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The E-mails
After showing a programme about Seroxat in October 2002, Panorama received nearly 1,400 e-mails from viewers.

The e-mails were mixed in their content, with some about how helpful Seroxat was and others about bad experiences.

We have reproduced every single one of the e-mails we received on the Panorama website.

I was on Seroxat for about 18 months after suffering clinical depression following the births of my children. Once I was feeling better my GP worked closely with me on a program to reduce the dosage over s six month period.

If people don't come off it sensibly, I can understand they may have problems. You can't just stop taking it. Also, some people probably have other long term depressive problems which Seroxat won't help. I can't see why Seroxat can be blamed for that.

Seroxat gave me my life back - I had been so down for so long I didn't want to go on. Seroxat brought me back and since then I've lived a happy and fulfilled life. Without it, who knows what would have happened to me.

I was prescribed Seroxat for anxiety. After many failed attempts to come off it I finally weaned myself off after eight months of horrendous withdrawal symptoms.

I was left with awful depression and had to have nearly three months off work. I am now taking Prozac. I feel that Seroxat has left me in a depressed state, unable to cope without medication. Can Seroxat have long term effects after stopping it and how long are they likely to last?

I am taking Seroxat for approx 19 months. Trying to come off it but physical withdrawals are unbearable. Very worried about my apparent addiction to this. Am also trying to get pregnant but worried about it's affect on my fertility as have been trying for some time now. Also about its potential affect on the unborn. what if my baby is to suffer the same withdrawals from this drug once it is born?

I have been on Seroxat for about two years. I was prescribed it after suffering severe panic attacks and anxiety for most of my adult life. (I am now 25.)

It is the second anti-depressant I have been on.(I took Surmontil for a couple of years at 14-16, which I came off of easily and for many years had no relapses.)I have found Seroxat to be extremely successful in balancing my moods AS LONG AS I TAKE IT REGULARLY.

If I miss just one dose (I take 20mg daily) I become extremely agitated and aggressive. I had never experienced such extreme mood changes before taking this medication. My main concern, therefore is that although I am happy to remain on this medicine, are there likely to be any serious side-effects of long term use?

Also, if I am advised to come off the medication, I am really concerned about the aggressive tendencies it gives me. I did try to withdraw from the drug a year ago, but found that I was so aggressive and intolerant, mainly with my husband and two young! children, that I had to go back on the tablets within ten days for their sake.

So, although I do not believe I am addicted to this medicine, I have very real concerns about trying to withdraw permanently. The other side effects I have experienced are: Severe tiredness, nausea and loss of libido. Also, if I miss just the one dose I have noticed, without exception I experience very vivid and disturbing dreams. I would appreciate any information you could give me and would be especially interested in participating in any trials/tests concerning Seroxat

I was prescribed Seroxat in mid June this year, on top of various drugs for high blood pressure. By mid July I had been constipated for two weeks, I was unsteady on my feet, my speech was slurred, poor memory and lack of insight were recorded by my GP, and, I generally felt truly awful. By the end of July I was admitted to hospital following a blood test showing a severe electrolyte imbalance( K 2.4 ). Seroxat was withdrawn, and an enema was administered. Having spent two weeks in hospital (ultrasound, MRI scan etc- normal), my consultant diagnosed alcohol withdrawal. Should my consultant be showing a greater interest in the fact I had previously been prescribed Seroxat? I can provide further info, but I didn't want to go on too much.

I've been on this drug for the past 5 years and my GP tells me I am in a group of people who will continually need this drug for the rest of my life due to a hormone imbalance. I was put on it due to post-viral depression and after three or four attempts each year to come off the drug, I feel so ill each time, they put me back on it.

I was given Seroxat in September 2000 after the birth of my daughter. The way I felt was affecting my relationship with my daughter. After 18 months on Seroxat. I did stop taking them slowly half a tablet for three weeks, then even a quarter a tablet for a couple of weeks. I have been off them for 5 months now I still sometimes feel a bit low but life has its ups and downs and I am sure every one feels low. I can not blame Seroxat for this it has helped me get through a tough time which is a positive result. depression ,panic attacks will not go away, people who suffer know ,but learning how to cope with this illness sometimes needs a little help as I did .

Seroxat has not only got me addicted to it. it also had my son suffering the effects of addiction when he was born. it should be taken of the market before it wrecks other peoples lives

Dreams - had bad dreams when first started and now Iżm reducing the amount I take Iżm having strange dreams again why?

I was on Seroxat over a period of around six years, and started and stopped a number of times over that time.

I quickly learned that it was unwise to attempt to drop the dosage too quickly, but providing I came off it over a period of a week or two, I never experienced any problems.

I did, however, find that Seroxat gave me stomach problems, and that was ultimately the reason that I then changed to a different antidepressant: citalopram, with which I am very pleased indeed.

Will the Government be amending the criteria for Disability Living Allowance in light of the Panorama programż The Secrets of Seroxat'?

I had an acute dystonic reaction after ONE dose. My facial muscles were moving on their own. It was frightening and bizarre. I was extremely agitated and felt that I wanted to get my blood changed (really) to get the tablet out of my system. I had to get an emergency prescription of procycladine to counteract the extreme effects of that one dose. My doctor had never heard of or seen such an extreme reaction to Seroxat before and was amazed that one single dose could have such a powerful effect. Obviously I stopped after that one tablet but even then it took several days before I felt I had regained some sort of equilibrium.

My son was given Seroxat during last year to help with underlying depression which it was thought was contributing to an alcohol problem. His drinking became worse, his marriage broke down and he moved back to live with us. He last took Seroxat in November 2001. Sadly my son died in his sleep on 19th January this year. They could find no reason for him to die. He had been taking many other prescribed drugs for severe pain which was diagnosed as Complex Regional Pain syndrome. His drinking was back under control at his death which was recorded as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, Natural Causes. I have since read that Seroxat can increase craving for alcohol. Surely it should not have been prescribed for my son.

I have successfully completed two courses of treatment with Seroxat. I did not experience any side effects and had no problems stopping the drug. All drugs have side effects and as I recall the drug information sheet clearly listed all the known unwanted reactions. No drug is perfectly safe, but the benefits have to be carefully balanced against harmful side effects. If people do suffer side effects then they should immediately report them to the prescribing doctor, as told to do in the information sheet. How many people actually bother to read these sheets and act on the advice contained in them? How many of the people who were prescribed this drug were properly diagnosed and monitored during their course of treatment. Was Seroxat the appropriate drug for them? I for one would rather risk the side effects than suffer from depression.

