Is it safe to stop taking Paxil after 1 week?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Is it safe to stop taking Paxil after 1 week?”. Paxil is an antidepressant and it is used in the treatment of a number of mental health related problems. 

However, abrupt withdrawal of this antidepressant leads to unfavourable outcomes. This blog is all about that. 

Is it safe to stop taking Paxil after 1 week? 

No, it is not safe to stop taking paxil after one week because of the following reasons:

  • Withdrawal symptoms 
  • Therapeutic failure 
  • Worsening of mental health condition

Withdrawal symptoms

Paxil is associated with troublesome symptoms if the drug is stopped abruptly. Antidepressants are known for producing withdrawal symptoms, but a few studies indicate that Paxil can cause serious discontinuation symptoms. 

Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to prevent the abrupt withdrawal of this antidepressant. Though it might not start producing beneficial effects during the first week of your treatment, it doesn’t indicate that it’s safe to stop it. 

Your body is well aware of the presence of this antidepressant and now it will detect when you’ll stop taking it. Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It inhibits the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). 

This results in increased serotonin activity in your body. If you stop your paxil after a week, it will cause a sudden deficiency of serotonin and you will be subjected to disturbing withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Extreme irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Mood instability 
  • Inability to fall asleep or insomnia 
  • Restlessness 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Headache 
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea and vomiting 
  • Brain zaps
  • Nervousness and confusion 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Tremors

These symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the dose. This is why it is recommended to never stop your paxil abruptly because these withdrawal symptoms may become much worse than the side effects your antidepressant was giving you. 

If side effects are the reason for your discontinuation, make sure it was worth it. If you’re allergic to paroxetine or any other excipient present in the formulation of paxil, then stopping this antidepressant is a good option. 

Antidepressants are meant to be used for a longer period of time and if yours is making you sick or causing an allergic reaction, then it’s not worth using it. If you’re suffering from mild side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, insomnia, drowsiness or muscle pain, don’t worry. 

These side effects are not good enough reasons to stop your paxil as they will begin to fade away within a few weeks, when your body will become adjusted to it. 

Therapeutic failure 

Therapeutic failure is a big concern when it comes to stopping your paxil just after a week of your treatment. This is wrong on so many levels as you will not gain any benefit, whatsoever. Antidepressants, including paxil, take around 4 to 5 weeks to work. 

As described earlier, these meds alter the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain and this process takes time. You will never see results in one week and the entire treatment goal can go to waste. 

Paxil is usually prescribed for the treatment of mild to severe episodes of depression, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic attacks and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. 

If you stop using paxil just after 1 week, you will not notice any relief in the symptoms associated with the above mentioned health conditions. 

These mental health problems take time to progress and so does their treatment. It’s not just the time taken by the drug to produce its effects, but the time taken by your body to adjust to the medicine. 

Yes, it is a known fact that antidepressants may make you feel worse before they make you feel better. 

This is because the side effects of paxil and every other antidepressant arise way earlier than the beneficial effects, but it doesn’t indicate that you should stop your treatment. 

This is a common fact to bear the side effects, which start to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. Just hang in there, give your body enough time to adjust and opt for a better and healthier lifestyle. This way, I’m sure you’ll achieve better results. 

Worsening of mental health condition

There is a big risk of your mental health condition becoming worse if you discontinue your treatment just after 1 week and that too without having any logical reason. Mental illnesses are crucial as they affect the most vital organ of your body, the brain. 

When your brain functions are compromised, you not only experience mental or psychological symptoms, but you also go through physical symptoms and generally start feeling sick.

If you don’t take your treatment seriously and stop it halfway, you will never see results and your mental health condition may become much worse. You have got to give paxil a chance, unless you can’t tolerate it or it causes an allergic reaction. 

Several studies suggest that non-adherence followed by people is one of the most common causes of disease relapse. Make sure you take your treatment seriously in order to get rid of your condition for good. If your condition becomes worse, you will regret stopping your paxil. 

What is the safest way of stopping paxil? 

As we have discussed earlier, paxil is an SSRI that increases the amounts of active serotonin in your body. Now, if you take away this antidepressant rapidly, the availability of serotonin reduces. 

This results in serotonin receptors craving serotonin as they have been receiving it for quite a while now, and you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

It’s basically because of the sudden deficiency of serotonin within the synaptic cleft. This is why dose tapering is important and is considered the safest way of stopping paxil, in order to avoid paxil withdrawal syndrome.

It is a safe and effective method to withdraw SSRIs. Your healthcare provider simply just reduces the dose of your antidepressant. 

It enables you to start taking medicine in lesser quantities without completely depriving your receptors of serotonin. Half of the dose keeps decreasing gradually over the period of 7 to 8 days. 

After spending a week or two, the med is on its lowest possible dose and now it is considered safe for you to stop using it. Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to take the process into their own hands and either try and reduce the dose themselves gradually or stop it all together.

Now this is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Never stop or start any sort of medication on your own. There are medications, called over-the-counter meds, which can be taken without prescription.

But meds, like antidepressants, antipsychotics, CNS stimulants etc, which affect your brain, your cognition, memory, feelings, decision making abilities, how could you possibly think of starting or withdrawing such meds on your own? It is something for you to think about

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the risk associated with the discontinuation of treatment with paxil just after one week. Paxil is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. 

This med takes at least 3 to 4 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. It is not recommended to stop taking paxil after 1 week, unless it produces an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects. 

Therapeutic failure is a big concern when it comes to stopping your paxil just after a week of your treatment. This is wrong on so many levels as you will not gain any benefit, whatsoever. 

If you discontinue your paxil before giving it even a chance of producing beneficial effects, chances are that your mental health condition, for which your doctor prescribed paxil, will start getting worse. Make sure you take your paxil properly to ensure maximum therapeutic response. 

FAQs: Stopping paxil after 1 week

Can I stop Paxil after two weeks?

It is not safe to stop paxil after two weeks. It is only considered a good option if you suffer from an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects. If not, abrupt withdrawal of paxil after two weeks can cause serious consequences. It will not only cause withdrawal symptoms, but will also result in therapeutic failure. 

Antidepressants, including paxil, take around 4 to 5 weeks to work. As described earlier, these meds alter the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain and this process takes time. You will never see results in one week and the entire treatment goal can go to waste. 

How long does it take to feel normal after stopping Paxil?

Withdrawal effects from paxil discontinuation usually start to appear within 2 to 3 days of its withdrawal. The intensity of these side effects determine the time taken by your body to recover from them. 

Studies suggest that people who have been on high Paxil doses for a longer period of time are more susceptible to serious withdrawal symptoms. Several studies suggest that it may take up to 90-100 days to get paxil completely out of your system. 

What happens if you stop Paxil suddenly?

Abrupt withdrawal of paxil leads to withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome. When you start taking antidepressant, it increases the amount of serotonin in your body. 

Over time, your body gets used to this increased amount of serotonin. When you suddenly stop using it, it creates an unannounced serotonin deficiency, to which your body reacts in a negative way. You may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Extreme irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Mood instability 
  • Inability to fall asleep or insomnia 
  • Restlessness 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Headache 
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea and vomiting 
  • Brain zaps
  • Nervousness and confusion 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Tremors

How do you wean off 10mg of Paxil?

The best way to wean off 10mg of paxil is by dose tapering, which should be done by your healthcare provider. Your doctor might reduce your dose to 7.5 mg for a period of few days and wait until your body adjusts to the tapered dose. Then your dose will be further lowered down to 5 mg for a few days or weeks before stopping it altogether. 

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.

References 

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