Paxil is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It works by restoring the balance of serotonin,a natural substance in the brain, which helps to improve certain mood problems.
Paxil is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Paxil may also be used for other purposes not listed here.
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant such as Paxil, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself. Paxil may cause heart defects or serious, life-threatening lung problems in newborn babies whose mothers take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while taking Paxil, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor.
Do not take Paxil together with pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
Do not use Paxil if you are using pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam). Serious and sometimes fatal reactions can occur when these medicines are taken with Paxil. You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAO inhibitor before you can take Paxil. After you stop taking Paxil, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAOI.
Before taking Paxil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
seizures or epilepsy; or
bipolar disorder (manic depression), or a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use Paxil.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
FDA pregnancy category D. Paxil may cause heart defects or serious, life-threatening lung problems in newborn babies whose mothers take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while taking Paxil, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor. Paroxetine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take Paxil exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from the medication.
Try to take Paxil at the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Do not crush, chew, or break a controlled-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Shake the liquid form of Paxil well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
It may take up to 4 weeks of using Paxil before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.
You may have withdrawal symptoms (such as agitation, dizziness, numbness or tingling, ringing in your ears, confusion, or behavior changes) after you stop taking Paxil. Do not stop taking Paxil suddenly without first talking to your doctor.
Store Paxil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have taken too much of Paxil. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, tremor, sweating, decreased urination, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, confusion, aggression, seizures, and coma.
Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of Paxil. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Paxil. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines, or any other antidepressant. Paxil can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Contact your doctor promptly if you have any of the following side effects, especially if they are new symptoms or if they get worse: mood changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, agitation, aggressiveness, severe restlessness, mania (mental and/or physical hyperactivity), thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
easy bruising or bleeding (such as a nosebleed);
very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination; or
headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops.
Less serious Paxil side effects may include:
sleep problems (insomnia);
mild nausea, constipation;
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
dry mouth, yawning, or ringing in your ears.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Talk to your doctor before taking any medicine for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), indomethacin, piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), and others. Taking any of these drugs with Paxil may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Many drugs can interact with Paxil. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
St. Johnâ€™s wort;
tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox);
theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Uniphyl);
tryptophan (also called L-tryptophan);
heart medication such as digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin), disopyramide (Norpace), flecaininde (Tambocor), mexiletine (Mexitil), morizicine (Ethmozine), propafenone, (Rythmol), procainamide (Procan, Procanbid, Pronestyl), quinidine (QuinaGlute, Quinidex, Quin-Release), or risperidone (Risperdal);
any other antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), desipramine (Norpramin), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), or sertraline (Zoloft);
medicine to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith), or perphenazine (Trilafon); or
almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Paxil. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Paxil.
Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 19.01. Revision Date: 05/11/2009 4:15:08 PM.;
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Paxil only for the indication prescribed.
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