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Paxil

(Paroxetine)

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Improves mood and helps you relax.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Paxil (Paroxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety but it causes more weight gain, sleepiness, and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

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Works well?Does it work?
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  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders, including OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Can cause weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Can cause more sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate than most antidepressants.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants.
  • Can harm an unborn child, so you can't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than age 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.

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Side effects for Paxil (Paroxetine)

From clinical trials of Paxil / Females only ( 3162)

  • Decreased libidoDecreased libido9% for Paxil vs.2% for placebo
  • Difficulty reaching orgasmDifficulty reaching orgasm9% for Paxil vs.1% for placebo

What to expect when you take Paxil (Paroxetine) for Depression

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • The controlled-release (CR) tablet can cause less nausea than other forms.
  • Don’t crush, break, or chew the Paxil (Paroxetine) controlled-release tablet or the Pexeva film-coated tablets.
  • It’s best to take Paxil (Paroxetine) in the morning, except Brisdelle, which can be taken at bedtime.

Risks and Warnings for Paxil (Paroxetine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Age 24 years or younger

    Paxil (Paroxetine) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Watch for worsening depression or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose changes. Report anything concerning to a doctor immediately. Paxil (Paroxetine) is not approved for use in children younger than age 18.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Paxil (Paroxetine)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • If you have any history of drug or alcohol abuse, you are likely to relapse, and make other horrible decisions, as this prescription distorts reality and makes you think nothing matters, or that there are no consequences for poor choices. By the time you try to come off it, the damage is done, and you will go through weeks of hell trying to wean yourself off because the withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. This drug is banned in many countries, for obvious reasons.
    Age: 36
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • They're not lying when they say to take it with food.
    Taken for: Depression
    Duration taken: A year or so
Sex
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can cause more sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate than most antidepressants.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Paxil (Paroxetine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
  • It worked but the weight gain, sexual side effects and the sleep-induced state might not have been worth it....enjoyed the relief of depression, but am pre-diabetic and terrified of the weight gain pushing me over the edge.
    Age: 56
    Gender: Woman
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • 20+yr user. Sexual side effects have been mitigated by taking med. holiday (ie, skip 1 dose every 5 days or so). Other side effects also resolved over time (years). Allows me to think rational/logical=normalized my anxiety to manageable lvl
    Age: 45
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Social Anxiety
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • Decreases hot flashes; now I only get warm occasionally. However, have a headache for part of most days, have gained weight and have no sex drive or orgasms anymore. It's nice to have few hot flashes, but side effects may not be worth it
Sleep
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Stopping Paxil (Paroxetine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
  • It worked but the weight gain, sexual side effects and the sleep-induced state might not have been worth it....enjoyed the relief of depression, but am pre-diabetic and terrified of the weight gain pushing me over the edge.
    Age: 56
    Gender: Woman
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • It will affect your sleep pattern, when you first start you could experience alot of sleepiness to the point where you cannot function without a nap, and once you sleep you don't want to get up. On top of this, when you are awake the rpinss
    Age: 18
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • Take at night because of drowsiness
    Age: 71
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
Weight gain or loss
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants.
  • Can cause weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
  • It worked but the weight gain, sexual side effects and the sleep-induced state might not have been worth it....enjoyed the relief of depression, but am pre-diabetic and terrified of the weight gain pushing me over the edge.
    Age: 56
    Gender: Woman
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • Decreases hot flashes; now I only get warm occasionally. However, have a headache for part of most days, have gained weight and have no sex drive or orgasms anymore. It's nice to have few hot flashes, but side effects may not be worth it
  • Caused weight gain.
    Age: 43
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety