V.C. asks from Los Angeles, CA on April 30, 2008
Pregnancy and Paxil
I have to come back to you again since I trust this group more than anything else.
As you know from my previous requests I suffer from Panic attacks, I am feeling very good right now and have not had an attack that I could not control, there are some every now and then, but I feel strong and able to have a normal life.
Right now I am taking 20 mg per day of Paxil, and everytime I reduce my dosis and try to cut the medications I feel awful! :( the attacks come and are stronger and I feel scare all the time.
So the thing is that I could be pregnant, my period was due last saturday and nothing so far. With my prior pregnancy I stop the medication cold turkey because of fear that it could cause a birth defect or any other issues, but at that moment I had my boyfriend and my sister living with me which help me a lot with the withdrawals symptomps and the attacks that came after. right now it is just me and Sofia my two and a half year old, the father of this new baby if I am in fact expecting is not in the picture, so I do not now if I will be able to handle myself without the medicine. My question would be have any of you wonderful moms taken paxil while pregnant, if so what was the outcome? any recommendations or alternative ways of feeling strong and healthy?
So What Happened?™
OK. First of all thanks, thanks, thanks, just being a part of this community helps! Really I am deeply thankful for your responses, it turned out that I am not pregnant which is good because at this particular moment of my life I have to deal with other issues and get better and then I will have time for another baby. I will keep taking my Paxil, I am now seeing a doctor that is helping me a lot, and hope to feel lees anxious and scared. Thanks to all really you mean a lot to me!
L.F. answers from Los Angeles on April 30, 2008
I truly understand how you are feeling. Have you ever thought about researching homeopathic and natural remedies instead of taking Paxil? I know from experience that psych meds do more harm than good, especially while pregnant!
I highly recommend contacting Dr. Anita Pepi who is truly an amazing Chiropractor and Nutritionist and would definitely be able to help you naturally find solutions to your panic attacks.
Here's her data:
2950 Los Feliz Blvd. Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90039
And, V., Alesandra Rain and Andrea Crocker of Label Me Sane (http://www.labelmesane.com/) can definitely help you withdraw from Paxil naturally and their program is AMAZING!
I also recommend checking out 3 organizations validating why going the natural route is best for you and your family:
Hope this helps, V.! Please free to call me anytime: (323) 906~2784.
L. (Mama to 7 month old old Dylan Orion) : )))
2 moms found this helpful
M.M. answers from Los Angeles on May 03, 2008
I can understand that you may feel lost without your medication and I know it would take considerable time and effort to find a solution. That being said, "Isn't it worth it to find an alternative?" You must be thinking twice about continuing your medication or you wouldn't be posting this question. Go with your gut and explore other options. This needs to be done TODAY!! I would suggest looking at some of the suggestions by Leah who posted several websites and links to her response.
1 mom found this helpful
A.O. answers from Las Vegas on May 08, 2008
Hello there, we were recently informed we were pregnant as well, and was told to stop taking my paxil.. My obgyn, one i do not suggest to anyone, sent me to a prenatal specialist because of taking paxil.. I have been on Paxil since my daughter was born 6 yrs ago, so it was very difficult for me to stop taking my meds. They put me on Celexa, cold turkey, not a good idea I was so sick for 4 weeks, I could not even take the celexa, major withdrawls, I have started taking the celexa recently so we shall see. However, it does not work for me the same way that paxil works for me, I miss my paxil, and so does my husband. lol. The reason they switched meds was because the paxil is said to be linked to fetal heart development issues. Now, there is no long term research on any of the SSRI' meds out there. Sooo with saying that, and feeling the way that I do without my paxil, I THINK, that every woman know there own body and what it is telling them. I am not much on being a medical statistic for research. So I have issues with the medical field in certain areas, just my opinion. GOOD LUCK.
A.M. answers from San Diego on May 04, 2008
I was on Paxil when I got pregnant with my now 4 yr old daughter. I researched before I started taking Paxil becuase I knew I wanted to get pregnant in the near future. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I know exactly what you are going through and it was really disheartening to see people tell you that you "need to get over this anxiety now". Because, HI, you can't just get over it. The ladies are right in saying that if you stop taking it cold turkey it will do you more harm than good. Always talk to your dr before you make a decision like that. I can't stress that enough. The only side affects I found on taking the meds while pregnant was possible early delivery,which for me who had my son 6 weeks early was a scare. So, my dr and I made a plan to ween me down on my dosage during my 3rd trimester as to not make anything worse. My daughter was born healthy 2 weeks early. Normal. I got back on Paxil about 3 weeks after that and nursed too. If you have the strength and determination, defintely look into those websites that were given. My anxiety was so bad, I didn't have the self-discipline to do anything on my own. My son was also 2 when I was preg. and taking care of him and being safe while driving, being out and being at work, and keeping my stress levels down for the baby were my main priorities...not doing research. As the first person said, don't feel guilted or pressured to do any specific thing. Do what works for you. All our chemistry's are different. Just know, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and remember to breathe!