I have been taking Seroxat for around a month now after the death of my brother and have found it extremely helpful. I have had no side effects and have not felt any addiction taking place. I feel that people who have become addicted have taken more than the recommended prescription without recommendation from their doctor.

I am a successful professional who has been taking Seroxat for about 6 years. I have seen numerous articles in the press during this period, which I have brought to the attention of those in the medical fraternity in which I place my wellbeing. The tendency has always been to pacify and reassure - with every successive article I read, my cynicism moves a step closer to self presevatory concern (or panic). The brick wall denial and reassurance of the medical profession does absolutely nothing to help the concerned patient. I would also like to add that the anodyne denials of the pharmaceutical corporations do nothing to ease my concern.

I've been on Seroxat for 6 years and try to come off it 2 or 3 times. Withdrawal symptoms are absolutely horrendous. Is there any alternative medication for Seroxat so you can come off it easier? What is the best option for us who are suffering tremendously with those symptoms? For how long are we going to be ignored?

I have been on Seroxat for over 3 years now. I tried to come off under GP guidance 2 years ago, but aside from the withdrawal which was bad enough, I sank like a stone and needed to re-start again about a month later. Generally, it has helped me, although less so recently, as I have started to have serious mood swings again.

I have been taking Seroxat for 4 years now and have generally found them to have helped me, However I have found that although I feel better in myself I am constantly tired. As I know that some medications can hinder the absorption of certain vitamins into the body, I was wondering if this maybe a contributing factor to me feeling tired all the time and if so how can I counter-act this?

I've just begun treatment for depression and self harm, and been prescribed sertraline which some of the notes on the website here say have had similar effects noted in Pfizerżs trials. Is this issue solely related to Seroxat? Shouldn't the focus generally be on SSRIs? Or is this more about the way the Glaxo seem to have tried to bury their trials information? I'm more than a little anxious about this issue.

I was given Seroxat by my doctor in 1994 who believed I was suffering from Depression. After taking the drug for only 3 weeks I took an overdose, up until this point I would have said that Suicide was never on my shopping list of options, no matter how bad things got they couldn't get that bad. Luckily because I had overdosed on Seroxat it made me sick and my attempt failed. When discussing this with my doctor he said that this was not at all uncommon, that taking anti-depressants can lift you enough to act on the feelings you have. He also told me that the manufacturers add something to make you sick as attempted suicide was v. common. What I would say is that until I was given Seroxat I did not even realize I was depressed and certainly would never have considered myself capable of attempting suicide. I would say that that experience changed me for ever and although I did not take Seroxat after that period the way that I felt when I was on it has always stayed with me. ! The feeling of desolation and disconnection will always be something I remember. It also added suicide to my list of choices in a bad situation, I became the 'type' of person who does that! I very interested when I saw your program as it re-enforced something that I have been saying to anyone who would listen for the last 8 years.

After suffering 17 years in a bad marriage I started having panic attacks. The doctor put me on 20mg of Seroxat stayed on them for roughly 5 months and came of them. I had to go back on them in August of this year as I had "electric shocks" going through the whole of my body. I was also put on Amytriptilene because of palpitations. They have calmed me down and I am not having suicidal thoughts anymore but don't know what I will feel like if the doctor decides to take me off them. At the moment I have only slight anxiety and would rather feel like this than what I felt like before taking Seroxat.

I have been taking Seroxat for the past 2 years. I feel that they can be dangerous, as I have tried to take stopping them on two occasions, both times I had side affects which included headaches, dizziness,numbness,pain,my complete body felt spongy, I felt I was floating on air, my vision wasnżt very clear, I was distracted most of the time, my speech became muddled, and I was very agitated all of the time, I didn't feel like a person. I told my doctor about this and he said that the Seroxat is noted not to have these side affects but I know they have as I have experience them, I ask to change them but he said I would be better taking Seroxat. I didn't argue with the doctor as you'd think he know best. but in my mind I have always thought that there was something wrong. When I started to take the drug again I felt better after a few hours, this tells me that the drug are addictive. could you give me some advice of what to do.

I am a 22 y/o student who used to be a happy person. I went to the doctor to seek counselling for a mild social phobia and was instead prescribed Seroxat. After 7 weeks of anxiety, insomnia, agitation and feeling "out of it", I began to experience a huge fear of death. I would think and panic about it constantly. I stopped taking the tablets thinking that I would go back to feeling just how I was before I took the drugs (I was never an un-happy person, in fact quite the opposite). Instead I suffered electric shock feelings in my brain, felt seriously low, my fear of death increased and I felt completely surreal. Four months down the line and Iżm desperately scared that Iżll never feel "happy" again. I think about death more often than not, having severe feelings of panic about the issue. I hate to be alone as then Iżm just left with these thoughts. I have returned to the doctors requesting an explanation of exactly what is going on in my head but I was just laughed at and! o! offered more drugs. What I want to know is, can I get "myself" back with counselling and time or have these drugs altered chemicals in my brain that only more drugs can change back. Will I ever feel like I did before because I simply can't cope with the thought of feeling like this for the rest of my life.

I was prescribed Seroxat just about a year ago, after a traumatic few years culminating in losing our family home. I was very hopeful that the drug would help me to stop what I called 'white noise' in my head and the panic I felt at not being in control of my life. I have two small children and just wanted to get back on track and enjoy my life with them. I would say that my husband and children have been what helped me, more than the drug which has made me unable to sleep properly, causing me to take further tablets during the first few months of the prescription. If I forget to take the Seroxat in the evening, I feel appalling the next morning, with a strange feeling in my head. I still often feel palpitations in my chest, along with a panicky feeling which can sometimes lead to feelings of ending the whole thing. I thank God I have a wonderful family as they are all that keeps me together sometimes. I don't really feel any great improvement and people constantly tell me that I am no longer the bubbly, happy person I once was. I know this is true as I have to make a huge effort to be 'me' these days. I did try to stop the tablets by myself a few months ago, as I was so upset at my life being ruled by these small white drugs. This was a very big mistake as I fell apart. I was totally unable to cope, cried constantly, felt dizzy and had to call upon my mother and husband to pull me back together again. I have now given up my job working in a nursery to work as I feel I cannot cope with the hours and involvement. I am very angry that these, so called, un-addictive tablets now appear to be a permanent part of my life. It makes me wonder just what exactly they are doing to me.

