Me and Wee: Paxil Withdrawal and Pregnancy

Monday, December 15, 2014

Paxil Withdrawal and Pregnancy

Hi friends!

So, I'm 35 weeks into this pregnancy and feeling exhausted, sore, crampy and every other thing that makes it hard to function. But I'm thrilled to be in the home stretch and feeling excited to see little "baby bean!" I thought I'd take some time in this post to discuss the very beginning drama of this tricky pregnancy.

If you have followed this blog, you might remember that I suffer from depression and anxiety. I'd been managing and getting by for a while using Paxil (after unsuccessful attempts with Prozac and Lexapro). I felt fine enough, but I was still severely lacking in motivation and "oomph." The day I found out I was pregnant (SURPRISE!!!!! And we'd JUST donated most of our baby stuff!) I realized that Paxil is a Class D drug and not for use during pregnancy. So, I stopped taking my pill that very day. I figured, "eh, I'm feeling good enough. I'm going to have to tough it out without it for the sake of the baby."

Oh my. I ended up having severe Paxil withdrawal. The next day, I woke up and felt so seasick. I had severe vertigo and began throwing up. This went on for days. I never had morning sickness with my other kids and this felt different somehow to things I'd heard. It was the same response my body had at other times on days I forgot to take my Paxil...I would become incredibly dizzy and nauseated. I would then spend the day throwing up. But I always felt better once I took my Paxil and it took a while to make the correlation that THAT was what was making me sick. My body depended on it.

It took me exactly 3 weeks for the "seasickness" to end. I couldn't drive or function normally during that time. I had to lay down all the time and it was so hard to take care of my kids. I depended on friends who brought Paige to and from preschool those days when I couldn't move or lift my head up. I had horrible night-sweats where I had to change my clothes 2 times per night. There wasn't a moment where I felt good. It was awful.

It was such a relief when the withdrawal ended and I felt like myself again! I will NEVER go back to taking Paxil. NEVER. Please know that this drug keeps you physically addicted by making it almost impossible to come off of. I wouldn't wish the hell of that sickness on my worst enemies. I wish I had been warned about this before ever taking it in the first place. I share this post to let others know my story so they don't feel alone if they are going through the same thing. A friend of mine who suffered similarly said "I'd rather go back into basic training than take that drug again." Sounds fair to me.

In my next post, I will talk about the ramifications I went through during my pregnancy after I stopped taking my anti-depressant and what I had to do to fix it. Depression and pregnancy is very serious and no joke. See you soon!


Sapphire said...

I have anxiety and have taken Lexapro myself in the past but decided I need to find other alternatives to drugs for myself. I'm certainly not suggesting this for everyone. And sometimes I really do pay a price for this because I won't be able to sleep or eat/drink water but I have found some things that work to manage my anxiety. I think it is really great that you are sharing this information with others. You never know who you might help or when. I do hope you found some solutions for yourself and I'm sorry that you had to go through 3 weeks of sickness.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're feeling better- it stinks when a medication is so hard on your body.
As someone who has depression/anxiety, I also found that what worked for me after child #1 was not doing it after child #2. When he was about 2 (and my hormones had time to settle down), I tried out Wellbutrin and Zoloft (just for anxiety attacks) and have been much better.

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