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Family Support Paxil affects whole families. This forum is to support those closest to our hearts (spouses, partners, brothers, sisters etc.) who need help to understand and support.

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Old 01-10-2012, 07:30 AM   #1
andromeda
 
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Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

My husband has been on Paxil since August. He reacted within 2 days of starting the meds and felt immediately better. Since then we've had some incidents with him abusing alcohol and doing stupid stuff like driving drunk in the middle of the night. The most recent incident is when I found him actively drinking at 6 AM. He drinks in his closet and doesn't start until around midnight. He's been keeping weird hours and he seems to get manic at around 10 PM a few days a week. Then he crashes the next day, settles down for a day or two and seems normal and then he falls back into a crazed mania state the next night, staying up and drinking or doing things around the house. I'm assuming this is pretty common for folks on anti-depressants?

He had been told by his doctor that he shouldn't drink while on Paxil, he's also on Trazadone for sleep. I don't know if he's taking his meds on a regular schedule. I think he's pretty bad about it and I wonder if that's why he's having these sleep and impulse control issues. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:59 AM   #2
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

I don't know about bi-polar but I do think it can really mess with emotions; I was talking to a friend the other day about my struggles to get off Paxil and she told me her sister had been prescribed Paxil a few years ago and the first week she cried and couldn't stop. The crying didn't stop until she stopped taking Paxil. Unfortunately, it doesn't shock me to hear things like your describing.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

These meds cause people to crave alcohol. If he had no problem with alcohol before then it is definitely the Paxil.

Impulse control issues are also common side effects of these meds.

If I were you I'd suggest that he get off of it by doing a tapering.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

He doesn't want to get off of it, though. That's part of the problem. He was close to suicide and his psychologist couldn't get through to him and recommended a psychiatrist and medication. Once he started the meds, he was able to go to counseling and think clearly.

As for the alcohol, he has had problems with it for years. He was abusing alcohol by the time he was 14 but he got sober right before we got married. We spent the first 15 years of our marriage with him being 'dry', but he was an angry, anxious, and depressed man for years. He was prone to outbursts, passive aggressive behavior, and emotional abuse. Then came the Paxil, and all that went away. Unfortunately, the alcohol came back with the Paxil. UGH! So, he's actually a nice guy right now, but I am scared about his alcohol use and about how strange he seems sometimes while on these medications. He's the kind of person who has to make decisions on his own. He won't heed my advice and has to come to his own conclusions in his own time. After 19 years with this man, I have finally learned that yelling, screaming, cajoling, begging, pleading, etc just don't work. I have to mind my own business and just protect our son and myself if he ever gets crazy or out of control. Luckily, he's never been physically abusive to us, but my son is currently in counseling for anxiety because of what my husband put us through for the past 13 years. So, in a way, I'm grateful for the Paxil because I feel it gave me my husband back but I have many concerns, too. I really don't trust SSRI's and I know too many people whose lives have been torn apart by these medications.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

This is a hard one...sounds like he has benefitted from the Paxil but he is back to drinking....not sure what to say/recommend...

I agree though that he should not be drinking while on Paxil...
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*Poly-drugged since May 2011 (14 meds in 4 months-paradox. reactions to all). From mild anxiety to almost psychosis on meds. IT IS THE MEDS, NOT ME!
*Elavil:
75 mg -> 37.5 (12d)
Imipramine:
37.5 mg -> 0 (1 mo,10/08/11): akathisia!
5 mg -> 0 (1 mo,11/29/11)
Now in w/d hell and missing my old self.
Please go to http://www.askapatient.com and leave a review of your med(s) and w/d experience.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

So does he drink to get rid of stress? To lose the anxiety? You said he is much better with the Paxil now, but the drinking has increased.

They do say to not drink while taking the medication because it's a depressant, and either works against the Paxil, or increases the side effects.

Has he considered curbing his anxiety through his diet, exercise, and/or meditation? My husband has been through the Paxil period, and now that he is off of it, he rarely has anxiety, and what little he does is taken care of by exercise.