I was on Seroxat for about 17 months. After I decided to flush them down the toilet as I still felt as if I was having a nervous break down I left my house with a carving knife with the intention of killing my ex-husband...luckily I was stopped. This was not me at all as I am a very placid person and am now, but for about two years was near psychopathic. I had no idea why...but now I can see a reason for this personality ties in with Seroxat.

I have to accept that as a starting off point that I am bi-polar. Various anti-dep drugs have been tried over the years.......starting off with Tri Cyclics...........then onto Faverin Lustral Effxor..........serious self harm set in. A major attempt at suicide was made (car exhaust. no caty.) They tried ECT........followed with add in of Lithium. Now I have epilepsy as well, starting only after ECT. So I'm using Effexor Priadel and Gagapenten. Constant suicidal ideation..........a real high wire act for Me my family and my C P N........where to from here?

Seroxat is just an easy way for psychiatrists to treat depression. it just masks the depression and does nothing to tackle the underlying causes. trying to come off it just blows your mind so much so that you have to give in and take it again. I am a slave of Seroxat.

when I saw your advert on the BBC about this programme I had to send you this e- mail, as it scared me so much. I have been on Seroxat for about 5 years now following a lot of this going on in my life. I was in the royal navy, and recently been medically discharged due to continued depression. I have tried to come off Seroxat a number of times. the times that I tried, I attempted suicide numerous times, I self harmed all the time and I tried to harm my boyfriend at the time. this drug should have warnings of the way it affects you. I look back and the way I have been and still are frighten me so much but there really isnżt anything I can seem to do about it. if you need any more comments from myself for your programme I would be very happy to tell you. thank you for making this public, it should have been many years ago.

I have been taking Seroxat for several years with almost no side effects and it has been a life saver. I think people should look closer at their own biology, rather than blaming the drug. a persons biology is a complex thing and Iżm sure not all drugs work the same way on everyone.

I have read your story on the web about Seroxat - I have not and probably will not see your TV program. I take 40 mg Seroxat a day and have been since last time I was in hospital. I usually call the drug by its non-brand name 'paroxetine'. I wonder what support Helen Kelsall was getting in addition to her medication and whether that was adequate. A dose of 40 mg suggests she was suffering from a serious condition where a good support package would be needed. I haven't tried to come off paroxetine yet. I may have a go at reducing the dose in the Spring. I certainly would not attempt to come off the drug if I was doing my final year at college and had financial worries. I have tried other medication (fluoxetine, venlafaxine, diazepam) and paroxetine seems to work for me. I suspect that, in order to make an interesting documentary, Panorama has made a mountain out of a molehill and misattributed Ms. Kelsall's problems to her medication.

Almost a year ago (at aged 16) I went to the doctors as a last resort. I was depressed, suicidal and a self-harmer, but why was I then put on a drug that could make me worse? Were GP's not informed?? After 6 months taking Seroxat they stopped working, I'm now on Lustral(sertraline) and I'm worried about any effects this could have on me.

I have been taking Seroxat for over a year now to combat the depression and stress brought on by my job. I take one 20mg Seroxat each day and two 25mg Dothiepin. Surely I am not taking enough of this drug to be in danger, am I?

Why is Seroxat prescribed for people with an Acquired Brain Injury?

I am currently reducing my dosage of Seroxat from 40mgs to 30mgs and I am experiencing severe headaches, insomnia upset stomach explosive diarrhoea although I take the tablets on a full stomach and extremely profuse sweating. I am extremely worried about the withdrawal problems and want to know if I can change to something else less harmful.

I took Seroxat several years ago and I had awful trouble coming off it. In the end I had to take another antidepressant Effexor to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Whilst on Seroxat I got into serious debt because of the euphoric effect it has.

I have been on Seroxat for a good 3 years now, starting at 30mg, coming down to 20. I am not depressed as such any more - haven't been for a while, and am just starting a course of group psychotherapy. I don't want to stay on Seroxat for ever. But I am also finding it difficult to come off it. I tried taking one tablet every two days, that didn't work. I'm now back on one a day. But if I forget to take it daily, the withdrawals are pretty uncomfortable. Nausea, those "shocks" and feeling shaky are all part of it. I have a feeling I CAN come off the drug, but only with a carefully drawn-up plan. But some of the worse stories are a bit scary!

You may also like to read the PANES website about long-term side effects of paroxetine after discontinuation -

I was writing to SKB as long ago as 1996/97 about my concerns about withdrawal symptoms in my patients.

As the founder of a non-profit Canadian organisation called paxilprogress (since 09/2000), I can confirm that much of what your story will reveal is similar if not identical to what hundreds of visitors report every day within our domain and public forums. Thank you very much for helping to share experiential truth. One shady area however begs the question: what long term damage is possible with years of exposure to an SSRI such as Paxil?

I have been on 30mg of Seroxat for over the last 2 years. I'm not too sure if they are actually doing me any good. I asked my GP when I was on them for 1 & half years, should I come off them, not that I was feeling great but I was afraid of being addicted to them. She said they are non-addictive. I believe her as she is such a wonderful GP to me. However, I now am anxious and scared as I've heard about the problems of withdrawal. What about the side effects while one is on this drug?? Shakes, sweating while asleep, scared to go out? etc - should I come off this drug right now? I will wait until I see the programme.

I ve been on Seroxat for 2 & half years. I am taking them 4 panic attacks, I take 2 20mg a day. I was very ill and had no choice but to try somethink,2 years ago I tried 2 come of them after my 9 year married ended, but I flip out and smashed my wifeżs car and got in a lot of trouble with the police. my life once again back on track, but I keep trying to come off them, but I get 2 about 3 week then I m ill dizzy sick and more so I take them again, there should be more warming on the drugs

I have been on Seroxat for approx 3 years, and trying to 'come off it' for 18 months, it has caused me more mental and physical discomfort trying to give up than the panic attacks and depression for which it was prescribed. Nausea and dizziness and a general feeling of 'being desperately hung over', progressing to total memory lapses, diahorrea and sickness, I cannot converse competently and lose my vocabulary, I loose all sense of time and reality and cannot stop falling asleep, I suffer from extremely vivid nightmares and retrospectively struggle to differentiate these 'dreams' from reality. One distressing physical aspect is the permanent exhaustion even when I am not withdrawing, I am losing years of my life to these 'side-effects'. And the worst aspect of all is the desperately diminished libido, this has an immediate and cruel effect on my marriage and any former sense of self worth. I do not want to stay on this drug but equally I cannot get off it, how can I? And, with side effects like these why is it still being prescribed?

