Topic: Paxil for anxiety, good or bad side effects

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Nov 28, 2020 07:00PM - edited Nov 28, 2020 07:00PM by faith-840

Posted on: Nov 28, 2020 07:00PM - edited Nov 28, 2020 07:00PM by faith-840

faith-840 wrote:

I'm having terrible anxiety and have tried lexapro and remeron, both were no help. I was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribes but doesn't do talk therapy which I thought she would do. It seems as if she doesn't know what to do with me. I suggested that my MO said to try Paxil so she gave me that. I picked it up today but am afraid to try it. I would really appreciate any of your thoughts and feelings on this.

Thanks much,

Faith.

Faith Dx 1/1991, Left, Stage IIIB, 8/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/1991 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Surgery 2/4/1991 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 8/19/1991 CAF Dx 1/2016, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/23/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 28, 2020 07:49PM jhl wrote:

Hi Faith,

Paxil will work very much like Lexapro. They are both SSRI's. Remeron is a different class of antidepressants and can actually increase anxiety so I'm not surprised it did not work. The most effective anti anxiety medications are the benzodiazepines and Buspirone. Physicians frown on starting benzodiazepines particularly in someone who is not using psychotherapy.

Do you know what your anxiety is related to? Cancer, COVID, family, state of the world??? If you can narrow down what is the root of your anxiety, you might be able to find someone better than your current psychiatrist. For example, if it is related to your cancer diagnosis & treatment, try getting in touch with a nurse navigator or a social worker within your cancer center. They might have resources to help you find a more appropriate provider. Psychologists have become very skilled in the past 8 months in helping put COVID & that state of our country/world in perspective.

That is not to say you might not benefit from an antidepressant. However, they will take at least 3 weeks to become fully effective. You might not 'feel' better right away. Rather, you will notice previous triggers don't rattle you like they used to. You must take it consistently and not on an as needed basis. Have you learned any methods to calm & center yourself when you are in an acute state of anxiety? There are lots of online resources to teach you.

Best of luck!

Dx 11/15/2019, IDC: Cribriform, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 29, 2020 04:21AM wc3 wrote:

Faith-840:

I can't comment on the effectiveness of Paxil for anxiety however I do know that if you choose to stop it your doctor must taper you off of it as stopping cold turkey can cause physical withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant
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Nov 29, 2020 06:53PM faith-840 wrote:

Thank you both for your thoughts on Paxil. I believe my anxiety is health related, mine and my DH’s. I’m stage 4 BC but stable for awhile now. But, as you probably know, every twinge and your mind goes to dark places. My DH had some health issues at the beginning of 2019 which are almost resolved but now he needs a knee replacement and while I really want him to have it done so he can do more and also help around the house, when the nurse called to actually schedule it, I had an anxiety attack. That’s because I worry he might have another stroke. He had a mild one about 6 years ago and is mostly fine but he’s on blood thinners and the worry never goes away for me. I should probably also tell you that I’m 80 and he is 83 so aging is also a worry, but our minds are good, the bodies are getting weaker.

I really don’t want to take any more drugs but it’s hard dealing with this anxiety. I wake up every morning and feel this anxiety starting. I have zanax and that usually seems to take the edge off but I feel like I’m not as sharp as I used to be when I take it. I know all these drugs have side effects and are hard to get off and wonder if the benefits out weigh the drawbacks. I’m also seeing a hypnotist and his sessions are helpful but it doesn’t take away the immediate anxiety.

Sorry to go on so long but I’m having a hard time deciding what to do about starting Paxil, finding a better psychiatrist or therapist or just hang in there with the zanax, coping skills and the hypnotherapist. Can you tell I’m in a dither about all this? Do I have to say, I have a hard time making decisions. Thanks for listening, any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Faith (in the future).

Faith Dx 1/1991, Left, Stage IIIB, 8/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/1991 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Surgery 2/4/1991 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 8/19/1991 CAF Dx 1/2016, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/23/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 30, 2020 04:31AM - edited Dec 1, 2020 05:12AM by wc3

Faith:

I think you definitely have things to be anxious about and I'm sorry you have so many stressful things to contend with. If you haven't already though, it might be a good idea to get your thyroid checked, particularly if you are waking up with anxiety. Hyperthyroidism can amplify existing anxiety and it's easy to check for and treat, but surprisingly a lot of doctors don't check for it when a patient comes to them with anxiety.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant
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Nov 30, 2020 07:43AM flashlight wrote:

Hi Faith, My daughter tried lexapro for anxiety and it didn't work for her. She has been on and off of zoloft for years. My mom started celexa at 85. She was on a low dose and I think it helped her. Xanax affected her coordination and memory. Most of these medications take 6-weeks or longer to start working. If you are waking up and feel anxious, before the day begins, that isn't helping you or your husband get through the day safely. Maybe try a low dose of the paxil with the thought that you can wean yourself off when you feel better. You have been through a lot and with Covid I think we all feel more anxious. Best wishes....

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy Whole breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Nov 30, 2020 12:38PM faith-840 wrote:

WC3 and flashlight, thank you for your thoughts. I’m still unsure what to do but I was given an RX for 10mg of Paxil and the doctor said to take half so that is what I may do. At least it won’t be hard to stop it but it may not be enough to help either. I guess it’s all trial and error and I’m impatient for a cure.😉 Nothing is easy is it?

Thanks again,

Faith (in the future).

Faith Dx 1/1991, Left, Stage IIIB, 8/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/1991 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Surgery 2/4/1991 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 8/19/1991 CAF Dx 1/2016, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/23/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 30, 2020 12:39PM faith-840 wrote:

WC3 and flashlight, thank you for your thoughts. I'm still unsure what to do but I was given an RX for 10mg of Paxil and the doctor said to take half so that is what I may do. At least it won't be hard to stop it but it may not be enough to help either. I guess it's all trial and error and I'm impatient for a cure.😉 Nothing is easy is it?

Thanks again,

Faith (in the future).

Faith Dx 1/1991, Left, Stage IIIB, 8/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/1991 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Surgery 2/4/1991 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 8/19/1991 CAF Dx 1/2016, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/23/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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