Good luck to you, and I hope things get better. I know what a mess it can be.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

There is a bipolar 3 (i think) which in short is medication induced bipolar. The truth of the matter is however that the side effects of paxil and others can mimic the symptoms of bipolar 1 which is the most severe form.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
There is a bipolar 3 (i think) which in short is medication induced bipolar. The truth of the matter is however that the side effects of paxil and others can mimic the symptoms of bipolar 1 which is the most severe form.
Charlie hit it on the head. Paxil and alcohol don't solve the problem. They both just add their own problems. Your husband isn't bipolar...he's on paxil and an alcoholic, which paxil is documented to make worse.

From rxlist.com:

Nervous System: Frequent: Emotional lability, vertigo; infrequent: Abnormal thinking, alcohol abuse, ataxia, dystonia, dyskinesia, euphoria, hallucinations, hostility, hypertonia, hypesthesia, hypokinesia, incoordination, lack of emotion, libido increased, manic reaction, neurosis, paralysis, paranoid reaction; rare: Abnormal gait, akinesia, antisocial reaction, aphasia, choreoathetosis, circumoral paresthesias, convulsion, delirium, delusions, diplopia, drug dependence, dysarthria, extrapyramidal syndrome, fasciculations, grand mal convulsion, hyperalgesia, hysteria, manic-depressive reaction, meningitis, myelitis, neuralgia, neuropathy, nystagmus, peripheral neuritis, psychotic depression, psychosis, reflexes decreased, reflexes increased, stupor, torticollis, trismus, withdrawal syndrome.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
So does he drink to get rid of stress? To lose the anxiety? You said he is much better with the Paxil now, but the drinking has increased.

They do say to not drink while taking the medication because it's a depressant, and either works against the Paxil, or increases the side effects.

Has he considered curbing his anxiety through his diet, exercise, and/or meditation? My husband has been through the Paxil period, and now that he is off of it, he rarely has anxiety, and what little he does is taken care of by exercise.

Good luck to you, and I hope things get better. I know what a mess it can be.
He drinks because he loves the taste of beer. He had started drinking before he started the Paxil and defended it(after 15 years of sobriety) that it helped to take the edge off. Of course, he'd come out of his office at home at 2 in the afternoon and I'd smell the liquor on him. He says that now he doesn't drink for emotional issues.

I'm well aware of what GSK says about alcohol abuse and that they actually say not to drink alcohol while on paxil. His doctor also told him not to drink while taking the meds, but he's made it clear by his actions that he's going to do what he's going to do. I'm thinking of going to Al-Anon meetings since this was an issue before he started the meds. I thought he'd stay away from the booze once his mood lifted, but he hasn't.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

He's in denial about his drinking, like most alcoholics. (If he likes the taste there are non-alcoholic beers.) And of course the Paxil is influencing him as well. We have heard many stories here about bad behavior on Paxil, and not just alcohol. Gambling, cheating, spending too much, etc.

One of the big reasons not to drink while on antidepressants is because they are metabolized through the liver, as is alcohol, and it puts a heavy burden on the liver and can cause problems. But if he is under Paxil's spell he probably would not listen if you told him this. Al Anon sounds like a good idea to help you deal with this situation.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:15 AM   #11
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

Al-Anon really helped me when my husband started drinking on Celexa/Citalopram. He wasn't a drinker before but started drinking heavily while on the meds. He also had manic episodes while on his meds.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:15 AM   #12
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

hi.I've got no valuable input on this matter and i'm really looking for answers.I've been on paxil for about 7 yrs for anxiety/depression.i managed to taper off med within 2mths and have been paxil free for 2mth2wks.I am confused right now cause i dont know if i'm still going through withdrawal or is this me after withdrawal????i have weird thoughts,,sometimes suicidal and sometimes homicidal and most of the time i just feel flat.what should i do???
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #13
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Re: Did Paxil make him bi-polar?

I think I read two responces to you on another thread. They both said to reinstate your paxil because getting off it too fast can definately cause those thoughts. This is nothing to mess around with. If you feel this way you need to remove yourself from your family and tell someone right away. You do not want to ruin the rest of your life by going to jail. After you reinstate your paxil and feel stable again for awhile you can try reducing your paxil much slower. There are guidelines and spreadsheets to help with this. If you need anymore info try pming Scotty.
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