I am a 38-year-old woman, I have been on 20mg Seroxat for six years. I was put on the drug for panic attacks. Four months ago I decided I no longer wanted to take it, so I stopped. After seven days I could no longer function, I was sick, had this horrible buzzing like shocks in my head, panickly anxious, uncontrolable crying. I went to my GP after reading about problems people have had in America. He told me I was imagining it and they aren't addicitve. I am scared to watch Panorama on Sunday but I must. I am going back to my GP on Monday and need answers and help. I am devastated, I don't know where to turn or what to think. Will I ever feel normal again?

I think my partner is about to go through great problems with seroxat when she was perscribed i didnt wont her to take them her doc said they ok went to see mine he said ok i didnt believe them if she misses taking for two days things get very bad who will tell the truth on anything

I await your programme with great interest. I finally managed to wean myself off Seroxat about three weeks ago.It has taken me since April with a few blips on the way but then I was not on a high dosage like some people.Nevetheless, I experienced some very unpleasant symptoms. I have sent the remainder of my tablets back to Smith Kline Beecham with a letter telling them precisely what I thought of their drug. I also suggested to them that they might like to help set and finance support groups to all those unfortunate people out there unable to come off Seroxat. I do hope you are going to interview some one from the manufacturers to give some straight answers.

Please discuss the issue of murder/suicide/violence while on Paxil

after being taken off ciprimil (a slightly kinder ssri) due to excessive side effects [incidentally the pharmacist who dispensed it also expressed a concern that i should not have been prescribed the drug as it had NEVER been tested on my age-group.] i was surprised to be quickly put onto seroxat. while side-effects are expected on most medication, i could not have been prepared for what i have put up with on seroxat. setting in under 48 hours after my first dose, the sickness, dizzyness, insomnia, muscle and joint pains, blurred vision etc etc did not pass for some weeks and still recurrs at frequent intervals months on. it is difficult to believe that glaxo-smith(...) can still describe this endless barage of side effects as "mild" and claim they only last for the "first few weeks of treatment"... much as i hate being on them, i am dreading coming off these "safe and non-addictive" drugs.

V. interesting prog. Glad to know that I'm not alone in my struggle to come off Seroxat. Previous attempts have led to feelings of nausea and aggressive tendencies. Question now is: What do you suggest is the best way for a person to wean themselves off Seroxat (I have been on them for approx. 9 months at a 20mg dose)?

I've been tapering for the past 5 months. I've gone from 20mg to 4mg in that time using the liquid. I now have insomnia and nightmares every night. While on 20mg I was sleeping 18 hours a day and was exhausted when awake. I suffered a really bad reaction while tapering down by 1mg last week. I had pms at the same time, and I became suicidal, wanted to self-harm, and felt like starving myself all in the same day. I went back to my previous dose of 4mg and felt ok immediately. I'm very worried about having such a severe reaction and am wondering if I should switch to prozac. Can you advise me please? I'm am doing this without a doctor, because he was unsympathetic.

Seroxat is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, why can't i just take a serotonin pill to provide the extra doses that i need? I feel better now than i have for about 8 years but about a month after starting seroxat i did have quite a bad episode of feeling suicidal and was ready to admit myself to a hospital as i was so frightened about what i was going to do and felt that i was really 'losing it'. I was taking 30mg of seroxat but have managed to reduce to was only because a friend said that she'd read an article about seroxat that i went on the web to read about the problems. I had not been told by my g.p. to reduce the dose gradually over a long period of time

My partner noticed LUSTRAL (Setraline HCL) was shown on this programme. Is this anti-depressive drug, which I have been prescribed, closely related to the drug Seroxat. Could it have some of the same side effects as Seroxat apears to have?

I have been on seroxat for many years. I thought my condition was just deteriorating.I have recently been back to my GP , who for a start thought I ought to change from seroxat, but changed my HRT instead , so im still taking it. I can relate so much to the young lady in tonights Panarama,as I get a lot of the same symtoms but thought they were part of my depression. Please Help.

Having watched the programme on Seroxat I felt it was strongly biased towards the negative aspects/testimonials of the drug. Why were there no interviews with doctors/patients who have prescribed/used the drug with positive outcomes? Surely it is the responsibility of the agency which licences' these drugs to ensure that all clinical trial data has been critically reviewed before granting a licence for the drug. Does the National Institute for clinical Excellence not have a role to play regarding the correct dissemination of evidenced based clinical trials regarding Seroxat. The programme may have left unfounded doubts in the the minds of patients who are currently using this drug. Surely there are risks involved in the prescription of any antidepressant drug butthe programme did not clearly make this point. Finally, are we sure that those patients who are prescribed Prozac do not exhibit similar withdrawal/tolerance problems? Why was noone from the Royal College of Psychiatrists interviewed?

I've been taking seroxat for over two years, they don't appear to have helped me but its hard to tell and I'm afraid to come off them. I'm on 40mg which is a high dosage but I have tried reducing it and I get very agitated and anxious. I'm in the final stages of completing a PhD and don't want to take a chance of altering my work patterns at the moment but would like to come off the drug after that. Will there be any long term affects from taking the drug for so long? How long do the 'withdrawal' symptoms go on for? Is it wise to be on such a high dose for so long?

I was prescribed Seroxat and took it for a short period. I suffered almost immediate problems with loss of appetite, weight loss, profuse sweating, nightmares and paranoia. I was advised to carry on with the drug, as I was not giving it a chance to work but quite how I was expected to function in that state is beyond me. I was later prescribed Prozac and went through a similar experience despite being reassured that Prozac would not cause me the same problems as Seroxat. I also suffered the same problem described by Helen in the program where she reported shocks in the head. I usually experience this, and still frequently do, upon waking from a long sleep. These drugs may help some people but I found their effect very frightening.