E.N. answers from Chicago on May 09, 2008
I completely understand the feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious, leading to panic attacks. As one person who cares greatly for all my fellow beings on this planet, I greatly feel that there are better, more natural, solutions to this situation than drugs. Nutrition and exercise work miracles for me whenever I feel overwhelmed or anxious.
You are an incredibly strong person, and I fully feel that you have the ability to handle this naturally. Look at all the support you have in this network alone - amazing!
M.T. answers from Los Angeles on April 30, 2008
I also suffer from anxiety attacks and am wondering if our symptoms are the same. I had to leave my job once and go out of state in order to feel better. When I left, the first night, I almost went into the hospital. I also once went into the emergency room and paid cash because I thought I was dying. The only thing that made me feel better was knowing another family member had all these crazy symptoms like numbness, heart flutters, passing out, pains, etc. She told me that she didn't want to be on medication and that she learned how to deal with her attacks on her own. First of all, it is very hard to be a single parent...that could be causing anxiety. Now again, you are dealing with a toddler, ending a relationship, possibly pregnant, and all those other stresses. I honestly believe that your attacks are triggered by the choices that you are making in your life....I am not judging you by any means...I was a teen mother myself. I did learn, however that I had to make the decision to make a life for myself and my child and went to college ( so that I wouldn't have to deal with the financial stresses that my sister of 3 children, as a single teen mother did). I also have been single for many years so that I could focus on myself and my child. I am telling you this because my best friend seems to keep on digging herself into a hole because of her depression. She lost her kids many years ago, the went from one bad relationship to another and got in a lot of debt...her new thing is drugs. I want to see you move beyond anxiety and try other coping mechanisms. Read books about how to deal with anxiety, (I don't know where you live,) but you can go for walks, drives, especially by the ocean; talk on the phone, and the one that works best for me is go to a friend's house and relax. Anxiety is often in the mind....it is also our lifestyle. Lately, I have been trying to find new positive friends that have goals in their lives because my other friends, I am always trying to "fix". That doesn't help me though, although it makes me feel good to help.
I am so glad to hear that you gave life to Sofia and are going to give life to a new baby, if you are indeed pregnant. However, our children do look up to us and need us to make good choices and to provide for them. As a single parent, I know of a lot of programs out there to help single parents who are serious about making changes in their lives....and their children's lives. It's better that you overcome this anxiety now, before it affects your children when they are older. All kids want is for their parents to be happy and secure. Take good care.
L.K. answers from Los Angeles on May 01, 2008
I took Paxil all through my pregnancy and still through breastfeeding and my 7mo old son is healthy, happy, and just fine. Ultimately, after trying other similar medications in anticipation of getting pregnant, we decided it’s better to keep me treated with what works because the risk was minimal to the baby but great to me. Plus depression/anxiety in the mom can be bad for the baby and there is a greater risk of PPD if you’re untreated. Ask for literature about the studies done on Paxil and decide for yourself with your doctor's help. Often it’s like a 3% instead of a 1% risk of some minut little thing. With Paxil it was a risk of the heart valves not connecting fully but my doc ordered an echocardiogram to check on it and my son was fine. My psychiatrist actually had a family member who had that issue and she said it usually fixes itself. You can just check those extra risks and address them when they come. Particularly if your anxiety is bad, which is sounds as though it is, you do not want to go untreated throughout your pregnancy as 9mo without treatment could be dangerous first to you and then your baby. When I was anxious, I didn't eat. Being pregnant, that was not an option. For myself, my husband, and my doctor the best decision was to stay on Paxil. That is a decision you need to make and not let people guilt you into putting yourself in a dangerous position.
E.S. answers from Los Angeles on May 05, 2008
Paxil is strongly contraindicated in pregnancy. Paxil is the only SSRI which has been clinically proven to cause fetal damage (cardiac damage). Ask your Dr. to switch you from Paxil to another SSRI. I switched from Paxil to Celexa. I advise making the switch gradually (very slowly decreasing your dosage of Paxil while increasing your dosage of the other SSRI) as they switched me too fast and I did not have an easy transition.