New Member
My difficult child has taken Paxil since he was 10 years old. P. doctor #1 prescribed it for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression. He also took Clonidine. We tried to take him off of all medications. almost two years ago. But his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) returned and his mood was awful. He ended back on Paxil, eventually at an even higher dose but not clonidine. #2 stated that Paxil would not have been his first choice for difficult child. There was a brief discussion about trying Prozac but when it was clear that difficult child needed to go back on medication #2 stuck with the Paxil because it had worked for difficult child. I also think that did not want to trial anything new at the time because he was going to be out of the country for several months and he wouldn't be around to follow up.

Anyway Paxil helped difficult child, and his mood improved with an increased dose. My biggest problem with him right now is that he is failing high school. He failed all of his core classes last quarter and two of his electives. Nothing seems to motivate him, not punishments or rewards.

A breif history of difficult child's academic performance: At the beginning of elementary school he was a wonderful student. My only child that did his homework as soon as he got home from school without prompting. He was also my most anxious child-anxious to succeed and do well is probably what fueled him. He was diagnosis'd with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in 5th grade and it all went downhill from there. In middle school he had distinct good and bad cycles. His grades roller coastered all year. He managed to get through it. In high school I see mostly lack of motivation and failing grades.

I know I am grasping at straws here but I was wondering since paxil is more sedating than prozac (according to #2)if switching ADs could make a difference. What really got me thinking about this is how Paxil affected me. I took it for about 1 1/2 years for depression. While it helped me cope for awhile, it did make me tired. I tend to have alot of what I call "nervous energy". In my mind I have all of these things to do and I have to do them right now because I am not going to have time to do them later etc. etc. I think my body goes into the fight or flight response-I do get stressed but I also get things done. Paxil zapped me of this energy. I was much more layed back. I didn't stress out about everything but consequently I didn't get as much done either.

I recently viewed difficult child's my space. In his profile he states that he wants to go to college. He wants to own his own business etc..He also admits that he doesn't do well in school because he is not motivated-those are his words.


Active Member
I see you've listed possible sleep disorder in his profile. Has that been ruled out? I'd explore that thoroughly before making a medication change.


New Member
I cannot imagine a child taking Prozac. I have not had any experience with Paxil, but I did take Prozac when I was about 12 years old, and it had the REVERSE of the effect you are describing the Paxil...I was not TIRED but I ran around crazy with all this extra energy, it was almost like I was on speed! It was a bit too much for me at that point. So they decided against that and tried the Zoloft instead, which apparently is said to work wonders with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)...and it has. As well as my depression and eating disorder problems. Isn't it amazing how many different things these medications will do to someone?!

I have also heard of some Docs using Amytriptylene (bad spelling, I am sure of it) which is supposed to not make you tired OR make you hyper. I think the brand name is Elavil or something, supposed to be like Prozac, Paxil, and the others.
This one if taken on a daily basis is said to reduce the frequency of migraines, so I had a brief experience with it when they tried it on me for that...and it didn't work for my headaches, but I also didn't notice any changes in my energy level, so it was good on that part.


Prozac is approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in children. Paxil is not. Most child/adolescent psychiatrists shy away from prescribing Paxil because it can cause episodes of disinhibition and aggression in children, even if they do not have bipolar disorder (it happened to my difficult child 2).

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is used off-label for pain and as a sleep aid. It causes sedation in most people who take it.



Mom? What's a difficult child?
I have heard and it also confirms it on various sights that if you stop taking Paxil and then try to start up again, it's effectiveness is greatly decreased... hmmm

On crazymeds they list this fact under things your DR will not tell you... towards the bottom of the Paxil info.


Your son was prescribed paxil back when they still prescribed paxil for children. My son was prescribed paxil at approx the same time. They no longer prescribe paxil for children...I don't remember the reasons, but they weren't good. Prozac is the only AD that is FDA approved for use in children.

Paxil can be very hard to come off and your son will need to be weaned off. This can take some in months.