I have finally managed to come off the seroxat drug after about 3 years. Each time I tried I found my depression became worse, so I would carry on. It wasn't untill this year when I tried coming off that I had some really awfull side effects. I couldn't pinpoint exactly how I was feeling other than totally dissorientated, and extreamly light headed and sick, the feeling just wouldn't go no matter what I did. I wasn't ill but not myself and it was awfull. i went to my Doctor and he advised I go back on and decrease my dosage every other day. This finally worked but I had to cope with feeling strange whilst working away and whilst being on holiday. I would strongly advise against the drug and wish I had never been put on it. I would be greatful for any further news on the matter,

I"ve been on seroxat for 4 months now and Im worried about addiction and side effects I was not told the drug can be addictive or that it might have side effects!!!!!!!!!!I am on 40mg is this alot?.

Hello, i am a 25 yr old mother of three. i was put on seroxat paroxetine hydrochloride 20mg one a day three months after i had my last child for postnatal depression. i've been on them nearly a year now and am trying to come off them, i have had aggression and mood swings even violent outbursts. before i was on this drug i wasn't like this. i am now on one every 3 days and can't wait untill i'm off this curse for good. i'm experiencing pins and needled down both my arms to my hands but i'm trying my hardest to keep on top of things. i hope that my withdrawl doesn't get any worse.

I went to my GP suffering from depression in 1999 and was prescribed Seroxat. I became seriously ill and agitated and went on to suffer a serotonergic reaction to all SSRIs which lasted for 22 months when I stopped having this kind of drug. Through out this period I was told that 'Seroxat does not do this kind of thing.' I am still recovering and now have to take a cocktail of medication which was not the case before I had the Seroxat. I feel disabled by the appalling experience that I under went, as neurological damage was done that I now have to live with.

i was prescribed seroxat in 1999. Unforuanately my need for the drug was self inflicted, due to the fact I had been taking ecstacy socially at weekends. I started to have severe panic attacks which i now know was a result of seratonin depleation due to the drugs. Anyway i ended up taking 30mg per day for about the 1st year or so, but i have gradually reduced the dose to half a tablet every second day. Like the woman in Panoramma tonight i have suffered terrible withdrawl symtoms simialr to what she describes. As a result im afraid to stop taking then all together becaus the last time i attempted to stop i felt as though i was becoming ill again, just like i was before i started. Is this the case or are the syptoms purely an effect of coming off the drug? I am aslo unsure of whether or not i will be ok in general, as there is a lack of general information about people who have suffered these symtoms as a result of taking ecstacy eg: will i always suffer as! a! result of my actions, or will i get better through time. Please note: i have never taken ecstacy again and never will!! Also, since i became ill i have had terrible PMT which i was either unaware of before hand or have as a result. I feel that this also affects my ability to come off of seroxat. Is there a link?

Am about to start a course of these pills. After watching Panorama tonight am seroiously doubting my choice to take seroxat. I have been prescribed these for a bout of depression that has lasted for approx. 3 or 4 months so far. Could an alternative medicine be prescribed?

I was prescribed Seroxat about 4 and a half years ago for depression. After taking it for a few weeks I became agitated, nervous and panicky. I couldn't sleep and I couldn't sit still. I told my doctor and she recommended that I stop taking it. I had no withdrawal problems, but suffered from depression so badly that my doctor told me to start the drug again. A few weeks after this I began to hallucinate, I couldn't sleep at all and stayed awake for 3 days. I had paranoid delusions and at the same time became convinced that I was invincible. I was asking strangers to hit me, because I thought I was untouchable. And I thought I could stop time... I was hospitalised and narrowly escaped being sectioned. My diagnosis has since been one of Bipolar Disorder and while I am now aware that SSRIs can bring on episodes of Mania or Hypomania, I would be interested to know whether taking Seroxat could have increased my chances of becoming manic and therefore actually triggered or at least exacerbated the problem - leading to this diagnosis. Can anyone shed any light on this for me, please?

Having raised questions aboutone of the family, is there a simialr risk from others? I am on citaloprm hydrobromide "Cipramil" and wonder if there is not a problem there. The warning looks very like that quoted in the programme. Also are the side effects reproted chronic or just whilst in the earler satges of taking the drug?

I started taking seroxat approx 5 years ago for depression. It is very effective however i cannot sleep and have lost my libido. I become suicidal and completely irrational when I try to come off this drug and suffer horrendous nausea , shocks in my head etc. I feel like hurting myself. My marriage suffers dreadfully. I have not worked for 6 years because of this cycle of illness, drugs withdrawal, illness drugs.....I had to go back on because of this. I Have been traumatised by the last episode of withdrawal sypmtoms and cannot face going through it again. What should I do? the doctors do not acknowledge withdrawal symptoms from the drug and all put it down tho the fact I am a depressive. I know I need help but there doesn't seem to be an alterntive to this regime. I would appreciate a personal reply in writing so that I can take it to my doctor. I know it may be difficult but it may help me get out of this nightmare where I seemed to have lost control of my life and am at ! th! e mercy of the pharmaceutical industry.

Having just watched the Panorama Programme I just discovered that my life has been destroyed by a small white tablet. A tablet I was told if taken once a day would change my life completely. It did, I was considerably worse. Due to this I have gone from an energetic outgoing person who was part of a happy couple and had a few family problems. To a sigle person on benefit of 51.25 a week and a virtual recluse.

My husband has been taking Seroxat for two years, during the first months he was suffering from sever mental problems and at 50 yers of age was referred with possible early Alzheimers. In the progamme it said the patent ran out in 6 months does this mean that the drug willstop being produced? If so what will happen to people taking it?

I work for the Health service for the community learning disability service and the man I withis prescribed peroxatine by a psychiatrist who is adamant that he needs to be on the full recomended dose for at least a year before it should/ can be reviewed. Because the guy does have a learning dissability/ some form of organic damage he cannot communicate as much as perhaps some other people. Because he is not now as aggressive/ anxious as he has been in the past this is seen as a positive step by some. Is their any information about people who take paroxatine in a similar position? Clearly this is a group of people who are not as well represented as they could be. Psychiatrists within the health authority are seen as gods who should not be challenged or their judgement questioned however the medication has had a huge inpact on this mans life. Whatever the benifits of this man not being aggressive he is a "shell" of his former self without will or motivation to do anything and ! I mean anything. Is their anybody you know of with a similar story? Please help if you can.

