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.
The health and medical information provided here is for general purposes only and is not a substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, or other health care professional. It should not be understood to indicate that the use of this medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Always consult your health care professional before using this, or any other, drug.
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).
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.
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.