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Memory Loss, 18 years old, Possibly related to Paxil?

I am an 18 year old female, and i was on the antidepressant/ anxiety medication Paxil for about a year two years ago. i suddenly stopped taking it because i got very sick and couldn't keep any medication or even water down for two weeks and then i just didn't go back to taking the medication. i have a very hard time remembering the time i was on the medication, there are some very important events in that time that i cannot for the life of me remember anything about other than i know they happened. could this be a side effect of the medication? and from stopping cold turkey? that entire almost year of my life is very fuzzy and its so scary. if you can explain anything please help me, i know its two years later but i still cannot remember those important events and it makes me so sad. its like that year never happened.
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480448 tn?1426948538
Hi Emily!

This is definitely a new one for me!  I have heard people complain of memory and concentration issues while ON a medication, but not after so much.  It is totally possible (and probably likely) that the Paxil is the culprit of the memory loss, especially considering that seems to be the time period you're struggling to remember, and also considering that you didn't go off Paxil properly because you had gotten ill.

Do you have any other issues besides the memory?  Does the memory issue involve any other aspects?  Like do you have problems NOW remembering present day things?  Are you on any other medications now?  Have you discussed this with your doc, if so, what did he/she say?

Paxil is definitely one of the medications that are problematic for people in different ways, usually the biggest complaint is the severe symptoms related to trying to come off the med.  I'm going to ask a fellow member to comment on your situation.  He's VERY knowledgeable about Paxil, unfortunately from having a bad experience when coming off (and after).

Hang tight!  
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Avatar universal
Don't really know if it's related to the Paxil or not.  I'd say if you're doing well now, that's the important thing, not what happened during the time you don't remember.  That means you got off Paxil cold turkey relatively lightly, and for that you should feel blessed.  There are two possible explanations that come to mind.  One is that it was a year you'd just as soon forget for some reason, and you did.  Second is that Paxil doesn't just affect serotonin receptors, as with other antidepressants it also affects choline receptors, and has a particularly strong affinity for them.  This is thought to be one reason why Paxil is so much harder than most other meds to stop taking.  Choline is responsible for a lot of brain function, including in part memory, though much else is also involved.  So it might be that you suffered a choline withdrawal.  One thing you can try is to supplement with phosphatidyl choline and see if it helps any (it helps to also take some phosphatidyl serine, another requirement for proper memory function and one that's in a balance with the choline, as well).  You might also make sure you're getting a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids, such as in fish oil, which contains DHA, another necessary ingredient for proper memory.  I mention this because many people going through terrible withdrawals, which you apparently didn't have, have found that fish oil helps with some of the symptoms, particularly the brain zaps caused when serotonin receptors put to sleep by these drugs start waking up again.  Something to experiment with, anyway.
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