I started taking seroxat 30mg Nov 1989 for depression. I came off them on in 2000 for a pregancy where my depression got so bad I was suicidal and was reassured it was the pregancy. I was put back on them in 2001 and still take them but constantly feel nausea, lethargic and have memory loss and never seem to have a proper sleep!I was told by my doctor, CNP and cognitive therapist they are not addictive but even before the programme tonight, I felt trapped on them for ever

My daughter was prescribed this drug in February of this year, she was 13 years of age. At no time was I warned about possible suicidal problems. Within hours of taking the drug she suffered side effects, nausea etc, I phoned the hospital and soke to the consultant said to continue with the medication and he didn't think the drug was causing these problems. A week or so later my daughter was admitted to hosptial having made a suicide attempt. This followed with 2 further attempts. Although I have behavioral difficulties with her up until this She had never displayed suicidal behaviour. She also came straight off the drug. At no time Have I been warned about suicide side effects or the risks of her stopping the drug straight away. She was only on it for a few weeks and no longer takes it. Having seen your programme tonight I am concerned about long term effects this drug may have had on my daughter and ask your advece please

I've been on Seroxat for three years now.A year and a half ago I tried to stop by gradually diminishing the dose by half a pill per day each month (I was using 2 pills=40 mg per day to start with). After 3 months I was down to zero, but felt extremely ill. 3 days after I quit I took 20 mgs again. The serious withdrawal effects were gone within 4 hours, and I've been on 20 mg ever since.I would like to quit forgood this time, but my past experience makes me quite nervous just considering it. Could you give me some advice on how to go about this, a kind of detox programme or something. Unfortunately my GP is convinced that Seroxat is not addictive, all this just shows I need this medication she says.

I am on Seroxat and have been for a couple of years. I have had side effects when I haven't been able to take them - nightmares, shaking etc. Can my doctor change my tablets to another kind which are not addictive. So you get the full picture I suffer with panic attacks which the tablets haven't helped with for some time. Have you any suggestions on what is available for my doctor to prescribe please. Many thanks. The programme was very enlightening, as I thought it was just me who was having these problems.

I've been on and off anti-depressants since I was a teenager with eating disorders and depression. I stopped taking them for 2 years until after the birth of my son this year when I was diagnosed with post-natal depression. I was tried on several different anti-depressants and eventually Seroxat was the one I'm currently on. I've had high blood pressure and bad headaches for bout 18 months but I've been trying to cut down on the Seroxat for the last month and have halved my dose to 15 mg a day. When I miss a day, the next day I feel anxious, panicky even and don't really want to go out or see anyone. I feel ill most of the time and before seeing this TV programme tonight, had started putting my symptoms down to the Seroxat. I'm seeing a psychiatric nurse but frankly I don't feel he is helping at all and my GP and him tell me to stay on the Seroxat

After taking seroxat for short period of time, I have been left with permanent tooth and head ache, although I have not had a head ache for my previous 57 years of my life and every tooth rooth has been deep filed as I have a bridge done few years ago. The unusual thing is,no pain killer seem to work!? There were other problems with nightmares and finaly no sleep at all, but that has gone now

I have been on seroxat for 6 years, after a sudden illness and an operation that was unsuccesfull, leaving me in considerable pain and discomfort,I take a 30 grm tablet daily. I have wanted to stop,can you tell me the safest way please.

I was on seroxat for just over one year. I was up to a 30mg dose per day. I don't know if it was always seroxat I was on for this time, because a more recent 'bout' of depression saw me on Deroxat (i ran to check the label during the programme). My side effect manifested as severe lock jaw - my teeth and jaw ached from continually clenching together - resulting in headaches - this did subside - the first week on the pill (I think a 10 or 20mg dose then) was the worse. I also became a lot more shakey - physically, my hands especially noticable. I don't remember a change in attitude (I admit I had contemplated death before I went on the drug). I would have to ask family and friends about attitudinal problems. I found no particular difficulty coming off the drugs, certainly no obvious cravings etc. My only query would be concerning Deroxat I was on a 20mg dose - and maybe again if I 'relapse'. Have there been any problems with this drug?? Feel free to contact me if neccessary. Thanks for the information provided in the programme.

Seroxat has been wonderful for me, giving me a quality of life I'd never had before. All the side effects you were mentioning as withdrawal symptoms are problems that I had before taking the drug, which have been lessened although not cured through Seroxat. However, I'd be interested to know if Dr Healy has seen any information re medication during pregnancy, as I was told that there was no guarantee that the product was safe therefore I had to come off immediately once I was confirmed pregnant 3 years ago. Going back to being without seroxat was hell - the withdrawal combined with morning sickness was really bad, and I'd sooner have stayed on the drug, although obviously did not want to harm my child. I felt, however, that the depression and anxiety that I feel without medication were probably more harmful than any side effects, and chose to be sterilised after the birth of my beautiful daughter so that I would not have to go through those miserable nine months again. ! Ca! n you confirm whether or not seroxat has been found to be harmful during pregnancy? Thank you very much.

i only caught the end of your programme on seroxat. i could relate to what i heard and the information on your site is very helpful. it's giving me a totally different perspective. i would be grateful if you could let me know if you will be repeating the programme. i was unaware that others had these difficulties. i thought that it was me and not the drug. thanking you, john. p.s. i'd prefer if my name was kept private.

Thank you for producing such a brilliantly researched documentary. This is going towards helping my family, friends and colleagues understand what I have been going through for the past five years. I can confirm everything stated in the programme. Instead of practising as a barrister, I am currently bed-bound trying to get off Seroxat (again). Having broken the ice, I do hope the programme is followed up. There is so much that could have been said and it must have been a difficult programme to make. Are there any plans to follow up? A Seroxat Users' Group is currently being formed nationally. Would it be possible for people to leave contact details through the Panorama website if they wished to join? The committee is in the process of being elected and will be active soon. Perhaps the contacts could be passed on to them when it is? Dr Healy is a great asset to medicine and has been a god-send to seroxat users. His advice is invaluable and but for it, I would probably have failed again in my recent attempt to quit Seroxat.

