Paxil – what it is, what it is for and its side effects!

Paxil (paroxetine) is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that affect chemicals in the brain that may be out of balance in people with depression , anxiety , or other disorders. It is used to treat depression , obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Paxil may also be used for purposes not mentioned in this medication guide.

How to take paxil?

Take paxil exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all instructions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not crush, chew or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well before measuring a dose. Measure the liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist. It may take up to 4 weeks for symptoms to improve. Continue using medication as directed and tell your doctor if symptoms do not improve.

Do not stop using paxil suddenly, or you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medication. Follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce your dose. Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat and light.

What happens if I forget to take paxil?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What to avoid while taking paxil?

Drinking alcohol with paxil can cause side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for pain, arthritis, fever , or swelling . This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

Using an NSAID with this medication can cause injury or bleeding. Also, paxil can impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Paxil side effects:

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to paxil : rash or hives; breathing difficulty; swelling  of the face, lips, tongue or throat . Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety , panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically) , more depressed, or having thoughts about suicide or harming yourself.

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep , unusual risk-taking behavior, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness, being more talkative than usual
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling  , or seeing halos around lights;
  • unusual bone pain or tenderness, swelling , or bruising;
  • changes in weight or appetite;
  • easy bruising, abnormal bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina or rectum), coughing up blood;
  • high levels of serotonin in the body – agitation, hallucinations, fever , fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea , loss of coordination, fainting;
  • low levels of sodium in the body – headache , confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
  • severe nervous system reaction – very stiff (stiff) muscles, high fever , sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, tremors, fainting;
  • severe skin reaction  fever , sore throat , swelling of the face or tongue, burning eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple rash that spreads (especially on the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling .

Common Paxil Side Effects Can Include:

  • Vision changes;
  • Weakness, drowsiness, dizziness;
  • Sweating, anxiety , tremor;
  • Sleep problems (insomnia);
  • Loss of appetite , constipation;
  • Dry mouth, yawning;
  • Decreased sexual desire, impotence or difficulty having an orgasm .

What medications affect paxil?

Taking paxil with other medications that make you sleepy can make this effect worse. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxant, or medication for anxiety , depression , or seizures. So tell your doctor about all your current medications and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet), St. John’s wort, tamoxifen, tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan), warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • Medicine for heart rhythm;
  • Medicines for HIV or AIDS ;
  • Certain medications to treat narcolepsy or ADHD – amphetamine, atomoxetine, dextroamphetamine, Adderall, Dexedrine, Evekeo, Vyvanse and others;
  • Narcotic pain medication – fentanyl, tramadol;
  • Medicine to treat anxiety , mood disorders, thinking disorders or mental illness – such as buspirone, lithium, other antidepressants or antipsychotics
  • Migraine headache remedy – sumatriptan, rizatriptan, zolmitriptan and others;
  • Phenobarbital seizure medication, phenytoin.

Other information:

Useful links: 

Remember to keep paxil and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others and use Paxil only for the indication prescribed. Also, always consult your physician to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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