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Toulouse

☼ Toulouse: My Paxil Withdrawal Journey

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Longroadhome
On 4/7/2016 at 5:22 PM, DisneyFan88 said:

First time Paxil user at 10 mg in 2013 for 9 months. Paxil 15mg for about 14 months in 2015-2016. The first time I tapered off Paxil, everything was great. I had no withdrawal symptoms. This is why I did not hesitate going on it again a second time. I am officially weaned off Paxil since 4/5/16. I began tapering the beginning of Feb 2016. However, ten days into tapering my dosage, I blew up in hives. It started with my ears becoming complete itchy and swollen. Things then led to full blown body hives (neck, face, shoulder blades, torso and back) and multiple visits to the ER. I was given hydroxezine, cetrizine, prednisone, a medrol pack on another occasion, and montelucast. None of these medications completely took away my hives. I suffered from hives everyday. However, I began to notice that every time my Paxil dosage was lowered, my hives weren't as aggressive. Fast forward to today (no longer on Paxil) and I'm still getting hives. Although they're not as bad as they were in the beginning, they're still there and won't go away. With each taper, the hives moved away from my torso, hips, and back and moved to mainly my arms and legs. These hives have completely taken over my life since the beginning of February. I just want my life back! I thought my hives were due to my tapering off of Paxil but I've been completely off for a week now and I'm still getting these things! HELP!

Hi D

did your hives eventually go away ? 

I am tapering Paxil and decently have encountered the same problem. 

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DisneyFan88

Hi there,

 

I had chronic hives for about two years. The severity did decrease over time, but the first year was miserable. Things were a lot worse in the beginning. I would say that I was allergic to life because anything exacerbated the hives, a rise in temperature in my body, illness, menstrual cycle, stress, excitement, tight waist bands/bra straps, high pollen counts, exercise. As time went on, I wasn’t as sensitive, but the problem didn’t really go away until I became pregnant with my son. Before this it was like my immune system was in overdrive. Try doing an internet search for “mast cell activation and anti depressants”, I recently found this and I 100% believe it’s what I was experiencing due to being weaned off of Paxil. However, with all of this being said, I did get two tiny hives this week. It was a very stressful day for me so I’m relating it to that. Good luck to you. 

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Toulouse
25 minutes ago, Longroadhome said:

Hi D

did your hives eventually go away ? 

I am tapering Paxil and decently have encountered the same problem. 

I am tapering Paxil and decently have encountered the same problem. 

They did, mostly, however I'm unsure the reasoning for the hives.  I had them really bad for a few months, right when I was coming off the Paxil.  I went to two allergists who did blood tests.  No answers there.  So  I went to see a holistic doctor (who I now realize was a sham and wouldn't ever see one like him again), who put me on a soy free, dairy free, gluten free diet.  That did seem to help, and I shed a ton of weight in the process.  But I was still getting the occasional hives, which seemed sort of random.  Sometimes I'd get them bad,  even three years later.  After a trip to the ER, I threw in the towel and tried my hand at a (3rd) allergist who discovered I had a rice allergy (which developed coincidentally when I was tapering off Paxil).   So Paxil tapering messed up my whole system and made me suddenly allergic to rice of all things.   So my hunch would be that the same could be happening to you, albeit it could be anything that's causing the reaction.   I did the blood tests for allergies and found out only later that they aren't the most accurate tests.  They didn't tell me about the rice allergy for one thing.  You need the skin prick tests.  My advice is to try that and see what you discover.  You could suddenly be allergic to something you've consumed or been around your whole life. 

My dizziness, head feelings also seemed to go away after I stopped consuming rice.  Go figure.  