Can this drug have adverse effects during pregnancy? Could any addiction carry through to the child if taken while pregnant?

seroxat was nearly the ruin of my marriage a fact i have only discovered from watching your programme this drug turned me from a loving familly man to a secrative deviant person and i would like advice on legal action if any is possible

My 19 year old brother who has been suffering from depression for some time now was recently put on seroxat after being changed from a different anti-depressant,he was taking it regularly at a fairly high dosage in the beginning but due to circumstances could no longer take it as perscribed and was missing dosages. He is now lying in a hospital ward recovering from a broken spine and fractured wrist after attemting suicide 3 weeks ago. We now have to think about whether seroxat was the cause of or a factor in his suicide attempt

I am very concerned by the programme I just watched on Panorama. I have been on 20mg x 2 per day since Feb 1999. I too have wanted to come off Seroxat for a while but if I even miss my dose for one day I get pounding headaches. therefore I haven't stopped taking it for any longer than that because aspirin or paracetmol don't make the headaches go away. The only thing that does is the Seroxat. My GP was willing to try and change my medication to Ciprimal about 4 weeks ago but I was too afraid to come off the Seroxat. I don't remember having increased side effects when I started taking the drug but things were pretty bad then so who is to know whether it was the depression or the medication. I do remember taking Fluoxetine some time ago and that certainly kept me up all night and I was so restless and anxious I had to stop taking it very shortly after I started - not sure whether this is from the same family of drugs. The drug company also downplays the effect this has! o! n your libido and when love making can be naturally very fulfilling and satisfying in itself I know that my interest has waned considerably since being on this medication. Are the drug companies going to say that is the depression too? I am so afraid now to even consider stopping the drug after learning of the other side effects Helen suffered. My GP never discussed with me how long I would be taking Seroxat - and when I asked he told me more or less indefinitely. I have tried your helpline no. which is constantly engaged but will tune in tomorrow to the live forum. Don't you think with the exception of personal details all drug trial data should be made available to the public? I daresay there are many more findings large pharmaceutical companies would rather keep quiet. It was so obvious that the Director of Health and the European guy were acting in the interests of their company and their jobs - and to think they want to prescribe this to kids.............. free candy bars or not I would not let my child be used as a guinea pig!

I was prescribed Seroxat in January 2001 for reactive depression during the final year of university. I stopped taking it september 2000. I had a relapse in March 2001 which manifested itself in a terrifying panic attack and anxiety. I put this down firmly to the stress of finals and the poor accomadation, standard of living, isolation, poverty and all the other problems university life affords you, but I had NEVER before that time suffered any sort of panic attack. I now feel stable enough to come off Seroxat and it has taken 3 years. There is little that will change my opinion which is that my current state of (good) health is due to a change in my circumstances i.e. I have moved back to my home town to be around my family and friends and away from the stress and squalor of my university days. The one problem I have with Seroxat is that it cured my depression in 1 or 2 weeks BUT I have been taking it for 3 years. The break up of a long term relationship was the c! ause of my depression, loneliness,isolation and stress prolonged it, Seroxat relieved the symptoms but the love of my family and friends has cured it.

After taking Seroxat for mild anxiety for about a year,I was sectioned with manic depression.The Seroxat was stopped immediatedly and I went through a severe withdrawal for about five days. The thought that this awful drug could be given to children is unbearable.

Missed the programme tonight - tuned in just as it finished. Had 3 attempts to come off Paroxetine. The 2nd was the worst and actually felt suicidal but was not aware that other people have also had problems as my dr said it was not habit forming and I believed him. When on the drug I felt really good and happy most of the time and I could cope with anything life threw at me. i took the last tablet in july and although I hit a rock bottom for a few weeks I feel 'normal'again now but nowhere near a good as I was when taking it. Don't know if I'm cured but do know that if I could take it for the rest of my life I would. Also, my family think I was a much nicer person when taking paroxetine.

i have been taking seroxat for a generalised anxiety state, panic attacks and depression for about 5 years. i have tryed many times to stop, but have so far failed. i suffered effects like those discribed. so severe i couldn't continue to discontinue. ironically i found giving up cigarettes, meant to be really addictive, a doddle. my situation, having recently moved house, been promoted and started a part-time degree means that now would not be the time to try again. however the crucks of the matter is can it cause dammage to unborn babies? me and my partner would like to start a family and want the best possible start for are child. please can you tell me if i would be damaging my child if continued to take the medication? also are there any clinics i could go to to help me withdraw? heroin addicts have such help. i was told this drug was non addcictive, yet no such help has been offered. i would be very greatful for any as i can't do this on my own.

For so long as I stick to my 20mg daily of Seroxat I feel well. If I try to reduce it even by .25 daily I suffer anxiety etc. Unless I want to endure these symptoms it seems I am doomed to a life of Seroxat. Has there been any RELIABLE studies into the long term use of Seroxat?

i am currently 10 weeks pregnant and have been on seroxat since the birth of my last chld,four and a half years ago.i have tried to come off the tablet and am now down to half a docter says i should come off but there is onley a small chance of the pill causing any harm to the baby.i am very worried as i have come to rely on them and cant seem to give them up.could you please give me some advice urgently as i dont want any adverse effects to me or my baby.

the side effects of NOT taking Seroxat(mine included dis orientation,Heavy night sweating,nausea ,and this really is a weired one,I could actualy HEAR my eyes move! Trying to come off with no help from my GP took me over nine months ,NOT taking it produces these effects even more.I wish that I had never taken it ever.

I was first prescribed Seroxat in 1997 for Anxiety and depression caused by stress. After being on the drug for a while I reported to the GP that I seemed to be more impatiant and angry than usual, the Gp stopped the Seroxat and put me on Chlorpromazine and after a few weeks he took me off them. In December 2000 after a heart attack earlier on that year I was again prescribed Seroxat by a psychiatrist after many anxiety attacks that put me in hospital on three occasions. I was passed back to my GP for continuation of treatment, Unfortunatly my GP was of the oppinion that the dosage (30mg) was too high and reduced it to 20mg, I started to get some strange side effects so started doing some investigations on the internet, (this course of action was poo poo'd by my GP), anyway over the next 18 months my dosage was varied every 4 to 8 weeks between 20mg & 40mg, I seemed to be perminantly having withdrawl and start up symptoms. Eventualy I changed my GP and the new GP suggested that I try another SSRI, (Cipramil), I have been on this since May 2002 and until recently have not felt any better. The recent change in my mental and physical state seems to be down to now being treated by the psyciatric department for a personality dis! order and am presently being prescribed Depixol. My main question is:- Is it possible that Seroxat has lead me to where I am at present with my mental state?. And As I am also taking the following drugs will there be any long term mental effect:- Atenolol, Simvastatin, Asprin, Zopiclone, Cipramil, & Depixol...

