often refers to irony or contradiction.  Well I wanted a catchy title for my blog post and thought this one fit the bill.  I was taking three pills, a trifecta cocktail, that was supposed to help lift me out of depression, make me less anxious and help me sleep.  But as you can see from the above mentioned side effects this cocktail was not a winner for me.  It has had serious health consequences that I’m working on getting corrected.  My blood work is looking better and my blood pressure is the lowest it has ever been.  That big yellow pill was my blood pressure medication which I’m happy to report I’m no longer taking.

I was thinking maybe for my next post I’ll write about the French Paradox which I’ve come to find out after some reading ends up not being a paradox at all.  You will see in upcoming posts that I really like coconut oil and think that everyone could benefit from adding it to their diet.

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Waiting for 2 Tone Sounds & English Beat to start playing.

I’m working on getting my happy back 🙂

Cheers,

Michelle ❤

4 thoughts on “The Paxil Paradox

  1. What an honest and informative post. Paxil is a really tough drug to get off, I’ve had friends and relatives struggle with that. And ambien is nuts! My husband used to take it and after a few months it stopped working and he would “sleep” but actually be awake and hallucinating. Fun times!

    Love your blog and very glad you’re getting your happy back!
    -Dana

    • I’m very lucky to have not had withdrawal issues when weaning off of Paxil. I’m happy to report that I no longer take any daily medications 🙂 Love, laughter and cooking are seeing me through.

      Cheers,
      Michelle

  2. I LOVED reading this post! I have not had experience with being on medication like this, but my boyfriend (Soon-to-be fiance if my dad says yes =)) was on 13 different anti-depressant medications from the time he was 14 until he was 19. His doctor told him to not go off the medication because it would harm him, but he realized he felt worse with the meds so he went off of them anyway. He’s now 25 and hasn’t been on any medication for 6 years..and he feels better than ever! Your post is encouraging to me since it shows that other people are noticing problems from meds and AREN’T just going with what the doctor says..only YOU know you and how you are reacting to medications..Good luck in your endeavor to be happy and healthy!

    P.S. My friend’s dad was told he would never be able to go off of anti-depressants or sleeping pills, and would never be able to function properly even while using the medication (get a job, go to the store by himself etc..), but he went to a natural health practitioner and he’s now been off of anti-depressants and all meds for (I believe) over a year; he also became a pastor and functions completely properly..something his doctors cannot believe. =)

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