PAXIL your experience

Hello Everyone,

It seems like Effexor is not working out for me and I have to call it quits after 6 weeks. It was making me feel worse so I have to move on…
I talked to Dr. Hain today and he told me it’s ok to try Paxil. I told him I was hesitent about the blood pressure medicines like Verapamil etc so Paxil is my new hope.
How many of you have tried Paxil? If so what was your experience? Has it cured anyone’s MAV here on this forum?



I wish you lots of luck with Paxil. just wondering - what was their rationale in advising you to take Paxil. I remember during my appt they said that they do not prescribe SSRIs. I’m not saying Paxil won’t work for you. Just wondering how doctors change their opinions. What dose did you reach on Effexor before stopping it?


Hi Lisa,

I only reached to a half (17 mg) with Effexor. It was helping me a little at first but then got more dizzy and lightheaded. My head wouldn’t follow my eyes, and then I got strange rapid heartbeats…
How are you doing so far??? Do you have a lot of side effects?

Dr. Hain knows that I’m very active or that “want to be” because I use to work as a fitness instructor so Topamax and the other blood pressure meds wouldn’t work for me…so I emailed him and asked him if he would be ok to perscribe me Paxil or Cipramil(Celexa) and he said that is fine, but that he favors Paxil over Cipramil. It’s not his first choice of meds though…

Do you know of anyone who tried Paxil and got better on it? Have you tried it?


Hi Emma

Molly from this board got quite a lot of relief from Paxil, but had to stop taking it because of the side effects (constipation). That doesn’t mean that you will also necessarily experience side effects though.

My neurologist said that Paxil is very effective for MAV and uses it a lot. It is the next on my list to try, if I don’t get totally well with what I am trying now.

Hope this helps.


Emma - I hope that this med helps you. It must be so difficult to go from an active fitness instructor to this. I am having such a tough time coping with this. I have been on 12.5 of Verapamil for one week. Feeling more lightheaded, woozy, and was very nauseous at the beginning of the week but that is starting to subside (I know I’ll be nauseous again when I increase the med, which I plan on doing tomorrow). I also started grinding my teeth yesterday. I can deal with these side effects, as long as I get better. This is also probably a particularly bad week because I just got my period today, and I am even more ill the week before and during my period. I wish you all the best. let us know how it goes.

Hi, Emma!

Just wanted to say that an expert on MAV issues in Atlanta uses Paxil for his first choice med. He said it has helped many people. Prozac, which I believe is not as strong, has helped my symptoms. I think Paxil is a great med to try. I have heard of folks getting very itchy with Paxil. Just something to keep in mind, if you do experience that, although it may be rare. Good luck!


Hi Violet,

That is good to hear, I will keep my fingers crossed. By the way, what is your doctors name?

Hi Emma and Violet,

I have been chatting to this very doctor. Stay tuned for his response on all of this … hopefully we’ll work out what ths SSRI story is from a professional who is using it.

Scott 8)

I don’t know if it’s fitting to your ongoing discussion with the doctor, Scott, but maybe they’d have some insight into the pizotifen-related question (from the thread “MAV - A Recovery Story”) … that is, serotonin antagonists proving useful in treatment.

(Personally, I’m thinking there’s no definitive answer. Maybe a too-low serotonin level is in fact a trigger for migraine but only in some people. Be interesting to know whether low serotonin could actually be a symptom of migraine as well as a cause. Does migraine cause chemical imbalances/problems, or do chemical problems cause migraine? Or does it work both ways?)

Oh, never mind. This post is claptrap. I can’t concentrate. I just came back from sitting in the garage, sorting trash and recycle-bin stuff, and hauling the bins curbside. Came back in and my head’s a balloon. It really would float away, too, except I feel like I have a lead weight anchored to my head every time I move. I hate it.

Someone take this post out back and have it shot.

Hey everyone -

I just read this post and will tell you that I felt great on Paxil when I hit 25mg. My mood, my energy, my symptoms - great. Unfortunately when I hit 25mg I also had really terrible GI side effects. I have a major history of IBS with constipation so I guess this is not surprising. And when I say I had constipation, it was so bad that I couldn’t tolerate the Paxil. I am now wishing, since I am on Lexapro and not liking it, that I had gone to a GI doctor to see if there was anything that I could have taken in order to stay on the Paxil. I may do that but it may be for nothing. I was ingesting just about everything you could imagine that would make a person poop, and I got no help.

I will also say that the first 2 weeks on Paxil were HELL in regards to side effects for me. But once I got through it, I felt such a nice lift of my anxiety symptoms. SOmething I am not experiencing with Lexapro.

Hope this helps. I wish I was still on Paxil!


Hi George,

Just wanted to say re ‘someone take this post out back and have it shot.’ - LMAO

You actually put a smile on my face as I am feeling like absolute hell too.


Hi, Scott!

I am amazed you are talking to this man (Emma–his name is Dr. Ronald Tusa at Emory)…he is the one that was so unpleasant at my appt…I cried at the dr’s office afterwards! (Emma, I don’t go to him b/c he was that way, but he does treat a lot of MAV.) I look forward to what he has to say, as he seems to be one of the few bigger name docs that use SSRIs as their first choice. He may be doing a study on it, b/c he didn’t give me a choice of med…just offered Paxil. He did mention he doesn’t like to use the tricyclics b/c they tend to interact with so many systems in the body. I believe he is a neurologist who has then specialized in neurotology, which I think gives him a different perspective on inner ear/brain issues. For example, he felt that a normal caloric test result completely rules out inner ear dysfunction, but the ENT/neurotologists I have seen don’t agree with that, as the test has a number of limitations (tests only one canal, etc.).


Hi Violet,

Sorry to hear you had such a miserable time at that appointment. I felt the same way after having seen an otolaryngologist here in Sydney (named Gibson). He didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was going through but did say it must be labyrinthitis/VN at the time which I think was accurate. He treated my anxiety problem as though it didn’t matter and basically said to “get over it”. I should go back there one day and stuff the MARD paper up his you know what. LOL

Still no word from Atlanta but hopefully they’ll be able to help out with a response on SSRI therapy for this junk.

Scott 8)

ps. more and more, I don’t think the caloric is good for much. It does show a weakness when one is there (if the test is done and interpreted correctly) but sheds light on nothing if it comes up normal (as mine did).

Hi Violet!

I went to see an ENT that was an *sshole too…He totally misdiagnosed me and wouldn’t take my calls when I wasn’t getting any better. I understand how you feel. I’m really curious to her what your old doc has to say about Paxil though, because it’s the next drug I have to try…
Scott, let me know when you get that info!!!