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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Paxil and substance abuse

 eighty6more - Sat May 30, 2009 2:35 pm

I am a 27 year old healthy (physically) male currently taking 30mg of Paxil immediate release. I am 3 months clean from a 6 month substance abuse problem. About 1 year ago I feel that my Paxil stopped working for me. I started using Pain medication recreationally to counteract the horrible anxiety/agitation that I was feeling on a daily basis. (Restlessness, constant worry, and general uneasy feeling at all times) The recreational use turned into a habit which quickly turned into an addiction. Now that i am clean and sober the problem with my Paxil not working is starting to take over again. My question is- Is there a medication that is known to work better after a substance abuse/ addiction? The anxiety is actually worse now than it was before I was taking drugs recreationally. Sometimes I feel like totally coming out of my skin and wonder if a anti psychotic would do more good than a anti anxiety medication. Please if anyone has experience with drug addiction and anti anxiety/depressants or even anti psychotics. Then let me know.

 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:53 am

Hello eighty6more,

Congratulations on your hard work in dealing with your addiction issue! I apologize that this response is so late, but will provide some information in hope that it may be useful to you and to others who read your post.

There are several alternatives to Paxil, and there are several antipsychotic medications available, as well. Whether or not they are more effective with addiction issues may depend on your individual metabolism and chemistry. If you haven't discussed your issue in detail with your doctor, it's extremely important that you do it as soon as you can. Never mix alcohol with prescribed medications, and you are already aware of what can happen when combining different medications. If you feel you haven't been able to explain your concerns well enough to your doctor, write them down just as you did in this forum, and take it with you to your next appointment. It may be helpful for you to keep a daily record of your symptoms and concerns, including what the symptom is, what time it started, what you were doing when it started or just before it started, how long it lasted, what helped or made it worse, any thoughts on why you think the Paxil isn't working, and any other information you think is important. Take your record with you to all appointments with the doctor who prescribes the Paxil for you. It can help you be sure that you're clearly communicating your concerns to your doctor, and it can help your doctor see what is happening in your life in regard to how effective the Paxil is or isn't. Your doctor would then have more information to use in deciding on any alterations in dosage or in medications. And as you know, always take prescribed medications exactly as the doctor orders, at the same time(s) each day. I hope this is helpful to you.

Good luck!

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