I am starting to take Paxil and Hydroxizine for anxiety. Does anybody of experience with these meds. I believe I am on a low dose. My wife is concerned that I will become addicted to these. What are the chances??
Paxil is one of the SSRI antidepressants. Like most antidepressants it works by encouraging the growth of new brain cells in the two hippocampal areas of the brain to replace those killed
, or prevented from growing, by chronic stress hormone exposure. It will also strengthen interconnections between hippocampal neurons.
Like most serotonergic antidepressants it may initially increase anxiety and other side-effects which may last for a few weeks. The best way of limiting these side-effects is to start on a small dose and ramp it up slowly by small amounts. Ideally, you should have been prescribed a starting dose of no more than 10mg which can be increased by the same amount after a week or so. It may take 3-12 weeks for paxil to kick-in fully from when you begin taking the usual minimum therapeutic dose of 20mg/day.
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine with some anti anxiety properties, basically a stronger Benadryl which benzophobic doctors prescribe instead of the more effective benzodiazepine anti anxiety meds to help you cope with anxiety until the Paxil kicks-in.
You can't become addicted to either Paxil or hydroxyzine, but you will almost certainly become physically dependent on Paxil to a greater or lesser extent after a month or two. What's the difference between addiction and dependence? This study
offers a clue. No one dependent on an antidepressant would continue to take them if the consequences of doing so were the same. Dependence means that you should not stop taking Paxil abruptly, but taper off it over some weeks or months when the time comes to discontinue taking it.