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Important Information About Paxil

Paxil is an antidepressant that was first introduced to the United States in 1992.   It was the first formally approved selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for the treatment of panic disorders in the United States.  Paxil is used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social and generalized anxiety disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adult outpatients.  There are a host of drugs that when taken with Paxil can react in a negative way.  Therefore before taking Paxil it is highly recommended that you tell your doctor of all medications you are using and all diseases from which you suffer.

Paxil Facts to Remember

  • Paxil is not approved for use by children and adolescents.
  • Paxil may cause serious heart defects and lung problems in a newborn if taken by pregnant women.
  • Patients who are started on anti-depressant therapy (including the use of paxil) should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidability, or unusual changes in behavior.  Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber.
  • Possible side effects from the use of paxil include nausea, dry mouth, abnormal ejaculation, decreased sex drive, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, sweating, tremor, and weakness.  The following rare but serious side effects are also associated with the use of paxil: confusion, seizures, problems with balance or coordination, racing or abnormal heart rate, fainting, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Paxil is not believed to be addictive or habit forming.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Paxil should be avoided.
  • Some people have reported withdrawal-like symptoms when decreasing or stopping Paxil so such actions should be only undertaken after consulting with your doctor.  Such symptoms include headaches, nausea, muscle aches, and dizziness.

New Paxil Developments

  • In response to concerns suggested in case studies and some research, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement in 2007. It proposed that all manufacturers of antidepressants include a warning on their product of a possible increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in young adults 18 – 24, during initial treatment.
  • On July 2, 2012, in the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3b in fines for promoting its best selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug. The fine was for Paxil along with the drugs Wellbutrin and Avandia.
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