What You Need to Know About Paxil

Paxil is a type of medication used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It is an antidepressant, and in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or (SSRI). Paxil works by restoring the balance of serotonin into the brain.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in your brain. It is also found in the digestive tract. Serotonin impacts multiple functions of the central nervous system including mood, sleep, vomiting, sexuality, and appetite. It may also promote cell regeneration. The regulating of serotonin is drastically important in the treatment of BPD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and migraines.

Notes on Paxil

Symptoms usually improve within 1 to 4 weeks of beginning treatment with Paxil. Remember you should stay on the medication as long as your doctor tells you, even if you are feeling better.

Do NOT combine Paxil with Thioridazine or drugs classified as monoamine oxidases (MAO) inhibitors, such as the antidepressants Phenelzine and Tranylcypromine. Never take Paxil with any of these medications, or within 2 weeks of starting or stopping use of an MAO inhibitor. Dangerous and even fatal reactions have occurred when combining Paxil with any of the listed drugs.

Possible Side Effects of Paxil

Paxil has several possible side effects, some are more severe than others. However, you should consult with your doctor if you experience any of these:

  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Aggressiveness
  • Severe restlessness
  • Mania (mental and/or physical hyperactivity)
  • Thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (such as nosebleeds)
  • Very stiff muscles, overactive reflexes, tremors
  • High fever, sweating
  • Fast or uneven heartbeats
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache
  • Feeling unsteady, loss of coordination, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations
  • Seizure
  • Shallow breathing or breathing that stops
  • Feeling nervous
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Constipation
  • Weight changes
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence
  • Dry mouth, yawning or ringing in your ears

Allergic reactions may include:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face lips, tongue or throat
Before taking Paxil

Before taking Paxil or any other antidepressant you should be aware of some possible reactions. You may have thoughts of suicide when you first start taking the medication, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. You will need to have regular visits with your doctor for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Pre-existing conditions to tell your doctor before taking Paxil

  • A bleeding or blood clotting disorder
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression), or a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts
Paxil and Pregnancy

There have been several studies regarding Paxil being used by pregnant women, many show that there are serious risks including premature birth and complications in newborns that were exposed to Paxil late in the last 3 months of pregnancy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult with your doctor.

Paxil appears in breast milk and could have effects on a nursing infant. While there have been studies, no conclusive evidence has been found. If Paxil or any other antidepressant is essential to your health you may wish to consider not breastfeeding. Consult your doctor immediately if planning on taking Paxil while breastfeeding.

Diet and Exercise while taking Paxil

Paxil has been taken for weight loss and can be effective for some people. However, you should not combine Paxil with any form of alcohol. Paxil may increase the rate of metabolism in some people without changing daily caloric intake. Possible side effects that may affect your weight while taking Paxil include; nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Consult with your doctor about continuing or starting an exercise routine when you start taking Paxil.

Children and Paxil

The FDA has determined that children younger than the age of 18 should not take the antidepressant Paxil. This is because of a possible side effect such as the increased risk of suicidal thinking and suicidal attempts.

FDA and Paxil

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has previously requested that makers of all antidepressant medications update the existing black box warning on their product’s labeling to include warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior. This was most notably seen in young adults ages 18 to 24.

Which doctor should I consult about Paxil?

Any doctor can prescribe Paxil as an antidepressant for you. You may be meeting with a psychiatrist to help with problems like; depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder that can be treated by Paxil.

However, you may also have feelings of depression or anything else listed above and consult with your general practitioner about Paxil as well. While both can prescribe the medication, it is highly recommended you consult with a medical doctor prior to taking Paxil. Discuss possible preexisting conditions or other medications you are taking that may lead to possible and harmful side effects of the medication.

Paxil Legal info

Paxil is a type of medication used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It is an antidepressant, and in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or (SSRI). Paxil works by restoring the balance of serotonin into the brain.

If you or a loved one has experienced any of the listed side effects you are urged to speak with an attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith can help. Call us at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400 to set up a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER: This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a Retainer/Services Agreement. No attorney-client relationship will exist between you and our firm unless and until we enter into a signed Retainer/Services Agreement. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be medical or legal advice. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting your physician.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.11.20]

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