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Longroadhome
26 minutes ago, DisneyFan88 said:

Hi there,

 

I had chronic hives for about two years. The severity did decrease over time, but the first year was miserable. Things were a lot worse in the beginning. I would say that I was allergic to life because anything exacerbated the hives, a rise in temperature in my body, illness, menstrual cycle, stress, excitement, tight waist bands/bra straps, high pollen counts, exercise. As time went on, I wasn’t as sensitive, but the problem didn’t really go away until I became pregnant with my son. Before this it was like my immune system was in overdrive. Try doing an internet search for “mast cell activation and anti depressants”, I recently found this and I 100% believe it’s what I was experiencing due to being weaned off of Paxil. However, with all of this being said, I did get two tiny hives this week. It was a very stressful day for me so I’m relating it to that. Good luck to you. 

Thank you for prompt reply D 

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India
On 11/13/2016 at 11:55 PM, Toulouse said:

I do feel that I'm nearing the end of the long dark tunnel. I'm not out yet, but I feel like I can now see the light.

That’s wonderful news and gives me hope..

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Longroadhome
On 10/11/2019 at 5:10 PM, DisneyFan88 said:

Hi there,

 

I had chronic hives for about two years. The severity did decrease over time, but the first year was miserable. Things were a lot worse in the beginning. I would say that I was allergic to life because anything exacerbated the hives, a rise in temperature in my body, illness, menstrual cycle, stress, excitement, tight waist bands/bra straps, high pollen counts, exercise. As time went on, I wasn’t as sensitive, but the problem didn’t really go away until I became pregnant with my son. Before this it was like my immune system was in overdrive. Try doing an internet search for “mast cell activation and anti depressants”, I recently found this and I 100% believe it’s what I was experiencing due to being weaned off of Paxil. However, with all of this being said, I did get two tiny hives this week. It was a very stressful day for me so I’m relating it to that. Good luck to you. 

Hi D

my hives are so bad today what did you take for yours and did you have rashes too? 

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Toulouse
1 minute ago, Longroadhome said:

Hi D

my hives are so bad today what did you take for yours and did you have rashes too? 

I took Benadryl for bad hives.   You can take one of those in the day and then later in the day take a Zantac. That also helps with the hives and you can take that along with the Benadryl on the same day.

For small hives, which I get on occasion, I'll just take a Claritin.  Be careful if you're hives are really bad. Make sure to not let them keep spreading / getting worse.  You might need to talk to your allergist and get an epipen for emergencies like I had. I literally would not be here if my wife didn't call 911.  I was dying and she thought I was having a stroke. 

 

 But as I say,  my belief is that the weaning off disrupted my immune system and made me allergic to something I was never allergic to.  It could be a bit of both, just the Paxil leaving the system, and a new / sudden food allergy or intolerance.  It's going to be hard to find answers, so start with the skin prick at a good allergist.  

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Longroadhome
1 hour ago, Toulouse said:

I took Benadryl for bad hives.   You can take one of those in the day and then later in the day take a Zantac. That also helps with the hives and you can take that along with the Benadryl on the same day.

For small hives, which I get on occasion, I'll just take a Claritin.  Be careful if you're hives are really bad. Make sure to not let them keep spreading / getting worse.  You might need to talk to your allergist and get an epipen for emergencies like I had. I literally would not be here if my wife didn't call 911.  I was dying and she thought I was having a stroke. 

 

 But as I say,  my belief is that the weaning off disrupted my immune system and made me allergic to something I was never allergic to.  It could be a bit of both, just the Paxil leaving the system, and a new / sudden food allergy or intolerance.  It's going to be hard to find answers, so start with the skin prick at a good allergist.  

Thank you . Think it’s another trip to the doctor to get referral. 

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DisneyFan88

In the beginning when mine were really bad I would go to the emergency room and get a steroid shot, but I’m talking really bad, like swollen hands, feet and whole body covered in hives. 

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DisneyFan88

However, the last allergist I saw recommended that I stop any steroids and just ride it out because after completing a round of steroids, it always seemed that my hives came back angrier. So she suggested to only take zyrtec OR allegra and add benadryl to the mix to try to keep me as comfortable as possible. Once I stopped the steroid injections/pills it seemed like my body worked out whatever it needed to and slowly but surely the hives weren’t as aggressive (unless I caught a cold). 