I would say if what he is on now isn't working, it may be time to try something new. I've had to switch AD's in the past because it just wasn't working for me anymore.


My experience with paxil for myself was great. It was the only one I have ever tried that made me feel better. However it eventually after several years caused weight gain. My MD told me I was on a real high dose he would never put anyone on such a high dose. I gained 30 lbs. in three months. I also was taking ambien because I had such trouble sleeping. (didn't help that I worked 3rd or 2nd shift). But, after the weight gain a year or so ago, I went off all medications. Lost almost all the weight, but recently gained half of it back. With new job I am much less active and tend to munch most of the shift. Wish I had a normal hour job. my difficult child was put on Paxil when he was 6 due to anxiety, not eating, thought he would die if he took a bite. He did not do well on it. Had a real hard time taking him off with side affects making him very dizzy. I had the same issue when I went off. The eating issue occurred after a neighbor man who he adored had passed away in his sleep. Once he found out, he wouldn't eat. Six weeks until easy child got him to eat a french fry.
difficult child was also on Prozac at one time. Did not do well with that either, however did not stay on it very long.


Active Member
One other thought: sometimes if you stop and restart a medication the side effects will come on harder and faster.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I do know that prozac has a fairly good record of treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in children with a good amount of success.

I have 2 nieces who are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & have used prozac successfully for years (one is 14 the other just turned 22).

It had always been a successful medication for me up until just recently & having said that, we all react to medications so very differently.


Well-Known Member
I've taken both, and I'll tell you my opinion (it's just my opinion :wink: Prozac made me hyper, have nightmares, and pooped out on me fast. It also caused hypo-mania. Paxil, for some reason, changed my life. My life was a series of moodswings and suicidal thoughts and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) before I took it--almost every symptom I had was resolved with Paxil. THIS IS Paxil can be very helpful, but Paxil withdrawal is horrendous. I didn't know this when first put on Paxil, but read about it and, frankly, the withdrawals sound so scary that I'm just going to take it the rest of my life. THankfully, it really IS helpful to me because people talk about having serious withdrawals from Paxil a year later. Prozac isn't supposed to be as bad, but my daughter took Prozac for a while, then went off of it, became suicidal and pulled a knife on herself. Every single person is going to react to an antidepressant differently and you won't know which one will help, if any, until you try. I was beyond hope when my psychiatrist told me to try Paxil. I'd already tried about six antidepressants and they had never done much to help me. Surprise! After about six weeks on 60 mg. of Paxil, my life totally changed. It personally does not sedate me. I feel normal on it. Nobody can really tell you the difference between how a medication will affect your child because of the differences in body chemistry. I personally like to try keeping kids off of antidepressants because they are hard hitting and CAN cause the opposite affect-suicidal thinking. I had that on a few ad's, but I was an adult and knew to contact the psychiatrist. Good luck. PS--I can't see antidepressants helping grades in any way.


New Member
Does he also have depression or is it just Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? Could there be other problems causing the lack of motivation? My son had a severe lack of motivation (failed 7th and 8th grade), but he had mood disterbances, and also problems with racing and opposing thoughts. Once we treated the symptoms (after trying many failed medication trials) his motivation improved greatly and now he is able to do work in school.


New Member
Thanks for the input. I actually posted a response yesterday but it got lost in cyberspace.

difficult child has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and he has had bouts of depression/depressed mood but he's never been suicidal that I am aware of.

You've given me more to think about. I don't think I will make any medication changes right now. I did make an appointment with for next week. difficult child has been up and down alot for the past month or so. I thought it was just typical teen stuff-problems with g/f, struggling in school. After a couple of particular incidents(upset and crying followed by sleeping all day)it started to feel like something was not right. difficult child is not one to cry easily. I think it unnerves me more than OD behavior.

Dex, had difficult child over the weekend and he told me that difficult child was in a "weird mood, like he was trying to be happy but he really wasn't" (?)

Today, difficult child seems fine. If the rest of the week goes well, I may cancel the appointment.