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Last night I took a tablet to help me relax, anti-anxiety tab. But it didn't work at all: felt really edgy, not relaxed at all and heart still bit on overdrive. After an hour of my fretting getting worse and brain burn I was feeling really terrible, tired but so wide awake. So i stumbled out in the semi-darkness (lights here too bright or not enough = usually choose too dim coz the very bright ones hurt my eyes) and took another one and went to bed.

Lay in bed waiting to feel relaxed but the opposite was happening: tossing turning, feeling wide awake, huge mega frets about everything, brain going all weird and scrambled, heart going loads. Slept briefly then woke, weird bad burning in groin area (have never ever had anything like this - except out of area hospital when they injected me with something, the burning was there then flushed all round my body) and weird dry mouth. Had a wee and drank water. Lay down,feeling very odd.

Woke about an hour later and groin burning worse = another wee and huge gulps of water. Feeling shaky and VERY sick (thought I might throw up,must get a bucket,but didn't), very very weird and heart and anxiety TERRIBLE.

Woke up about every hour, mouth even drier until 6am wide awake, very very scared.

Eventually got up 7am terrified: not me, felt like death, as I got up knees went very weak and shaky, I felt VERY dizzy and tops arms cold and shaky, heart going hard, right eye twitching a tiny bit, my guts hurt BAD. Went to put kettle on and saw the tabs near it - oh: I'd taken 2 x 20mg Paroxetine instead of Alprazolam for anxiety. I'm SO stupid, hadn't put spex on and the silver foil and print on the back of tabs (out of cardboard packet) looked just like the Alprazolam. Teach me: remember to put spex on and THINK. But was too tired to.

I drank 3 big mugs of tea try to flush it out of me. I'd been prescribed half a Paroxetine in the morning with breakfast and had taken. Had tried to read the info but too much, too tiring and so desperate would try these drugs as a last resort: no support,no counselling, in bad bad place in my head/home/everything. I felt so bad, like poisoned.

But was still VERY shaky and had to go to the loo 6 times (I think) with stomach cramps and bad runs - sorry folks. Rang the 24-hour doc about 8am (?) feeing so weird, shaky (especially knees and arms), vision odd and she said to do what I'd done already: drink lots and should clear it in 24 hours.

After cereal and more to drink I felt so weak couldn't stand so made (shakily, dangerous with kettle) a new hot water bottle (no heating here and 10C everywhere) took an anti-anxiety tab (Alprazolam,what I meant to take last night) and went back to bed, so cold kept my top on, inside my head felt mush and odd. Slept 2 hours. Woke but felt really ill, needed more to drink and wee - and before it that strange burning in groin.

I took first of the Paroxetine at 10.30pm and 2nd at 11.30pm last night and still feel really really dreadful. Have drunk loads more and eaten a bit but still really shaky, sick, weird and very brain scrambled now 14 hours later.

What am I trying to say? Am overloaded with stress, jobs, papers, scared of so much, complete breakdown before xmas and was hospitalised then out and nothing, no help or follow-up, dumped. So did my best to try just get on best I could. But overload, crying, despair, terrible heart pounding. Talked too much yesterday,makes me SO sad: love talking to people but got suddenly freezing cold, had to go home and cried from exhaustion as got in.

Took the various tabs (for anxiety & depression/PTSD) hoping they'd help, desperate, but made really stupid mistake and so last night utter hell and today a complete wash-out, feel very very ill. But ABIers make silly mistakes like that and the tabs/foils look so similar. No way I'll take any more of the Paroxetine, even in smaller doses must be very toxic and now tried to read the blurb (still too tired) but (think) no mention of that weird groin burning nor of having to wee so much.

Enough. Sorry but needed to tell someone,I'm alone at home,no help,nothing and feel very very ill. Think ABIers (nobody?) should be put on these, they poisoned me bad and I'm still paying for it, another wasted day lying around ill. I still feel sick, mouth still bit dry, brain/head feels very odd and heart is going, STRESS bad. Really really need proper diagnosis and help. Tired of being dumped. Nobody hears me,believes me or does anything. I don't matter.

7 Replies

Dear Muddled,

We were very concerned to read about your recent mix-up with your medication and the symptoms you have been experiencing. If you are still feeling unwell, we would suggest speaking to your doctor again for further medical advice.

If you would like to talk through how you are feeling, please do ring us on our helpline (0808 800 22 44), we're available today until 5pm.

Best wishes,

Headway UK

1 like

Thanks Headway.

I'm just so sick of docs pushing drugs when what I need is appropriate help and proper diagnosis of my ABI. Social Services dumped me and in meltdown with paperwork and benefits. All my med records all over the place and nobody listens to me or believes me when I try to tell them my brain doesn't work properly. Trouble is from the outside (on a good day) I look fine and maybe my fault: I try to hide it/put a brave face on. Bad days nobody sees me coz I stay home. Sick of not being understood or believed, hurts SO bad. Shouldn't have to STILL be trying to explain and STILL trying to get proper help. Never got rehab, did my own but some things still really bad at:memory, numbers, paperwork, tel nos, passwords, note-books = chaos. Really struggling but none of the docs or social workers give a toss. And even mental health have dumped me. Feel/am very very alone and into meltdown. Did art therapy yesterday (one and a half hours) liked it but SO tired after slept 2 hours when got home after. Nobody sees that nor thinks why/how that was so tiring for me, why don't they? How I am and my needs very neglected, makes me feel I don't matter or that they think I'm lying or something, hurts SO bad. Sick of trying to be heard.