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Longroadhome

@DisneyFan88

 

i hope you don’t mind me asking but my hives started after taking antibiotics. It could just be coincidence but I think not . 

Ivr had them for a month and they seem very bad of an evening and into the night . 

The next morning I’m itchy for a few hours but then not too bad the rest of the day then early evening the cycle starts again was this like you? 

I worry about taking antihistamines because my body is reacting to everything at the moment . 

Did you take your antihistamines every day and for how long ? 

Sorry to keep asking questions it’s just this new symptom is very unpleasant. 

 

Just as you say they will appear under my bra strap under the band of my trousers when I’m hot if I lie down they will appear on my neck and the side I’m lying on etc etc 

did you do a low histamine diet ?

 

Many thanks 

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Toulouse
4 hours ago, Longroadhome said:

@DisneyFan88

 

i hope you don’t mind me asking but my hives started after taking antibiotics. It could just be coincidence but I think not . 

Ivr had them for a month and they seem very bad of an evening and into the night . 

The next morning I’m itchy for a few hours but then not too bad the rest of the day then early evening the cycle starts again was this like you? 

I worry about taking antihistamines because my body is reacting to everything at the moment . 

Did you take your antihistamines every day and for how long ? 

Sorry to keep asking questions it’s just this new symptom is very unpleasant. 

 

Just as you say they will appear under my bra strap under the band of my trousers when I’m hot if I lie down they will appear on my neck and the side I’m lying on etc etc 

did you do a low histamine diet ?

 

Many thanks 

I can relate to your frustration.  I didn't have any antibiotics prior to the hives (I've had antibiotics since and during my withdrawal and recovery with no issues).    I did take the antihistamines every day for a while (6-8 months maybe?). Then only sporadically.  Now maybe 2x per week, but that's mainly due to environmental allergies, dust mites, as opposed to the food allergy.   I do know that my hives and food allergy are directly related to me getting off the Paxil and the shock my body went through.  I did too fast of a taper for the amount of time I was on.  But I thought the Paxil was killing me, so I sped up my weaning.  Aside from an allergist trying to pinpoint what you're reacting to, most other doctors will have zero answers for you.   I wasted a lot of time, energy and money, lots of money, trying to find answers.   In my case, time, eating right, getting moderate exercise, stopping coffee and alcohol, helped me heal.   Also seeing a therapist who helped me learn and practice Mindfulness.  That seemed to help me a lot (and something I need to get back into pronto).  It's been a long journey.    I still get easily stressed, for instance, so I still need to work on things myself.  

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Longroadhome
2 minutes ago, Toulouse said:

I can relate to your frustration.  I didn't have any antibiotics prior to the hives (I've had antibiotics since and during my withdrawal and recovery with no issues).    I did take the antihistamines every day for a while (6-8 months maybe?). Then only sporadically.  Now maybe 2x per week, but that's mainly due to environmental allergies, dust mites, as opposed to the food allergy.   I do know that my hives and food allergy are directly related to me getting off the Paxil and the shock my body went through.  I did too fast of a taper for the amount of time I was on.  But I thought the Paxil was killing me, so I sped up my weaning.  Aside from an allergist trying to pinpoint what you're reacting to, most other doctors will have zero answers for you.   I wasted a lot of time, energy and money, lots of money, trying to find answers.   In my case, time, eating right, getting moderate exercise, stopping coffee and alcohol, helped me heal.   Also seeing a therapist who helped me learn and practice Mindfulness.  That seemed to help me a lot (and something I need to get back into pronto).  It's been a long journey.    I still get easily stressed, for instance, so I still need to work on things myself.  

You’re so kind T to always be there to answer my questions and I thank you  for this . 

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