What is it: 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.
Use: Paxil is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Side Effects: 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.
Other side effects include: feeling nervous; drowsiness, dizziness; sleep problems (insomnia); mild nausea, constipation; weight changes; decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or dry mouth, yawning, or ringing in your ears.
Precautions: 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).
Directions: 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 may take up to 4 weeks of using Paxil before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed
Missed Doses: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Storage: Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.