Earlier this week I was Taken off Seroxat after 6 years, not because of the new warnings but because of intestinal problems, I can no longer tolerate tablets as they go through me part or fully undissolved depending on the type of coating on the pills i take. Instead, my G.P has put me on Oral drops of Cipramil. I havent changed over yet as i am unsure of how many drpos of the Cipramil i have per day. My concerns are 1. In the past, if i have missed a dose of Seroxat I know by the following day because i got the "head Shocks" ( it was only after it happened a few times that i realised it was the seroxat causing it) I am now worried that my change to the cipramil is going to bring on withdrawals of Seroxat. 2. Is the Cipramil i am about to go on at risk of having the same side effects as Seroxat? I am very concerned because i am going through a particularly bad case of depression anyway as i am having a lot of health problems. Any advice you could give would be gratefully received.

I have been on seroxat for the past 4 years, and my doctor did not seem to be concerned with my problems such as loss of memory, the feeling of lonelyness, weight gain, loss of sex drive amongst others, so I changed to a different doctor in the surgery, who seems a little more sympathetic, but has increased my dose to 30mg a day instead of 20mg. The increase of dosage has caused me to put on more weight and the side-effects when I try to reduce the dosage are much worse than before! Is there any way I can change to a different medication without going through the withdrawl symptoms?

I just want to congratulate you on this wonderful program, exposing the truth about such anti-depressants!! Hopefully many doctors saw the program and took note, so they will think twice before prescribing it. And of course the public, so they will think twice before taking it.

I have been taking Digassim (Laboratorios Vitoria)(Fluoxetina 20mg)for a considerable time and am concerned that this might Paroxetine under a different name. Can you reassure me?

I have been taking seroxat for two years. I am taking Tamoxafin, which an anti cancer drug, it suppresses the production of hormones, in turn this led to depression. Having been to the doctors Seroxat was prescribed. At first it did seem to help. However after about a year, I tried to come off the drug and got terrible sharp pains, like electric shocks in side the brain. My head became muzzie, uncordinated in thought, and I had to start taking them again. After several more attemps, I slowly reduced the doseage over a week, and then went cold turkey. It was difficult as I not only got the pain, and confusion, but felt "murderous", screamed at every one and it took three weeks to pull out of this. I still occassionaly get electric shocks after two and half months. I have lost a lot of weight since coming of them, and wonder if this has happened to any one else? I believe it may be that connected to the Seroxat, although the Doctor has said not. Seroxat affect the brain, and frankley I never want to see the drug again. It is addictive, it is dangerous, and haous, and has put me off taking any drugs of this type (anti depressants). Thank you for the programme, it help other and will hopefully giving warning to those who are thinking of using it. The decision in the U.S. shows how much power is being wealded to prop up Mr Bush, not just oil companies.

When I started on seroxat I had many more problems than the BNF or drug leaflet said would happen. I contacted the drug company, and they didn't want to know, they said that as I wasn't a Doctor they were not interested. I think that all calls reporting side effects should be taken into consideration. I am now trying to stop this drug, and twice have failed getting below 10mg daily, because of the withdrawel side effects. I saw on Panorama that there is a liquid form of the drug, can you tell me if there are any different effects by taking the medicine form, instead of tablet form of seroxat, as this may be a help for me to reduce the drug more slowly and controlled.

My husband was prescribed Paroxetine(Seroxat) for ME. After 3 days he sat up all night forcing himself to keep still because he wanted to kill everyone in the house. After finding this out I threw the tablets in the bin and informed our doctor imediately. My question is this, are there and studies or data regarding the possible long term effects of this drug once it is in the system as my husband is still suffering severe nightmares and flashbacks to this and other instances. This has left him feeling anxious and upset as the nightmares are frequent.He stopped taking the drug nearly two years ago and had taken three days doses. Also if there are any known instances similar to my husband's case in this country, is there anything which can be done to minimise the problem without the use of other potentialy serious mind altering drugs?

I've had problems with anxiety and depression since I was 19. Depression runs through my family like a river. I was prescribed Seroxat by my doctor some 24 months ago and it's saved my life. I was very VERY sick when I first began taking it (it produced a lot of nausea) but other than experiencing some rather technicolour dreams I haven't had any extreme side effects. What about coming off it, though? Anyone I've ever read about has had great difficulty in weaning themselves off it. And how long is it safe to stay on the drug itself? I wish I wasn't like this - my sadness and anxiety stopped me from functioning so that I had to rely on manufactured chemicals to bring me back to life. What's left on the other side if/when I get free of Seroxat? Just when I feel my life is somewhat together I find I'm only a pawn after all.

Having been on lustral, i was placed onto seroxat in 1993 after bullying at work. I am now on peroxatin which my doctor says is the same as seroxat. is this so ?. All these tablets have given me bad heads,buzzing in my head, sweting and pain in my limbs. My Doctor told me that they were not addictive at all. Is a case to be mounted against the tablet company in the uk by people that have sufferd at their hands

Have been on seroxat for 6 months to help overcome a divorce. Over the last few weeks I have come to notice than when I have forgotten to take the drug for a day or two I have become very sick and dizzy. Last week I felt positively ill. Aching joints, sickness and felt very sad. I am extremely concerned about coming off them

I have been taking seroxat for approx 9 months now and although i thought it was doing me some good i now am not sure it is? I have experienced severe sweating (waking up soaked), waking every hour, wierd & horrible dreams, Shocks in my head, visual disturbance, i have withdrawn more into myself & would prefer not to have anyone round me, to name but a few and this is while i am on the drug. Also i forgot to take it for about a month and found these symtoms got worse and i was going cold turkey so i went straight to my doctors to get a repeat prescription. I could'nt do without out it and still

Seroxat: E-mails from the edge

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