Hi muddled

Sorry to hear you had such an awful time when you took tablets expecting them to help. I am wondering if you have just started on both those tablets or have they been started at different times. The reason I'm asking is if one started a while age then another was commenced you would have a better idea as to which has helped and which has maybe caused the problem. I note you said you were hospitalised before Xmas which maybe when some of your meds were started and monitored for effect??

I am thinking that the 24hr doc will have reassured you that having taken an extra dose of the wrong tablet that that will not cause any harm or long term problem as you just have to wait for it to get out of your system. Most tablets only work for less than a day at most and others for only a few hours which is why we have to take another dose.

I am also wondering how long you have been on the paroxetine which is an SSRI and they can cause some of the side effects that you have mentioned. Problem is they are the tablets that the Drs like to prescribe but they don't suit everyone and I include myself in that. They actually made my anxiety far worse and when the dose was increased I got worse with tearfulness and symptoms as if severely depressed. I have been like that for nearly 4 yrs and it was only before xmas that it was accepted that it was in fact the tablets largely causing my extreme emotional problems when the tablets were stopped and my symptoms significantly lessened. Have your symptoms got worse since starting on the Paroxetine if so I would suggest contacting your Dr to discuss this. As for the services post discharge I agree they are very scant or non existent.

No doubt everything else going on in your life also has its impact on how you are at present and life tends to give us lulls and then throw too many things for us to deal with all at once. I am sorry to hear of your despair and feeling of being so alone with no one caring or there to help you. Am pleased that you are still using this forum to post so we can at least be your virtual friends and at least offer a response, tell you we care, and offer you a cyber hug to wrap around yourself. xx


Hi muddled, I hope by the time you read this you have managed to speak to your Doctor again or Headway.

You do matter and I hear what you are saying. Just wanted you to know that Speaking to Headway has got me through some very low times and I'm sure they will for you too.

Take care and please keep posting on here to let us know yr ok. K


As Caroline says, it depends on how long you've been taking the Paroxetine. If you've only just started on them it isn't surprising that you felt ill, especially after taking a double dose. 20mg is the usual starting dose but, with any SSRI type antidepressant, there are side effects to begin with, until the body has learned to accept them.

40mg isn't a dangerously high dose for that drug but, if you're not accustomed to its effects, it certainly could cause some unpleasant symptoms.

I've taken Paroxetine for approx. 30 years and it isn't exaggerating to say that they changed my life for the better, and still do. Any medication taken in the wrong dose, or without proper guidance, can make you feel very ill and I'm sorry you got into such an awful tangle with yours.

Anxiety alone can cause most of the symptoms you described ; it can have a powerful effect on every part of the body and a full-blown panic anxiety is terrifying. Ironically I started taking Paroxetine for panic attacks which were so relentless they lost me my job, and since taking it I've been totally free of them.

You should take Headway's advice about getting some clear, medical advice on medication and your overall health issues. Your GP is usually the best starting point & maybe he/she can refer you on for specialist help if appropriate.

I use pill boxes with compartments to ensure I don't take too few or too many of any particular drug. But pills that look identical to others, I put in a separate container clearly labelled using sticky tape, & the name of the drug written in felt-tip.

I hope you're feeling much better today m'dear. But see your GP anyway. . . . . .

1 like

Thanks all. Drunk water all day, slept on and off. Still very shaky and feel bit sick but runs stopped. Brain more scrambled than ever plus the burning in it. Day down the drain, mega jobs piling up = can't do. Couldn't understand the instructions on micro ready meal, brain very fuzzy so had to eat simpler.

Alprazolam do help, not ever going near the Paroxetine again, poisoned me. And it says side effect anxiety & insomnia and those are my worst things. Scared of everything now and got very stressed by one phone call, ended up shaking and crying over it.

Sorry and thanks,not coping well at all at mo and to be made to feel that ill on top (night & day) = the pits. Sick of taking meds to try to cope with stuff I can't and shouldn't have to.

Just feel like I'm reeling from one crisis and overload to the next.

Thanks all and sorry again.


I have serious problems sleeping since my illness and have tried all sorts of sleeping aids via my GP and over the counter one's. Everyone of them makes me livelier and I can go THREE days without sleeping. The best thing I do is to go for a walk although it's a struggle by tiring myself out I then usually have a good night's sleep and feel a lot better. Then it comes back. I think that I had worked for thirty years and they were all manual heavy jobs ( 6 years in army infantry man. 4 years as a part time firefighter) so I think my body doesn't recognize me doing nothing these days. I can't do what I used to do as now I have cirrhosis of the liver which resulted in a TIPS procedure I was in a induced coma at the time. Which I have brain damage and to top it all off I was diagnosed with diabetes which is proving hard to control


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